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Thread: DVI card

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    DVI card

    I'm thinking of buying a Sony Vaio FZ series laptop, which I want to connect up to a decent monitor, such as the top-rated BenQ FP241 24". I've read that - by avoiding digital/analog/digital conversion - a DVI connection produces a sharper image than VGA (and seeing the relatively poor results of VGA output on a 24" BenQ in a shop I can well believe it), but am meeting with blank incomprehension from parts suppliers in the UK from whom I try to purchase a DVI card that will fit the Vaio's Express slot. Can anyone suggest a UK supplier capable or getting me the card? It seems incredible that most laptops don't come with DVI output as standard rather than the legacy VGA.

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    Re: DVI card

    I'm not too surprised they were baffled, because searching though my usual source produced absolutely nothing in the way of DVI PC-cards (if that's what they're called). Also I doubt that the Vaio port replicator would be any use, because of the absence of DVI graphics hardware... I suspect this would be true of any laptop: if it ain't got DVI built-in, that's it...

    Presumably you've consulted the Sony laptop specialists?
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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    Re: DVI card

    Thanks for your reply, John. Yes, I have talked to Sony UK - they basically don't seem to offer any cards. Presumably just leave the low-cost items to third-party suppliers.

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    Re: DVI card

    I don't think you'd find that they would be low-cost! (And I doubt anyone would do one for you specially...!)
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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    Re: DVI card

    Yes, if you can use a digital interface to a liquid crystal monitor the image should be rock solid. That said, however, there are many examples of good analog interfaces, though these are usually at resolutions of 1280 x 1024 and lower. A good outcome requires a well designed D/A in the computer and a well designed A/D in the monitor. Thus you should check (if possible) the intended Sony Vaio with several external monitors to see if the computer output is the main source of the image degradation. If the Vaio is fine, then the problem may be with the A/D in the BenQ. In these tests you want to run the monitor at its native resolution.

    The basic problem is that the laptop is designed primarily to be used without a second or external monitor. The VGA port is there to hook to projectors for group presentations and the chosen solution is the cost effective solution Ė VGA. I think Johnís comment is right on, that is, if it is not built in you are probably not going to get it.

    Paul

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    Re: DVI card

    Thanks very much for your comprehensive overview, Paul, and confirmation of John's comment. Your point about VGA on laptops being a reasonable cost provision basically for presentations helps me make sense of the situation.

    It begins to look like a laptop with built-in DVI out is the only real option if I continue down the laptop + separate LCD monitor route. I suppose just adding a (readily available) DVI card to my very basic Dell Dimension 3100C desktop PC may remain the more realistic option in the end.

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    Re: DVI card

    Laptops are generally a bad buy, compared to what you could get in a desktop for the same money.

    Unless you really really need to use the PC whilst you are travelling on a regular basis I would recommend getting a small PC that you can transport easily when you need to.

    StuartR

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    Re: DVI card

    Thanks Stuart. That's certainly worth considering. Inotice that Acer, for example, do a really tiny desktop box that would fit in a suitcase.

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