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That 42-inch LCD HDTV has legitimate reasons to make your office its new home. With attractive prices, ever-improving picture quality and business-ready features, your next big tech purchase just might be a big (or medium) screen. Many HDTVs come ready with VGA inputs that can accommodate your computer by connecting just like a regular monitor does. It's also possible to use a DVI-to-HDMI cable. You may have to tweak your computer settings to get the best picture, but going straight digital can give you more flexibility than using a standard analog VGA input.
Sure, you could go big--say, over 50 inches. But when you move up into really big screens, it's better to have lots of room to step back and view in comfort--something most offices cannot accommodate. The 32- to 47-inch range will offer a spacious picture at a reasonable price. Take the 32-inch ViewSonic N3235w, for example. It comes with a VGA port for your computer hookup and maxes out at 1080i. And the $799 price tag makes it affordable for just about anyone. The $1,399, 32-inch LG70, meanwhile, takes you all the way to 1080p full-HDMI resolution with red color accents on the exterior, a USB 2.0 port and a sensor that makes automatic adjustments for room lighting.
Moving up in size, the $1,300 Sharp LC-37D44U is part of Sharp's well-received Aquos line. This 37-inch HDTV can accommodate a computer through its VGA input. The 720p resolution helps keep it on the more affordable end of the Aquos line while still delivering solid picture quality. A low-reflection coating means it won't wash out in a bright room. The 37-inch Toshiba Regza 37RV530U, which costs $1,100, comes with a high-resolution PC port that helps you get the most out of your VGA connection.
Forty-two inches is a popular size that can fit comfortably in most offices and provide enough picture for a conference room. The $1,199 Westinghouse Digital TX-42F450S comes in at a good price point while offering premium features like 1080p and four HDMI ports. The Vizio VU42LF costs $1,399 and is less than 4 inches deep, making it ideal for wall mounting. The 40-inch Sony KDL-40Z4100 also looks good on a wall. It features a slim depth as well as a slim bezel around the screen.
The $3,399 Samsung LN46A650T is a 46-inch with a hint of amber coloring in the casing. It's an attractive choice for a style-conscious entrepreneur looking for the latest features. Users can access Samsung's InfoLink RSS service for news and weather when they connect to the internet via the set's built-in Ethernet port. Other LCD manufacturers to check out include NEC, Panasonicand Philips.Resolution is important, but you can save money by choosing an HDTV that maxes out at 1080i or 720p. There still isn't that much 1080p content available, and the technology (and prices) will be in flux for years to come. Don't be afraid to spend some quality time at your local retailer playing with HDTV settings. There are plenty of options to keep you busy.