TV as a monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by skippymac, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. skippymac macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2010
    Hampshire, UK
    I always hear about how computer monitors are much better than TVs for using computers. I'm just not sure how this is true?

    If I had a 27 inch 1080p LCD HDTV, would this be significantly different in quality to a 27 inch 1920x1080 LCD monitor?

    I ask because I'm looking to get a full media set up ready mainly for uni next year. I'm fed up of searching for a monitor with enough inputs for all my devices (HDMI, component etc) and a DVB-T2 tuner. I'd rather not buy a stand alone Freeview+ tuner.

    So overview:
    1 Why are TVs supposedly so much worse?
    2 If the res and size is the same will the quality be the same?
    3 Any recommendations for TVs or monitors with 2 or more HDMI ports, a component input and Freeview+?

    (In the UK btw)

    PS. final question: Is it worth getting a 2560x1440 monitor if I'll be watching a lot of 1080p content or will it look better on a 1080p monitor/tv?
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    The answer to your question is simple. TV sets and computer monitors have diametrically opposing uses and design goals. TV sets are designed to view moving images from several meters away. Computer monitors are designed to view text from within arm's reach. As for resolution, 1080p may have been the bee's knees for computer monitors more than a decade ago. Today, 1080p is a television standard. As a computer monitor resolution, this is small beer.

    I am curious about your desire for a single screen. I am watching my TV while I type this response. I need two screens. Many people today have multiple screens per room in their homes and places of business. Flatscreen TV sets today are not substantially different in price from the old CRT-based units of just a few years ago.
  3. Zeke D macrumors 6502a

    Zeke D

    Nov 18, 2011
    I have been using 40" sony televisions to display my media center, my various entertainment devices and OTA television for about a decade.

    Any television with 720p or better and one of the following can be used as a monitor: HDMI/HDCP, RGB Component or SVGA/DVI

    The limitations on screen resolution are determined by the TV resolution, not the input technology.

    720p TVs will max out at 1360x768.
    1080p TVs max out at 1920x1080.

    Less than 720p, don't bother.
  4. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I have used HD TV sets before as monitors and they work great if I am not using it as a regular computer screen at a distance just because the font size at 6ft+ aren't very comfortable for me.

    Now for watching videos or playing game they work just fine. I take my Mac Mini and an external drive on the go when we are on vacation in our RV and connect it to the 40" TV's there and they work great for on the go movie viewing.
    That and an Airport Express for adding a WiFi network to put the AppleTV for watching in the bedroom and outside TV.
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    The issue is that a 1920X1080 (1080P) 27" monitor (television or computer) is pretty crappy. Low resolution is OK on a smaller monitor... but at 27"... I would strongly recommend 2560 horiz resolution.

    For gaming... 1080P is probably OK. For watching video... it is fine. For doing any fine computer work... it is too low res.

  6. skippymac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2010
    Hampshire, UK
    The main reasons I want one screen are price and space constraints. I don't strictly need a monitor as I have a macbook pro, the only thing I would need one for is my raspberry pi and that doesn't call for any great resolution. I would however like to have a second screen for my laptop if feasable to add some real estate for working etc. 13" is fine but can feel a bit cramped at times.

    Considering the main uses would be for watching TV, videos from my mbp and xbox gaming, would it still be worth getting a 2560 display for the amount of computer work I'll be doing? I'd say I would probably use the screen about 2/3 of my working time if I had one, but only really wish I had one now anout 1/3 of the time, if that makes any sense :S Browsing and light entertainment etc I'll just stick to my laptop screen as I might want the TV on in the background.

    With that in mind, is it worth me spending the extra money for a 2560 monitor? And if the quality of video/games on a 2560 monitor may be dodgy (especially as it will most likely be a low end one) would I not be better with 1080p?

    One more thing, (sorry for the essay) if I plug an xbox 360, or say a tv tuner which outputs 1080p, via hdmi into a 2560 monitor, what will it look like? will it be scaled up or a smaller image or does it depend on the display?

    Thanks for your help guys
  7. skippymac, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012

    skippymac thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2010
    Hampshire, UK
    Also - would it be a good idea to consider a 23 or so inch monitor at 1080p instead? I'm using a 22 inch 1680x1050 at work right now and it's certainly high enough pixel density for me. Is 23 inches big enough for comfortable tv viewing/gaming from about 2 metres away?

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