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  1. #1
    Member N8N8N8's Avatar
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    What are the cons of using a tv as a pc monitor?

    I was thinking if hooking up my 32" LCD tv to use as another monitor. Will the quality be horrible just for muti tasking? What kind of resolution would I need to use? Will the quality be as good as a 24" LCD pc monitor? What is the difference between using a tv as monitor or using pc monitor?

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  2. #2
    Member Randyman...'s Avatar
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    Plug it in and see for yourself!

    I find some Text (probably Clear Type effects) looks a little odd on some HDTV's - not illegible, but the white letters can have hues/tints to them. Not exactly sure why, but this is at 1:1 1080P resolution w/o any scaling, too. By contrast, Text looks pixil perfect on the 24" Dell 2407 PC Monitor. You will also have much larger Icons and such as you are essentially "zooming" the 1080P resolution to a much larger canvas (screen) - not like going to a higher resolution on a 30" PC Monitor...

    PC Video, however, generally looks FANTASTIC on a HDTV.

    I'd go Extended Desktop, set to Native Resolution (if it's a 720P HDTV PANEL, run 720P, it it's a 1080P PANEL, run 1080P ) - and then drag apps and media players over to the second screen as needed. Make sure you run the HDTV at the PANEL'S native resolution - some 720P HDTV panels will still ACCEPT a 1080P input, but must scale it internally back to 720P and Text will look awful. Your 32" HDTV is right at the range where it might be a 720P panel or a 1080P panel.

    I'd also recommend that you calibrate the HDTV for the PC - You can use W7's Media Center TV setup section for this. Make sure the contrast isn't clipping the bright whites, and make sure the Black Level is in the ballpark. Or use a colorimeter

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  3. #3
    Member jmdixon85's Avatar
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    Well I've been using a 37" Phillips 1080p LCD TV as my monitor for over a year now. The picture is pin sharp and very clear. The main reason I decided to use this TV was for gaming.

    I was worried at first after using the TV-out on some older video cards to connect a CRT TV for gaming. The picture was really blurry and text was almost impossible to read on some screens! But it seems using DVI/HDMI has made that a thing of the past

    The only downside is I think I went a bit too big! I mean its great for things like racing games and it draws you into the game much more than my previous 22" LCD monitor. But when playing FPS games I have more screen to scan to see an enemy. I really should have gona with a 32" TV.

    The one thing you dont want to do is use a big TV with only 720P! I used my laptop on my mams 50" Samsung plasma (720p) and it was like going back to using an Amiga on a 28" CRT! Very blocky and cant fit multiple windows on the screen.
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  4. #4
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    I would say one thing I have noticed with my lower-end (42" sanyo 1080p 60hz using hdmi input) tv is that the response rate is much slower than a regular computer monitor and causes ghosting, but only really bad when i first turn it on. Still seems a little laggy though.

    I'm sure there are better tv's that would not do that though and for just multitasking it is great! the quality on mine is very good and readable. I could post some pictures if you would like.

    lolmoaredit: Resolution wise, same as any monitor, highly recommended to use native resolution.
    Last edited by turbohans; 06-11-11 at 08:49 PM.
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  5. #5
    Member Randyman...'s Avatar
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    RE: turbohans and Lag:

    Most TV's should have a "Game" mode that bypasses their internal video DSP and basically sends the input straight to the display (still some processing going on IIRC, but very minimal latency in "Game" mode).

    I only use mine for video content - so overall latency is not a concern. Video looks killer on the Samsung LN46A650 (46" 1080P 120Hz) comapred to the Dell 2407WFP-HC, but text and web pages look MUCH better on the Dell 2407WFP-HC. So text and general PC usage are on the Dell, and video is on the Samsung HDTV - perfect!

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  6. #6
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    and check for over/underscanning... I plugged my 32" in to try it out, and was missing half my start bar width, all around the screen though... tried everything... till finally discovered my TV has a overscan automatically turned on, so that went off and Watched a replay of a Starrcraft 2 game I had... looked terrific.
    Cons:
    Unless the TV supports a range of resolutions, (mine supports like 6 from 800 x 600 to 1920 x 1080) you need to use the native res of the TV, otherwise thongs wont look right, or not even work.
    Power, TV's use more power than monitors, (don't know, but it'd be ridiculous if they used less power) So don't be using it just for facebook updating and reading e-mails.
    Because the screen is larger doesn't mean it'll be better quality, whether its a 22" or a 32" 1920 x 1080 picture, both screen sizes have the same amount of pixels. might even look 'worse' (but not so bad that it'll deter you from using it, look at the PS3 1080P gaming on 40"+ screens still look great.
    Like Randyman said, try it out...

  7. #7
    Member jmdixon85's Avatar
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    ^Very good point pointed out by turbohans that I missed. Always look out for this when buying a TV to use as a monitor.

    My TV has a 5ms response time as is great even for the fastest moving games
    Last edited by jmdixon85; 06-11-11 at 09:04 PM.
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  8. #8
    turbohans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randyman... View Post
    RE: turbohans and Lag:

    Most TV's should have a "Game" mode that bypasses their internal video DSP and basically sends the input straight to the display (still some processing going on IIRC, but very minimal latency in "Game" mode).

    I only use mine for video content - so overall latency is not a concern. Video looks killer on the Samsung LN46A650 (46" 1080P 120Hz) comapred to the Dell 2407WFP-HC, but text and web pages look MUCH better on the Dell 2407WFP-HC. So text and general PC usage are on the Dell, and video is on the Samsung HDTV - perfect!

    Yes, very correct my tv has a game setting also and it does help! I'm not saying it's bad,, hardly even noticeable. However if I had payed better attention to detail when buying I would be a little happier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ba!nesy View Post
    and check for over/underscanning... I plugged my 32" in to try it out, and was missing half my start bar width, all around the screen though... tried everything... till finally discovered my TV has a overscan automatically turned on, so that went off and Watched a replay of a Starrcraft 2 game I had... looked terrific.
    Cons:
    Unless the TV supports a range of resolutions, (mine supports like 6 from 800 x 600 to 1920 x 1080) you need to use the native res of the TV, otherwise thongs wont look right, or not even work.
    Power, TV's use more power than monitors, (don't know, but it'd be ridiculous if they used less power) So don't be using it just for facebook updating and reading e-mails.
    Because the screen is larger doesn't mean it'll be better quality, whether its a 22" or a 32" 1920 x 1080 picture, both screen sizes have the same amount of pixels. might even look 'worse' (but not so bad that it'll deter you from using it, look at the PS3 1080P gaming on 40"+ screens still look great.
    Like Randyman said, try it out...
    Might not be displaying the whole screen due to a zoom setting. I know mine does that every time I get a blank screen for a second/

    Quote Originally Posted by jmdixon85 View Post
    ^Very good point pointed out by turbohans that I missed. Always look out for this when buying a TV to use as a monitor.

    My TV has a 5ms response time as is great even for the fastest moving games
    Thanks man! I may not always post the most relevant things but I try. That I would say is the main con to using a TV though.

    edit: just thought I'd add this so you can see how I got mine set up. I do really like it for multitasking, and even gaming, just not so much FPS.


    EDIT: changed pic to thumb.
    Last edited by turbohans; 06-12-11 at 12:42 AM. Reason: changed pic
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  9. #9
    Member jmdixon85's Avatar
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    ^ I used to have a very similar setup. Appart from the bigger screen was infront of my keyboard. I used the smaller screen for windows gadgets and to monitor CPU usage, temp, GPU usage, temp etc.
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  10. #10
    turbohans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmdixon85 View Post
    ^ I used to have a very similar setup. Appart from the bigger screen was infront of my keyboard. I used the smaller screen for windows gadgets and to monitor CPU usage, temp, GPU usage, temp etc.
    haha for sure! That information is nice to have sometimes when you play games!

    Before I got the 42" I had a tiny 16" that was used for exactly that.

    EDIT: Another con I guess now that I think of it is the color matching! I think color matching might be a problem that would apply to any un-identical set of displays though not just TV's. When I first noticed that it drove me nuts trying to adjust everything to match, but have not even thought about it since.
    Last edited by turbohans; 06-11-11 at 10:50 PM.
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  11. #11
    Member N8N8N8's Avatar
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    thanks everyone for your input. sounds like it should work and be worth trying. It is a 720p tv with 6.5ms. It has dvi so should be decent. I will give it a shot.
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  12. #12
    Member N8N8N8's Avatar
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    silly me, if I decide to keep the tv as a monitor I will need a video card b/c I want to keep all my monitors so I will need to disconnect one to try it out b/c I have onboard video. What is a cheap video card that will work the a tv. I will not be playing games. Does not matter if its new or used. Can someone point me in the right direct when choosing a video card or point out a video card that will work?

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  13. #13
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    even cheap ones, around $60 will do the trick.
    Sorry, Aussie prices, but most likely a little cheaper in america (or maybe not at all since they're so cheap)
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    What exactly will you be using the TV as a monitor for if not for games, and if your not playing games and only want a cheap graphics card, surely you wont be doing any 3d modelling,/cad/cam work/ or video editing...
    So just curious as to why a big screen is important?

  14. #14
    Member jmdixon85's Avatar
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    If you were using a TV for gaming you may be able to get away with a fairly small size screen at 720p. But since you say you will not be gaming the desktop is going to look very big and blocky on the TV you have. And there won't be much room for multiple windows either. I would highly recommend a 1080p TV!
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    so what would be better for a TV/Comp a Plasma with 600hz or a LED LCD with 120hz?

  16. #16
    Member jmdixon85's Avatar
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    I went with LCD as they dont suffer from burn-in like plasmas do. Not important when using a screen for TV as the picture is always moving more or less but with PC use you are likely to have a static image for extended periods at some time or another.
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  17. #17
    Member N8N8N8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ba!nesy View Post
    even cheap ones, around $60 will do the trick.
    Sorry, Aussie prices, but most likely a little cheaper in america (or maybe not at all since they're so cheap)
    Gigabyte ATI RADEON 5450 512MB = $45.10
    Gigabyte AIT RADEON HD6450 1GB = $63.80
    Asus ATI RADEON 5450 512MB SLIENT = $55.00
    What exactly will you be using the TV as a monitor for if not for games, and if your not playing games and only want a cheap graphics card, surely you wont be doing any 3d modelling,/cad/cam work/ or video editing...
    So just curious as to why a big screen is important?
    thanks for the help

    I am using them for stock market trading. I am thinking of expanding my 2 24" monitors and getting a 3rd which would be the tv
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8N8N8 View Post
    thanks for the help

    I am using them for stock market trading. I am thinking of expanding my 2 24" monitors and getting a 3rd which would be the tv
    That would make good use of a large TV that's for sure! If you get any video card with a HDMI or MINI-HDMI port right on it you can use the TV's speakers also. (In case you ever want to watch some HULU on it while taking a break or something)
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  19. #19
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    i second the 1080p tv. you get a 720 one and you will be kicking yourself i think. Make sure you have the sharpness setting at 0. the only other cons would be response time but since you're not gaming that doesn't matter and burn in but since you are going kinda small you can't get a plasma so thats not really an issue either (though coincidentally I have a reaaaallly old LCD that has burn in in my lab, I had never seen it before that. Even my terribly old personal LCD has never shown burn in).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jediman View Post
    i second the 1080p tv. you get a 720 one and you will be kicking yourself i think. Make sure you have the sharpness setting at 0. the only other cons would be response time but since you're not gaming that doesn't matter and burn in but since you are going kinda small you can't get a plasma so thats not really an issue either (though coincidentally I have a reaaaallly old LCD that has burn in in my lab, I had never seen it before that. Even my terribly old personal LCD has never shown burn in).
    I actually have witnessed burn-in on a newer LCD TV that my dad has. That is because it is 16:9 and everything he watches on it is 4:3!! so there is now a line burned in from always having black bars down the side LOL!!

    That will not be a problem at all for the OP though hahahaha!
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