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TVs as monitors

On Sat, 2004-04-10 at 16:56, dsr at wrote:
> A TV set that can do 720p is just about usable as a monitor: it will
> probably even come with a VGA or DVI video port. A 1080i TV is probably
> a decent monitor, and will certainly come with a VGA or DVI port without
> too much looking around.

I have a 50" LCD-projection HDTV that can do 720p.  This is one that I
purchased very recently, and am enjoying quite a bit.  (It's better than
my old HDTV in size and resolution/clarity, but the black-levels seem to
suffer a bit with LCD-projection.)

Anyhow, I got an Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 which can be tweaked with to get
a really nice 720p digital signal with:

ModeLine     "720p" 74.25 1280 1312 1592 1648 720 735 742 757

And this picture is really, really good.  (Notice that this gives
720x1280 pixels, minus some overscan.)  X windows is fully usable at
this resolution, and it does a great job of running MythTV, viewing
DVDs, etc.

Before this, I had a 40" rear-projection HDTV with three separate RGB
tubes.  That TV could only do 480p/540p/1080i (but not 720p).  At this
resolution X was okay, but because of the nature of the display
technology, text was somewhat fuzzy, and vertical lines weren't always
quite as vertical as they should have been... :)

My experience says that if you're really interested in using a TV as a
computer monitor (size *does* matter),  you're best using an HDTV that
uses either LCD, DLP, or (overpriced) plasma.  Get one with a digital
input if at all possible.  You will get a truly fantastic picture and
impress all your friends.  Beautiful women (or men, depending on your
preference) will flock to you, and your quality of life will be
handsomely improved as you spend  large periods of time sitting on your
butt and staring off into....

...wait a minute!


David J. C. Beach
<beach at>
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