720P TV as a computer monitor

My old CRT computer monitor is dying and I was thinking of getting a 26" 720P TV as a monitor. Is the resolution of the TV (1366 x768) going to look like crap on a 26" screen for computer use?

in comparison, my laptop is set at 1280 x 1024.

It won’t look as good. My experience has been that monitors are cheaper than TVs of a comparable size, is there any reason you don’t want to get a monitor?

Most monitors don’t have inputs for tuners. I thought it would be nice to have a TV I can move from room and a monitor that doubles as a TV.

Many LCD TV’s can only accept a limited number of resolutions via the VGA input. The information should be in the manual, so check that out before you buy.

Cool. A monitor is out then.

What about the reverse? I have a spare PC in the office I was thinking of moving to the den to use for Hulu, YouTube, gaming, etc. on a 57" screen. It’s 1080p with 1920x1080 resolution and HDMI inputs. The computer has a 4800 series ATI video card with DVI outs and a DVI-to-HDMI cable.

I’m assuming that it will look similar to what I’m used to on the desktop but much bigger, but am not sure if the technologies are too different (LCD v. DLP) to give the same experience.

Right now I’m using a 32" Insignia 720p TV as a monitor for a living room computer. I think it looks pretty nice, but then I’m usually sitting a few feet away from it on the couch. Full disclosure though, my regular computer runs at 1024x768 on an ancient 21" CRT (which weighs about 80 lbs), and so I may be easily impressed.

You can always set the monitor you’ve got now to a similar screen resolution (I imagine 1024x768 is pretty close on a normal square monitor) and evaluate how everything looks in terms of size, etc.

Since the numbers weren’t the same I didn’t try changing my laptop but going to 1024 x 768 just now did not look good. I don’t know if the first number of the 1366 x 768 makes up for the difference or not.

The first number is the number of columns of pixels and the second one is the number of rows. I’m guessing (and I may be wrong) that 1366x768 has more columns than 1024x768 simply because of the different aspect angle designed for wider screens.

Analog video input is actually a pretty easy to find feature on LCD monitors these days, although 26" is unusually large for a computer monitor, so it starts getting fairly expensive. But if you can compromise on size a little, here is a 24" monitor with a great resolution that also takes component, composite, and S-Video input. Generally the way it works is that you have the option of having your video shown over the computer screen like a picture-in-picture, or you can go full screen with it by cycling through the inputs, just like on a TV.

That’s really not a fair comparison unless you have a 21" CRT, which will have about the same height as your LCD (12.60" and 12.75", respectively). Corresponding resolutions for other popular sizes can be found by multiplying by 36.57 pixels/inch to get the height.

Math:

[spoiler]9[sup]2[/sup] + 16[sup]2[/sup] = 18.36[sup]2[/sup]
3[sup]2[/sup] + 4[sup]2[/sup] = 5[sup]2[/sup]
Since heights need to be the same:
9[sup]2[/sup] + 12[sup]2[/sup] = 15[sup]2[/sup]
Now we have the dimensions of 16:9 and 4:3 rectangles of the same height.
This means the ratio between diagonals is 18.36/15 = 1.22.
Thus 26. / 1.22 = 21.

Since standard CRTs are proportional, the dimensions are as well, giving the equivalent ratios:
768 __x
12.6 3y/5
Cross multiply to get 768(3y/5) = 12.6x
Thus x = 256y/7 = 36.57y
[/spoiler]

At home I currently use a 37" vizio 1080p HDTV for a monitor and a standard def 21" as a secondary monitor. My resolution for the Vizio is set to 1920X1080, don’t remember what the resolution for the SDTV is. One great thing about the vizio is i don’t have to use my reading glasses with it. The vizio is also my ‘TV’ and the SDTV is what I use as a ‘TV guide’. Bluetooth mouse from across the room.

You could get a tuner card for your PC which would allow you to watch a TV signal on your PC. You’d also be able to do stuff like run it in a window while doing other stuff and having the PC record the signal with PVR software.

From what I understand, if you’ve got a digital cable box the cable company makes it pretty difficult. (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, preferably with Newegg links to tuner cards! :slight_smile: )

Dell has a 1920x1080 24" monitor with HDMI input for $189 currently. That could certainly accept the HD output of a cable box and, of course, also be used as a monitor.

I have a PC I use as a DVR, and it works fine. Granted, you have to accept that you’ll need an IR blaster so that the software can change the channel on the cable box, but that’s not all that big a deal.

You have a PC and a cable box? How does the signal travel? Wall > Box > PC > Receiver > Television?

There are three basic options when it comes to getting TV into your PC.

Standard digital (QAM) tuners (internla or external) will get you any unencrypted digital channels available to you. I have basic cable and I get about 60 digital channels about 9 of which are HD.

Option two is usin an Ir blaster and running analog TV from your cable box into either a tuner or an analog input card.

Option three is to use a cable card tuner (unternal or external) which, combined with a premium package from your cable provider will net you a lot more HD channels. Frankly, this is overkill for someone like me. What I don’t get over the cable wires I get from HULU, Bit torrent, netflix and amazon.

Also, if you have Windows 7 or vista you already have a full DVR software suite in windows Media Center. It time shifts, records, schedules recordings, handles multiple tuners, and offers internet based tv and movies natively (Netflix, cinema now, internet TV) or through plugins (you tube, hulu, etc).



Wall > Box > box output 1* > TV
           > box output 2* > PC

* component video
* coax


Now that you mention it I’ve found some 1080p 24" monitors with tuners in them. Not sure why there don’t seem to be too many 26" 1080P units.