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Best 32" LCD for HTPC via DVI?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by semu, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. semu

    semu
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    I know this has been asked before here but with models and availability moving so quickly I'd be very grateful for an up-to-date opinion.

    What I'm after is a good quality, undistorted full-screen image from an HTPC to a 32" LCD, but having read many of the postings elsewhere in this forum this would appear to be a minefield.

    I had assumed DVI (or HDMI via cable convertor) would be the way to go but I gather very few, if any, LCD TVs available in the UK actually support a PC signal via DVI at full resolution. The Sharp LC32GA4E looked promising - the manual stated it supported 1366x768 over DVI (actually the only model I've come across which actually specifies the supported PC signals in the manual) - but I gather this model's no longer available and the newer LC32GA5E doesn't have the same capability, plus the 16ms screen response now seems outclassed.

    The Philips 32PF9986 or Toshiba 32WL48 seem promising but I gather neither supports 1366x768 via DVI/HDMI from a PC - is this correct? Do these models give good results via VGA?

    Am I on to a hiding for nothing here? Is the technology simply not there yet, or can anyone recommend a 32" LCD model with DVI which actually delivers?
     
  2. ianh64

    ianh64
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    Loewe Xelos SL HD and Spheros will display anything you throw at them.
     
  3. shadi

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    Hello,

    I'm also looking at a new home cinema setup with HTPC and 32" LCD.

    From the Toshiba site I can see that "http://www.stasia.net/product_widescreentv.cfm/title/32WL48/section/english/editID/11" the Toshiba supports WXGA resolution (1366 x 768 pixels). Am I missing something?

    Thanks

    Shad
     
  4. jgrg

    jgrg
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    Yes, I think you are. I don't think anyone has managed to drive this LCD at full screen with 1:1 pixel mapping. It scales up 1280x720 via its HDMI, but that makes computer text look nasty. It will do 1024x768 via VGA, but that doesn't fill the screen!

    James
     
  5. joker_zero

    joker_zero
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    Please forgive me if I am being dim, but cant you just set the PC resolution to 1280x720 and bang that via a DVI to HDMI adaper...
     
  6. Flashman

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    Just to let you know, I have a Toshiba 32WL46 and have it driven with an ATI X600 Pro via vga at 1360 by 768 pixels (I'm not an expert at this, my first stab at this stuff!) using Powerstrip and it looks fine........
     
  7. shadi

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    Flashman,

    This is good news. Can you post your settings for powerstrip?
    How do DVD's play on your PC?

    I'm looking at building Multi Media PC.

    Thanks

    Shad
     
  8. MickyGee

    MickyGee
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    You have to be careful about quoted response rates. Although only 16ms on the Sharps no ghosting is apparant on quality sources via component and DVI.

    So don't write it off, especially if you can find one.

    The Sharp definately has the edge on PQ compared to the Tosh (after back to back testing).
     
  9. semu

    semu
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    It's clear that I'm not alone in having naively assumed that if a manufacturer claims a LCD panel is DVI and WXGA compatible, you can connect a PC DVI graphics card and get native 1:1 WXGA resolution.

    It just ain't so.

    From trawling through other postings in this most excellent forum and looking through manufacturer's technical specifications, I've come up with only two 30"-32" UK models which actually support native 1:1 WXGA resolution (1366x768 or 1280x720) via a PC DVI input (or VGA for that matter) - one is the Loewe (well out of my budget) and the other is the Samsung LC32GA4E (no longer available in the UK).

    In answer to the suggestion "why not simply map a lower resolution?" - the major problem with LCD panels, as we all know, is that the PQ drops dramatically at anything other than the native (i.e. maximum) resolution. So even if I can - as other posters have suggested - use a non-native resolution, I'm living either with black bands at the edges or a distorted interpolated image - either way I'm not really getting my money's worth.

    The thing that eats me is that, as far as I'm aware, there is absolutely no fundamental technical reason why manufacturers couldn't support native 1:1 WXGA from a PC DVI input at little or no extra cost to the consumer. This appears to be purely a firmware/software issue. I presume manufacturers are in no hurry to support the emergent HTPC market because they'd rather sell you their own hi-end separates, plus I'm guessing DRM is slightly harder to enforce on PC kit (PC hackers will doubtless have HDCP cracked in no time).

    All I want is a high quality, 30"-32" widescreen LCD panel I can use as a computer monitor (but not at Loewe prices!). I'll happily forego SCART, RGB, YUV, S-Video, Composite, DTS or Dolby Digital decoding, surround sound, 'ambient' lighting effects (?), multi-channel speakers (or in fact any speakers at all), analogue or digital tuner, PiP and all the other stuff that AV manufacturers pile on. :lease:
     
  10. andya

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    thats sharp ga4e not samsung
     
  11. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Have you tried looking here...?

    http://www.inmac.co.uk/catalogue/item/SHARTV01

    or

    http://www.macwarehouse.co.uk/catalogue/item/SHARTV01

    or

    http://www.pcwb.com/servlets/Catalogue?item_code=SHARTV01

    (Some of those prices are ex-VAT, so be careful).


    Empire Direct are actually still taking orders for LC32GA3E screens too at a quite nice price. Don't know if they'll ever actually get any in stock, of course. :)

    http://www.empiredirect.co.uk/content/products/details/index.asp?modelcode=SHA-LC32GA3E
     
  12. imh

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    The Sharp GA3 and GA4 range all support 1:1, as does the GD1 range which is still available and will do everything you want.

    Think you're right about the panel makers protecting thier DVD sales, had come to the same conclusion myself.
     
  13. globero

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    I wonder why 32pf9986 has a 1366x768 resolution and its specification says it only supports 1024x768 from pc. If my graphic card supports 1360x768 (how It does), why do I have to be content with 1024x768?

    Any experiences about that?

    Thank you.
     
  14. mickbarlow

    mickbarlow
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    i am sure people on here have had 1:1 mapping through dvi or vga on both the samsung le32a41bx and the toshiba 32wl48p?
     
  15. semu

    semu
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    Thanks - I'll check these out, though would be slightly concerned about ongoing vendor support for the GA4 even assuming I can still get hold of one. "Is there no pleasing this man?" I hear you ask.

    What's the PQ like on the GD1 range? I read somewhere else here that Sharp actually make (some of) the Loewe panels.
     
  16. semu

    semu
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    Just checked out the Sharp LC32GD1E specs - it looks good, seems to come highly recommended and the manual does indicate 1:1 WXGA support though not specifically via DVI.

    But - ouch :eek: - £2305 at TV And Video Direct, although I guess that does include dolby sound, aluminium bass bin and iDTV tuner (none of which I actually need or want). Time to have another look down the back of the sofa maybe...

    Can anyone confirm categorically (i.e. having actually done it themselves) that I can get 1:1 1366x768 from a PC DVI input on the LC32GD1E?
     
  17. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Exactly the same as it is on the GA3 and GA4 range, apparently.
     
  18. imh

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    The GD1s are pretty much a fancier, slimmer version of the GAs. They've got a digital tuner and an external media box, all of which costs you way more than the GA range.
     
  19. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    Hi Semu,

    I haven't done it myself (Laptop doesn't support that res) but a number of people have on here with their GA3/4's.

    Only a few can get perfect 1366x768 with their graphics cards due to other graphics card only being able to display a resolution that is divisible by 8 so the closest are either 1360x768 or 1368x768. I think most use the latter and forget about the 2 pixel cut.

    If your PC doesn't do these resolutions, then use a utility called Powerstrip. Take a look at this thread for more info on Powerstrip and the Sharps.....

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168317&highlight=Powertripe

    Regards,

    Richard.
     
  20. erwinb

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    Actually the problem is not with the graphicscards, but with the LCD panels. They're not compliant with EDID specs in the DVI standard, and they solve it by putting a line in the manual saying: DVI not usable for PC. I bought a DVI-detective from Gefen (www.gefen.com) to bypass this problem, there are other ways as well, but I thought this was the most elegant one.

    Erwin
     
  21. McE

    McE
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    If you have enough space, forget about the GD1E and get a 37GA4E instead if you can find one. The special features DVB-T and PCI Card are never ever worth the extra money. (had 1 32GA4E, 2 32GD1E and now a 37GA4E)

    I have 1366x768 native resolution over DVI (Gainward 6800GT Golden Sample) but it was a pain in the a... to get it right.

    First I needed Powerstrip (but only one time) to generate a new resolution of 1366x768 with the settings in the following link. http://www.geocities.com/jgeneedid/ Then installed the Aquos driver from the same page so that I have the resolution available in Games etc.

    Then you have to choose the sharp as primary screen in the grafics options or simply clone the screens if you have two (still sharp as primary). last but not least you have to auto synch the sharp...

    I get a perfect (yes I mean it) picture over my 10m DVI... HD Samples for DivX or WMV are unbelieveable sharp... :clap:
     
  22. Alan111S

    Alan111S
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    My 32PF9986 displays 1280 x 768. Obviously this means black bars each side. But in reality you don't really notice them. My Dell laptop cannot do custom resolutions with Powerstrip so I am limited to resolutions that the Intel Graphics card supports. And out of those, 1280 x 768 is the most appropriate.

    When playing a WMV HD clip I get the borders at the sides as described above, plus borders top and bottom but I am sure it is doing 1:1 pixel mapping. So I believe I am getting a true 1:1 pixel mapped 1280 x 720 (16:9) picture within a 1366 x 768 screen. In fact, I'd rather have that than scaling by the TV.

    Hope that helps.

    Alan
     
  23. shadi

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    Can you buy a DVI Detective in the UK?
     
  24. semu

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    Thanks for the tips.

    The Sharp Aquos range looks like being the best match for my requirements, but unfortunely the GA4E series is no longer generally available in the UK (other than residual stock).

    Also, some other posters have complained about obtrusive cooling fan noise on Aquos panels. Have you found this to be a problem yourself?
     

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