Re: TV-out - optimal resolution?
With widescreen I think it is not possible to get a screen-filling picture at the correct aspect ratio and a good quality at the same time.
You would want to have a 16:9 ratio to start with, and it should be sent to the TV as anamorphic widescreen. I don't think the TV encoders can do that.
So, you will either have to live with a distorted picture (which probably can be corrected in the movie player when you use that, but will be very visible on the normal desktop), or you have to configure a 4:3 picture and set the TV to show only the center part of that (with cut-off top and bottom areas). That will mean less available lines and less quality.
When you buy a new TV in the future, look for a flatpanel with both TV and PC inputs (VGA, DVI). Then you can use a two-output PC videocard without TV-out and you can exactly control the resolution and aspect ratio of the picture using a ModeLine.
Assuming your TV has a SCART RGB input, you can also get better quality and more control by using a VGA-to-SCART RGB converter box and use a VGA output on your videocard instead of the TV-out.