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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    Should I buy a monitor or a TV?

    I'd like a monitor to connect to my MacBook Pro. I work with photos in Adobe Photoshop Elements, and I want a screen bigger than what's on my 15-in MacBook. Apple sells their 27" beast, but I'm not prepared to spend $1,000 for it. I looked at a couple of 22" or 23" Samsung monitors with price tags in the $200+ range, and they look nice in the store. But a sales associate suggested I consider buying what many of her customers have bought: a flat-screen TV. She said the TV has better resolution, and besides you can watch TV on it.

    I haven't had opportunity to connect a monitor and a TV to my MBP. I recall reading years ago that TVs can give you a bigger screen, but they don't render text very well. I also write, and I use Microsoft Office Word; I value good text rendering on the screen. The advice I mentioned came from the days before everything went to flat-panel LCDs. I'd like to hear from some of the folks here in the Lounge. Is a TV a good choice, or should I stick with a monitor. By the way, I don't intend to spend a lot of time watching TV at my desk. I do that in the living room with my 32" Sony TV.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    A good quality 1080P (NOT 720P) HDTV is pretty much equivalent to the average monitor display. I mainly use a large (51") HDTV as a multi purpose computer/media interface and it is good for reading text on, not great. It would certainly benefit from a higher resolution (2560x1440) and when display size gets to a certain point, there is viewing distance to consider. My display is about 8 ft. from eye to screen; usually one is much more limited at a desk so a 27 or 30 inch display is about the max and most 1080P resolution HDTV screens are over 30".

    Not intending to watch much video on it would point to getting a monitor. If your eyesight is still very good you might want to consider one of the 27 inch high resolution monitors from Monoprice. The price is not outrageous and text clarity would be excellent but if you have to increase text DPI because its so small (like I would have to) then you don't really gain too much there but it would still be excellent for Photoshop editing.

  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger
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    Thanks for the advice! My eyes are still pretty good. I'll probably stick to a monitor for my desktop, but I think I'll experiment with my 36" TV before I decide.

    Update: I've tried the big TV now. Neither text nor photos look as good as they do on my MBP's display, and that takes me to my question. Can a modern flat-screen LCD or plasma TV do the work of a dedicated computer monitor? Does text look bad on the big screen simply because the screen is bigger, or is a TV simply not made to render text well?
    Last edited by Caesar3; 2013-10-15 at 23:04. Reason: Added new information.

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