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Using TV as a monitor

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by SKeefe, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. SKeefe

    SKeefe

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    Would using a large TV (50" plus) as a monitor work? If so, how is this done? The computer would be used for things like e-mail, word processing, etc., nothing really intensive.
     
  2. MightBite

    MightBite Barking Sucks

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    Depends on what kind of TV you have, you don't mention it in your original post. I have a friend who is using a 42" TV I’m not sure if it is LCD or Plasma TV that he has hooked up with a DVI connection to the back of his video card. You'll also need to look at the back of your video card and see if it has a DVI port, if your using integrated graphics, forget about it.
     

  3. SKeefe

    SKeefe

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    The TV in question isn't mine, so I'm unsure as of now if it has a DVI port on the back. If it does not, what are the non-DVI options?

    Also, let's say the graphics card on the computer does have a DVI port and the TV does not, is there any sort of adapter that can be used?
     
  4. MightBite

    MightBite Barking Sucks

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    Without a DVI port your picture may end up being poor but your other options would be Video out on the graphics card or S video depending on what the TV supports. I've used the Video out and the picture is fuzzy at best, I haven't used S video but would imagine that would be at least a little better.

    Adapters for the graphics card are pretty easy to find. Usually the graphics card is the easiest to adapt. for example mine has DVI, video out, and VGA out.

    Making the computer work with the TV shouldn't be a problem, but makeing it look GOOD on the TV is currently the issue here.
     
  5. Cassius

    Cassius

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    My computer right now is hooked up to my 53" TV across the room. I use it mostly for watching movies, but once in a while I will sit on the couch and play a game or surf the web.

    The resolution of TVs compared to actual computer monitors is pretty bad, unless you have an LCD tv. Mine is not, but even still I find that it is a very cool thing to have hooked up, and it works just fine for watching movies/videos. Games are doable if there isn't a lot of text on-screen that you have to read, but you won't be chatting to your buddies in World of Warcraft if you want to keep from going blind.

    Word processing / web browsing is tolerable, but can be eye-straining after long periods. Definitely increase the text size as big as you can stand it for reduced eye strain. All in all, I just use my TV for videos because it's much easier to just sit at my desk and use my computer LCD monitor for doing actual work.

    Most newer video cards have an S-video port on them, and this is the easiest way (and the way I use) to hook your TV up to your computer. Some newer video cards will also have other outputs, and some newer TVs will have VGA or DVI inputs to take a regular monitor cable. Just look at the ports on both devices and you should be able to tell if they have one in common, then you just have to figure out what they are. If they do not have one in common, look on your TV for an S-video port (it's a black circle about the width of your finger), and if you find one, you just need to buy a video card (they can be had for less than $100) that has an S-video out.

    Once you have them hooked up with a cable (S-video or otherwise), you'll need to go into your driver settings on the PC. In Windows, right-click on the desktop and hit Properties to access the Display Properties window, then go to the Settings tab. On some video cards you can select/enable an alternate monitor (the TV) right from this window, but on most video cards you have to click the Advanced button and configure it there.
     
  6. Toyman

    Toyman

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    If the TV has a computer connection on the back it will work just fine. (Many of the TV's that size do).

    If it doesn't, I'm not sure but I think it could be usable if it's just for a short time.
     
  7. SKeefe

    SKeefe

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    This would be for an old gentleman whose vision is not the greatest, so what I am gathering is that this won't necessarily be a good idea.

    Am I right? Are you guys saying that even though it would be on a 50+" TV, the quality would possibly be so poor that it would be even harder on the eyes than if it were on a regular monitor? Is the quality good enough to read words on the TV screen if DVI is used?
     
  8. Toyman

    Toyman

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    You really need to find out the make and model of the TV. If it has the right connections and is a good TV, it could be very good for him.
     
  9. SKeefe

    SKeefe

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    The TV is a Sony KP57WS520, and according to the manual, to use a device with a DVI output, you use a HDMI-to-DVI adapter cable to plug into the TV's HDMI input.

    I'm now researching to see if HDMI is better, same, or worse than having a straight DVI input, but if anyone knows, let me know!
     
  10. SKeefe

    SKeefe

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    Anybody have any info on this? I haven't found much on it and some of what I have found is conflicting opinions.
     
  11. Darkmage

    Darkmage

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    HDMI is better than DVI only in that it combines audio and video into a single cable. It makes the clutter behind your TV a bit less. :)

    DVI and HDMI are both digital signal trasmission formats. IIRC, it's the exact same information zipping over the wire. If not, it might be encoded slightly differently, but they're both digital formats.

    HDMI does support various forms of Digital Rights Management (DRM), which basically means that the various movie studios out there trust it enought to allow higher definition content to be passed in that format.