Is it good to use an hdtv as my second computer monitor?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iExchange, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. iExchange macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2011
    Is it good to use an hdtv as my second computer monitor?
    Are there any advantages and disadvantages?
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I use an hdtv as the monitor for our old G4 Mini. It works fine. These days there is no need to pay for a dedicated "monitor" if you also happen to need a TV. Most TVs have VGA or DVI inputs and more and more computers have HDMI outputs. Since you didn't mention which Mac you have, my answer is rather general. If I knew you had one of the new Minis with the HDMI output, I'd be even more inclined to suggest an HDTV.

    The other issue is cost. If you have enough TVs lying around, you can get a decent 21 to 23 inch 1080p monitor for under $150 whereas the equivalent TV would cost $50 to $100 more.
  3. Euroamerican macrumors regular


    May 27, 2010
    I used a Samsung LN 630 120 hz 40-inch LCD TV with both an old G4 Mini and with my 2010 MBP as a test. It was fun to watch AVIs, WMVs, etc and to do iPhoto from a distance. I have a wireless Magic Mouse and a Wireless Apple Keyboard.

    However, the 40 was way too big for using as a desktop monitor. It might be OK if it was "further back" on the desk, sitting in the background or on the side to use a "workspace" to extend the desktop or to watch video or monitor newsfeeds. I also had black bars running vertically on the left and right side, which did not surprise me or both me. Some peole who want to fill the whole screen would need to research further to see if their particular Mac is totally compatible with the particular monitor they are thinking of buying.

    I would look at around a 32-inch TV, and you can save money if you are willing to do 720p. If you want to do 1080p though and/or 120hz, you are looking at TVs that are as expensive or more expensive than cheaper monitors.
  4. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    I used to use a 22" Vizio HDTV as a monitor. It was fine, just like a regular monitor except it had a TV tuner, speakers and a bunch of inputs.

    You need to keep in mind that a TV is going to be limited by a 1920x1080 (1080p) resolution. Even if its a 55" HDTV, it will still only be 1920x1080. This makes little difference with ~20" HDTV's because they will look the same as pretty much any other ~20" display.

    The problem comes when people think "Why would I spend $1100 for a 30" computer monitor when I can buy a 32" HDTV for $250?" You are paying for the resolution, 2560x1600 vs 1920x1080.

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