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Displays To TV or not to TV?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by aquatic_meringue, 18 Jul 2007.

  1. aquatic_meringue

    aquatic_meringue New Member

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    Hey all,
    Well, I've just moved, and I now have a desk large enough to accomodate something a little nicer than my creaking old 19" LCD screen. I've been doing some research on both monitors and tvs (I also need a tv...bear with me...) and I cant decide on what to do. I think I've got the following options:

    a) Buy a tv (I was thinking of a Samsung 32" jobbie), and a DVI -> HDMI adaptor or two. That way I could plug in my 2 PCs, and my 360, and be able switch between the sources at will.

    b) Buy a nice monitor - around 24" seems to be my budget, and a tv card for my PC. Not sure about being able to connect three inputs into the monitor though.

    c) Go for a monitor and a tv. This covers all bases, but is by far and away the most expensive, and cluttered, solution.

    I'm currently leaning towards a), but I'm not sure about how well a tv would be able to deal with the desktop resolution I'd want. b) gets me the resolution, but not as much screen size, and I'd need some advice on a monitor that can accept inputs from (ideally) 2 DVI inputs and a 360 input.

    Im really hoping for some advice here. What do you guys think?

    A_M
     
  2. herbs

    herbs Nobody but us chickens

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    If you get a 32 inch tv then the likely hood is the most you will get is 1366x720 in the resolution stakes, could you live with that as you resolution?
     
  3. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    A good 24" monitor (a la Dell 2407) has DVI + HDCP, VGA, Component, Composite and S-Video inputs (aswell as USB hub and Card reader) so that's a good way to get full high def (1920x1080) output, and it goes up to 1920x1200
     
  4. aquatic_meringue

    aquatic_meringue New Member

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    I'm not too sure, to be honest. Because I've been cramped for space until my move, I've only ever had a 19" running at a fairly bog standard 1024 x 768 res. I'm not too sure how limiting a tv's resolution would be when driving a 32" screen.

    I'm aware that monitors will provide better resolution, and therefore more real estate, but I'm struggling to find a monitor that can cope with as many inputs as tvs can. I could probably stretch my budget to something like a 30" screen, if I found a solution to getting the signals into the thing :)

    Should I be thinking about some form of input switcher, and going with a decent monitor instead?
     
  5. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    I use a KVM for my 360, PC and Laptop on the VGA. I have another PC on DVI (will be PS3 on that aswell) and 360 Component in aswell (just in case)
     
  6. aquatic_meringue

    aquatic_meringue New Member

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    The KVM idea is certainly worth exploring, and one I'd looked at before. However, I gave up when I found it difficult to find a KVM that dealt with DVI rather than just VGA. Can you recommend a box that is suitable?

    For info, my setup would be as follows:

    2 x PCs, both with DVI ouputs.
    1 x keyboard and mouse, both USB
    1 x 360, coming over component. (though im more than willing to buy a new cable if required).

    If I went down that route, I'd also need a decent tv card for one of the PCs. I've had a cheap MSI usb card before, but wasnt impressed with it, so would need to get something a bit better. That's also something I'd need advice on :)
     
  7. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    My 4-port VGA one (standard PS/2 & VGA) was £8 off ebay.
     
  8. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    For TV cards, you can get yourself a twin-tuner digital card now, so you can have a PC as a miniature Sky+ affair (obviously with fewer channels).

    I have a question (not wanting to threadcrap), but as Doug has said it, I thought I'd ask, can you connect a PS3 via DVI and get proper 1080p? Is it a specific kind of DVI? Sounds stupid, but all these connections and types of DVI have started to confuse me...
     
  9. aquatic_meringue

    aquatic_meringue New Member

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    If I went down the KVM route, I'd definitely need a USB / DVI switch I think. My mouse and keyb are both USB (G15 and MX revolution), and I'm assuming I'd have better picture quality with a DVI cable. One thing which does trouble me is that most KVMs seem to be limited on the resolution they can support. If I go with a monitor, I could probably stretch to a 30" display, and obviously that can cope with much higher res than the KVM can output. Graphics wise, I'd be running it in max res, as I've got a 8800GTX so think it can handle it. the other pc doesnt have quite the same punch, so I would run a different resolution on that desktop.


    Hmm, still cant decide - maybe if I detail what I use it for it will help. I will be wanting to browse the internet, game, watch tv and movies, and play my 360 on it. The odd word / Excel doc will be created too, but that's a far more rare occurance than firing up Half Life :)
     
  10. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    How about the middle-ground between the 24" and the 30" screen? You could get a 26-27" screen, which provides plenty of real-estate whilst still having plenty of inputs, and having a res. that a KVM can cope with.
     
  11. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    Krikkit: PS3 has HDMI, HMDI == DVI + HDCP, Dell 2407 supports DVI and HDCP.

    One 8800GTX may power some games at 2560x1600 but not at high specs.
     
  12. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    There are a few hybrid tv/monitors with built-in tuner, sound, and scart socket (for STB or PVR), plus the usual monitor fittings, such as this LG. They'll work as a TV with the PC switched off.
     
  13. aquatic_meringue

    aquatic_meringue New Member

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    Well, the more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards the dell 27 incher. It has enough connectors to allow me to connect my 360 and my main pc to, and i can always remote desktop to the other pc.

    Anyone got one of the 27 inchers? what's your opinion on it?
     
  14. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    I have the 24", but the 27" is exactly the same but with a higher .pitch, so the pixels are spread out a lot more but has the same resolution.
     
  15. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    http://www.trustedreviews.com/displays/review/2007/06/19/Dell-UltraSharp-2707WFP-27in-LCD-Display/p1

    I'd go for that, or the 24" Dell. I'd HATE to use a TV as a main monitor. You need to sit at least 4-5ft back to see properly. With that out of the way, buy the monitor and connect one computer via DVI, and the other one via VGA (use a DVI-VGA convertor if necessary). Run the Xbox via component and you're away - switch inputs via the monitor. With the mouse issue, use a normal KVM and one of those USB --> PS2 convertors.
     
  16. aquatic_meringue

    aquatic_meringue New Member

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    Hmm, really weird. I decided to go for the 27", but the dell site has suddenly put another £200 onto the cost price. The 30" is now cheaper than the 27" one - not sure I understand why.
     
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