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20" 4:3 or 17" Widescreen ????

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by gdickin2, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. gdickin2

    gdickin2
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    I'm in a bit of a dialemma at the moment. My 14" portable in the bedroom has finally given up the ghost (after 20 years of faithful service) and has to be replaced.
    As it was hanging off the wall on a big TV support arm, I am keen to go down the LCD route and gain some space back.

    The dialemma I have is that the room is quite large and I would be sat about 10 foot from the screen - the 14" was really too small. Therefore I am considering either a 20" 4:3 or 17" widescreen.

    Models I am considering are the 17" Samsung 730MW and the 20" Philips 20PF7846 (which I saw in Richer Sounds - though they are selling it for £130 more than various web etailers).
    I just don't know whether to go for the 20" or 17". I am concerned that the 17" will be too small as I will mainly be watching terrestrial TV (so a 4:3 image in the middle of the screen presumably !) as I haven't gone digital in the bedroom just yet - but probably will do in the future.
    I like the screen size of the 20" but if I do use a widescreen source then I'll end up with a massive letterbox.

    Initial question I have is if I use a 20" 4:3 with a widescreen source that is letterboxed will it give me the same image size as a 17" widescreen or will it be smaller?

    Secondly any opinions on my 2 choices above? I have read some forum entries on the Samsung and most of you seem to like it. Not seen anything on the Philips though.

    Ramble over :boring:
     
  2. bfinteractive

    bfinteractive
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    Personally I would go for the 20" 4:3 as the height of the 17" WS is no larger than a 15" 4:3 ...CONFUSED?
     
  3. jon2099

    jon2099
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    A 20" 4:3 screen displaying a 16:9 letterboxed image will be about 18.4" across, so it will be bigger than the 17" WS. OTOH, a 17" WS displaying a pillarboxed 4:3 image will be about 13.9" across, so about the same size as your old 14" CRT (usually 13.3" visible).

    One problem with 20" LCD TVs is the low resolution, usually 640x480 (not sufficiently high for PAL) or 800x600 (good enough for PAL, but not anamorphic widescreen PAL which needs at least 1024x768). 17" WS LCD TVs are usually 1280x768, enough for 720p HD (the 730MW you mention is even HD-ready with DVI-HDCP). Though if you're using it primarily as a TV from 10 feet away you probably won't notice.
     
  4. gdickin2

    gdickin2
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    Thanks guys.

    Sounds like the 20" might be the sensible choice considering the viewing distance from the screen. The resolution sounds like it might be an issue though. Are you aware of any 20" with a higher resolution.

    Jon2099 - you mention "probably won't notice". What sort of symptoms do you mean?.

    Cheers.
     
  5. jon2099

    jon2099
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    What I meant was that at 10 feet away you probably won't notice the difference in resolution. Now that you've decided on the 20", do make sure it is at least 800x600. I'm not sure if higher resolution 20" screens exist (I haven't seen any).
     

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