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  1. #1
    Help with monitors please - understanding the basics

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    Help with monitors please - understanding the basics
    Hi guys, Iím looking to get the basics to upgrade a monitor. I have a dell 24 inch I hoop up to my MacBook Pro 15 in. It works ok, but I can tell the refresh rate (?) or something isnít ideal as I can see/feel the screen refreshing.

    I am considering a few monitors under $400 that are 32 inches or so. My question is this: there are several TVs that are much larger that sell for the same or they are the same size and sell for less. Something tells me they are different, but can someone smarter and more experienced explain this difference? And should I consider buying the tv instead of the monitor?

    For context, I donít watch movies in my monitor, I only use it for music production (Logic Pro, Ableton live, etc.). Sometimes I use the laptop to watch music videos on YouTube. So thatís the extent of my application. Itíd be great to have something with crisp and smooth resolution.
    MD546LL/A - MacBookPro9,1

  2. #2
    Help with monitors please - understanding the basics
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknpop View Post
    ... am considering a few monitors under $400 that are 32 inches or so. My question is this: there are several TVs that are much larger that sell for the same or they are the same size and sell for less. Something tells me they are different, but can someone smarter and more experienced explain this difference? And should I consider buying the tv instead of the monitor?

    For context, I don’t watch movies in my monitor, I only use it for music production...
    Funny you should ask.

    My son is a programmer. He wanted a new monitor that could easily show four full size pages at the same time. He noticed that in the $200 to $300 range (on black friday, and presumably still for Christmas) that 4K UHD televisions (he was looking for something in the 42-inch range) could now be had for about $230! Televisions used to not have the refresh rate to keep up with the better animated video games, and the best resolution, but now they do, especially Samsung and LG. A television is now way less expensive than an equivalent size dedicated monitor. We can only assume that this is due to economies of scale. (Samsung sells way more televisions than computer monitors.)

    The thing is that this is a very limited bargain, and it might not be right for you. If you go smaller than 42-inches, you aren't going to find 4K monitors. (Which isn't a huge problem, if you go with at least a 1080P television.) If you go bigger than 42-inches, the screen is going to have the same resolution, but it is going to be spread over a larger area, making things less crisp. So a 42-inch television is ideal for this application. But...a 42-inch monitor may be too big for many people to sit close to and look at comfortably.

    We looked at all the Samsung and LG models, and we decided that while QLED and OLED models looked better, they weren't so much better that they justified the additional substantial cost. In fact, they may be a bit over-saturated.

    So, this is what my son got, for only $230:

    Samsung - 43" Class - LED - 6 Series - 2160p - Smart - 4K UHD TV with HDR
    $230
    Access Denied

    It's a breathtaking monitor at an amazing price, if you don't mind that it is REALLY BIG! It also makes a really good television, of course.

    It is also stunning that for the price this thing includes Wi-Fi, upscaling, and powered stereo speakers.

    One note, if you have a recent Mac, you will likely need an adapter to go from your Mac's Thunderbolt port to the monitor's HDMI port, and this is critical, the adapter and HDMI cable must be HDMI 2.0 or better.

    I hope this helps. Please let us know if you decide on a television as a monitor, and how you like it.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance ē http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  3. #3
    Help with monitors please - understanding the basics

    Member Since
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    Thank you for the help! This is great. I went for an Apple Thunderbolt 27 inch... $220 used, locally. Figured it would be easier and more manageable than a larger display.
    MD546LL/A - MacBookPro9,1

  4. #4
    Help with monitors please - understanding the basics
    chscag's Avatar
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    I hope you have good luck with that used Apple Thunderbolt 27" monitor and some kind of guarantee to get a refund if it doesn't work out for you. Apple considers that monitor to be vintage and will not work on it or supply parts for it.

    The TV that Randy indicated is a great bargain but I too would have a difficult time placing it in my work area. Dell has some fantastic high resolution monitors in the 27" to 32" range. However, their prices are likewise fantastically high!

  5. #5
    Help with monitors please - understanding the basics

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    I hope you have good luck with that used Apple Thunderbolt 27" monitor and some kind of guarantee to get a refund if it doesn't work out for you. Apple considers that monitor to be vintage and will not work on it or supply parts for it.

    The TV that Randy indicated is a great bargain but I too would have a difficult time placing it in my work area. Dell has some fantastic high resolution monitors in the 27" to 32" range. However, their prices are likewise fantastically high!
    Thanks! Yeah, I realized itís a vintage monitor, but Iím going to use it with a vintage MacBook Pro (9,1), which doesnít have 4K resolution for either the main or second monitor

    Regarding the warranty... I figured if I spend $200 for it and it lasts at least a year it will be good enough for what it is. I believe some non-Apple repair locations can still work on them.

    That said, you canít beat that $229 deal that Randy shared (thank you Randy!). I just donít have the need for that large of a monitor to just do home music recording and watch a few YouTube videos.
    MD546LL/A - MacBookPro9,1

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