LCD HDTV or LCD Monitor?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Puppyyy, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Puppyyy macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    So basically what I want to do is watch TV in HD and have a second larger display for my White book..
    I've done some searching and have found mixed views on whether to get an HDTV or monitor to use as both tv and monitor. Of course being a broke college student I'm looking for the cheapest route possible, with best picture quality possible... so far I've found that monitors are generally much cheaper but I'm not sure how the quality of TV would be on a monitor.

    Another thing is, I know that if i get an HDTV i will be able to watch tv and hook up my macbook (using mini DVI adapter) as soon as its out of the box.
    But, I know that is not true for the other way around, in my apartment I only have the coaxial cable connecting straight from my old CRT TV to the wall. Will i need to buy a cable box or something to get cable TV to run on an LCD monitor?

    Also, does anyone know if its possible to get my macbook resolution 1280x800 to fit perfectly on a 1080p HDTV with no overlap or loss of the sides of the screen? Would a mini DVI to HDMI cable work?
    Thanks in advance ^_^:D
  2. newbynate macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2008
    Hd Tv

    I'm setting up my gf with this exact set up. Depending on your macbook model you can either standard run dual monitors or download a app that enables it (instead of just mirror).

    A macbook and an HDTV 1080p LCD HD TV (Not Plasma). either use a DVI to HDMI cable or alot of the tvs even have DVI Inputs. the macbook can output other resolutions, you can get almost (or full HD) if you go into system preferences and look at your output resolutions once you plug in the TV. I think its the best and cheapest set up you can do if you want a decent TV and external monitor in one.
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    LCD Monitor (make sure it has HDMI, DVI and spdif output assuming you will hook up a 5.1 stereo)
    - Brightness designed for close up viewing so is easier on the eyes
    - Cheap

    - Few choices for aspect ratio (Not great for older standard def programs)
    - Requires HD cable/satellite box
    - Few inputs (the most expansive have 2 digital, 1 VGA, component)
    - No remote control
    - Garbage speakers

    HDTV (make sure 1080P)
    - Brightness for viewing TV
    - Screen size for TV viewing (computing at a distance)
    - can have HD tuner for over the air HD some allow for cable cards to avoid a cable box
    - Aspect Ratio control (many choices for SD shows)
    - Multiple inputs (you can have Blu Ray, DVD, Cable, Computer, console all hooked up)
    - Okay speakers
    - Remote control

    - Brightness for computing (the much brighter tv's can be tough on the eyes)
    - Price

    Ultimately for my room I went with a monitor because of price and that it would be used 95% of the time for computing. Occasionally I watch an HD program from, etc... And it looks great. If the compute/TV use was closer to 50/50 I would have gone with an 37"+ 1080P HDTV and used a wireless keyboard and mouse to compute at a distance.

    For you it would depend on your use. Now if your primary use is as a TV I would go with an HDTV. You can get a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and sit further away from the TV when computing, thus eliminating the brightness problem. The really great part being that you can get a large screen.

    Now if you will be using it primarily at a desk with your laptop then I would get an LCD monitor. It will not be as good for TV but will provide a sharp image and be easy on the eyes for close up computing. You will not have a remote though for turning the screen on/off, changing volume or switching inputs.
  4. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    From a DPI point of view, unless you're sitting 4 or 5M away, a 32" LCD TV with a resolution set to 1280 x 768 would be fine.

    A lot of them support 1366 x 768 with 6% overscan but have settings to display 1280 x 768 with borders on the left and right.

    There's a display control panel called "SwitchRES" which will allow you to create custom resolutions so you can fill those borders with a resolution of 1360 x 768 and only 1 row of pixels missing from the top and bottom and a 3 pixel black bar on the left and right.

    Don't forget if you're sat at a desk, no more than a metre away from a screen a DPI of say 90 - 95 would be fine so that's more than enough to comfortably use anything from a 17" LCD at 1280 x 1024 to a 24" LCD at 1920 x 1080.

    Once your sat further away, you need a lower DPI to still see a sharp image without eye strain.

    I believe 40% of the distance from where your sat in inches is the largest size for a wide screen TV before you can't take in the entire image so 2.5 metres away would be no more than a 40" LCD for instance and that would be 38 DPI (equivalent to 95 when your no more than 1 metre away).

    If you wanted to have full 1920 x 1080 at 40" you'd need to sit no more than 180cm from the screen or risk eye strain

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