If the purpose is mostly watching movies, better connect a TV or a Monitor to my


I hope I'm posting in the right section, otherwise please kindly redirect me.

Basically I'm puzzled whether I should buy a Tv or a monitor as a wider screen for my macbook. I've recently moved abroad and I'm setting up the new (small) house. With me I only have my notebook (a standard Macbook 13''). Now, at home I mostly use the computer to watch movies and browse the internet and I wanted to have a bigger screen for the first thing. The point is that I could get for similar prices either a 32'' Tv or a 27'' monitor.
Now, the biggest difference I'm aware of is that the 32'' Tv (at least one I can afford) usually is 1,366x768, while the monitor has a resolution of 1920x1080.
Now what I'm asking myself is, since I would place the Tv/Monitor in the living room and I would sit a couple of meters away from it to watch it (as for a normal tv) would the difference in resolution be a big issue?
Since the use I would do of the monitor is a "Tv-use" the answer seems quite natural: just get a tv! Anyway I'm not an expert of this kind of stuff and I'd like to get the best possible picture quality.
One important thing worth to mention anyway is that I also occasionally use graphic software like Photoshop for photo editing. Although I'm not really a full pro, I'm still a few step above the average amateur photographer so that is important too. I'm afraid that this point is quite in contrast with the previous one because I guess the natural answer for this is to get a monitor.. But again, I'm not an expert and I hope you'll be able to help me.

I hope you can suggest me something and also, maybe give me some examples of models I should look at and the specs I should take into account when buying a Tv/Monitor for such purposes.
Thank you very much.


Ps. My budget is at most 350 $ I'd say. I live in Japan so Japanese brand may be a little cheaper here.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. With your budget, you're going to severly hamper your image quality in a Television. I'd consider a 27" HP 2711x, or the Asus VE276Q (Integrated Speakers). Its still not a professional grade setup, but it will give you a significantly improved image over a 32" TV at that price. As with any computer monitor, you must use your Mac as a source/tuner. A Japanese TV set is different than a US, or EU model, and all use different signals for Television. PC monitors are far more universal, and you can get away with a simple power convertor. A PC monitor does not always have sound either, so remember to consider that as well.
  2. in general a television is better for viewing from further away however you will miss the resolution in this case. you can probably make due with a 27" monitor and having 1920x1080 resolution is much better. remember to set your laptop's display output settings correctly or all you will succeed in doing is copying your laptop display to the other screen (negating any increase in resolution!). what i do is use the second monitor as a secondary monitor and drag any application windows i need onto it.

    if however this seems like an annoyance i would say match your laptops resolution to the screen you pick. in this way you will have zero issues.

    if you are anywhere near tokyo check out akihabara for some electronics deals.
  3. I can't find any decent TV worth looking at with your budget.. You will not be getting that TV feel with that kind of money. You want to at least double it to get a higher end brands like Sony or LG. If not, might as well just get a monitor.
  4. Thank you for the replies. Actually in the end I decided to go for a Tv since I've found a used Sony Bravia 32'' for about 250$. It is less than one year old, looks just like new but costed half the price. The good thing is that it has a resolution of 1920x1080 so the image quality should be fine (I hope). I still haven't tried to connect the Macbook to it because so far I didn't have time to get a Mini display port to HDMI adapter, but hopefully I'll get one soon.
    I'm just a little bit concerned from what I read in the previous comments that I didn't make the right choice goind for the TV. However, it is quite a high end brand Tv and I hope this will make the difference. After all, in my original post probably my budget was too low to purchase a good (new) Tv but going for a used one I virtually doubled it up.
  5. Most of the comments were in reference to a cheap off brand TV, if you got a sony in your price range, kudos!

  6. If you really want to see uninterrupted and quality broadcast, you should first think of installing a digital TV antenna. Fix it with your television set and see what makes the difference. You will then realise on your own which one you should choose to watch movies. A TV or a computer - which one?
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