: Widescreen PC monitor with HDMI settop box? Or LCDTV as a monitor?

2008-11-21, 01:50 PM
I'd like to upgrade my computer monitor and at the same time add a TV to my computer room. After seeing how good my 52" Sony Bravia looks with my laptop hooked up to the PC input, I've been thinking about picking up a smaller LCD TV and using it as a monitor.

Most of what I've read and been told indicates that a 720p TV is not sufficient for a PC monitor (basically like a widescreen version of 1024x768). Anyone using one of these as a monitor, and if so, does the reduced resolution bother you?

The smallest 1080p LCDTVs I've seen at Canadian retailers are three different brands of 32" models (Sharp, Samsung and LG IIRC). Not bad but a bit pricey and slightly larger than I'd like. I see on the Viewsonic site that they now have a 26" 1080p TV but I can't find it at any Canadian dealers (from online searching anyway. I haven't contacted any yet).

On the other hand, there are lots of nice 24-26" widescreen LCD PC monitors around, some with HDMI inputs. These are substantially cheaper than the 32"1080p TVs mentioned above, so I could spring for one of these plus an HD settop box and still end up paying less. Will one of these work with the HDMI output of a settop box (Videotron in my case)? I've tried downloading a couple of manuals from the Viewsonic site, but they don't mention what HDMI devices that can be used, etc., only that the port is there and just to connect a device to it.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any help you can give. This is a Christmas present to myself and I use my PC daily for a variety of tasks, including occasional graphics work so I display is important. I have a Pinnacle USB TV connection for my PC, so in a pinch I could use that going through the PC and to a new monitor, but it would be nice to just turn on the screen for TV viewing without booting up the PC all the time. Plus, I've never found PC TV cards, etc., to be as good as a dedicated connection.

jean luc picard
2008-11-21, 03:05 PM
i would certainly go with a hi res (computer) monitor with hdmi (or component) inputs. 22" or 24" are reasonably priced these days. theres never a guarantee that any hdmi device will work but it should. a local purchase so you can return it easily if need be might be a good idea.

2008-11-23, 05:39 AM
For graphics work I'd avoid the TN panels out there as they aren't very good at reproducing accurate colours. A lot of the newer 26" TVs are now using these cheap panels, as are a lot of the monitors. A quick way of telling it's a TN panel is to look at the viewing angle. If it's less than 176 degrees it's probably a TN. Benq has a 24" non TN panel, with HDMI for around $500, other brands I've found are more expensive.

Having said this, I'm happy with cheap panels for my web browsing and some gaming. I also have a 32"LG LCD 1366x768 TV, which I watch from around 4' away and works fine as a computer monitor also, the odd time I use it as one.

I've also used a couple of monitors connected to my Bell receiver via HDMI or DVI and they've worked fine. Make sure they are HDCP compatible and you may have to set the receiver at 720p instead of 1080i.