Using a Widescreen LCD for TV


  1. Introduction
  2. Differences
  3. Problems

    See Also

  4. Wall Mount TV
  5. Home Theater Books
  6. More Technology
  7. Smart Apartment


Recently I installed a Widescreen LCD for TV in the Smart Apartment. The unit I chose is the 24" Dell 2405FPW. I use this both for watching TV and as a computer monitor. There are a few compromises involved, but overall it works reasonably well. You don't need to buy a heavy and expensive plasma screen to get the home theatre look.

The 2405FPW comes with an excellent adjustable height, swivel and tilt stand. So I simply have the unit sitting on a table in the corner of my home office. During the day I use the table as an office desk. In the evening I pack my laptop away and swivel the monitor so it can be seen from the sofa across the room. This is ideal for the smaller one bedroom or studio apartment.

The 2405FPW has no built in TV tuner or speakers. You can use a multimedia PC with a TV tuner card built in, but you don't have to. I plugged the display into an old VCR to get analog TV. It can also be connected to a digital set top box for digital TV. There is an optional sound bar with speakers which clips under the unit, but instead I use a home theatre system for surround sound (and a DVD player). There is a very clever rubber cable tidy on the back of the LCD stand which holds all the cables out of sight, but with them still accessible. You can also mount the unit on a wall with a standard VERSA mount, but where would you put all the cables?


There are compromises in using a computer LCD display as a TV. Even High Definition TV (HDTV) images are lower resolution than computer displays and Widescreen LCD TVs are made to suit that resolution. The 2405FPW has to convert the TV images to the higher monitor resolution. This lowers the picture quality, but still gives a good result. More of a problem is that the picture on the 2405FPW looks a little squashed as it is not quite the right aspect ratio for standard wide screen TV.

As a comparison DELL also sell Dell Widescreen TVs, such as the 23" W2306C, which has a screen about the same area as the 2405FPW and is slightly cheaper:

Comparison of DELL Monitor and TV

Dell 24" 2405FPW

W2306C 23" LCD TV

Max Resolution


1366 x768

Aspect Ratio



You could use the W2306C as a flatscreen TV and computer monitor. The TV picture would look better, but the computer display would be much lower resolution. LCD TVs like the W2306C are larger than LCD monitors because the have speakers on each side of the screen and space inside for a TV tuner. The 2405FPW in comparison is just the size of the 24 inch screen plus a slim black surround. As a result it can fit in smaller spaces and look less intrusive in a small room (but compared to a normal monitor it is still BIG).


The 2405FPW is not perfect as a flat screen TV. One minor problem is that I have to walk accross the room to turn it on and off, or to change the video input, as there is no remote control. You can change the aspect ratio, so I have a 3:4 PC plugged in and use widescreen TV. But you can't have a mix of wide and narrow screen video inputs. Also the resolution is so high on the monitor that you need a good PC to match. My laptop gives a slight fuzzy image, because it can't quite achieve the 2405FPW's resolution.

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