I'm looking for a monitor to hook up to a small htpc I've set up, but I'm not up to date on monitors at all.
I was wondering if the viewing angle of desktop monitors is good enough to use in this setting, or if I'd need
to buy a flatpanel tv for this to work.
If not - what would be a decent, cheap solution? I'm not too fussed about contrast, but hdmi input is a must.
As for size, 20" is already large enough, but slightly larger is fine as well of course. the htpc can easily handle 1080p btw.
Viewing angle depends on the panel type, which varies for both monitors and tvs. If you're going to be the only one watching (from directly in front of the screen) and your budget is tight, you'll probably be okay with a TN panel, such as this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
For size, you are better off with a 22" + TV than a monitor, especially since you are worried about cost.
Unless you are sitting in front of the system, a 20" monitor is a bit small for watching like you would a TV.
Or look at used stuff, I got a 1yr old 37" Vizio TV for just over $200 which is less than half of a new one. A TV will have a better viewing angle, not only side to side but up and down. Unless you are watching at an even line with the monitor, you will have issues with a regular monitor if you move.