TV as a monitor

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jclifton, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. jclifton macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2008
    I have given up waiting for a new display. I happen to be in a meeting recently where a 42-inch flat screen TV was use as a wall hung display. This worked well for the meeting and now I want to us the same for my home office. Several problems have occurred to me. The TV will be 11 feet from my office chair. How large screen is needed to give me a clear image that I can read with 20/20 vision? Will it require a 1080P tv? What ichat camera will focus at 11 feet? How will I run the camera to my computer 14 feet away from the screen? What wireless headset would be best when I want to do a ichat?
  2. McGiord, Feb 2, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    I use my 40" Sony LCD TV with my MB with the miniDVI to DVI adapter, it works pretty good, for only $19 + taxes.
    Get an inexpensive cable to connect it, for a smal investment you can test it and decide if you want to invest more in a longer cable, etc.
    For the headset you can use any bluetooth cellphone headset as mic/earphone to chat via iChat/skype, I have a motorola one and it works fine also.
  3. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    Tv's are not very good computer monitors, since the ergonomics are really bad when working at such a great distance (you already mentioned a lot of good reasons). Of course it depends on your usage.
    Basically, you have a big screen with small letters because of a very high pixel pitch (and 1080p will not make things clearer, only smaller) and the only way to read it thoroughly is to increase the size and then you will need an even bigger display.
    Not mentioning that you will be turning your head and becoming tired in your head and neck.

    Do what you want but take heed. You will most likely eventually want a smaller display closer to you.
  4. McGiord, Feb 2, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    If you set your Display Preferences to mirror your mac display on the TV you can have a very good image to see all the details like your mac screen.
    Of course a good TV must be used with 1080p preferrable.
    justin bieber
  5. TenFour macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2006
    How come more people don't use LCD t.v.'s as monitors if they work quite well, especially when people are moving to larger and larger monitors? I like the idea of buying a 24+" t.v. For $500 to $800, you get good colour reproduction and range, fast enough response time for games and movies (obviously), built in t.v. tuner, tons of inputs etc. I must be mistaken, though... otherwise everybody would be using t.v.'s, right? Is this a hidden secret, or are dedicated computer monitors substantially better? I'm so confused!:confused:
  6. Spievy macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2002
    I have a 37" LCD TV hooked up to my imac. I use it as a media center. I absolutely love it. My couch is less than 10 feet from the TV so all the text is legible (unless it is super small). My resolution on the TV is 1280x720 so I guess that means it is 720i or p.
  7. TenFour macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Score 1 more for the t.v. computer display! Any more opinions?
  8. suprajoe macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2008
    I have a 73" Mitsubishi that I use from time to time....mainly to play GH3 and Call of Duty. I don't think I could use it as an everyday "monitor" because things do get small...even though the screen is huge. It is at 1080i. I use the DVI port on it. Jiddick ExRex hit it right on in his explanation.
  9. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2008
    I'm hoping to use a 27" Samsung LCD TV as my temporary monitor. I'm hoping for new ACD's and can wait a few months.....

    Well, at least I can wait now while the computer waits to be shipped. Once it actually arrives, that may be a different story.
  10. macgruder macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2007
    Why is everyone waiting for new ACDs? The panel (the most important bit) has had upgrades since the original release and uses the best 23" S-IPS that you can buy at about the cheapest price you can buy. If LG.Philips don't update their S-IPS range for a while then you could be waiting months and months.

    If you need the latest S-IPS panel (or more inputs) then you can just buy the latest NEC 24" WUXi (can't remember the exact product name) which is about $1100 and is not necessarily much better than the ACD.

    A 23" S-IPS monitor for around $800 is a good deal. If you are waiting on new inputs then it would be nice if Apple upgraded the ACD but that could be a long time from now.

    Apple might want to keep the 23" size and form so people 1 monitor already can still buy a second, and since the 23" already has the best panel anyway they may not update it for a while.
  11. XianPalin macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2006
    I have a 50" Sony LCD TV (KDS-R50XBR1). Not specifically Mac related, but I had tried to hook up my PC to it a while ago, using a dvi->hdmi cable, and ran into a lot of problems.

    First and foremost, most TVs aren't designed to be used as computer monitors; there is a difference in the way they are designed I believe so the picture won't look anywhere near as good on a TV as it does on a monitor - the TV is designed to look good for constant motion and be slightly blurry I think to keep video looking good (to prevent jagged edges anyways), whereas a computer monitor is designed for crispness of the image. That's what I've heard anyways. My tv does have a VGA input as well, so I guess maybe they can optimize themself for PC viewing.

    Whatever the case, I ran into a lot of problems. First and foremost you'll normally run into overscan, having to tweak the video a lot or use a 3rd party program to keep your start menu or menubar from being located off of the screen.

    Next thing I ran into was kind of what I described above - the desktop looked like crap. Once I ran a video file and played it, it looked pretty good - I was a bit confused by the desktop looking crappy but video looking fine, but like i said above I guess that's just how it is.

    So from my experience, I wouldn't recommend it. Newer tvs however might not be as bad, or the VGA port might be better optimized. I know at work we have 42" Dell plasmas and they work a lot better, but the resolution is still not very high and it makes it hard to do anything. In most cases a good monitor closer to your face is always gonna be a better choice.
  12. amik macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    720P = 720 x 1280 = 920,000 pixels
    1080P = 1080 x 1920 = 2,073,600 pixels

    HP LP3065 30" monitor = 1600 x 2560 = 4,096,000 pixels

    Consider that the HP display's pixels are nearly double that of the 1080P and are on only a 30" screen. The pixel pitch on the HP is only 0.250 mm (101.6 pixels per inch). A 50" 1080p television has a pixel pitch of 0.576 mm. (44.1 pixels per inch). A 720p will be even worse.

    Large monitors are pricey for a reason.
  13. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    As amik shows, the resolution and pixel-count of the computer-specific panels is better. Also, many 720p displays have a resolution of 1366x768 so you need to be sure your Mac can support that resolution for maximum quality.
  14. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    This is highly misleading. Generally, 720p (60 fps) monitors have twice the framerate of 1080p (30 fps) monitors. 1080p monitors have an advantage, but it is not overwhelming. However, there is no escaping the fact that these are TV sets, not computer monitors. They may serve certain specialized purposes, such as presentation kiosk monitors. However, they are not designed to be used as general purpose computer monitors and will come up short when pressed into that role.

    Several manufacturers are marketing high-end 1080p TV sets as 120 fps. There is no 120 fps content from anybody anywhere. You have to be very careful when putting stock into a product that is advertised to fill a non-existent need.
  15. Wingnut330 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    I have my mini hooked up to a 52" Sony Bravia. It looks great, but like some others have said, it's not that easy to use. The Leopard fonts are difficult to read from more than about 6 feet away and I don't really want to adjust my resolution down.

    The bigger problem for me is that I'm finding that in our household people want to use the TV all the time and it can't accomodate everyone. We have a Wii, Mac and cable box hooked up to it and it can't do all 3 at the same time! :)

    I plan to move the mini to my Den, get an AppleTV and abandon the HTPC concept for now.
  16. amik macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    How is multiplication misleading? Resolution is independent of frame rate and I spoke only about resolution. Low resolution is the reason people complain about jagged text or mention that "the desktop looked like crap", not frame rate. I'm not trying to proclaim the general merits of various high definition televisions, only their shortcomings as computer monitors. If we are talking about gamers here, your point is certainly valid and an important distinction.

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