Skip to main content

I Want My 32" LCD TV

IIYAMA L323W-S: Flabby

The IIYAMA L323W is rated at 33ms. A latency specification like that will rightly put a lot of people off, because for a PC monitor at least, 33ms is often synonymous with a static screen, worthless for video and unusable for games. Let's see what this one can do.

And as a matter of fact, it was terrible. Latency reached more than 42 ms. Surely that's unwatchable? Not necessarily. The video processor slows the frame rate to 30 per second instead of 60. That means that 33 ms seems sufficient for a decent progressive scan. Then, the panel is of the TN type, and not VA. The latency of VA panels goes right off the scale in darker colors, creating annoying trails and smears. That is not the case here. Still, 42 ms instead of 33 isn't great.

Video Quality

This is another set with real Faroudja circuitry under the hood. And indeed, static images are beautiful; but things fall apart as soon they start to move. We saw unsightly line effects on the screen when showing DVDs. And the poor black level spoils darker scenes in movies.

Interpolation

Faroudja normally produces high-quality scaling processors for equipment such as DVD players. But they don't seem to work very well in an LCD TV set. The images were very jagged and you'll need to use a PC or a good scaler to improve the rendering of images and avoid stair step effects. Since IIYAMA specifies only 'Faroudja technology,' it's hard to say whether the processor of the same name is at fault or not. But in any event, the scaling is disappointing.

PC Mode

A PC can do a lot to improve the panel's interpolation... but unfortunately then you end up with latency problems. The situation is similar to the one we were in with the LG set.

Sound Quality

We'll end on a positive note and report that the sound the L323W put out was of high quality. The speakers used are good, offering rich, well-balanced sound.

Conclusion

As you've realized by now, we were disappointed in this TV set. And yet things started off so well, with a captivating design, build quality beyond reproach and leading-edge technology under the hood. But the result is not equal to the sum of the parts - and we won't even mention the ludicrous remote control. IIYAMA is going to have to call itself seriously into question. Considering that this unit sells for more than $3,000, we have a right to expect better.