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Hardware  » Monitor vs. HDTV

18 posts found
  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  10/08/11 10:23:29 PM#1

Been thinking about this for a long time now since I can get a large 1080p TV for way cheaper than a similarly sized monitor. I also like the idea of gaming from the couch or recliner. I don't think the resolution will really be an issue, but I'm kind of concerned about how text will show up from across the room. I know from experience with certain games on XBox 360 (*cough* *cough* Ninja Blade *cough* *ahem*) that it can sometimes be difficult to read what's on screen. And that's from a device that was meant to be hooked up to a TV.

So yeah. . . . 

Which do you guys like better? And is there anything I should know before trying to do this? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

  Zezda

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 704

10/08/11 11:36:42 PM#2

Monitor, monitor, monitor.

 

Unless you're playing games with a pad all the time...

  Tanon

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/16/08
Posts: 183

10/08/11 11:43:28 PM#3

The main problem with using a TV as a monitor is that you're almost definitely going to be using it at 1080p. As it is a TV, you should be sitting a considerable distance away from it. 1080p from such a far distance makes words unreadable. It's also quite awkward to be sitting up close, as 1080p on a large screen at a short distance is bad ergonomically. If you have the money to burn, get a multi-monitor setup rather than a TV.

  Esherdon

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/01/09
Posts: 43

10/08/11 11:46:25 PM#4

I use a rear projection 60'' Sony for my computer. I have it hooked up via an HDMI cable. I sit back on the couch and use a wireless keyboard and mouse.  Would absolutely recommend going with the TV. Just make sure your video card supports HDMI otherwise you are stuck using the tv's pc imput which is terrible.   

"Onward to adventure".

  yaminsux

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/23/05
Posts: 624

10/09/11 12:02:55 AM#5
Originally posted by Tanon

The main problem with using a TV as a monitor is that you're almost definitely going to be using it at 1080p. As it is a TV, you should be sitting a considerable distance away from it. 1080p from such a far distance makes words unreadable. It's also quite awkward to be sitting up close, as 1080p on a large screen at a short distance is bad ergonomically. If you have the money to burn, get a multi-monitor setup rather than a TV.

 

This, I ran my rig with Toshiba Regza 42" and I can say, reading the text is an issue. Games like EVE for example, you will struggle a lot (even with largest font size, ingame) to read.

But...

If you're planning to run your rig as a multimedia platform, watching por... err movies for example it's well worth it. Also with HDMI cable you dont need a PC speaker installed.

  Gravarg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/24/06
Posts: 3055

10/09/11 12:18:20 AM#6

I set up my desktop to run on my 92" and have no problem reading things.  I had to buy it, the local furniture store was going out of business and had 1 left for only $4k after taxes :D I just had to put off buying a new car for a couple of years lol.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mitsubishi-WD-92840-92-Inch-1080p-Projection/dp/B004ZL2O9U

  sudo

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/23/05
Posts: 698

10/09/11 12:33:19 AM#7

First of all, lol at sitting far away from the tv comments. It's not 1980 and the TV OP is about to buy isn't a lamp tv...

OP, I'm using a 32 samsung hdtv as my monitor, which means I'm sitting right in front of it and it's on my desk. The resolution is always 1920x1080 ofc. ATI drivers have all the tools you need to make the text smooth and the picture perfect. I can both work from my desktop (coding or rdping to work), read as much as I want to, without getting tired or my eyes hurting, and play games both with my keyboard and mouse on the desk or with a wireless gamepad on the bed.

Some games (most mmos, tbh) you probably will struggle to read text with, unless playing from the desk. Others, like Wticher 2 and FFXIV, Dead Space and such, you will have absolutely no problem reading anything at 3-4 meters. You could pretty much say that any game with gamepad support has text large enough for you to play from the couch, while others will be unplayable unless you use your TV as a monitor. I can tell you for sure, after using this setup for over a year that even if I didn't play any games at all, I'd sill buy another TV instead of a monitor both because of richer colors (imo, only) and price. The only reason to invest in a big ass screen monitor is a need of a higher resolution than 1920x1080.

One note, though, I would highly recommend getting a TV with power saving option. I had problems sitting in front of the TV at first because even at lowest brightness it was still a bit too bright for a screen (I love my desktop screens very dim, best for your eyes), until I found out that there is a built-in power-saving option, that actually cuts out the power your TV is geting, thus making it dimmer and color pallet pretty much becomes a PC screen one. Let me know if you want to know the model or see some pictures of the setup. :)

One more thing, using anything bigger than 32" HDTV will be very hard as a desktop monitor, I'd recommend either getting 32 HDTV which will let you to both play games from the couch (and watch movies) and work on it, or getting something MUCH bigger, which will let you work fully from the couch with wireless keyboard + mouse (at least 47" afaik).

Good luck!

"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."
Hans Margolius

  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  10/09/11 11:47:30 AM#8

I really don't intend to sit this at a desk. My situation is a little awkward and space is at a premium. The room I'm sleeping in doesn't belong to me and there is no space for a desk. I'm kind of inbetween a lot of things in life so I don't want to accumulate a bunch of stuff and then have to move it somewhere else in the next few months. So buying a monitor AND a TV isn't really an option here.

Basically, I'm setting everything at the foot of my bed. This means that I'll be over six feet away from the screen at all times. Not much of an issue with gaming since I mostly play shooters and action games. I do enjoy RTS games, but I don't think I'll have much of an issue playing Stracraft 2 on a TV. What I'm most concerned about is being able to use Open Office, Dreamweaver, and Adobe Acrobat Pro in this setup. I write for a living so. . . .

BTW, I'm doing most of my writing on a netbook right now and it's really, really uncomfortable. I could just do my work on Google Docs with Chrome magnifying the page by 150%, but I'd lose a lot of the functionality that I need for work. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

  Tanon

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/16/08
Posts: 183

10/09/11 1:04:46 PM#9
Originally posted by sudo

First of all, lol at sitting far away from the tv comments. It's not 1980 and the TV OP is about to buy isn't a lamp tv...

OP, I'm using a 32 samsung hdtv as my monitor, which means I'm sitting right in front of it and it's on my desk. The resolution is always 1920x1080 ofc. ATI drivers have all the tools you need to make the text smooth and the picture perfect. I can both work from my desktop (coding or rdping to work), read as much as I want to, without getting tired or my eyes hurting, and play games both with my keyboard and mouse on the desk or with a wireless gamepad on the bed.

Some games (most mmos, tbh) you probably will struggle to read text with, unless playing from the desk. Others, like Wticher 2 and FFXIV, Dead Space and such, you will have absolutely no problem reading anything at 3-4 meters. You could pretty much say that any game with gamepad support has text large enough for you to play from the couch, while others will be unplayable unless you use your TV as a monitor. I can tell you for sure, after using this setup for over a year that even if I didn't play any games at all, I'd sill buy another TV instead of a monitor both because of richer colors (imo, only) and price. The only reason to invest in a big ass screen monitor is a need of a higher resolution than 1920x1080.

One note, though, I would highly recommend getting a TV with power saving option. I had problems sitting in front of the TV at first because even at lowest brightness it was still a bit too bright for a screen (I love my desktop screens very dim, best for your eyes), until I found out that there is a built-in power-saving option, that actually cuts out the power your TV is geting, thus making it dimmer and color pallet pretty much becomes a PC screen one. Let me know if you want to know the model or see some pictures of the setup. :)

One more thing, using anything bigger than 32" HDTV will be very hard as a desktop monitor, I'd recommend either getting 32 HDTV which will let you to both play games from the couch (and watch movies) and work on it, or getting something MUCH bigger, which will let you work fully from the couch with wireless keyboard + mouse (at least 47" afaik).

Good luck!

Would you really want to sit as close to a 47" TV as you would a 21" monitor? Personally, I find that sitting too close makes it difficult to see the entire screen.

As for a 47", that is what I use and at 1080p and approximately 2 meters away, text can be hard to read. I can still read it, but it takes a bit of effort at times. If I were to get another TV to use as a monitor, I definitely wouldn't go for less than 60".

  strangepowers

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/18/08
Posts: 568

SCAD Animation-Film-F/X

10/09/11 1:08:16 PM#10
Originally posted by Gravarg

I set up my desktop to run on my 92" and have no problem reading things.  I had to buy it, the local furniture store was going out of business and had 1 left for only $4k after taxes :D I just had to put off buying a new car for a couple of years lol.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mitsubishi-WD-92840-92-Inch-1080p-Projection/dp/B004ZL2O9U

Holy overkill LOL but very nice at the same time.

The scary part is one day the world will be run by adults who were never spanked as kids and got trophies just for participating.

  psyclum

Novice Member

Joined: 2/01/10
Posts: 800

10/09/11 3:20:15 PM#11
Originally posted by strangepower
Originally posted by Gravarg

I set up my desktop to run on my 92" and have no problem reading things.  I had to buy it, the local furniture store was going out of business and had 1 left for only $4k after taxes :D I just had to put off buying a new car for a couple of years lol.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mitsubishi-WD-92840-92-Inch-1080p-Projection/dp/B004ZL2O9U

Holy overkill LOL but very nice at the same time.

unfortunately, i KNOW people who would run that on a POS $500 dell :D

  bezado

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/21/04
Posts: 1139

*WARNING*
Objects in mirror are closer to Trolls than they appear.

10/09/11 5:59:47 PM#12


Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe
Been thinking about this for a long time now since I can get a large 1080p TV for way cheaper than a similarly sized monitor. I also like the idea of gaming from the couch or recliner. I don't think the resolution will really be an issue, but I'm kind of concerned about how text will show up from across the room. I know from experience with certain games on XBox 360 (*cough* *cough* Ninja Blade *cough* *ahem*) that it can sometimes be difficult to read what's on screen. And that's from a device that was meant to be hooked up to a TV.
So yeah. . . . 
Which do you guys like better? And is there anything I should know before trying to do this? 

I was unable to find a clear difference in the newer generation LCD HDTV's up to 42 inches vs LCD monitors up to 30 inches. If you have a good HDTV panel such as one from LG and you buy one with a 120HZ at least then the HDTV will be a lot better of a monitor. My 42 LG is crystal clear just like any LCD monitor and text is readable any distance unless the text is really small, which most games you can increase the text size no problem. Crysis 2 on the LG LED LCD looks crystal clear and all the colors are as good if not better then my 27 inch Samsung LCD monitor. All games are exceptional quality on the LG 42 inch LED LCD HDTV I have. Again it depends on the hdtv manufacturer.

  soliveras

Novice Member

Joined: 10/09/11
Posts: 2

10/09/11 9:51:35 PM#13

Monitors generally have significantly higher resolution than TVs. If you hook up your computer to an HDTV capable of 720p and 1080i, movies will look much better because they're designed for that resolution. Not only that, but standard DVDs are produced in 480p and played on DVD players that (unless you get an upconversion model) play at 480p. This is a much lower resolution than your computer monitor. LCD monitors aren't designed foremost for watching DVDs and downloaded movies - they're designed for precision video capability so that things like tiny fonts and digital pictures look fantastic on them.

If you're in school and only have room for one thing in your dorm, for instance, you're going to find that a computer monitor is a lot more multipurpose than a regular TV or even a high-end 1080p HDTV. Until TVs - and movies - are made for super high resolution displays, monitors and TVs just won't be interchangeable the way we'd like them to be.

  ozwaltRic

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/09/11
Posts: 3

10/09/11 10:11:20 PM#14

So you want a bigger screen to go with your HD PC tuner. Do you go with a larger monitor or opt for a HDTV? And what is the difference between a monitor and a HDTV these days? At first glance a LCD monitor and LCD HDTV look just about the same. An HDTV has a tuner of some sort (analog, digital or both), and perhaps extra input and output ports like composite, component, and cable/RF along with DVI, HDMI, and VGA. Monitors as a rule do not have tuners and only have DVI, HDMI and/or VGA inputs. A HDTV comes with a remote control and monitors generally do not. So any adjustments on a monitor require you to use the manual controls normally located at the bottom of the screen.

Of course either way you want a wide screen. The old fashion 4:3 screens have just about been totally replaced with the new 16:9 (or 16:10) ones.

  Aori

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/06
Posts: 1763

10/09/11 10:28:32 PM#15

I find 27-32 inch to be the best "big" viewing experience for pc gaming. Anything larger induces eye strain to see some texts and details. Not every game lets you increase fonts btw so that shouldn't be a counter arguement.

That said, monitors are cheaper in the 20-27 inch range unless you're going generic POS setups. If you want a step higher than 32 inch tv is compareable price to the 27 inch monitors.

Monitors i just find more reliable and have hardly ever had issues with em dying, pixel problems and the like.. TV's are much less reliable and durable.. slightly finicky in production and more prone to death and dead spots.

Monitors require less space, energy and most nowadays have wall mounting options.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3319

10/09/11 11:09:53 PM#16

I have an HTPC hooked up to a 46" LCD that I use to watch netflix and stuff on the couch.

I ended up turning the resolution down to 720p just so I could read the text on stuff.

All the console port stuff looks great, because those UI's were designed to run on a monitor and be played from the couch.

Anything that's PC only (most MMO's) the text and UI really have issues - most things you can adjust font size, but then you get like 3-4 words per line in the chat boxes, or you can downsize the resolution, then the graphics look a bit worse. 1080p just isn't a lot of real estate when you are trying to stretch it across a monitor that's much bigger than 24".

The only real advice I can give you though, is go look at them in person. If you are wanting to run your computer off one, ask to hook your netbook up via HDMI on the showroom floor.

If it looks good to you that's all that matters.

  ChubAlpha

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/12/11
Posts: 2

10/13/11 12:51:47 AM#17

The commercial grade is always better than the consumer grade product no matter what it is. Commercial grade has certain specs that requires more robust parts due to heavier use. Hands down the better product in the long run is commercial. Performance will be better, but only a trained eye or in the case of speaker ear can appreciate the nuanced differences. Someone who does something all day will find it hard to live with consumer electronics, it is simply not good enough to the craft. Given all else is even the LCD monitor with the tuner box is the way to go. Last thought, I know you can have a split screen with the monitor, which can be an added reason to purchase the monitor over the tv, but I don't know if the tv has the same type of flexibility if you intend to link a desk or laptop in the mix.

  sudo

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/23/05
Posts: 698

10/22/11 5:42:42 PM#18
Originally posted by Tanon
Originally posted by sudo

First of all, lol at sitting far away from the tv comments. It's not 1980 and the TV OP is about to buy isn't a lamp tv...

OP, I'm using a 32 samsung hdtv as my monitor, which means I'm sitting right in front of it and it's on my desk. The resolution is always 1920x1080 ofc. ATI drivers have all the tools you need to make the text smooth and the picture perfect. I can both work from my desktop (coding or rdping to work), read as much as I want to, without getting tired or my eyes hurting, and play games both with my keyboard and mouse on the desk or with a wireless gamepad on the bed.

Some games (most mmos, tbh) you probably will struggle to read text with, unless playing from the desk. Others, like Wticher 2 and FFXIV, Dead Space and such, you will have absolutely no problem reading anything at 3-4 meters. You could pretty much say that any game with gamepad support has text large enough for you to play from the couch, while others will be unplayable unless you use your TV as a monitor. I can tell you for sure, after using this setup for over a year that even if I didn't play any games at all, I'd sill buy another TV instead of a monitor both because of richer colors (imo, only) and price. The only reason to invest in a big ass screen monitor is a need of a higher resolution than 1920x1080.

One note, though, I would highly recommend getting a TV with power saving option. I had problems sitting in front of the TV at first because even at lowest brightness it was still a bit too bright for a screen (I love my desktop screens very dim, best for your eyes), until I found out that there is a built-in power-saving option, that actually cuts out the power your TV is geting, thus making it dimmer and color pallet pretty much becomes a PC screen one. Let me know if you want to know the model or see some pictures of the setup. :)

One more thing, using anything bigger than 32" HDTV will be very hard as a desktop monitor, I'd recommend either getting 32 HDTV which will let you to both play games from the couch (and watch movies) and work on it, or getting something MUCH bigger, which will let you work fully from the couch with wireless keyboard + mouse (at least 47" afaik).

Good luck!

Would you really want to sit as close to a 47" TV as you would a 21" monitor? Personally, I find that sitting too close makes it difficult to see the entire screen.

As for a 47", that is what I use and at 1080p and approximately 2 meters away, text can be hard to read. I can still read it, but it takes a bit of effort at times. If I were to get another TV to use as a monitor, I definitely wouldn't go for less than 60".

No, I wouldn't... This is exactly why I recommended the 32" version?

"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."
Hans Margolius