Using a LCD flat panel HDTV as a computer monitor.. help

I have a Samsung 23" LCD HDTV (LNR238W) and am trying it out as a computer monitor. Games look great. Half Life 2 in 720p is nice. But the Windows desktop is… not ideal. It’s bearable but the text is ghosty and it’s just not crisp. I have used Powerstrip and set the res to the TV’s optimal resolution of 1360x768 and have used the advanced timings to try and match those in the Samsung manual but it doesn’t seem to change much. In Best Buy I saw a Windows Media Center PC hooked up to an LG LCD flat panel HDTV and it was like… friggin awesome looking on the desktop.

For the seasoned out there, do you have any advice on what I can try to help improve the crispness of the desktop image? Thanks for any help.

How are you connected to the TV? VGA, Component, HDMI?

Connected via VGA… unfortunately the Samsung doesn’t work properly (according to the manual) when hooked up via DVI->HDMI.

Check out this thread here which talks about your Sammy. There’s talk down below about supported resolutions.

This post caught my eye.

To cut a long story short, (especially as this is my second attempt at this post - damn PC crashed) - I’m pretty sure you should find you are already getting a 1-1 pixel mapping on the VGA input.

The reason the manual tells you to setup your PC to 1360 x 760 resolution, is that that is the closest to the display’s native resolution that PC video cards can support. PC video cards, for whatever reason (search these forums), can only display resolutions evenly divisible by 8, which is why the PC has to be set to 1360 and not 1366, while 768 is o.k (divides evenly by 8).

However, Samsung has done there homework well and you will find the display is NOT scaling the video when at this resolution - look very carefully at the display and you should see that 3 pixels on the left and 3 pixels on the right are not being used. It’s easiest to compare by switching sources while at a close distance - you should see that when you switch to SDTV that the extra 3 lines of pixes on both sides are used. Samsung did a very nice job with this. Note, you should however make sure that you use the tv’s auto-adjust function, which is accessible from the display’s menu (Setup -> PC -> Auto Adjustment).

You may also want to turn off (I’m assuming you’re using Windows), the font anti-aliasing. I find font display to seem crisper without this. Particularly ClearType seems to make font display seem less distinct - I’m wondering if the layout of the matrix of color dots is different on the LCD TV’s from standard PC monitors (ClearType relies on this layout).

Anyway, onto some bad news. As good as the VGA input is for the PC, for me at least the HDMI input has been awful. I have tried all sorts of different resolutions, including 1280x720 and 1360x768, along with a whole host of other resolutions. I’ve also tried a bunch of different monitor timing. I have an NVidia 6800 card - the control panel for this card allows setup of different custom resolutions and timings. All to no avail, picture quality is nowhere near as good as the VGA input. I also get pretty bad underscan/overscan with all the settings I’ve changed. Although the control panel allows adjustments for this as well. Finally note, I do have decent cables - I bought Monster DVI to HDMI cables.

Wish there was this much info on my sharp heh.

How do you turn off font anti-aliasing? Is that just in the apperance/effects tab with the Standard or Cleartype options? Should I uncheck that box completely then?

btw thanks very much for going an extra mile, very very appreciated.

thx :)