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tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Bought a TV for my computer

Hi Group,

Hope this is a good forum for this.

I have a computer with an ATI Radeon dual 5700 series video card with HDMI output.

I've always had it plugged into a monitor.

Today, I bought my wife a new Vizio 32" TV at Walmart for $278. It has HDMI outputs on it so I thought what the heck, I'll hook it up to my computer and check it out.

The display is pretty bad. The characters are very grainy, I could see this causing a real headache if used for long periods.

Anyways, I've heard of people using TV's for computers, but this one is either not setup right or a better TV is needed. This TV is for my wife so no major loss here, but if I want a really large screen for my computer, say 32" or higher, what should I be looking for to get a picture as good as a regular flat screen monitor?

Thanks.


Tursiops_G
Technoid
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-06
Norwalk, CT
kudos:1
Set your PC's Video Resolution to match the TV's NATIVE panel resolution... (1360x768 is a fairly common setting, but check your particular TV's specs to be sure...)

HTH,

-Tursiops_G.
--
If You're Unsure, "RTFM"... If You're SURE, "RTFM" Anyway.


tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
That is better but still not very crisp. What kind of TV would I have to buy in order to get similar quality to a computer monitor? Is there a particular feature I'm looking for? Is it the low TV refresh rate of 60hz? I would want resolution at least 1280x1024 minimum.


Jahntassa
What, I can have feathers
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Conway, SC
kudos:4
You would probably need to look at the native resolution of the panel. Just because the TV is labeled as 720p or 1080i does not mean it natively displays that.

Also most TVs have a larger Dot Pitch than monitors do. Meaning each pixel is larger on a TV than on a monitor, which also contributes to a loss of 'crispness'.

If you are planning on using a TV as a monitor, plan to be using it in a living room environment. Using a TV as a standard 'on a desk' workstation monitor rarely gives a good result.

asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
I agree. Keep in mind that most 22 inch monitors are 1680x. My 15 inch laptop is around the resolution of your tv. In other words a tv has a pretty low resolution for such a large size and is not designed to be viewed up close as a monitor. 30 inch monitors are typically 2560x1600 and cost considerably more than a large tv.

If she wants to use it she needs to move back from it and view it from a distance that a typical tv would be viewed from so she isn't looking at the individual pixels.


pog4
Premium
join:2004-06-03
Kihei, HI
reply to tomkb
in addition to setting the correct resolution, you will also need to ensure that your TV is not "overscanning". Basically, your computer might be outputting the correct pixel count (maybe 1366x768?) but the TV is displaying something else (like 1284x720 for eg). This reduced resolution is not the native resolution of the screen and would cause the problem you describe.

This is a common phenomenon and it's designed to trim the edges from a TV signal that might not have displayable content at those extremities. However, you don't want this enabled for your signal from the PC. As long as you've got the right resolution selected in Windows, the problem lies with your TV's settings.

I don't know if this is what's happening in your situation but usually there's a menu option on your TV to disable overscanning. The exact instructions vary from model to model, though. What model do you have?

This problem was prevalent when LCD TVs first appeared and in some cases couldn't be corrected. Newer TVs should be ok, though.
--
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tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to tomkb
Thanks for all the responses. The TV that was purchased was a 720P. I've been googling around a bit, it seems if I buy a 1020P I may have good luck so long as the native resolution is 1920.

So, I've turned the TV over to my wife. I may run out this weekend to buy a 1080P and give it a try.

I should also add that my goal here is to get more windows open on my screen simultaneously.

Today, I have an old Dell 19" flat screen that is not even widescreen. It's a good 6 years old, but was top of the line back in its day! I am running 1280x1024 which is better resolution than the 720P TV I was just running. I'm thinking a nice 32" 1020P TV with 1920 resolution might be a nice upgrade for me without breaking the bank, but I can't deal with the jagged fonts. Some people are swearing by the 1020P so we'll see.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
If your curious, you can read up on HDMI here: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI
The article notes that cable length does matter and I suppose so does cable quality; at least to a point. You might want to look at those elements too.

Regarding fitting more windows on the screen, my experience has been that as monitors get larger, so does the window and text unless you increase the resolution. So for the same resolution you won't necessarily get more windows per monitor simply because the monitor is larger. Using two monitors will certainly help.

asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
reply to tomkb
You might consider running multiple 22-24 inch screens rather than a tv.


tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to tomkb
Well, I went out and bought another TV. Walmart was out of 32" TV's with 1080P so I got a 37" TV.

Holy huge! It's almost ridiculous the size of the TV for a monitor.

However, I'm happy to report that 1020P really cleared image up much better, it's definitely usable as a computer monitor. It's running at 1920x1080 which is better resolution than my 19" monitor. So, I can have multiple windows open which is nice.

Since the screen is so much bigger, things are easier to read as well being larger.

In short I like it, but have to decide if 37" is too big. I'm sitting about 2 feet away from it. Watching 1080P youtube is pretty slick as well in full screen.


MuDvAyNe
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS
I use my 40" Samsung tv as my computer monitor. I am about 5 feet away from it. It is crystal clear to see and read. Sometimes in games the font may be a little small, like in Diablo 3 I have to move up a little to read what people are typing. My vision is pretty much perfect as well. PC runs 1080p at 1920x1080
--
Mets, Cowboys, Devils


pog4
Premium
join:2004-06-03
Kihei, HI
reply to tomkb
said by tomkb:

In short I like it, but have to decide if 37" is too big. I'm sitting about 2 feet away from it. Watching 1080P youtube is pretty slick as well in full screen.

I also use a 37" 1080p TV for a monitor, about 2' away... you get used to it after a while.
--
My Site


tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by pog4:

said by tomkb:

In short I like it, but have to decide if 37" is too big. I'm sitting about 2 feet away from it. Watching 1080P youtube is pretty slick as well in full screen.

I also use a 37" 1080p TV for a monitor, about 2' away... you get used to it after a while.

Turned the brightness and contrast down a bit makes a difference.


craig70130
Premium
join:2004-04-27
New Orleans, LA
reply to tomkb
As was mentioned above, length and quality of the cable can make a huge difference as well. Keep the cable as short as possible and high quality cables (NOT the scam Monstercable) are available relatively cheaply.


pog4
Premium
join:2004-06-03
Kihei, HI
reply to tomkb
said by tomkb:

Turned the brightness and contrast down a bit makes a difference.

I actually calibrated mine with a colorimeter but I also check results with »www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/ I think it's important to make sure you're getting the best possible image with the screen you have.
--
My Site


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to tomkb
said by tomkb:

The display is pretty bad. The characters are very grainy, I could see this causing a real headache if used for long periods.

TV's are not computer monitors and are not intended to be computer monitors. Your issue isn't resolution, cable quality or calibration, the proper TV would look sharp right out of the box.

There's maybe 20 specific TV models put out a year that will look just as good as a computer monitor and they're very rare.

Most manufacturer's don't even advertise chroma 4:4:4 support, so you need to communicate with a forum of people to find the right displays.

Sometimes using VGA to VGA will provide a better experience over digital, on TV's that don't support it.


tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by urbanriot:

said by tomkb:

The display is pretty bad. The characters are very grainy, I could see this causing a real headache if used for long periods.

TV's are not computer monitors and are not intended to be computer monitors. Your issue isn't resolution, cable quality or calibration, the proper TV would look sharp right out of the box.

There's maybe 20 specific TV models put out a year that will look just as good as a computer monitor and they're very rare.

Most manufacturer's don't even advertise chroma 4:4:4 support, so you need to communicate with a forum of people to find the right displays.

Sometimes using VGA to VGA will provide a better experience over digital, on TV's that don't support it.

Can you suggest such a forum? Googling around doesn't really yield any results on any particular TV's. If I can do better than my current 1080P 37" TV, I would like to.


Eddy Strong

join:2001-08-29
Naples, FL
reply to urbanriot
said by urbanriot:

Sometimes using VGA to VGA will provide a better experience over digital, on TV's that don't support it.

Totally agree...! my 37" VIZIO 1080HD looks great thru VGA to VGA, almost as good as my dedicated PC widescreen monitor!


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable

1 edit
reply to tomkb
said by tomkb:

Can you suggest such a forum? Googling around doesn't really yield any results on any particular TV's. If I can do better than my current 1080P 37" TV, I would like to.

»www.avsforum.com is a great place to learn about all things home entertainment.

I searched for a thread that refers to what I'm talking about with some TV's that work just as well as monitors - »www.avsforum.com/t/1381724/offic···g-thread

I lucked out with my 47" LG TV, it's just as crystal clear and sharp as my $1,200 LCD / IPS monitors, using it with my HTPC.

What also works well is taking a laptop with HDMI to a TV store and hooking up your laptop to every unit in there. It might annoy sales reps but they usually don't stop me since I'm evaluating displays for the purpose of purchasing them.

Edit: And another thread with more recent discussions - »hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1645885


mattnews22

join:2008-07-16
Fairfield, TX
reply to tomkb
I have my old gaming rig hooked up to my Sony 46" in my living room via HDMI. It an moded HP w/ Core2Q6700/Radeon 4870 and serves as an HTPC and mostly controller based gaming (have my custom i7-920/GTX 470 for the hardcore stuff). Glad you found a TV that suits your needs. Sometimes its hard to get the proper specs to ensure its going to behave.

I noticed you had a Radeon as well. Have you (or anyone else here) had the problem where Catalyst wont remember overscan settings after waking up from sleep? I have to use a little app made by some German guy that helps fix it...sometimes. Been an issue since a certain driver update a while back. Still dont know why AMD/ATI cant get this fixed.


tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by mattnews22:

I have my old gaming rig hooked up to my Sony 46" in my living room via HDMI. It an moded HP w/ Core2Q6700/Radeon 4870 and serves as an HTPC and mostly controller based gaming (have my custom i7-920/GTX 470 for the hardcore stuff). Glad you found a TV that suits your needs. Sometimes its hard to get the proper specs to ensure its going to behave.

I noticed you had a Radeon as well. Have you (or anyone else here) had the problem where Catalyst wont remember overscan settings after waking up from sleep? I have to use a little app made by some German guy that helps fix it...sometimes. Been an issue since a certain driver update a while back. Still dont know why AMD/ATI cant get this fixed.

I'm clueless as far as the settings of the card go, I haven't touched anything in the config, what should I be looking for to get the optimal config?