Text Display on HDTVs
May 12, 2008 8:17 AM   Subscribe

LCD vs Plasma displays for displaying text? What's the difference?

So, my boss is thinking about getting two large (>30") monitors with digital inputs to display daily schedules behind the front desk of the Arts Center where I work. He insists that some LCD monitors display text strangely because the pixels are too large (I'm pretty clueless so far as this sort of thing goes.) Anyway, he was looking at Apple 30" displays and was dissatisfied with the size, but he seems pretty sure that a large LCD is what he's going for. I know that there are offices at the university that I attend that use Plasma screens to do much the same thing (though several of these have been burned out since they never turned them off and kept the same image on them for about a week.) I've looked around on google, but I can't find much of anything directly relating to the clarity of text on large-size HDTV screens (there isn't a difference between a display marketed as a monitor vs HDTV. right?) so I was hoping that someone here could spare me a few words?
posted by ThomThomThomThom to Technology (5 answers total)
This might be of some help: Ask Engadget: What's the best 40- to 50-inch HDTV with PC inputs?
posted by nitsuj at 8:30 AM on May 12, 2008


The only thing related to text I can find is that Plasma has a higher contrast ratio and can render deeper blacks- also better motion tracking.

Plasmas will burn-in a lot faster than LCDs, though LCDs will eventually burn also. So if those schedules have the same table-layout day to day, plan on using them for nothing else after a little while.
posted by pedmands at 8:39 AM on May 12, 2008

Best answer: Honestly, AVS forum are probably going to give you higher yield info than the green. Some of those folks are really, really serious about their A-V hobby.

The most important thing that you are looking for if you are planning on using an LCD/HDTV for computer display (esp. for text) is 1-to-1 pixel mapping. This means that the TV won't interfere with the signal (overscan, scaling, etc).

Here is a thread on AVS forum detailing displays with 1-to-1 pixel mapping.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

For displaying static content, you probably want LCD. However Pansonic makes some professional Plasmas that are designed for trade shows, display static/repetitive content. They also do not have any tuners and are essentially monitors.

Also, try to find one with DVI input (not HDMI<>DVI) as you won't run into any resolution detection issues. In my experience, PC's can't detect monitor resolutions over HDMI.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:19 AM on May 12, 2008

I used a 32" Sharp LCD as a monitor for a couple years. A++, totally satisfied, would do it again.

Here are some things to know: For whatever reason, even though 1080i (which this TV was) is 1920x1080, the best this machine would display was 1366x760. The closest my graphics card would come was 1280x760, which was fine and left two bars on the side edges.

The slightly smaller Apple Cinema Display, 30", is 2560x1600. You do the math - that's nearly quadruple the resolution I was getting from the TV. You can actually read tiny 8 point text on the Cinema Display; on the TV you just can't.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:25 PM on May 12, 2008

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