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Can I use a computer monitor as a TV using only a cable settop box?

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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August 25, 2013 1:08:00 PM

I am thinking about purchasing a Dell UltraSharp U2713H monitor and I noticed that it has both HDMI and HDCP connectivity. I also have AT&T Uverse TV service and use an HDMI connection to connect my Uverse settop boxes to my televisions. Since the monitor also has an HDMI connection -- and the Uverse settop box does all the IPTV decoding, etc. -- I was wondering if I could directly connect my monitor (or any HD or better monitor with an HDMI port, for that matter) to my settop box (or any cable settop box or external tuner) and have another working TV?

Likewise, could I do the same thing with an AIO like the Dell 2720 or Asus et2702?

I guess my basic question is, why do you need to purchase a comparatively expensive television set with a built-in tuner if a monitor will do when most people having a cable or IPTV external tuner like Uverse or Charter or whatever?

It is an obvious question but I cannot seem to find the answer anywhere. It such an obvious question that I must be overlooking something very obvious.

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a b x TV
a b C Monitor
August 25, 2013 1:19:26 PM
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should work perfectly fine if it has hdmi out on the settop box and hdmi in on the monitor.

difference is that the tv is more conveniant with a tuner built in, audio output and multiple inputs for many devices.

the monitor will also always have better picture quality even against a more expensive tv.
a b x TV
a b C Monitor
August 25, 2013 1:25:46 PM

Quote:
I guess my basic question is, why do you need to purchase a comparatively expensive television set with a built-in tuner if a monitor will do when most people having a cable or IPTV external tuner like Uverse or Charter or whatever?


1. Inch for inch, TV's are cheaper.
2. Varied inputs. A TV will probably have component hookup as well as HDMI, etc. Wii and other older components
3. Speakers. Monitors don't usually have speakers.
4. In my personal case, a 61" 'monitor' would be just a little bit too expensive...:) 
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a b C Monitor
August 25, 2013 2:46:44 PM

I bought the Asus 27 inch PLS, PB278Q - Preferred it over the Dell. Currently $560 (I paid 650 about three months ago).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My Current connected:
Computer 1: DVI (HD7770 2560 x 1440), Using external speakers.
Computer 2: Display Port (HD 7850 2560 x 1440). Using Internal monitor speakers, Not the greatest, but exceptable.
HDMI is connected to a stand-alone DVD recorder with cable input - 1920 x 1080

Only CON is no remote, so have to hit the button on monitor to cycle thru.
August 25, 2013 3:24:04 PM

Tom's Hardware has just become my favorite site. Quick and accurate responses to the questions I need answered. Awesome!


mauller07 said:
should work perfectly fine if it has hdmi out on the settop box and hdmi in on the monitor.

difference is that the tv is more conveniant with a tuner built in, audio output and multiple inputs for many devices.

the monitor will also always have better picture quality even against a more expensive tv.


It "seemed" to me that it would work but I was just curious why I have not heard of anyone doing it before.


USAFRet said:
Quote:
I guess my basic question is, why do you need to purchase a comparatively expensive television set with a built-in tuner if a monitor will do when most people having a cable or IPTV external tuner like Uverse or Charter or whatever?


1. Inch for inch, TV's are cheaper.
2. Varied inputs. A TV will probably have component hookup as well as HDMI, etc. Wii and other older components
3. Speakers. Monitors don't usually have speakers.
4. In my personal case, a 61" 'monitor' would be just a little bit too expensive...:) 


I guess that's the reason that the question peaked my curiosity. It seems that these days, monitors are coming with more input options and even built-in speakers. I (we?) may be a bit ahead of the curve but I am guessing that soon televions with built-in tuners may become a thing of the past. Sort of like over-the-air broadcasting; it's there but who really uses it.


RetiredChief said:
I bought the Asus 27 inch PLS, PB278Q - Preferred it over the Dell. Currently $560 (I paid 650 about three months ago).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My Current connected:
Computer 1: DVI (HD7770 2560 x 1440), Using external speakers.
Computer 2: Display Port (HD 7850 2560 x 1440). Using Internal monitor speakers, Not the greatest, but exceptable.
HDMI is connected to a stand-alone DVD recorder with cable input - 1920 x 1080

Only CON is no remote, so have to hit the button on monitor to cycle thru.


Looking at the Asus PB278Q but one of the reasons I like the Dell UltraSharp U2713H is the USB 3.0 port. I could use the extra USB port.

You do bring up the only downside, however; the lack of a remote control to switch between inputs. Maybe I will look at 2560 x 1440 options with remote controls; that is, if there are any. Being able to switch between input sources remotely would be kond of cool.

Thanks for the help, everyone. I really appreciate it.
August 26, 2013 9:47:02 AM

Far from an expert, and I have not tried it myself, but I have read several articles to the effect that you can use an android phone as a remote for your PC and TV - this one is quite detailed http://www.madrasgeek.com/2012/06/how-to-remote-control....

BTW I have the 24' version of that monitor and am thrilled - I waited for 6 months before buying the Dell as I was waiting for Asus to bring their eqvl model to market in Europe. Finally couldn't wait any longer so had to go with the Dell, which touch wood have hardly any of the issues that hyper critical reviewers point out - and which is ideal for my needs which does not include video editing. If you are into that, or if you are going to use it as your primary TV and are exacting, you may want to make sure that your graphics card is top and should also consider if the slight ghosting that can occur in certain circumstances is an issue for your type of viewing/enjoyment. I understand that the ghosting did not get improved upon with later revisions on the 24", and that the underlying tech causing it is the same as that used on the 27". But again, it is unlikely to affect the vast majority of viewers even if it shouldn't really be occurring given the price - good luck.
a b C Monitor
August 26, 2013 10:20:11 AM

^ That may work IF the Monitor has a Remote reciever built in, Hard to communicate with a NON- listening device.
August 28, 2013 2:38:54 AM

RetiredChief said:
^ That may work IF the Monitor has a Remote reciever built in, Hard to communicate with a NON- listening device.


The PC probably has WiFi Bluetooth etc and is looped with the monitor so why not? Also if it has to work as TV independently of the PC, the screen in question has several USB slots that could take a dongle with the req receiving tech, they cost hardly anything....But I have a feeling that to get best quality from the "TV", certainly HD, one will need to use the graphics card, ie loop through the PC - fairly certain that I read that somewhere else.
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