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HDTV or PC Monitor?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 15, 2008 9:49:02 PM

I am merging my Hi-FI and DVD setup with my PC. They are currently in too separate rooms and I will be merging them into one room.

I have been use to a 32” CRT TV for watching DVD’s and have been using a 20” 1680x1050 Viewsonic VG2030wm monitor for my PC. Both of these screens have to go as 20” will be too small and my 32” TV, although good in its day (only 4 years old!) and still better picture quality than many cheap TFT’s is not good enough for a PC monitor.

My dilemma though is whether to get a HDTV or a PC monitor. I will be sitting just over 2 meters away from the screen. I have done some testing with my existing setup. My 20” monitor is too small for movies and any text is too small to read at this distance.

Option 1). A HDTV would be the right size to fix the text reading problem but I would be limited to 1366x768 resolution on a 32” TV unless I spend about £900.00+ on a 37” to get 1920x1080. There are some cheaper 1080P HDTV’s available but am I right in thinking that if they are much cheaper than this then they must loose in image quality somewhere?

Option 2). A 24” or 26” 1920x1200 resolution monitor. There seem to be a nice selection of these from many manufacturers, with a nice range of price and quality, some cheapo ones and some silly expensive but fantastic image quality ones. These though will likely have the same problems that my 20” monitor has with not being able to read text at the distance I will be sitting.

My budget is around £500-00.

I play slow paces strategy games and no twitch shooters.

I watch all sorts of DVD’s; action, music, documentaries.

This system is not used for TV as we have Sky in another room. This room is purely for music, DVD and games.

What recommendation do you have for this dilemma? Do I get a monitor and hope I can read text at a distance, or get a HDTV and risk loosing picture quality/resolution?
What recommendations do you have for your suggestions?

Thank in advance for any help!

More about : hdtv monitor

February 17, 2008 3:03:50 PM

If it helps I have narrowed down my choice to 3 screens:

Samsung LE37M87BDX/XEU 37” HDTV 1920x1080 £700.00

Samsung LE26R87BDX 26” HDTV 1366x768 £470.00

BenQ FP241W 24” Monitor 1920x1200 £445.00

Which one would you think would be best for a 2.4 meter / 8 feet viewing distance?

Would a HDTV be a good replacement for a monitor? The extra inputs could be useful for future hardware like games consoles but I will be mainly using a PC on the screen for Internet, gaming, Word and playing DVD’s.

I could change the resolution of a monitor so that text is larger but the strategy games I play have important text that I need to read and then it seems pointless having a small high definition monitor at a non native resolution and more logical to go for a HDTV.

Any comments from someone with experience using a HDTV or 24”+ monitor would be appreciated.
February 17, 2008 4:10:39 PM

I don't know about a 24" monitor, but my primary and only monitor I use, is an HDTV. If you are using it at a 8 foot viewing distance, the HDTV is perfect. At closer distances, it wouldn't be favorable though. I currently have a USB hub hooked up on my wall close to my sitting couch, that way I have all of my USB devices, keyboards, mice, mic, ect. hooked up with out long wires running everywhere.

The only issue I have ever had while using my HDTV, was when I was using my 7900GS. The Nvidia drivers had horrible scaling features, so games that can't run in 16:9 were pretty much unplayable for me. Also, I was having overscan issues and I had to set the resolution to a custom, non-standard resolution, which made playing some games extremely frustrating. When I switched to my 2900Pro and then to my HD 3850, I've had no problems and the picture quality through it's native HDMI is a lot better.

I hope this helps man, if you have any other questions, I'll try to help you as much as I can. It's really awesome using an HDTV as a monitor and it gets a lot of attention when playing stuff like Crysis and GH3, instead of sitting at a desk.
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February 17, 2008 4:38:19 PM

Go 1080p TV I did and I have no regrets. 42"
February 17, 2008 5:51:39 PM

Damn roadrunner, do you sit that close to that thing? That'd burn my eyes.
February 17, 2008 7:20:53 PM

Thanks for the replies so far!

I think I’m going for a HDTV. I will arrange a viewing at a store to try a few out.

Keep the suggestions coming if you like, and I will let you know how I get on for anyone else thinking of the same!
February 29, 2008 1:13:38 PM

Just a little update:

I checked out a few HDTV’s and bought the Samsung LE32R87BDX 32” for £499.00. Could have got it cheaper online but I got a 5 year warranty with it as well. The 37” 1080P screens looked great but cost £400.00 more and I don’t really have the room. I have an 8800GT and connected my PC to the TV with a DVI to HDMI dongle and HDMI cable. After much experimenting with custom resolutions and reading the NVIDIA forums I have found that the 8800GT cannot do 1360*768, which is my TV’s native resolution. The picture is OK but not great as the 8800GT is using 1280*720 and over scanning to produce this. I’m going to do a bit of experimenting with the desktop resize feature in the NVIDIA control panel and also try an analogue VGA cable. Then I’m going to try a Radeon X800 XL 512MB that I have spare. HDCP isn’t much of an issue as I have no BD or HD DVD drive anyway.
February 29, 2008 3:03:47 PM

I've heard that plasma displays can suffer from burn-in, and if that's the case I would avoid using one for a pc monitor. If you're going LCD, I don't think it matters, but the HDTV is probably the better choice.
February 29, 2008 3:34:42 PM

roadrunner197069 said:
Go 1080p TV I did and I have no regrets. 42"
]http://www.mediafire.com/imgbnc.php/6b59adbb771ffb558ae97e501c8f892a2g.jpg


Agree on the 1080p HDTV. I went with the Sharp Aquos 32" LC-32GP1U, which is a bit more in cost then Sharp regular 32" Aquos.
http://www.sharpusa.com/products/ModelLanding/0,1058,1834,00.html

It comes with 3 HMDI ports and a DVI port, am using for now the HMDI port by way of DVI/HDMI cable. Hopefully when the nVidia 9800 gx2 card comes out I will be able to go HDMI/HDMI connection. By the way, I am running it at Full HD 1080 res. Since if you use the DVI/DVI connection you would have to stretch the screen to get it to fit.
February 29, 2008 4:13:24 PM

FennerMachine said:
Just a little update:

I checked out a few HDTV’s and bought the Samsung LE32R87BDX 32” for £499.00. Could have got it cheaper online but I got a 5 year warranty with it as well. The 37” 1080P screens looked great but cost £400.00 more and I don’t really have the room. I have an 8800GT and connected my PC to the TV with a DVI to HDMI dongle and HDMI cable. After much experimenting with custom resolutions and reading the NVIDIA forums I have found that the 8800GT cannot do 1360*768, which is my TV’s native resolution. The picture is OK but not great as the 8800GT is using 1280*720 and over scanning to produce this. I’m going to do a bit of experimenting with the desktop resize feature in the NVIDIA control panel and also try an analogue VGA cable. Then I’m going to try a Radeon X800 XL 512MB that I have spare. HDCP isn’t much of an issue as I have no BD or HD DVD drive anyway.




I believe that inside the Nvidia driver (in the Nvidia Control Panel, there is an option to set a custom resolution. There is for the GTS at least, I don't have any first hand experience with the GT.
February 29, 2008 4:50:39 PM

I would have loved to have got a 1080P TV but the cheapest good ones are well above my budget. I could have got a 26” 1080P HDTV with built in DVD player from my parts suppliers for less than £400.00 but they didn’t know the make and they even said it was a cheapo unknown brand. I’ve got home now and tried a VGA cable. Picture is fantastic now! Not quit as defined as my 20” monitor but that’s OK, I was expecting that, plus I will be sitting 8 feet away once I’ve finished sorting all my other connections and bits out. The overall picture is better though, much more accurate colours. The NVIDIA control panel has a custom resolution option but it does not work very well. I’ve checked and found many others with similar problems with there 8xxx cards. Hopefully a future driver will fix it but I’m not that worried as its working now.
February 29, 2008 5:40:59 PM

Well from the distance that you were planning on using it from, you'd probably have set it on 1280x720 anyways. I know that's what I do with mine, even though I can go up higher.
February 29, 2008 5:59:04 PM

I'm using a 32" Teco HDTV.

Not tried HDMI but fine on 1366x768....

TV also has in built freeview and plenty ports in the back. 1080i aswell.
Only cost me £369 and been very impressed with it. Im sure you could get a similar 37" for less than £500
February 29, 2008 6:17:33 PM

42" Vizio here. Looks fine at 1366x768 but at 1080p text gets real fuzzy and nothing I tried made it look good enough for me. Im happy at 1366x768 for watching movies and surfing the net. Dont forget a little WoW now and again.
June 18, 2008 4:37:33 AM

I am contemplating going with a 37" Sharp gaming 1080p HDTV, but struggling on how to find conveniences to set up gaming system on a couch. Wire messes, wired Keyboard and wired Mouse table of some sort, anyone find a good table of some type that aligns well with a typical couch height?
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