LCD HDTV As A PC Monitor?

I am thinking about getting a new LCD HDTV since the prices have come down and am also thinking about getting a bigger computer monitor. So, why not get one and use them as both since most new televisions have PC inputs or computers have HDMI outputs? Doing some research, it looks like there are a number of issues to consider. 1080p or 720p, the TV’s native resolution, the size of the TV because going too large can result in fuzzy text or so from what I have read. I’m thinking that something along the lines of a 23 - 24 inch would be good for a monitor and be acceptable as a television size.

Before I continue, I was wondering if any of you fine people here on Sitepoint are using a LCD television as a computer monitor and can provide any advice that will help me decide if this is a good thing to do. Thanks for your feedback.

I use LCD HDTV’s as my primary monitors.

You might want to consider LED HDTV’s, as the backlighting would be more even. The backlighting on LCDs tends to be a little blotchy on the screen’s edges were the bulbs are, but for the most part, it’s not too noticeable.

Always use the HDTV’s native resolution. Otherwise, the image will appear blurry.

Smaller TVs will be limited to 720p. So, for the size you are looking at, you might not be able to get 1080p. With a 30" or 32" you might start to see 1080p models available. For my desk monitor, I ended up going with a 37" 1080p HDTV.

I can recommend two TV brands–LG and Vizio. Vizio tends to be less expensive, but LG tends to be better quality.

Also, use the digital inputs (DVI or HDMI), rather than VGA. VGA is analog, and the image quality won’t be nearly as crisp because of interference and the conversion from digital to analog. (if you don’t have HDMI outputs on your computer, you can pick up DVI-to-HDMI video adapters for less than $10 from monoprice.com)

Thanks for replying. What size TV/monitor do you have, what brand, and what resolution are you running?

I looked on Best Buy’s website and they have 1080p TVs in 23 inch screen sizes. I didn’t notice before, but most of them are LEDs. I’d like to keep the price in the $200 or under range, maybe a little more depending on what I can get for it.

I want something I can watch TV on that also functions well for web design. So I have a lot of research to do to make a good decision. Finding out details such as the native resolution is like looking for a needle in a haystack unless I’m missing something. I am guessing that native resolution is different from maximum resolution, isn’t it?

Also, how important is the refresh rate? Years ago I would look at some co-workers monitors and sometimes I could see the screen flickering if the refresh rate was too low, even when they couldn’t see the flicker. Is 60 MHZ enough to use as a computer monitor? I’m running 75 MHZ right now which is the highest level I can set my monitor at with this computer.

Most of the stuff I’ve been reading the past few days says not to use a TV as a PC monitor. So I thought it would be a good idea to ask here to find out if anyone is using them.

An LG 37" at 1920x1080.

If you’re looking at a 23" HDTV for use as a monitor, it might be less expensive to get a 23" or 24" LED or LCD monitor. That size is about the break-even point between monitors and HDTVs.

I can recommend LG monitors, Dell ultrasharp/professional monitors, and Hanns-G monitors. I’ve heard good things about Asus, but I haven’t used them myself. I can usually find good prices for all brands on newegg.com, or sometimes directly on dell’s site for dell monitors.

I want something I can watch TV on that also functions well for web design. So I have a lot of research to do to make a good decision. Finding out details such as the native resolution is like looking for a needle in a haystack unless I’m missing something. I am guessing that native resolution is different from maximum resolution, isn’t it?

1280x720=720p
1920x1080=1080p

Your computer will typically detect the correct resolution if your video card supports it and if your video card drivers are installed.

Also, how important is the refresh rate? Years ago I would look at some co-workers monitors and sometimes I could see the screen flickering if the refresh rate was too low, even when they couldn’t see the flicker. Is 60 MHZ enough to use as a computer monitor? I’m running 75 MHZ right now which is the highest level I can set my monitor at with this computer.

It doesn’t matter much. It’s set automatically. However, a “smooth motion” feature is automatically turned on with TVs capable of running at 120Hz, which makes video playback seem strange. You’ll have to look in your TV’s manual to find where to disable it.

Most of the stuff I’ve been reading the past few days says not to use a TV as a PC monitor. So I thought it would be a good idea to ask here to find out if anyone is using them.

For general use, it’s baloney. However, if you are a photography or graphics professional, it would be better to get an IPS panel, rather than an HDTV.