Attached are some pictures of my Dell Precision M65 laptop hooked up to the 70XBR2. The graphics adapter is an "NVIDIA Quatro FX 350M".
I'm a computer programmer. I've been using dual displays at the highest possible resolutions for a long time. I have always been very disappointed with both TV on a PC (TiVo please), and TV's as a monitor which I've always seen as being completely unusable.
Well, I was blown away with Windows on this TV. I can easily read the NYT's web page from 14 feet away. Ok, it's not as crisp as the LCDs sitting 20 inches from my nose, but it's damn good. And I don't need my reading glasses!
The surprising thing was that I couldn't entirely fill the XBR2's display nor get higher than 1280x1024 on it. Here's what I did and found.
The maximum "standalone" resolution of the Dell M65 widescreen laptop is 1680x1050.
I cabled the 70XBR2 from its PC Input (a standard 15 pin VGA connector) to the VGA port on the back of the laptop. I then booted to 1680x1050 resolution, with the external VGA monitor port disabled, to make sure that resolution was set.
As soon as I enabled the external monitor (either by itself or in dual monitor mode) the resolution would drop to 1280x1024 on the laptop (if it was still enabled), and a beautiful but only 1280x1024 (sic) screen would be displayed on the Sony.
When I unplugged the XBR2 from the VGA port the laptop would immediately revert to the original 1680x1050 resolution!!!
I monkeyed around with various settings, rebooting, etc. for about 30-40 minutes. Whenever the XBR2 was connected 1280x1024 ("True Color 32 bit, 60 Hertz") was the maximum resolution/mode available. When it was disconnected the laptop was back to 1680x1050. Windows recognized the external monitor as a "Sony TV". The XBR2 always saw the resolution as 1280x1024 (it displays it on the setup menus).
The XBR2 has a different set of setup menus when you have selected the PC Input (Video 9). None of these settings effect resolution. There are 3 "Wide Modes" available: Normal, Full1, and Full2. NONE of these entirely FILL the XBR2's screen (there are black bars all around). You'll see these modes displayed in the lower left corner of the full screen shots (which are coming in a post right behind this one). In these shots also note the "aspect ratio" of the photograph on the laptop's 1280x1024 screen vs. the same photograph in the 3 display modes on the XBR2.
I am surprised that I couldn't set the external monitor's (the XBR2) resolution higher than 1280x1024. Because the laptop would automatically revert to a higher resolution when the VGA cable was pulled I suspect that it is the XBR2 which has the limitation. BUT, I'm NOT sure. It could be a limitation of this particular laptop's external port (or this graphics adapter on it).
I'm very interested in seeing what others find. I'm definitely in the market for a very long VGA cable so I can hook up my desktop. Cablestogo has 35' and 50' ones but they seem a little pricey.
(Ah! 3 pictures per posting, eh? I'll post the full screen shots showing the different modes in a moment.)