The supplied full-size remote control, provides all the usual buttons you’d want including access to the built-in Teletext functions and pseudo-surround modes delivered by a pair of 3W stereo speakers.
A good array of connectivity is provided but alas, no DVI input
To the rear, we find a good selection of inputs: Scart, component video, S-Video, HDMI and VGA ports are all provided. Notably absent is a standard DVI digital input, although an HDMI adapter will get you round this. If you’re not providing your audio using HDMI, you can also use the separate analogue audio input and a headphone jack is provided for private listening.
Unfortunately, using HDMI from a PC was problematic – the picture was simply eye-stabbingly hideous, with ghosting and horrible graininess everywhere. Flicking through the various display modes didn’t help: Movie, Natural, Vivid or any of the others produced the same results. In the end, manually reducing the sharpness setting from 82 to about 10 produced acceptable results. No such problems occurred when using the VGA input.
The solitary USB connector is for service use only
Once I’d achieved the best image quality I could, I set about testing the display with a Spyder 3 Elite calibrator. Unfortunately, this revealed a rather narrow colour gamut, resulting in muted colours which are less saturated and vivid than on some competing displays. Despite the LED backlight control and claimed dynamic contrast of 20,000,000:1 I found that without some tweaking, the black level was a little on the dark grey side.
Next page: Visual display
Re: I don't get it
"All modern TVs can function perfectly well as a computer monitor"
Exactly. So what is the point of this?
In the picture of the heterosexual couple watching TV, I'll bet you can easily guess which person holds the remote control...
"It supports full HD 1080p resolution – not normally required on a TV of this size, but great for PC use"
So far as I have seen, a "PC" input is commonplace on most modern TVs. Do they not work well as monitors, or something?
Just buy the appropriate cable
Eg on ebuyer.com, a DVI -> HDMI 1.4 cable is £4, DVI-DVI is £5 and HDMI -> HDMI is £6.
Most budget video cards these days include an HDMI output. For instance, you can get a Palit Geforce 8400GS with HDMI for £21 inc VAT. This would support fully accelerated 1080p H264 playback on MythTV, using vdpau.
Most motherboards with onboard graphics usually now have HDMI as well, eg Asus P7H55-M (£62) or Biostar TH55B (£55) (the two cheapest Socket 1156 mobos on ebuyer).
Expecting to find cheap components on the high street is unrealistic, although you may be able to find cheap HDMI cables in QD/poundland etc.