Using TV as computer monitor? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 2005-12-28, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Using TV as computer monitor?

I've been thinking about buying an LCD TV (possibly Samsung's LN-R3255 32" Widescreen LCD HDTV) to use not only as a second TV, but as my primary computer monitor.

I was hoping to get some advice from anyone who's already doing this (with any LCD TV with PC inputs).
Good move, bad move?
How's the picture when using it as a computer?
Would the wear and tear of using the LCD as a computer monitor, and then as a TV, take a quicker toll on the screen?

Basically, what's been your experience?

Thanks for the help,

David

Last edited by davidgmckee; 2005-12-28 at 12:48 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 2005-12-28, 02:48 PM
 
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Despite resolutions comparable to PC monitors, some TVs are not easily connected to PCs. I started a thread on that here.

During my research, the Samsung looked like a very good choice, supporting 1360 x 768 PC connection, albeit through an analog VGA port. I own an Acer 32" widescreen TV that works flawlessly as a computer monitor through a DVI-D/HDCP input at 1360 x 768.

I have the ATI AIW X600 Pro. Upconversion of standard broadcast TV and DVD movies is astouding as are the DVR recordings. My feeling is that budget TVs will lack high quality video scalers. If you aren't setting up an HTPC, you should spend more on the TV part of the TV. Mine has some problems with console games on the composite inputs, but PC games (i.e. Prince of Persia ) look amazing!

I prefer pixel-to-pixel mapping to get a crisp undistorted image from my PC. A wide Windows desktop makes it much easier to manage several open applications. Some minor quibbles: the image can be too bright when you are looking at a square foot of perfect white with a little text on it. Also, some font sizes smaller than 10 pt can be a little hard to read from across the room. Unfortunately, most websites (except the Government of Canada) don't follow W3C accessibility guidelines that would allow me to choose the font size for myself.

Until you mentioned it, I never worried about the TV being on most of the afternoon and evening. Thanks a bunch!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-01-02, 05:43 AM
 
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Michael

You mention DVR recordings and console games, I have noticed that the cable TV signal when routed through my DVR and output to the TV through component cables looks a lot better on the TV than the cable tuner on the TV itself... just wondering if it might be worth a try to connect your console games to the DVR. I have the same Acer tv. As far as concerns go for wearing out the tv, even if it is junk in 2 - 3 years, a replacement will only be $300.00 - $400.00 by then anyway. I'm not too worried about it.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-01-02, 01:42 PM
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I recently bought a 32" LCD TV. Just to try it out I hooked it up to my laptop to see how it looks as a monitor and it looked great. The TV has a VGA input so it is pretty simple to just attach a VGA cable from the PC to the LCD TV.

However the thing to keep in mind is that the resolution of the TVs is not extraordinarily high. The typical 32" LCD TV has something like a 1366x768 resolution which isn't that great given that the typical 19" LCD monitor has a resolution of 1280x1024. I have not tried playing around with resolutions to see how you deal with this.

You may be better off attaching two 19" monitors to your PC as long as you are not stuck on one uninterrupted widescreen shot. That gives you a resolution of 2560x1024 and is probably a lot cheaper. My Radeon 9600 card handles two monitors no problem - one with a DVI cable and one with a VGA cable. It's probably a lot cheaper two since you can get 19" monitors for around $300.

Then again, you could always try using the TV as a second monitor for your PC.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-01-02, 02:10 PM
 
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The native resolution (9600 runs it at 1360x768) looks great; any higher and text would be too small to read. The 32" lcd has nearly 3x the viewing area of a 19" monitor.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-01-02, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furball69
The native resolution (9600 runs it at 1360x768) looks great; any higher and text would be too small to read. The 32" lcd has nearly 3x the viewing area of a 19" monitor.
That's true but can you really get three times as much on the screen as it has 27% fewer pixels than a 19" monitor running at 1280x1024? 1360x760 gives you 1.03 M pixels while 1280x1024 gives you 1.3M pixels.

Or are the additional pixels at a resolution of 1280x1024 not being used to their fullest extent in most computer applications?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-01-02, 03:20 PM
 
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They are being used to their fullest at native resolution on a 19" computer monitor, thing is you have to sit 2' away from it to read anything at 1280x1024. with the 32" I can sit 6-8' away in my recliner and read everything perfectly. That is the difference. At 1900xwhatever or even higher, you would be back to sitting 2 feet away in order to read anything and your chair would block out the view when you want to use your HTPC to watch a movie.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-01-05, 02:49 PM
 
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VGA cables.

I am thinking of connecting my PC to my 43" Samsung DLP using VGA input. Can anybody tell me if there is a downside in doing that? Anybody here know what is the longest length available for a VGA cable?

Thank you,
Jun
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-01-05, 07:07 PM
 
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There should be no downside to connecting via VGA. It really depends on what you are doing with it. If it is gaming, it will be fine. For video, DVI might be better.

You can buy extensions for VGA cable that will go quite far. We run 100+ feet at work with very little quality loss.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-01-06, 02:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furball69
... just wondering if it might be worth a try to connect your console games to the DVR. I have the same Acer tv. As far as concerns go for wearing out the tv, even if it is junk in 2 - 3 years, a replacement will only be $300.00 - $400.00 by then anyway. I'm not too worried about it.
Thanks Furball,

I had a good laugh thinking about your predicition. I've stopped worrying about the TV wearing out.

I tried routing the XBOX through the ATI's video capture input. But when I tried playing it through the ATI TV software the video and audio were horribly out of sync.

So I've been pushing my kids towards PC games until the XBOX 360 becomes available. BTW, Prince of Persia, the Warrior Within and Battlefield 2 are awesome on the Acer. Even if only 1024x768.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-01-06, 04:13 PM
 
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hehe.

Actually I've done some tweaking on the tv and now SD cable from the wall looks like DVD, better than S-video from the cable box. Routing through the Pioneer is close now, but not quite as good.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-03-07, 02:51 PM
 
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Niko?

Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this brand yet as a HTPC monitor? I'm currently looking for a 32" LCD to replace my 19" CRT and compliment my Z2 projector. Does anyone know what computer resolutions this unit supports? There are currently some GREAT prices for this unit (OPT-3211W).
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