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Inspiron 8600 laptop and Westinghouse 42  

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I have a Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop with an ATI Radeon Turbo 9600 AGP with 128mb of ram. I brought it to a Best Buy and connected it via VGA to a Westinghouse LVM42 lcd monitor. Upon autosyncing, the monitor gave me a clear display of my laptop but the image size was only about 30" within the 42' display. I tried playing with settings to have it fill the monitor but got blurry text as a result. I tried different resolution settings on my laptop but wasn't able to get a sharp enough picture to read text in Word from 8 feet away. I would love to be able to use the Westinghouse as a multimedia display that I could use Microsoft Office, Ableton Live, play DVDs and Windows Media files. I don't have a DVI output on the laptop. Would that make a difference? Is there something I may be missing that would allow me to ouput a sharp 42" display from my laptop on the Westinghouse?

Reni
post #2 of 6
The Inspiron 8600 can't output the full 1920x1080 resolution image that you would need for a full, crisp picture on the Westy 42". IIRC, the max resolution output is 1280x1024, so if you have it sized on a 1:1 pixel basis, it will be sharp, but won't fill the screen. If you have the monitor scale the image to fit, it will be somewhat distorted and will become blurry. I'm afraid there really isn't anything you can do, excepter perhaps choose a different LCD monitor with a lower pixel resolution that would accomodate your laptop's capabilities. Or upgrade your laptop to a newer model with higher resolution output and preferably a DVI connection so you get an all digital link.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I thought I had seen that someone with another laptop had gotten it to work with the Westinghouse. Would you know if there might be a PCMCIA option for a video card with DVI that might give me the needed resolution to use the full display on the Westinghouse?

Reni
post #4 of 6
I've got an inspiron 8600 working just fine with the Sceptre 42" 1080p LCD at 1920x1080@60Hz which requires the same signal as your Westinghouse. I had to swap out the ATI video card (Radeon 9000) for an NVidia Geforce FX Go5200. You can buy these from Ebay quite easily and google for instructions on how to do the swap inside the notebook.

I actually considered getting the ATI high-end 9600 video card thinking for sure it could do 1080p. Due to previous bad experiences with ATI I got the NVidia instead. Now this confirms my bad impression of ATI. Shame on them that their high-end offering at that time couldn't even do the 1080p while NVidia's lower Go5x00 series can do it. Luckily the video card is user-exchangeable in this notebook so good luck if you decide to go that route.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hmm, so the 8600 works with a Nvidia? How much ram does it have? I believe you but it irks me that the ATI which I was told by Dell was a better card than the Nvidia can't give me a full display on the Westinghouse 42 while the Nvidia can. If that's the only solution, I guess I'll have to price one out and see if it makes sense since complete 8600s go for about $500 these days. I'm thinking about eventually going for one of the Core 2 Duos when they become available in notebooks. Otherwise, I'm contemplating maybe even going for a Mac Mini which is about the same price and would give me both Mac and Windows. I've seen positive comments about using the Mini with the Westinghouse 42 and it have DVI. I hate having to buy another computer right now just to make this work. I was hoping there might be a PCMCIA solution but I haven't been able to find one. Nonetheless, thanks for the info.

Reni
post #6 of 6
The Geforce FX Go5200, which I put in as a replacement videocard into the 8600 has 64 MByte video RAM on it. It has enough horsepower to play 1080i MPEG2 HD recordings from my FusionHDTV to my 42" 1080p LCD @ 1920x1080 60Hz.

It cost me $115 on Ebay but if your timing is right you can probably get it for less.
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