Not as cool as you might think

I am something of a geek. Now I know this will shock and confuse many of you who saw me as a James Dean, Rebel-Without-a-Cause type, but it’s true. Technology fascinates me.

So for a few years now I have had a techie fantasy of getting an HDTV and using it as a big computer monitor. After all, LCD projectors work very well for displaying PowerPoint presentations for a whole room. Of course, a nice TV like that costs money (and I could forget about the projector too), so my dream was deferred. That was, however, before, Craig’s List.

Over the weekend I found an ad for a 26-inch Samsung CRT (read: heavy, bulky tube, not flat screen) HDTV for $125. I contacted the seller, saw the TV and talked him down to $100. That’s a $100 HDTV, folks. And the widescreen picture looks fantastic. I throughly enjoyed watching the NBA Finals on it even for an over-the-air signal.

My laptop not only has all the regular connections but also an HDMI output designed for doing this very thing. So I bought an HDMI cable from Walmart and hooked it up. And that’s when my heart sank.

There’s nothing wrong with the TV or the computer at all. Everything displays properly. In fact, Windows Media Center does a fantastic job of bringing high-definition Internet content to my TV screen.

But then I tried to surf the Internet like I normally do on my laptop, and that’s where the laws of physics betrayed me. Major fail. Reading text on the “big screen” only works if the font size is bumped up to somewhere around 20 points. That is, of course, why PowerPoint works so well on a projector…because it uses text that’s already big and blows it up to a size much larger than a 26-inch TV screen.

If anybody has any ideas on how I can correct this text problem, please record a video of how to do it so I can actually see it. I wouldn’t be able to read an e-mail on the big screen anyway.

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