Turning my monitor into a TV...

ouphe

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 12, 2005
130
0
Los Angeles, CA
I've got kind of a general question that I've seen addressed in bits and pieces before, but never as specificially as I would have liked.
I'm looking to buy an LCD widescreen television for my studio, and after going over prices, I'm a bit shocked and looking for an alternative (maybe I've just been spoiled by the cheap widescreen 20" monitors Dell has been offering, but man...).
In any case, I've been thinking about purchasing one of the many cheap widescreen 20" monitors on the market these days along with something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16815100114&CMP=BAC-dealmac&ATT=15-100-114

Here are my questions:

1. I keep hearing that watching TV on a monitor isn't as good as on a screen made for the purpose. Why is this? Generally monitors seem to have much higher resolutions...wouldn't that allow for greater versatility and quality?
2. My plan is to simply have the monitor mounted on a wall-mount and hanging above my computer set-up...would there be any reason this wouldn't work? Do things like this require a connection to a computer as well as a monitor, or do they simply hook up to a cable connection and use the monitor as a screen?
3. I've also seen TiVo like contraptions that seem to do the same thing, but I would imagine those would require a computer to hook up to (utilizing the HD to save shows), correct?

Any advice anyone can offer about this would be greatly appreciated, including experiences with this kind of setup, products that are solid and reliable, and things to do/not to do.

Thanks!

-Colin
 

wako

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,404
1
You generally want a screen that was made into a TV because it has the lower resolution. I think the typical signal is 320x240 that comes out of cable companies. So if your monitor's resolution is 1600x1200 let's say and it has to stretch that, that is going to be one really ugly TV show.

However now a days they have HDTV tv tuner cards as well, however the signal that typically comes in at 640x480? or was it 1028x768.. anyhow, it still will look pretty ugly. Even if you did get a HDTV tuner card, you might also have to fork over more money to the cable company so that you can get the digital signal

and with the TV tuner card you found, you dont need to hook it up to a computer. just hook it into your computer, to the cable TV and turn it on and start watching TV...

now if you want to record shows and stuff, you are looking into the wrong TV tuner card, you actually need one that can connect to the computer.
 

trudd

macrumors regular
May 27, 2004
206
0
Texas
Unfortunately, Wako's information is a bit off. Wait for a pro to answer this one.
 

Winstonp

macrumors 6502a
Jan 2, 2005
845
37
Boston
wako said:
You generally want a screen that was made into a TV because it has the lower resolution. I think the typical signal is 320x240 that comes out of cable companies. So if your monitor's resolution is 1600x1200 let's say and it has to stretch that, that is going to be one really ugly TV show.

So how does an LCD tv work? You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.


A tv tuner, such as a black cable box or a VCR will do fine. I use my 24" dell lcd to watch tv.
 

Macer

macrumors regular
May 2, 2006
116
0
I use my imac to watch tv, it is only a temporary thing but it does look decent.
 

Stratification

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2005
240
0
Spokane, WA

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,181
1,184
East Coast
wako said:
care to point it out?
I'm no pro, but I do have some knowledge about TV's and stuff like that.

Standard Definition (SD) is broadcast at 640x480i.

DVDs are encoded at 640x480i (or 720x480i), but depending on the player and cables used, it can be converted to 640x480p.

HDTV comes in two flavors right now, either 720p or 1080i. The resolutions are 1280x720p and 1920x1080i.

As far as TV looking bad on a hi-res computer monitor, I have my opinion. Basically, it's due to the fact that none of these resolutions scale perfectly to standard computer monitor resolutions. So you'll end up with, either black bars or scaling. In general, computer monitors don't scale as well as dedicated TVs.

Just my $0.02
 

Macer

macrumors regular
May 2, 2006
116
0
I agree i would rather have a TV to watch TV on rather than a computer screen.
 

wako

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,404
1
ftaok said:
I'm no pro, but I do have some knowledge about TV's and stuff like that.

Standard Definition (SD) is broadcast at 640x480i.

DVDs are encoded at 640x480i (or 720x480i), but depending on the player and cables used, it can be converted to 640x480p.

HDTV comes in two flavors right now, either 720p or 1080i. The resolutions are 1280x720p and 1920x1080i.

As far as TV looking bad on a hi-res computer monitor, I have my opinion. Basically, it's due to the fact that none of these resolutions scale perfectly to standard computer monitor resolutions. So you'll end up with, either black bars or scaling. In general, computer monitors don't scale as well as dedicated TVs.

Just my $0.02

thank you


on a side note though...



my Dell 2005FPW does not make black bars even though Im getting the standard signal. It just stretches. It might simply be an option that I turned on or something.
 

ouphe

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 12, 2005
130
0
Los Angeles, CA
Wow...okay, that sheds a lot of light on what I wanted to know.
So here's a followup question:

Does anyone know of a decent LCD television I can get for my studio? I'm hoping to spend around $350, but that may just be wishful thinking...

Thanks to everyone who responded, and thanks in advance to anyone who reponds to this question!

-Colin