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Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,099
Thanks: 38
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

I currently have a 18 inch Compaq V900  1600 x 1200 CRT monitor.  Old fashioned, ancient but has served me well.  As my desk is in a corner, the bulk of the tube at the back does not matter.  However, I am thinking of changing the room around and the old CRT would become cumbersome.  So I may have to change, but before I do, I want to know what I would be letting myself in for.
1. Would a modern TFT (or whatever other technology monitor) give me as good a practical computer display as I currently enjoy ?
2. If I decided to add a TV tuner, would the picture quality be as good as a TV ?
3. Is it better to buy a TV tuner as a separate card to go in the PC or integrated with the monitor ?
I do not frankly watch much TV, but my old TV is not digitally enabled and I have no set-top box.  In view of the imminent switch-over to Digital, the TV will need to be ugraded anyway, and I thought I would try to kill two birds with one stone by having a larger computer monitor (22 inch ?) which doubles as a TV.  Does it work ?
Also, what about the digital signal.  I am in a poor signal area in the countryside.  My TV aerial provides an adequate picture for my current needs with a simple cheap booster.  Is this going to work with a digi-box / digital TV tuner, or am I then going to have to upgrade the aerial as well, which I do not want to have to do ?
Any experience that can be shared would be appreciated.
22 REPLIES
StickyMick
Grafter
Posts: 325
Registered: 29-11-2008

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

Horses for courses really, and Google is my friend Wink
But my nephew got himself one of these just before Christmas. http://www.digimate.co.uk/productDetail09.asp
Everything you ask for. Built in DVD player, HDMI, VGA, built in digibox. Works brill with his 360 Elite. Speakers are a bit of a let down tho.
With regards to your question about receiving digital, try here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/digital/
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

Has your old TV got a Scart socket? If so for minimal cost you could find out what the Digital TV reception is like: http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.204-7094.aspx That might help you decide which way to go. If reception is really bad you may need to look at FreeSat not FreeView.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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shermans
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

Thanks for the replies; the links were a help.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

Quote from: shermans

Also, what about the digital signal.  I am in a poor signal area in the countryside.  My TV aerial provides an adequate picture for my current needs with a simple cheap booster.  Is this going to work with a digi-box / digital TV tuner, or am I then going to have to upgrade the aerial as well, which I do not want to have to do ?
Any experience that can be shared would be appreciated.

This would really be off topic - it has been discussed recently on another thread where I gave my thoughts. But  I did a search and can't find it  Sad
But briefly - to get a good digital TV signal - you may well have to upgrade your antenna - even if you don't want to.
Think of it like your cars tyres - they are the link between your car and the road and without them the expensive car is no good and will not do it's job.  A Television needs a good aerial system - it is an integral part of the system  - period - no shortcuts.
shermans
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

Quote from: mal0z
This would really be off topic

Point taken (The BBC link gives details of a test which I currently pass, incidently).  But my main question concerns the type of computer monitor itself rather than the signal quality, and I am still interested in any experience.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

I watch TV on 2 different computer monitors, in completely different ways:
1. Hauppauge Freeview PCI card inside my main XP PC. TV in a resizeable window on a 1280*1024 19" TFT monitor.
2. PVR with twin Freeview tuners connected to TV-VGA converter box then to an old IBM 15" TFT monitor run full-screen 1024*768.
Both use a proper aerial feed via a distribution amplifier from a relatively new digital aerial.
Quality is excellent on both, but remember that a conventional TV signal is only 625 lines so any  (and I really mean ANY) computer monitor will have much better resolution than a normal broadcast TV signal.
(I used to have an ancient Phillips CGA computer monitor and that was ideal connected by CVBS or SCART to a video recorder to make a TV)
The first one above is usually set to a very small window (typically about 4" wide) as I "keep an eye on it" while working (usually a news channel). But with the Hauppauge kit you can also easily record Freeview programs (in mpeg format) and watch later. You can also burn them straight to DVD - my DVD player on my "really big TV" plays them back happily enough in the native mpeg format. A typical 2 hour film is usually under 4GB so fits on one simple DVD.
The second one is used just like a smallish TV.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

Quote from: shermans
Point taken (The BBC link gives details of a test which I currently pass, incidently). 

Good - but if your TV antenna - is older than 5 to 10 years - that is better than many domestic items and deserves renewal if you want to go to digital TV.  If you get a new car - even of the same make and model - you don't use the same old engine. You replace the lot.
Good luck with finding the right display  Grin Grin
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

Quote
You can also burn them straight to DVD - my DVD player on my "really big TV" plays them back happily enough in the native mpeg format. A typical 2 hour film is usually under 4GB so fits on one simple DVD.

I have been having "Fun" with this recently, My Archos records as Mpeg4, can play that OK on this PC as I have a Codec to support, but I have to convert it to mpeg2 to play it  via my noddy Video machine  http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=221816&C=Christmas08&T=Computers&U=500GBMediaDrive to a conventional TV
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

DeVeDe will convert mpeg4 to native DVD format (possibly quite slowly).

pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

I can convert it easily with the free Nero 7 I got with my camera
shermans
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

I called into PC World this morning to take a look but wished I had not wasted my time.  The sales kid with spikey hair told me that I had to have a HDMI socket on my computer, without which I could not receive TV.  Not being familiar with that, I asked him to explain.  He pointed at a video monitor connector on the side of a PC which surprised me.  I asked if he was sure and he confirmed it again.  Then he showed me a 22 inch monitor which he said was 26 inch; again I asked if he was sure, which he was until I pointed to the the 22 inch label attached to it !  I asked something else which he could not answer and then I asked if I could get a HDMI card to add to my PC ?  Answer "No, they do not make them", as he fumbled with a cable.  At this point, I noticed a cable plugged into a socket on a demo PC which looked nothing like a video monitor - what's that then ? I asked.  Oh, he replied, maybe that's the HDMI socket.  At this point, I gave up.
So I have now checked what my system has - 2 x 1394 Firewire ports.  They look more like the second connector which I saw than what was clearly a video port.  So can anyone confirm whether Firewire is the same thing ?  If not, can I indeed buy a card of some sort to which to connect a monitor to use for TV ?
Secondly, my other PC does not have Firewire but it has S-Video TV-Out instead, whatever that is ?? Anyone know ?  It also has an "Expansion Port 2 connector" and I don't know what that is either ?
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

S video is a higher class AVI socket, normally lke an old round Din socket, the sound is via a separate lead to the video, firewire is similar to USB2 small connector and is roughly the same, started off in Macs and video cameras
HDMI
s-video
firewire
USB
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,099
Thanks: 38
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

So presumably, neither of these would be suitable.  So can I get a HDMI card to fit or am I looking at a new PC (which would kill the project) ?
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Can anyone recommend a suitable monitor ?

just modified mine, see above