Qs: Dell 2005FPW for watching non-digital TV / videotapes?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by nagromme, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #1
    I tune (analog) TV through my VCR, so if I get a Dell 20.1" display, I could connect it (via S-Video or composite) and use it as a low-end flat TV sometimes. Normally, of course, you'd get black on the sides (or you can stretch--but I wouldn't).

    Questions for anyone who has hooked a VCR to the 2005FPW:

    1. Do the Zoom controls (I see them in the online manual) work for S-Video and composite? Or are they like Positioning: only for VGA/DVI?

    2. If you CAN zoom, will the zoomed TV image use the whole screen or will you still get black bars left and right?

    Basically, for shows broadcast in "fake widescreen" I want to be able to zoom in and get rid of ALL the black bars: the top/bottom ones that are in the broadcast, and the left/right ones that result from using a wide LCD with conventional TV. I know an LCD "real TV" can do that with one touch--but if I can do it manually I'll be happy.

    Looked at another way, I'd be zooming the TV input so it filled the screen with no stretching: the top and bottom of the image would be cut off instead. Poor ads! :) Can it be done?

    (FYI, scroll down to the second image here to see Zoom in the Dell's menu)
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/monitors/2005FPW/English/setup.htm#Using the OSD


    TIA!

    (BTW, I am also curious, for the future, whether I can use this Dell display if I ever got digital cable TV.)
     
  2. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #2
    Q 2

    Also--someone at MacNN posted that you CANNOT control whether the image streteched or "keyholed" (black at the sides). Video is always stretched to fill, and looks distorted they say (except in PIP).

    The online manual doesn't say that--it seems to say that you CAN control that, under Scaling. True? Or is Scaling only for VGA and DVI?
     
  3. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #3
    OK, I called Dell, and was unable to speak to a tech so I'm not sure my questions were understood. But somebody relayed my questions and reported back, and supposedly you CAN control stretching with a composite/S-video input... and you CAN zoom it... and the black bars on the sides DO go away if you zoom in.

    Sounds great to me, if that's all true :)

    Anyone want to run a video signal into their 2005FPW and test? :)
     
  4. debroglie macrumors 6502a

    debroglie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #4

    I can confirm that you CAN control whether or not the video is stretched or keyholed. For instance, when I play my gamecube through the s-video I have it keyholed so that it has the correct aspect ratio. However, I don't mind stretched TV, so when I have my cable TV coming through the RCA I have it stretched...

    However, at this moment I don't have either TV or my Gamecube hooked up, but here is an image of the menu that you would use(sorry for it being blurry, I'm in a hurry):
    [​IMG]

    I'll check on the zoom thing later.. I've never even thought of that
     
  5. debroglie macrumors 6502a

    debroglie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #5
    Test #1: Control aspect ratio

    [​IMG]
    regular aspect ratio, perfect for playing FIFA 2005

    [​IMG]
    stretched aspect ratio. Does not look bad, but is bad for gaming

    Result: You can easily choose either aspect ratio and both look good, but have their advantages or disadvantages in different situations


    Test #2: Use zoom will in stretched aspect ratio

    [​IMG]
    Game menu when stretched aspect ratio. *NOTE* All FIFA 2005 menus are "fake widescreen"

    [​IMG]
    Game menu when stretched and then zoomed. Removed bottom and top black bars *BUT* lost space on left and right(notice menu words and less space to the left and right) and is still incorrect aspect ratio (stretched)

    Result: Can zoom in on a stretched video, but retains its incorrect aspect ratio and loses left and right sides


    Test #3: Zoom in on normal aspect ratio

    [​IMG]
    FIFA 2005 menu with normal aspect ratio (keep in mind "fake widescreen")

    [​IMG]
    FIFA menu with normal aspect zoomed. The bottom and top black bars from "fake widescreen" are gone, however the left and right black bars still exist, while video from the left and right has disappeared. Correct aspect ratio is retained, though.

    Result: Can zoom on regular aspect ratio, but curiously and disappointingly the left and right black bars remain.


    Does that all make sense?
     
  6. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #6
    Wow--not just a test but a photo! A big help :) Thanks!

    If it's possible to have it not strectched (= black sides) and then zoom in so the black sides are gone, that would be great.

    (The top and bottom of the video would then be lost--but for many TV shows and VHS movies, that's wasted space anyway.)
     
  7. debroglie macrumors 6502a

    debroglie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #7
    The third test from my last post should help you with this one. To answer your question, yes and no. You can zoom, however the black sides remain for some reason... I am guessing it has to do with the way that the screen decodes video streams
     
  8. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #8
    A million thanks!

    100% clear, and exactly what I needed to know.

    The Dell sales guy told me wrong--anything to make a sale maybe?

    But now I have the facts, and I can decide whether this will let me chuck my old TV or not :)

    (You've also shown that the black sidebars aren't all that big, which is nice to see.)
     
  9. debroglie macrumors 6502a

    debroglie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #9
    No problem... I remember when I was going to purchase this screen I couldn't get many answers for my questions about the RCA and S-Video imputs so I didn't want another person to be in the same situation.

    The Dell sales guy could have been confused or just had no clue what he was talking about.

    My advice is that you go for it with getting this screen. The panel is absolutely fantastic (clear, precise, high specs, etc) and the input options are what really sealed the deal for me. I LOVE this screen and the only time that I second guess myself is when I see how elegant the ACDs are... but then I always remind myself how much money I saved and the shear practicality of the advantages of the Dell. It has effectively replaced my TV, and is also just great for using my Gamecube through the SVideo. The PIP is great, I can't tell you how nice it was during March to be doing layout on my screen with the basketball games in the bottom corner (or any corner). Also, I hope to put the VGA input to use soon if I can find a PC (gasp) to use to check my website with and possibly fold. Having four inputs is glorious.

    As far as the black bars, no they are not too large. This screen is actually a 16:10 ration, whereas 4:3 translates to 16:12... as I said before I actually have found that I prefer watching TV stretched to widescreen because it doesn't really make that big of a difference aspect-wise and it is nice to fill all of the screen real estate.

    In closing, GO FOR IT!!!


    EDIT: I should add that although it seems like you are trying to fight the widescreen aspect ratio with these techniques, it is SOOOO nice to have the widescreen for it as a computer monitor. I don't know if I could work with palettes on a normal aspect monitor anymore.
     
  10. nagromme thread starter macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #10
    I'm sold on widescreen for the computer--but to help justify the cost, replacing my TV would be nice too :) I don't use it often, but I hate the big clunky thing. It has WHEELS to tune each channel button! WHEELS!

    But my TV does have a bigger picture than the Dell--especially if I can't zoom and lose the bars. So it would be a loss as well.

    I may just keep saving and go for an even bigger display next year... problem solved! :)
     

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