Monitor as TV

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by maccat, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. maccat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    #1
    Hi could anyone help,
    I've been thinking of upgrading to a macpro with a Dell 24" monitor(which seems to have got good reviews) as the Dell has composite inputs I was hopong to use it with my dvd recorder(which as composite out) as a TV solution thereby freeing up space.
    Has anyone tried this and is it a viable solution, I'd be grateful for any help.
     
  2. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #2
    I can't help you on this one, but I want an answer because I was wondering the same thing.
     
  3. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #3
    I've never done this, but if you're watching SD programming it will look horrible because it has a very low resolution and it is being stretched to use all the pixels on your screen.
     
  4. BeefUK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    #4
    I'd imagine it would be perfectly viewable in SD, as i've got a DVB USB dongle with I use with a 21" CRT monitor, and the quality is fine.

    Though I haven't tried it with a widescreen monitor, I was thinking of buying the 20" dell, until I heard about the banding issues they were having, it seems they have overcome some of these problems, with a new fireware update!!!

    I held off my purchase of a Dell screen because of this. However do and bit and research about the problem and make ur own mind up, after reading alot of forums, it seems that some people are extremely fussy about their monitors!!
     
  5. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

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    May 26, 2006
    #5
    CRTs are different as they do not have a native resolution, that's why it looks ok.
     
  6. nate13 macrumors 6502

    nate13

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    Fargo, ND
    #6
    TV tuner?

    I think a viable solution would to get a seperate tv tuner (found at www.tigerdirect.com for around 50) that can convert standard signals (from your DVR box right?), and provides a vga or dvi output. if you could find one that has an input for vga/ dvi, you could also hook your macbook up to it and use it as a seperate display as well as a tv.
     
  7. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    #7
    You'd still get poor picture quality because the lcd display has a high native resolution where as SD video is very low resolution.
     
  8. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #8
    So is it better to get a LCD TV? Or would that not work well then with you Mac?

    I'm looking for a monitor that I can play gamecube on and then switch over and edit on Final Cut...
     
  9. NYmacAttack macrumors 6502

    NYmacAttack

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    Dec 8, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    #9
    A LCD TV would have low resolution so working in Final CUT would be pretty awful.
     
  10. #10
    I am no expert on the area of composite in monitors....but why would there be the optional composite input on a monitor if it will just turn up looking like absolute crap if you plug in a composite device?? what is the purpose behind that?
     
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    When I got my Dell 2007FWP I put my TV in the closet and hooked up my VCR and DVD player to the monitor, as well as my computer of course. It looks fine. You can tell that it's a little off not being in native resolution, but if you're watching from a couch and not sitting with your nose to the screen, it's not all that noticable unless you look for it.
     
  12. PrOeliuM macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    #12
    I was in the same boat a week ago. I didn't want to buy a new tv for my room (cramped enough already), and I didn't want to buy a new tv tuner card or anything like that for my powerbook (i hear it takes up decent processing power, and I didn't want to take away cycles from the stuff I'm normally doing). So I decided to try to get the cable tv to output to my 2005fpw.

    Here's what I did:

    1. Went to Goodwill to pick up a $10 used VCR
    2. Went to Target and picked up a set of RCA cables for $5 and a coax cable for the same amount
    3. Got a universal remote for the VCR

    I ran the coaxial cable into the old VCR, and ran the video output port into the composite port on the back of the LCD. Voila! That was all it took to get video working on it. After powering up the VCR and programming the remote, I just selected the composite input and got great results (in my opinion).

    Here is an example of what the Bond movie on Spike tonight looks like on it.
    [​IMG]

    A higher resolution picture of another scene is here: http://proelium.org/pics/random/IMG_1522.JPG

    The plus side of doing it this way for me was not having to have the computer on to watch tv, not wasting cycles and creating excess heat for the powerbook, and having a remote so i can watch from bed. And the biggest perk of course is being able to watch the game while keeping track of my computing activities:
    [​IMG]

    It wasn't all this easy though since I still had to worry about audio. Your situation will depend on your equipment, but I had to get an RCA to 3.5mm plug converter to run from the audio out on the VCR to the Rear inputs of my creative inspire 4.1 system (the front inputs come from the powerbook's headphone port. After doing this I now have the computer sounds coming out of the front speakers next to the computer and and the tv audio coming out of the rear speakers on the bookshelf closest to the bed so it works out great. The only downside to this setup is that I have no way of controlling the volume from bed now since the remote only handles the VCR and the audio is going through the computer speakers. It's a minor gripe though.

    To the OP, I think a 2005/7 or 2405/7 is a very viable solution for watching TV.
     
  13. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #13
    Good point about sound. I run everything through my stereo, but I don't have a remote for that so I can't adjust volume without getting up and adjusting it.
     
  14. jsm4182 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Location:
    Beacon, NY
    #14
    I am in a very similar situation. To free up space in my dorm I wanted to use my 17" lcd I have hooked up to my ibook as a tv so i just ordered this. There are many similar devices but this one seems to be the only one worth the money. It has rca, s-video and tv antenna inputs along with vga and audio outs.
     
  15. Hibbity macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    #15
    I've got a 2405fpw...It has inputs for DVI, VGA, S-video, Composite and Component. i've got my mini on the DVI, no VGA, the PS2 on S-video, and the HDTV cable box on component. There's a little button that lets you toggle between the inputs.

    I must say, I am in love with this setup. HDTV looks mindblowing, specifically ESPN HD and Discovery HD Theater. Full 1080 on a screen thats relatively small for it makes it look like you're watching a window. Utterly mindblowing. You really have to see it to believe it, but it blows away most 1080 big screens i've seen in stores, likely because of the pixel density. I have it set to automatically scale SD to 4:3.

    The drawback is that when you want to switch from one source to another, you have to get off your ass and change the screen and audio input. Plus nobody else knows how to use it. i've gotta say though, this setup is perfect, because for relatively cheap I have an amazing computer monitor AND an unbelievalbe HDTV.
     

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  16. mahonmeister macrumors 6502

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    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Redlands, CA
    #16
    Forgive my ignorance, how do you get a small window of OS X to sit on top of the bond movie? I've had an external display for a few months now and thought you could only use one input at a time.

    Btw Hibbity, sweet desk. I think my grandma was in the market for one of those.:D
     
  17. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

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    May 26, 2006
    #17
    some monitors have picture in picture capabilities.
     
  18. PrOeliuM macrumors member

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    Jul 31, 2005
    #18
    As the above poster said, some monitors can display two inputs at once. The 2005/7 and 2405/7 monitors can display picture in picture or display the two inputs side by side. You can choose from three sizes for the PIP window and the corner of the screen you would like it to display on.
     
  19. mahonmeister macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Redlands, CA
    #19
    Oh.

    Cool.

    Thanks.

    Apple needs to offer more features like this with their monitors to make the price worth it. Does anyone besides pros/filthy rich buy them? Jeezz.
     
  20. indigoflowAS macrumors 6502

    indigoflowAS

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    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #20
    Quick question...

    What is the pixel or line resolution of SD?
     
  21. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

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    May 26, 2006
    #21
    640x480
     
  22. blueflame macrumors 6502a

    blueflame

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Studio City
    #22
    its a snap this is waht I use as my main tv all the time, you literally just hook it up, the only downside is, you cannot turn off the tv witha remote. only the cable
    but its a great cheap solution
    andreas
     
  23. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #23
    How does the PS2 look?

    I'm getting a 2407 I think and would like to know if my gamecube would look ok in it. I'm not looking for amazing sharpness, no I just don't want to end up playing smash bros and can't tell what the characters are or they are all cut off or something like that.
     
  24. fall3n macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    #24
    Sounds cool. I have an Acer lcd with two dvi's, i have a vga convertor for one. This shouldn't effect the quality should it? Also, I run at 1680x1024 widescreen, does the tv automatically down the res to 1280 x 1024? I want to reduce my tv space as well and stick it just on my lcd monitor.
     
  25. Moshiiii macrumors 6502a

    Moshiiii

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    #25
    I'm also wondering this. I have a old TV and when the Wii comes out I want to upgrade but I also want an external monitor for my MBP. I was hoping to pick up a Dell and use it as both.
     

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