I've got my computer hooked up to the Dell 17" LCD TV as a secondary monitor. It works great, and is no more likely to burn in than a standard LCD monitor. I really don't think there is any difference other than the fact that most LCD TVs are 1280x768. A good 17-19" LCD monitor is going to be 1280x1024. That little extra height is quite nice when surfing the web as a primary monitor.
In short, there is no reason to not hook up a PC to your LCD TV via DVI or VGA. Either way you should be safe.
I've been looking for an LCD screen to do the exact same thing. I've actually found a couple that advertise as computer and TV monitors. There are a few more out there but these are the ones with a 16ms or less response time (great for movie watching as well as gaming...less visible ghosting). These sets have at least a 15pin input and a component video in:
Panasonic TC-22LH1 (was very impressed seeing it)
Zenith L23W36 (Haven't seen it...impressive specs...10ms response time!)
Samsung LTN226W (wasn't impressed at all)
Zenith and Samsung also have smaller 16:9 models and 4:3 models both said to be PC monitors as well. The response times are not necessarily 16ms, though.
From what I've been able to surmise by product descriptions, neither the Sony nor the Panny accept DVI or VGA...so use as a PC monitor is a no-go (unless you want to feed it component from a DVI-component dongle, but even then try feeding it a PC signal, and you're likely to get overscan, and only 1 possible resolution)
Actually, the Panasonic 22LH1 (22" widescreen) and the 32LH1 (32" widescreen)have DVI in.
The lower models like the 20LA1 (20" 4:3), 17LA1 (17" 4:3), or the 15LT1 (15" widescreen) only composite, s-video and component inputs.
None of the Panny models mention about being both computer and TV monitors. They only mention being TVs.
I'm personally curious about the Zenith TVs. The 15" 4:3 model (L15V36) is 1024x768 with a 176Â° viewing angle, 400:1 contrast, 450 cm brightness. Actually it has basically the same specs as their 22" model (besides screen size/ratio). It'd make a decent PC monitor with multimedia advantages.
Unfortunately, their 20" model is only 640x480 res.
I looked at a 20 something (23?) inch widescreen Zenith at the local Best Buy. It had vertical jitter compared to the adjacent LCD TV's. So I personally couldn't go for that model that I saw. The JVC 26" LCD had some overscan compared to the others, so I probably wouldn't go for it either. Watch out for screen res on the widescreen LCD's in the lower 20 inch models, as they often only have 480 lines, instead of 720/768.
Also the Zenith's 10ms spec could only be a rising or falling spec, and not the average 16ms or 25 ms we usually see. I think some companies use 20ms panels. 35ms=28fps 25ms=40fps, 20ms=50fps, 16ms=62fps. A genuine 10ms average could reach 100fps, and that would completely slay (as far as PC gaming goes).
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