Hi-Res Monitor as a TV screen?

Can anyone offer advice on using a Dell 20" widescreen Ultrasharp monitor as a means of watching DVD's with a freestanding dvd player as the source? The Dell's image quality is as good as a Mac Cinema Display's (1680x1250), only it has more inputs. The Dell has s-video, DVI-D, and Composite inputs, so it will recieve a signal from my DVD player and play movies, but the resolution is not nearly what it could be. Connected to my computer it is close to HDTV quality. But connected directly to my Sony DVD player the image quality is like that of a low-res JPEG stretched across the screen.

The problem is I want to use the single monitor for both my computer monitor in my home office, and when watching movies, I'd like to use it in the living room connected directly to a DVD player - without the computer. (I don't watch TV so the inconvenience of moving my monitor for a movie is fine with me).

I think what I need is a tuner/processor of some sort, to process the signal in lieu of having it connected to my computer. Is this what hi-end video processors do? Would this work? (in theory only - I realize it would be costly) Are freestanding TV tuners available?

BTW, I'm not interested in buying another flat screen tv - I am after simplicity - less TV's in my life (and this world) the better.
I hope my descripition makes sense and I'd appreciate any input, bearing in mind I'm not after spending big bucks on this. My frivolous money stays in HiFi.
May be an upconverting dvd player would do? Can't remember what the rez out of a DVD player is; 720x468 ish. Scaler in monitor is probably poor in upcoverting signal to use available pixels. When using computer the PC is doing the a/d conversion, deinterlacing & scaling. Monitor probably has a cheap one chip solution
The 24" dell gives you a little more flexability. The component inputs are 1080i compatible but it looks like you already have the 20". I have the 24" and do exactly what you are describing in addition to viewing hdtv cable feed.

You can look at the oppo dvd player that is dvi out because it does not require a hdcp compliant dvi port and this may work for you but you need to check there is not a dvi-a/dvi-d connection problem.
If you try to get a HDTV to use as a computer monitor, I suggest:

Use "true 1080p" or else you will be disapointed with the text resolution for your computer. You will need a current video card on your computer that delivers that 1080p resolution.

I did not try the other way around like you attempting to do. I think the problem could exist with your video card inputs as you do not mention DVI or HDMI.
To update this thread, I would like to use the a 30" high resolution screen, as a computer monitor and also an HDTV and occasional DVD monitor.

Can I use this one from Dell?


Will HDTV and DVD benefit from the 2560 x 1600 resolution?

Or is this a waste for anything other than computer applications?

In any case, do I need a special video card? Could someone recommend a video card and/or any associated components?

Thank you.
I am currently using this monitor with my system. You need a special card only in that it needs to have dual-link dvi and HDCP (to make the mpaa happy when watching HD).

The only issue is that it has but one dvi port. I also have the 27"/24" and find this one is cheaper yet has a lot more functionality to it. Multiple inputs (dvi, component, analog vga) and a better color space (27" only)/contrast ratio make it a much more flexible monitor.

The 30" makes sense if you are going to have a only 1 input (like a media center pc running vista with cablecards on your tv tuner) and do everything through there.

This is helpful info - thank you.

Glad I did not dive into the 30" screen as I want it to have a variety of inputs and use not only with a computer but a cable TV box as well as a DVD player.

It is annoying to me that there is not more to choose from on the market with high resolution and multiple inputs but without cheap cheesey speakers, amps and/or stands.

It seems the 27" might be a good choice, but I dont like the bezel or the stand as much.