This is a review of the Samsung SyncMaster 940MW 19” monitor / TV.
Why am I reviewing an ancient monitor? Well, I wanted a TV in the bedroom which could also act as a computer monitor and I found a cheap deal on eBay. I only paid £23 including postage and packaging for this twelve year old monitor / TV combo.
Secondly I’m also writing the review, to help answer questions about the product, should anyone else be considering picking one up cheap. I’m going to look at the different setups you could use, as well as look at how I’m using it and provide a general review.
I could of afforded a brand new monitor / TV, but seeing as I’m hooking up a freeview box for TV and an old computer for steam games, I felt it was an okay purchase.
Note: This has analogue TV functionality, which means you can’t watch (digital) Freeview with it, unless you hook up a separate Freeview box! It is 2014 so don’t buy this for the inbuilt TV functionality!! I did plug in a Freeview box via the scart and it looked okay.
It’s old so don’t expect HDMI, but it has aerial, composite, DVI, scart, s-video, vga and two 3.5mm audio connectors, one for audio in and one for out.
Connecting HDMI devices
As it doesn’t have HDMI, you can always buy a HDMI to DVI lead, but that wouldn’t pass through the audio. So the external device would also need an audio connector, to hook into the 940MW. So if you were going to use a 2013 / 14 NowTV box you would be fine, as you can then use an audio lead from the NowTV box to the monitor’s audio input.
Using VGA and 3.5mm audio inputs at the same time
I plugged in a computer via a VGA connection and then hooked up a lead from the computers audio to the TV’s 3.5mm audio input. Both worked fine at the same time, and to switch between ‘sources’ i.e. monitor and TV, I just press the source button on the TV or monitor.
I quickly tested it with NetFlix, and given the size of the screen, I had chunky above and below blank (letterbox) areas, but the movie was viewable, with the added bonus of being able to adjust volume via the remote control.
Whilst you can wall mount the TV if you wanted to, I wouldn’t recommend it as it is heavy! You can unscrew the stand and there are four holes on the back to attach a wall mounting bracket.
The sound from the base of the monitor is as you would expect. The sound quality isn’t great, but it was also okay. For a cheap bedroom setup, it is fine.
This blog post has sat in draft for almost three months and I’m still happily using the monitor. I did try using the composite connections, but hated the results, so sticking to using the VGA, DVI and 3.5mm audio connections.
As it was extremely cheap, perfect for use in the bedroom and I’m happy for what I get for my money. I don’t use it daily, but as it is an old monitor I don’t expect to get years of use either.