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  1. Member
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    I was wondering whether PC monitors are HD? When reading the resolution they usually offer better specs than a HD TV?
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  2. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
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    The may offer higher resolutions, however they also generally have substantially lower contrast values - far below those of high end HDTVs - and they do not have all the image processing circuitry that HDTVs have built in. In short, most monitors are not HDTVs or even near HDTV quality for video viewing. There are exceptions, as in any situation, but these come at a premium cost that is substantially higher (10 times or more, in some cases) than that of a standard widescreen monitor.
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    would a high end graphics card give HD results?
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  4. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
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    If you use a high end monitor or a HDTV. This issue is the quality of the display. HDTVs have a lot of dedicated circuitry built into to deal with image processing, including dynamic contrast, noise reduction, upscaling etc. Most of this is by-passed if you use the VGA connection anyway. Monitors have none of this.

    The short answer is that if you want a HDTV, buy a HDTV. If you need a monitor, buy a monitor. If you want to have something that serves both purposes, buy a good quality graphics card that has HDMI output as well as DVI, buy a good DHTV, connect through HDMI for watching videos, and through DVI/VGA for computing.
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  5. Member edDV's Avatar
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    A good HD tuner, high end display card plus quality computer monitor can match the functions of of an LCD-TV but as said not the picture performance particularly contrast and color accuracy. Computer monitors also tend to a more linear gamma which biases luminance to the brights where TV sets are biased for accuracy in the dark greys.
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  6. contrarian rallynavvie's Avatar
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    I have to disagree somewhat.

    First of all the fundamental difference between a TV and a monitor is generally the inclusion of a tuner on the TV. An HDTV will have a tuner that can support HD broadcasts, be it OTA signal or open QAM encryption (what many of the HD basic cable channels use). A monitor depends on its video source coming from some other device rather than an internal one. So if you are using your HD device with something like an HTPC or a cable STB that has video outputs then a monitor will work just as well as the TV. If you want to just flip on the TV without requiring another device then you'll want the HDTV with the built-in tuner.

    I'm comparing like devices for this: for example both are using similar LCD technology. It really comes down to the source of the video you have.

    Monitor
    Pros: generally cheaper than an HDTV, has extra lines of resolution (1920x1200 for the "1080p" capable monitors), often supports more PC inputs such as DVI and VGA, most are built tough for the rigors of PC use where images may be left on screen for an entire day (for instance the Windows task bar), many have higher refresh rates due to their use for fast gaming graphics

    Cons: requires a device to process and feed the video signal to the monitor, most do not have built-in speakers, many do not support simple video inputs like coaxial/s-video/component that are common from devices like DVD players and cable STBs, generally smaller than dedicated HDTVs as their primary use is for PC use, the color and display settings are mostly dependent on the video source (like your PC's video card driver)

    HDTV
    Pros: generally larger than most monitors, has a built-in tuner for TV input (usually coaxial), most have lots of inputs in general ranging from HDMI to component to composite to VGA, most have built-in processing for upscaling non-HD content, many have extra features (like Ambilight) that is supposed to accent the viewing experience, offers more settings on picture quality than monitors usually have

    Cons: more expensive than monitors, less resolution (1920x1080), many no longer have DVI inputs (though you can use adapters to fit into HDMI), often have slower refresh rates than monitors (though this won't be noticed unless you're gaming or using some other sort of non-linear video source)

    So it comes down to your use of it like guns1inger mentioned. A better video card may or may not help your HD viewing, again it depends on the source of your HD video. Keep in mind that a recent PC is going to be far more powerful and far more customizable than the processing built into an HDTV so don't count it out. I don't recommend an HDMI video card yet, they're still a little flaky sometimes. DVI outputs may require a DVI-to-HDMI cable and you'll need to run your audio from your sound card directly.
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  7. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rallynavvie
    I have to disagree somewhat.

    First of all the fundamental difference between a TV and a monitor is generally the inclusion of a tuner on the TV. An HDTV will have a tuner that can support HD broadcasts, be it OTA signal or open QAM encryption (what many of the HD basic cable channels use). A monitor depends on its video source coming from some other device rather than an internal one. So if you are using your HD device with something like an HTPC or a cable STB that has video outputs then a monitor will work just as well as the TV. If you want to just flip on the TV without requiring another device then you'll want the HDTV with the built-in tuner.

    I'm comparing like devices for this: for example both are using similar LCD technology. It really comes down to the source of the video you have.
    I have to disagree somewhat with your disagreement. There are more differences than tuner and input support.

    There is a difference in default gamma, color balance and black performance. Features like dynamic contrast and auto levels/color correction are most always lacking in computer monitors. Dynamic contrast requires dimming the LCD back light in blocks adaptively controlled by the image processor. The image processor/scaler adapts to video levels, interlace, film cadence, raster size and noise.

    All of this is lacking in a computer monitor. Some of the above can be compensated with an advanced display card but not LCD dynamic contrast and black level performance.

    As a test, connect your LCD computer monitor (assuming HDCP capability) directly to a cable/sat/OTA tuner set for 720p or 1080p over HDMI to DVI-D connection (480i/576i/1080i won't work). Now try to adjust contrast and brightness for an acceptable picture. It won't happen.
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  8. That's why I still prefer to use CRT monitors....
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  9. Banned
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    JohnnyMalaria wrote:

    That's why I still prefer to use CRT monitors....
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  10. Member Xylob the Destroyer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JohnnyMalaria
    That's why I still prefer to use CRT monitors....
    Yeah buddy!
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  11. contrarian rallynavvie's Avatar
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    I did state that the "fundamental" difference between a TV and a monitor is the presence of a tuner. The picture settings you mention I did allude to in the pros for the TV :wink:

    Also I'm giving an opinion after using this 37" HD "monitor"
    http://westinghousedigital.com/details.aspx?itemnum=56

    To the 47" HDTV that replaced it after the above monitor's panel went out:
    http://westinghousedigital.com/details.aspx?itemnum=126

    And including my primary monitor:
    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dh...9&sku=320-6272

    And BTW my Dell monitor does have quite a selection of picture quality settings for the component inputs. I ran my PS2 on it for a while when I was comparing the upscaling ability of the PS3 on PS2 games side-by-side and it did pretty well.
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  12. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rallynavvie

    And BTW my Dell monitor does have quite a selection of picture quality settings for the component inputs. I ran my PS2 on it for a while when I was comparing the upscaling ability of the PS3 on PS2 games side-by-side and it did pretty well.
    But a Dell monitor with component inputs is not a typical computer monitor. It is sort of a half TV.

    I'm directly comparing a 22" Samsung SyncMaster 226BW LCD 1650x1080 computer monitor (DVI-D with HDCP) to a Samsung LNT4665F 46" 1080p LCD HDTV.
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