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How do I use HDTV as a Computer monitor

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  • HDTV
  • Computer
  • Monitors
  • Home Theatre
Last response: in Home Theatre
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January 14, 2008 6:23:11 PM

Hi, Name is Han.
My parents back at home got their HDTV recently and when i got home for break they told me that they want to use their HDTV as their computer monitor. now i don't have any idea how to do it nor do i know what i need.

My parents have Panasonic TH-42pe7u.

So here are my questions.

1. What kind of hardwares do i need to accomplish this task?
2. and more importantly How do i do it?

please, I looked around the web and all i was able to find was hardwares that i have no clue how to use whatsoever.

my parents do not have concern about the budget, but they want it to be affordable.

More about : hdtv computer monitor

January 14, 2008 11:29:37 PM

That's a Plasma TV which has good picture quality. But unless they're prepare to replace the TV in maybe 3 to 5 years or even less, I suggest they should get LCD monitor. Even though Plasma is getting better on burn-in issue is still not the same as LCD.

If they really insist then check the back has a Component terminal and HDMI you can use either one. If your parent’s computer has DVI connection White 24 pins then use a DVI to HDMI cable or DVI to RGB/PrPbY cable price maybe the same. If it doesn’t have DVI then get D-SUB (15 pins blue terminal) to RGB/PrPbY connector. Best cable is by using DVI to HDMI since both formats is digital but different connection.

However using D-Sub will not guaranty that when reading text/characters will not be jumpy/flicker since RGB connection usually comes with H – horizontal and V – vertical cable as well to be synchronise. So that’ll be, use it at your own risk. Ask the store if you can return the cable if it does not work.

Watching TV or Movies will not matter that much. The TV native resolution is 1,024x768 so all the letters will be huge. Compare to regular monitor.
January 15, 2008 1:49:25 AM

Oh god! thanks for such a great answer rexter, I will tell them right now!
Related resources
January 16, 2008 9:28:20 PM

OK, had a bit of trouble finding the exact specs. Apparently this is a scaled down TH-42PX75U which I found here:
http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/panasonic-th-42p...

There doesn't appear to be any VGA or DVI connections (Normal connections for PC monitor)

However it does have S-Video and unsurprisingly HDMI.

Sadly, Rexter is right in saying that this is not an ideal TV to use as a monitor.

If your parents REALLY don't want to just use their PC at a desk with a standard monitor then you have 2 options with this TV.

1. Buy an S-Video cable which will hopefully fit their PC graphics card. (Any info on their PC spec, especially graphics card would help). It basically looks like a mouse or keyboard socket and will be next to where the monitor cable plugs into.

Here it is on Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-Video

With S-Video text will most likely look fuzzy and the picture will not be very sharp. But this is the only setup your parents are likely to have at the moment. But even that is not for sure.

2. Upgrade your parents graphics card to something that either has a HDMI out or has DVI with HDCP.

Here are a selection of possibilities:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/132321/show_product_speci...
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130560

They are the same card one AGP and the other PCI E and both come with an adaptor that will allow you to use the HDMI (Digital) socket on your plasma TV and greatly improve the quality of the image.

Otherwise your parents may already have a graphics card with DVI in which case they could use something like this:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130513

I hope this isn't all too complicated, here are some pages to try to help you understand the diffences between S-Video and HDMI.

HDMI and DVI are basically the same thing, HDMI is used for TVs and DVI is used for PCs. They are shaped differently, which is why you would need the above adaptor cable.

http://2aday.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/how-to-hook-up-yo...
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/archive/index.php/...

Basically, all you need to know is, HDMI is better than S-Video. If you want to use the TV as the ONLY display for your parents computer I would go with HDMI. To get HDMI you may have to upgrade the computer. It wont cost more than £35 whatever option you take.

If you need to know anything else just ask and I'll try to help.
January 17, 2008 5:00:44 AM

Actually plasma has better picture quality than LCD but the problem is that it may not last long due to burn-in, Image will burn-in to the screen like CRT TVs.

Another problem is HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) he might need a video card that has HDCP as well just to view the computer to 1,024x768 resolution. He also needs DVI to HDMI cable or something else to connect their computer to the TV. Too much hassle and may not even be cheaper than just to get a monitor.
January 17, 2008 6:09:22 AM

Agreed that image quality is better on a plasma for movies but your going to get a much better resolution and sharpness on an LCD, especially for Windows use and text input.

There is no way I would hook up my PC to my 40" Plasma for daily use as the primary monitor. But no probs with my 26" LCD.

I did mention the HDCP, and DVI to HDMI links are there. The total cost for the upgrade is £35 for AGP version or £27 for PCI Express/
Both come with the necessary DVI to HDMi adaptor.

I would say it's got to be cheaper to upgrade the graphics on the PC than just buy a new TV or a seperate monitor.
January 17, 2008 5:46:44 PM

Thx Sumlock and rexter, i told everything to my parents and explained to them best as i possibly could and they decided to do it later when they get a new TV for their room (god knows how many year will that take, since they used old Sony TV for more than 10 years.).

Again thank you so much for great advice, i am going to bookmark this thread so i can use this when i get my own HDTV in my home.
February 21, 2008 10:34:24 PM

so after reading this thread is it safe to assume that my 720p samsung ln-t2653h will only display at 1024x768 and not the full 1366x768 that it is actually capable of even if i use a dvi-hdmi cable?
February 22, 2008 4:54:13 AM

TheOnlyPenguin said:
so after reading this thread is it safe to assume that my 720p samsung ln-t2653h will only display at 1024x768 and not the full 1366x768 that it is actually capable of even if i use a dvi-hdmi cable?



1024X768 was my mistake, 1366x768 is a wide screen you can only use 720 resolution on that TV if playing from HD box like 360 or PS2 or PS3. However from computer you might get 1366x768 depending on the hardware and driver capability.
February 22, 2008 12:25:51 PM

hmm, i have not been able to get anything higher then 1024x768 to show up correctly. i have an x1950pro with the latest drivers. the only thing i can come up with is that i am using an s-video cable to hook up pc to the tv. i think i will go pick up a cheap dvi-hdmi cable and see how that goes.
February 22, 2008 8:15:21 PM

I use a dvi to Hdmi cable from my HTPC to my Sharp Aquos and an nvidia 7900gs and it runs at 1366x768 as default setting. In fact the windows xp video settings(right click on desktop) has 13x7 as a choice after you tell it to allow different setting between the 2 monitors. It will mimic the primary monitor unless you tell it to allow different settings.
February 22, 2008 8:23:51 PM

hmm, i just forced it to show all video settings and have set it to the 1360x768, when i move my mouse over to the tv the screen will actually move from side to side acting like it does not support this resolution.

im wondering if it is limited by the s-video cable, hopefully when my dvi-hdmi cable arrives it will resolve this issue otherwise i am truely perplexed
February 22, 2008 9:14:16 PM

Yea for some reason before I change my X800 GTO to HD 2400 I can change my settings to whatever resolution I want even my monitor can't handle it. Now with new driver I'm limited to specific resolution. Unfortunately I haven't got a time to check it out.

The driver I was using before going to ver. 8.4 dd-cc-wdm was ver 7.11.
February 22, 2008 10:41:11 PM

disco how did you go about setting it to allow different settings per monitor, b/c it is mimicking my primary monitor right now. this would be super to know how to go about doing.
February 22, 2008 11:37:54 PM

The old Catalyst driver has an option to change resolution even the card does not support. So besically your forcing it to select the resolution you want. I just can't remember which version was it exactly.

but if you're using Nvidea I can't really help on that. Long ago I have my share of bad experience so I went with ATI and have less troublesome. Since then I never switch back.

Maybe I got Lucky that time, but three installation have the same resolution option. 3X luck I suppose?.
Anyway Old ATI drivers makes text display on regular 480i jumpy. New one is very stable and you can even read the text now, no flickering.

If you are you using the TV as the main monitor, try to set the monitor attributes to manual from Control Catalyst and select the resolution from there. or have you done that already?

Hope you are not one of many people who does not want to install net frame works therefore 'can't install Control Catalyst. :) 
February 22, 2008 11:52:39 PM

i have the CCC installed since other programs i use require .net

but i am not exactly sure how to set the attributes maually in the CCC, alittle help here would be appreciated.
February 22, 2008 11:59:36 PM

Set CCC to custom view. On Monitor Propertes Click to open sub menu. There you'll find attributes. Uncheck Use Extended Display Identification (EDID) then set Resolution.

By the way Check the monitor information if the settings are supported.

Go back to Display manager and try if there's a selection for the resolution you wanted.

However as mentioned earlier old catalyst has the option to display all unsupported resollution, which display odd resolution settings. Or maybe I just got lucky.

Unfortunately just last weekend I loaded Windows Vista trial I downloaded last August. so I still have 24 days left on the trial period. So my driver imay be different from yours.
February 23, 2008 12:13:46 AM

i think the reason i am having so much trouble is that im still using an s-video cable so its an analog signal and not a digital signal.

i will have to try again when the dvi-hdmi cable i ordered arrives, which will not be until sometime next week.
February 23, 2008 12:18:09 AM

Maybe so but just my curiousity does your TV flickering if S-Video is use while displaying text?


I use DVI-I Dual Link.
February 23, 2008 1:30:03 AM

no i do not see any flickering on the tv with the s-video.
February 23, 2008 6:48:29 PM

That is good then.
February 25, 2008 8:44:48 PM

TheOnlyPenguin, just thought about something; maybe if you connect another monitor to get the CCC activate two display and may release the other resollutions. It might not recognize that you're installing TV therefore the TV resolution is not available. Just my hunch.
February 27, 2008 4:25:17 PM

my dvi-hdmi cable arrived today. all is well in the world of resolutions. my samsung is running at the proper resolution of 1360x768. the limiting factor was the s-video cable. thanks for all the help folks.

note to the OP...if you plan on using a hdtv as a monitor make sure to pick up a the proper cabling to get full use of your hardware.
March 10, 2008 8:41:26 AM

sorry, i'm a newbie of hdtv world. Can I ask one question.
I am using SS r8 http://www.samsung.com/my/products/television/lcdtv/la3... and video card http://www.amtech.com.vn/product_info.php?cPath=23_147_... with dvi-i output. What do I need to hook up my hdtv to pc. With one dvi to hdmi cable only???? As i know, there are many kinds of dvi (dvi-a, dvi-d, dvi-i....) and quality of dvi/hdmi cable, how to get quality picture on hdtv (for gaming and movie playback purpose). Which dvi-hdmi kind I should order (single link, dual link dvi-d to hdmi or dvi/hdmi adapter+hdmi/hdmi cable) Which is better?? Plexus dvi-d dual link -hdmi is good enough for connection ??? I look forward to sumlock and rexter's fast reply.
March 14, 2008 3:43:23 AM

garungit said:
sorry, i'm a newbie of hdtv world. Can I ask one question.
I am using SS r8 http://www.samsung.com/my/products/television/lcdtv/la3... and video card http://www.amtech.com.vn/product_info.php?cPath=23_147_... with dvi-i output. What do I need to hook up my hdtv to pc. With one dvi to hdmi cable only???? As i know, there are many kinds of dvi (dvi-a, dvi-d, dvi-i....) and quality of dvi/hdmi cable, how to get quality picture on hdtv (for gaming and movie playback purpose). Which dvi-hdmi kind I should order (single link, dual link dvi-d to hdmi or dvi/hdmi adapter+hdmi/hdmi cable) Which is better?? Plexus dvi-d dual link -hdmi is good enough for connection ??? I look forward to sumlock and rexter's fast reply.



Here's a quick note:

ATI Radeon HD 2400PRO - DVI Max Resolution: 1920 x 1200
Samsung LA32R81B - Resolution: 1366 x 768
DVI cable: Dual Link Digital connection supports display resolutions up to 2048 x 1536.

Quote:
DVI-D - True Digital Video
DVI-D cables are used for direct digital connections between source video (namely, video cards) and digital LCD (or rare CRT) monitors. This provides a faster, higher-quality image than with analog, due to the nature of the digital format. All video cards initially produce a digital video signal, which is converted into analog at the VGA output. The analog signal travels to the monitor and is re-converted back into a digital signal. DVI-D eliminates the analog conversion process and improves the connection between source and display.

DVI-A - High-Res Analog
DVI-A cables are used to carry a DVI signal to an analog display, such as a CRT monitor or budget LCD. The most common use of DVI-A is connecting to a VGA device, since DVI-A and VGA carry the same signal. There is some quality loss involved in the digital to analog conversion, which is why a digital signal is recommended whenever possible.

DVI-I - The Best of Both Worlds
DVI-I cables are integrated cables which are capable of transmitting either a digital-to-digital signal or an analog-to-analog signal. This makes it a more versatile cable, being usable in either digital or analog situations.
Like any other format

The Digital formats are available in DVI-D Single-Link and Dual-Link as well as DVI-I Single-Link and Dual-Link format connectors. These DVI cables send information using a digital information format called TMDS (transition minimized differential signaling). Single link cables use one TMDS 165Mhz transmitter, while dual links use two. The dual link DVI pins effectively double the power of transmission and provide an increase of speed and signal quality; i.e. a DVI single link 60-Hz LCD can display a resolution of 1920 x 1200, while a DVI dual link can display a resolution of 2560 x 1600.

http://www.datapro.net/techinfo/dvi_info.html


I used DVI-I just because it doesn't matter what screen you'll connect it to, It'll handel it. However HDMI is pure Digital so it can use DVI-D only.
February 24, 2010 2:12:13 AM

Between the hours of 9am and 5pm follow the link below to a webcam I installed at Trinity Racing in Rancho Cucamonga last year.
Look and you will a 32" lg lcd hdtv that I also installed and it is hooked to an old computer equipped with a 64meg nvideo card. The hdtv is conected with a vga cable. it works fine.

http://trinitydynocam.viewnetcam.com:50001/CgiStart?pag...
August 24, 2010 12:21:57 AM

I have a PhD, but all this stuff stumps me.

Simple Question: I have a PC with S-video and VGA output, and I plan to build PC's with HDMI output in the future...

I want to purchase a Flat Panel LCD tuner/monitor that can display my computer movie files via S-vid or VGA.

I have Digital Cable and do not need HDTV television, but could conceivable need it in the future.

Do I need an HDTV "Capable", "Ready" or just a Digital Analog LCD TV. I am looking for 22 inches or above.

Thanks in advance.

Ken Niebling (pls help: ken_niebling@yahoo.com)
August 26, 2010 5:09:18 AM

niebling said:
I have a PhD, but all this stuff stumps me.

Simple Question: I have a PC with S-video and VGA output, and I plan to build PC's with HDMI output in the future...

I want to purchase a Flat Panel LCD tuner/monitor that can display my computer movie files via S-vid or VGA.

I have Digital Cable and do not need HDTV television, but could conceivable need it in the future.

Do I need an HDTV "Capable", "Ready" or just a Digital Analog LCD TV. I am looking for 22 inches or above.

Thanks in advance.

Ken Niebling (pls help: ken_niebling@yahoo.com)


Most LCD monitor has minimum amount of input connections; usually HDMI + DVI and VGA, more expensive monitors have the following extras; Component Video, HDMI or DVI inputs depending on make and models. Just make sure you connect your audio accordingly.

If your cable box has HDMI then your connection would be HDMI for Digital Box, VGA for PC. But when you get your new PC then switch your connection to HDMI for PC and VGA for the Box. If you do not have HDMI on your box then use component video for the box and VGA for your PC.

The following inputs below are good to have on your monitor purchase if you can find one on your budget.
1 or 2 HDMI input
1 DVI input
1 VGA input
1 Component Video
1 Audio in
1 Audio out
USB connection is always good to have.
So make sure you know what connection you will be using before buying one. Otherwise, you’ll be spending more on cables you don’t have to, unless you already have them.
August 26, 2010 3:50:40 PM

This thread is 2 yrs old now - it's always best if you start a new one instead of tagging onto an old one, esp. with some of the 'necro thread-hungry' mods around :p .

Anyway, I think Mr. Niebling (who is advised not to post his email address in a public forum where a bot crawler can extract it, unless he likes getting spam :) ), was asking more about an HDTV, not just a monitor. IIRC even the cheaper brands such as Vizio usually have 3-4 HDMI inputs on their larger - 37" and above - HDTVs. And I think that all HDTVs sold in the USA since the mandatory digital conversion last summer are required to have an ATSC (over-the-air) digital tuner and a clear-QAM (over cable) digital tuner. So if you buy a new TV, it will automatically have the necessary tuners onboard to either use digital cable or an antenna for over-the-air digital reception.

Personally I have a PC hooked up to use a 50" plasma HDTV as a second monitor, for displaying streaming video (as for example this past spring when watching the final Lost episodes from ABC TV in HD after missing the broadcast episode. It did require a bit of effort, as even after setting up the TV as a second display in Windows 7 (which automatically detected the proper resolution & refresh rate for 1080P: 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz), the Windows desktop did not fit on the TV due to overscan. After I adjusted the HDMI input on the TV to not scale (i.e., dot-by-dot as Pioneer calls it), the desktop fit perfectly onto the TV.

Anyway, I now have an AV receiver connected to both the PC and a PS3 gaming console, via HDMI cables, and the TV connected to the receiver by HDMI cable. So whenever I want to play a console or PC game, stream video, connect to other media servers in the house for music or video, etc, I get 7.1 full surround sound plus a beautiful picture on the plasma TV. So watching Avatar on Blu-Ray on the PS3, or as a stored file on the PC, same stunning picture and room-filling sound.

I've used the USB connection on the TV before, but it's a bit klunky navigating an externa HD or memory drive using the TV's file browser, so instead I now have an external HD connected to a Netgear router with a USB port, so now the entire network can share the files & storage. Sorta a cheap media server without the media server interface, and since the TV also has a LAN connection, it can still access the external drive.
August 26, 2010 6:24:15 PM

its 2010, the burn-in issue on plasma, is not as much of a problem these days.. unless u have a tv that was made back in 2008, 2009/2010 tvs are fine
August 26, 2010 6:25:34 PM

i dont think u'll need a tv with audio in or out, if ur gonna connect your PC to a TV, since u can use external speakers, or passives connected to a recevier.
!