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Multimedia Monitor

Jeffrey and Carl both need to purchase a new multi-media monitor. We call it that because we're imagining it will serve both as a TV (with Comcast cable) and for the computer. Here is what we're learning (updated 2/26/08 21:15):

  1. We've determined that a monitor can serve both purposes (TV & computer) by seeing one in Comp-USA.
  2. A TV is better than a computer monitor for two reasons.
    1. A TV monitor refreshes more quickly than a computer monitor, so it provides better viewing.
    2. When a hurricane takes out Comcast we can still get some TV with rabbit ears.
  3. Resolution is not as important as one might think. We can get very satisfactory viewing on a computer monitor at 1024x768 and high definition TV at this time doesn't go higher than 720p (equivalent to 1440x900). 1366x768 is also called "high def" and would probably be satisfactory. It is about the same as what we're happy with on computer now. It is said that 1080 is true high definition. 1920x1080 (1080p) might be wonderful, but it is beyond what we'll be able to use widely in the next few years. Manufacturers are advertising 1600p, but that's really beyond what's sensible in the next few years.
  4. 720p means "progressive" which is better than 720i which means "interlaced".
  5. The viewing experience is also potentially misleading. First of all, the TV monitor must be callibrated. Second it must have a good signal.
  6. LCD cannot experience "burn-in". Even though it is said that modern plasma don't "burn-in", it might not be true. Plasma probably provides a better picture.
  7. Sales people tell us all you need for computer hookup is a normal 3 row 13-15 pin socket (VGA cable). They say all you need for a cable TV hookup is a coaxial cable connection. This site seems to have information on the value of better cables. The better the picture you want, it seems the more complex cable you need (at least to take advantage of whatever superior signal your cable carrier is offering).
  8. The Comp-USA salesman (John Higgins) said that Samsung and LG sets have a higher contrast ratio so they look brighter.
  9. The way to determine if they can get a signal from rabbit ears is to look for a coaxial cable connector with the word "antenna" next to it.
  10. On describing what I want to do to a Comp-USA salesmen, he immediately took me across the store to a demo of a Samsung 32" 720p TV set up just as I want it and it was spectacular. The lowest nearby price for that unit is $998.88 at Brands-Mart, followed by $1099.99 at Comp-USA. Here's a place to compare prices on the Samsung-3253 32" HDTV (720p) at www.nextag.com.
  11. There seems to be lots of good information at the following link(s).
    hometheater.about.com/

Jeffrey, let me know of anything you learn that can add to this or that would change any of this.

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