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AndrewWilliams

Large Htpc Display

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Hi,

I'm looking for a screen for my HTPC which is in the region of 40-50".

My main criteria are:

1. Square pixels (at least 1280x720)

2. Can do native resolution via a PC at 50Hz.

3. Able to eliminate overscan.

4. Must be under $5000

Plasma or LCD is fine. I like both but I really don't know where to start. Any help appreciated.

Andrew

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Hi,

I'm looking for a screen for my HTPC which is in the region of 40-50".

My main criteria are:

1. Square pixels (at least 1280x720)

2. Can do native resolution via a PC at 50Hz.

3. Able to eliminate overscan.

4. Must be under $5000

Plasma or LCD is fine. I like both but I really don't know where to start. Any help appreciated.

Andrew

with those specs the pioneer professional 42 MXE10 or the panasonic professional are your best bet. the pana pro only does native via analogue .... but 1280 x 720 .... only the pio pro 50", at about $6.5k ..... the 42" is 1024 x 768

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I have a PC linked up to my 50" panasonic plasma via a DVI>HDMI cable. I love it, just beautiful picture. I should add I mainly play DVDs and HD video files through it (mainly using ZoomPlayer with the nvidia decoder making DVDs look extra sexy).

Using DVI>HDMI I could not get an 'exact' native resolution match because HDMI is finicky about the signal it accepts, but really it looks so good I stopped caring ages ago. I could get 1:1 pixel mapping by connecting the PC to the TV via the VGA port, but I found the VGA picture a bit lacking compared to DVI>HDMI.

Oh, and as for overscan, I haven't found a way to eliminate it using the tv controls so that should be noted BUT if you use ZoomPlayer to play your media you can eliminate overscan via that in a heartbeat.

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It depends on you use.

If you want a big PC monitor, then look no further then an LCD.

However, if you want to use it for “Home Theatre” e.g watching videos or movies, then LCD is probably the least appropriate option.

1:1 mapping is important for a PC display, for normal PC tasks, but is NOT important for watching video or movies.

Zero overscan is also important for normal PC usage, but for watching videos and movies a little overscan is required.

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That's the problem. I'm going to be using the display for 50% PC use and 50% movies/TV.

I wouldn't describe an LCD as totally inappropriate for watching movies....I realise that the blacks are rubbish but I'm going to be watching in a living room with the light on most of the time. If it was for a dedicated theatre room, I'd buy a projector.

Having to mess around with overscan, using zoom player etc. just isn't an option if I'm spending $5000. I'd rather not have a display than spend that much on a display with those issues.

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Since black levels are not a priority with you, and you will be using the display as a PC monitor for 50% of the time, I would say your decision is already made, buy an LCD.

Overscan is not really an “issue” but more of a requirement for video.

If it’s a TV, it will provide overscan, no matter how much money it costs, because it is the standard for all video display devices.

For displays running as PC monitors with zero overscan, media players like Zoom Player and Theatertek provide very easy and seamless overscan control.

In my experience about 2% overscan is about as little as is practical, and is often not enough to hide the dirty edges that are common on video from all sources.

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Windows Media Center does its own overscan. Possibly a bit too much really. If that gets added to a display's overscanning then too much picture is lost.

I'm guessing I'll just have to wait as nobody seems to have achieved what I'm after. Like I said, I'd rather have no display than one I have to 'put up with'

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I'm guessing I'll just have to wait as nobody seems to have achieved what I'm after. Like I said, I'd rather have no display than one I have to 'put up with'

The new 42" Teac LCD might be worth some investigation. It's a 1920x1080 panel and it will apparently take a 1080p signal over HDMI which indicates that it might be able to accept native res from DVI on a HTPC. Seems that it might be retailing for a bit over 3 grand. Unfortunately, actually finding one of these panels on display might be a bit difficult, and you might have to arrange a special order. But then you won't know until after you buy it whether it will do what you want it to...

Another option might be the upcoming Sony X series LCDs. These are also 1920x1080 panels and word on the AVS Forums is that these do actually take a 1080p signal (w/out overscan) from a computer. However, the Sonys will be quite expensive (not sure if maybe the 40" will come in under your budget), and I'm not sure there's any guarantee that the models we'll get will have the same capabilities as the US models? Maybe someone can clarify.

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The new 42" Teac LCD might be worth some investigation. It's a 1920x1080 panel and it will apparently take a 1080p signal over HDMI which indicates that it might be able to accept native res from DVI on a HTPC. Seems that it might be retailing for a bit over 3 grand.

Unfortunately the manual for the TEAC's lump the 26, 32, 37 and 42" units together in the one document and says that they all accept 1080p vis HDMI. Given that the 37" and sizes below are 1366x768, I'm assuming nothing about the 1080p capabilities of the 42"unit until I see (or hear about) it in action.

Unfortunately, actually finding one of these panels on display might be a bit difficult, and you might have to arrange a special order. But then you won't know until after you buy it whether it will do what you want it to...

Back in June I contacted the TEAC office over here in Perth regarding the new 42" and if memory serves me correct they said they would have one on display.

TEAC have offices in the four largest capital cities, so for anyone who wants to check the unit out it might be worth giving their office a ring to see if they have it on display.

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Unfortunately the manual for the TEAC's lump the 26, 32, 37 and 42" units together in the one document and says that they all accept 1080p vis HDMI. Given that the 37" and sizes below are 1366x768, I'm assuming nothing about the 1080p capabilities of the 42"unit until I see (or hear about) it in action.

Back in June I contacted the TEAC office over here in Perth regarding the new 42" and if memory serves me correct they said they would have one on display.

TEAC have offices in the four largest capital cities, so for anyone who wants to check the unit out it might be worth giving their office a ring to see if they have it on display.

You're right that the manual could be clearer, but there's no reason that the smaller models couldn't also accept 1080p and down-convert it. Still, I agree with you that independent confirmation of this capability is required.

Thanks for the info, re Teac offices. I might have to find out where their Sydney office is located and see if they've got one there.

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You're right that the manual could be clearer, but there's no reason that the smaller models couldn't also accept 1080p and down-convert it.

I think they would do that allright, but what I was referring to with the 42" model's 1080p capabilitoes is a little different, as follows.

1) Will the 42" model display 1080p material at native 1920x1080 resoultion via HDMI>DVI.

2) If is does, will it do it "out of the box", or will it require tweaking like the Acer and the Pyrod 37" 1920x1080 models did.

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I think they would do that allright, but what I was referring to with the 42"'s 1080p capabilitoes is a little different, as follows.

1) Will the 42" model display 1080p material at native 1920x1080 resoultion via HDMI>DVI.

2) If is does, will it do it "out of the box", or will it require tweaking like the Acer and the Pyrod 37" 1920x1080 models did.

Yeah, fair questions, guess it remains to be seen how straightforward it is.

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Thanks, the Teac might be worth a look. The Bravia X series does sound promising too.

I've been checking out the Powerstrip forums too but I'm amazed at the lack of useful info on there - particularly for PAL users.

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You must check out the Philips 42PF9831. Unbelievable. See thread HERE! and great pic HERE

$4900 and falling, hopefully Bravia price drop will help push it down but its easily the best LCD at the moment and IMO best flat panel I have yet seen. Other 1920 full HD panels I have seen look really soft and motion blurry on movement. But not this one!

42" and 1366 x 768, Its really fast @ 3ms, great colour, the best blacks in LCD I believe, & the full ambilight is amazing. It is getting great reviews but 1024x768 PC res. If you sit greater than 3m I dont believe you will see a lot of benefit in greater resolution. But PQ is out of this world IMO. More feedback on PC results should be available on that thread shortly.

Good luck!

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42" and 1366 x 768, Its really fast @ 3ms, great colour, the best blacks in LCD I believe, & the full ambilight is amazing. It is getting great reviews but 1024x768 PC res. If you sit greater than 3m I dont believe you will see a lot of benefit in greater resolution. But PQ is out of this world IMO. More feedback on PC results should be available on that thread shortly.

Yeah, in some ways 1366x768 is preferable for couch PC use. PC connectivity does seem to be an issue with the Philips. You really need someone with lots of Powerstrip experience to spend a full day with a display to give a true low-down on its capabilities.

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