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Large LCD HDTV as a Computer Monitor?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the two-displays-in-one-device? dept.

Displays 143

An anonymous reader asks: "I have seen $2000 27"and $1400 23" HDTV LCD sets at Costco, and similarly priced smaller sets elsewhere. I asked a salesperson (elsewhere) if I could try one with my laptop's DVI, and was told that the TVs wouldn't work well. DVI and VGA inputs, 400-600:1 contrast ratio, fast refresh rates (for gaming?), and HDTV capability for other uses, why can't they work? The prices run from as above to very significantly more. Has anyone tried the inexpensive large LCD HDTVs, or the expensive ones, for their desktop? I want to reduce the clutter in my family room and upgrade to highdef? Is it time?"

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143 comments

Great to watch pornography on (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8977725)

Great to watch that gay pornography on

Abit expensive? (2, Informative)

Celt (125318) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977798)

Its abit costly no?
why not just get a nice Samsung 19" TFT for 650+ Euro (abit more in $'s) you can that patch a tv signal into this?

I'd personally rather keep them both seperate (tv and pc monitor).

Resolution? (1)

potuncle (583651) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977819)

What's the resolution of these large HDTV displays? I wouldn't want anything less than Z x 1024 pixels. Z= the standard width in pixels for a wide-screen display when it is 1024 pixels high.

Re:Resolution? (1)

buelba (701300) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977837)

Z = 1280 in my experience.

Re:Resolution? (1)

potuncle (583651) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977930)

Z=1280 is for a normal (a.k.a. oldschool) display. These HDTV displays are wide-screen so at 1024 pixels high, Z>1280.

Re:Resolution? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8978015)

your experience is only in computer monitors, then. HDTVs are often widescreen, which means 1024 (or, more appropriately, 1080, I can't remember which) lines of resolution won't give you 1280, it should give you more. (I think widescreen is often 16:9 or more, instead of 4:3, which is the ratio of most of the VGA derived resolutions (1280x1024 being a rather glaring exception))

Thus, at 1080 lines, you'd get 1920 columns (16x9 widescreen).

I think the biggest problem, though with using these things as normal computer monitors is what my friend experienced: Most computer display cards don't like outputting to them. You can get a computer display at some resolutions, but very few cards without special drivers/software can output (1920x)1080 interlaced resolution, at a refresh rate that the TV likes (his, at least, was very particular). Eventually I think he got it in 1080i at 56Hz, but it wasn't steady or reliable, or something like that. Eventually just 'downgrading' to 720p. Your mileage may vary, depending on OS, video card, driver version, TV, etc.

Re:Resolution? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8978237)

the 'I cant remember which' was when I wasn't sure if it was 1040 or 1080. I then looked it up, found it was 1080, deleted the 1040 mentioned, but forgot to fix the text AFTER the 1080. oops :)

Re:Resolution? (2, Informative)

notsoclever (748131) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980516)

1080 is the number of lines in the display format (which is 1920x1080, with rectangular pixels to make it a 16:9 display aspect). HDTVs don't yet have that high of an actual resolution; they downsample.

Re:Resolution? (1)

notsoclever (748131) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980528)

Er wait, I guess those are square pixels afer all. I was thinking of 480p (which is 720x480) which has rectangular pixels for 4:3.

Re:Resolution? (2, Informative)

UID1000000 (768677) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979339)

Parent has a good point.

I purchasing IT equipment and albeit I'm not looking it up right now BUT I'm always turned off by the LCD TVs low native resolution when it comes to computer displays.

Most of them only have an 800 x 600 resolution or commonly 1024 x 768. On a 23" LCD screen (1024 x 768) it's going to look decent but not as great as it can be.

I'm not sure why the resolutions are so low but optimally I would say you should go for 1600 x 1200 resolution. These are out there but they're still up there in price. I would say wait a year or two to make the investment.

I predict too that 15" LCDs will go bye bye within 18-24 months and only be made for notebooks. We'll still see 13" - 17" notebooks but the core will be 15" and then the primary/standard LCD monitor will be 17". At this point the 21" - 23" market are going to drop along with the 17".
Where is evidence of this? 15" LCD monitors are going up in price (remember I'm talking about large volume pricing here) and closing the margin between 15" and 17" LCD monitors so that the transition won't be so hard for the corporate customers.

Re:Resolution? (1)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981136)

Dude, he said HD, not SD.

HD resolution is 1920x1080 (or 1280x720, but I've never seen an HDTV that couldn't do at least 1080i). The aspect ratio on an HDTV is 16:9, aka letterbox, so the resolutions you're thinking of don't really apply.

For standard def TV it makes perfect sense to top out at 800x600, since SDTV has a resolution of only 700x525 (NTSC, PAL is 833x625, but then you have to deal with the 50Hz refresh, which drives me nuts. I'd rather have inconsistent color, thank you very much.)

Anyway, the real problem with using a TV as a monitor is that (a) they're limited to only those resolutions which are used for TV/video, which is like 4 at most, and more importantly (b) they're limited to standard refresh rates, which means 60Hz interlaced, which is NOT the same as the 60Hz progressive you're used to enjoying with a real computer monitor. HD does include a progresive scan standard, but I don't know off the top of my head if it's 60Hz or 30Hz.

It's the resolution, silly (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8977832)

Just think about a desktop at 1280 x 720 at 27". Shudder...

Re:It's the resolution, silly (5, Funny)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978310)

At that point you stop measuring Dots Per Inch, but Inches Per Dot.

Re:It's the resolution, silly (1)

Photar (5491) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979463)

Nuh uh. 720 is way bigger than 27. but if you were projecting your screen to the local drive in maybe then it would be inches per dot.

Soon... (1, Offtopic)

CosmicDreams (23020) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977839)

in the states HDTV plasma screens are a huge selling point for Electronics stores. As the market addresses this demand they will be motivated to offer better quality products. As each generation of products hit the market the previous generation will dip in price. As the system progresses, we are bound to have low cost / descent quality products for sale that meet your needs.

We just need a few more iterations of this process for it to become economical. So not now, but soon.

Re:Soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8979381)

CosmicGreams, this is offtopic because we're not talking about plasma screens. He's talking LCD. LCD and plasma are different. DUH.

God God MAN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8977853)

Why?

Apple 23" is $2000 (4, Informative)

potuncle (583651) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977862)

You can get a 23" Cinema display from Apple for $1999 (plus $100 for a DVI to ADC adapter if you don't have a Mac). It displays 1920 x 1200. Plus, Apple's LCD displays are beautiful is design and image quality. Also, if you decide you don't like it or want something else later on, Apple displays have a much higher resale value that any other LCD displays.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8978289)

Or the beautiful Dell 20" will do 1600x1200 for $750-$1000 (depending on which day you're there)... and without a stupid $100 (!) adaptor.

Apple? Get real.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8978588)

Not to mention the Dell looks like utter shit when put up against the mac cinema display. Nothing shows the dell up for the cheap trash it is more than that.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8978705)

HA! I'm glad that little Apple logo makes you feel better about your run-of-the-mil equipment.

You know, for the most part Apple uses the same hardware anyone can buy off the shelf for half the price... Right? Er, maybe not since you were stupid enough to spend money for a logo in the first place.

Dumbass.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (1)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978992)

stop feeding the trolls...

You know the old adage "a Jobs minion and his money are soon parted...."

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8982136)

Sorry, incorrect. The apple logo does not make for a brighter display with far FAR more even colour distribution than anything else I've ever used.

Other displays using the same common tech as Apple's would certainly match it. The dell however, is not one of those.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978971)

Uh, so a 20" compared to a 23" at 1/2 the cost? What a suprise! Also
  1. The Dell sells online at $1050 + S&H
  2. The Apple monitor looks...amazing. I have never seen such a beautuful monitor. The Dell is just another monitor

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8979069)

Uh, so a 20" compared to a 23" at 1/2 the cost? What a suprise!

The size difference is minor because the apple monitor is not a 4:3 display.

# The Dell sells online at $1050 + S&H

I said between $750 and $1000 (that's what $750-$1000 means) depending on what day you go there. They go on sale for $750 every few months smartass.

The Apple monitor looks...amazing. I have never seen such a beautuful monitor. The Dell is just another monitor

The Apple logo has made you delusional or maybe it's the clear plastic reflecting in your eyes. Compare the two side by side. I'm willing to bet you've never even seen a Dell UXGA display. The Apple is no better, you're just paying for the logo. Hell, both the Apple and the Dell were probably made by the same company (like memory, there are only a few companies that make most of the displays).

The Apple display sucks. What's with the 3 feet on the bottom? Do you even realize how much desk space that POS takes up? Yeah, thought so. Again, blinded by the Apple cult.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (3, Funny)

Dr. Sigmund Freud (759331) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980922)

The size difference is minor

Is that what your gf tells you? Can you do math? When was the last time you saw a shrink? I see the begining of a libido related problem.

When I watch a 16:9 format movie
1) on the Apple display, I see a 1920x1080 picture. That's 2,073,600 pixels.
2) on the Dell display , it would be a 1600x900 picture. That's 1,440,000 pixels.

That comes to 44% more pixels on the Apple display. Hardly comparable. Then of course, if you are pushing Dell, you gotta be smokin' some stuff, dude. [theregister.co.uk]

Apple's offering may not be beautiful in every one's eye, but a comparable Sony's offering [sonystyle.com] lists for $3,000 (that's 50% more than Apple's). Even their "sale price" is 30% higher than Apple's regular price. If you buy a Mac you can get up to $500 off the display price.

So, if you actually crawled out of your parent's basement, gave up your job at MucBurger, got an education, become a professional, started making tons of $$, became an outstanding citizen of the USofA by buying lots of stuff, and learned the fine art of conversing with the morons who troll as ACs on /., you'd find that your Dell is not in the same league as my Apple. Next you'll be mouthing off that your Kea is better than my BMW. (I would have actually gotten a Jag, but my patients expect me to drive a Beemer. Ah well!)

Generally, I don't give professional advice for free (the AMA frowns on that kinda behavior). But for you, kiddo, here it is, gratis: Forget about your mommy. Return her panties at once! Move out. Get a job - a Real Job. Drink some kool-aid: Job's kool-aid. You'll find its a lot better that the Dell Dude's reefers. [cnn.com] And remember, get your drugs only from an person certified by the AMA.

You are welcome. It was my pleasure.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8982379)

Uh, you're an idiot.

The Dell is 1600x1200, that's a whole whopping 8% difference.

How's that foot taste moron?

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8982961)

The only thing you use a $2000 display for is watching movies?

Nice.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8984559)

The funny thing is that on their laptops the positions are reversed: Dell offers higher resolutions than Apple there.

Apple 23" is $2000? Planar 20" for $1000 shipped. (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980960)


A lot of LCD for your money. No fancy designs, just a straight OEM ship.

Buy two, and place them side by side. Ownage.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8979094)

A Dell monitor? BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Maybe you can hook it up to you Compaq eh? Now you're FLYING! What an idiot. I wouldn't buy a Dell ANYTHING for two dog turds and a bowl to put them in.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8979622)

You'd rather keep the bowl and two dog turds?

You are a very, very strange person.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8979642)

Dell generally uses Samsung panels.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (1)

dchamp (89216) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979460)

"Beautiful" is very subjective. I know a lot of people like them - I personally think the clear plastic look is ugly. I can't imagine that the easel style design allows for very good adjustment.

It would be nice if other monitor manufacturers would produce units with the same screen. Apple doesn't build the LCD screen, they just buy them from someone and put them in their monitor, just like the Dell or Gateway branded monitors.

I've been shopping around for a new LCD monitor. My Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop has a wonderful 15.4" 1920x1200 LCD screen. So far I haven't found any decent monitors, other than the these Apple units, that offer a wide-aspect LCD with higher than 1280x768 resolution.

Ideally, I'd like a 17 to 19" wide-screen that did 1920x1280, and had a "conventional" LCD screen look, and a nice adjustable stand.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (2, Informative)

dbirchall (191839) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980934)

It would be nice if other monitor manufacturers would produce units with the same screen. Apple doesn't build the LCD screen, they just buy them from someone and put them in their monitor, just like the Dell or Gateway branded monitors.
The Sony SDM-P232W/B [amazon.com] uses the same panel as the Apple Cinema 23HD (but with a different anti-glare coating, I've heard). It also costs more than the Apple one, but I believe it has multiple DVI inputs.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (1)

dchamp (89216) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981060)

That Sony looks nice... it's bigger than what I want. A quick google reveals that you can find one for $1799. I found the Apple 23" Cinema for $1723 on pricewatch, but I'd need the adapter to use it on my PC, and that's another $100.

Its a very nice monitor but 2k is a lot of money (1)

UnseenEnigma (743397) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979522)

and btw its extra wide too. They use them here at bcit in the broadcast building for video editing. I got the whole sales bitch for a mac pusher because i was bored on the open house day. Nice stuff.

I dont see why everyone hates the xbox and macs after all they can run linux

Re:Its a very nice monitor but 2k is a lot of mone (1)

dbirchall (191839) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980949)

Considering that Sony's version [amazon.com] costs more... I dunno. Yes, $2K was a lot of money to spend on a monitor, and my wife gave me a lot of nasty looks, but still - it just wouldn't have been right to hook something lesser up to my dual G5.

Re:Its a very nice monitor but 2k is a lot of mone (3, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981039)

I got the whole sales bitch for a mac pusher because i was bored on the open house day. Nice stuff.

There's a Freudian slip you don't see every day. ;-)

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979709)

Curious... Apple don't actually make TFT's, they just rebrand them. Who are they buying their gear from, so I can just buy direct from source, get a great monitor at a great price and without being stuck with the little fruit icon?

Usually Apple buys displays from Sony or Mitsubishi, these being in the upper echelons of display quality, certainly in the CRT space. I bet Sony has a great TFT display of equal quality to the Apple rebrand, and even with Sony's inflated pricing it'd be cheaper.

Re:Apple 23" is $2000 (2, Informative)

dbirchall (191839) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980887)

In fact, Sony does offer a 23" display built around the same panel Apple uses for the Cinema 23HD. I think it's the SDM-P232. Last time I checked it had multiple DVI inputs... and cost a few hundred more than the Cinema 23HD.

I don't think the panel is made by Sony... I forget who does make it.

As a projection TV owner (1, Redundant)

linzeal (197905) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977882)

I often thought one day I would purchase a nice new LCD TV and all my problems with space would be over in our cramped loft. Well one day I did and I regretted it instantly because instead of sticking with the 50" projection TV that was reasonably crisp I went out and bought some 26" Gateway that was being firesaled when I should of got something like this [amazon.com] at the minimium.

Now we have the 26" $2000mistake behind a couch displaying visuals for winamp and sometimes someone uses it for TV but we lost the remote a long time ago and have not had the good sense to buy a new one. In short, make sure it is big enough for you.

Re:As a projection TV owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8979127)

This is too true. Only people that want to become monks go down in TV sizes, when you have an SO and kids they always want bigger and bigger.

Re:As a projection TV owner (1)

galaxy300 (111408) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980309)

Wny do you consider the 26" a mistake? I'm considering the 26" JVC or Toshiba as a new HDTV and possibly a montior for the "living room" pc. I'm not too worried about resolution for the PC as all I am going to do is surf the web and stream some MP3's. Although it does need to function well as a TV. What do you feel is missing?

By the way, the size is perfect for the size of my apartment, so I'm not too worried about that.

Re:As a projection TV owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981349)

the drop in size might be acceptable if you were getting a better image, but the image quality sucks hard, it's so grainy and ghosty that it just bugs the hell out of me when I try to watch it

it's not dissimilar to the digital projection that is slowly replacing film projectors at movie theatres, with a quarter of the resolution and horrid aliasing and artifacting it makes me want to shoot the marketers that have convinced world + dog that digital is a panacea in and of itself

Large LCD Screens as monitors (4, Interesting)

dfinney (210092) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977900)

You'll see these fairly often at tradeshows. They make it easy to see the software from a relative distance during a software demonstration.

I bought a large screen LCD for my company to use during such a software demo. We wanted to keep it in our development lab, figuring that a huge monitor would be a Good Thing.

The unfortunate reality is that, for reasons that remain mysterious to me, the maximum resolution when driven by a computer is only 1280 x 768. This means that you're not getting a massive, high resolution display; you're just getting really big pixels.

I spent some time searching, but couldn't find _any_ manufacturers whose large screens could be driven to 1080i HDTV resolution (1920 x 1080). Quite a disappointment.

At a recent AFCEA show, I saw a 3000 x 3000 pixel large screen flat panel display in the Matrox booth. They said it was a prototype display made by Toshiba. They said it would be available in about 1 year for $30K.

Is there someone out there with an EE type background that can explain why, with pixel addressability of 1920 x 1080 we're not seeing any LCDs that can be used at this resolution as computer monitors?

Re:Large LCD Screens as monitors (3, Interesting)

Harik (4023) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978094)

You can, and I've done it. The reality, though, is that HDTV is designed to display, well, TV. It's very good at video. It's incredibly crappy at B&W text.

Also, 1080i is interlaced, so your video card would have to output interlaced signal. Not worth it.

Summary: Save the HDTV for conference rooms and trade shows.

Re:Large LCD Screens as monitors (4, Informative)

justMichael (606509) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978118)

Here is one [apple.com] , that's close, not exactly 1920 x 1080, but 1900 x 1200.

Or if you really have money to burn, you can get one from IBM [ibm.com] at a blistering 3840 x 2400 for a measly $8k plus a grand or so for a card to drive it.

Re:Large LCD Screens as monitors (2, Funny)

hawkstone (233083) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980382)

Ah, yes. The T221. Formerly knows as the "Big Bertha" display. I saw a prototype of this thing running Quake 3. At that time, it required four separate computers with specialized software and a custom, physically very large piece of hardware.

Yes, that's right, I saw $100,000 worth of equipment used to play Quake at 3840x2400. I cried tears of joy that day, not just for the beauty of the sight, but for the thought that dozens of people, in triumphant togetherness, were able to work so hard for so long so that I might behold the wonder of 9 megapixel Quake.

Re:Large LCD Screens as monitors (1)

nukebuddy (258109) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981476)

Or if you really have money to burn, you can get one from IBM at a blistering 3840 x 2400 for a measly $8k

The 3849x2400 IBM T221 is only ~$3000 brand-new on eBay [ebay.com] . It is $4000 at tigerdirect [tigerdirect.com] .

Re:Large LCD Screens as monitors (1)

mst76 (629405) | more than 9 years ago | (#8983890)

It's pretty amusing that IBM misspelled "kernels" on their web site :-)

Re:Large LCD Screens as monitors (1)

SillySnake (727102) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980413)

Go to your local Electronics store and ask how many TV's they have that put out 1920x1080.. I think Mitsubishi makes one.. It's a 73in.. Most just do 1280x740 or whatever.. It's really pretty shabby.. Why anyone would go out and buy a tv that can't even show full HD quality is beyond me..

Uh... (2, Insightful)

arrow (9545) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977938)

Most likely he he was trying to politely convey "we would rather you didn't come in off the street and hook your laptop up to our $3000 floor display"

You know, if your laptop was whacked out and outputting the wrong voltages (or something, im no electronics major), you could damage the inputs. They might not notice even notice untill the future buyer brings it back.

Re:Uh... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8978316)

You're thinking in terms of 80's display technology.

Mordern display won't even attempt to display things outside their range and the inputs are protected from over/under-voltage similar to an RS-232 port (tough suckers they are; at least the true-to-spec ones are).

Re:Uh... (1)

sr180 (700526) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980185)

Does he want to sell a tv or not? Let the original poster try his laptop and he might make a sale. Dont let him try it, he'll potentially lose a sale to somewhere that will let him try it. Customer service these days is really in the shitter.

Standard TVs? (1)

colinramsay (603167) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977950)

Is it possible/practical to use a standard 32inch or so TV as a computer monitor? I'm not talking about intensive use, just maybe web surfing with the text size turned up and then a custom interface for media playing....

Any thoughts?

Re:Standard TVs? (3, Informative)

sahala (105682) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978222)

I have one of my old computers hooked up to a 32" Sony. Watching quicktime trailers, playing silly flash games, downloading and watching a movie off MovieLink, and playing music with visualizations is pretty good.

Browsing the web, however, is a pain in the ass. Text is very hard to read, even with the font sizes cranked up.

Using a TV as monitor for playing media is a viable solution, however, especially if you have your hi-fi sound system in the proximity of your TV. It's much nicer to kick back and listen to mp3s on the couch rather than at your desk.

Re:Standard TVs? (1)

colinramsay (603167) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978678)

Is it a new Sony? Like a HDTV/Digital (I believe digital is the terminology in the UK, it's well confusing) capable one? I was under the impression that these have higher resolution and refresh rates so they would be better for computer stuff...

Do you have Teletext in the US? The text on that is very readable... I'd like the equivalent on the TV I suppose, just for the web. Also, what are games like on a TV like that?

Re:Standard TVs? (1)

sahala (105682) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980278)

I've got a standard Sony Trinitron. Nothing special. I've seen teletext and it is readable, but it's quite big and blocky. It'll be hard to get a computer to output something like that.

Re:Standard TVs? (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981826)

Digital is not the terminology in the UK: The UK and Europe have no plans yet for HDTV. Digital is all the channels deliverd over cable and satellite, and with the broadcast "freeview" digital box. Analog is the basic 5 channels that you can pick up without a decoder box.

In the US and places where they are proposing to implement HDTV, it willbe deliverd only over digital channels, because digital channels can use compression and cut the bandwidth requirement massively. Plus, of course, digital channels don't suffer from noise (except for compression artefacts).

Re:Standard TVs? (1)

planetmn (724378) | more than 9 years ago | (#8983467)

Plus, of course, digital channels don't suffer from noise

Not true. While a digital signal may not be as susceptible to noise as an analog signal, the digital cable is sent using a 64-QAM (or similar) modulation scheme. This can most definately suffer from noise, which is why the modulation scheme is chosen based on the channel's SNR (as well as other reasons too). -dave

Re:Standard TVs? (4, Funny)

woobieman29 (593880) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978392)

You little whippersnappers must be too young to remember the days when hooking your computer up to the TV was your ONLY option? In my day, we had to hook our Commodore 64 up to a 13" Zenith with vacuum tubes - and we liked it!

Re:Standard TVs? (2, Interesting)

colinramsay (603167) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978784)

No way man, I used to have a tv (sans remote!) connected to a Commodore 16, then a Spectrum of some variety, and then a Commodore 64. My mate and I used to argue about which was best - the 64 or the Plus4, but then we always were sad bastards.
br/? Anyway, my first monitor was for the PC - just before that I had an Amiga which had a weird device called a TV modulator.

Whippersnappers! I'll show you ... (1)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981448)

TV!?!! TV?!! BAH!

In *my* day, we only had paper to write our C code on, and no whitetape, so it had better be right the first time!

All this dynamic display stuff has been -terrible- on programming, I tell ya. One disappointment after the other... ;)

short answer no. long answer hdtv (1)

UnseenEnigma (743397) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979560)

read subject. i have nothing else to say on the topic. yes i get it long answer not really all that long. deal with it ok i dont feal like stretching a very simple point out to a bunch of pointless garbage. Oops too late

Opposing design phillosophies (4, Insightful)

psyconaut (228947) | more than 9 years ago | (#8977951)

TV: continuous tones, smooth (i.e.) slow transitions, discrete pixels

Monitor: clearly defined, sharp, ability to invididually see a pixel.

Ipso facto: you're probably going to be disappointed trying to use a TV as a computer display.

-psy

My take on it, as an LCD HDTV owner (4, Informative)

hawkstone (233083) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978244)

Keep in mind that HDTV does not even mean a full 1080 lines of resolution necessarily.

Specifically, I have an HDTV LCD rear projection 50". Its native resolution is 1280x720, but with a little overscan you have to cut that down to about 1200x680 (roughly). I believe this resolution is typically the same for DLP rear projections and LCOS. I suspect that LCD flat panels are the same. Some DLP TVs appeared to me to have a limited color depth and too much dithering was apparent. I don't think this is an inherent problem with the technology, however, as DLP projectors work quite well hooked up to computers.

An "EDTV" plasma flat-panel TV is (IIRC) 768x480. That is clearly inadequate for use as a computer monitor. I think even the HDTV plasmas are commonly only 720 vertical lines. The few TVs that actually have 1080 lines of resolution are mostly CRT tubes (e.g. CRT RP).

The most important question is what the native resolution of these LCD flat panels is, and whether or not there is a computer-compatible connector that makes full use of it. For example, my TV I specifically got because it has both RGB (HD15) and DVI inputs, and I can get a resolution that maps directly to the pixels on the screen.

Unfortunately, this resolution (again, 1280x720) is not really adequate for full-time use as a computer monitor. It's great for the occasional web surfing, but I wouldn't want to do any real work on it.

In summary: If you can deal with the resolution, and there is a good connector on the TV (DVI is ideal, VGA is acceptable), then you will be fine. There's nothing particularly wrong with the attributes of these LCD TVs for use as computer monitors, in general, including color depth and pixel response times. (Once you start looking at other technologies like CRT RP, DLP, and Plasma, these other issues may become problematic.)

Re:My take on it, as an LCD HDTV owner (3, Informative)

lemonboy (456438) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978580)

with that explanation be sure to note what the NATIVE resolution is of the "monitor" you are looking at. Sun has rebranded Sony's 24" monitors in the past. Here is Sony's latest:
http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP .enfinity /eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-S tart;sid=h-qxIaP1nNqxRON4Ksy7Kuz6sgnNIdpGgmw=?Cate goryName=cpu_Displays_FlatPanelLCDs_20%22&Dept=cpu &TemplateName=item%2fsy_item_b&ProductSKU=SDMP232W %2fB

Re:My take on it, as an LCD HDTV owner (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978757)

If you can deal with the resolution...
But who would want to? Low rez computer graphics looks worse on a big screen.

The monitor I'm using right now (a tired old Viewsonic M90) has less than half the screen real-estate of your HDTV, yet can display almost twice as many pixels! I don't see anything on my screen that would look better on a big screen..

Broadcast and computer video have always been apples and oranges, despite their superficial similarity.

Re:My take on it, as an LCD HDTV owner (1)

hawkstone (233083) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980276)

> > if you can deal with the resolution...

> But who would want to?

Got to agree with you there. You'll note I also called that resolution "not really adequate for full-time use as a computer monitor". At the same time, for some applications bigger is better. Particularly, this resolution is quite adequate for most 3D games, but you better turn on the best damn antialiasing your card can handle.

ops?! (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978845)

Unfortunately, this resolution (again, 1280x720) is not really adequate for full-time use as a computer monitor. It's great for the occasional web surfing, but I wouldn't want to do any real work on it.

Why? I use everyday to work 1280x720 (using it right now)... and I'm curious....

Re:ops?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8978912)

Because its not enough screen real estate -- at least for most of us.

Re:ops?! (1)

hawkstone (233083) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980294)

> Why? I use everyday to work 1280x720 (using it right now)... and I'm curious....

It depends entirely on (a) what kind of work you are doing, and (b) your style.

I do coding full-time, and I typically have 6 half-screen-height shells and 3 full-height editor windows open at a time, or maybe 4 editors and 4 shells. This gives me 600 lines of text on the screen at once. I'm running a dual-monitor setup with both monitors at 1600x1200. And yet, I could probably make good use of three monitors.

Re:ops?! (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981852)

That's just a matter of taste. I use 1280*1024, but I nearly always have the main window I am looking at maximised so I only use one window at a time, but change frequently.

Nothing wrong with your way (or mine), but it is still personal preference.

Oh! the horror! the lack of money! (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 9 years ago | (#8982860)

I use this amazing res in a 15" CRT because it won't go 1280x1024... (LG520i)
and I use tabs a lot, tabbed browser, tabbed IDE (KDevelop), tabbed terminal (konsole) or konsole + screen (better keyboard support, can detach. the day konsole can detach a terminal session, I won't use screen anymore!)

Re:My take on it, as an LCD HDTV owner (1)

SillySnake (727102) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980456)

Lets not also forget that with any LCD projection screen, about 20% of the screen is the blank space between the pixels.. With DLP you've only got about 10% empty.. We don't have an LCOS on the floor where I work yet, so I haven't done a great deal of research into them.. But I belive that they have a higher resolution by default.. With 20% blank space, or even 10%, you're not going to want to use it as a monitor..

Re:My take on it, as an LCD HDTV owner (1)

hawkstone (233083) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980921)

You're right -- DLPs do tend to have less blank space. Your numbers seem high, but not unbelievable. However, from a proper viewing distance neither one should be noticable, even if you are using it as a monitor instead of a television. If they are, you're sitting too close.

Projector (4, Insightful)

Coppit (2441) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978338)

Given that you can get an X1 projector for a lot less, why would you try to put a huge, expensive TV on your desktop? ;)

Re:Projector (2, Informative)

UID1000000 (768677) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979407)

Coppit, projectors bulbs last anywhere from 1000-3000 hours. They run at a high wattage and they're expensive to repair. The average bulb (thinking NEC, Dell, Infocus, Toshiba, ViewSonic) is from 180 - 400 dollars a piece.

So up front the investment is great but the downside is the replacement of the parts, bulbs, color wheel, ballast, etc.

Re:Projector (1)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980791)

Ummm ... because I like to be able to see my screen when the lights are on?

Re:Projector (1)

UID1000000 (768677) | more than 9 years ago | (#8982268)

with a 2000 lumen system you could see it in almost any interior lighting setup. I recently evaluated a Toshiba MU-700 (or something close to that) and I setup a 1000-1200 lumen, Toshiba P5, system next to it. The 2000 lumen system looked incredible in comparison.

Then again the 2000 lumen system was $1649.00 compared to the 1K mark for the lesser.

Video-Fu (5, Funny)

kurosawdust (654754) | more than 9 years ago | (#8978352)

I want to reduce the clutter in my family room and upgrade to highdef? Is it time?

When you can snatch the DVI adapter out of my hand, grasshopper, it will be time for you to upgrade.

Re:Video-Fu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8982648)

...But, there is no DVI adapter....

Does your laptop output HDCP over DVI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8978771)

These TV's *may* only take a HDCP DVI signal (I could be wrong here). My Sony will only display via the DVI port if the signal is HDCP.

Laptop on Floor Display (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8978775)

Someone earlier said that they wouldnt let you hook up a laptop to the 3000 dollar floor model... I believe that most stores would. they'll do anything if they think you'll buy it, go in and give it a shot, worst case they'll say no. I would like to hear the answer to this question as well, which nobody has yet to come up with.

monitor setup (0, Offtopic)

100lbHand (676832) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979179)

Something i have noticed, is that a lot of people don't know how to change the position and size of the monitor image. I strech it out to the very edge of the screen, but everyone else leaves it at the monitors default with these big black boarders surounding their desktop. Why doesn't anyone else?

Re:monitor setup (1)

BigDish (636009) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979480)

Because with CRT's, the closer you get to the edge of the screen, the greater the distortions (poor convergence, poor focus, poor linearity) become. IE if I stretch the image to the very edge, the convergance will be off in the corner, but if I leave a .25" gap on each side, I have significantly less misconvergance on the edges of the image.

I have a 42 inch Sony LCD RPTV (4, Interesting)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 9 years ago | (#8979944)

that I use as a computer monitor with my HTPC. The resolution is not high enough for dedicated work, it's OK for websurfing if I want to look something up on IMDB but the resolution is too low for any sustained work. It is however pretty good for playing Civ III or other PC games and as soon as I get some time I'm going to set it up to play upsampled DVDs.
I never had any luck using the DVI inputs on the TV with my video cards, I'd end up with horribly low resolutions or weird looking stretched screens. I finally went out and got an ATI video card and one of ATI's VGA to component video converters and that worked pretty well with Powerstrip to give me a resolution of 1280 by 680.
Again, it's not perfect, but it's not bad for light web surfing, playing games, etc.

I think I know why (4, Insightful)

Daniel Rutter (126873) | more than 9 years ago | (#8980777)

> why can't they work?

I talk about this in one of my letters columns [dansdata.com] .

In brief: They will work, but only for suitably small values of "work", because they'll only accept DVI-HDTV input. That's a subset of regular DVI that only supports a few scan rates. If you can't goose your video card into outputting the resolution and frequency combinations the screen wants, you're out of luck.

Samsung 22" (1)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981443)

Is my next monitor. 1280x720 pixels in 22" diagonal at my age is great...

At the moment we use a 15" Samsung which is fed by computer, analog sat tuner and digital sat tuner.

15" is OK for analog TV viewing. The idea behind a 22" wide XGA screen is that it will be good for DVB-S and DVD too. I also need more pixel real estate for work. 1024x768 DVB-S TV is awesome quality - real blacks and whites and sharp clean images.

When we want to watch movies on a big screen we go to a cinema... Or other half brings home beamer from work...

My setup (3, Informative)

Shaheen (313) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981740)

I don't know if I'm too late to comment on this story, but here goes anyway...

I personally have a HTPC (home theater PC) setup in my apartment. The display is a Samsung HLN4365W DLP set. Not the same as LCD, but it accepts the same types of input as a standard HDTV device: DVI, Component, etc.

My PC is a standard Windows XP box. Shuttle XPC SN45G case/mobo, Athlon 1800+, 512MB RAM, WinTV PVR, and a Radeon 9600 Pro.

My display's native resolution is 1280x720p. By default, my video card does not have this resolution enabled. An application called PowerStrip has been around for a good long while that excels at doing things like adjusting vertical/horizontal scan rates, resolutions, etc. in most video cards' firmware & drivers. Note that the display worked fine at 800x600, but then I wasn't making much good use of the widescreen aspect ratio and DVDs from the HTPC were letterboxed in the 8x6 area of the screen, which looked retarded.

So will your laptop work? It's not 100% clear that it will since your laptop probably has an integrated video chipset that PowerStrip may not support. Of course, you might just get lucky and it might work out of the box, too.

The agony of a non-HDTV! (4, Informative)

gregarican (694358) | more than 9 years ago | (#8982559)

I recently assembled a VIA EPIA mini-ITX box to integrate into my home theater system. The idea was having a small form factor that would fit into the entertainment center, utilize an RCA out video port for my 51" rear projection TV, and operate with a wireless keyboard/trackball device. All of that came together fine. On paper at least.

Where I was extremely let down was in the quality of the TV display. I don't have an HDTV, just an older rear projection set. I have to enable the Windows Accessibility Options in order to even come close to reading the fonts on the screen. Really ugly Windows High Contrast Black (large fonts). Yuck.

When I called VIA to get the display driver specs versus typical TV specs I was told that 800x600 was the best resolution I could hope for. And that this sort of setup is primarily intended for watching videos. Any onscreen fonts are really pushing it.

Can't complain in that the whole setup was around $600 in all, but I am still amazed at how average TV screen resolution is so much poorer than what a home PC can put out. I guess HDTV would be a good step up for me, but then again I am not relishing shelling out $1500-2000 only 5-6 years after getting my current set.

[/rant]

Re:The agony of a non-HDTV! (1)

DavidYaw (447706) | more than 9 years ago | (#8983771)

I recently assembled a VIA EPIA mini-ITX box to integrate into my home theater system. The idea was having a small form factor that would fit into the entertainment center, utilize an RCA out video port for my 51" rear projection TV, and operate with a wireless keyboard/trackball device. All of that came together fine. On paper at least.

Composite video is bad. Really bad. Very low bandwidth. Switch to S-Video out (if your ITX supports it), and you'll see a huge increase in video quality.

Re:The agony of a non-HDTV! (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 9 years ago | (#8983847)

Good point. I do have an S-Video output on my EPIA 5000 mainboard but my Sony receiver doesn't have an S-Video input. I could go directly into the TV's S-Video input as a test but will bit the bullet for now since I want to route everything through my receiver.
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