Using an LCD TV as computer monitor

Discussion in 'Televisions & Displays' started by MDS, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    Does anyone use an LCD/LED TV as a computer monitor?

    I have a typical 23" LCD monitor and it's not big enough. Large monitors are too expensive and top out about 30". Largeish (say 32" - 40") TVs are dirt cheap, especially second-tier unknown brands like Sceptre, when Newegg has a sale (which is practically every day. :))

    Just wondering if anybody has used a 32" or larger TV as a monitor and how it is working out for you. Realistically, I think 32" (1080p to match the graphics card) may be as large as I would need to go because anything larger and you'd probably be moving your head from side to side to see everything.
    MDS,
  2. brianedm Audioholic General

    brianedm
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    From what I've read you'll probably have issues with fonts being fuzzy and hard to read. If you're primarily gaming or stuff like that shouldn't be an issue. I've never tried personally, but did look into something similar a couple years ago. maybe get the tv and keep your current monitor in a dual set up?
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  3. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    Conference rooms around the world use LCD flat panels as their primary displays. They don't have the resolution of the larger LCD monitors, but at 1080p resolution, you get very acceptable results with a quality connection.

    As a commercial A/V integrator full time, I see displays from 42" to 80" on a regular basis and they look great when fed a native 1080p source. No issues at all.
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  4. brianedm Audioholic General

    brianedm
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    BMX is the expert. If he says it'll work I'd go with him. I was just going off some research I've done online, he's got real world experience :)
  5. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    The only thing I'd be worried about is response time, especially on second tier units. Games can call for some pretty quick action that could cause some ghosting on the display.
  6. its phillip Audioholic Ninja

    its phillip
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    I used a sharp 40" tv for a monitor for awhile. It was ok, but 1080p is not enough for the size. Went back to a smaller 24" 1920x1200 display. I'd rather have a 27" 1440p or 30" 1600p monitor but as you say they are relatively pricey.
  7. Hi Ho Audioholic Samurai

    Hi Ho
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    The question is how close are you sitting to the screen? If you're sitting the same distance from a 32" 1080p screen as you do from your 23 inch screen then you may find that you can easily pick out individual pixels and text will not be all that sharp. 24" is the max for a PC monitor at 1080p as far as I'm concerned (at a normal, short distance).

    You can get a really nice display for under $400 if you are willing to venture on to Ebay.

    Achieva Shimian 27" Monitor Review - 1440p IPS Display at Under $350! | PC Perspective
  8. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    You can get name-brand 27" monitors (like Viewsonic) for around $300. But I'm not so sure the jump from 23" to 27" will really make any difference so was considering a regular TV a bit larger.

    This is a normal office desk setup so I'm only about 2 feet away from the monitor. Given the rule of thumb of 1.5 times the screen diagonal as optimum for HD, I was thinking a 32" or 36" might work out ok.
    MDS,
  9. its phillip Audioholic Ninja

    its phillip
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    Those name brand 27" monitors for $300 will be TN panels and 1920x1080 instead of IPS and 2560x1440 like the shimian/catleap/etc monitors from ebay.
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  10. avnetguy Audioholic Chief

    avnetguy
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    Guess it depends on how you plan to use it and how often. We have a 42" LCD at work in our conference room and it works well from a distance, 5' to 10' for presentations and such. As a computer monitor, positioned near arms length, the 42" looks a little crappy when compared to a real monitor. I use my 24" LCD at 1600 x 1200 or 1920 x 1200, depending on what I'm working on, and it looks much better than the TVs I've seen.

    Steve
  11. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    Understood. I used to buy 'professional' series IPS panels but not so much any more. I have a cheap Acer 23", which is TN, and it is fine. If you stand up or move off axis the colors wash out but I'm not giving presentations in my home office so it doesn't really matter to me. As long as I'm seated and looking straight ahead it's good enough.
    MDS,
  12. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    I've hooked up the laptop to the 55" in the living room many times. Works great from the couch :)

    A buddy of mine uses a 32" LCD TV as his monitor for CAD at home and it is almost too big because of how much you have to move the mouse. I use a 24" widescreen at work and it is plenty for me.
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  13. jostenmeat Audioholic Spartan

    jostenmeat
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    I think 1.5x distance is more for not going too past the full resolution of 1080p. IOW, if you get a higher rez you can be closer to it now. But even 1080p doesn't stop me from being significantly closer to displays, including monitors, and it never slows me down with the viewing angle recs I give out here, particularly with PJ setups.

    So with that said, I would prefer a smaller display with higher rez, over the opposite. Unlike moving a couch in a highly awkward position to find a good viewing angle with a small TV, computer monitors are very easy to pull forward. Anyway, these two paragraphs represent my two cents.

    To continue: 23" to 27" is a bigger jump than you might think btw. It's not quite, but actually pretty close to the % increase in display size as going from 42" to 50". (37.6% vs 41.7%.)

    Here are 23" vs 27" vs 30" vs 32" for you (those are some of the number I saw you mention at a glance).

    TV Calculator
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  14. Gemseeker Enthusiast

    Gemseeker
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    I've been using my 40" Samsung 40B650 as a monitor for about two years now. I demo'd for months before getting it since I knew I wanted it to be sharp enough to make reading font easy. And it is.

    Samsungs have some of the highest contrast ratios around, great for black print on a white background, and this particular model came with an "ultra clear panel" which sounds like a bunch of hooey, but I stood in several different stores for hours and used my own movies from home and this TV was better than even the other Samsungs nearby. It did cost more, but I tried buying a cheaper Panasonic and ended up bringing it back because the font was just too blurry.

    I sit about six feet from it and also use it to watch streaming movies and TV from my desktop. It excells at both. My 23" matte-screened Dell monitor (which sits the usual 20" or so from me when I pull it forward) gets very little use any more, mainly when I'm going to do a Photoshop project that will require me to stare really hard at the screen for like six hours and make tiny, delicate movements with my mouse.

    The only drawback to using my Samsung is that I get more eyestrain when reading for a long time (say, over an hour) with my Samsung compared to the matte-finished Dell. This is not due to any blurriness but because of the high contrast (this can be much eased by changing the background color on documents to a moderately darker color, or simply highlighting the text on a web page, converting to medium blue background with white font).

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