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Using tv for monitor?

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January 16, 2012 1:54:12 PM

With a HD tv and a video card with a HDMI port, do you just plug and play? Are there any settings you have to mess with to make the picture on the tv smooth or anything?

Ive been thinking about getting a 32" lcd tv and using it as a monitor... any cons to using a tv?


Thanks!

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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
a b C Monitor
January 16, 2012 1:57:05 PM

If it has the same sort of adapter as your computer uses it will just plug and play with a basic driver.

It might be that the TV manufacturer has specific drivers that allow the computer to work better with the TV that you can update to at a later time if you want. Or since its a TV they might just not make any.

Either way, it will work without any real cons as compared to a regular computer monitor. They are basically the same thing.
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January 16, 2012 2:03:25 PM

Ok thanks!

I've been seeing people using 42"+ tv's for gaming rig's and gaming from the couch... but to me, that just doesnt seem logical or comfortable.. so I'd rather take a 32", hell maybe even a 37" and mount it on the wall infront of my desk!
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January 16, 2012 2:21:48 PM

You can easily use a tv as a monitor, but be warned of a very harsh image on the screen using dvi or hdmi cables. I have used 3 tv's that were all 1080p, 2 of them were 60hz and 1 was 120hz. Both of the 60hz had the jaggyness and harsh image, but the 120hz Sony didn't. The best I can tell, the only way to fix this issue is to use a vga cable instead of dvi/hdmi. Vga just seems to smooth everything out like a normal monitor. I'm also not sure if the refresh rate has anything to do with this issue. I would suggest looking in to a dlp tv if you have the room.
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January 16, 2012 2:39:26 PM

Using a TV as a monitor is only advised if you do as you plan and mount it on your wall. I used a 42" 120hz tv for a couple years and it was pretty good for gaming, but any type of un-gaming related task was fairly terrible. TV's just are not optimized for word doc, excel, web surfing. It looks okay but the icons and text can be hard to read and I felt like I was constantly adjusting my resolution and size to accommodate the screen.

keep in mind I was a good 10 to 12 feet away from my tv but at 42" you can't really be that much closer lol. When I bought my 24" 1080p computer specific monitor with HDMI hookups it changed my whole outlook on the value of a good computer monitor. Everything looked better and more crisp and sharp. It just seems to me anyway, that a specific computer monitor is the way to go, they are simply more optimized for your system.
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January 16, 2012 2:59:40 PM

There's a practical limit to how big a screen you can use as a computer monitor. That is assuming you are sitting 2 feet away from the screen as you normally would while working on a computer. The reason for the limit is that there are the same number of pixels on a 55" TV as a 32" TV. The video card simply spaces them further apart and consequently you must be further away from the screen to get a good looking picture. For the same reason don't buy anything but a 1080p TV because there are fewer scan lines. The 1080p will give you the same resolution as nearly all monitors. I'm writing this on a 26" Vizio that I've been using at work for nearly a year and love it. Personally, I think you get much more bang for your buck with a TV.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
a b C Monitor
January 16, 2012 3:21:01 PM

ram1009 said:
There's a practical limit to how big a screen you can use as a computer monitor. That is assuming you are sitting 2 feet away from the screen as you normally would while working on a computer. The reason for the limit is that there are the same number of pixels on a 55" TV as a 32" TV. The video card simply spaces them further apart and consequently you must be further away from the screen to get a good looking picture. For the same reason don't buy anything but a 1080p TV because there are fewer scan lines. The 1080p will give you the same resolution as nearly all monitors. I'm writing this on a 26" Vizio that I've been using at work for nearly a year and love it. Personally, I think you get much more bang for your buck with a TV.


Yeah I've realized that you can't really play Civ V on a 42" TV. :lol: 

It's fine for games that you can use a controller to play on (like Portal 2 or Skyrim) but when you're that up close to a TV I agree that it does kind of defeat the purpose of having a large monitor.
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Best solution

January 16, 2012 4:25:46 PM

I've used several HD TVs as computer monitors. Here are the current problems you may face:

For both LCDs and Plasmas:
- Input latency: Many TVs have a sluggish feel to them because they have a much higher input latency than monitors. This is most noticeable when moving your mouse around. It makes them really annoying for any fast response gaming like first person shooters. Some TVs have a "Gaming mode" which helps reduce this latency so be sure to read some reviews related to gaming prior to making your purchase.

Make sure to connect using the native interface of the TV and computer (if you can help it). For example, if both your TV and computer have HDMI, connect them using an HDMI cable. Don't connect your computer's DVI connection and run it to the HDMI connector of the TV using an adapter as this will cause extra latency. VGA to VGA works well too.

I'd recommend that you get a 1080p set as a 720p will look blurry.

For LCDs:
Response time: Larger LCD TVs have slow response time. This is a limitation of the TV panel and how it refreshes itself. The lower the response time on the panel the better. You may have to do a little digging to find out the response time of a TV. Again, gaming mode may help reduce this if it is implemented to do so.

Flickering: Many LCDs show flickering when used with a computer as it will only detect the 60Hz setting of the TV. This may have changed in the last couple of years but it was true on my 2010 model LG LCD TV.

For Plasma:
Burn in: This can be a problem with images that are left on the TV for too long (ie. game interfaces). Most new plasma TVs (2010 and newer) have little to no burn-in. The 2011 Samsung plasmas are an example of this as I game on my Samsung PN59D8000 for long periods of time with no sign of burn in. Make sure to read reviews that test for burn-in issues.

The Benefits of plasma over LCD is that they have amazingly fast response times and a nicer picture (deeper blacks). As long as they don't have high input latency or burn-in, they make excellent gaming TVs.

That's all that comes to mind from my experiences with PC gaming on TVs. Make sure to adjust the colours of your TV as they may look a little odd compared to your monitor.
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January 16, 2012 5:04:07 PM

I use my 42" Plasma as my second monitor, mainly to watch movies stored on my computer. Basically any video card with the proper output connected to your TV...
and that's it. Is no "rocket science".
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
a b C Monitor
January 16, 2012 5:24:30 PM

drwho1 said:
I use my 42" Plasma as my second monitor, mainly to watch movies stored on my computer. Basically any video card with the proper output connected to your TV...
and that's it. Is no "rocket science".


That's pretty much what I do as well. I have my 42" LCD mainly for watching movies and Blu-Rays. My video card doesn't have a native HDMI-output but it does have a mini-HDMI and I use a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable for that. That's all you really need.
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January 16, 2012 10:09:58 PM

Best answer selected by beitzel15.
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