32" LCD TV as main Monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Chris7, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Chris7 macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    Lost in Thought

    Thinking about using a 1920x1080 LCD TV as my main monitor for my MBP via a cheap HDMI adaptor. Who here has tried this? Success? Sharp image? Blurry image? Problems?

    Would like to use a TV rather than computer monitor because the larger pixels when compared to a 32" computer monitor (would make text and icons about 30% larger compared to a computer monitor). Also, the TV would double as an "external monitor" via an Matrox MXO 2 Mini for use when color grading video.

    Any help much appreciated.

  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    The major issues you should probably be aware of...

    - The TV typically uses a lot more power (TVs displaced refrigerators supposedly on average as the largest single source of electricity consumption in the average American household) than a display.

    - Likewise it generates a lot more heat and, in some cases, noise

    - They're also rather bright and might cause eye strain for this reason if you're using them close up for a prolonged period of time. I guess you could reduce the backlight significantly, but....

    The other major option would probably be to look for a low pixel density monitor and/or get to know your accessibility options to make the screen usable.
  3. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    I was at Best Buy for two hours yesterday trying all the 32" LCD HDTVs they had hooked up to my MacBook Pro via Display Port to HDMI. To sub it up, they all looked like **** when it came to Text and details. None were able to fill the screen or too much Overscan due to OS X. I was surprised by my findings and now I am in search for a 27" or 30" LCD monitor. 30" are very expensive so I may go for a 27".

    See my post here.

  4. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Here is my setup now

    iMac 20" 2008 -> Mini-DVI Adapter -> 19" Samsung SyncMaster 920NW
    |-> eVGA DisplayLink Adapter -> Vizio L32 32" LCDTV

    I essentially have a 3 monitor setup, the iMac is set in the middle of the room, and the TV is setup behind me, so others and myself can view the iMac while sitting on a couch across the room. The TV is mounted higher than the iMac. The whole point of this setup was to have the iMac house all of the media, and be a central hub. More on this another time...

    Anyways, I have thought about using the TV as a primary display but quickly decided against it. It is only for movie watching and iTunes visualizers because it can't handle text very well at all. It works great as a movie display and a "widget display" for when no media is playing, but as a monitor, I do not suggest it at all.
  5. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    Lost in Thought
    Is overscan/anti-aliasing the problem?

    mkrishnan, DjAmTraX, dontwalkhand,

    Thanks for the help. Sorry it took so long to get back with you.

    I found a thread below saying that overscan/anti-ailiasing with OSX is a problem and all all non-Apple monitors (saying Apple monitors are somehow set up to work well with the overscan/anti-ailiasing in OSX). This was quite surprising to me.

    In your experience, are TV's looking worse than computer monitors made by brands other than Mac? (I suppose the answer is yes, but I wanted to make sure).

  6. zerohp macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2008
    Overscan is absolutely not an OSX problem. It's a problem with the settings on the TV or monitor.

    I have my Mac Mini connected to a 60" Plasma tv at 1920x1080 60hz. My Pioneer set has a setting called "Dot to Dot" that only appears when it gets a 1920x1080 input which disables all scaling. Not all TV's have this setting, but quite a few of them do.

    Mine is perfectly readable as a computer monitor, but its not good for a Plasma to show static images so I rarely use it that way.

    As far as the idea that OSX only works correctly with Apple monitors, that completely false. I have a 30" Dell that works perfectly in 2560x1600 with no overscan on my Macbook Pro. I've also connected a 24" Dell at 1920x1200 to both my Macbook Pro and Mac Mini.
  7. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    Lost in Thought
    OSX + Dell monitor or TV (Dot for Dot)

    Thanks for your post. I did not mean to say "problem" with OSX, but looking back over my last post, it seems that's basically what I said.:eek: What I meant to say is what I had gathered from the link I posted -- that that OSX is set up by default in such a way that it requires adjustments to make it work optimally with, for example, Dell monitors.

    What do the people here make of this thread?

    I did not know about this, thanks. So most 1920x1080 TV's are messing with the 1920x1080 signal they are fed (unless they are adjusted to "Dot to Dot")? I can understand why a 1280x720 signal fed to a 1920x1080 TV would need to be scaled, but don't get why they would mess with an signal that is the exact resolution as the TV.

    What are these TV's doing to the signal? Any links I should check out for more info?

  8. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Some HDTV's have overscan issues, some do not, it depends on the model.

    A properly calibrated computer monitor will be much better for color grading video than a consumer HDTV.

    I currently have a Dell 24" U2410 which is their top-end 24" monitor. It's quite good and has tons of inputs.

    I've hooked up my MacBook and Mac mini to my 40" Samsung. I would never consider doing this for anything but video, photo, and iTunes playback.

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