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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


Sorry if this has been covered, I've done some searching but couldn't find too much... I was just going through the 'Show us you HTPC setup' thread, and noticed plenty of people with a Windows desktop showing on their HTPCs. I'm wondering if many of you actually use it for surfing the net and general PC use?


I've been reading about the problems getting a display to show the desktop properly with overscan etc, so just wondering and it's something i'd like to do. I'm aware you can use adjustments to resolution and timings etc to get the PC at a resolution the PC displays within it's viewable area, but not sure if it leaves things looking good.


Also, what connections do people use? HDMI (system board has it) or DVI-HDMI converter, or even VGA if the TV has a port?


My goal is to have a PC using a 50" 1080p TV as the monitor for watching TV (live and recorded), movies etc, but also to surf the net, use iTunes etc. Very infrequent word processing or anything else most people would consider general use. There would be a 2.1 channel setup built around it and would be better sounding if you could sit further back from the PC while still being able to work (this is my main motivation).


Is it feasible?


Thanks everyone for your help.
 

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From your description this is exactly how I use my HTPCs. In fact I'm responding to this post from one of my HTPCs projected on a 119" screen. I have the same HTPC connected to a 52" flat panel everyone uses during the day.


My girlfriend uses it sometimes to complete work assignments. lol

There's really no difference using your flat panel as a monitor than any other display.

My 52" LCD flat panel formats the desktop just fine to 1920x1080. I had to set the resolution of the HTPC in the bedroom to 1280x768 for it to display properly on my 42" plasma. And the projector is set to 1280x720. You'll be fine.
 

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I work all the time on my htpc set up to a 60 inch plasma from 9 ft away. Resolution is matched at 1080p. Previously my 50 inch panny plasma was set at 1366x763 and that worked too. Just make sure to match your htpc resolution to the display.
 

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Ditto here, although my Sharp Aquous LED-LCDTV has a build-in display mode for PC usage that has no overscan. I suspect most new TVs have a feature like this now, it is really nice to not have to fiddle around with custom resolutions. I just hook up via HDMI through my receiver.
 

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I have a 65" @ 15' away and have a hard time reading it w/o moving closer to the screen. For occasional use it's fine, wouldn't want ti as my primary desktop though.
 

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I use a 42" 1080p LCD as my primary display everyday. Watching TV, movies, surfing the web, heck I even game on it!


I sit 9' from it, I adjusted the size of my icons/fonts and have no problems viewing everything. I also have Internet Explorer set to display at 150% so browsing is a breeze as well.
 

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I too am using a dedicated HTPC on a 50" Panasonic TH-50PZ80U. I have about 1/2" on the right hand side that is not filled properly but it's not really that noticeable. My recommendation would be to just make sure you have the proper drivers and application (CCC or Nvidia depending on the card).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 /forum/post/18172199


I have a 65" @ 15' away and have a hard time reading it w/o moving closer to the screen. For occasional use it's fine, wouldn't want ti as my primary desktop though.

Did you try to zoom in on the page? I think it is ctrl + scroll wheel or ctrl + +or -.

I use the logitech mini's magnifier to make web pages


larger. http://www.microsoft.com/enable/trai...a/webzoom.aspx
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie2u /forum/post/18172646


Did you try to zoom in on the page? I think it is ctrl + scroll wheel or ctrl + +or -.

I use the logitech mini's magnifier to make web pages larger.

I have the magnifier set to 150%, this at least makes stuff readable. With magnifier off I have to sit 5' from the screen to read text.
 

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Same as others above have posted.


I have a 50" Panasonic TH-50PZ85U and it's hooked to this HTPC and used both for movies and general PC duties...including surfing, burning, word processing, etc.


I use the Zooming feature for the web related stuff to keep everything visible from about 7-8 feet and normally everything is just peachy. I have a MS Bluetooth Mouse/Keyboard and I have the extra side buttons on the mouse set as Zoom in/out.
 

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I have a 52" LCD I use as a pc monitor everyday as well as a bedroom tv. I have another HTPC hooked to my projector in the living rm with a 135" screen.
 

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the hardest you are going to have is finding a mouse and keyboard that work from that distance without spending a fortune... that is, if you are cheap like me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think my seating distance will be about 7ft, so hopefully won't be a problem.


Just to throw some extra info in there, I currently use a 19" 4:3 monitor that runs at 1280x1024, so going to 1920x1080 is an improvement in all directions!!



I have no problem with having to zoom to see stuff (it'll be like surfing on the ipod touch).


It seems like something that you'd get used to using. It's a different experience to using a monitor at a desk, which is the 'norm', but will work just as well with a slight change in the way you do things.
 

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I use my HTPC as my main computer as well, actually 60% computer (Gaming & Internet) 35% Movies (Downloaded 1080p .MKV's) and 5% streaming music player. I use a Logitech DiNovo Edge BT keyboard (expensive, but very solid) that floats between the coffee table and couch, and a Logitech MX Revolution Mouse on the armrest of the couch. I have the charging bases for both of them on a shelf on the entertainment center, and charge them on average once a month overnight.


When I set windows 7 up, (before that Vista x64) I made sure I set the DPI to 200% in display properties, then I use CTRL + mouse wheel up to zoom webpages if they are a little hard to read. The connection to the 47" JVC TV is a HDMI-DVI cable. (A HDMI cable w/ a DVI/HDMI adapter on one end would work too.) The only issues i have with this setup is that some programs see the resolution (1920 x 1080 @ 30hz) as being below the "minimum recommended resolution of 800x600" and will not install. However that is very rare, like maybe 2 out of the last 80 programs I have installed, and is probably an issue with my video card running 1080p at 30hz. (my TV is 30Hz, not 60 or even 120)
. Additionally, some programs will have a dialog box that extends below the bottom edge of the window and there is no scroll bar. I just have to use the enter key instead, b/c usually it is an "OK or "Cancel" button.


Below are specs of my machine and other equipment (yes I know it's a monster and completely overblown, but there are people who don't live anywhere near a 50+ MPH zone and drive Lamborghinis)


Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Cooler Master HTPC Case

Asus Z8PE-D12 Motherboard

dual Xeon 2.26Ghz Quad CPU's

dual Noctua coolers

nVidia 8800GTX Video card

12Gb GEiL DDR3 memory

dual 60Gb OCZ Vertex SSD drives (RAID 0)

WD Raptor 150Gb HDD

850W Silverstone Strider PSU

Highpoint Port-Multiplier RAID card

7.2 TB and 2.2TB eSATA RAID5 arrays in Sans Digital TRM5-B towers

Logitech Harmony 1100 Remote

JVC 47" 1080p LVD TV

some crap JVC 5.1 "theater in a box" system (lots of really close neighbors)


A link on it's build if you're curious: http://sites.google.com/site/ultimatehtpc/
 

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I use my Sony 46Z4100 (close enough to a 50" right?) for general everyday use and PC gaming. All I had to do was play with the windows desktop settings to make it comfortable for me viewing word docs and websites. I sit anywhere from 10 feet and as close as 5 feet depending on how I'm feeling.
 

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While I do play games on my htpc once in a while, I gave up trying to use it as a general purpose computer while sitting on the couch (and I have played around with font sizes, dpi etc). I've got a 55" lcd and I sit 11' away. It's a lot more comfortable for me to just use my laptop while sitting on the couch instead. The way I figure, for my desktop to look nearly as big sitting 12' away as it does sitting 2' away from a 20" monitor, I'd need a screen that's over 100". Anything less is sacrificing. Maybe when we get around to building our home theater with a big ass screen, I'll finally start using my htpc as a general purpose PC from the couch.
 

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52" sony xbr4 here. The htpc acts as a dvr for OTA shows, bluray movies & netflix etc. I do browse once in a while from 12ft away. Ctrl + "plus(+)" zooms in while browsing.
 

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I'm actually responding to this on a 47" 1080p from 14-15' away. (I have really good eyesight.) This is my main HTPC, not my main PC system but I don't always feel like going downstairs just to look up something.


You can always adjust your browser to zoom the page (bottom right on IE8) if you are having trouble reading it. I leave mine at 100% personally.
 
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