Jump to content

  • Curse Sites
Help
- - - - -

Smart TV as a Monitor?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
20 replies to this topic

#1 Obscure One

Obscure One

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 456 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:26 AM

Notably a Smart TV is a painfully expensive option for a monitor, but the advantages of having essentially two computers lassoed together by a friendly HDMI cable just seems more and more intriguing to me (I plan to get a TV for my computer room anyhow, so in a round about way I'm actually saving myself money). Being able to turn off the energy drinking machine I intend to have for this build and browse my e-mail, facebook, you-tube, and various other non-resource-demanding tasks virtually seamlessly is very attractive. Also being able to actively browse the web using the TV whilst simultaneously gaming seems stupid cool :D

ATM I'm currently looking at two Smart TVs, the SONY NSX-32GT1, and the Samsung UN32D6000.

The biggest difference between the two is the refresh rate (60 Hz vs 120 Hz). The TV I have in my living room is 120 Hz, but it is of a size that at 60 Hz you'd notice a lower picture quality. I'm not certain if I'll notice a big difference between 60 Hz and 120 Hz on a 32".

Beyond "dude that's ridiculous!", any thoughts or pointers when using a Smart TV (or any TV for that matter) as a primary display device for a desktop PC?

----
Prospective Build:
Spoiler


#2 T R O U B L E

T R O U B L E

    Asuran Acolyte

  • Members
  • 80 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:03 AM

As a long time TV salesperson and current manager for a retail giant, I feel compelled to push the 120hz. Brand-wise, you are making the right choices. TBH though, you are right. In a 32", 60hz vs 120 is not a huge difference, but you should get the 120hz anyways, 6 months from now you are not going to remember the extra money, you will only remember getting the right TV with the best framerate. Seriously though, upgrade to 40"/120hz if you can, even if it means waiting for an extra paycheck.

As far as the notion of a smart TV, you are gonna end up getting sick of how slow it is compared to your PC, and the energy savings will take a back seat to the faster OS and options. It is a good sounding idea, but the sacrifice in versatility and speed is going to end up taking its' toll on you, and more often than not you will say "F#@K IT!" and turn on your PC.

#3 Obscure One

Obscure One

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 456 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:13 AM

T R O U B L E said:

As far as the notion of a smart TV, you are gonna end up getting sick of how slow it is compared to your PC, and the energy savings will take a back seat to the faster OS and options. It is a good sounding idea, but the sacrifice in versatility and speed is going to end up taking its' toll on you, and more often than not you will say "F#@K IT!" and turn on your PC.

This is where the SONY Google TV outshines the Samsung, and makes an argument for itself in so doing.

I spent some time at Best Buy playing around with both of these Smart TVs (over 2 hours lol) and the Android OS in the SONY felt smoother, faster, and all around more refined than the Samsung. Even despite the Samsung's higher refresh rate, I liked the SONY better mostly for how much quicker (and familiar) the OS was. The full qwerty keyboard remote with touch pad mouse was also a big selling point which made browsing feel much like using my Android 2.2 OS phone.

Of course then I compared the true HD "The Dark Knight" trailer on the two and the Samsung just looked better by a fairly noticeable margin. Ultimately I think if I'm going 40" I'll go with the 120 Hz Samsung, but if I'm sticking with a 32" it's a tug of war between the performance of the Android OS and the better picture quality of the Samsung...not sure which is more important to me, because I'd love to have both...

#4 Elder III

Elder III

    Technician

  • Technicians
  • 4424 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:02 PM

You could build an HTPC that uses just a tad more power and is far more useful ya know..... for way less cash....

#5 Quaker

Quaker

    Technician

  • Technicians
  • 3343 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:46 PM

Quote

The TV I have in my living room is 120 Hz, but it is of a size that at 60 Hz you'd notice a lower picture quality. I'm not certain if I'll notice a big difference between 60 Hz and 120 Hz on a 32".
I think the 120Hz option is mostly for 3D applications. Since the TV programming is 60Hz, it won't matter for that, it will be 60Hz anyway. Also, your video card in the computer would have to be capable of delivering 120Hz. That's not the same as 120fps - if the output of your video card is set to, for example, 1920x1080@60Hz, you will only get 60 fps sent to the monitor regardless of how many "frames" the card renders.
But, then again, 120Hz TVs cost more, so a salesman would recommend them :D
(Just as an aside, I wouldn't buy a 120Hz TV/monitor for 3D - 3D seems to be going nowhere.)

I'm a bit unsure of what your intentions are. Certainly you can use your Smart TV and your computer at the same time, if the computer has it's own monitor, but without digging into the details on the TV, I would assume that, like most TVs/monitors, you can only select one input at a time. So, barring some sort of picture-in-picture setup (which would be less than ideal), you can either surf the web on your TV or play games, if the TV is your only monitor.

Edited by Quaker, 19 July 2011 - 03:03 PM.


#6 T R O U B L E

T R O U B L E

    Asuran Acolyte

  • Members
  • 80 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 04:21 PM

Quaker said:

But, then again, 120Hz TVs cost more, so a salesman would recommend them :D
(Just as an aside, I wouldn't buy a 120Hz TV/monitor for 3D - 3D seems to be going nowhere.)

At this point 120hz is not much more expensive. Having a faster refresh rate means your streamed (netflix, etc) content, blurays, and games look more lifelike, and you get a greater illusion of depth. This is not as dramatic on TVs smaller than 40", but the difference is still there. You notice a much bigger difference once you get the TV home and start watching it, showroom floors are just much too chaotic, noisy, and disorienting for your senses in most stores.

Outside of that, from most brands, 60hz means you are looking at their least fully featured, entry level wal-mart TV they offer*, upgrading to a TV that they actually care enough to make 120hz usually gets you a TV that is going to be better made, has a better engine under the hood, better range of color... pretty much a better TV in every way.

A *SMART* salesman would sell you the TV that is going to make you happy in the long run, so that you are more apt to buy from him/her again, instead of the most expensive thing they can ram down your throat :D

*32" is small enough that this is not always the case as in bigger TVs, 60hz is still considered acceptable at this size, and so you can still get good quality 60hz 32" tvs.

Edited by T R O U B L E, 19 July 2011 - 04:23 PM.


#7 dhatcher1

dhatcher1

    Technician

  • Technicians
  • 3786 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 05:04 PM

T R O U B L E said:

Seriously though, upgrade to 40"/120hz if you can
If its main purpose is as a monitor for doing email and informational (text heavy) web browsing I dont know if I'd go that big.  Text gets gunky looking and can be hard to read if it gets too big.  Depends how far away he is going to be sitting from the TV.

#8 Obscure One

Obscure One

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 456 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 06:44 PM

@Elder III: The concept isn't to create a home theater system, it's to build a high performance gaming PC that happens to be connected to a Smart TV for more versatile functionality. Handling the casual use stuff such as web browsing, e-mail, and listening to music with the TV alone I can power down the PC which will result in A) better longevity of the system and B) less power use.

@Quaker: Well the GTX 580 is certainly capable of 120 Hz, and I'd love to get the most out of the GPU (especially since I intend to put the GPUs into SLI), but the difference I've seen on 32" screens is just not a "wow that looks WAY better" but a mere "I can tell there's a difference". (and I totally agree on 3D. It's cute, but I don't care for it :p)
When it comes to multiple view functionality, the SONY Google TV again outshines the competition. The search bar for the browser actually overlays what's coming in over the input, and with a one touch Dual View you can bring that up in a picture in picture for seamless browsing while doing other things (watching TV, listening to Pandora, playing Guild Wars 2 on the PC input :p, etc.)

@dhatcher1: I agree. Text does get a bit washed on larger screens, though in the case of the largest TV I'd consider (the 40" sister to the Samsung I'm looking at) it keeps pretty crisp.
Though touching on the thought of how far away from this TV I intend to sit brings up a solid point. The TV will be either wall mounted over the workstation or sitting on the work station putting it at about 3' away from where I'll be viewing. At that distance I may have to frequently move my head to focus on certain parts of a 40" screen (or get better with my peripheral vision lol), which makes the 32" sound more like the way to go for my application of it. Gonna have to look into comfortable viewing distance with a 40".

#9 Elder III

Elder III

    Technician

  • Technicians
  • 4424 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:31 PM

Obscure One said:

@Elder III: The concept isn't to create a home theater system, it's to build a high performance gaming PC that happens to be connected to a Smart TV for more versatile functionality. Handling the casual use stuff such as web browsing, e-mail, and listening to music with the TV alone I can power down the PC which will result in A) better longevity of the system and B) less power use.


I know ---- my suggestion was to build an htpc in addition to your gaming pc and forget the smart tv idea.... you win in every way. ;)

#10 Obscure One

Obscure One

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 456 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:43 PM

Elder III said:

I know ---- my suggestion was to build an htpc in addition to your gaming pc and forget the smart tv idea.... you win in every way. ;)

oh :o ...lol

I think that might be worth looking into. HTPC's are fairly inexpensive especially if built to handle the basics that I'd use it for. Any suggestions?

#11 dhatcher1

dhatcher1

    Technician

  • Technicians
  • 3786 posts

Posted 19 July 2011 - 08:14 PM

Obscure One said:

HTPC's are fairly inexpensive especially if built to handle the basics that I'd use it for. Any suggestions?
They are especially cost effective (potentially free) if you can just re-task your old PC to be the HTPC.

#12 Obscure One

Obscure One

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 456 posts

Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:25 AM

dhatcher1 said:

They are especially cost effective (potentially free) if you can just re-task your old PC to be the HTPC.

Well I took your advice and knocked off the dust on my old first gen XPS laptop, it's been years since it's seen the light of day. I reinstalled the OS which interstingly enough was the Windows XP media center edition (creepy conveinient). I then proceeded to strip down all the non-essentials from the OS and configured it specifically for quick web browsing and media...then I ran into the snag, it doesn't have a damn HDMI port, just S-Video. Notably I probably should've checked before I went through the trouble, but I can't even find out if it'll work out the way I want since I don't have an S-Video cable (and would frankly never buy one)...

I have another laptop that I had built a couple years ago that has an HDMI port, but I kinda gave it to my GF for her to use since it would have otherwise gone to sit in the box with my other retired systems. Considering using my current PC is not an option (overhauling it to get the gf to play GW2) it comes down to either building an HTPC, or going with the plan of a Smart TV. I'd rather not deal with the hassle of a rebuild, a performance build, and a home theater build so I think the Smart TV is looking pretty good right now...

...now you'll have to excuse me. I have an old XPS that has a date with a ballpeen hammer...

#13 dhatcher1

dhatcher1

    Technician

  • Technicians
  • 3786 posts

Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:46 AM

My TVs have a PC port (D-sub, 15pin) and a little audio in plug like a headset.  Thats how I connect the laptop to the TV.

You can get a cheap DVI to HDMI cable if the video plug is DVI.

#14 Obscure One

Obscure One

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 456 posts

Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:24 PM

dhatcher1 said:

My TVs have a PC port (D-sub, 15pin) and a little audio in plug like a headset.  Thats how I connect the laptop to the TV.

You can get a cheap DVI to HDMI cable if the video plug is DVI.

No luck for DVI either. The I/O ports on this old laptop are S-VGA, USB, LAN/Ethernet, Modem, S-Video, Firewire, and your standard 3.5 mm Audio and Mic jack. (I also noticed neither of my TV's have S-Video ports, so getting an S-Video cable is actually not just a matter of preference but really legitimately useless :p)

The only thing that would work in that capacity is an S-VGA to HDMI adapter (this is cheapest one I found) which would cost a lot less than a brand new home theater PC, but add that cost to even the typical SONY 32" TVs and I'm losing $:
Building a new HTPC would be out of the question in terms of cost effectiveness. The Smart TV's just come out cheaper however I slice it, and the functionality of the SONY Google TV in specific is just sounding better and better the more I think on it. The ability to search at any point in time and to one touch PiP transition from one thing to the next smoothly is hard to turn down; no input swapping, no additional controls, no fussing with 6 year old laptops.

...man, that ball peen hammer is still looking like the brightest future for my old XPS...

#15 dasachi

dasachi

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 153 posts

Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:28 PM

I dont use a smart TV, but i do use a tv for my monitor. It all depends on the tv you pick. personally i like tv screens better than monitors for pcs. Because with a TV you can have many different things plugged in at once. With a monitor, you can only have a PC

#16 Quaker

Quaker

    Technician

  • Technicians
  • 3343 posts

Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:33 PM

T R O U B L E said:

At this point 120hz is not much more expensive. Having a faster refresh rate means your streamed (netflix, etc) content, blurays, and games look more lifelike, and you get a greater illusion of depth.
I'd have to take your word for that and/or google it. It doesn't make much sense to me - I can't quite see how a faster refresh on an LCD screen would improve actual picture quality, given the same LCD panel - especially on regular TV and internet sources.

Quote

Outside of that, from most brands, 60hz means you are looking at their least fully featured, entry level wal-mart TV they offer*, upgrading to a TV that they actually care enough to make 120hz usually gets you a TV that is going to be better made, has a better engine under the hood, better range of color... pretty much a better TV in every way.
Maybe this is where your opinion of 120Hz comes from. 60Hz TVs are not just entry level. Many manufacturers have 60Hz and 120Hz models based on exactly the same LCD panels, with the same response time, colour gamut, sharpness, etc.

Quote

A *SMART* salesman would sell you the TV that is going to make you happy in the long run, so that you are more apt to buy from him/her again, instead of the most expensive thing they can ram down your throat :D
By the time the "long run" comes around, that salesman is usually not selling any more, smart or not - or not selling TVs at least. :)

Some info: http://www.pcmag.com...,2379206,00.asp

Edited by Quaker, 20 July 2011 - 07:39 PM.


#17 T R O U B L E

T R O U B L E

    Asuran Acolyte

  • Members
  • 80 posts

Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:47 AM

Quaker said:

I'd have to take your word for that and/or google it. It doesn't make much sense to me - I can't quite see how a faster refresh on an LCD screen would improve actual picture quality, given the same LCD panel - especially on regular TV and internet sources.

Maybe this is where your opinion of 120Hz comes from. 60Hz TVs are not just entry level. Many manufacturers have 60Hz and 120Hz models based on exactly the same LCD panels, with the same response time, colour gamut, sharpness, etc.


By the time the "long run" comes around, that salesman is usually not selling any more, smart or not - or not selling TVs at least. :)

Some info: http://www.pcmag.com...,2379206,00.asp

Not a bad article at all. In response to your first 2 comments, the improved refresh rate makes the improvements from the rest of the tv possible. In the article you linked, it talks about how smooth-motion and other similar features take the frames that you feed the tv, and not only cleans them, but uses them as a base to make in-between frames that improve the frame rate. As the article states, most of the time you should turn this off. Unless you have a TV that is actually good at it.

When a lower end tv or one with a lesser "engine" does this, it can create picture distortion and artifacts, very commonly a weird, cloudy effect around the focal image in the foreground as it moves. A higher quality tv, like a Sony or Samsung, is going to do this so well that you do not get these unwanted side effects. When this feature is running, it will improve any image, to the point where the framerate is so smooth that you feel less like you are watching TV and more like looking through a window (obviously the lower quality the image, the less you will get this... nothing is going to make old vhs tapes look like a blu-ray). The main drawback to this is that it can be disorienting, even cause motion sickness in those that are prone to it, but generally this will stop after your eyes adjust, anywhere from an hour to a day, after which you can deal with the effect permanently.

As for your last comment, this is kind of getting to the point where we are going to get into alot of if's and when's, but philosophically, a salesperson who looks out for his/her customer's best interests is always going to be more successful over time, and will generate more return business, as well as word of mouth from family, friends, and coworkers. And even when they stop selling, they will have passed on a culture of honesty and integrity to anyone they work with or train.

#18 Dmon

Dmon

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 220 posts

Posted 22 July 2011 - 07:59 AM

Hey, computer essential hardware aside, you won't need a 13-button mouse... there are only 10 skills. Also, about the gameboard/gamepad, if you want a quality one, I've read the Razer Nostromo is better than the logitech G13.

#19 Obscure One

Obscure One

    Vanguard Scout

  • Members
  • 456 posts

Posted 23 July 2011 - 02:23 AM

Dmon said:

Hey, computer essential hardware aside, you won't need a 13-button mouse... there are only 10 skills. Also, about the gameboard/gamepad, if you want a quality one, I've read the Razer Nostromo is better than the logitech G13.

Well I already own the G13 and G700 (the G19 as well for that matter). I don't intend to hotkey more than 5 skills to my mouse. I plan to hot key weapon swapping, push to talk for Vent, map toggling, and any other useful UI feature worth having a key stroke away. What I need from a mouse has always been versatility, expandability, and reliability, and the G700 has that in spades...

As for the G13, I doubt you'd find a gamer with one that would fault it for low quality. When it comes to the Razer Nostromo vs the G13 it's a matter of opinion and preferance rather than performance, and I prefer the Logitech G13.

#20 ssotirov

ssotirov

    Pale Tree Seedling

  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:17 PM

Hi All,

I plan to get a Samsung 32” Smart 3D D6530 LED TV and use it as primary PC monitor. The main purpose for my PC is entertainment and to play PC games (Battlefield 3, upcoming Guildwars 2, Assassins Creed etc.), watch movies, listening to music, and from time to time to check my mail, on a rare occasions to type couple pages in word.

Now I use Acer H243H 24" LCD monitor and for the past 3 years it is doing its job very well. I am wondering if the TV will be a good gaming experience upgrade.

I was hoping if you guys can share your thoughts on that. Is it a good idea from performance prospective? I've been saving for few months to get this or similar monitor upgrade so the money are not a problem at the moment.

Here are some links:

http://www.samsung.c...D6530WKXXU-spec
http://www.amazon.co...64&sr=8-1-fkmr0

ohh almost forgot the tv (moniotr) will be attached to a Sapphire HD7970 3GB

Best Regards

Sotir

Edited by ssotirov, 27 January 2012 - 08:24 PM.


#21 Elder III

Elder III

    Technician

  • Technicians
  • 4424 posts

Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:30 PM

I hope you don't plan on sitting right in front of it?  If you sit across the room it should be great... otherwise you are going to have eye and neck strain pretty quickly. ;)