LCD TV vs. LCD Monitor

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by PWT24, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. PWT24

    PWT24 Guest

    I wonder if anyone could give me some feedback on my monitor dilema? I am
    looking to save some space in my office by getting rid of my conventional 13"
    TV by putting MCE on one of my 3 systems. I have MCE (haup 500, and NVidia
    5200) in my living room on an old 27" TV and the computer side basically
    sucks because you can't even read text on the pc side. So I thought for my
    office I would go with an LCD hoping to be able to use both features of MCE
    (TV and PC). The only problem is I don't know which is better for an MCE an
    LCD TV or an LCD Monitor. Which would you choose and why? What resolution
    should I be looking for? I am thinking about Viewsonics N2060w LCD TV.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!
    PWT24, Oct 19, 2006
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  2. Definitely an LCD monitor. In fact I'll be specific and put you onto a
    fantastic bargain:

    [19" LCD monitor (1280x1024 with both DVI and VGA, and also audio
    amplifier and speakers, for $120 after rebate. I have one, it's a great
    monitor worth the full $220 before-rebate price. But a $100 rebate
    makes it a steal.]

    LCD TVs, even if they have a VGA input, usually are much lower
    resolution (which will impact your desktop use dramatically). Also, you
    don't need to pay for a tuner, which your MCE system has (presumably),
    and if not, you can add one to your MCE system for less than it adds to
    the cost of an LCD TV. Your desktop quality will be, well, Windows
    desktop quality. Your TV quality will be as good as your tuner (I'd
    recommend a Hauppauge PVR150-MCE if you don't have a tuner already).
    Barry Watzman, Oct 19, 2006
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  3. PWT24

    PWT24 Guest

    I should have mentioned that I already have a 19" LCD Monitor, I just don't
    know if going to an LCD TV has any advantages. Yes I will probably be using
    a Hauppauge PVR 500-MCE like I have in my living room unless someone can tell
    me a better one. I also understand that typical LCD TV's have a lower
    resolution but I am considering a high resolution 20.1" LCD TV and did not
    know if I would see a difference. Price is not my concern I am more worried
    about satisfaction of picture quality. I should finally mention that I would
    like to connect a VCR/DVD Recorder unit to the configuration as well.

    Thanks! Look forward to more feedback.

    PWT24, Oct 19, 2006
  4. For your situation I would absolutely agree with Barry Watzman and say you
    want to get and use an LCD monitor and not an LCD TV. If you were planning
    to do this not in your office but instead in your living room then a large
    LCD TV (1920x1080) would be the better choice.

    LCD TVs generally either produce an inferior computer image, or cause huge
    complications when you try and match the computer resolution to the TV

    For example the Viewsonic screen you mention is an LCD TV and like most such
    you can connect a computer but the N2060w resolution is 1366x768 whereas the
    nearest 'normal' computer resolution is 1280x720. Either this will result in
    black borders (wasted space) on all four sides or you have to go through
    contortions trying to customize settings.

    An LCD TV with 1920x1080 resolution would actually have a matching
    resolution on most computers but this resolution is typically only available
    on much larger TVs.

    Also, as far as I can see the N2060w only has VGA and Component inputs, and
    DOES NOT have a DVI or HDMI connection.

    Some suggestions for LCD computer displays are :-

    Apple 20" Cinema Display 1680x1050
    Apple 23" Cinema HD Display 1920x1200
    Asus 20" PW201 (built-in webcam) 1680x1050
    Asus 22" MW221U (supports HDCP) 1680x1050
    Benq 20" FP202W 1680x1050
    Benq 24" FP241W (has an HDMI connector) 1920x1200

    For your information, widescreen TVs are of course 16:9 but it seems all
    computers widescreens are 16:10 this means a computer LCD displaying a 16:9
    movie will have a small black border at the top and bottom (but not the
    sides). As many movies are actually not really a true 16:9 this is not
    noticable (it shows up more on widescreen TV programs which generally are a
    true 16:9). I am not sure why computer widescreen displays are 16:10 since
    they are made in the same factories using the same technology, perhaps it
    was chosen as a compromise between matching movies/tv and giving enough
    height to show a decent amount of a document for computer use.

    A final tip for when you get your LCD monitor, is to check what the refresh
    rate is set to. TV (and movies) will be at either 60 frames per second (for
    US) or 50 frames per second (for Europe). Computer LCD displays might offer
    choices of 50, 60 or 75 frames per second. I live in the UK and we use PAL
    (50 frames per second) but the Benq screen I am currently using with MCE
    2005 only supports 60 or 75 frames per second. If I leave it on 60 frames
    per second then this is a bad match for PAL and leads to the image jerking
    (this is most noticeable when viewing 'stock tickers' on news channels). If
    I set it to 75 frames per second then this is exactly 1.5 times the PAL rate
    and the jerkiness is almost completely eliminated.

    Cheers, John Lockwood
    John Lockwood, Oct 19, 2006
  5. PWT24

    PWT24 Guest

    Thanks! So what about the LCD TV's that have the same resolution 1680x1050
    as the monitors you mention? Such as a Tatung V20KQDX- U03. Although I am
    not familiar with that brand I wonder if the PC side would be the same as
    some of the monitors. I have to admit I do like the looks of the Benq 20"
    FP202W you mentioned. How do you think the Benq matches up against the Acer
    AL2016w? Reason I ask is that Acers carry a 3-yr warranty.

    Thanks Again for the great feedback guys!!
    PWT24, Oct 19, 2006
  6. PWT24

    JW Guest

    The only advantage of an LCD TV is that is has a built in tuner which you do
    not need since you have your Hauppauge card and I don't think you want to
    switch it completly back and forth between use with its internal tuner and
    use with it as a monitor. And as stated you get into overscan issues if you
    have an LCD and use other then the VGA interface.
    So I suggest just sticking with you have now since MCE only uses a display
    monitor for all its functions including TV and would not do anything
    different if you had a TV.
    JW, Oct 19, 2006
  7. PWT24

    PWT24 Guest

    Thanks LW, I did not realize there was a process to switch between tuners.
    Next question then which is better tuners in LCD TV's or cards in computers?
    Just curious :) I wonder if the overscan issue you talk about could be one
    problem with my living room set up. MCE works great (as far as TV) until I
    play a DVD then the brightness goes up and down by itself throughout the
    entire movie. UGH!

    This is all great info as usual! I own a computer company that has been in
    business for 8 years, built 1,000 + computers but I'm quite a dummy when it
    comes to video. Originally I thought I would be leaning more towards a TV as
    I thought it would be better and I wanted to connect my xbox 360 to it as
    well. However, I am starting to understand and appreciate everyones opinion.
    PWT24, Oct 19, 2006
  8. PWT24

    JW Guest

    If you have a LCD TV and you are using it as a TV then it using its own TV
    tuner and you cannot use it as a PC mnonitor at the same time. In other
    words there is no PIP capability between the internal TV tuner which is
    using the units antenna connection and a different input coming from a PC
    over another connection.
    You will get better TV picture quality using the internal TV tuner then you
    will using a PC with a tuner card since.
    A previous poster in this thread discussed overscan which is the Zooming in
    about 5% of the tv video received from a PC over its component or digital
    interface in order to emulate a standard CRT TV. The problem with this is
    unless you compenssate for the overscan PC desktop applications wlll have
    problems since they have a lot of detail at the edges, the task bar being
    the most obvious example which will not be totally visable if visable at
    How is your DVD connected to your living room TV and what kind of V is it?
    JW, Oct 19, 2006
  9. PWT24

    PWT24 Guest

    Well what I mean is I use the DVD on the MCE PC. I took the regular DVD out
    of the equation as I did not see the sense of having one other component. If
    my memory serves me correctly my living room MCE contains an EVGA 5200 256MB
    Video card. I have this all connected to my Pioneer Stereo, old Sharp 27" TV
    and a cheap VCR. I think my main problem with my living room setup is the
    fact that I am connecting to my TV via RCA video cable. Until I upgrade to
    an LCD TV for my living room that is the only connection I have. Strange
    that I don't see any problems with MCE TV live or recorded, VCR is fine but
    DVD's suck. hmmm.
    PWT24, Oct 19, 2006
  10. PWT24

    JW Guest

    If your old TV and graphics card both have a S-Video interface you should
    use that to ge better PQ then using a composite interface.
    I am also surprisec at the poor quality of playing DVD using MCE or I assume
    using Media Player on your MCE system when compared to the quality of TV.
    You might try the 30 day free trial of the NVIDIA DVD Decoder available at
    that their Website if you are not allready using it. If you are using what
    settings do have it set to when playing a DVD with Media Player?
    JW, Oct 19, 2006
  11. I'd bet your 5200 won't be able to generate a stable 1080i over DVI, as mine
    wouldn't. But it was fine on VGA. The lowest nVidia card (in my experience)
    to handle 1080i over DVI is the 6600...

    Dana Cline - MCE MVP
    Dana Cline - MVP, Oct 19, 2006
  12. PWT24

    PWT24 Guest

    Unfortunately I only have an RCA port no s-video. I play DVD's through the
    Media Center interface so is that Media Player? I dunno? I do use an NVidia
    decoder but I have never really configured it for anything special really.
    So to answer your question about the settings... I don't remember tweaking it
    so however it installed is probably how it is set up....
    PWT24, Oct 19, 2006
  13. PWT24

    PWT24 Guest

    Thanks Dana, but it is not over DVI I am only connecting to my video card via
    RCA. TV supports nothing else.
    PWT24, Oct 19, 2006
  14. PWT24

    JW Guest

    Does your Samsung allow PIP between anything other then analog or video
    input source and also allow them to be swapped? Even many current Samsung
    do not allow this capability.
    JW, Oct 20, 2006
  15. I cannot comment from personal experience on most of these screens. However
    the Acer AL2016w is a 20" widescreen monitor and has a DVI connection, these
    facts would meet the minimum sensible requirements. I can also see from
    their site that it is in the "Value" product range (i.e. cheapest) and
    therefore probably not as good quality as their other ranges (e.g. Gamer,
    Prestige and Ferrari).

    Regarding the Tatung. Its resolution looks a good match for a computer, the
    pictures I found of it seem to show a DVI connector. Update - I finally
    found some decent info about it on the Walmart site, it does have a DVI
    connector and does do HDCP. The Tatung would have the advantage of being a
    TV in its own right and therefore usable even without MCE 2005.

    Looking at the (Walmart) specs, the Tatung looks very interesting. If it was
    possible I would try taking a laptop to the shop and connecting it (if they
    will let you) and seeing what it looked like.
    John Lockwood, Oct 20, 2006
  16. PWT24

    Nigel Barker Guest

    Not so. My Samsung 46" LCD has a native resolution of 1366x768. The Nvidia
    drivers detect the screen & offer 1360x768 for a beautiful Windows desktop (OK 3
    pixel wide black line down each side. I am sure that the latest ATI drivers do
    the same. No need to muck about with Powerstrip or whatever. When I first got
    the screen I was amazed at how useable the Windows desktop is it actually makes
    the MCE interface designed for 640x480 CRT technology look pretty clunky.

    Having said that for a decade or more I have been sitting in front of 21"
    monitors with 1600x1200 o 1280x1024 so find 1360x768 a bit cramped to use as my
    regular monitor even if it is 46" diagonal:)
    Nigel Barker, Oct 20, 2006
  17. PWT24

    PWT24 Guest

    Thanks Everyone! Video is a continuous learning experience for me. I ended
    up going with the Benq as I found it too has a 3-year warranty. I decided to
    save buying a large LCD TV for my living room instead. Thanks Again! These
    news groups rock!

    PWT24, Oct 20, 2006
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