General discussion

best TV for both computer and television use

I am looking for a recommendation
what is the best flat screen TV between 42 and 50 inches for both computer and television use.
I am planning to put this TV in my office and use it for both.
I will also have a smaller desk top monitor (19 inches)
I will be hooking up my HD satellite system for TV.

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Many have tried this.

And been disappointed to discover that the TV is all of 1080 pixels across that 42 to 50 inches. The PC display is not sharp and the owner ends up back to the normal PC type display.


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Please learn about resolutions, this should clear it all up

1080p is 1080 ROWS of pixels; the resolution in computer terms is 1920x1080, so it is quite a nice computer resolution. Also, some HD displays that are also meant to be used as computer monitors will have a 16:10 aspect ratio with an even bigger resolution of 1920x1200. So it will be very sharp.
HOWEVER, it will not be sharp if you are sitting 2 feet in front of it since it is so big. You will want to sit a decent distance away from such a big TV, which means it probably won't be convenient to use as your primary monitor. Just think, a 45" monitor with 1920x1440 resolution (a hypothetical device) is like a grid of nine 15" monitors at 640x480 each. So set a 15" to 17" monitor to 640x480 resolution and that will approximately simulate the quality of a 42" to 50" 1080p TV at the same viewing distance.
DoctorHowie, you should be fine since you also have the 19" monitor, although you'll probably find that you'll only be using the TV to play videos and slideshows, etc. from your computer (and games if they support the right resolution and your system is powerful enough), not for general computer use.

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Please put your hi-def where it belongs in your living room. add a nice 5.1. audio system along with a good hi-def satellite or cable system a sweet blue ray player, Then while your family is watching your home theater system you can play with your computor all nite long Some folks do try to interface there computor to there home theater system but its usually problems all the way good day steweeeee

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Why not think about a new PC monitor with TV capabilities?
A TV card for the CPU, can't cost much if needed.

Just a thought,


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If you're really sunk on this idea, it can be done. I do it,, but there are limitations and things to consider:

1. PC content. If you're going to be mostly browsing web sites and writing papers in Word, you can pretty much eliminate plasmas from the equation unless you go upto 65", because you'll be limited to 768 pixels vertically. On your 19" monitor, I'm guessing that it's got a resolution of 1280x1024 or something. Take a piece of paper and cover up the bottom 1/4 of the screen, and then slide it up a little more because you have to account for the Task Bar, and that's how much room you'll have. Personally, I don't think it's enough room to do very much. I mean, you'll be able to see it from plenty far away, but you'll probably feel constricted by the lack of space vertically. And possibly not know what to do with extra space horizontally... The exception is $5000 Pioneer PRO-HD1 which is 50". If you're willing to spend that kind of money, it's one heck of a tv, for sure. But if you're not, you're going to have to go LCD, specifically, one that has 1920x1080 resolution. A top of the line 52" from Sony will run you about $3700, and is also a marvel. You don't need to spend that much money, of course, on a 1080p monitor. You can grab a 37" Westinghouse for $1100, which works as a great monitor because you calibrate the color through the computer, but won't offer as good performance when it comes to TV, as you're limited by the TV's controls for calibration. In terms of sharpness, though, I can't imagine it being any sharper. It's a giant computer monitor... But here's the catch: (which brings me to the second caveat)

2. Viewing distance: The 1080 displays are SO sharp, that you'll be limited to a relatively close viewing distance. Sure, you can lower the resolution for the computer, but that defeats the purpose of getting a high-res lcd in the first place. Even with a 52" lcd, even with excellent vision, because of the density of pixels, I wouldn't expect to be able to view type and such comfortably more than 7' away, which if you actually get up and measure it, isn't very far. And that may be pushing it... But maybe you have eagle eyes. My guess is, though, that 12pt type will look like 9pt. It'll be sharp as a razor, but it'll still *appear* smaller than on your 19".

So if you can live with those conditions (and are willing to shell out an additional 25% if you plan on buying this at a store), then I would respectfully disagree with my colleagues here and say go for it. Otherwise, a TV card for you pc sounds like a much better idea.


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PC Home Theater Setup

You can also have the TV AND the 19" monitor at the same time.
Depending on the amount of space you have and capability of your computer's graphics card, you can set up the computer near a nice, high-res TV, connect to the computer via DVI, and have the 19" monitor set up somewhere you can easily see from where you sit.
Of course, you'll need:

Wireless keyboard & mouse
Graphics card with dual display (2 DVIs or 1 DVI and 1 VGA)
TV with high resolution
extension cable for the monitor

For myself, I have a Samsung LND3251 32" LCD hooked up to my laptop's VGA, plus wireless keyboard&mouse combo.

Good luck!

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well...i had this idea...

I have been thinking about this for quite a wile i already have the TV tuner card for my computer and a 5.1 system (KLIPSCH WOOOHOOO! and it kicks butt i dont care what people say more people complain then praise) and all i need is a nice HDTV but i am way to low on cash for it but i really beleive its a good way to save money because it costs what like $60.00 for a decent DVD player for a computer? you then get a $200.00 video card witha nicely matching computer and vula! you whole HD home theater essentialy and your computer is capable of producing extreamly hi-res pictures and video clips. I really think this is the way of the future(And the cheapest) and if you spend the money on a good PC it will be as good if even better then any DVD player you could buy and it can also play games and have all the audio capabilities of an expensive decoder and all you need is an amp and some speakers. but thats my 2 cents cya later all.

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PC + Big Screen = The Future ...and present for some people.

I agree with you. That is the future.
I have a PC with a Nvidia GT440 with HDMI and DVI outputs. A 42'' LED TV 1080p. A KEyboard and Mouse Combo from Logitech. A Pioneer Receiver which brings me 5.1 to my Infinity loudspeakers. And for the software I have Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS running together in my System (of course I use Ubuntu the 99.9999% of the time).
With that system I just had a problem that I resolved a few days ago: I couldn't get 1080p from my PC Nvidia card to my Led TV. Until I navigated into the TV menu and found an option the said: Video Mode/Graphics Mode. I just switch it from Video Mode to Graphics Mode and ... taran! 1080 beautiful pixels shining on my TV! Now I can play Street Fighter X Tekken from Windows and listen my 14000 songs in Ubuntu and navigate the www and see all my movies that I download from in HD or Full-HD. The cost, just a few dollars against the huge lot of money that have to spend the people who buy Bluray players and CD players for the music and sadly navigate in a pour interface their music collection. Is amazing to browse your music in a powerfull Ubuntu Music Player (Banshee Music Player in my case).
The pros are uncountless.
Smart TVs my ***! A powerfull Ubuntu Multimedia System and you will have the world of media.

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PC Home Theater Setup

I have a sony bravia 32inch and a computer moniotr 22inch on dual display and i find that the computer moniter looks alot more crisp and if you use the tv for writing and documents that the words are a bit blurry.

Anyway its still pretty good.

I have a graphics card with HDMI DVI and VGA
Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
and Running both screens on highest resolution

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Summing Up

To add to my above post and sum it all up, definitely go for a 1080p TV, which shouldn't be hard to find at the size you're looking for. Try for some good deals. Make sure the display is native 1080p (1920x1080 or whereabouts), not just supporting 1080i, and make sure it supports this resolution from the computer and AV inputs, not just for TV viewing. Also, a 5.1 surround sound system which you can connect to both the computer and TV is a must. You can get a nice one for under $300. Make sure it has inputs for both sources (ideally two optical inputs if your computer and TV have optical outputs, but you can make do with one optical for the TV and one coaxial digital or analog for the PC) and make sure you arrange the speakers properly in the room. If you plan on using both the TV and 19" monitor with your computer, you will need a graphics card with dual monitor support (DVI and/or VGA, but I do NOT recommend using a DVI to HDMI cable/adapter if your TV doesn't have DVI, as you will get better results with just VGA, or DVI to VGA if your computer only has DVI outs). As for placement and wiring, pretend you are setting up and wiring the computer+monitor and TV+speakers as separate systems, but make sure you can see the TV comfortably from the computer desk. Then, get a long VGA cable to go from the computer to the TV and a long audio cable to go from the computer to the speaker system. These cables can be found very cheap on the internet (up to one tenth of what they usually cost at the store). You may or may not want to get a wireless keyboard & mouse for this setup. Another accessory to consider is a wireless remote for your PC. Later you can also add a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive to your computer, although compatibility is iffy due to the horrible DRM that Microsoft and other corporations are pushing, so you might be better off using a separate player for those discs. Don't worry, though, you will get awesome quality from regular DVDs through your computer because it will upscale them smoothly to HD resolution. You can even get DVDs that use WMV-HD technology to fit HD movies onto a DVD-ROM disc you can play in the normal DVD drive in your computer ( Plus, there is ever-increasing downloadable HD content, so you'll never run out of things to play on your HDTV. Hope that helps!

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More to ponder

Since you mentioned putting this in your office, you should consider viewing distance, since a large screen would overwhelm your field of vision at close range. If a 19" monitor is "just right" at the present distance, you would need to sit 2-3 times as far away (2.21 for 42", 2.63 for 50") for the same effect. In short, a large screen would be a waste in a close-range desktop application. If you do back up, however, your eyes will experience less strain from focusing on a more distant object. In that case, you would need a wireless mouse and keyboard, and would have to make some furniture adjustments (i.e., seeting up a "remote desktop").

In the discussions I've read concerning 720p vs 1080p, it seems the general consensus is that the difference is largely inperceptible unless you are sitting unreasonably close. You should also experiment with the maximum resolution on your present monitor/video card combination, and see how the text, icons, etc are affected. You'll probably find that more resolution is not necessarily a good thing, even if you can increase the text pointsize, etc. somewhat, and that 1366x768 (typical pixel count for 50" plasmas) is perfectly fine.

Getting down to brass tacks, I can tell you that I have a 50" Panasonic "industrial" plasma connected to a PC (via VGA) in our family room. The PC is primarily dedicated to TV tuning and DVR functions (this warrants a separate discussion), but I sometimes use it for browsing, etc. and encourage the kids to play their computer games on it for the eye-saving rationale given above. Most of my serious work, however, is done on another computer in the office.

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More to ponder

Nice ponderation steve, thanks.
I was about to buy a Sony LCD 46" to the same purpose and now I'll sure buy it.

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