Sunday, August 14, 2011

"New" monitor = resolution down

So a few days ago the monitor I was using (a black Dell CRT) bit the dust.  As in, the screen went blank and it continually made clicking noises like it was changing video modes.  Nothing I tried (I'm not a hardware guy) could fix it, so I tapped our reserve of spare monitors, which actually only contained one monitor.

It seemed like it was going to work, but then came the smell.  The smell and the sizzling noise.  That monitor wasn't going to remain functional for much longer.  So, to prevent setting the house on fire, I turned it off and unplugged it.

For a couple days I used our plasma TV as a monitor.  It's actually just a monitor and not a TV, it has no tuner.  This is the way to go for buying an HDTV, as monitors have better built-in controls than TVs do, and these days odds are you've got some variety of set-top box to do your channel tuning for you.  Anyway, that was awesome.  Given that our sound system is 7.1 surround, I ganked the S/PDIF cable from the DVD player and tweaked some things to get my computer to output 5.1 surround (the best my sound card can do).  I really liked using it as a monitor, because games, anime, and YouTube videos looked great on it.

Unfortunately, that couldn't be a permanent solution, so my dad and I went out to my granddad's house (he now lives in a retirement home) and grabbed a couple of the monitors he had lying around.  I played with them to see if they worked and what video modes they could run, and decided which monitor to use.  Unfortunately, neither monitor can run 1280x960 at higher than 60Hz, so tl;dr I'm back on 1152x864.

I'll probably get a 1920x1200 LCD whenever I get around to building a new computer, and that'll be that.

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