LCD Recommendation
March 21, 2005 6:25 PM   Subscribe

LCD Qustion. So I'm in the market for an LCD monitor/TV...

Basically something that can double as a real big monitor for my computer and a TV for an average size room -- say a viewing distance of maybe 10 to 12 feet. I'm basically starting my media center finally. So what I want to know is: a) what's the optimal size for such a device? I'm thinking 32-37 inches, widescreen. b) I've seen the latest lcd's in stores and they look great but I think this may be deceptive since either they're getting an HD signal or playing a DVD in widescreen format. Given that right now HD isn't fully implemented, what's it like watching regular cable television on a widescreen LCD? How do these things deal with aspect ratio and such? c) I'm looking to spend no more than about $3000, and have an eye on the Sharp Aquos series. Quality counts, as does durability. Any alternative recommendations or am I being unrealistic with the pricing?
posted by drpynchon to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
The Sharp Aquos looks nicer than others because it uses an LCD screen instead of a Plasma screen. This is supposed to be a good thing. Can't comment on any of the rest of your questions.
posted by furtive at 6:55 PM on March 21, 2005

Sharp Aquos are GREAT!

have one that I bought in 2003. It's not a 32 - 37 inch one, but smaller.

You might want to inquire whether the Aquos can function as a computer monitor. Mine has a resolution of 1024 x 768, not that high - and no way to plug it into the computer either.
posted by seawallrunner at 7:01 PM on March 21, 2005

Response by poster: These Aquos have DVI input and while the resolution might yield a few problems for use as a computer, I'll be looking at it from a few feet further away than the average monitor. The setup I imagine has the screen on a 180 degree swiveling hinge at the edge of a desk such that on one side is the "TV Room" and on the other is the "home office" end. That'll leave me about 3 feet or so from the screen when using the computer, so I hope the resolution won't be an issue. Am I mistaken?
posted by drpynchon at 7:12 PM on March 21, 2005

It'll be awful. A 32" Aquos is about 48 dpi, while the average computer monitor is 80-100 dpi, meaning everything is twice as big and half as detailed. Given the number of pixels is only 1366*768, you might as well budget a few hundred dollars for a proper 15 or 17" monitor.

The quality of normal broadcasts on an LCD or plasma depends entirely on the quality of the scaler chip in it, which vary quite a lot, so check it out in person before you buy.
posted by cillit bang at 8:15 PM on March 21, 2005

It could work for you if you don't plan to make it your main computer. For basic web browsing from a sofa, or playing some video games, it'd be great.

For working on your thesis, fuggedaboutit.
posted by shepd at 9:08 AM on March 22, 2005

Regular analog cable on an LCD is fine IF you are not sitting too close. For example, my 20" LCD TV looks like crap if you are closer than 3-4 feet away. We watch it from bed (about 10 feet away) so it's not really an issue. Analog cable is never going to look as good as the digital video displayed in the stores.
posted by probablysteve at 10:07 AM on March 22, 2005

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