And They Said It Couldn't Be Done! Large LCD Screen Monitor

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Old 10 October 2013   #1
And They Said It Couldn't Be Done! Large LCD Screen Monitor

A while back I was asking about using LCD HDTV's as monitors and was discouraged from doing so. Determined little(?) cuss that I am, I finally went ahead and tried it.

I have a PC I wanted to use for the test, but some recent aggravations have me putting that on hold. Nonetheless, the opportunity presented itself to hook the HDTV to my Acer laptop (2.0Ghz, 4Gb RAM, 500Gb HD, W7 64bit; same as it was right out of the box) using its svga connector. The HDTV is an Emerson 32" LCD. This particular TV has its own SVGA connector and a PC setting on the TV's menu, so that's a good sign to begin with. I'm enchanted with the results.

No. There is no problem with colors. They are essentially the same as on my laptop.

It works in dual monitor mode. The laptop is truly the bottleneck, now, likely because of its on board video chip and lower CPU speed, but the 3D modeling window is so large I can scale an object, zoom out and still pick verts or faces without any problem. I can easily set up multiple views without worrying about screen real estate. The text scale is large enough that I don't even need my glasses unless I extend the main window so the left sash is on the laptop screen.

Mission accomplished. I'd recommend this $200 monitor solution. I believe that once I can get it hooked up to the desltop PC, I'll be able to use even higher resolutions that the laptop doesn't support. Glad I experimented in spite of discouragement.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #2
Originally Posted by DrCharbonneau: ...

No. There is no problem with colors. They are essentially the same as on my laptop.
...


Well laptop monitors are pretty bad for color sensitive stuff also. Match it up against a good Nec or Eizo IPS panel monitor and you'll see why pros say that LCD TVs are not suitable for serious work. Keep in mind also that 32" is on the small side of the TV size spectrum and the resolution (1900 x 1080 I guess) is still workable at that size. Now try it with a 46"...
 
Old 10 October 2013   #3
laptop screens can be good. A 10-bit AdobeRGB Eizo screen is more of a problem in a program like ZBrush than an sRGB laptop screen since it doesn't do colour profiles.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #4
I think the keyword is likely professional. For someone in the learning phase of CG, and on a learner's or fixed income budget, this is a big step up. The alternative I saw at a quick search was a Samsung priced at around $600. I actually bought this one used at $180, so have no complaints.

I doubt if I'd want a 40" just yet. I'm more inclined to buy the other half a 39" for xmas, provided we don't fall off the fiscal cliff. Assuming that doesn't happen, my next upgrade will be the machine itself...
 
Old 10 October 2013   #5
Nobody said it couldn't be done, people simply said the colour and response would be bad, not to mention that there is such a thing as too big a dot pitch (with a full HD 32" sure is). Technically there's never been a reason brought up (because there isn't one) why it wouldn't have worked, HDMI is the same specs of DVI-D and LCD TVs use mostly the same controls and electronics of monitors, just they are meant, and therefore engineered, for a different use.

If you're OK with it more power to you, but I would most definitely NOT recommend it.
I've seen it first hand, and that's with a much better LCD TV than a 200$ second hand 32", and it looks bloody awful and reads terribly.
At 30" you already need at least the dot pitch coming from 2.5k for watching static geometric shapes for a long time. At 32" full HD you're murdering your eyesight.
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Old 10 October 2013   #6
ThE_JacO,

The title is just a bit of silliness, Python style. You should sit back, take a stress pill and have a cup of tea... I hope you don't make it bloody, but to each their own

Please know this: Even though I'm a scientist/artist, I'm a comedian.

On the Serius side (dog gone it) I disagree. I'm typing this on the 32" with the browser res set to 75% and it's beautiful. It's like having four of my laptop screens on one monitor, so I could be using Blender, watching a tut (one real advantage since sometimes I have to break out a magnifying glass to read the text in those YouTube video tuts ) and could be doing something else on the laptop.

Naturally I don't have the screen ten inches from my nose. Of course I'm not Cyrano Debergerac either. I do wear bifocals and I'm trying to decide whether it's best with or without them on. I doubt if I'd go to a larger screen though. For THIS folk, it's the right stroke.

I set the TV's pitch to "Normal." If I go blind I'll type to you on a brail monitor.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #7
The majority of users on this site are computer graphics professionals so when someone says something take it with a grain of salt if you're a hobbyist. However there are valid reasons why using a television as a computer monitor is a bad idea in a professional environment.

For reference here are some reasons why it's not recommended at least for professionals. Most televisions have dynamic backlighting so the brightness of the image changes depending on the average values of the image so the image may actually be darker or brighter than what's being displayed. Color saturation is all over the place depending on the "mode" of the television because some have modes for gaming, movies, sports, or whatever and they dramatically change the colors of the image. So what you think is bright red (on your television) might actually be a dull brownish color to someone looking at the content on any other kind of display. Most televisions increase the sharpness of the image which might sound like a good thing but it makes text less readable and again is altering the image data. So what you see as being sharp and defined might actually be a little out of focus or have sampling issues in the render. The article on wikipedia about acutance has a good example (left is what the image really looks like, right is what the television will show you).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acutance#Sharpness

Long story short, televisions alter the image data in significant ways so you're not getting apples to apples. Consistency is important in a display in a professional environment so everyone is on the same page when they talk about things like contrast, brightness, colors, sharpness, or any other image related feedback. Especially if not all of the team members are at the same location and therefor are unable to look at the same display.

As a scientist I'm sure you understand completely why this consistency in the image data is paramount in some situations. Like others have said there's no reason why it can't be done it's just that nobody would recommend it and hopefully that's clear to people who come across this information in the future. If you simply want a huge and inexpensive display because it's easier to see then professionals be damned because televisions do offer a good bang for the buck in that regard (if you don't mind the other issues that come along with them). I'm glad you're happy with it and cut us a bit of slack if we sound pretentious.
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Old 10 October 2013   #8
I'm sure there will come a time when having the most appropriate monitor will be of utmost importance for me.

Where I think a discussion like this reveals its intrinsic value is because it does make the staunch professionals offer up the higher tech info about monitors. Newbies, like myself, to these markets learn a lot why, say Pixar, uses the very best, but also it compares the cost of pro vs. learner. The cinematographer's manual of 30 years ago describes monitors of incredible resolution used for earlier computer graphics long before LCD and LED screens were more than a glimmer in an EE's eye. They were a hundred thousand dollars for one and things like Allen Process Cameras were half a million even in 1990. Now those are in a museum along with many stage props and Panavision cameras.

Today this $180 flat screen HDTV I described is so detailed that sitting 3 feet away one can see so much definition that it makes John Boehner's face look like it caught fire and someone put it out with an ice pick. With quantum computing on the horizon, it may be that 10 years from now the pro monitors used by Pixar today will be the $200 monitors where the pixel resolution of the higher priced gear is based around the molecular or atomic level. Imagine for instance (here comes the scientist dude...) a quantum dot that's an amalgam of 100 different elements, each acting like its own LED. True color would no longer be driven by millions of combinations of Hue and saturation dependent on the backlighting brilliance. It would be driven by harmonics and energy states on the nano scale, scanned by wave frequencies so tight, yet wide, that resolutions finer than the human eye can detect would be possible. The data might even be stored, like a palimpsest, so a greeting card contains 10 hours of time space recording with the only power needed being that of some battery the size of a nail clipping. In a molecular sized pixel, not just the color and projective energy would be present, but perspective depth that would make the best 3D of today seem like a 1930's vintage 4 color process image.

The setup I described is very useful for my current needs, as a student. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get away from eye strain, yet has budget restrictions. It's like buying a welding torch. Buy the Oxygen and Acetylene bottles first. With those sitting in the shop wasting gas through unavoidable leakage, one is encouraged to get that equally as expensive torch and hose set ASAP. One is better to get the machine of their dreams first. The pro monitor can wait. It's not the monitor that creates the rendering, but the machine that creates the file.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #9
There really is no need to distinguish hobbyist or professional here.
For any given CGI use UIs and geometric data will be displayed, text and icons will be read frequently, and workstation ergonomic standards always apply to anybody who doesn't want to end up crippled, blind or both.
We're not talking about a gentle escalation of requirements through the budget here (different levels of colour accuracy etc.), we are talking of the simplest and most basic of requirements for computer work: A sharp image of uniform contrast with appropriate luminosity for short viewing distance. TVs don't tick a single box there, monitors of comparable price tick all of those these days.

A 200$ 23" monitor is immensely superior to a 32" 200$ second hand TV.
The only thing the TV has, in terms of pure specs, going for it is its size.

Given size is less relevant than dot pitch (and a 32" full HD TV has far too wide a pitch), and that good ergonomic and posture place the ideal monitor size, depending on individuals, between 23 and 30" (with 30" being adverse in most situations), 24" to 27" being by far the best soft spot for the majority of people, there is not ONE single objective reason to buy an LCD TV instead of a comparably priced monitor, and I can't even think of a good subjective one other than a misguided choice (absolutely no offense implied here, we all make mistakes of one description or another, if mine occupied physical space I'd need to rent extra storage out of town where it's cheap).

As I said, if it works for you, great, more power to you, but chances are it works only comparatively (to a previous and very poor option) because you haven't experienced the equivalent bang for buck (a decent 200$ second) in terms of LCD monitor, or you have a truly singular set of requirements.

All I objected to is that you recommend it as a viable solution. It isn't in the overwhelming majority of cases, it's as simple as that.
With the due exception of above mentioned almost singular cases (in my personal experience entirely singular in fact after hearing you, and unheard of before), there are plenty objective parameters to establish that using an LCD TV instead of a monitor is plain bad, and shouldn't be put forward as advice IMO.

I'm not entirely sure where you thought I needed a stress pill, I'm fine and happy and all, but I always think giving advice when money and health are concerned (and a monitor has great effect on both) is a responsibility to those reading afterwards, and I feel you gave some very bad advice, hence why I stepped in.
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Old 10 October 2013   #10
Not to be too judgemental, but the fact that you want to run a low resolution (1920x1080) on a huge screen mostly makes me assume your eyesight probably isnt the best. To give an analogy (Oh I do love a good analogy) its a bit like strapping a pair of hifi speakers to your head as a pair of headphones and proclaiming it sounds great when the volumes up high. Sure, it works, but people around you will assume youre probably a bit deaf and likely won't follow your lead.
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Old 10 October 2013   #11
In the case of this monitor (HDTV) the only thing keeping it from going to a resolution of (if I remember correctly) 2460(?) x 1900(?) is the laptop itself being unable to match that. Once I get my desktop system back in order and use it, I already know a horizontal res exceeding 2500 is available through the Galaxy NVIDIA card.

It appears from your avatars, that both of you dudes are perhaps mid to late twenties. I'm 60 pushing into my 61st year. Yes, (I think I even mentioned) I am ready for trifocals. Yes, my hearing is weakened. I'm almost deaf in my right ear. That is largely from the progressive effects of Agent Orange from the Vietnam Era service and having spent more than a few years as a lead guitarist, in front of a stack of Marshals or Peavy amp systems.

I do tend to doubt that my case is singular. With 7 billion people on the planet; 1 billion with PC's, it's pretty inconsiderate to think most of those are young when one only has to look at the age of Bill Gates. We pioneered then what young people take for granted today. I don't have much faith in Mother Nature to let us stay in these cushy lifestyles for more than a decade or two more at best. When it's time to bunker or ark up, I want to have a lot of options to spend those following decades in such a time capsule. At $1k or more for a pro monitor, the $200 spent for a little less, offers $800 left for a stock of food... and ammo.

Once again I'd stress that this is not bad advice for someone who needs more screen real estate. I'm far from blind. I'm also far from stupid. I can discern the difference in dot pitch between the two devices, still, when viewed at about 30" away, the HDTV wins for comfort.

The stress pill comment was merely pulling your chain. I mentioned that as well as an eccentric old scientist, I play the comedian. It's often so easy for us as recipients of a post to envision the poster as hyperventilating with steam emitting from their nostrils. It's sad, though, that I see so much of this in young people this day. Many seem to have a severe and cocky attitude toward we older folks who actually spawned their generation. Back in the 60's and 70's, when we were doing all that spawning, we truly hoped to create a kinder, gentler generation of mankind. It appears we failed. In fact we created a world for that generation to live in that sucks raw eggs. Where would your professional career be had the US defaulted yesterday? Pixar needs an audience that can afford to go to the theater or buy the DVD. It's tough to enjoy Toy Story when your stomach is growling.

If you watch the news where they show shots of the NYSE, you'll see the monitors the workers have sitting 30" in front of their noses are 32" to 40" HDTV's. This is needed to save scrolling time through myriads of data. Using mine, now, with Blender is giving me the edge of being able to pick something small on the screen instead of zooming so much. A 27" monitor, or worse yet a 30", is very expensive. I find this 32" addition to my system a productive blessing for the cost. When it comes render time, I can always switch to a smaller monitor. In fact, I may buy a 23" to compliment the final system with, but that big screen is (and this should be tried before denied) an asset for picking verts or faces in a complex mesh.

I'm sure I'm not the only person on the planet who likes to work big.

Last edited by DrCharbonneau : 10 October 2013 at 11:06 AM.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #12
Originally Posted by DrCharbonneau: In the case of this monitor (HDTV) the only thing keeping it from going to a resolution of (if I remember correctly) 2460(?) x 1900(?) is the laptop itself being unable to match that. Once I get my desktop system back in order and use it, I already know a horizontal res exceeding 2500 is available through the Galaxy NVIDIA card.

Nope, TVs, with the exception of very recent 4k ones (which don't cost 200$ ) are full HD at best, or 1920x1080p.
You won't be able to up the res.

Quote: It appears from your avatars, that both of you dudes are perhaps mid to late twenties. I'm 60 pushing into my 61st year.

I take it as a compliment, but no, sadly not in my twenties anymore, but not quite 40 yet.

Quote: Once again I'd stress that this is not bad advice for someone who needs more screen real estate. I'm far from blind. I'm also far from stupid. I can discern the difference in dot pitch between the two devices, still, when viewed at about 30" away, the HDTV wins for comfort.

It was and remains bad advice, doing CG work at 30" from a 32" is worse than doing it at 20" from a 24".
Especially later on in age you are unlikely to be hyperfocal, and only hyperfocal sight benefits from further distance to the monitor.
Again, if it works for you, great, but it is very, very exceptional (I stand by singular and I did mention it's singular IN MY EXPERIENCE) and shouldn't be offered as advice as generically as you did, particularly if you have no frame of reference (having worked on both options for extended amounts of time).

Quote: Many seem to have a severe and cocky attitude toward we older folks who actually spawned their generation. Back in the 60's and 70's, when we were doing all that spawning, we truly hoped to create a kinder, gentler generation of mankind. It appears we failed. In fact we created a world for that generation to live in that sucks raw eggs. Where would your professional career be had the US defaulted yesterday? Pixar needs an audience that can afford to go to the theater or buy the DVD. It's tough to enjoy Toy Story when your stomach is growling.

I address people and discuss things that are factual with no discrimination for age, sex or religion, my father is a solid quarter of a century older than you for the record, and even after multiple eye surgeries and wearing trifocals has an understanding of ideal ergonomic and opts for normally sized, properly crisp, adequately distanced monitors, and this is going grossly off topic now
By the way, we had a severe and cocky attitude with a fourteen years old not long ago (who actually had the impressive maturity and spine to go back on his arguments once corrected), and I routinely trade friendly crap with several others in the +/- 5 years range from my age. I'm positive it's got nothing to do with age discrimination

This is a forum relating to hardware, systems, and a strong bend on giving/receiving advice. because that's simply what the casuals tend to come asking for, and the regulars are happy to offer.
You will find objectively bad advice will be refuted regardless of what you were doing in the 60s, or any other decade of choice.

The personal biographies and requests to get off your lawn might need to find a different platform I'm afraid. This is not meant to offend, this is just to remind you this is a website with rules and an established community and modus operandi. One such rules is no fluff, by the way.
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Last edited by ThE_JacO : 10 October 2013 at 11:40 AM.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #13
I wanted to add just one more thing. I have the HDTV situated where I have to sit up erect to view it. You are very wrong about the proper user angle. Even using it for my browser over the past couple days has reduced my back pain from looking at a smaller screen on the desktop, let alone the laptop. The TV is forcing me to have good posture.

Another tip for all desktops is to take some of the urethane foam rubber insulation tubing that is normally used to go around pipes to keep them from freezing or leaking heat, split it and glue or, preferably, screw it to the leading edge of the desk. This provides a cushion for elbows and forearms, reducing nerve and artery crowding in those areas, so reducing the likeliness of carpal tunnel downstream.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #14
The TV forcing you to have good posture simply means your posture was horrid before, not that a TV is advantageous
Top of the monitors around flush to an inch above neutral eyeline is usually the ideal. Get desk and chair right, and then get the monitor lined up like that, and if you hold a decent posture you'll be fine regardless of what appliance or device you stare at


Anyway, you sound like you're better off than you were before, and happy for it. Good on ya!
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Old 10 October 2013   #15
Actually I'm running 1378 x 700 which is tops for the laptop, so 1920 x 1080 will be better yet. Right now I'm watching our president get misty eyed speaking of the possible detriments our kids (that generation I was speaking of) this stupidity on the part of certain members of our governing body might have caused. This isn't a political forum, nor is this a political discussion per se, but the sedition being attempted by this Tea Party group might have affected all of you professionals as much or even worse than it might affect us retired vets in this country. I don't care if this HD TV shows up every acne scar or blackhead in Obama's face, I thank him for standing up to these seditionists who are deceiving the US public into thinking they care about them. I don't know how many of you remember Disney's "Lost In Space" movie, but it depicted a global sedition around the end of this century. It's brewing right now, but I don't expect there to be much left in those years.

I say back to you "Good work!" if you have achieved a professional level of CG. I hope I'll see the day when I can come back in here and say "Guess what I just bought!" Yes, I'm a scientist and although I'm too poverty stricken to afford a $1k monitor yet, I'm working at enough things that might help us all keep going when finally SHTF. All the tips you guys offer do help a lot, still mostly I keep it in mind for future reference.

As for my posture, wrong again. Nonetheless studies have been made concerning young people especially who spend far too much time looking down at a keyboard or Iphone screen. It's fascinating, just watching tv on the screen at 3 ft distance, the difference between transmissions in HD and lower res. At 12 ft away it isn't as noticeable.
 
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