View Full Version : 20" + LCD Monitor as a TV

Mar 13, 2005, 01:10 PM
I'm thinking about getting one of those dell 20" widescreen lcd's or even the 24" if it comes down in price. I'd like to use it as a companion to my 15"pb and also as a TV when I go to Law School.

If I have either: 1) a tivo or 2) a digital cable box
can I just plug either of those into the monitor and have a "TV"?

Obviously I don't have a tv tuner card with my PB...and would rather have the monitor be self-sufficient and be able to record show on my tivo/pvr when I'm out studying and still be able to hook up the PB when I'm home and do PIP.

Any suggestions? I'm lost when it comes to what's need to run a tv on a computer monitor!

Mar 13, 2005, 01:22 PM
The Dell 20" Widescreen has the following connectors

VGA / DVI-D / S-video / Composite / 4 x USB 2.0

which means you could plug a tuner/settop box/TIVO into it by DVI or S-Video. If your Powerbook has DVI, then you would want a DVI Switchbox (fairly pricey) for the best quality on both TV and PBook. THe Dell also does a picture-in-picture thing for watching TV while you computer -- they don't specify but I would guess that that is only on the S-Video or Composite input -- I would be surprised if they do PIP with VGA and DVI.

You would have to deal with sound output separately.

Samsung and Sony have released TV/monitors with built in tuners. The sony 19" unit is part number MFMHT19S


Mar 13, 2005, 02:02 PM
You might went to check out viewsonic, they have a bunch of adapters to turn monitors into TVs, some even have HD and 5.1 surround sound capability.


These are also on sale on ebay and occasionally on clearance on viewsonic's webpage so it might be worth a try.

Mar 13, 2005, 02:05 PM
How does the res on the Dell's compare to HD? If I had an HD cable box would the monitors support it?

Thanks for your help!

Mar 13, 2005, 03:31 PM
I'm not sure, if you check around there are some other threads about this topic, you might want to check w/ Dell or Viewsonic too.

Sometimes you hear about blurring issues when people use LCD monitors as TVs, I don't know if it's a refresh rate issue but on my Dad's 19" Sony LCD w/ a PC tv tuner card the image is alright but nothing spectacular.

Mar 13, 2005, 03:34 PM
LCDs still suffer from a slow pixel response time, plus they can't display interlaced material properly. So they are not very good for sports broadcasts where the 60i or 50i video appears to have combing artifacts on the LCD.