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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I've started slowly adding upgrades to my year-old desktop, recently buying a new PSU and decent video card. My newest mission is for a 30"-40" LCD screen, which comes from 2 wants:

1. A larger computer monitor to be viewed at a greater distance
2. A new TV - IE compatible with a cable input

The computer screen comes from wanting to sit farther while playing games (like Trainz '09, Battlefront II, without straining my eyes or struggling with glare), and to have a larger display for working on CAD and photo editing software. I have a 22" widescreen monitor at the moment, but my setup (which predates this computer+monitor pair) has me practically nose-to-nose with it (and slightly lower). As for the TV, I've been using a 19" CRT for about 7-8 years, and while I'm not in a rush to replace it, the idea of combining the TV and computer in function is really alluring (especially as BDs have just begun to drop into my price range).

The big problem is the confined workspace. Right now my setup's in a room about 10'x10' (with furniture, slightly larger than an office cubicle). I don't have much space to back away from the screen. While replacing both my current monitor and TV will free some shelf space, the high back of my current desk probably means rearranging some furniture. And while the TV/monitor is something of a luxury right now, I also want to invest in a main TV for a (slightly) larger apartment in the next few years, when I'm living off ramen noodles and universe juice.

Aside from which, I've read in the past some issues with computer inputs on TVs - issues like fuzzy text or slow response resulting in the "ghosting" of moving objects.

Can anyone familiar with large screens tell me what their setup's like? (IE, how manageable is their living space, and what distance you sit from the screen). Should I hold off on the screen until I have a larger space to work in? I have other options to upgrade if this doesn't seem reasonable.
 

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Aside from room size, how far away from the screen are you likely to be? As for useable desktop space, your 22" is likely 1680x1050 native resolution? ...so the next step up is 1920x1080. This is standard on newer 22-26 monitors. For about $200-250, you can have a 24" computer monitor with HDMI inputs. For TV useage, you only need to connect it to your cable box. If you need an actual TV with built-in tuner, then you will obviously pay more, both for the tuner and according to screen size that you choose. And your resolution will be the same (1920x1080 for a full 1080P) regardless of the screen size.

A 24" screen would be the best bet, in my opinion. Especially in a room that size. Larger screens will be the same resolution, but the pixel size will get larger. And the closer you are to the screen, the more obvious it will be. Head out to the local store and get up close (about your average sitting distance) to larger screens and see for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well the monitor I have now is 1920x1080 native, so in my mind the size is all about viewing distance. I envision doing document work / web surfing at a desk about 5' from the screen (keeping the tower, keyboard and mouse there), while for gaming and movie viewing I'd be about twice that far (since for gaming I'm trying to create a more console-like setup, USB controller and all).

I visited the store recently and found that I didn't really see much of a difference in the larger monitors (it seems like the one I chose is already at the higher end size-wise). The other benefits I see for the TV are remote control and multiple inputs (HDMI for the computer, component for some games systems, composite for older systems, coax for the cable signal). And since the tuners I've seen offering those go to about $180, that in addition to the price of a ~24" monitor brings me to about the price range of the TVs I've seen.

I could see a 32" or even 37" working in my setup, because they're just big enough that they can last me a while and give me some options as far as distance. But even while looking right at them I was struggling with some of the options and technical considerations in incorporating a new screen to the layout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Then I've already narrowed the field quite a bit. Thanks.

Are there still any relevant problems in the current market, as far as TVs not being optimized for use as computer displays? I've seen articles recommending against it, but they might be a little outdated.
 
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