INFO: One MAJOR reason not to buy a Vizio i.e. “go cheap” when buying a 1080p LCD display

Several of my coworkers have discovered the hard way that not all LCD TV’s/Displays are created equally.  In fact, the cheap ones are often quite limiting.

Take for instance the Vizio 47" LCD, VGA-compatible, "1080p" input-capable display.  This is a monitor most commonly found sold at Costco for… well… 25%-50% less than the price of any other brand.

In order to use an Xbox 360 at 1080p using a VGA connector, you have to set the resolution to 1920×1080… a feat Vizio owners will find impossible.  This is because, despite the supposed "support for 1080p", when using a VGA connection, the maximum resolution is really 1360×768 on the 47" model.

Huh?  So wait:  How does one get the advertised 1080p a.k.a. 1920×1080?  Well, it’s actually deceptive wording:  The display will not actually take 1080p input over VGA or HDMI/DVI.  When you use a Component connector instead of a VGA connector, you’ll discover that you’ll get "1080p"… but as anyone will tell you, Component video doesn’t provide 1080p… only 1080i.  What’s happening in the background is that the display is taking the 1080i signal and upconverting it to 1080p to provide a simulated 1080p, flicker-minimized experience.

So why do you care?  Well, there’s a lot of reasons.

  1. What about VGA?  If you intended on connecting your computer to your display for a truly digital signal with 1080p/1920×1080, to your new Windows Vista Media Center, you’re gonna be sorely mistaken.
  2. What about sync?  Whenever there is upconversion, there’s delay, and whenever there’s delay, there’s annoyance in the viewing experience:  Particularly if you’re playing Gears of War and reaction time is important.  This is why it’s so important to have minimal lag between the Xbox & the display.

The bottom line is that if you’re going to buy a display of this caliber, avoid being cheap.  You’ll regret it in the long term and end up with more disappointment than elation.

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