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Thread: PC to HDTV

  1. #1
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    PC to HDTV

    Hey guys

    If I buy a HDTV that will also be use as a computer monitor, which specifications of TV should I be look at for that task (resolution, refresh rate, etc..)?

    My PC only have 15-pin VGA output, so that will be the feed to TV.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    I would look at an LCD instead of Plasma, simply because Plasmas are susceptible to ghosting. Also, make sure the native resolution of the screen is not a non-normal res (usually 768p widescreen), so make sure it's either 720p or 1080p.
    I don't know if vga connections can handle 1080p resolution though, at least at normal computer resfresh rates. Ideally you'd want a vid card with HDMI or DVI output which can handle very high resolutions and refresh rates. With a 1080p screen your icons will look pretty small, so anything under 40" I'd definitely go for 720 over 1080 if you have the choice. And obviously make sure it has vga input...
    Let us know how it goes

  3. #3
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    I would look at an LCD instead of Plasma, simply because Plasmas are susceptible to ghosting. Also, make sure the native resolution of the screen is not a non-normal res (usually 768p widescreen), so make sure it's either 720p or 1080p.
    I don't know if vga connections can handle 1080p resolution though, at least at normal computer resfresh rates. Ideally you'd want a vid card with HDMI or DVI output which can handle very high resolutions and refresh rates. With a 1080p screen your icons will look pretty small, so anything under 40" I'd definitely go for 720 over 1080 if you have the choice. And obviously make sure it has vga input...
    Let us know how it goes

    actually, when you're going to use the VGA output, the intention is to get a 768p screen, a tv uses non-square pixels, whereas a pc uses square pixels, hence the 768p resolution. the 48 extra pixels are there to "compensate" the non-square pixels from a tv.

    but you're not going to find a 768 screen, so the only option is to force a 720p resolution for the screen. VGA can support resolutions much higher than the 720p, so don't worry about that.

    I'd go for a 1080p screen anyway, 720p is a very low resolution for PC use on such a big screen...

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    I do this with my Sony 42" LCD. I made sure the TV had a VGA input. You could also use S Video if both video card and TV support it.

    I use it mostly for streaming downloaded movies that are usually ripped to AVI format so there is no HD to worry about.

    You can also get a video card with HDMI out for pretty cheap. See this card and reviews.

    http://www.google.com/products/catal...wAQ&os=reviews

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by basite
    actually, when you're going to use the VGA output, the intention is to get a 768p screen, a tv uses non-square pixels, whereas a pc uses square pixels, hence the 768p resolution. the 48 extra pixels are there to "compensate" the non-square pixels from a tv.
    Not sure i get you here. What do you mean by intention?

    Current widescreens do use square pixels, hence 720p and 1080p widescreen resolutions that fit the 16/9 (widescreen) format. No non-square pixels in other words...
    Quote Originally Posted by bert
    but you're not going to find a 768 screen
    I just bought a 50" 3D Plasma screen whose native resolution is 768p (768 by 1366) and not 720p It is widescreen in other words - the ratio of 1366/768 equals that of 16/9, which means it has square pixels. An example of an 'HD' resolution that has non-square pixels would be 768 by 1024.
    Quote Originally Posted by bert the belgian
    I'd go for a 1080p screen anyway, 720p is a very low resolution for PC use on such a big screen...
    We don't know what size he's getting besides, you can hardly find 720p anymore these days. Or 768p for that matter.

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    S video cannot pass HD signals, I'd never use it for computing unless i didn't have an option. The only time i experienced it for computer use it looked terrible. I did use for gaming purposes (Playstation 1 and 2) on a standard def widescreen CRT and it looked fairly good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    S video cannot pass HD signals, I'd never use it for computing unless i didn't have an option. The only time i experienced it for computer use it looked terrible. I did use for gaming purposes (Playstation 1 and 2) on a standard def widescreen CRT and it looked fairly good.
    I only threw that in there as it is an option when a tv does not have a vga input but does have S. The OP did not say he was concerned with having all HD from the PC, only that he wanted to hook a PC up to an HDTV.

    He needs to clarify. Anyway, the video card I pointed to and many others would be an inexpensive way to have it all for $50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    I only threw that in there as it is an option when a tv does not have a vga input but does have S. The OP did not say he was concerned with having all HD from the PC, only that he wanted to hook a PC up to an HDTV.
    He did say he'd like to use the screen as a computer monitor...
    Quote Originally Posted by hyfi
    He needs to clarify. Anyway, the video card I pointed to and many others would be an inexpensive way to have it all for $50.
    It might be worth checking out, for the price. I have however had very good results with vga in the past

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    He did say he'd like to use the screen as a computer monitor...
    Exactly, but he did not say if everything displayed from the PC was required to be in HD.

    I use the VGA connection myself. I use my TV as a monitor also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Exactly, but he did not say if everything displayed from the PC was required to be in HD.

    I use the VGA connection myself. I use my TV as a monitor also.
    If he's using it as his main monitor he'll need HD.

    Is your computer outputing your TV's native resolution?

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    If he's using it as his main monitor he'll need HD.

    Is your computer outputing your TV's native resolution?
    I don't get all caught up in what resolution I get. I am using a few year old PC with an on-board vga card that displays on my TV. I use the Wide button on the TV remote to get the screen to display wide or square.

    You do not need HD just to display from PC to TV, just the proper connection which is a VGA connector, or better yet the card with HDMI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    You do not need HD just to display from PC to TV, just the proper connection which is a VGA connector, or better yet the card with HDMI.
    You do if you want to do any typing or internet browsing, or even simply read the icons...

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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    You do if you want to do any typing or internet browsing, or even simply read the icons...
    Not at my house. I don't think the internal video card is HD in the PC I use and I have no trouble using it. Been about 3 years now. I am pretty sure that if the TV has the VGA connection, it knows what to do with the signal.

    That is the whole reason to have the VGA connection on the TV. Without it you would need to use something like Powerstrip to sync the resolutions.

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    Virtually all computers are HD, even those that were used 10 years ago. That is the reason we can sit so close to computer monitors without damaging our eyes. Try displaying a 480p resolution from a computer and you can tell me how well you can read a word document

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    Cool

    Don't worry about it, it will work fine.
    Most "tv sets" are basically big honkin computer monitors, and have VGA inputs, even
    have height and horizontal size adjustments.
    But VGA is analog, I bought a video card with an HDMI out (real cheap) and the digital
    picture is better, IMHO. I also am able to run it through my receiver.
    Either way will work, tho.
    I have my old VGA cable complete with gender changer, BTW, not using it, and its pretty nice. Send me five bucks and I will send it to you, or collect if you send me your address.
    Just going to rot in my cable box.
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    One thing to be aware of...the resolution for the TV's VGA input might not be the same as the native resolution of the LCD panel. My cheapo ViewSonic is 720p, but the VGA input is an-all-but-totally-useless 640 x 480.

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    Thanks guys for all the great info. I am still little bit unclear about TV native reolution vs VGA output resolution.

    About not being specific, I was looking at 32-37 inch LCD which I will be sitting 6 feet from. As of now, I am able to watch HD videos (1080 and 720p format) on my computer although my monitor is old fashion 17 inch CRT type monitor. I checked PC/monitor resolution and it said highest reolution is 1280 * 1024. I don't see native resolution of 1280 * 720p, but it have 1024 * 768 resolution which is my default setting.

    So what I am unclear about is 720p vs 1080p TV. If I buy 1080p TV, will I be able to change to lower resolution (like 960 * 600)? As audio amateur mentioned, icons and text might be too small to read at 1080p resoution.

    If no, then am I better off with 720p TV for a monitor.

    Thanks.

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    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey
    Thanks guys for all the great info. I am still little bit unclear about TV native reolution vs VGA output resolution.

    About not being specific, I was looking at 32-37 inch LCD which I will be sitting 6 feet from. As of now, I am able to watch HD videos (1080 and 720p format) on my computer although my monitor is old fashion 17 inch CRT type monitor. I checked PC/monitor resolution and it said highest reolution is 1280 * 1024. I don't see native resolution of 1280 * 720p, but it have 1024 * 768 resolution which is my default setting.

    So what I am unclear about is 720p vs 1080p TV. If I buy 1080p TV, will I be able to change to lower resolution (like 960 * 600)? As audio amateur mentioned, icons and text might be too small to read at 1080p resoution.

    If no, then am I better off with 720p TV for a monitor.

    Thanks.
    Since I was not concerned about the low PC resolution with mine, I didn't research the problem. But now that we're discussing it here I figured I'd better get my facts straight.

    I checked the ViewSonic site and I see there are three resolutions supported by my model - 1360 x 768, 1280 x 768 and 1024 x 768. It looks like my belief that the LCD's VGA input didn't support HD resolution was wrong. I might try to figure out why it didn't work for me, but I suspect it was because my PC would have been set to an unsupported resolution so it kicked me back to the baseline VGA resolution.

  19. #19
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    Smokey, you'll only have small icons if your computer is outputting 1080p.
    For best possible picture, you want to match the resolution output from your computer to the native resolution of the screen. But that's not always easy, depending on what type of video card your PC has. There is software that will allow you to customise the computer's resolution. However, if you're outptting a high resolution (1080p for example) youll need a good processor to keep up.
    Basically, what you want (ideally) is a video card that will output 720 resolution (1280 by 720) and 1080 resolution (1920 by 1080).

    My laptop has an Ati 9600 pro video card, and the screen's resolution is 1600 by 1050 (something like that), which isn't letterbox format nor is it widescreen, but it's closer to widescreen. It's one of the current standards for computer screens, actually called 16/10 format.
    I have several resolution options, both letterbox (non-widescreen such as 1280 by 1024 resolution) and 16/10 resolutions such as 1280 by 768. Naturally, the 1600 by 1050 resolution looks best on the laptop screen, as it's the native resolution of the screen (no scaling has to be done). BUT, when I plug in my plasma using the 15 pin vga out, I only get a choice of letterbox resolutions, such as 800 by 600 and 1024 by 768. The latter doesnt look bad on the plasma, but as it's a letterbox format and not widescreen (which would be 1366 by 768), the image is stretched which means whatever appears on the screen (movies, icons..) looks squashed. I do have the option of adding black bars to the side to maintain the proper aspect ratio.
    Sorry if this is confusing...

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    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey
    Thanks guys for all the great info. I am still little bit unclear about TV native reolution vs VGA output resolution.

    About not being specific, I was looking at 32-37 inch LCD which I will be sitting 6 feet from. As of now, I am able to watch HD videos (1080 and 720p format) on my computer although my monitor is old fashion 17 inch CRT type monitor. I checked PC/monitor resolution and it said highest reolution is 1280 * 1024. I don't see native resolution of 1280 * 720p, but it have 1024 * 768 resolution which is my default setting.

    So what I am unclear about is 720p vs 1080p TV. If I buy 1080p TV, will I be able to change to lower resolution (like 960 * 600)? As audio amateur mentioned, icons and text might be too small to read at 1080p resoution.

    If no, then am I better off with 720p TV for a monitor.

    Thanks.
    No, you are better off with a 1080p monitor..regardless.
    A 1080P will upscale everything to its native res, and all but the most lame of the new computers will run 1920x1080(1080p).
    And windows has provisions for changing icon size, etc. BASICALLY with a 1080p monitor
    you can watch anything, with a 720p you will be restricted to 720p.
    GET the 1080p. 1080p is clearly better, I BOUGHT A 720P AND REGRETTED IT
    to the point of trading it for a 1080p. COST SOME BUCKS.
    Get a 1080p
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    I checked the ViewSonic site and I see there are three resolutions supported by my model - 1360 x 768, 1280 x 768 and 1024 x 768. It looks like my belief that the LCD's VGA input didn't support HD resolution was wrong. I might try to figure out why it didn't work for me, but I suspect it was because my PC would have been set to an unsupported resolution so it kicked me back to the baseline VGA resolution.
    That seem to be true with older version of windows. For example with my old win98 PC, if the monitor is not set to video's native resolution, it will not play the video. But with window7 PC, I am able to play any video resolution even if monitor does not match it.

    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    However, if you're outptting a high resolution (1080p for example) youll need a good processor to keep up.
    Basically, what you want (ideally) is a video card that will output 720 resolution (1280 by 720) and 1080 resolution (1920 by 1080).
    I am guessing my video card can support HD since I have few videos on my hard drive (not porn ) that have 1280 x 720 and 1920 x 1080 resoution and it play them fine. I am surprise that my monitor can display 1080 format since monitor resolution does not have 1980 x 1080 resolution setting. I am guessing that Window7 resize the resolution for monitor setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    And windows has provisions for changing icon size, etc. BASICALLY with a 1080p monitor you can watch anything, with a 720p you will be restricted to 720p.
    Yes, that is one of disadvantages of going with 720p. I am figuring that since my cable was cutoff, probably feed HDTV from PC with downloded and streaming programs. Picture quality is pretty good with higher resolution videos.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey

    I am guessing my video card can support HD since I have few videos on my hard drive (not porn ) that have 1280 x 720 and 1920 x 1080 resoution and it play them fine. I am surprise that my monitor can display 1080 format since monitor resolution does not have 1980 x 1080 resolution setting. I am guessing that Window7 resize the resolution for monitor setting.

    That only means that your processor can keep up with HD video content. It does not mean your video card has the ability to output 720 or 1080. Indeed, it's simply downscaling the HD content to whatever res the video card sends to the monitor. Could you give us a few details on the type of comp you have? Also, is your current monitor widescreen or not?

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    Thanks audio amateur

    The comp I'm using is this Compaq......

    http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...Computer-With/

    And the monitor is 17 inch CRT 4:3 type (Compaq FS7600).

    I change monitor resolution to lower settings (960 x600 and 800 x 600), and it still display 720 and 1080 videos. So you are probably right that CP down size resolution to match the monitor.

  24. #24
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    4:3 is letterbox, just for clarification.
    It looks like your comp is relatively future proof However, it does not have a seperate graphics card (it has an integrated graphics chip, which means won't be able to do much gaming). If you really want to use a tv as your main monitor, I suggest you buy a graphics card (video card) that has either DVI, or preferably HDMI output so you dont have to mess with an adaptor. You need to make sure that it can output at least 720p widescreen (1280 by 720). It will probably set you back 50 bucks.

    I would first try using PowerStrip, or another similar software which allows you to customise the resolution to whatever you want it to be (that of your screen native res). I tried it briefly but didn't manage to work it on my laptop, perhaps if I spent more time I could manage it. Or get one of your geeky computer buddies to do it

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