Looking at LCD Monitors (Home Theatre PC)

I've had a couple of comments that trying to use our ancient CRT TV with the HTPC is not a great plan. So I've been doing some additional research into buying a new TV. The criteria I've been using include:

  • Less than $1,000
  • Full high definition
  • At least as large as the current CRT (~52cm/20")
  • HDMI input
  • Not overly power hungry
  • Decent colour and contrast
  • Audio support
  • Good WAF

The first big choice seems to come down to plasma or LCD. I'm leaning towards LCD at the moment, as I don't want a ridiculously large display (which the plasmas seem better suited to) and and would prefer something that doesn't suck heaps of power (and consequently $$$).

The next thing is that many manufacturers sell both LCD TVs and LCD Monitors. Now unless I'm missing something obvious, it doesn't look like there's that much difference between the two categories. Some of the "TV" models have in-built tuners, but as the HTPC will have that I'd rather buy one without and save a few dollars.

Contrast ratio is also important, and here bigger is generally better.

Response time is also apparently relevant, as that determines how well it can display fast moving images. Smaller (faster) is better.

So here's some of the models I've come across so far:

Model Size (inches) Contrast ratio (dynamic) Response Time (ms) Price (AUD)
ViewSonic VX2835wm 28 800 3 635
BenQ V2400W 24 1000 (4000) 5 629
Samsung 245B 24 1000 (3000) 5 712
LG L246WH-BN 24 2000 5 460
Samsung 2493HM 24 1000 (10,000) 5 599
Samsung 2693HM 26 1000 (3000) 5 699

I still haven't made a decision and it would be good to actually have a look at some of the candidates in person. I'm open to any other suggestions too.

Written on June 9, 2008