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HDTV as a PC monitor - Help me to squash the rumor mill

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  • HDTV
  • Monitors
  • Home Theatre
  • Product
Last response: in Home Theatre
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May 7, 2012 6:19:54 AM

I've read a few posts on here, but I'm still not fully satisfied with what I've seen. A lot of the responses seem like they might be conjecture and hearsay.

I use an HDTV for my display, I'm looking to get a new one and have some questions and concerns.

My setup doesn't allow me to use a traditional PC monitor. I've got my rig in my living room, my speakers are wired through the ceiling, and I would be hard-pressed to move my setup to a desk in my office. My current display is a 40" LED Bravia, 60Hz connected through D-SUB. I'm looking to upgrade to a 60" 1080p LED TV 120 Hz or 240 Hz.

With that said, what doesn't sound like rumor; interpolation. It seems logical that blank frames inserted in between displayed frames would cause picture / input lag. Do all newer HDTVs use this interpolation technology? Does interpolation really cause input lag, is it really that bad for PC gaming? Would it behoove to make sure that any Motionflow / Trumotion / etc features can be disabled while playing games. Does the use of D-SUB bypass these features and allow for a true 120Hz / 240Hz display? Is a true 120Hz / 240Hz display even possible on any HDTV?

What does sounds like rumor; progressive scan looks terrible. My Bravia is 720p. The picture and picture motion looks great for 2004, when I purchased the television. Has technology changed in the past 8 years, does progressive scan now look terrible when displaying a PC input?

What else should I be considering when buying my new HDTV for use as a PC display?

Any suggestions and input would be much appreciated.

More about : hdtv monitor squash rumor mill

a c 112 C Monitor
May 7, 2012 5:10:38 PM

dont let anyone fool you, 1080p televisions work fine as pc screens. i have a 1080p sony bravia 40" hooked up myself.

keep in mind that although you are jumping up in resolution, 20" in quite a jump in size. i'm not sure if the image will be less sharp than your current television or not. you might want to check the distance out on televisions in store. you are already aware of how televisions display windows and text so if anything your experience should be better on a higher resolution display.

the biggest problem with hdtvs is 120hz and 240hz along with some of the display modes you listed. they are junk and absolutely will not play nice with gaming. there is a delay due to post processing. televisions running at 120hz do not receive a 120hz signal. they take a 60hz signal and fake in frames. a 120hz tn pc monitor does receive a 120hz signal (over dual link dvi) which does benefit from 120hz.

if you want to use the monitor for primarily windows and gaming i would not pick a 120hz or 240hz monitor. you will save money and eliminate frustration. 60hz screens should be pretty much painfree.

if you plan on viewing movies...i suppose you could use 120 or 240hz televisions but be aware that the current concensus on these televisions is that sometimes the "pc mode" works (limits to 60hz) and sometimes it doesnt. results are varied. 60hz works fine more movies as well so if you plan to game i wouldnt see the benefit in taking a risk unless you are connecting other input devices besides the television for movies and not just gaming devices.

personally i would suggest using hdmi instead of dsub. you mentioned that you have speakers mounted in the ceiling... i take it you run them off an av receiver? if so you can run a dvi-to-hdmi cable to the receiver hdmi inputs and then run a hdmi cable as an output to the television. if your av receiver doesnt have hdmi input you can run the dvi to hdmi (or hdmi to hdmi if your video card has it) to the television and an optical out to your receiver from the sound card.

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a c 112 C Monitor
May 10, 2012 11:36:17 AM

i'm not quite sure about the technical differences in LFD screens. i've always thought that the displays from dell at 2560x1600 (or 1440?) were LFD. i never really did much research into the matter.

in general 2560x displays do offer a greater resolution but things arent so simple. lets look at pixels per inch... which gives you an idea as to how sharp the image will be. at 1920x1080 you will get about 110ppi at 20" 100ppi at 22" and 91ppi at 24" sizes. at 2560x resolutions you will get about 97ppi at 30". so in essence you will get about the same quality as a 22" screen.

in addition to that, the demands on your video card to drive such a monitor are quite a bit more than 1920x1080. you will need to upgrade your video card much more often then if you limited your screen to 1080p.

the benefits are that you gain a larger desktop and that you can have a larger display at the same quality level as opposed to televisions where the resolution is the same as most monitors. if this suits your uses then go for it, if it isnt as important then you might want to think about it first. i know the dell monitors sell for about $1000 so you might actually spend more than a televisions or monitors.

as i said... a 60hz television will work fine but if you want the sharpest image possible it is still best to go with a standard pc monitor. unless of course you manage to find a name brand 2560x screen at less than a 30" physical size.
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May 11, 2012 3:27:11 PM

I am currently using a LG32ld550 and thinking about upgrading as well but afraid that if I upgrade I might not get better picture than this one, thinking about going plasma, currently this HDtv has no lag at all at pc mode, and the picture is good, no pixilation and no such issues, I went this route about few years ago I found that having your desktop on a big screen where you can do everything from a distance and avoid back pain is rather better than the pc small monitor, especially that I watch movies on pc.

I have been thinking about getting a 1440p pc monitor 30in but after making the calculations I found that I will be spending at least 2000$ on the monitor and graphic card upgrades, not to mention that everything will look much smaller and I will have to be very close to the screen, so I have totally discarded this idea especially when you can get the best 32in plasma or lcd for less than 1000$. be aware that sometimes people who spend tons of money on pc monitors sometimes tend to totally discard HDTV as an alternative, especially that now most newer models tend to be more and more pc and gaming friendly.
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May 11, 2012 3:31:27 PM

o and forgat to mention my HDTV has 120hz motionblur features, all these features are disabled when I select pc mode.
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May 12, 2012 2:05:22 AM

I also keep hearing things about LAG in certain LED HDTV's. Then if you plan on using game mode, you may be wasting your money on anything more than 60hrz. I am not sure 3D HDTV's are going to become popular or not. They just give me a headache.
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a c 112 C Monitor
May 14, 2012 2:46:35 PM

@fastwing

60hz televisions play nice with games and movies both. going with 120hz, 240hz or 3d might mess with pc gaming. if you watch movies stay at 1920x1080, anything else would result in black bars or image scaling which is a loss of quality.

@ceh4702

you do mean lcd tvs. led is just a backlighting type. you are correct that 120/240hz tvs do create lag when displaying pc games. game mode (60hz) mode seems to only work okay on some models while not so well on others. i agree that anything more than 60hz is a waste of money in this case. not sure about 3d.... some people love it for pc gaming (on pc monitors) but for all the movies i've seen with 3d it is junk and is only good for causing premature eye damage.
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June 18, 2012 2:46:50 AM

Well, after much research I've decided to go with a Plasma. With a plasma I won't have to worry about picture delay due to interpolation, seems to be the best route for me. I am aware of the fact that LCDs/LEDs have a slightly sharper picture quality, but I'm perfectly willing to sacrifice an almost unnoticeable difference in sharpness for the quickest response time and smoothest picture motion. Pretty sure I've settled on the Panasonic TC-P55VT50. I think I'll be very happy with this model and it will serve my needs just fine.

Thanks for all the advice, it's much appreciated!
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a c 112 C Monitor
June 18, 2012 12:28:57 PM

just remember about one thing... the poor track record that plasma televisions have had. i'm not sure if new models are better than a few years ago but they used to be notoriously expensive to own due to the need to be recharged every few years. just thought i would throw it out there..
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June 20, 2012 9:49:10 PM

Plasma and LCD have an almost even display life. The LED banks on an LCD are rated around 20,000 hours, CCFL's half life is 60-70k hours and Plasma's half life is about 60k hours (50% brightness). Recharging plasma is a myth. I worked as a GM for a large electronic chain for 10 years, Plasma and LCD have very similar repair track records, and cost.
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a c 112 C Monitor
June 20, 2012 9:52:13 PM

myth you say?

my cousin worked as a tv repair tech for most of his life. i heard quite a few stories about plasma television issues versus lcd issues. i'm not saying you dont have experience being a gm but service professionals tend to get a bit more into the nitty gritty.
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June 21, 2012 5:11:46 PM

I'm also not discounting anyone's opinion or point of view. Both television types have a very good place in my heart, I personally own 2 plasmas, and an LCD, and love all 3. My experience with LCD vs Plasma is far more focused on brand, and quality of set. A cheap TV is a cheap TV, no matter how you cut it. I had more issues with Vizio LCDs than any other TV we dealt with, but far fewer issues with Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic. Same with Akai plasmas, we took nearly 50% return rate on them, because most died out of the box.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1955954,00.asp

Just as a reference.
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a c 112 C Monitor
June 21, 2012 8:09:27 PM

agree.

brand and quality of individual sets has quite a bit to do with reliability. vizio, olevia and other cheap brands just are not made the same as the others.

i think it all boils down to something rather simple: know what you are buying.
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