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Samsung LW26A33W and DVI input with a PC

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by micheloe, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. micheloe

    micheloe
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    Hi,

    I am (or was) about to purchase this TV, until I bumped onto this forum and read this thread.

    I'd like to use the DVI-input from this TV to connect my Home Theathre PC. But, after reading the manual from this TV, I found the statement in the DVI-section which says the DVI-input "dose" not support PC-function...

    Did anyone succesfully connect a PC through the DVI-input on this TV? I've got a ATi based graphics card (Radeon 9550) which does support a resolution of 1280x768. If this doesn't work, it's a complete showstopper for me.

    I was also considering the Sharp LC-26GA3E, which does have a "correct" aspect ratio of 16:9 (and 1366x768 if I'm correct), but that TV is gonna cost me about 500 euro's more than the Samsung at the moment...

    Kind regards,

    Michel Otte
     
  2. jimr

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    Yeah - this is troubling me too, having studied the manual I think it might work with 1280X720 at 60Hz and not the more obvious 1280X768 which some have tried. Manual quite explicit and says does not work with PC, but DVI-D compliant input ought to work with PC Graphics card given correct settings.

    Any one else got one of these connected to a PC?
     
  3. FruitBat

    FruitBat
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    Not quite (the PC is in another room).
    Maybe I'll try again with some different resolutions...
     
  4. micheloe

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    Hi,

    Yesterday I got really tired watching my old buggy CRT brick (Philips 28PW8807) so I went searching for my options again... I finally found the Sharp LC-26GA3E for an "OK" price, and decided to finally go for it. A good choice, because when I was back home to pick up my old CRT, I found it (again) had two errors in the service-menu (one for a defect horizontal fly-back module?) :eek:

    Anyway, the Sharp has a DVI-I (analog/digital combined) interface, which is stated as "PC-Input". I haven't wired it up completely yet, but found something in the manual that might actually explain why the Samsung LW26A33W has issues with connecting it to a PC. From the Sharp manual:

    I couldn't find such thing in the Samsung manual, so maybe the Samsung expects some default resolution. Or, FruitBat, maybe your PC doesn't recognise your TV as capable of doing 1280x768 and hence "scrolls" the image? If so, you need to find a correct monitor.inf for your TV and install that one. How is the TV actually detected in Windows?

    The PC-Input from the Sharp also has a specific "zoom"-mode: "Dot by dot" which (i believe) should display the exact input resolution without loss of detail. It's also possible to fine-tune the synchronisation parameters like H-Pos, V-Pos, Clock and Phase.

    Now I really need to get me a DVI-cable...

    Regards,

    Michel
     
  5. jimr

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    Fruitbat - very interested to know how you get on.

    Micheloe - spent 2 hours messing about with a Samsung today in Curry's, shop assistant predictably useless, couldn't even restore their video feed when I lost the channel, sorted it myself. Have seen the Sharp elsewhere locally, again on aerial feed only, so PQ much the same as Samsung, which although fairly poor, hopefully will improve with cable or Freeview box, certainly the other CRT's on the same feed were not any better. So if the Samsung can be made to work on PC DVI I'll have it, otherwise its £300 more for the Sharp, if I can find one.
     
  6. micheloe

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    Hi Jimr,

    Indeed, aerial feeds do look pretty horrible compared to my old CRT, which was expected anyway. I saw both the Samsung & Sharp together in one shop here in the Netherlands. The PQ of the Sharp seemed a bit better on aerial feed, but that could just be the horrible default settings fooling me... Contrast and colour temp. all cranked up on the Sharp.

    FYI, the Sharp has cost me 400 euro's more than the Samsung, which is about £266 if I'm correct.

    Kind regards,

    Michel
     
  7. jimr

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    Hi Michel

    Just been out to look at the Sharp again, unfortunately wasn't able to do a side by side comparison, seemed slightly more pixelation than a Panasonic that it was next to. The Panasonic was on internal Freeview rather than analogue.

    I'm coming to the conclusion that these LCD screens are all much of muchness. I've only seen one screen on a DvD scart connection and that was one of the older Philips screens without pixel plus, looked fine in comparison to a cheap CRT simarly connected standing next to it, and considerably better than all the other LCD panels in the shop on aerial feed, from what I presume was a VCR.

    Hopefully Fruitbat will will report back on the PC to DVI situation with the Samsung. Interesting to note that if you want a DVI equipped PC monitor these days, they do seem to be few and far between, not to mention at a serious price premium. I'm sat here in front of an LG 1710B on DVI with rock solid, crystal clear display, there is definate fuzziness when connected over VGA.

    Best prices I can find over here are around £750 delivered for the Samsung and £945 for the Sharp, that's 1132 and 1380 euro.
     
  8. FruitBat

    FruitBat
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    Well, I've done a bit of diddling, but I'm not sure this is particularly useful.

    Firstly, there is some information about "scrolling desktops" in the PC forum. I obviously didn't look hard enough for info last time I tried this. Most of it is a bit over my head, so I need to do some more reading.
    It turns out that my graphics card has 1280x768 but not 1280x720. The latest drivers may be newer than mine but I don't have the necessary broadband connection to get updates. However, I found this which tells you how to get extra resolutions by tweaking the windows registry.

    Anyway, it's a bit of pain to dismantle the PC and lug it into the next room, so I didn't have too much time to experiment (I should drill a hole in the wall).
    1. PC won't boot with DVI cable in. Don't know what's going on here. I had to use VGA then add DVI when in windows (2000).
    2. At 1280 x 768 (native resolution), VGA is almost perfect (seems to be very slight cropping, not enough to cause a problem). TV (via Nova-T PCI) is just what I want - 16:9 letterboxed in the 15:9 display.
    3. Still at 1280 x 768, switch to DVI. The desktop is bigger than the physical screen and the whole thing scrolls by moving the mouse. This is only in the vertical and not by as much as I remember last time. Perhaps I'm using different drivers or a different windows installation (this PC has numerous OS installed and a boot manager)
    4. Change to 1280 x 720 (appearing due to the registry hack). This doesn't scroll (i.e. desktop seems to fit OK) but on closer inspection, there is some cropping. The LHS of the desktop starts at the rightmost edge of the "Start" button. TV fills the screen (seems to be cropping rather than vertical stretching, which is consistent with the appearance of the desktop).

    After a bit more diddling (switching between PC input and DVI input, changing resolution), the TV picture disappeared on DVI. I can't explain this. When the picture was there, I can't say that there was a noticable difference between DVI and PC. The desktop was noticeably inferior in DVI. Text did not appear as clearly (hard to describe, but it looked like text in a print preview which is not scaled properly).

    Some caveats:
    My hardware is a few years old. The graphics card is a Radeon VE which isn't the top model. The software isn't "clean". I've got all sorts of rubbish on this PC. I've had problems with the TV software before.

    It seems to be possible to get some sort of output from PC to VGA. I can't say that it looks that great with my hardware (the no boot with DVI is a bit of a pain). Perhaps someone else can come up with something more useful (I can't believe I'm the only one with this TV trying this). Sorry I can't be more helpful chaps - if you have any other ideas then I can try them out, but not until next weekend.

    Mark
     
  9. Xelon

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    3 big problems you have.

    1. Radeon VE is ancient, you can upgrade for around 45.00 GBP to the latest low spec Radeon with newer DVI spec.

    2. Always use the latest driver suite, how old are the drivers you are using?

    3. Upgrade to Win XP w/SP2, Win 2000 is over 6 years old now, even Microsoft are stopping support for this OS in June.
     
  10. FruitBat

    FruitBat
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    1. Agreed, if I were building a new PC. I may do this at some point in the future, but that will be too late for Michel. I was just trying to see what was possible with my existing equipment.
    2. The drivers I have are less than a year old. I got the latest drivers when I bought the TV as the version I had did not do 1280x768. I may see what's newer now that I am at work and have a faster connection.
    3. Hmmm. If I ever do get round to building a quiet PC to connect to this TV, it will most likely be running Linux/MythTV.
     
  11. FruitBat

    FruitBat
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    Sorry Michel, I missed this question.
    I'm fairly sure that the TV came up as "plug and play monitor". There was no software with the TV. How would I check the monitor.inf or find a better one?
     
  12. jimr

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    Fruitbat

    Michel has since bought Sharp so I don't think he will have much interest. Me, I'm at the point of parting with cash for the Samsung. Your comments regarding PQ in DVI have been echoed elsewhere, seems things are better in VGA. I got the idea for 1280X720 60Hz from the supported resolutions in the manual for DVI-D connection, mind you dosen't say 1280 but gives a horizontal frequency. The odd thing is that, assuming it did work, 1280X720 will not map pixel for pixel on the Samsung unless a border is left at the top and bottom, which would partially negate the whole point of using DVI.

    Anyway, looks like this not a major issue to me at present as don't intend to play games on it, but might connect a Media PC for TV over broadband, DvD and home videos.
     
  13. FruitBat

    FruitBat
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    Yes , the fact that 1280x720 fills the screen shows that there's some scaling going on. That's probably why the text looked a bit funny. I'll probably get some sort of media PC eventually (PVR rather than HTPC) and use VGA. Meanwhile, I'm thinking of getting a HD745 to try on the DVI.
     
  14. jimr

    jimr
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    Hi Fruitbat

    Well I've taken the plunge and ordered, pardon my ignorance, but what is a HD745?
     
  15. FruitBat

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    HD745 is a Samsung DVD player with DVI and MPEG4 playback. It has been discussed on the DVD player forum. It's only 100 quid on pixmania, so I thought I might try it out.
     
  16. jimr

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    Thanks Fruitbat, will check out thread. Telly comes tomorrow.
     
  17. micheloe

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    Hi FruitBat,

    I didn't loose interest, I just had very little time to check back in on this forum :(
    Sometimes it's neccesary to install additional software (i.e. a monitor.inf file) for your monitor to support all resolutions. Anyway, I could not find a suitable one for the Samsung (or the Sharp I've bought); they simply aren't provided by their manufacturers...

    However, it is basically the same as the "registry hack" you referred to. There's another (a bit better IMHO) way to just see many more available resolutions: Go to: Start -> Control Panel -> Display -> Settings -> Advanced -> Monitor. Below the refresh rate setting there's an option to hide resolutions your monitor cannot display (at least, that's what Windows thinks...). Disable this option, and you're now allowed to set many more resolutions. This way, I'm able to set a resolution of 1280x720 with my ATi Radeon 9550.

    Another option would be "Powerstrip", which is a utility for ATi Radeon based graphics cards. I'm not sure about the Radeon VE, though...

    Offtopic, about my current setup:
    Right now I'm using a DVI-D cable from my HTPC with Radeon 9550 -> Sharp LC26GA3E at a resolution of 1366x768 @ 60Hz using Powerstrip. The PQ is very nice, and completely full-screen (no borders). However, I must say that the VGA-to-DVI-A link I've used (the Sharp has a DVI-I interface) had pretty much the same high quality. Anyway, I'm quite happy altogether running MediaPortal on my HTPC for watching/timeshifting/recording TV (including a dutch TV guide), watch DVD, or DiVX/XViD movies and listenening to my favourite MP3's.

    Regards,

    Michel
     
  18. jimr

    jimr
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    Well my Samsung has arrived, £750 from Unbeatable.

    I was prepared for a poor picture and on my aerial connection and boy is it bad! No change there then from my old Sony 4:3, one channel is reasonable. All that complex picture processing eats noise and produces an incomprehensible picture.

    Now the good news:
    Analogue cable into RF input - excellent, much better than I'd hoped for, even good on Zoom 1 mode (which you need most of the time as hardly anything is in Widescreen) DvD through RGB scart is fine. This set makes an excellent job of interpolation from 625 line picture to 768 pixel lines, only very occasional and minimal pixelation on moving fine detail images.
    Sound very impressive, especially given the size of the speakers.
    Runs very cool, nothing like the Goodmans & Sonix 26" sets where you can fry sausages round the back.

    Now the bad news
    There are two versions of this set, both with the same number, I've got the older one. The latest type has a revised remote control, menu structure on screen and I believe an additional input at the rear (needed for High Def), possibly the most important omission from my point of view. Check out the Samsung website, both instruction manuals are there.
    The sound tends to click when changing the cable channel if going from mono to stereo transmission. Solution is to leave in mono most of the time, but nothing like as annoying as Widescreen.

    Widescreen, not really a criticism of this set, but why, after all this time, are there are so few programmes transmitted in widescreen format?
     
  19. leeb

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    Hi Jimr,

    Interested in this thread as I'm looking for a good 26" lcd solely to connect to my pc. Did you manage to connect yours via vga and dvi? Would very much appreciate your opinions! :smashin:

    Regards.
     
  20. Audere

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    Got that one yesterday.

    I wanted a set to use mainly with my PC, (as a monitor, to watch TV, DVDs, everything...)

    I connected it via vga. Tomshardware review had noted that the quality was a bit better that way than dvi, and thats one site I trust anyway.

    You get to loose some colors over CRT to be honest. But the interpolation is indeed great, and you dont get to see any blocky parts, as you do in many TFT PC monitors, unless the source had been "heavily compressed".

    DVD via the PC is amazing. Was thinking to purchase a seperate DVD player, but it plays so nice there's not a real need for it. I think that actually you get a better feed this way, since the program doing the decoding can give output at higher resolution than dvd-players.

    Games are great too, extremely minimal ghosting at times and in places in heavy fps titles, but overall the feeling and responsiveness is great. Need to further test that.

    For TV you get a better picture connecting the aerial to the set directly, than using the pc's tv-card, but that is kind of expected I guess.
     

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