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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


I am very new at this so I would like to apologise in advance if this question is in the wrong forum or elmentary for some of you. I am looking to purchase an new computer for everyday stuff that computers are used for. I would however, like to use a TV instead of a monitor for display... including the use of applications. I am wondering if this can be done and if, so, I would appreciate any suggestions eg processors, memory, video cards TV brands and models.. etc etc etc....


Once again, I would like to apologise if I am in the wrong forum.


Thanks for any suggestions..
 

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I use a standard-definition TV with one of my computers that I use as an MP3 server. It works great for blowing up Winamp to the size of the screen, but that is about the only thing I would use it for. The resolution on standard-definition TV's is not very good and therefore not suitable for regular computer use. I've tried the Internet with it, but the fonts had to be so large...it was annoying.


I am using Win98 for that system, so there may be some better display/font settings in a newer version of windows.


The video card is the cheapest ATI with TV-out that I could find. I have been very pleased with it...it serves its purpose very well.


If you are getting an HD-ready TV, however, use as a monitor may be more practical. It still will not be as nice as a monitor from what I have heard, but much better than using composite/S-video to a standard-def TV.


BTW, if you plan on using a standard-def TV, make sure it has S-video inputs. It made a big difference for my application.


Good luck,

f4
 

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First of all, congrats on your fortune to stumble upon a forum such as this. It will help you tremendously in your quest for "PC to TV" if you are truly committed to making it work and have many hours to spend reading others trials and tribulations on their quest for PC to TV.


You are in the right place, however, the answer to the question depends on so many variables that it is difficult to respond. This particular forum is quite technical, and responses will be complicated and usually directed to specific technical issues of very specific pieces of equipment and/or specific features of such.


A year ago I was just like you. Thinking about how it should work, how cool it would be to surf on a big screen TV or show DVD's, downloaded video shorts and trailers on the TV, show powerpoint presentation, educational materials, etc. Wondering if this could be done easily, and then slowly realizing it was going to be uphill all the way. I'm a little closer now, but still a long way to go to be truly satisfied with my PC to TV options.


The short answer? Yes, it can be done. But it's not a simple process to get a picture up on the TV screen that you can stand to look at for very long. What equipment to buy? Everyone has their opinion and since technology changes so rapidly, in 3 months you will decide on one thing and the next day after you buy it a new thing will come out that appears to be better.


At this time I personally use:


P4 1.2 Ghz, Intel motherboard, 256M RAM, Toshiba DVD drive.

BFG Asylum Geforce4 Ti 4200 128 Mb AGP 8x (dual head card with both VGA and DVI-I single link out and also an s-video out (it has the Philips TV out chip SAA7104) I am using the s-video now for Internet browsing, watching trailers, play PC games, and it is good quality for video and games but the text is not very clear. This is due mostly to limitations of s-video, video drivers, the TV's hardware limitations. I was using the NView software to control output of s-video but getting poor results so I switched to TVTool shareware and it's much better. Text is still fuzzy but better than with NView. Good enough to use until I get the DVI working or find a better driver.


I am currently trying to figure out a way to get the DVI out on this card to work with my HDTV which is a Toshiba 42HDX82 with DVI-d single link in. It is not easy.


You will likely want to spend about 3 months researching hardware and software choices before you buy anything if you are serious about getting just the right equipment. Most people already have one or two things they plan to use in this process to accomplish PC to TV so they must work around those pieces.


Also, search the INTERNET for these topics-"PC to TV", PC to HDTV", computer and TV, etc, etc, and read what you find.

There are many good informational sources that are more general than the very equipment specific posts here that may be a better starting point for you. also the FAQ's on this forum and others are usually good compilations of general information on this subject.


Here is a known fact regarding this concept that should remain in your mind as you research this issue and shop for equipment:


TV manufacturers do not really want you to use the TV with the PC. Many speculate on the reasons why- some are technical reasons, some are related to copyright of movies and such. PC video card manufacturers want you to use their video card for as many things as you can, but are hamstringed by TV manufacturers unwillingness to work with them to create standard specifications for connectors and control of output.


Some major points to consider as you begin to research and buy equipment:


What is your budget?

what applications will you use the PC to TV feature for?

Will you use a Digital (HDTV or ATSC) or Analog TV (NTSC)?

How much do you know about how computers work?

How much do you know about how TV's work?

How much do you want to know about how it works?


The answers to these questions will determine your ability to making "PC to TV" work the way you want it to.


Good Luck

Dee:)
 

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First off, how large is your TV? Unless it is a large, new, expensive TV why don't you sell it and get a monitor? I think you can get a 19" monitor for around $200 or so.


Standard TVs make awful monitors: low resolution, and they are interlaced. I would go with a regular computer monitor.
 

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I am also a newbie at HTPC but have been lurking here for a while. I have the same question as the original poster. I currently run dual 15" LCD monitors and watch TV on one while I am working on the other, but I would like to hook to a TV to do everything (web browsing, email, etc.) I understand that *normal* TVs do not display text well, but what abou the latest HD sets? If I purchase the Panasonic PT-40LC12 will I be able to get usable text from 10' away? It has VGA in and does 1280x720 natively - the 15" monitor I have is only 1024x768 and I would think it would be usable if it was 40".


Thoughts??
 

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As others have said...absolutely you can use a TV as a computer monitor. That said, there are some disadvantages to using a standard TV as a monitor....one being the burn in issue. (having the same image on the TV "burns in" the image so that a ghost of it will always be apparent.) There are many variations of what people like for their HTPC set up and it all depends on your budget.


If you are in the market for a new TV and want to use it also as a computer monitor, be sure to check out the RPTVs such as Samsung and their DLP line of TVs to avoid the burn in issue. Or the Sony Grand Wega II with its RPTV LCD that also avoids burn in. Those TVs also have a higher resolution 1280 x 720.


If you are explicit in what you are planning to use your HTPC and TV for and how much you are willing to spend, you'll get alot of help from the members here.


schulzpm,


I was looking into those before and I recall being told by the forum that the VGA input does not give the full 1280x720 resolution, so I started looking into the Samsung DLP and Sony GWII instead. I'm not sure if we are talking about the same model or not, but you might want to just double check that your particular panasonic VGA input can do the full native resolution. (I know that doesn't make sense, but one of those pannys can't do it and I don't remember which one). But I thought I'd mention this anyways. Also, for the same price many people here seem to prefer the GWII and the samsung 507/617. I recently did alot of searching into using a TV as a monitor and ended up buying a PLV 70 FP instead and will wait until this fall to get a RPTV LCOS instead (no rainbows, better blacks, better res, etc). Thats my personal preference at least.
 
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