Setting up a 40-inch ultra HD curved LCD monitor on your desk a the main display it pretty insane. As you sit back and think “what is the world coming to” there is a shimmer of excitement that flows across you as boot the computer. “The bigger the screen, the better the computer,” a philosophy I remember from the 80’s when my brother upgraded from a 15” VGA screen to 17” SVGA, the potential was limitless. Adding the ability to display up to four, full HD, inputs simultaneously the Philips’ BDM4037UW is a pretty awesome package for the money. Or is it? Is there something that ruins the whole experience. Read on it find out.
The “MultiView” feature is one that won’t be utilised by many when using this as a desktop. If you were to, like me, have a few computers than you can have all the screens on at once and the screen divides the inputs into quads… much like 4-player Goldeneye. As the screen is 4K we can have four 1080p screens on screen at the same time. A Media server, a laptop, the desktop and a security camera. This works rather well and the benefits are obvious however I am guessing that the majority of people reading this are not here for the practical uses of the screen, outside of a 40” 4K curved gaming screen. I have done the time, I have sat down with Call of Duty WWII and played through the entire campaign on this behemoth.
Around the unit, we have a number of inputs. There two display port connections, an HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 connection and a good, old-fashioned VGA connection. Additionally, there is a 3.5 mm input, a headphone jack, an optical audio port and four USB 3.0 connections, one of which is fast-charging. A pair of onboard speakers provides minimal sound level so if you are looking for anything more than beeps and basic notifications then grab some speakers.
This is an LCD Panel with a 16:9 Aspect Ratio and a 3000R curvature. A 178° viewing angle is pretty generous with a 4ms response time. The contrast ratio is 20M:1 and the panel is capable of displaying 1.07 billion colours. This is a pretty hefty chunk of hardware and the dimensions including the stand are 35.79” wide x 25.32” high x 9.72” deep. All in, this weighs 24.25lbs and costs around £450 on Amazon right now.
Things are looking good for the Philips and the unit is stunning to behold. The shining silver casing and white plastic backing are something of a breath of fresh air compared to the tirade of black screens on the market. The curve is quite slight and noticeable mainly when pointed out. A larger radius of 3000R is more subtle than some of the televisions on the market.
The stand, whilst very attractive, is honestly a bit of a sore point, there is no room to manoeuvre the screen. No rotation and very little tilt. Whilst this is curved and, I guess, big enough that you won’t have to turn to show something on screen to someone, it would have been nice to have a little leeway for adjustment.
Around the edges, the BDM4037UW keeps an impressive uniform brightness and given that the colour reproduction is good everything works out very well on the colour representation front. For media, image manipulation and artwork, this screen is a great option.
In the unboxing video, I expressed a little joy over the Control Stick. An interesting method of interacting with the onscreen controls. However, it’s not easy to get to and proved to be a tad cumbersome, especially when you use it to switch between sources.
The biggest problem with the screen is the ghosting, there is a noticeable delay due to the response time shifting between the colour states and it’s somewhat jarring. When playing fast action games there is a painful delay as the pixel struggle to keep up. Playing through Call of Duty WWII was not as painful as Dying Light as the action intensity was notably unsettling during Dying Light, a particularly colour, details and flashy game. Call of Duty was more palatable as the design has more earthy colour and a lot less flash. Philips has included an overdrive option to speed up the pixel transitions and this helped Call of Duty to be playable however Dying Light didn’t fare any better…
The Philips’ BDM4037UW is an incredible screen for the money and it would be hard not to recommend it to anyone looking for a 40-inch curved screen. The MultiView capability is really only useful to some, however, I deem it very handy. A 40” real estate makes user extremely productive and you can fit a lot on the screen if, like me, you write, edit video and photo and surf the web at the same time then you will be able to lay things out a lot more uniformly, without tabs! Colours look excellent and media really dazzles, but it’s the ghosting that tears things down here. I had such hope when I found the overdrive function and this relieved things a little, but not fully and it pains me to say this isn’t a great gaming monitor.