Using an LCD TV as a monitor as well

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sikkinixx, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. sikkinixx macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #1
    I have been trying to find a decent monitor to use with my Macbook for a little while. I was kinda sold in a 20" Dell one as it was $329.99 cdn and had HDCP and all that jazz. However, I wanna put this in my room, and I would like to be able to use my DVD player/PS2/360/PS3(when I get one) with it as well. And the option to watch TV on it would be groovy as well. So now I am looking at some LCD TV's to fill the gap.

    There is this Samsung 19" one that I can get for $495 cdn

    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pr...665000FS10080144&catid=23515&logon=&langid=EN

    http://www.samsung.com/ca/products/tv/lcdtv/lns1951wxxaa.asp



    It doesn't have the 1500:1+ contrast ratio (it has 700:1) that the 26" version does but the resolution is higher and the price is half so :D It has DVI as opposed to HDMI which kinda sucks, and apparently the DVI can't be used with a computer, you need to use the VGA.

    Or There is

    http://www.samsung.com/ca/products/tv/lcdtv/lns2341wxxaa.asp?page=Features

    which is $799.99 but has a 3000:1 contrast, HDMI and PC input but has lower resolution and is an extra $350 after tax (oww)

    I figure some of the technophiles around here might know a thing or too or have some experience in using a TV as a monitor. Stat wise, this one looks as good as my 19" Viewsonic monitor that is hooked up to my PC, and I love that thing. Are there any issues with using a TV with a laptop?


    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #2
    I don't know your price range, but I'm getting the Westinghouse 37" LCD TV for $999, for the same reason you are getting your TV. The reason I am going with this one over all the others is because this has 1080p. I've heard some people a little upset with 720 and 480 LCD TV's not looking very nicely with computers hooked up to them. Another cool this is the TV does picture picture, or side-by-side picture which would be great to run your email on won side while having the TV open on the other side.

    $999 is a little much, but I figure since I was going for the Dell 24" before that was $699, I might as well save a little more and get kick resolution and a TV that can play my 360, Wii, and DVD's.

    I don't have a link, but if you go to Amazon and just search for it it will come up. Best Buy sometimes carries it, but at like $1500 or something crazy like that. I've read some reviews and its basically the best you can get for the money. The two downsides to the TV are there is no TV tuner (which doesn't mean crap really in todays world), and SD is supposed to look really bad (but all HD TV's make SD look bad).
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #3
    I have my iMac hooked up to the VGA-in of the 40" big brother of that TV (LN-S4051D) and it looks fine for Front Row, iPhoto slideshows, and light work, but it's 1360x768 instead of 1440x900. Essentially it's the same res. as the 17" iMac's screen, but at 19" which should be entirely usable.

    One complaint about HDTVs as monitors is that their stands only allow for swivel and not height or tilt adjustment. This one at least seems to tilt and swivel.

    FWIW I've been very satisfied with every monitor I've bought from Samsung over the years.

    B
     
  4. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #4
    thanks you guys

    Poppe, I have seen that TV too but it is big bucks in Canada and 37" is way to huge for the space I have. I need >26" for sure, and I don't wanna spend over ~$700-800 (cdn) after tax and all that.


    I used my 44" Toshiba DLP as a monitor once but it is so big that even at 1280x720 it doesn't look quite right for a computer, especially text.

    I figure a 19" or 23" LCD would be different. The 19" one is probably the same panel as a PC monitor no? Just with different guts (Coax tuner, component, etc.) The resolution is almost as good as my 19" Viewsonic (it is 1280x1024) and the price on the 19" is pretty sweet.
     
  5. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #5
    Get a Dell monitor with TV inputs. They aren't that much, and quality is ok. Always better to get a monitor that has TV inputs over a TV that can double as a monitor. My Dad bought some cheapy combo TV/monitor from Costco and it looks horrible with his PC. It has this weird stretched look and a terrible resolution.

    Even if space is an issue, it might be better just to buy a dedicated monitor and a nice CRT TV, then save up for a better HDTV monitor later when it's more worth it and prices come down a bit.
     
  6. davegoody macrumors 6502

    davegoody

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    #6
    Samsung screens are great

    AFAIK - Apple still use Samsung LCD panels in their own monitors so should be fine !
     
  7. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #7
    I was considering that but the 20" Dell monitor I want, the 2007WFP, only has composite inputs and the resolution is only a titch better than the 19" Samsung TV with a worse refresh rate and lower brightness.

    I could try this one

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=ca&l=en&s=dhs&cs=CADHS1&sku=320-5123

    Since it is only $300 (its on sale) and has HDCP which is great, and has a 5ms response time, which is good for gaming on it, but then I could only use my Macbook and my Xbox360 (via VGA) on it.

    Decisions, Decisions
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    Just FWIW a bunch of folks at work just got 2007FPWs for US$299 and the E207 was US$269 a couple weeks back, so you might want to try to find a deal or coupon that makes the prices more competitive. The E207WFP apparently uses the same panels and just doesn't have as many inputs or as flexible a stand as either the 2007FPW or the Sammy HDTV.

    B
     
  9. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #9
    $299.99 for the E207 is pretty good, it's canadian dollars so that would normally be like ~$249.99 US which is pretty cheap.

    I am kinda sold on the 19" Samsung because I dig the TV part, but I am gonna go to bestbuy once the snow melts here and see it for myself. You think they would let me hook up my Macbook to it to test it out?
     
  10. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

    #10
    I have a question, myself....I just bought a Samsung 40" 1080p LCD TV. It has a VGA input to connect to a computer. However, the instruction manual also says that I can connect a DVI to HDMI cable to use it as a monitor as well.

    Essentially, I want to connect my Core Duo iMac to this beast. What would be the best way to do this? 1. Get a Mini-DVI to VGA connector, a VGA cable and go through the PC input? or 2. Get a Mini-DVI to DVI connector, a DVI to VGA HDMI cable and go through the HDMI connection?

    Thanks!
     
  11. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #11
    Just to recap on a thought. If you buy a TV/Monitor combo it will look bad if it is not 1080p. So if you can find a monitor that is fits size and budget that is 1080p I'd go with that asap, but other wise just hit up the Dell 24". That has DVI , component, and composite inputs.
     
  12. ghostee macrumors 6502

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    #12
    As long as you let an employee know what you are going to do ahead of time, it shouldn't be a problem. I've done the same thing in the past at Best Buy (brought in my iBook and a TiVo), and they were fine with it.

    Either way would work fine. I'd look at the cost of each solution, and consider whether you mind tying up an HDMI port. Personally, I went with the VGA port on my Sony 42A10 and the picture is rather nice.

    I disagree. A low resolution TV would be undesirable as everything would look too large, and you'd lack screen real estate, but the Samsung linked above has a rather respectable resolution for it's size (1440 x 900).
     
  13. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #13
    I hadn't thought about the 24" Dell before, hm...

    It does have component, but I dunno if it has HDCP, which is something I would want.....hmmm....

    but its on sale for $799.99 cdn...hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

    (Macbooks will power a 1920x1200 screen right? Im pretty sure they can)
     
  14. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #14
    HDCP? what is that again?
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #15
    The upcoming hardware encryption protocol for HD content that may or not amount to something. In principle some HD devices will (or at least can) downscale to SD or 480p when HDCP is not supported by the display.

    B
     
  16. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #16
    I need HDCP if I wanna use my cable box with the monitor/tv. I tried plugging in my viewsonic and got the picture for about 5 seconds before a little message pops up telling me my device isn't HDCP active :mad: Stupid copyright BS...


    Anyway, I decided against the 24" dell as I have heard too many problems with it, particularly banding issues. Plus, $900 after tax etc is a bit steep. The $500 19" Samsung or possibly the 23" model ($749.99 I saw it for, which is still probably too much) look to be the way to go!
     
  17. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #17
    Pros to the 19': Higher net resolution makes it more useful as a monitor, 16:10 means it'll waste less area when displaying 4:3 content

    Pros to the 23': HDMI (which may become a requirement if the audio ends up wrapped in HDCP as well) + 2 component inputs which make it more useful as a TV.

    Decisions...

    B
     
  18. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #18
    So what resolution would be fine to have a MBP hooked up to? I really thought that 1900 x 1080 was what everyone was saying would look good, and that everything else would look slightly odd? will a 720p TV/monitor look fine when running OS X on it? Specifically FCP? Because hell I could save alot not going with 1080p
     
  19. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

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    #19
    Umm are you sure about this? I have yet to hear of a tv with PIP that can pull from two diferent sources, i.e., television signal and say DVD at the same time. I have only seen it pull two feeds within the same, i.e., two tv stations.
     
  20. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #20
    This is definitely something worth investigating more in depth before using it as a deciding factor in a purchase.

    I know what Aniej says it true for my Samsung LN-S4051D (PIP only works between certain sources and combinations) and it is apparently true for the Dell 2007FPW as well. (http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=dim_monitor&message.id=63966)

    B
     
  21. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #21
    I know the 24" dell can do a split screen of internet and TV or what ever... or so said the dell guy I asked about..

    And I thought I read some review about the guy who had the Westinghouse that it did that as well... Maybe I was dreaming... I'll look into that though quick. What about my other question I asked?
     
  22. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #22
    All I was saying is be careful. PIP and PBP do not always mean select any two sources. Make sure it'll work for the two sources that matter to you.

    e.g. as in the link I posted the Dell 20" can split screen between data and video inputs i.e. VGA and composite or DVI and component, but NOT DVI and VGA or component and composite.

    As to the other question I find my 1360x768 Samsung hooked up to my 1440x900 iMac to be quite workable, even when I make the TV the primary, but I also find the iBook's 1024x768 to be OK and I don't use FCP.

    B
     
  23. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

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    #23
    I think knowing this to be true and having the dell guy tell you it can do so are pretty different things. I will reiterate the previous reply in that you really just need to be careful, it would suck to buy it and then have it not work as you want. I really do not think what you want can be done, but post a link or something that describes this capability.
     
  24. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #24
    PIP and all that junk is that last of my worries. Just a quick question. And how would you propose I find out this information exactly? Go to the dell store I don't have? Go to the dell kiosk that only carries plasmas and 20ers? Or look through endless articles hoping to stumble on PIP? I'm not an idiot. I realized that a salesman spews bull s*** out of his mouth and could be selling me a finger up his a**, but as my options are limited to finding the answers I figured he was my only choice, well that and to come and ask Mac Rumors as well...
     
  25. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

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    #25
    Hmmm... I'm glad i took the time to even try to warn you before you make your purchase. How are you supposed to find this information out? You present this task as some sort of overwhelming search for the answer to the question is there life after death? You obviously have internet, go google it and figure it out. Oh and dopn't act like you came on macrumors to seek out the help of this community on this specific question, that is a post-hoc justification of a comment/assumption you made in your posting, none of your questions raised this until I brought it up!
     

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