LCD TV vs LCD Monitor
February 21, 2007 7:16 AM   Subscribe

Looking to get either an LCD TV or LCD Monitor as a new primary monitor for my computer. Given that I'm not that interested in watching TV on it nor having an ultra high resolution (say 1900 x 1200) which makes more sense to buy?

I know a common resolution for TVs is 1366 x768 and I feel like I should be OK with that. Am planning on looking at it as I would a common monitor - probably about 2 foot away when I'm at my desk, but I may choose later to look it from the couch - maybe 5 foot away. As such, I was thinking something around 24" - 26".

Should I go and get a TV with a decent contrast ratio, HDMI etc (maybe HDCP but not that bothered about that honestly) or go and buy a 24" dell monitor (other recommendations welcome)? Remember, not that interested in watching TV on it, although I will be using the PC for gaming and as a media center. Ideally I'd like to be about the $500 range which is why I'm not pulling the trigger on a 24" monitor, but if $700 is what it takes so be it. Just trying to get the most bang for my buck...
posted by Mave_80 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
sqrt(1366^2+768^2)/25 inches=60 dpi.

You cannot use a 60 dpi LCD panel while at your desk. It will look horrendous. Most LCD monitors are 90dpi and up, so all your icons and text will be 50% larger than normal.
posted by cillit bang at 7:31 AM on February 21, 2007

The biggest problem is going to be that HDTVs are not, in general, intended to be used as computer displays. As long as it has HDMI or VGA input you will probably be able to get video from your computer to it OK. However, there will probably be "overscan" issues. This is where the TV takes the incoming signal, and makes it a little bigger than the TV, so that the edges get cut off. How much depends on the TV - mine cuts off at least 20 pixels on each side. This is really annoying since that means the menu bars, the start bar at the bottom, etc, get mostly cut off. If you're watching TV it's not a big deal, if you're using a computer it sucks bad.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:33 AM on February 21, 2007

I use a Sharp 32" Aquos HDTV, 1280x768, as my primary monitor. It's pretty good. I could probably see slightly smaller text than this resolution is capable of showing me, but in other ways I'm happy with it. There's no overscan problem.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:56 AM on February 21, 2007

Ikkyu2 - what sort of distance you look at your monitor from? Do you use it for using Word etc? Am concerned about cillit bang's comments re. dpi...
posted by Mave_80 at 8:08 AM on February 21, 2007

My major recommendation would be to look at the monitors that Dell manufactures. They're cheap, high quality and at 24 inches and up function excellently as hdtvs. you won't be getting hdcp, but only 10% of manufactured hdtvs support hdcp, and NONE of them are in your price range, especially not at that size.
posted by shmegegge at 8:13 AM on February 21, 2007

additionally, i use my 21" widescreen monitor for console games, pc gaming and movie watching. the only issue i have is that the 21" version does not support hdmi or component video input.
posted by shmegegge at 8:15 AM on February 21, 2007

+1 on the Dell 2407 if you can still get it.

Is a real bargain at around $685. But they seem to be downplaying/phasing it out in favor of a 27" that is about $1200.
posted by mrbugsentry at 8:17 AM on February 21, 2007

second the refurbished dell 2407 or 2405 monitor. I've participated in the purchase of 6 of them in the last year. check out and the small business store has better customer service.

The are great. Better yet, get two. or go for the thirty inch version.
posted by ccoryell at 2:37 PM on February 21, 2007

I'm about 3 feet from this screen. I use it for everything.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:59 PM on February 21, 2007

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