View Full Version : External Monitor - Is Buying a 32" 1080p LCD TV a good idea?

Silver Bullet
12-23-2009, 08:47 AM
Hi Guys & Gals (probably all guys)! I'm not sure whether or not I making a mistake with my current plans to buy a 32 inch LCD 1080p to use as a tv, with xbox 360, and as my main big monitor for my macbook pro for producing music, internet, word processing etc. (probably at a distance of less than 1m). I saw the 27" imac and it looks stunning, perhaps because it's resolution to size is so high? I don't know whether I should get a 26" 1080p instead? I love the current picture I get on my mbp screen so if I could replicate that quality in big that would be immense. So I have 2 questions really;

Should I get a LCD TV?

Should I go for 32" or 26"?

Do I need 1080p or is less still great?


12-23-2009, 08:53 AM
Have used both a 32 and a 26 for my primary display.

The 32 was ok for a lot of things. It's not ok for game play sitting that close to it. I had to move back 6-7' (a couple of meters) in order to not have to actually move my head to see the whole screen in game play. The 26" was a much better size at 2-4' from the screen.

If you want to run a computer on it get the 1080p, it will make a difference in quality of text particularly. Not so much for your gaming and video.

An HDTV will not, by any stretch of the imagination, match the image quality of a monitor of that size with their higher resolutions available. Once again, it will be just fine for gaming and video.

Silver Bullet
12-23-2009, 08:58 AM
Thanks for you reply. Playing game's i'd be a couple of meters back, but when doing music, working with text , internet and photo's i'd be about a meter. So text and everything will be sharp if I go with the 1080p - or will it all look far better at close distance on a 26"? I intend to hook it up mini displayport to hdmi probably. I've never done this kind of thing before but i'm presuming it should be simple?

I want it to look excellent rather than ok if this is achievable on a 32" at close range?

12-23-2009, 09:38 AM
What do you have for a graphics card in your MPB ? Just curious as we speak while psyching myself to rebuild my gaming pc (new mobo) I have my MPB late 2006 with x 1600 radeon hooked up to my gaming monitor which is a 28" lcd full 1080 HD and while it looks great on everything thing for the most part it cant handle full motions videos .

Was watching some shows (netflix) and there was a slight stutter now and then . Then again its displaying at 1900 x 1200 res when the max native res for this setup is 1440 x 900.

Doh back to your specific question . As best as i can answer with my experience , text looks great, pictures look great, internet looks great with the exception of some video (at full screen netflix HD vid ) small video is fine. Monitor is hooked up DVI at the MPB with a hdmi to dvi adapter coming out of the monitor .

12-23-2009, 10:21 AM
To be honest, text with OS X, imho, is going to look terrible on a larger screen HDTV in comparison to a monitor and it's higher resolution capability.
There is no chance that it will look excellent.

If you want excellent in relation to text, would really suggest you look at monitors in that size with minimum native resolutions of 1200 & higher.

I'd also suggest you carry your MBP into a store that will let you hook it up.

Silver Bullet
12-23-2009, 12:48 PM
I think my graphics card is the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB - my model is the highest spec of the 1st unibody mbp. Apples 24" inch is 1700 x 1200 - I've read that you can really tell 1080p on screen sizes smaller tha 40-50" inch but i don't know if this applies to close up viewing or computer work.

12-23-2009, 12:57 PM
I think my graphics card is the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB - my model is the highest spec of the 1st unibody mbp. Apples 24" inch is 1700 x 1200 - I've read that you can really tell 1080p on screen sizes smaller tha 40-50" inch but i don't know if this applies to close up viewing or computer work.

That is in reference to the difference between 720p and 1080p and regarding watching TV, DVD, etc. Nothing to do with connecting a computer to it for text. For watching video on a screen under 32-40", you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between 720 & 1080.

Text is a whole other animal.

And FYI: the video card is capable of pushing 1080. Screen size has nothing to do with it beyond that. Wouldn't matter whether it's a 21" or a 100" screen. Except, it's going to look better on the 21" due to the pixels being tighter packed.

Silver Bullet
12-23-2009, 01:13 PM
What would be the best all in one solution to my needs then? A 26" 1080p? I've been looking at this Samsung T260HD 26-inch Widescreen as an alternative to a 32" but it seems a bit of a rip off...It does seem to be the only high res screen tv I can find under 32"

Samsung T260HD 26-inch Widescreen 5ms Gloss Black LCD: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-T260HD-26-inch-Widescreen-Monitor/dp/tech-data/B0018NLVOM/ref=de_a_smtd)

Would you recommend this highly over a 32 inch 1080p?

Silver Bullet
12-23-2009, 02:00 PM
Except, it's going to look better on the 21" due to the pixels being tighter packed.

Yep, that's my main point of indecision with the getting the 32" - I want the pixels to be tightly packed enough to look really good from quite close. Don't get me wrong though, i'm no graphic designer text freak ;-)

12-24-2009, 04:25 AM
from personal experiance, i used to use a 27 inch norcent LCD TV, as a monitor and it was great! my sister uses a 42 inch pioneer elite as her screen and it looks great, i think its worth a shot.... dont buy it just to dedicate your comp to it.

12-24-2009, 06:05 AM
I can't recommend anything with the Samsung name on it. While I am willing to admit they do make some nice electronics, you also need to be forewarned that they have absolutely the worst customer service in the industry. (Unless they're doing something different over there than they do here in the U.S.) Personally, nothing with that brand name on it will enter my house until that changes.

If you're looking at the Samsung because they are the only one making an HDTV in the 26" size at 1080 vs 720 from the other manufacturers, I'd suggest you look at computer monitors with input connections that will allow you to connect your Xbox, etc. up to it. There are many monitors today that have VGA, DVI-D and HDMI connections to allow for multiple devices being attached to them. Take a look at the devices you need to connect and find out what available outputs they have so that you are educated up front when you go looking for a screen.

If your requirement is that it have a built in over-the-air tuner, then I'd recommend looking at Panasonic, Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba televisions. They all have some nice panels. You could maybe toss LG into the mix if you have them there.

Silver Bullet
12-24-2009, 06:28 AM
I thought all big brands customer service would be equally terrible ;-) Yeah, there seem to be many more options if I go for a monitor instead that I could use for my xbox. Does HDMI always carry sound btw? I am quite set on having a TV tuner though and can't really be bothered fussing with an external one. Yeah we have LG as well as the other brands you mentioned. Another thing I'm unsure about is why can I get a 40", 32" and 26" all at the same price? I was thinking of using it as an all in one for my bedroom mostly for tv, films, games and producing music on my laptop (which I do spend a fair amount of time doing). These are the ones I've been looking at:

Toshiba Regza 32RV635DB
Toshiba Regza 32RV635DB 32-inch Widescreen Full HD: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001TUYQ46/ref=s9_sima_gw_s0_p23_i4?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=0SBDW0AB1J87NZXMFSY5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467198433&pf_rd_i=468294)

LG 32LH3000
LG 32LH3000 32-inch Widescreen HD Ready 1080p LCD TV: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001UHMT4C/ref=s9_sima_gw_s0_p23_i2?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1G66CCAGHGBS3MJEHVCC&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467198433&pf_rd_i=468294)

Panasonic TX-L32S10
Panasonic TX-L32S10 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-TX-L32S10-32-inch-Widescreen-Freeview/dp/B0020HRID8/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I142YZJEVTWMDD&colid=32YFPQBX2JH51)

Samsung LE32B550A5
Samsung LE32B550A5 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-LE32B550A5-32-inch-Widescreen-Freeview/dp/B001UE8LVA/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=ISS7LNGCJM33J&colid=32YFPQBX2JH51)

This Sony's a bit steep but i'm always willing to invest in quality if necessary (it's £50 less without motionflow 100hz thingy)

Sony Bravia KDL32W5500U

Any thoughts apart from avoid the samsung :-)?

12-24-2009, 07:13 AM
This is not such an easy task and requires some research before running out and making a purchase.

HDMI carrying sound - no, not always. The device it's coming "from" will have to be able to output sound through HDMI. Examples would be your DVD player, satellite receiver, cable box, etc. However, connecting it to your Mac - you'll be connecting it to a mini-dvi or mini-display port, neither of which carry sound. Adding an HDMI connection on to the end of the adapter/cable does not somehow magically add the sound to it.

Most TV manufacturers don't consider that we are connecting our computers up to them and do not have a separate sound input that can be used simultaneously with the video on an HDMI port. They expect the sound to be combined with the video in the HDMI ports. If you are going to hook the audio from your Mac up to a separate receiver/speakers for sound, this is not an issue. If you want the sound from your Mac on the TV this can be a problem unless you use the VGA input (also called PC Input or RGB 15 pin by the TV manufacturers). Here is where the research comes in.

If you want the sound from your Mac on the TV and want to use HDMI instead of VGA, then you'll have to verify the TV has that separate sound input with HDMI. The only way to do that, is by going to each manufacturers site, grab the online manual and start reading. The manufacturers you have listed above all have pretty good manuals and should have a section (at least a page) on connecting a computer.

:Lips-Are-Sealed: is actually one of the first to have that separate audio input for a computer on some of this year's models. But, still need to verify it on any particular model.

Let me know, where you intend for the sound to be for your computer, on the TV or some other device. If you want it on the TV, I can find the info relatively quickly for you. It may be a few days though, am leaving town for a road trip and will only be online off and on for the next 2-3 days.

Silver Bullet
12-24-2009, 09:51 PM
Thanks a lot for the info. When using my MBP with the LCD as a monitor for audio work I'd run the audio through my proper external USB soundcard. When I want to play a DVD or online tv show via my mac i'd want the tv to output the sound to save setting up my soundcard, amp and speakers - so i'd like both options.

I'm not sure HDMI or VGA - I only said HDMI because I learned there is no conversion loss and because it can output 1080p+ resolution (I don't know what VGA etc output). I'm gonna be buying in the sales so I need to get this configuration visualized lol

Have fun on the road trip!

Silver Bullet
12-26-2009, 11:27 AM
I'm so tempted by the 40 inch 1080p Samsung just gone on sale for £399 but it would look terrible as a monitor right?