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Old 01-29-2011, 10:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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PC Setup - Monitors

So I've been working with two, 19" LCD monitors lately. It works great, but it clutters alot of room on the desk (especially adding in speakers, which consumes the length of the desk in total combination)

I've been considering getting rid of my old 20" tube TV, selling both 19" LCD monitors and just buying a 32" LCD TV. Thus reducing the space consumption in my room. I don't know of anyone who has run there computer through a TV full time.

Has anyone done this? Are their any drawbacks? I understand that I can't use the PC and leave the TV running at the same time anymore, but I could live without another distraction while working! lol

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Old 01-29-2011, 11:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerohour View Post
I understand that I can't use the PC and leave the TV running at the same time anymore, but I could live without another distraction while working! lol
Ha, that's what PIP is for!
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Zerohour View Post
I don't know of anyone who has run there computer through a TV full time.
I'm doing this right now, and I'm happy with it overall.

I used to run dual CRT's, back in the day. Windows 2000 and Linux don't always play nice with dual CRTs, and most games end up being played on only one monitor. Windows 7 may be a little better, but you still have a seam in the middle of your display.

I'm using a 40" Samsung, installed in my living room, as my only computer monitor. I sit about 4-6' from it, or 8' when I'm using it to watch videos (usually on the internet, which works out great). You should make yourself a cardboard mock-up of a 32" television and set it on your desk. I think you'll find you need to sit pretty far back, and it takes up just as much space as your dual 19" monitors.

Other downsides: you sit directly in front of the entire monitor. With dual monitors, you can set one off to the side and put reference material on it and your work on the main display.

Televisions aren't optimized for use as monitors. HDMI is unacceptable, as it doesn't support power management states. I use VGA, but I'd like to use DVI.

If I want to change the brightness on the television, I have to crack open the Picture Settings menu. Either get a television with automatic brightness adjustment, control the lighting of your workspace, or be willing to live with a system that requires you to hit 11 buttons on the remote to adjust the brightness twice a day.

Also, for the kind of work I do, I prefer a 4:3 aspect ratio... if not a 1:1. This 16:9 thing is silly, but Windows 7 handles it pretty well.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have experimented with using a 36" LCD TV as a monitor but I returned to using my notebook screen (15" but very high resolution) + a 24" widescreen monitor as my primary displays. The main benefit is the 2 screen thing - your main core work on one screen and any reference stuff on the other. Flicking between windows on one screen is fine but you can lose your point of focus quite easily - especially if (like me) you tend to have more than 4-5 windows open at once.

Windows 7 and Vista handled both just fine. Linux Mint handled the external screen via VGA just fine too but I only used that on my netbook.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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PIP = picture-in-picture
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Truthfully I was looking at having more available room and less clutter. I was thinking the 32" could be utilized like 2 monitors and just have two windows on separate sides of the screen. Maybe I need to look into getting a monitor mount and having the 2nd monitor and speakers positions above the first one.

I had a TV card in the past, but I was never satisfied with the quality. Maybe I could buy a newer card. I don't have HD cable anyway, so a regular tuner card would work fine, as long as the image quality was up to par.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've heard of a few people using LCD TVs as computer monitors. Just make sure it has a DVI plug at the back.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerohour View Post
Truthfully I was looking at having more available room and less clutter. I was thinking the 32" could be utilized like 2 monitors and just have two windows on separate sides of the screen. Maybe I need to look into getting a monitor mount and having the 2nd monitor and speakers positions above the first one.
The TV will likely have a lower resolution than the 2 monitors you're running, so while everything would be bigger, you'll probably lose room.

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