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David Azose 10-31-2007 11:42 PM

Thinking of getting a 26" Vizio LCD HDTV to use as PC monitor
 
One reviewer said that this TV also makes a good computer monitor,
although the specs indicate it does not have a DVI port (I'll just hook
it up analog). My concern is that I hope it will display properly using
my video card, which is an Nvidia GEforce 6200 with 256mb of memory.

If I display an Excel spreadsheet, will is simply show more columns and
show them undistorted? Any insight would be appreciated.

David A.

Paul 11-01-2007 06:45 AM

Re: Thinking of getting a 26" Vizio LCD HDTV to use as PC monitor
 
David Azose wrote:
> One reviewer said that this TV also makes a good computer monitor,
> although the specs indicate it does not have a DVI port (I'll just hook
> it up analog). My concern is that I hope it will display properly using
> my video card, which is an Nvidia GEforce 6200 with 256mb of memory.
>
> If I display an Excel spreadsheet, will is simply show more columns and
> show them undistorted? Any insight would be appreciated.
>
> David A.


The lack of answers doesn't mean we don't care.

Setup is not always a trivial exercise. You may have better luck with
VGA than DVI. Some video cards have slightly different top resolution
values for DVI output. (My video card is offering 1360x768 as the nearest
resolution to what you need, which may or may not look good. And you
should try for native resolution, if you can manage it somehow.)

As they explain in one of the FAQs in the forums here, the 1366 number
should preferably be divisible by 8, and it is not. Pixels were traditionally
read out in units of characters or bytes, so sometimes the resolution choices
may not allow "weird" numbers like 1366. Apparently, if the video card
has a separate DVI output chip (a Silicon Image chip external to the
GPU), it is possible to select resolutions in step sizes of one pixel.
But a cheap card is not likely to use such an approach, as the extra
chip costs money. And of course, you cannot find any of this interesting
trivia, in your video card documentation. (Sometimes driver release notes
mention it.)

(So the various FAQs on this site, contain some good info...)
http://forums.entechtaiwan.net/viewt...light=1366+768

In terms of the HDMI thing:

You can get a DVI to HDMI adapter. Available either as a cable with
DVI on one end and HDMI on the other. Or as a dongle. The dongle is
depicted here. Dongles also have been shipping with newer video cards.

DVI to HDMI Type A
http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggIma...999-004-07.jpg
http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggIma...999-004-06.jpg

Type A is all you need:
http://www.hdtvmagazine.com/articles...part_7_-_t.php

Now, before there is joy and dancing in the streets, remember to glance
in the product manual and the spec sheets.

http://www.vizio.com/media/products/pdfs/VW26L+HDTV10F+User's++Manual.pdf
http://www.vizio.com/media/products/...26L_043007.pdf (spec)

HDMI supported resolutions I suspect are:

1080i HD, 720p HD, 480p DVD, 480i standard TV

Those are shown here (BTW - take any of the tech terms in this post and
feed them to the search box on www.wikipedia.org , to get more info.)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...utions.svg.png

1920x1080, 1280x720, 720x480.

What that means is, the resolutions supported on the HDMI port are not
native. That makes the HDMI port excellent for TV or DVD or HD video
playback. The scaler in the TV will scale the pixels up or down, to fit
the 1366x768 real pixels. This would presumably not be very good for text.
The 720p mode (1280x720) is probably the best choice of the four offered.
(Some video card control panels, offer things like 720p as an option, but
it may apply to component coaxial output R, G, B. Not really sure about
that. I'd have to check the Nvidia manuals. The p in 720p stands for progressive,
and progressive scan is how a video card normally works, on ports such as
the VGA connector.)

So, after all the fuss about the DVI to HDMI dongle, I'm not convinced
it is the right answer. I included the connector info above, so you
could test it if you want. The HDMI should be used with your DVD player
or similar devices, not the computer. Movies will still look good, even
after they've been run through the scaler.

The PC resolutions should apply to the VGA connector. The spec says:

640x480, 720x400, 800x600, 1024x768, 1366x768 (native)

Since the native mode 1366x768 is offered, the VGA connector is what you
want to use. One other LCD TV I looked at for someone, was actually missing
a PC mode for native (which is a disaster). The native mode means the scaler
is not in the path, to mess up text. The trick will be, how difficult will it
be to get that mode.

The next issue is EDID/DDC. The VGA connector on a computer, has a serial
clock and data that run at a fairly low speed (10KHz?). The monitor gives
the PC a list of resolutions. This "EDID" information is transported over
"DDC". Now, one of the lousy tricks they play on some LCD TVs, is there is
no DDC on the VGA connector. So the LCD TV cannot talk to the PC. But
they do put DDC on the HDMI connector, precisely where you cease to
care about it. (The other manual I was looking at, actually had the pinout
for the VGA connector, and you could see the necessary signals were missing.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_Data_Channel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDID

If a LCD TV lacks DDC on the VGA connector, you can install a "monitor driver"
on your PC. That driver will tell the video card that the max res is 1366x768,
and potentially that will enable that resolution (not grayed out). But again,
LCD TV makers will insist that all is grand, and you don't need no stinkin
monitor driver. So not all of them have the tiny file to download. They'll
tell you the monitor is "plug and play", when in fact that is not true.
Without DDC it "cannot play".

Some fun here. One guy managed to get a sharp image, but he doesn't say the
word "text" in the same sentence.

http://www.vizio.com/support/discuss...6-910ff1fe11af

"try getting to 1366x768" so that seems to be important...

The "Nokia Monitor Test" mentioned in the Entechtaiwan forum thread, is
available here. I haven't used this. Apparently there is some kind of
alternating white/black pixel pattern, which is good for detecting whether
the display device is really running native or not. A "tear" in the
rows or columns of pixels, means you are "off a bit" from the
correct value. Waves of blurry text, is a similar giveaway, so you
don't absolutely need this.

http://majorgeeks.com/Nokia_Monitor_Test_d960.html

Does this sound like fun or what :-)
I love this ****...

I wish I could help define a "dream video card" for you. Such a card
would allow resolution selection at the 1 pixel level (no division by 8
issues), allow up to at least 1920x1080x60 on the DVI, 2560x2048 on the VGA,
offer component video (R, G, B coax cables with a DIN connector that
plugs into the video card). But I have no way of determining whether
any of the cards for sale, are completely free of restrictions. And
so I cannot even tell you, what you'd replace the 6200 with, if
it doesn't work out. Presumably, the latest released midrange card,
is what you'd blindly try next.

(Example of blindly selected card - even has DIN to R,G,B coax, and is PCI Express)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102700

To figure out what Excel would look like, scale from the resolution you
are currently using. If going from 1280 to 1366, you'll only get 7% more
columns.

I think you'll have no trouble getting something to display on this
thing. Playing back movies from your PC will look fantastic. But
the tough part will be getting Excel to look good. Maybe it'll
take a copy of Powerstrip to do it, maybe it'll take a different
video card. Like all mountains in life, you climb it one step
at a time.

Paul

JANA 11-10-2007 07:56 AM

Re: Thinking of getting a 26" Vizio LCD HDTV to use as PC monitor
 
This TV will not be as good as a dedicated computer monitor. If you get an
LCD computer monitor, DVI is an excellent plus!

--

JANA
_____


"David Azose" <drazose@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:KPOdnU9qWN1uj7TanZ2dnUVZ_jWdnZ2d@comcast.com. ..
One reviewer said that this TV also makes a good computer monitor,
although the specs indicate it does not have a DVI port (I'll just hook
it up analog). My concern is that I hope it will display properly using
my video card, which is an Nvidia GEforce 6200 with 256mb of memory.

If I display an Excel spreadsheet, will is simply show more columns and
show them undistorted? Any insight would be appreciated.

David A.



David Azose 11-11-2007 09:32 AM

Re: Thinking of getting a 26" Vizio LCD HDTV to use as PC monitor
 
JANA wrote:
> This TV will not be as good as a dedicated computer monitor. If you get an
> LCD computer monitor, DVI is an excellent plus!
>

Jana,

Thanks for the input. I think I will take your advice. I'm thinking
about a 24" monitor now.

David


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