HDTV Sizes, 1080p, et. al

I’m really considering trying to slim down my entertainment collection in my new place. I had to get rid of my (old, non-HD) TV when I moved anyway, so it’s obviously time to upgrade to HD. What I’d like to do if possible, however, is go “all-in-one”. That is, have my computer/consoles/DVD player/home theater all attach to a single display.

The obvious sticking point on this is that I don’t want to lose at least a decent computer resolution. So I think a reasonable minimum standard is 1080p resolution. However, aside from the dell 20" widescreen and I think one westinghouse LCD TV at Best Buy, I’ve not seen anything at this resolution. While the 20" was friggin’ huge for a monitor, it strikes me as inadequate for a TV I’m going to want to play at 5+ feet away. I’ve not gone to look at the Westinghouse yet, but I’m afraid it will be another mediocre brand LCD. Are there any other 1080p options out there in any format? Any in the pipeline? I’d probably want something upwards of 30", but not something godawful huge like the 45+ monstrosities.

(Also, while we’re at it, are widescreen TVs still measured diagonally when it comes to size? And if so, is it bezel to bezel like most CRTs, or screen corner to screen corner like LCDs? Any pointers from AV geeks to good web sites to read up on said things?)

I think about november / december you will have a few more choices now really isnt a good time to try to get a 1080p set ( as you have seen ).

45 inches is not “godawful huge”.

There’s this interesting phenomenon known as the “Kell Factor”. Essentially, you want to sit closer to a larger display with a higher resolution than a smaller display with a lower resolution. When we got our 50-inch DLP rear projector, we find 6 feet to be quite comfortable. I’m thinking 61 or 65 inches for the next one.

If you want 1080p, there’s one 37-inch LCD panel on the market now, but I don’t believe it does a good job of supporting the PC. Most other 1080p panels are 45 inches or larger. The Samsung RPTVs (DLP) do support PCs pretty well, and there is now a 1080p model out. But I expect that to be a minimum of 50 inches.

The Dell 24-inch PC display (2405FPW) doesn’t do HDCP content protection over DVI, so many HD set top boxes will downscale to standard def on that.

If you want an amazing forum for Home Theater discussion, there’s nowhere better than the AVS Forums.

For discussion specifically about flat panels (LCD and Plasma) then this forum is the one you’ll want to check out.

The 37" 1920x1080p LCD you mention is the Westinghouse one. It’s getting average to good reviews in a thread that’s pretty long but worth reading.

The summary: The Westinghouse is VERY cheaply priced for what is USUALLY delivered. There have been some people complaining about Quality Control issues, so you might get a lemon, but if you don’t (probably the vast, silent majority) then you’re going to get a very good PC monitor, which with a touch of calibration will look good as an HDTV set and mediocre with standard definition content. Unless you use your own external scalar.

I don’t own one. They don’t sell them in Canada (I inquired), but I’ve been considering ordering one online. My issue lies with the QC problem. If you buy it at your local Best Buy and have a prob, you return it. If I order it online and I have a problem with it, I have to ship the damned thing back to the US.


PS It does do HDCP over DVI, but apparently there can be some occasional problems doing HDCP over HDMI using a DVI to HDMI conversion cable. A timing issue, apparently, which only happens with certain devices.

I own the Westinghouse. It is an excellent PC monitor, and an average TV set. It’s internal scaler is only so so, and for watching DVD’s I find that I get a far better scaled image through my HTPC. If you must get something today it’s acceptable. My old TV died, which prompted this purchase. Otherwise I would have waited until more 1080p models hit the market.