A Review of the Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC 4K 40 inch Monitor
The Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC is one of those electronic devices that really has to be seen to be appreciated more. Pictures of its display don’t do justice to its impressiveness. The reality is that this wonderfully huge 40 inch monitor offers a display space whose size and 4K ultra HD resolution is about as impressive as anything you could possibly find in a PC screen. It looks more like a smaller TV than a PC monitor.
However, a proper PC monitor it is indeed and as such it comes with the features, specs and overall “simplicity” that doesn’t come with 4K TVs of similar size. With the Brilliance, you get the full range of connectivity ports and key color, brightness, viewing angle and physical design specs necessary for a great user experience. And best of all, there is that gigantic screen, bigger than almost any other PC monitor display on sale now.
Despite several notable deficiencies, the Brilliance is one of those 4K monitors that definitely has something solid to offer for certain kinds of users who are looking for a 4K monitor with some impact to it.
Starting with the connectivity options built into it, the Brilliance BDM4065UC delivers a good experience. A number of HDMI ports are ready for external devices and connection to multiple monitors while a full DisplayPort support also gives you connectivity for 4K UHD content at 60 frames per second (60Hz). While the Brilliance doesn’t include HDMI 2.0 due to its having been released before this became a thing in the latest 4K monitors, the DisplayPort handles the problem of getting graphics at 60Hz well and the HDMI 1.4 ports are still there for 4K visuals that don’t need such high refresh rates.
Moving on with the good features, we come down to the really spectacular thing about the Brilliance, its absolutely enormous screen! This is one of the first 4K monitors we’ve seen that really impresses with the 4K like this. There are indeed other monitors out there with the same or even slightly higher UHD resolutions (Dell’s 5K monitor, for example), but none of them really deliver their 4K quite like this 40 inch beast.
Since 4K on smaller TV screens is best appreciated from close up, what better idea then to create an ultra HD monitor with the same size as a smaller 4K TV, so the user can really enjoy those graphics from the typically close range that comes with PC monitor use.
Furthermore, the VA panel technology of the Brilliance really delivers some superbly inky black colors and damn do they look great with certain games and other video content. These inky black along with the 40 inch monitor really deliver serious impact when it comes to 4K games, and the colors and contrast also work superbly to create a gaming or regular use experience in which the 40 inches of the Brilliance let you enjoy 4K on a PC monitor like you’ve possibly never done before.
As for OS scaling on such a massive screen as this, there will be some problems here (as we’ll cover a bit further down) but overall, Windows 8.1 itself is nicely designed to handle 8.2 million pixels of 4K at excellent scaling ratios.
4.0 - 66 Reviews
The Brilliance is of course also far from perfect despite some of its impressive specs and a few defects or at least deficiencies are present for consideration.
For starters, this is a 2014 4K UHD monitor and as such, you can forget about built-in HDMI 2.0 connectivity. The Monitor does deliver DisplayPort 1.2 connection for 4K graphics at 60Hz but at least one or two HDMI 2.0 ports would have been a nice bonus, especially on such an impressively huge, TV-like 4K PC monitor. Thus, you’ll have to settle for UHD graphics at the 30Hz refresh rates that come with HDMI 1.4
Furthermore, the color spectrum of the Brilliance could be better. Yes, the VA panel offers pretty excellent color rendering and overall display quality but this monitor comes with 8-bit color instead of the far more vibrant 10-bit color gamuts of more professional and more modern 4K displays. More specifically, it’s as if the lower color range caused Philips to cancel out a vast number of warmer tones, resulting in a display whose color temperature is consistently cool, even when it should look warmer.
Finally, because this monitor deserves very little flogging, the Brilliance BDM4065UC doesn’t come with an adjustable stand. This is actually a bigger problem given the 40 inch size of the display. Not being able to shift its swivel, tilt, height or portrait/landscape setting is annoying.
In a final accounting, the Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC is a genuinely excellent 4K monitor which has plenty of great visual and design specs in its favor, particularly for certain kinds of users who need lots of display space. That said, more casual fans of 4K PC display might be better off with a smaller, more modern monitor that offers similar color, better connectivity at the cost of a much smaller 4K screen such as the Samsung UE590 or the Viewsonic VP2780-4k.
Weight: 21.38 lbs with stand,
Dimensions: (WxHxD): 35.59" x 23.19" x 8.38" inches with stand
Screen size: 40 inches, measured diagonally
Screen type: IPS/VA
Contrast ratio: 5000:1
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Colors: 1.07 billion (10-bit)
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Screen Lighting: LED
Response time: 8.5 ms grey-to-grey
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
OS Compatibility: Windows
Connectivity Ports: 2 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 X VGA, 1 x MHL, 4 X USB 3.0, Headphone out
The most obvious and fundamental highlight of the Brilliance BDM4065UC is that gigantic screen it has. 40 inches isn’t much for a 4K TV since they normally get viewed at distances of several feet and thus lose the impact of their super resolution. But in a PC monitor that is going to be sitting just under a meter from your face when you’re using it, those extra inches really create a heavy duty impact. On the Brilliance, this screen size creates a tremendous advantage for gaming and even more importantly, for performing video and graphic editing. There’s plenty of space to make use of without having to scroll around.
Secondly, for a TN screen that comes with 8-bit color, the Brilliance offers some truly brilliant visuals. The blacks in particular are very nice and inky thanks to the VA technology with a W-LED backlight. This in turn is what creates the extraordinarily good 5000:1 contrast ratio of the BDM4065UC. Furthermore, for what is fundamentally a TN display screen this monitor offers remarkably good viewing angles, which go beyond the normal confines of TVN display technology. In fact, you get off-angle viewing flexibility that reaches towards the scope of what you’d get with more expensive IPS panel 4K monitors. On the Brilliance, we’re talking about horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 176 degrees.
The Brilliance BDM4065UC also does a fine job of augmenting its color range technology for the sake of creating effects beyond the normal scope of what you’d expect. Thus, while the monitor comes with 8-bit color, what the screen shows in terms of color range, vibrancy and the high sRGB, AdobeRGB and even NTSC color gamut coverage, indicates that Philips is definitely using frame rate control technology to mimic the qualities of a superior 10-bit 4K panel. This is why Philips is getting away with quoting 1.07 billion colors instead of the 16.7 million that normally go with an 8-bit display.
Finally, the Philips Briliance BDM4065UC offers a very decent connectivity package. HDMI 2.0 may be lacking, but the DisplayPort 1.2 ports make up for this nicely.
4.0 - 66 Reviews
As we’ve already covered in brief, the Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC offers a number of visual features that create a superb viewing experience to go with the gigantic TV-like 4K screen.
To start off with the basics before moving on to technical details on display testing results, the BDM4065UC offers a nominal 8-bit color coverage that normally produces 16.7 million colors even though Philips is actually claiming 1.07 billion thanks to what must be some sort of internal frame rate control technology. Furthermore, the formal brightness of the screen is rated by Philips at 300 cd/m2 and the contrast ratio is rated at a very, very nice 5,000:1, which actually puts this monitor beyond many 4K TVs in terms of overall contrast.
Finally, Philips has built an IPS panel onto the BDM4065UC, but with the addition of VA technology and W-LEDs for the production of a much deeper, richer range of dark tones. Furthermore, despite being a TN screen, the display of the BDM4065UC offers a remarkably broad series of viewing angles that sit at 176 degrees in both the horizontal and vertical. This is impressive for TN technology but it is slightly offset by the fact (possibly related to the modification of the TN) that the grey-to-grey response time on the BDM4065UC is way slower than what you’d normally expect for twisted nematic displays, which normally offer 1 to 2 ms response times instead of the 8.5 on the BDM4065UC, a number more common with IPS panel monitors.
These are the core visual specs of the Brilliance, but if we delve into deeper details, we can see more than a few other aspects of the BDM4065UC’s visuals that impress or at least make room for plenty of satisfaction. First among these are the color gamut coverages on the BDM4065UC Brilliance. In terms of the basic sRGB coverage, the monitor delivers solidly at 99%. This is great but the real tests of color power are AdobeRGB and NTSC gamut coverage, and even in these two, we see coverage of 77% for Adobe and 72% for NTSC. While the Adobe coverage could be a bit better, these are still very respectable specs and further sharpen Philip’s own claim that the BDM4065UC offers 1.07 billion colors instead of the 16.7 million that are normal to an 8-bit display monitor.
As for the display uniformity, color gamma and actual brightness of the BDM4065UC are remarkably good. The display uniformity sits at between 1.2 and 7.5%, which is really decent considering the sheer size of the screen space. The display gamma and Delta E on the other hand, which are effective measurements of color accuracy, can be a bit variable, at 2.1, the display gamma is a bit poor while Delta-E, at 1.29 on average with a range between 4.67 at its worst and 0.33 at its best is actually pretty damn good, indicating a very solid overall color accuracy.
Finally, the actual brightness of the Brilliance is a bit low. Not too surpising for such a large screen but it could be better than the 285 cd/m2 it actually shows during testing. Many 4K monitors offer at least 320 cd/m2. Nonetheless, the contrast ratio on this screen is still excellent despite the low brightness. This is largely thanks to some very impressive generation of black tones.
There’s not much to say in terms of connectivity for the Brilliance BDM4065UC. The monitor offers most of the essentials and its only serious deficiency is the lack of HDMI 2.0 but this wasn’t really a thing when the Brilliance first went on sale so we can’t blame Philips for the omission.
The BDM4065UC comes with 2 HDMI 1.4 ports, for connecting other screens or external media devices at 30Hz in 4K resolution and offers you two DisplayPort 1.2 connections. These are great for hooking together two media devices or PCs and thus splitting the gigantic screen of the Brilliance into two smaller ones that still offer exceptional refresh rates.
Finally, the Brilliance offers a possibly useful MHL and VGA ports. There are also four USB 3.0 slots and one of these supports fast charging of devices.
The Brilliance BDM4065UC monitor isn’t cheap but neither is it expensive as heck if you consider all of its excellent specs. This screen is currently retailing for $783.33 on the Amazon. Which is not a bad price at all for such a massive 40" monitor.
4.0 - 66 Reviews
To summarize briefly the lesser qualities of the Brilliance BDM4065UC. They simply consist of a lack of HDMI 2.0 (not Philip's fault), a somewhat cool overall color range even when things are supposed to look warmer and an absolutely terrible stand with no adjustability.
• Extraordinary screen size
• Fantastic black levels
• Great color gamut coverage overall
• Very good connectivity
• Slightly cool color spectrum
• No HDMI 2.0
• Stand with no adjustment options