Horse Sense #70

In this issue:
  • Short Notes
  • HDTV and Computer Monitors Aren't the Same!
  • Addictive Mind Games!

Short Notes
Panasonic has developed a "wireless" HDTV. While it still requires a power cord, this TV doesn't need audio or video cables. Instead, there is a separate box with all the necessary connectors that you can place some distance away. You plug your cabling into it and it sends wireless signals to the HDTV.  Wireless connections generally have less bandwidth and have higher latencies than wired connections. They are also less reliable because they can be blocked or suffer interference. However, I see more devices in your home connecting via wireless means in the future, simply because wiring can be inconvenient to install, unsightly, a safety hazard (think tripping), and it limits your ability to place and move equipment where you want it. Also, the wireless limitations mentioned above are less of an issue in home environments, where the transmitter and receiver are likely to be close to one another.
Seagate bought Internet backup service provider eVault. Internet backup service providers require massive arrays of high capacity, inexpensive, power sipping disks, and Seagate builds the disks. Remote backup is starting to become quite popular with the advent of low cost, high speed Internet links. It allows for the automatic movement of data off site, protecting you from disasters that might affect a site, like a fire or a flood. Manually moving backup data off site is also expensive and unreliable. Automating this task can bring your costs down and increase your chances of a successful restoration. While businesses of all sizes can benefit from this technology, there are some that will benefit more than others. Call us to see if online backup is good for you!  If you are interested in other types of backup, call and ask us for our backup whitepaper.
Many businesses need to allow visitors access to the Internet, but can't afford to let one visitor hog resources to the detriment of other visitors or users inside the business. Libraries, shared work sites, hotels, coffee shops, Internet gaming companies, Internet service providers, and government buildings all need to ensure that everyone gets a fair amount of the available resources. Normal users and visitors alike will benefit. In addition, businesses may also wish to protect their network from phishing, pornography, and other Internet ills. If this sounds like it might be you, please call us and we'll show you how you can save time and money and lower your grief level with powerful tools and services.   We are so confident you will like what we have to offer, we offer a 30 day money back guarantee!

HDTV and Computer Monitors Aren't the Same!
While many manufacturers make flat screen monitors capable of displaying both HDTV and computer monitor signals, you probably don't want to buy a monitor capable of doing both for a number of reasons. Let's look at the desktop first. To display HDTV, you will need a monitor capable of supporting the required signals and, often, a tuner to convert the signal so that it can be displayed. In addition, people will generally want TV features in these monitors, like speakers or the ability to control them remotely. The extra complexity usually means the monitor will cost extra.  Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) flat panel monitors are now the dominant desktop monitors.  Most LCD computer monitors don't match the HDTV display characteristics exactly. Their width to height ratio (aspect ratio) may also differ. Since LCD monitors look their best at their maximum resolutions and their correct aspect ratio, shoehorning an HDTV image onto the screen may end up shrinking or distorting the image.  TV images are different from computer images. In general, color, contrast, brightness and motion are more important on TVs, while a stable, clear, high resolution image is much more important on computer LCD monitors. The design goals are different. In general, HDTVs have less demanding design goals than computer monitors, so they will cost much less per square inch.
Differing design goals are even easier to see on large screen HDTV monitors. These monitors are designed to be very bright and require a lot of power when compared to desktop or laptop LCD monitors.  Large HDTVs may use plasma, projection, or even electron gun technologies as well as LCD technology. They are meant to be viewed from many feet away. Their resolution might be similar to that of a desktop monitor, but they are many times as large. Each individual pixel can be much larger. Sitting right next to one and trying to type a document would be frustrating because each letter would be blown up to the point of unreadability. Large HDTVs and hybrid HDTV/LCD computer monitors are useful for TV, gaming, and presentations. All of these applications allow for more distance from the monitor, so it looks less grainy.
Finally, consider the cabling. HDTVs are often designed to accept a lot of different kinds of audio and video inputs. You may see quite a few cables running to a single HDTV. Larger HDTVs are normally in cabinets or mounted on walls. To connect a PC up to one can be quite inconvenient. Large HDTVs may not even accept PC inputs. If they do, their display capabilities may be limited. Desktop LCD monitors with HDTV capabilities usually have many fewer connectors, but they also require cabling as well, which can complicate the placement of the monitor and add to the profusion of cables you already have.
Our best advice is to call us and tell us what you are trying to do.  In general, we counsel our clients to buy large HDTV and hybrid monitors for TV and display purposes, but we recommend focusing on computer oriented LCDs for their desktops.
For more on the US federal government's take on HDTV and the transition to digital signaling February 17, 2009, try these links:
Addictive Mind Games
WARNING: Do not play these games at work.  Doing so will encourage management to call Iron Horse to find out how they can monitor and manage Internet usage of their employees.
©2008 Tony Stirk, Iron Horse