Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Austin has two laptops.

My 4 year old Dell laptop came with a spacious 80Gb drive. An LCD TV I bought at the same time is 22". A 26" model would have been about $1000 more.

The picture quality was better on HD channels, but CNN and other standard definition channels looked worse than on my warm 36" picturetube TV. Widescreen TVs either clip the top and bottom or sacrifice screen area at the left and right sides to accommodate standard definition broadcasts. I was underwhelmed.

I tried several variations of VGA adapters to DVI or HDMI cables but could never get the computer screen displayed on the TV. Oh well.

Someone sent in a question to PC Magazine about the easiest way to connect an old laptop to a TV. The answer was to look for an S-video connector on the laptop and use a standard S-video cable to the TV. I tried it and it worked perfectly, though a bit fuzzy.

I recently upgraded to a 37 inch LCD TV and a new Dell laptop. My new computer has only slightly more hard drive space at 120Gb (for 7200RPM), but I bought it for one feature: an HDMI connector. With that, I hoped to connect the new laptop to the 37" TV.

HDMI carries sound and picture. No need for additional wires to connect the sound from computer to TV. And someone told me that with the sound and video on one cable, the sound won't be out of sync with the video.

I watch and download a lot of webcasts. As a contractor, I try to stay current with Microsoft technologies. I even sign up for some online training when I can find quick concise video demos of some software I want to learn, like expression blend.

So the long promised convergence of computer, Internet, and television is becoming a reality. The picture quality of the computer over HDMI is extremely sharp (1080i).

One nice ergonomic feature is using a wireless mouse. I can lie down in bed and select videos to watch, pause, or stop without having to do any finger dragging in that little rectangular area below the keyboard keys.

When I watch quicktime .mov files, Vista tells me that the application is incompatible with the color scheme. So for .mov files I use the old laptop with S-video connection to the smaller TV. For .wmv videos, I use the new laptop with the HDMI connection to the large TV.

Life is good.
Words about people and things and ideas that you might find useful, interesting and enjoyable.

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