Use a TV as a secondary monitor?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nhaque, May 2, 2009.

  1. nhaque macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2008
    The price for a 24" from Apple is $999, that is also the price of a good HDTV at around 42". I'm sure the color reproduction on the Apple will be much better, but apart from that, is there anymore reason to not get the TV?

    Also, since I'm asking anyway, if I'm buying TV, I think I will get a Bravia, it's a good brand right, right..? (I don't know anything about TV):(
  2. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    Yeah basically. They are for two separate uses. The LED displays from Apple are professional computer monitors...for your computer. The TVs are well a tv and though it make appear the specs are the same usually the panels are better in the monitors. However, you will get much more versatility out of a TV.

    It all depends what you want out of it.

    If you don't care about a top of the line monitor and color reproduction and the complete lack of versatility in connections to the Apple model and own a unibody notebook or a new Mac Pro then you can get the Apple monitor. Otherwise look somewhere else.
  3. virgomac macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2008
    Well, there are good points and bad at least for me.

    While the quality is good, its no where near as that of a monitor since you have the same resolution as say a 22" monitor just spread out over a larger area. But sitting an appropriate distance from the TV will give you very nice picture.

    My biggest problem was that for me I had to sit so far away from my actual desk to "see" the TV/Monitor that I might as well have actually had a 22-24" one. If i was sitting close, I was moving my head and eyes far to much just to see the full breadth of the monitor. I could never focus on the entire thing like you would be able to with a normal sized monitor sitting in front of you. In my case (which might be different than others) bigger just wasn't better.

    If you were to do this however, I might suggest nothing more than a 32" if it is going to be on your desk.

    This is a 32" Bravia in the picture

  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    the resolution will be alot courser since its over a larger area

    as far as tv brands, samsung and sony are at the top imo
  5. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    A HDTV will "work" as a second monitor, but the resolution is very, very low. Even on a 1080i/p HDTV, the actual number of pixels is not much more than a 15" Macbook Pro. So while it might seem like a good idea to use a HDTV as an external display, you won't really be able to see any more information.

    If you're sitting close to a HDTV, text will appear blurry. It will be fantastic for watching DVDs or movies downloaded from iTunes, but not so fantastic for everyday use.
  6. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    Sony Bravia

    I have used the 19 inch Bravia (model KDL-19M4000, can find it for $300 now) as a secondary monitor hooked up to a Powerbook G4. This TV has a VGA port for a PC connection. Cosmetically, this TV actually looks more like a computer monitor than it does a TV. It will display 1440 x 900 pixels. The picture was passable for general use, but the colors and overall picture quality are much better when it's used as a TV. I picked up an inexpensive Acer 22 inch LCD computer monitor (model AL2216W) which has 1680 x 1050 pixels, and a better picture (for computing) than the Sony, for only $160. I hooked up an AppleTV to the Sony Bravias HDMI port, love that combination.
  7. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    DPI on the 15" MBP is 110. My 24" fullHD TV is 96dpi. A 1080p 32" BRAVIA is right arond 68-72dpi. Unless he has a 1920x1200 screen on his laptop he will gain screen space. Aside from that you normally would sit 1-2ft from your laptop screen, whereas TV viewing ranges start from about 3ft, which is what it would probably be used at as a monitor. That being said the screen will look sharp. The text is only blurry from that 3ft in, which would not be the optimal viewing distance anyway. So yes you would see more information as long as the screen resolution is higher than his laptop. Now, apart from that dual screens is more space too.

    No HDTVs are the optimal decision for a monitor, but they aren't a bad decision. They are way more cost effective against what Apple offers for people who don't need accurate color reproduction and high quality panels. Plus LED Apple displays require a Mini-Display port, and that's the only input compared to the 5-8 you can get on a TV.
  8. mdeanoly macrumors newbie


    Jun 12, 2008
    Mesa, Arizona
    It's really easy to connect a Mac to a HDTV. I had to buy two adapters, though. If you want HD quality video, they you'll want to connect using HDMI.

    It depends on what computer you have to what adapter you need. I have a white intel iMac, with a MiniDVI port. I bought a Mini DVI to DVI adapter at the Apple Store for $20, and a DVI to HDMI adapter for cheap on Amazon. Then I just connected them together with an HDMI cable. Using System Prefs, I changed to resolution to HD and I was done.

    For a couple bucks, you can save lots of money not buying an overpriced :apple: monitor.
  9. Apocrathia macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2009
    University of South Alabama
  10. u49aa2 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2008
    Between Heaven and Hell
    agree 100% from personal experience. I would go for a monitor
  11. nhaque thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2008
    thanks guys for the info.
    I actually tried a 42" TV and yes, the resolution was bad, what is more important thought is that I have to sit really far away, otherwise my eyes hurt so much. So I guess a 24" monitor would be best for me.
  12. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    I can truly recommned the sony bravia tv. I have two. One LCD and the new LED and they are both great. Both have motion flow and 1080p. Great stuff.

    However using either of them as a second monitor would be difficult given their size. You get more screen real estate from the apple monitor given the resolution.

    The other problem is that you cannot take in the whole screen when you sit so close to the TV. I have one TV at around 50 inch and the other is 46. You can't sit in front of them and see everything.

    On one I have the mini and on the other I have the ATV. Great system.

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