LCD televisions have been getting bigger for some time now. You can buy 40 inchers for under £1,000 online, but the quality sucks. Now it seems we are ready to take a step up in class.
For £1,259 and £1,599 Dell has come to the fore with 32in (W3202MC) and 37in (W3706MC - above) sets. At this price you aren’t going to get true 1080i (the screens have native resolutions of 1366 x 768 so, though compatible, the resolution is compressed), but you do get a very stylish design, twin tuners (one analogue, one digital) and high contrast ratios of 1000:1 and 800:1 and brightness at 450 and 300 nits respectively. SRS TruSurround XT audio technology coupled with detachable speakers also more than makes up the numbers.
The screens themselves are no slouches either, with more than one million pixels and support for Picture-In-Picture (PIP), Picture-On-Picture (POP) and Picture-By-Picture (PBP) display modes. This has a number of advantages because both can be hooked up to computers meaning you can surf the web on one area of the screen and watch House on the other. That said, if you can concentrate on anything else while House in on you probably deserve a medal.
This isn’t the only connectivity option at your disposal either, since the audio and video inputs on these crowd pleasers are almost endless. The big one is HDMI, but you also get 1x DVI, 1x HD Component, 2x Composite, 2x S-Video, 2x SCART, 1x TV In/Coax, 1x VGA, 8x RCA L+R Audio and even 1x mini-stereo for PC audio.
Being a direct manufacturer, Dell has these on virtual shelves immediately and I can’t think of many better affordable options to watch this year’s Chrimbo reruns of the Ten Commandments, Escape To Victory, Ben Hur, Ghandi, Citizen Kane, A Christmas Carol, etc, etc, etc…