Buying an LCD Monitor / HDTV
Over the last week I’ve shopped for and purchased an LCD TV to use as both a computer monitor and as a HD gaming TV. Since I had a bad buying experience involved in this, I figured that I would share my two cents about the process.
The first TV that I purchased was the Dell W1900. The main selling point on the Dell was the perfectly sized 19” widescreen screen. 19 inches was the perfect size for my viewing distance. However, since Dell has no retail store, I was unable to see the monitor in motion before receiving it (although I did get a quick look at a retail kiosk). On receiving the Dell, I plugged it into my computer and it looked fantastic. But its performance as a HDTV gaming TV left much to be desired. The Dell has no real brightness control (only a backlight control) so if your input devices brightness level does not match well with the Dell, you’ll end up with a picture that is both too dark and that cannot be adjusted. Also, the Dell’s slow 25ms response time was totally inadequate to deal with any action or FPS games.
So the Dell will shortly be speeding back on its way to the Dell motherland, and in its place is a shiny new Sony. The Sony MFM-HT95 is everything that the Dell W1900 wishes it could be. The Sony has a blazing fast 12ms response time and a real adjustable brightness control that makes it great for games. The Sony’s one downside is that it is 19 inches in a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of widescreen. But that’s not a huge issue, as I’ll still be able to play 16:9 ratio Xbox 360 games in letterbox mode (which works out to a solid 17.44 inches). So the long and short of the story is that if you want to use a LCD TV for gaming give Dell a pass and pick up a Sony (currently on sale at Circuit City).