Princeton Graphics' new FTX monitors? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 65 Old 04-09-2002, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I hear Princeton Graphics replaced their Arcadia HTX line with new FTX flatscreen models. Does anyone know anything about these? I hear the chassis is the same, but only the tube has been replaced. Does anyone know what the dot pitch will be? Will pricing be the same as the corresponding HTX models?

I definitely need one of these. It's about the only TV I would seriously consider buying, at any price (my space is too constrained to go with plasma or projection). I was very unhappy that they discontinued the HTX line, just as I was about to buy.

I could have gotten a pretty good deal on an Ai series, but I don't need the features, and 38" is a bit too big.
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post #2 of 65 Old 04-09-2002, 01:17 PM
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Nice! :)

I can't offer any additional information, but I can certainly add my enthusiasm. :)

I definitely like the minimalist look of the HTX line, as opposed to the mess that was the Ai/AS3.2HD.

Also, I hope that by "only the tube has been replaced" you mean "only the innards have been replaced" -- I could use the iScan used in the Ai/AS series.

The original MSRPs on the HTX line were $1.8k, $2.5k and $3.5k for 27, 32, and 36 inch, respectively. It wouldn't surprise me if MSRPs were similar for the new line, anyone know what street was on the HTXes when they first came out?

All news welcome...

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post #3 of 65 Old 04-10-2002, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexander

Also, I hope that by "only the tube has been replaced" you mean "only the innards have been replaced" -- I could use the iScan used in the Ai/AS series.
Um, as per the second-hand information I've received, the chassis will be the same. The sales guy seemed to be implying that "chassis" included things like the power supply and electronics, though I'm not familiar with these semantics.

I believe the HTX had the older iScan, whereas the Ai/AS series had iScan Pro. I think I saw this in some old press release, but I can't remember exactly where.

I have no clue as to what the FTX line will be using, however I don't care too much about line doubling quality for anything but DVDs, and then I'll be using a progressive-scan DVD player. (Hoping to get a new Panasonic, with the Sage chipset: RP-62? RP-82?)


Quote:
Originally posted by Alexander

The original MSRPs on the HTX line were $1.8k, $2.5k and $3.5k for 27, 32, and 36 inch, respectively. It wouldn't surprise me if MSRPs were similar for the new line, anyone know what street was on the HTXes when they first came out?
Back in Sept. 2001, I got a quote on the AR2.7HTX, which I think listed for $1800(?). It was $1350 + shipping. The place at which I got that no longer carries Princeton Graphics, so I can't do an apples-to-apples comparison.


The AR2.7HTX was 29" tube, 27" viewable. I don't know why Princeton rates their displays in terms of viewable size. It's the right thing to do, but it makes them look bad, compared to their competition.


I'll let you know what else I discover. I'm definitely going to buy one of these, ASAP.


PS. I'm glad I found this forum, since I'd previously suspected the world to be devoid of knowledge about Princeton's line of 4:3 direct-view displays and others interested in said knowledge.
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post #4 of 65 Old 04-10-2002, 05:36 PM
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I'm not happy. I waited almost a year for the Ai3.2hd to come out after it has been announced. Then I understood it was replaced by the As3.2hd. Fine, I didn't want that Ch.1 stuff, anyway. More waiting. Then I hear it might never come out. Now I read on here, that the Ar3.2FTX is coming out. Go to the Princeton Graphics website. No mention of the As3.2hd, but the Ar3.2FTX is there. The dot pitch of the original 2 monitors was supposed to be .65mm. The data sheet for the new monitor says it has a dot pitch of .9mm. I wanted to use it with a PC, and that's not going to be acceptable for me. I guess I'll have to wait for something else.
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post #5 of 65 Old 04-10-2002, 06:08 PM
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Good catch on the web mention, I was looking at princetonhdtv.com. Here's the deep links so others don't have to dig:

product page
AR2.7FTX (27") PDF
AR3.2FTX (32") PDF

The dot pitch is more than a little disappointing. 0.90mm for the 32", 0.68mm for the 27". (The AS3.2HD (32") was 0.65mm) Other notables:

- NO component in, only VGA.
- Support for all HD formats (including 720p) on 32", 27" unclear.
- Line doubler mentioned, but not which type (doesn't bode well).
- Looks like a slightly different, "flatter" chassis, but it's a little hard to tell.

Hmm. I guess I'll wait to pass judgment until I see the pricing. But it doesn't look like I'll be terribly impressed.

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post #6 of 65 Old 04-10-2002, 07:28 PM
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AR2.7FTX - MSRP $1549
AR3.2FTX - MSRP $2199
AR3.4FTW - MSRP $3499

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post #7 of 65 Old 04-10-2002, 10:59 PM
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I wouldn't get hung up on the dot pitch. They are claiming these sets do true 1024x768; that is damn good resolution for any consumer 4:3 direct view CRT, if executed well. The dot pitch figures might be the shadow mask hole pitch rather than the phosphor trio pitch (or maybe both). But yeah, if you want to run higher than XGA this isn't your dream set - you need smaller pitch. But small pitch means small light output, and around and around we go.

Frankly the whole sheet is suspect - typos, mention of Component in the text blurb at the end but not in the "Connector" section, "65MHz of video definition", etc. Kei, sounds like your biz may be vending these pieces... if so, please ask your supplier to get their act together!

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post #8 of 65 Old 04-11-2002, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Den
Frankly the whole sheet is suspect - typos, mention of Component in the text blurb at the end but not in the "Connector" section[...]
Good call, I missed that mention of Component. Weird.

Also, and I missed this the first time around as well, but the product shots on the 27" and 32" PDFs are pixel-for-pixel identical except for the false screen image. Very weird.

So I guess we don't know as much as we thought we did. :)

Kei, I take it the 3.4FTW is the flat 16:9 set?

The prices are a little better than I was expecting, assuming a modest discount on the street. We'll see what happens...

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post #9 of 65 Old 04-11-2002, 11:52 AM
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Dennis,

Quote:
Frankly the whole sheet is suspect - typos, mention of Component in the text blurb at the end but not in the "Connector" section, "65MHz of video definition", etc. Kei, sounds like your biz may be vending these pieces... if so, please ask your supplier to get their act together!
Have you ever tried speaking to a computer component manufacturer? The only chance I'll ever have of knowing how good these sets are will be if I purchase one for demo/review.

Yes, the 34" is a 16:9 set.

I don't think any of the images will be available until the actual production units arrive. I'll stick my neck out there when I feel the product is truly exceptional, and not a second sooner.


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post #10 of 65 Old 04-13-2002, 11:53 AM
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So, these new models will not have DVI or firewire connectors?

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post #11 of 65 Old 04-13-2002, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought I read something about the AS series having an expansion card slot. I don't know if this applies to the ARxxFTX series, though.

So, was the AS series officially discontinued, or what's up with that?
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post #12 of 65 Old 04-13-2002, 03:56 PM
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I just saw this on http://www.digitalconnection.com/HomeTheater/dtv.htm

Princeton Graphics AR2.7FTX - 27" Standard 4:3 DTV/PC Monitor HD-Ready
Princeton Graphics AR3.2FTX - 32" Standard 4:3 DTV/PC Monitor HD-Ready
Princeton Graphics AS3.4HD - 34" Widescreen 16:9 DTV/PC Monitor HD-Ready

Anybody know if these are for real?
I have been lookign for the AS3.2HD for 6 months now.
But I gave up because PG seems to have stopped all press on it.

The AS3.4HD seems like an even better option, if the internals and tube are similar. However, without a
IEEE 1394 / DVI option, I am still slow to buy.

Anyone know where to get more information? I have had a
local HighEnd shop call them a number of times with as of yet no response.

But if the AS3.4HD is an upgraded version of the AF3.0HD,
and it has DVI, I would suspect there would be little competition in the Direct view market. Thoughts anyone?
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post #13 of 65 Old 04-13-2002, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Animephile
I thought I read something about the AS series having an expansion card slot. I don't know if this applies to the ARxxFTX series, though.
I think that slot was related to the "Channel One" internet stuff on the Ai series. That service used the slot, and the AS series was basically the same monitor without the "internet card". If the FTX line is substantially different (which I think it is), there's no reason to believe that the slot will have survived. Of course, there's no way to tell for sure until someone actually sees one of these sets. :) Same for DVI/Firewire. I doubt these are present, but we just don't know for sure yet.

Quote:
Originally posted by Animephile
So, was the AS series officially discontinued, or what's up with that?
Yeah. I don't know why.

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post #14 of 65 Old 04-16-2002, 09:27 AM
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I've been waiting and waiting for Princeton to release the AS series and then it never happened. How can you hype up a whole series of products, never ship them, then start hyping up another series of products. I've lost faith in PG and their vaporware, which is going to lead me to buy from (*sigh*) Sony.

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post #15 of 65 Old 04-16-2002, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sizam
I've been waiting and waiting for Princeton to release the AS series and then it never happened.
*sigh*, I know. However, what's even worse than vaporware are products that are rushed to market, and truly don't live up to the hype. Let's hope that doesn't ALSO happen, here.


Quote:
Originally posted by Sizam

I've lost faith in PG and their vaporware, which is going to lead me to buy from (*sigh*) Sony.
Well, there might still be a few other options, before you have to resort to THAT. Consider Loewe and Sampo. I think I might also choose Panasonic over Sony, if it came down to the two, but I hear Samsung has had a couple really good lower-end direct-view models, in the past couple years.

I don't know much about Loewe products, but here's a link I ran across, recently, around here:

http://www.loewetv.com/models/aconda38.html


I fear their customer support and availability, in the US, may be little better than Princeton Graphics.
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post #16 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 09:52 AM
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You would think Loewe would be the obvious next choice after PG but Loewe products are no good in my opinioin. I was looking at the 30" WS Aconda and it didn't have near enough inputs, no progressive in (as I recall), and would line double everything, you couldn't opt to see interlace, AND didn't have 720p all of which is not acceptable at that price. Blech. I really wanted Sampo to be the one but it seems from the reviews that its a little cranky and needs babying to really shine and my girlie really won't appreciate that. I'll look at Panasonic again (as its been a while since I ruled them out for PG) but (and much to my suprise) the Sony HDTVs beat them in PQ, inputs, and features, I was shocked too. The Samsung TVs (which are really low end) are pretty chincy.

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post #17 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I got a call from a dealer, and he tells me they'll be shipping by the end of this (or next?) week.

He also said the AS3.6 model is currently available (those are the Ai series, without the channel 1 stuff) and list for $3K. However, Princeton is doing a new rev of that unit (will be the same model number) to work out some electronics and chassis issues. Supposedly, the new chassis will look different, so you could tell them apart that way.

Anyhow, the thing is that he wants me to pay MSRP ($2.2K), claiming that there's not much margin in that price, to begin with. He's been very helpful in getting me information and using contacts at PG. If not for that, I'd stand my ground and refuse to pay more than $2K, for the 32" (32" viewable; 34" tube).

The other concern I have is the dot-pitch: 0.9 mm (with a "SuperArch" shadow mask). BTW, the 27" (viewable; 29" tube) has a 0.68 mm dot-pitch.

BTW, is dot-pitch usually given as the diagonal distance between triads? And are triads organized in alternating rows? Has anyone heard of a SuperArch shadow mask? Would it make any kind of sense to try to watch 720P on that thing?
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post #18 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 02:05 PM
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Well, a local High End dealer contacted PG and found this out for me. Not really new, but here it is:

AS3.6HD. $2999. 36" 4:3. Identical to the AI3.6HD, but without the Ch1 internet features. This model will continue and will have a
chassis update to address some reliability issues.

The following Princeton models will be available later this week:

AR2.7FTX. $1599. Flat 4:3 27" television.

AR3.6FTX. $2199. Flat 4:3 32" television

The following Princeton model will be available in two weeks:

AR3.4FTW. $3499. 34" flat 16:9 720p capable.

The following model has been cancelled (no plans to reintroduce)

AF3.0xxx This 30" 16:9 model is sold out and will not be replaced.
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post #19 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 02:17 PM
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Well blimey! Whats one more month in the face of 7, looks like I'll be holding onto my $$ to see if PG is really shipping these out!

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post #20 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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HOLY $@#)^&*%!!! I was searching for information on the CRTs used in the ARxxFTX series monitors, and I stumbled across a page on CTX's site!!! I looked at the page, and not only did it appear to be using the same CRT as the AR2.7FTX, but IT LOOKS LIKE EXACTLY THE SAME MODEL!!!

In fact, CTX appears to be OEMing Princeton's entire AR line (or they're both using the same source)!!

A quick trip over to buy.com shows the CTX MS2900VF selling for $1320 (interestingly, they list the MSRP as $1600; $50 higher than the AR27FTX is supposed to have).

Another piece of bright news is that CTX lists the dot pitch of the 32/34" model as 0.8 mm (it's 0.9, on Princeton's datasheet), which is proportional to the viewable size difference between 27" and 32".


Have a look:
http://www.ctxintl.com/products/multimedia_series.htm
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post #21 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 04:04 PM
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Huh, that is weird. CTX's specs (monitor size, packaging size, and weight) are EXACTLY the same for the 32" model (MS3400VF vs AR32FTX).

The 27" is a little less certain, though.

CTX MS2900VF - substantially different size and weight than AR27FTX, same dot pitch
CTX MS2900VS, MS2900V, and MS2900 - exact same monitor and carton size, different weight, different dot pitch

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post #22 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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The CTX MS3400VF appears to be identical to the Princeton Graphics AR3.2FTX, and I found an online store that claims to have 5 in stock (though their prices aren't all that great):

http://www.provantage.com/VCTXM009.HTM


...so this product *is* real!!
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post #23 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 05:12 PM
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But do these CTX sets have a built in line doubler and if so, what is it?

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post #24 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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The CTX customer support rep with whom I spoke was very helpful and actually put me on hold, for a few minutes, while she went to verify that the dot pitch was really 0.8, which she claims it is. She also said that the tube in the VF and V models (which I think correspond to the Princeton Graphics AR3.2FTX and AR3.2HTX, respectively) is the same - it's just the outside (glass) that's different. That sounds a little odd, but I should know for myself, soon enough.

Whenever the Princeton rep gets back to me (which he promised to do - perhaps even today), I'll post his response, too.
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post #25 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sizam
But do these CTX sets have a built in line doubler and if so, what is it?
Everything seems to indicate that these are EXACTLY THE SAME. Any differences I've so far seen, between the lines, seem incidental (perhaps caused by typos or copy/paste errors), or differences in packaging.

As far as what line doubler they use, you *could* actually try calling (either? both?) and asking. Now that we have two potential sources of information, the likelihood of us not getting a plausible answer is as little as the square of what it used to be.

Oh, and it probably goes without saying that we'd like you to post whatever you discover. ^_^
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post #26 of 65 Old 04-17-2002, 11:01 PM
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Hey guys-
I hate to break it to you, but you could have bought any of these sets months ago. All Princeton graphics presentation display devices are just rebadged Monivision sets, excluding the af3.0hd (which was a rebadged Unity Motion product and their only real outstanding product IMHO). Heck, if you bought a monitor from their Arcadia T line (2.7t, 3.2t etc.) you could upgrade to an HTX by buying a Monivison Visionbox. It really sucked when I found this out because all PG does is up the price and give you a shorter warranty ( 1 year opposed to Moni's 2...). I was actually looking forward to a updated af3.0HD.. which was coming out.. but now it doesn't look like this is going to happen now with this FTX series. I do have an Arcadia 3.2t and am happy with it, but I felt kind of scammed when I found out about Monivision. All of the FTX specs can be found at monivision.com... these are the exact same sets. Please don't be fooled and maybe Princeton Graphics will start making some of their own products.

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post #27 of 65 Old 04-18-2002, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Videodrome
Hey guys-
I hate to break it to you, but you could have bought any of these sets months ago.
Great!! (no, I'm not being sarcastic)

When I discovered the CTX thing, it was obvious that either one of them might be the original builder... OR, perhaps these were built by a 3rd party! When I first posted about the CTX units, I already suspected that they had been shipping, so that's cool.



Quote:
excluding the af3.0hd (which was a rebadged Unity Motion
Wait, so is THAT where Joe Kane consulted? In the literature I read, it sounded like he was working directly with PG.


Quote:
It really sucked when I found this out because all PG does is up the price and give you a shorter warranty ( 1 year opposed to Moni's 2...).
You get your 2 years back, if you go with CTX (in case anyone finds a better price on the CTX branded one than an actual Monivision (which I've never heard of)).


Quote:
I was actually looking forward to a updated af3.0HD.. which was coming out.. but now it doesn't look like this is going to happen now with this FTX series.
There is supposed to be an AR3.4FTW, but I don't know anything about it.



Quote:
Eddie Duff
Mr. Duff, sir, I am indebted to you!! This is so cool. I went from thinking, a couple weeks ago, that I must be the only home theater person on the internet that's interested in these Princeton Graphics 4:3 direct-view sets... and now I have ALL KINDS of great information! Thanks for sharing!

Now, there's still one pernicious problem - the datasheet for the DM6952SF has the exact same layout as the DM5952SF. All the numbers are different, except for the sound (both list 12W, for left & right, whereas Princeton has this as 15W) and the Dot Pitch. That these datasheets are so similar, and that both Princeton and CTX have different values for this, makes me really suspicious of the 0.68 mm dot pitch listed on the DM6952SF (perhaps, to create the DM6952SF datasheet, someone copied that of the DM5952SF, but failed to change a couple of the values). Looks like I'll be calling Monivision, tomorrow.

Also, I was unable to find information about what line doubler they're using.
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post #28 of 65 Old 04-18-2002, 01:31 AM
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Hey!
Alright, what makes these monitors TVs are little boxes that clip on to the back of the set. These boxes have all the inputs and basically house the innards of a TV in a box. If you take it off, you're just stuck with your VGA inputs so it's just a regular monitor. Monivision has two "Visionboxes" that it sells and includes on its monitors, the CT-1871 (which includes composite and s-vid in) and the ct-1890 which adds a component input. I'm going to assume the new Princeton monitors will use these same boxes, as they did with their T and HTX line. What's bad about this is that these boxes are absolute garbage.. a line doubler not even worth mentioning and a notch filter. With my Ar3.2t, I just use a Iscan pro through the VGA in... and a Key Digital transcoder for Xbox.. etc...
I've been scoping every board on the net looking for info on these monitors too... nice to finally meet someone :) ugh.. need to go tooooo sleep..

Eddie Duff
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post #29 of 65 Old 04-18-2002, 05:38 AM
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If what VideoDrome says is true -- that Princeton is rebadging Monivision -- I would not be surprised. CTX has been rebadging Monivision for a couple of years.

I have a Monivision 21" (20" viewable 800x600ni, 1024x768i) I picked up for $200 that was a demo about two years ago. I use it in a PC with a tuner card. This combo beats the pants off any regular TV that I have seen. But I live far from major cities so I can't see much to compare it with. Just what I see a Walmart and Target.

With some minor Windows tweaking, such as Clear Type and bumping the font size to 110% my wife types letters, web surfs, answers e-mail etc with it at a distance of 3-4 feet.

I tried setting my PC up with a regular TV using a TV out card and it couldn't be done. This was a pretty old TV set I was using at the time that didn't even have composite in, so I was running the composite into a a VCR and the VCR into the TV. Even at 640x480, the text was so fuzzy it was unusable.

The TV experience set me on a quest for a real monitor. The Monivision was a pig-in-a-poke purchase, since I had no idea of how good or bad it would be. I wouldn't want to use it as a real desktop monitor, but for watching TV and DVD's, it is fine.

I have observed a few things about TV watching.

1. I was at a Superbowl game party once where a Wega and a RPTV were set up. I was watching the people and I noticed that most of them were watching the smaller, clearer set instead of the bigger, but fuzzier picture. In fact they crowded around the little picture rather than watch the big set where there was plenty of room. So small and clear beat big and fuzzy.

2. One day, our TVPC broke down and needed a new CPU (I had burned it out from O/Cing it). I dragged the old TV out of the closet so my wife would not complain too much. She said nothing for an hour before she turned to me and said "*This* is what we used to watch? How *awful*."

Here is a link to the Monivision site:
http://www.monivision.com/
They have some refurb units for sale their, but the reviews on the older/obsolete models knocked them pretty hard.

and here is a link to a fairly recent review.
http://www.laaudiofile.com/dm5952sf.html
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post #30 of 65 Old 04-18-2002, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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So far, I found only one online store w/ the Monivision DM6952SFT displays. Their prices are no good. Has anyone found anywhere that actually has better prices on these than competitive prices on PG?

So far, it looks like I'll still be buying a Princeton-branded one, as that's the cheapest I've found.
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