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Please Help Me Find The Perfect Monitor

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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June 8, 2006 1:10:17 PM

I need to replace my monitor. It's on its last legs.

I'm thinking that this time around I'd like a widescreen LCD, the bigger the better, with at least 1024 pixels vertical. I'd also like it to have a TV tuner and a remote control. I may even mount it on my wall instead of on my desktop. Definately a DVI connector, or HDMI with converter, or whatever. Just no darn D-Sub being the only option. From my PC it's digital all the way.

Basically, I want to watch TV and movies on it AND use it for my computer to game on. So it needs a high refresh rate, but also should be big.

Initially I was actually looking at LCD TVs, but they all seem to have a 768 vertical pixel size. What's up with that? I mean you would think a 32" could handle 1024 vertical! So that sucks. Are there LCD TVs hiding out there that have 1024 vertical?

My budget can go absolutely no higher than $1000 USD. Your help in finding something that even roughly fits my needs will be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and some old games don't support the aspect ratio of a widescreen monitor. Does anyone know of a way to run them in some special software to window them? If not, are there monitors with a mode that pretends to not be widescreen or something? I wouldn't mind wasted black boxes on either side in this mode. I would think that TV signals, not being widescreen, would need to have a similar mode anyway, no?

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June 8, 2006 2:13:33 PM

your asking for a lot. not sure such thing exists. pc moitors are probably what you need. i don't know how much they cost your side but the dell LCD's have most of what you want. my one is the older version. it's 24" with a native of 1920 x 1200. it is only got a DVI with no HDCP but it is very nice. perhaps now they have been replaced you could pick one up cheap.

like i say it and others like it are expensive but much better than LCD tv's from what i have seen.
June 8, 2006 4:58:47 PM

Aha! I found the 1080P HDTV standard, which is 1080 vertical. That helps find some decent LCD TVs that can also be used as computer monitors.

But it doesn't seem to help enough.

I can find what looks like a very nice option, the Sceptre X37SV-Naga ( http://www.sceptre.com/Products/LCD/Specifications/spec... ). It has a 1920x1080 resolution. It has (or at least claims) an 8ms response time. It has both NTSC and ATSC tuners. Basically, it looks like it can do everything I want.

With one flaw.

It's a 37" TV. While that isn't a problem (and would be darn cool), the price tag is more than I wanted to spend. It might take me a while more of saving to be able to get that, and I'm pretty sure my current monitor won't live that long.

It's hard to believe that I can't find a smaller 27" 1080P HDTV for $1000. But then, I'm not sure where to look. I ran across the Sceptre X37SV-Naga by accident.
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June 8, 2006 5:42:59 PM

that actually looks pretty good. the amount of connections would make it good for use with a comp. then again it is also a good size if you were to have it a little bit further away than you would normally use one. a pity its out of your price range.

i am assuming you can can either receive HD channels in 1920 x 1080 or are planning on getting a blu-ray player since you need the maximum res.
June 8, 2006 7:48:35 PM

Actually I don't want the 1080P for the consumer electronics side of quality, but for the resolution for my computer. I don't want to be topped out at something as low as 768 vertical on my PC. At least 1080 is like 1024, which is still small, but livable.
June 8, 2006 7:55:03 PM

hmm small. i suppose if you had the money which hyou don't you could have got the dell 30". it has a res of 2560 x 1600. that is the highest i have heard of.
June 9, 2006 2:01:13 PM

Well, that resolution might be a bit more than my video card could handle running games at. :lol:  I'm thinking somewhere in the 1024-1280 vertical range would work best. I use 1280 at work and am used to it. But I was using 1024 at home and that wasn't so bad ... until my monitor started failing and I had to drop to 768. Yuck. So the 1080 falls right into a good placing in that. But 1600 could be going a bit too far without SLI. (Which I don't have.)

And as it is, I don't think I can even afford the Sceptre. :(  I may end up having to settle for some dinky 768 LCD TV to get most of what I want at a price I can afford. :(  Unless someone knows of something that will fit my needs???

That or buy a cheap crappy replacement CRT monitor until I can afford two grand for a monitor/tv.
June 10, 2006 3:20:30 AM

If your going to go with an LCD/TV for a monitor, I highly recommend you check out Acer's products.
I've owned both a 32" & 37" from them and they are both excellent, the 32" has DVI, 3 component video in, 3 composite, digital out for sound with analog and digital tuners for cable or hdtv. The 37" has all this as well except with an HDMI input to boot.
The 32" in clarity clearly smokes any of the other LCD/TV's I've tried, as it is geared equally for TV and computing purposes.
They run around $1200-$1300 in Canada right now, so I'm guessing they'd be around $999 down there right now.
Beware though if you decide to buy an LCD/TV from a place you can't return it to, make sure you either KNOW what you are getting, or buy it from a place with a return policy. I've been through quite a few LCD/TV's and found so many of them are just not up to par for computer purposes, so don't just jump the gun and buy something because it 'sounds' good, make sure you look at it and check it out all round before you part with your cash for good ;) 
June 12, 2006 5:13:34 AM

If you're stuck with $1000 absolute max budget, you're probably hosed trying to get a decent TV that you can also use as a monitor. No TV in that price range will have 1920x1080 resolution. $1500 (for the Sceptre) is the cheapest 1920x1080 TV I know of.

But if you only want a 27" TV, how much better is that really than a 24" PC monitor? The Dell 2407FPW is a popular, if imperfect choice (but then no LCD is perfect).

Many modern games can handle widescreen, although some (like Battlefield 2) don't handle it particularly well. In the future, though, I would expect widescreen-compatible games to be much more common. Check out widescreengamingforum.com.
June 12, 2006 8:48:49 PM

You might want to take a look at getting a TV tuner for your PC, and using that to watch TV. Then you can get a monitor that meets your other needs (I have yet to find a monitor with a TV tuner that is of any respectable quality, or a flat panel TV that serves well as a computer monitor).

As far as your old, non-widescreen format games go, that is an easy fix. In your device driver settings (for nVidia cards it is under the "Digital Display Properties" tab) you should have a setting that allows you to determine how lower resolutions are displayed on your monitor (ie. scaled to monitor's resolution, displayed at original resolution, or scaled up at the original aspect ratio).
June 13, 2006 2:20:50 PM

Quote:
You might want to take a look at getting a TV tuner for your PC, and using that to watch TV.

Actually, I have one. And as fun as it is, it really doesn't meet my needs for several reasons, but the most obvious and annoying of which is that I can't turn my whole PC on and off at the touch of the power switch on the remote. So if I'm sitting back and decide that I want to watch TV (or turn the TV off) I have to get up and walk across the room to the computer. I'm far too lazy for that.

Quote:
As far as your old, non-widescreen format games go, that is an easy fix. In your device driver settings (for nVidia cards it is under the "Digital Display Properties" tab) you should have a setting that allows you to determine how lower resolutions are displayed on your monitor (ie. scaled to monitor's resolution, displayed at original resolution, or scaled up at the original aspect ratio).
Interesting. Thanks for the tip. I can't say that I've ever noticed this before. I'll have to see if I can find it.
June 13, 2006 2:34:33 PM

Quote:
You might want to take a look at getting a TV tuner for your PC, and using that to watch TV.

Actually, I have one. And as fun as it is, it really doesn't meet my needs for several reasons, but the most obvious and annoying of which is that I can't turn my whole PC on and off at the touch of the power switch on the remote. So if I'm sitting back and decide that I want to watch TV (or turn the TV off) I have to get up and walk across the room to the computer. I'm far too lazy for that.

Ahh, the L factor! I can understand and appreciate that >;o)
June 15, 2006 6:07:01 AM

Looks like that Benq has potential. I'd like to see THG review it first, or get a good look at one myself though.
June 15, 2006 8:33:02 AM

that benq actually looks perfect, now if only they had a bigger model.
im hoping that is unique in the way that it has all the quality of a dedicated lcd computer monitor and with the tv stuff (hdmi, etc..) on the side.

i didn't see mention of a tv tuner so i am guessing it is actually a computer monitor first.

very interesting, now to see where things go from there..
June 15, 2006 9:14:09 AM

yah computer monitor first...

About tv/hdtv aspects from another forum (video game) were I was asking questions about it:

"Will I be able to just watch regular tv and/or HD tv on it plugging it in directly?"

"You can, but I don't recommend it. We are still about 5 years off of having truly unified media devices. While HDMI is the first step towards it, there are still differences in the tech. PC monitors are better as PC monitors, and HDTVs / Plasmas are still better at displaying TV/Movie. The tech will merge, but right now I really recommend keeping them separate.

It is possible though that the BenQ looks really good with it. I don't know. It advertises full HDTV compatibility, so maybe it wouldn't look so bad. Do note that with pretty much all LCDs the change from black to white (such as with scary movies or scenes which flash (gunfights) the refresh rate really can’t keep up with things and the image looks kinda bad. With things which just run in normal colors or don’t move fast, maybe romantic comedy type movies, you’d probably be fine.

Do note that standard TV image res is total poo, it’s like 640x480 res and current DVD res is, if I understand this correctly, 720x480 at its highest res. So sure, a pic-in-pic TV image looks really sharp and clear, but swapping that to full screen it often looks like poo."



You might end up having to sacrafice either less then perfect computer graphics or less then perfect tv display (especially for under $1k), but we'll just have to wait and see when reviews are out.
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