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Lifewire / Zach Sweat
Good price for size
No ergonomic options
Might be too large for most users
Reflections awful in bright environments
While the price for the screen size is hard to beat, many users who buy the Philips BDM4350UC will soon realize they just don’t need such a huge display without having specific reasons to do so.
With Philips 43-inch BDM4350UC display, you too can blur the line between 4K TV and monitor with a huge, beautiful screen right on your desk. While the idea of a massive display might sound intriguing, it also may very well be overkill for most people’s needs. In our review, we’re going to take a closer look at the BDM4350UC and help determine if it’s the best choice for you.
Right off the bat, most people will be floored by the sheer size of this enormous display sitting on their desk—that is if your desk can actually fit this thing on it. At just over 38 inches long, you’re definitely going to need a bigger desk.
Overall, the design of the BDM4350UC is pretty much the standard model for most modern TVs with two wide aluminum feet at the base to help keep the 21-pound display nice and stable. Unfortunately, that also means there is essentially nothing in the way of ergonomics or adjusting the stand, because well, there isn’t one. If all you plan to do is plop it down dead center of your desk and work directly in front of it, this may be a non-issue, but having the ability to tilt, orient, and swivel would have been a nice feature. This is probably due to the sheer size of the monitor and its heft. These feet also stick out quite a bit (about 4 inches) from the sides, making it even harder to get the BDM4350UC close to a wall. You’ll definitely want a desk/workspace with some depth, as well as length.
At just over 38 inches long, you’re definitely going to need a bigger desk.
Heading up to the screen itself, there’s the standard slim bezel you’d see on similar TVs, measuring just under 0.4 inches, getting slightly thicker at the base. While there is some anti-glare coating here, it’s not going to be ideal in really bright environments.
Towards the back, you’ll find a joystick-style control near the left side that acts as the power button and navigator for changing settings or flipping through the display’s menu if you want to tweak things like contrast and brightness, but more on that later. Dead center you’ll notice there are mounting holes for VESA 200x200 compatibility, which is nice to have if you’ve got the right arm for it. This will allow for much better ergonomics and adjusting.
For inputs, your power connection is off to the center-left, with the rest bunched up near the right. Here there are a whopping five different input options for video, with two DisplayPorts, two HDMIs, and a VGA for the few who still use one.
With the 43-inch BDM4350UC display, you too can blur the line between 4K TV and monitor with a huge, beautiful screen right on your desk.
In addition to video inputs, you’ve got four USB (3.0) ports and a pair of audio jacks for either speakers or headphones. A slight issue with both the video and accessory ports is that they stick straight out of the back, rather than use the commonly found method of side or downward access. This means getting the monitor flush with a wall is even more of a challenge.
So if you’ve got the space cleared out to actually fit this 43-inch behemoth on your desk, setting it up will be the next step. That’s mostly just a matter of plugging in the correct cables from your monitor to your PC or laptop.
With all that out of the way, you may or may not want to further fine-tune things within the monitor’s settings. Looking up a quick ICC profile online will be your best bet here, and should allow you to squeeze a little extra oomph from the 4K screen. You’ll use the joystick found on the back to do so, which should make this even easier.
Taking a look at the specs Philips put out for the BDM4350UC, it boasts some pretty good numbers in certain areas, and not-so-good numbers in others. Pixel density comes in at 103ppi (pixels per inch), which is very respectable and should provide a smooth, clear experience. While Philips claims this panel can do sRGB gamut at 100 percent, the real-world tests put it just under that with Adobe RGB at only 75 percent. This won’t impact most who want the BDM4350UC for gaming or entertainment, but it’s not ideal for professionals.
There are some weak points particularly with the backlight on the display. Its main issue is a real lack of brightness, achieving a mere 300 cd/m² (on the lower end of 4K monitors we’ve tested). It’s also pretty inconsistent with coverage, leaving the edges around the screen an uneven brightness. This is just not the display for a bright setting.
Typically, larger displays like these for computers can easily add lots of additional cost to the price, but Philips has used some smart cost-saving strategies to lower the price significantly.
For input lag, this monitor will perform just fine for things like movie and TV viewing with a typical 5ms (grey to grey), but won’t come close to competitive gaming requirements. Even so, it should be adequate for less demanding gamers who don’t care. The motion blur on the Standard setting is also not great (this isn’t a gaming-oriented display after all), but can be improved a bit by enabling some settings in the menu, such as Smart Response (some ghosting will be noticeable, however).
Because this is an IPS panel, viewing angles are as solid as most other IPS displays, which should be satisfactory for the majority of users. Despite a weaker contrast ratio, the professionals the BDM4350UC is marketed for should find it acceptable as well.
All in all, the BDM4350UC will perform nicely for watching movies or TV in 4K, gaming that isn’t extremely competitive (or HDR-capable), and general work that doesn’t require near-perfect color reproduction. The colossal size alone should add to the immersion and experience for most, especially with 4K resolution.
Most monitors these days either exclude built-in speakers altogether or equip sub-par ones that aren’t all that great anyway. But given that the BDM4350UC is actually more of a TV than a traditional monitor (it’s based on a similar Philips TV), the speakers are fairly good. They definitely won’t give you deep bass or a wide range of sound, but they’re typical for most you’d find on a TV these days. We tested them with some music, movies, and games, and were left pleasantly surprised.
We feel like a bit of a broken record for continuing to discuss the size of the BDM4350UC, but in this area, it actually makes a lot of sense and allows for some pretty cool features. While there isn't a ton of professional or gamer-inspired settings, you can do some excellent multitasking with this monitor.
Remember the four inputs on the back of your display? Well, the BDM4350UC actually lets you use all four at once. This might be a niche feature, but if you’ve got four different 1080p systems you want to have all individually displayed at the same time, you can do so with the PIP (picture-in-picture) mode.
The bottom line here is that a 43-inch monitor really is quite unnecessary for the majority of users, but if you want the biggest, this 4K Philips is indeed a good value for the money.
The monitor also comes with several “SmartImage” presets for various uses. Users can opt for Office, Photo, Movie, Game, Economy, or SmartUniformity (which was awful). Depending on your needs, this allows for a range of specific settings defined by the monitor, though we typically just opted to turn these off, tweaking settings manually. The OSD will also allow you to switch between various video sources, audio sources, as well as your typical adjustments for picture settings.
Typically, larger displays like these for computers can easily add lots of additional cost to the price, but Philips has used some smart cost-saving strategies to lower price significantly. What we mean is that they essentially took one of their 43-inch 4K TVs, and then removed the TV tuner, and added certain features to tailor it more to use as a monitor. By doing so, the BDM4350UC can be had for roughly $500 to $600, depending on the merchant.
We think that given the decent performance of the display, size, and features, the price is well worth it for most general users who simply want the biggest 4K monitor they can get their hands on (or cheaper, but still good, 4K TV solution).
Surprisingly, there are a number of these monstrous 43-inch 4K monitors available on the market. The prices on them are wildly different, but the LG 43UD79-B makes for a good matchup against the Philips BDM4350UC.
Obviously, both of these big boys are 43-inches and pack 4K resolution, but the price is a bit different. Typically, the LG will run you an extra hundred bucks compared to the Philips, but it does have some nice features that may be worth that jump. For starters, the LG looks and feels much more like a traditional monitor, with your run-of-the-mill stand in the middle (also providing greater ergonomic adjustments). The Philips has just a tiny bit more potential color support (1.7 billion vs. 1.6 billion), but a lower overall brightness rating (300 vs. 350 cd/m²).
Screens aside, the LG packs in some more unique things that also might persuade you. For one, it features a remote control to change things without using finicky monitor controls (nice to have if being used farther away). But also, the LG allows for USB Type-C in DisplayPort Alternate mode. This alone could be big for Mac and Chromebook users who maybe don’t have HDMI or DisplayPort connections.
Big and beautiful, but perhaps not the best for a monitor.
The bottom line here is that a 43-inch monitor really is quite unnecessary for the majority of users, but if you want the biggest, the Philips BDM4350UC is indeed a good value for the money. While not up to snuff for competitive gamers or demanding professionals, most typical users will enjoy what Philips has to offer.
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