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Old May 19, 2007, 05:15 AM   #1
jwervel16
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Contrast ratios: Apple 17" LCD vs. Westinghouse 1080p HDTV

Hi everyone,

I'm about to buy a 37" 1080p display (Westinghouse LVM-37w3) to replace my 17" Apple LCD. I'd like to know: will the Westinghouse outperform the Apple in terms of blacks/contrast ratio? Do monitors and HDTVs use the same scale?

The Apple states 350:1, while the Westinghouse is 1000:1. However, I've read mixed reviews about the latter's black levels. Now, I'm more than fine with my Apple's dark details, even with movie watching. But obviously, 1000:1 seems a lot better than 350:1.

I thought I'd ask some experts for a real opinion -- does the Westinghouse truly have an almost 3X advantage, or are the numbers just marketing hype?

Your help is thoroughly appreciated!

Regards,
J. Wervel

P.S. Any tips or warnings about color accuracy or quality comparisons between the displays would also be great.
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Old May 19, 2007, 08:05 AM   #2
MisterMe
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That said, the two devices that you asked about are so different that it is hilarious. They are different generations of technology, radically different size classes, and serve different purposes. The Apple is a computer monitor. The Westinghouse is a TV monitor. At 17", the Apple is best used on a desktop. The Westinghouse has DVI, which means that you can connect it to a computer which also has DVI. However, the monitor is best used for presentations which are viewed from a distance of several feet.

But the bottomline is that the Apple and Westinghouse are not comparable. The Westinghouse would be a poor choice for a destop monitor where the Apple is best. The Apple would be a poor choice for a presentation display where the Westinghouse is best for computer applications.
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Last edited by MisterMe; May 19, 2007 at 06:27 PM.
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Old May 19, 2007, 03:07 PM   #3
jwervel16
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Yeah, I know what I'm getting myself into... I'm sure it sounds pretty silly at face value. The 37w3 actually makes a decent comp monitor when you add up the pros and cons. This will be an "all in one" media center for me. But that's a totally separate topic.

I suppose I'm just wondering -- straight up -- if the Westinghouse really has better contrast for things like games and movies? I fully realize that I'll be giving up qualities that the Apple wins hands down, but I'm past that stage.

Here's a photo of the thing running Mac OS X at 1:1, by the way:

http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/3...miniosxis4.jpg

This may not even be the right place for this question. Just thought I'd take a shot!

Thanks again,
J. Wervel
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Old May 19, 2007, 06:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwervel16 View Post
...

This may not even be the right place for this question. Just thought I'd take a shot!

...
Yours is not question which requires expert knowledge. You will notice that the Westinghouse monitor in your picture is being used as a presentation display for the connected Mac mini. This is consistent with what I wrote in my previous post.
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Old May 19, 2007, 08:00 PM   #5
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MisterMe, I think you misinterpreted me -- what I meant is that my question is coming from a motive that might not make sense in this forum. I'm trying to "make this work" as a monitor, as opposed to attaining the highest quality in a display. I just came to ask whether my original idea would be feasible or outright ridiculous, and I sense that I got an answer. I do appreciate the info, and it will factor into my purchase. Thanks again -- J
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Old May 21, 2007, 09:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jwervel16 View Post
... I'm trying to "make this work" as a monitor, as opposed to attaining the highest quality in a display. ...
First off--if you are interested only in the Westinghouse monitor, then don't muddy the water by asking about the Apple monitor.

Buy a DVI cable. Use the DVI cable to connect the monitor to you Mac. Although you make no mention of which model Mac you have--or even if you have a Mac--all new Macs include DVI ports. So you should be fine.
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Old May 21, 2007, 09:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwervel16 View Post
I'm about to buy a 37" 1080p display (Westinghouse LVM-37w3) to replace my 17" Apple LCD. I'd like to know: will the Westinghouse outperform the Apple in terms of blacks/contrast ratio?
I don't know the answer to your question... but there's a huge ongoing thread over at hardforum.com about the Westinghouse monitor. Someone on there could probably answer your question:

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1088497

I've been looking at that monitor as well. It's tempting - there are a few people that have complained about the black levels, but then there are even more people saying it's the best computer purchase they've ever made (usually gamers/people using it to watch movies).

Also, if you have a Best Buy near you, they may have one set up that you could look at.
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Old May 21, 2007, 11:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MisterMe View Post
The Westinghouse would be a poor choice for a destop monitor where the Apple is best.
Completely false. I have the Westy 37'', and it's the best purchase I've ever made. Upon what are you basing your judgment? I also am a member at Hardforum, and bought the Westy based off of the 350+ page thread in which nearly EVERYONE completely raves about it.

I use the Westy as a computer monitor, and it is unbelievable. Incredibly clear, crisp text, great refresh, tons of inputs, great pixel pitch; needless to say, I am one of those that atari1356 quoted as saying it's the best purchase I have ever made. I've used Dell 2007, 2405, 2407, 3007, ACD 23'' and 30'', and the Westy is my favorite, hands down. Many reputable review sites have finally gotten around to reviewing the monitor, and many have stated that it's the "best buy" out of all of the above mentioned monitors, especially for the money ($1000 shipped for a 37'' 1080p monitor with great specs).

Needless to say, I can't disagree more with your statement. Try the Westy out before you knock it; I guarantee if you've tried it you'd have a totally different opinion
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Old May 21, 2007, 11:54 AM   #9
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Here's my experience with the westy.

I bought this monitor to mainly use as a tv but I also have hooked up my macbook to it. I also have used my pc on it.

ITS GREAT!!!!

I love this tv. I would normally use it as a computer monitor but I like to use my macbook while in my lap and watch tv at the same time. The only problem I have found while using 1080p resolution its hard to read text while sitting on the couch. If you run it at 720p resolution its not too bad. If you sit close enough its a stunning computer monitor.

I love this monitor so much I'm even buying a HD DVD drive for my xbox 360 to see this monitor in hdvd goodness.

Newegg seems to have the best price. I had a local store match their price so I could pick it up same day but newegg has a great rep so I woudlnt hesitate to order from them.

Zack
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Old May 21, 2007, 12:17 PM   #10
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The only way to buy an expensive TV is to go to a shop with a good selection of TVs, and have a look at them and compare them. Read the fine print, make sure the TV really has 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution (sometimes 1080p means "you can plug in a 1080p device and we'll display whatever we like").
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Old May 21, 2007, 01:47 PM   #11
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Completely false. I have the Westy 37'', and it's the best purchase I've ever made. Upon what are you basing your judgment? ...
You completely disagree with my statement. I actually own a much better 37" monitor than the Westinghouse, but I use it as a TV. Your claim that the Westinghouse is the best purchase that you ever made is meaningless. What is more, playing video games from across the room is not the same as sitting 20" from a monitor on your desktop. For a desktop monitor, many users find that the 30" ACD is too big for them. The sweet spot for large desktop monitors appears to be the 23" ACD or 24" Dell. As I said in my previous post, the 37" Westinghouse is probably pretty good as a presentation monitor.
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Old May 21, 2007, 03:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MisterMe View Post
You completely disagree with my statement. I actually own a much better 37" monitor than the Westinghouse, but I use it as a TV. Your claim that the Westinghouse is the best purchase that you ever made is meaningless. What is more, playing video games from across the room is not the same as sitting 20" from a monitor on your desktop.
As do I, (46'' Sammy LCD & a 55'' Hitachi, which I ALSO use as TVs). Second, I am about 2.5-3 ft away from the monitor, NOT across the room. Don't knock the 37'' until you've tried it, bottom line.
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Old May 21, 2007, 07:23 PM   #13
MisterMe
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... Second, I am about 2.5-3 ft away from the monitor, ....
You are not using the Westinghouse as a desktop monitor. That is the only point I was making.
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Old May 21, 2007, 08:13 PM   #14
jwervel16
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MisterMe, lifelong Mac user here. I love Apple's stuff and always will. I'm on a G4 tower currently. The new display would certainly utilize DVI.

The reason I came here was to help determine exactly how well the Westy might hold up compared to my 17" ASD. I don't understand what you mean by "muddying the water" -- perhaps I'm having a hard time explaining myself. I realize the 37" is in a very different class than the Apple, which is why my topic title concerns contrast ratio specifically. My goal is to have an affordable "all-in-one" HTPC / media center, as I stated before. Of course, it would also be nice to have a fresh warranty.

The Westy would be used to watch movies in addition to computer work, including light Photoshop use, mail, browsing, etc. Bottom line is that I'm curious as to how much quality I'll be losing along with the size gain. I have visited both HardForums and AVS, but I also wanted opinions from dedicated Mac users. That's why I'm here.

P.S. By the way, the photo I posted is not a presentation display. The owner who shot that pic is currently using the TV as his main Mac Mini monitor in 1:1 1080p.
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Old May 21, 2007, 10:07 PM   #15
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You are not using the Westinghouse as a desktop monitor. That is the only point I was making.
Wrong. I DO use it as a desktop monitor, that's what I'm saying! Here is a pic of my setup:
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