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buying first hdtv... multifunctionality priority #1

05-20-2011, 01:36 PM
Hey everyone,

Looking to get a 42"-46" hdtv (probably).

1. How far away will you be from the display when watching it?
Probably about 9-10 feet... could move closer if needed

2. What TV will it be replacing?
A 27" tube

3. What will you be watching on it?
50% movies, 50% SD tv. I watch a little sports but not a fanatic.

4. Will a computer be connected to use the display as a monitor? If so, what percent of the time?
This is the important one... would like to use as a monitor probably at least 60% of the time (gaming, streaming movies, hulu, netflix, itunes, etc.) both from my desktop (graphics card = nvidia geforce 8800gt) and my Macbook pro.

5. Will you be getting a Blu-ray player to watch movies and will you be getting any HD service from cable/sat, or will you just be watching SD programming, and an upscaling SD DVD player?
Not planning on getting cable anytime soon... though who knows. Will most likely get a blue-ray player (or ps3) sometime in the future. Most T.V. viewing will either be via Digital (non-cable, over the air) tuner or streaming from the Net.

6. Are you looking for the best in class display, the best bargain display, or best bang for the buck in the middle display?
Looking for best bang for the buck. A quality display that will last a while and do everything I want, but the newest tech is not priority 1. Don't want the el cheapo especial though.

7. Are you interested in seeing 3D with the new 3DTVs? If not, what about next year since TVs are usually kept for many years so consider that?
Nope, don't care. Don't want to be hassled with glasses and what not.

8. What is the room lighting situation?
Normal living room lighting... could hang some curtains.

9. What is your budget range?
$600-$800... could go up to $1000 but would like to keep it a little lower.

10. Will people be watching at multiple viewing angles or just usually one person sitting directly in the center?
Just me most of the time.

11. When will most viewing be done on the display?
Mix of day and night.

Been doing some research and I think LCD is the way to go. Plasma's don't seem like they are as PC friendly as LCD's... but maybe I'm wrong.

I also need to find out about "over the air" SD digital signal. Right now I have a digital tuner connecting my antenna to my tube tv. Will I need this tuner with a newer hdtv?... or is that built in to most t.v.'s these days?

Unfortunately, most of the info I have been able find on using hdtv's as computer monitors is fairly old (2007, 2008)... I'm assuming that I can just run dvi -> hdmi and it will work? I tried hooking my Macbook pro to a 42" Sony bravia at work through the VGA port (they were having some problems getting the tv working with mac's) and had to change the res to like 1024 X 768 to get it to display anything at all. Didn't look so good! Is this a common thing? Shouldn't it be getting 1920 X 1080?

any advise would be appreciated!

05-22-2011, 01:50 PM
So I've done a little more searching and think I might try and stretch the budget and get a Samsung UN46D6000. Though I'm still trying to decide if I really need the LED lit screen. I've also been thinking about one of the Vizio razorLED... the price point is tempting but reviews seem mixed (my brother has had a 32" Vizio for years and loves it, but I also see a lot of refurbs for sale and read stories of people who are dissatisfied when their tv stops working after a year). It seems like you can find negative reviews about any brand though (I have been a little wary of Samsung because of the apparent capacitor issue.. though i think they may have corrected that)

I guess what I need to know is are there any special specs to take into consideration when using a LCD TV as a computer monitor for gaming? I may need the cable to be about 10-12' long... will there be more lag or anything with a longer dvi -> hdmi cable?

05-22-2011, 11:10 PM

05-23-2011, 08:33 PM
LCD does seem the way to go since you are going to use it as a PC monitor most of the time. Many HDTVs will accept video from a PC just fine, but you may need to change your video card if it will not allow a HDTV resolution. I'd suggest 1920x1080p at 60Hz which most current HDTVs will handle. As far as lag goes, the cable length won't matter. It is something to investigate for the HDTV though because some HDTVs will have quite a bit of lag when some of the video processors are active. My daughter's Sharp 4 color "Oh, my!" HDTV requires a 200 ms delat to be dialed in to their AV receiver. Some HDTVs have a game mode that bypasses the video processors.

05-24-2011, 11:29 PM
So I went to some stores today to look at the Samsung UN46D6000... and saw the Samsung PN51D550! Such a sexy TV! It's bigger, has 3D capability (not that that is a huge selling point for me), and is about $100 cheaper than the D6000.

Would it be terrible to use a Plasma set for gaming/comp monitor? I am assuming so, especially since I play a lot of real time strategy games and world of warcraft (lots of static bars and such) and it is not uncommon for those gaming sessions to go for 4+ hrs.... REALLY tempted though!

I've also been looking into screen lag... mainly at an AVSforums thread about lag. (would link it but I'm not able to yet!) But all of specific model info is a little dated (about 2 yrs old)... but to be fair, I haven't had the time to sift through all of the info yet. Is there a "go to" LCD you guys suggest specifically for gaming that is in the same price range as the UN46D6000?