Hmmm. Good point. With the s-video cable established between the Dell laptop and the HD TV, Windows XP finds the TV and through the display properties 'settings' tab asks if I want to extend my desktop to it. Upon checking that box - the desktop appears on the HD TV - my display options are 1024x768 and highest color quality.
When I go to Advanced>Monitor>Driver>Update to try to load a driver for the Philips - even one of the standard ones (flat screen 1600x1200 or whatever) Windows ignores whatever I choose, leaving the monitor driver generic.
As I type this, I'm thinking upgrading the video card driver might be the best route. Thanks for that tip. Will report back.