Recommend Very Large Monitor > 40"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wubbzy, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. wubbzy macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2008
    We have a MacBook and a MacBook Pro, and we want to attach a very large monitor to them (greater than 40") for a special project. Can you recommend a large display? We're thinking of getting a plasma TV with DVI input (haven't found one yet). Will this work?

    If you have any experience with this, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks.
  2. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    I have my MacBook hooked up to my HDTV (47") via a DVI-to-HDMI cable. It works alright. I can get 1080i resolution out of it. However, I don't know that you'll find something that large with a resolution higher than 1920x1080.
  3. Westsider 4 Mac macrumors regular

    Westsider 4 Mac

    Apr 12, 2007
    On the West Side
    test it first

    I hook up my 42 inch plasma to my 17 inch 2.16 every now and then. Photoshop really comes accross pretty neatly.:apple:
  4. LeahM macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2008
  5. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    One issue you might run into is overscanning. Many TVs overscan video signals by 5% or so, which means things like the menu bar and the dock may get cut off.

    Sony's LCD TVs tend to be one of the exceptions (may not be all models).
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Three things to note:

    First, I'm going to assume you know that TV-intended screens have a much lower pixel density than any computer monitor. If resolution, not just physical size, is a consideration, you're definitely going to want to get a 1080p screen, which is as good as you're going to get outside of extreme high-end 30+" monitors (like the ones Apple and Dell sell).

    Second, unless the high brightness is a necessity for your purpose, you probably want an LCD rather than a plasma, since they (usually) draw somewhat less power and won't have issues with burn-in, which Plasma can if used as a computer monitor. Nowhere near the issue it used to be, but still not totally gone. Quality-wise higher-end LCDs are on par with plasma screens anyway these days.

    Third, I just did me some learnin' about that overscan issue while shopping for a new TV. Many larger LCD TVs have a computer input port, but that's often just VGA, and if you look closely at the specs many don't support the full resolution of the TV screen (1920X1080). But you can always get a DVI-HDMI cable and use that to get a pure-digital signal on the TV...

    ...except for that overscan issue. I'm at a loss as to why that would still be an issue with a pure-digital signal in this day and age, but as far as I can tell ALL current TVs will, by default, overscan a 1080p signal so you're a) not getting a pixel-for-pixel image, and b) losing the edges of the screen.

    However, most HDTVs do have a "dot-by-dot" (or some similar term) option in their settings somewhere. That will let you get a true, pixel-to-pixel 1920x1080 image from the computer to the screen. But make SURE the TV has it before you buy--I very nearly bought one of the ones that doesn't because I'd never even imagined such a thing still existed with digital signals.

    All that said, I ended up with a 37" D62-series Sharp, and when set to dot-by-dot mode it displays a very nice image from my MBP. Not saying you want a Sharp necessarily, but they have some reasonably priced and still high-quality TVs in the 42" range.
  7. plangly macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2008
    go for a sony bravia xbr 52 or 46, overscan can be turned off and they have some of the best colour response out their, other than that id recoment the samsung lcd screen, or a sxrd sony projector, they only have a 1080 res but they are increadibly sharp and have no barn door artifacts on the screen like the lcd and dont suffer the rainbow effect from the colour wheels of the dlps. or for a higher res you are looking at a 4k projector and lets just say that most digital cinemas dont run 4k because of the price
  8. plangly macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2008
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    For an older analog source, definitely true, as anyone who's ever looked at a DVD made from older TV source material on a computer screen knows.

    But I honestly fail to see why, when the 1080p format was being developed--a format that is pure digital and has a fixed, definite resolution--overscan was considered such a necessity. I'm honestly curious as to what the logic was, and I'm not being sarcastic--I'm hardly an expert in the area.

    I realize that even in the theater a small amount of the frame edge gets cropped out, but it just seems like that could have been taken into account at the transfer stage rather than unnecessarily degrading the image quality of the picture. Looking farther ahead, I don't see reason for pure-digital HD cameras to rely on overscan for the edges of the frame any more than modern digital still cameras do now--any cropping done is before the image leaves the CCD, so the picture that hits the memory card is expected to be usable at full rez.
  10. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Depending on your project I would suggest using a smaller monitor with a higher resolution. Something like a 24" with 1080p (or even a 30" apple or dell offering twice the resolution) this way you can sit fairly close to the monitor (assuming your still using the keyboard and mouse attached or on the MB and MBP) and still see a very good picture.

    However if you need distance I would go with a plasma tv as said here.

    Any insight as to what the project is that might be able to help us?
  11. plangly macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2008
    Yes Overscan comes from the days of the round tube, but in more modern times its needed for the timing of the video sources, timing being the accuracy of its position on the screen, it can drift after running long cable runs. sometimes you can see alot of white and black small lines in the top section of the signal. you can clearly see this on some on screen graphics such as supers, you can find that what you believe is supposed to run to the edge of frame actually more often than not drops short

    yes a pure digital connection from acquisition to transmission is very common especially in the HD realm, their is also extra information held with the first few lines of the screen. from my knowledge here in australia line 3 holds the epg and it is also common for other data such as transmission playlists to be held in another line for local content insertion. therefore it is necessary to cover these lines.

    DV content recorded of the handy cams have a common issue of line 1 holding data and it shows up with the right hand side of the line as black
  12. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    If you're looking for actual monitors, the highest you can buy right now is 30" (2560x1600 pixels). Just keep in mind that those need dual-link DVI to be able to show anything above 1280x800 on them, so you'r MacBook is out of question.
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Thank you for the explanation. Summing up, if I'm understanding correctly, basically it's because somebody decided to keep sticking metadata into the actual frame rather than including a parallel or otherwise embedded encoding in the original format. Kinda like if EXIF data were stored in the first few lines of a JPEG?

    Which makes some sense, even though it seems idiotic from my non-broadcast perspective. It seemed particularly idiotic when I was checking out a 1080p blu-ray disc--without overscan it had a nice little 2.5% or so black border around the actual picture, so that most TVs would not lose any of the picture. Meaning that the image was measurably degraded for no reason other than that TVs overscan by default.

    Seems like if you were going to go to the trouble of re-doing the entire format from the ground up for DTV you'd take that into account, but such is the world of broadcast, I guess.
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Yes "everyone" does it this way now. We have large screen TV's and HD projects in most of the confrence rooms now. TV sets make great monitors if you need to show your work to a large group where the viewing distance is at least several feet (the normal TV viewing distance) If you need to be closer than 2 feet you are better off buying several of the 30" monitors and building a grid array of them

    Years ago we put in some 100" sceens with 1000+ line resolution in about 1991, I think this cost over $150K per screen. The customer was happy that he could get it. Today you could buy something even better at Best buy for 1/10th the price.
  15. plangly macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2008
    if you really want to take things to the next level in being annal, the sony f24 top of the line camera the spec of it only acually pick up 1000 lines of detail within the frame, SD cameras pickup around 800 lines. so even on the biggests screens unless the camera can pickup more detail whats the point in being so annal.

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