Bits & Bytes
TURN ON THE TV, GET A BALANCE SHEET
Connecting a computer to a video monitor is easy--if the monitor is designed for displaying computer-generated information. But standard television sets, the cheapest and most common type of monitors, are a different story: They don't accept computer video signals. So Willow Peripherals in Bronx, N.Y., has come out with a device that lets any color TV display so-called VGA graphics produced by IBM PCs.
The portable device, called LaptopTV and priced at $1,195, digitally converts VGA signals to a variety of standard television formats, for either U.S. or European sets. The intended application is presenting business information from a portable computer to a roomful of people. While not quite as crisp as true VGA monitors, TV sets plugged into LaptopTV can display animated graphics and spreadsheets well enough for such presentations. What's more, the device's output can be fed into a videocassette recorder--with audio--to create a record of a particular presentation. The big draw, though, is price: While a 20-inch VGA monitor may sell for $2,500, 27-inch TV monitors go for as little as $600.EDITED BY JOHN W. VERITY