I have my computer connected to living room monitor with dvd surround system set up for sound and to occasionally play dvds. The current monitor is 27" and my couch is almost 10' away; so would like to go with a 40" tv and am wondering if that would work double duty as my monitor as well--I'm not fussy about detail, don't do a lot of gaming etc.
The potential problem is that TVs overscan the image so you don't get blanks at the edges of the screen. That will cut off your desktop at the edges so won't be able to click on buttons on the taskbar or top of a window that is maximized. Make sure you can turn this off in the TV menu.
Yes, virtually any flatscreen should be able to work as a computer monitor. You will need either one of two things. Does your computer have an HDMI output? You can use this to connect your computer to your TV. HDMI will carry both the picture and sound. If you don't have an HDMI, and your PC isn't too old, you may be able to add a video card with an HDMI port.
Or, if there is no HDMI on your computer, check to see it the TV has a VGA input port. This is a large, multi-pin plug, with a nut on either side, for the securing screws. However, VGA is just for the picture. For sound, look for an audio input. This could be a pair of standard RCA jacks, like the ones on the back of a stereo receiver. Or, there could be a 1/8" headphone-type jack, marked with something like "PC Audio".
Found one, have had it set up for a few days now and feels very natural, not oversized at all and I sit about 3' from it while online; is technically I guess a monitor not a tv; is 43" NEC C431 LFD; I got it mainly because it has AMVA3 panel which I really like and had in my 27". So nice to finally have the right size, 43" at 10' feels just right watching movies etc.
Since I use it for internet stuff as well as streaming, I have been running the audio 3.5mm jack from pc to av rca inputs on surround system (no hdmi input) but it does have a digital optical input; do you think I'd get better sound quality using an hdmi to hdmi+optical output splitter/extractor, do those work well? I wouldn't want to chance it either degrading my hdmi signal or worse damaging my new monitor; the sound coming from the rca inputs is ok, but if it could be better make use of my surround system's processing I'd do it.