Monitor or HDTV?
In the market for a new monitor. I Have a 22" flat panel now, but am looking to size up to anything from 26"-32" range. In my research, it seems I can get a pretty decent 32" HDTV 1080P usually 60hz for about the same price a decent 27" 1080p "monitor". I play FPS, no movies really, and other than that, I'm just surfing. My PC isn't super high end, even after I upgrade here in the next few weeks, and I will use HDMI. So that being said, is there a reason to buy a "monitor" over an HDTV? Resolutions, 60hz not good for FPS gaming, etc?
You can use a HDTV as a monitor. The benefit is that you can basically buy any size and it will be 1920x1080 resolution. Of course if it is too big you cannot use on your desk like a regular monitor.
A 120Hz HDTV is not the same as a 120Hz monitor. They operate differently and if you play games on the HDTV, then you should switch it to 60Hz mode.
Also, graphic cards generally have problems with the desktop size when using a HDTV. Sometimes the desktop is "too big" so part of the desktop gets cut off on the HDTV. Sometimes it's "too small" so you have black borders around your desktop and text do not appear 100% sharp.
To fix this you will need to go into your graphic card's control panel and adjust the image scaling. Easier with AMD/ATI cards than nVidia cards. For whatever reason my GeForce 9600GT doesn't have a scaling function in the control panel. Fortunately, my LG HDTV has a setting called "Just Scan" which fixes the scaling issue.
if you set your desktop resolution to 1920x1080 on a 1080p monitor (which should have 1920x1080 pixels... check specs) then there will be absolutely no bars. 1080p is a common resolution so black bars aren't an issue except when playing very old games without support for widescreen.
just remember that the bigger you go with a monitor at the same resolution the larger everything will look. you will notice a difference between a 22 to a 27-32 screen. you might even have to bump up text sizes a bit to be more ledgible. i had to do this.
if you go the monitor route i know you can get large format displays from dell (and others) with double the resolution compared to typical monitors. expect $$$$ though. and to fullscreen games you might need a better video card!
60hz is the standard lcd refresh rate. there is not really any need to buy 120hz unles you want 3d support.
i use a 40" sony bravia mounted on the wall perhaps 4.5 feet in front of me, and it works great. if i lean too far some text can be hard to read but that is due to the size of the screen versus pixel density. this will be less noticible on smaller tvs.
now for some advice:
since you will be playing games and surfing the internet only is such a large screen necessary? weigh some of the pros against the cons.
performance in fps games is actually increased when you are only focusing on a 20-24 inch screen compared to a large screen as your vision is directed to one spot while on a large screen it can be overwhelming (and hard to get used to i can say that!)
viewing pages on the internet i would have to say is much better on a 20-24 inch screen as well. text is crisper, easier to read.
overall my old 20.1 was much much much! better than my 40" for fps gaming/ web browsing. however, i don't have space on my desk for my monitor with all the extra goodies i have (even on a 9ft wide desk!!) so i had to consolidate. i've gotten used to the tv though and if i scale things up a bit its not bad.
I know what you mean. I have a 42" flat panel that I appropriated from the bedroom for a couple days just to mess around with playing games and whatnot on my pc, and it was too big. I only sit about 3 ft or so from my monitor. Having tried that out, it's how I came up with 27-32" size is what I'm looking for.
All the rest is good info. Thanks for the clarification and help.
additional information I just heard about, its 3rd hand knowlege so take it with a grain of salt (i didnt verify it):
there *is* a difference between an lcd television and lcd monitor. supposedly monitors (meant for computers) have a pixel arrangement which makes text easier to read. lcd televisions have a pixel arrangement that is best arranged for shapes. I'm guessing this is why monitors cost more than tvs of the same size.
From what you mention, the best thing you should go for is a 27inch full HD monitor e.g Samsung SyncMaster etc. Why, because in games or browsing you are focusing much more on the screen compared to when watching movies. A TV Screen has more power and is suitable for watching from a distance, monitor is meant to be used closeby and as such 27inch with 1080p will offer sharp crispy image quality in comparison to larger screen of same resolution. And most importantly it won't kill your eyes for extended use.