Cheap (€749 including 20% vat and delivery)
Arrived within 2 days of the order
Most input types supported
2 tuners of excellent quality
Blacks are quite gray (500:1 constrast ratio)
Native ratio is 15:9 (HDTV is 16:9)
No component cable provided
25ms response time
No DVB-T decoder
Hiss in sound always (but the brain filters it out)
Very noticeable "dot crawl" from PAL TV source

The W2600 26" LCD TV was available for a lower price (€749) for about 1 month in Nov 2005 from Dell as they were selling off surplus stock as they were upgrading to larger screens (32" and 37"). [Update Jun 2006] Other reasons why Dell were selling these cheap are that they do not have HDMI inputs (they're HD compatible, not HD ready), though I don't see that as an issue as I don't think requiring an encrypted link to view HD content will be enforced. Also Dell seem to have left the Irish market for TVs from Dec 2005 to date.

It has a very nice remote, with a good solid feel to it and a backlit display for use at night. Unfortunately the kids ate it in June 2009, but getting a replacement on ebay took a couple of minutes (search for Dell TV remote), and cost just €12. Note the replacement was a US model and so there are no teletext buttons unfortunately. Luckily I backed up the remote codes, so I can program a universal remote with all the codes if required.

I bought this LCD because my cheapo analogue CRT TV had just broken, and anyway everything is going digital...

Digital Computers

The native resolution of the W2600 is 1280x768. That is large enough for displaying directly from my old laptop at 1024x768 (with 128 black lines at each side of the picture). This LCD is primarily used as a TV, but it is nice that I can easily attach a laptop to display pictures, videos etc. without any transformation (blurring).

My current laptop has a native resolution of 1200x800. To drive both laptop and LCD screens at their native resolution I use the following linux commands:

xrandr                                # get a list of outputs and modes
xrandr --output VGA1  --mode 1280x768 # Turn on VGA output at LCD native resolution
xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1280x800 # If booted with VGA attached, reset to native
xrandr --output VGA1  --off           # Turn off the VGA output when finised


Currently there are 3 possible sources of HDTV: broadcast, HD &/or blueray players, and game consoles.

Broadcast won't be an option for a long time. I could subscribe to Sky Digital who have said they will start transmitting HDTV sometime in 2006, however since I live "in the country" and I'm one of the 15% of the population that receive the main UK channels through terrestrial TV (an aerial), I don't think that option is worth it. It should be noted that some TV programming is already transmitted in widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio in Ireland, but that is not HDTV. Also standard digital TV (from sky or freeview for example) is not HDTV either.

As for games consoles, the new PS3 and Xbox 360 gaming consoles, support HDTV out. However since the response time of this LCD is 25ms, compared to 6ms for CRTs and 8ms or 12ms for newer LCDs, this isn't the best display for gaming (fast moving images). So far the only problem I noticed with the response time is with very fast horizontally scrolling text.

HD and blueray players are just becomming available in 2006, and there are even a couple of High Definition titles from Hollywood. However I'll wait at least until 2007 until things settle down, before I invest in this option. Note this display only has DVI in, so any player I get will need to support that output.

There are multiple HDTV standards, but the ones this TV supports are 720p and 1080i. The p stands for progressive and the i interlaced. Progressive scanning of each frame gives a better quality picture compared to interlaced frames, so given the differences in resolution these formats are of equivalent quality (it depends on what you're watching).

As noted above the native resolution of this LCD is 1280x768. Now this is not 16:9 but suits 720p HDTV well as that's 1280x720 and can be displayed natively with only 24 black lines above and below the picture. For 1080i HDTV (1920x1080), I guess it just samples that onto the available resolution (probably with the same 24 black lines?). I notice that the next model up (W3202MC) does have a native 16:9 resolution of 1366x768 which I suppose has the advantage that 1080 could be displayed without the 24 black lines above and below the picture. The W3202MC also has a 16ms response time and a DTT tuner.

© May 23 2006