General Question

victord66's avatar

Can I use a HDTV as a computer monitor?

Asked by victord66 (198 points ) December 14th, 2009

I am looking to buy a larger pc monitor (32”) for watching videos. It seems that there is not a lot of choice, except for HDTV’s. I have found this monitor:

http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/tv-video/televisions/lcd-tv/LN32B530P7FUZA/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail

I have no interest at all in watching TV, but can I hook this up to my pc and use it as a monitor? Will it give me a good quality image? I have seen reviews, but all of them are reviewing it as a TV but I’ll be using it just as a computer monitor.

Any thoughts, advice? My budget is up to $1300.

Thanks.

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14 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I use the (tv) as a second monitor on my iMac. My imac is 17” and the TV is 19 inches. It looks fine.

I haven’t watched TV for about a month. It is torrents and Hulu now.

pjanaway's avatar

You can use it as a monitor, but a tv wouldn’t be as high a quality as a real computer monitor.

NadaNormal's avatar

sure – as long as the set has a VGA input it will work, most tv’s have limited resolution so will not be as sharp. I use a 32 sony lcd as my primary monitor & love it

Look for the VGA input to have “VESA” on the label if you want it to turn off like a normal monitor

blastfamy's avatar

If the TV can be sourced from a computer video interface (DVI, VGA but don’t use VGA if you’re really trying to get HD), then you can use the TV as a display. Better yet, if the video-out on your computer supports HDMI, then it’s even easier, as you can be sure that most HDTVs worth looking at have HDMI ports on them…

aprilsimnel's avatar

1080p is equivalent in monitor quality to 1920×1080 pixels. If your video card has HDMI-out, you’re good. Very few TVs today at your given budget are made with no HDMI inputs. VGA will work too, if your chosen TV has that input, just not as well.

pjanaway's avatar

@aprilsimnel – In addition to that, monitor quality can be higher resolutions for smaller sizes ;) If you have a decent graphic card too :)

jaytkay's avatar

As aprilsimnel wrote, 1080p is 1920×1080 pixels. That is very close to 1920×1200 of a monitor that size.

I’ve used this 1920×1200 26” model and liked it very much.
Samsung T260HD

Note: Get your cables on the web. For example, an HDMI cable is $3.17 at Amazon but stores will typically charge $40 or even more.

andrew's avatar

I’m running a Samsung 20 something” monitor that I got for $190 from Dell.

Anything above 24 inches or so and you’re going to get image degradation since the dot pitch will be so large. The samsung is nice on my eyes, but if you’re not going to watch it as a TV, why bother paying so much?

How far away are you going to be from the monitor?

pjanaway's avatar

@andrew – not as bad if you have like 2500xwhatever resolution ;)

andrew's avatar

@pjanaway Right, but an HDTV isn’t going to have it. It’s going to have 1920×1200.

pjanaway's avatar

@andrew – OH forgot we were talking about TVs.. lol

jaytkay's avatar

HDTV will be 1920×1080

victord66's avatar

Thanks Andrew. I currently have a Samsung Syncmaster 244T which is 24”, but I would like something a bit bigger. It’s in a small bedroom. I use it only as a pc monitor (don’t watch TV), but watch a lot of films. Let’s say it’s my home entertainment centre. I can’t seem to find a pc monitor in the 32” size though. As I said my budget is $1300. It seems that from some of the comments here I may not be happy with the image on a TV screen. Any suggestions?

andrew's avatar

@victord66 In that case it’ll be all right. You’ll need to sit farther away from your “monitor” though to not notice the visual imperfections.

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