Philips 34" Widescreen Monitor Does 480P, 1080I
The 34PW9815 is a 34"-diagonal monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio and true HDTV input, displaying images in either 408P, so-called "standard definition" digital video, or 1080I, high-resolution digital. Ordinary NTSC programming is upconverted to 480P via a proprietary Philips line doubling technique called Natural Motion. The two video inputs include one that accepts legacy video signals (DVD players, LaserDisc players, VCRs) and one that accepts HD signals, either 1080I (HDTV tuner) or 480P (progressive output DVD). This latter input also has an RGB option with separate horizontal and vertical sync for the ultimate in user control. The scarcity of wideband inputs means you cannot use both a progressive-scan DVD player and an HD tuner without an external switcher. There are also A/V inputs for composite video and S-video.
The 34PW9815 departs from home theater orthodoxy with some novel features that borrow heavily from computer display technology. One is "Auto Screen Fit," that automatically sizes the image for the best use of the available screen. Another is "Superzoom," that keeps the center portion of the image intact, but stretches the sides to fill out the screen. 4:3 images can be viewed in their native aspect ratio, of course. "Active Control" automatically adjusts the brightness and contrast according to the level of ambient light in the room, yielding the best picture whether you are watching at noon or at midnight. An electronic programming guide called "Guide Plus Gold" is part of the standard package.
At 36.5" wide, 25" high, and 23" deep, the silver-trimmed 34PW9815 is relatively compact, but unusually heavy at 166 lbs. The new monitor retails for $3,999 and is available now at Philips dealers throughout the US.