questionsdoes a flatscreen tv make a good pc monitor?

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I think it would make a good one. Many TVs today have a monitor port built in. A LCD tv should work more or less the same as a LCD monitor, only difference being some extra hardware. If you get a really big TV, then that might defeat the purpose of using it as a monitor. But I think a 15 to 19 inch TV would work perfectly as a monitor.

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We use our 37" LCD as our computer monitor (as well as for just watching TV). It's very nice. It works well if somebody wants to sit in front of it and do some work (for people with kids, it also allows you to see everything they are doing) and it works nicely with a remote mouse if you want to sit further away. I highly recommend the setup. Now if this is mostly going to be used as a computer monitor, I would go with something below 32".

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A 1080 tv will be the same as a typical monitor's resolution, so yes. A 720 tv will be much coarser, so if you want to use it for up-close viewing, it won't be ideal.

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its all in the details.
1) what kind of video card do you have? if you have a standard pc (dim 15) connection then dont use a flatscreen tv.( i'd recommend something with DVI w/hdmi adapter or strait hdmi if your videocard has it.
2) how big of a flatscreen do you have in mind. i use 2 32 inch flatscreen tv's ( i messed up and get 720p tvs and have to strain at times to see small text)
if you do decide to go with it i'd recommend downloading a third party application to fine tune your resolution to fit your screen perfectly.

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@crycis805: When you say "flatscreen" do you mean old CRT flatscreen TV's?

From my understanding, you can't really increase the resolution in LCD TV's.

To the OP, make sure if you go that route, you get as high of resolution as possible. I currently am sitting behind a 24" that has a resolution of 1920x1080, and a 17" with a resolution of 1280x1024. If the 17" were much bigger with that resolution, I'd probably not find it that desirable. I know some people who have messed up and gotten 36"+ T.V.'s thinking they'd make awesome monitors, only to find out they couldn't fit nearly as much on the screen as they anticipated, and basically ended up not being happy with it at all.

Bottom line, if you are going to be sitting in a relatively close viewing distance, make sure you get as high of a resolution as possible, and personally, I wouldn't go much beyond 30", but that's also based on personal preference.

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I have a Mac Mini hooked up to a 1080p 42 inch. It's a great HTPC, and it's ok for brief use as a productivity machine, but I always end up running back to my laptop anytime I have to do something more spirited than cruising seniorgif. For the price of a 42" tv, you could spring for two 24" monitors and be sitting pretty :D

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@eliteh4xx0r: Plus, once you get accustomed to dual monitors, it's actually really handy, assuming your computer can handle multi-tasking ok.

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I would say only if the tv is 1080p. I've got my HTPC connected to a 720p LCD tv and it has resolution problems. The problem is that most 720p tvs have a slightly higher pixel count than 1280×720, and most integrated graphics and vid cards don't natively support the slightly higher pixel count. They support 1280×720, which means that you can not get the resolution exactly right. Very frustrating.
Most 1018p tvs on the other hand are exactly 1920x1080, which is supported by most graphics processors.
My computer on my tv looks ok but not perfect.

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do it as long as the TV is 1080p and the connection is HDMI. i use my laptop all the time while sitting on the couch, and when i want to watch a show from a website, i plug in the HDMI and use my 52" lcd as the monitor. it's actually startling how great the picture is. it actually looks better than my laptop most of the time, which is 1920x1200.
but like i said make sure it is HDMI, 1080p and use a good video card as well.

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Currently using my 50" 1080p Plasma HDTV as an external monitor hooked up to my HP lapcrusher via HDMI. It works just fine, everything looks good. =)

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@tennisplayer121: i have 2 flat screen lct tv's, something along the lines of
http://www.walmart.com/ip/LG-32LD350/13904848, i had to adjust my screen resolution to 1360x768 (slightly off of its native resolution )mostly to fit my screen flush. id highly recommend going 1080 so that there is less strain on your eyes when reading.

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@crycis805: you do realize that if you had a 1080p TV, the fonts would appear smaller, right?

Font sizes are independent of resolution, and can be changed in display properties (in windows).

So, for a 720 horizontal resolution tv an upper case 8pt font will be 0.01% (8/720) of your screen size, but at 1080 h.res, that same 8pt font would be 0.007% (8/1080) of your screen.

Since the size of the TV doesn't change, a 42" 720p TV as compared to a 42"1080p TV is still 42", but for 1080p, it has to fit 360 more pixels into the same space, so the pixel dimensions will be smaller to accommodate greater number of them.

42" 720p pixel size = 0.072cm
42" 1080p pixel size = 0.048cm

I used 42" TV as the reference, but the same will be true for any TV size. The pixel size of 1080p will always be 1/3 smaller than the pixels of a 720p screen (maybe a little different if you are using a 768p monitor).

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Wow..so glad I asked that question here! Thanks so much! Lots of info to go through.

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I currently have my PC hooked up in my living room to my 46" toshiba LCD. It works great because I do not need to purchase cable. I just use Hulu, Netflix, and for channels like CBS, NBC, ABC I just go to their web pages and stream. I currently use the HDMI cable because my current video card supports it. But unlike what a few people here have said you can us the VGA/Dsub cable as long as your tv has the input, which mine does, and you have to get the cable that supports larger screen sizes if you are going to go bigger then 17".

Here is a link to one just to show an example:

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Components-Products-high-resolution-double-shielding/dp/B004E3O94C

Of coarse you will have slightly lower resolution then running a DVI or HDMI but it is a fairly small difference and you will not have to update a graphics card to use it.

On a side not the only problem that I have had is running graphics intesiive games to my screen even with the HDMI cable because the card is

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having to push the image to such a larger screen.

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Make sure the TV has 1:1 pixel mapping. Most brand name TVs I imagine do. I bought a Dynex (Best Buy brand) on black friday a few years back and have been dealing with overscan ever since (computer output is too large for the screen, resulting in the edges being cut off). The drivers for my nVidia GPU (a 9800 GT) included a utility, but the software is finicky, the option to scale the display size doesn't always show up, and as a result I still haven't been able to get it to consistently display properly. Make sure you look into your video card utilities and the screen you are purchasing so you know what to expect.

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1080p is 1080p! Whether the screen is 15" diagonally or 65". The bigger the screen, the more pixelated it will appear. I've had my laptop hooked to both my Toshiba 40 inch and my Sharp 65 inch TVs, and both looked fine. I wish my desk was big enough to use one as a monitor. (Currently have a 24" monitor.)

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Bought a Samsung P2770HD when it was on sale at Costco. It makes a great monitor. I can't imagine a screen much larger than that would keep looking good at 1080p for computer use, though I don't have any firsthand experience.

This thing works great. I have it on an Ergotron monitor arm instead of the stand it came with, and it just floats over my desk. I have a 19" Dell LCD next to it, so if I don't need the extra screen real estate I can switch it to television.

If I had more space, I can definitely see getting another LCD television and having two side by side. Only downside with this model is the bezel.

If you are thinking portrait orientation, don't bother. At least with this one. Smaller monitors might work, but with a screen this size you would need to be higher than normal desk height to not be impacted by the viewing angle. Again, smaller screens may not be as bad, since the center of the screen would not be as high.

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I've done this before and for the most part you're fine. However, you have to be careful. The resolution on your TV is much less variable than on a computer monitor. For me, I purchased a 720p small flat screen TV and it worked fine with an older laptop without a high def. video card. I purchased a new laptop that had a high def. screen on it and the resolution when connected to the TV (lower quality) was much less and not worth it. If you do this make sure to pick up a high quality 1080p TV. You can get 1080's that are small enough to be a reasonable computer monitor now that way if you upgrade your computer or if you have a high quality video card on your computer your nice tv doesn't end up collecting dust.

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@glyphon: i understand that, but my issue is that i can push through a much better quality image then my tv can handle. so at my preferred scale( how big a web page fits on my screen) small text can be a pain, but if my tv were capable of 1080 it wouldn't be an issue because of the extra definition it would be capable of. my remark on using a program was purely for preference rather then necessity.

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@crycis805: It comes down to what kind of TV it is. My LG has a setting where I can shrink the screen in or make it larger to fit the entire TV. When I first got my TV it had about 1" gap all the way around the computer screen area (ATI said it was set at 1080p) but once you expand the viewing area it fit perfectly. Not sure why I had to do it, it should have been auto fixed but its fixed and works great. I think the screen is a 47"

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I have a 19" at 1440x900 and I love it. I'm sure if you go any bigger it would start to get blurry if I didn't go with a 1080p set but at 19" it looks great. One thing is the contrast ratio and black levels will probably be a lot better in a monitor than a TV but you won't really notice it unless you need to do a lot of video editing or something like that. On the positives it has more inputs and has its own speakers. If you wanted you could use it as a TV at the same time and be able to switch back and forth easily. If you have an HDMI or DVI output on your computer you can usually get sound right through and HDMI or DVI to HDMI cable. Otherwise you can just buy a PC audio cable to go with a VGA cable for video. Really convenient for me, I'd recommend it for a smaller screen or if you get a really high definition TV.

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I have a 19" 1440x 900 Viewsonic HDTV that I use as a monitor for a "nettop" computer that we use in the kitchen for causual browsing. On my office desk is a 25" Hannspree HDTV which is 1080p. I use the Hannspree as my main monitor. Both units work just fine as both HDTV's and as monitors. The Nettop uses NVIDA Ion; the desktop uses an NVIDA card of modest capability. The Hannspree has a menu setting to allow a PC connected via HDMI to display correctly.

I also have an HTPC connected to a 50" Plasma 1080p. At that size, computer text gets a little fuzzy. So it doesn't work well as a monitor -- unless one wants to view video or pictures.

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Had a 37" LCD TV hooked up as a Monitor for Video Games, worked great..
A friend has 2 32" LCD TVs attached as dual monitors, awesome desktop screen real-estate...

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I've been using a Westinghouse 37" 1080p LCD for years on my 36"x70" Ikea Galant desk using a dual-link DVI connector.

37" seems to be a good size for this size desk-- anything larger would just seem unwieldy. Sitting about 3 feet away, I can see everything without squinting and not be "overcrowded" by the monitor. And 1080p seems like a good image limit-- any resolution higher would make text way too small at their default setting.

I've been pretty happy with it but with prices continually lowering I've been toying with the idea of getting a newer model with higher contrast ratios, 120mhz refresh rates, and LED instead of LCD for better image quality.

Also to consider; the newer monitors use HDMI connectors and have left the older DVI connection out of their designs (for some reason a lot still include the even older SVGA connector, not sure why) so your choice of video card may affect your final decision, even if you purchase the correct adapter.

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Do it!
I have been using my 47" 1080p Insignia LCD for a few years now as my only PC monitor and have had 0 problems.
It's nice watching Youtube on a big screen.

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It's great as long as it's not too overly huge. I have a 26" 1080p Visio hooked up right now. Thing has been great and when I'm done using the computer, I can switch it to an HDMI port and play games.

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@zapp brannigan: You might find this information useful: http://www.hack7mc.com/2010/05/ati-gpu-scaling-removing-the-black-bars.html

That 1" border is a feature of ATI's default video card settings when plugged into "TVs", instead of a "monitor". Why they don't open a popup telling you this, and how to adjust it, I don't know. Drove me nuts when I first got a monitor with HDMI input, and couldn't use the whole thing.

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We tried this - unfortunately we were using it to play games off a PC... some games do not support the native resolutions of a television so the screen would just go blank when trying to increase the resolution. Otherwise this seemed to work well. I would definitely stick with a 1080p - otherwise reading print will be very difficult. Windows looks great and will support 1920x1080p depending on which video card... however almost all LCDs and computers support 800x600 or 1024x768 - it might just be a little hard to read print.

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if you hang it on a wall and then have a desk bellow it then it acts as a tv and monitor and it isnt that bad because it is further then directly in fronnt of your face