How do I use HDTV as a Computer monitor

mshan86

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Hi, Name is Han.
My parents back at home got their HDTV recently and when i got home for break they told me that they want to use their HDTV as their computer monitor. now i don't have any idea how to do it nor do i know what i need.

My parents have Panasonic TH-42pe7u.

So here are my questions.

1. What kind of hardwares do i need to accomplish this task?
2. and more importantly How do i do it?

please, I looked around the web and all i was able to find was hardwares that i have no clue how to use whatsoever.

my parents do not have concern about the budget, but they want it to be affordable.
 

rexter

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That's a Plasma TV which has good picture quality. But unless they're prepare to replace the TV in maybe 3 to 5 years or even less, I suggest they should get LCD monitor. Even though Plasma is getting better on burn-in issue is still not the same as LCD.

If they really insist then check the back has a Component terminal and HDMI you can use either one. If your parent’s computer has DVI connection White 24 pins then use a DVI to HDMI cable or DVI to RGB/PrPbY cable price maybe the same. If it doesn’t have DVI then get D-SUB (15 pins blue terminal) to RGB/PrPbY connector. Best cable is by using DVI to HDMI since both formats is digital but different connection.

However using D-Sub will not guaranty that when reading text/characters will not be jumpy/flicker since RGB connection usually comes with H – horizontal and V – vertical cable as well to be synchronise. So that’ll be, use it at your own risk. Ask the store if you can return the cable if it does not work.

Watching TV or Movies will not matter that much. The TV native resolution is 1,024x768 so all the letters will be huge. Compare to regular monitor.
 

sumlock

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OK, had a bit of trouble finding the exact specs. Apparently this is a scaled down TH-42PX75U which I found here:
http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/panasonic-th-42px75u/4507-6482_7-32317308.html?tag=sub

There doesn't appear to be any VGA or DVI connections (Normal connections for PC monitor)

However it does have S-Video and unsurprisingly HDMI.

Sadly, Rexter is right in saying that this is not an ideal TV to use as a monitor.

If your parents REALLY don't want to just use their PC at a desk with a standard monitor then you have 2 options with this TV.

1. Buy an S-Video cable which will hopefully fit their PC graphics card. (Any info on their PC spec, especially graphics card would help). It basically looks like a mouse or keyboard socket and will be next to where the monitor cable plugs into.

Here it is on Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-Video

With S-Video text will most likely look fuzzy and the picture will not be very sharp. But this is the only setup your parents are likely to have at the moment. But even that is not for sure.

2. Upgrade your parents graphics card to something that either has a HDMI out or has DVI with HDCP.

Here are a selection of possibilities:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/132321/show_product_specifications?spectype=extended
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130560

They are the same card one AGP and the other PCI E and both come with an adaptor that will allow you to use the HDMI (Digital) socket on your plasma TV and greatly improve the quality of the image.

Otherwise your parents may already have a graphics card with DVI in which case they could use something like this:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130513

I hope this isn't all too complicated, here are some pages to try to help you understand the diffences between S-Video and HDMI.

HDMI and DVI are basically the same thing, HDMI is used for TVs and DVI is used for PCs. They are shaped differently, which is why you would need the above adaptor cable.

http://2aday.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/how-to-hook-up-your-lcd-plasma-dlp-hdtv-hdmi-dvi-component/
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/archive/index.php/t-288487.html

Basically, all you need to know is, HDMI is better than S-Video. If you want to use the TV as the ONLY display for your parents computer I would go with HDMI. To get HDMI you may have to upgrade the computer. It wont cost more than £35 whatever option you take.

If you need to know anything else just ask and I'll try to help.
 

rexter

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Actually plasma has better picture quality than LCD but the problem is that it may not last long due to burn-in, Image will burn-in to the screen like CRT TVs.

Another problem is HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) he might need a video card that has HDCP as well just to view the computer to 1,024x768 resolution. He also needs DVI to HDMI cable or something else to connect their computer to the TV. Too much hassle and may not even be cheaper than just to get a monitor.
 

sumlock

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Agreed that image quality is better on a plasma for movies but your going to get a much better resolution and sharpness on an LCD, especially for Windows use and text input.

There is no way I would hook up my PC to my 40" Plasma for daily use as the primary monitor. But no probs with my 26" LCD.

I did mention the HDCP, and DVI to HDMI links are there. The total cost for the upgrade is £35 for AGP version or £27 for PCI Express/
Both come with the necessary DVI to HDMi adaptor.

I would say it's got to be cheaper to upgrade the graphics on the PC than just buy a new TV or a seperate monitor.
 

mshan86

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Thx Sumlock and rexter, i told everything to my parents and explained to them best as i possibly could and they decided to do it later when they get a new TV for their room (god knows how many year will that take, since they used old Sony TV for more than 10 years.).

Again thank you so much for great advice, i am going to bookmark this thread so i can use this when i get my own HDTV in my home.
 

TheOnlyPenguin

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so after reading this thread is it safe to assume that my 720p samsung ln-t2653h will only display at 1024x768 and not the full 1366x768 that it is actually capable of even if i use a dvi-hdmi cable?
 

rexter

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1024X768 was my mistake, 1366x768 is a wide screen you can only use 720 resolution on that TV if playing from HD box like 360 or PS2 or PS3. However from computer you might get 1366x768 depending on the hardware and driver capability.
 

TheOnlyPenguin

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hmm, i have not been able to get anything higher then 1024x768 to show up correctly. i have an x1950pro with the latest drivers. the only thing i can come up with is that i am using an s-video cable to hook up pc to the tv. i think i will go pick up a cheap dvi-hdmi cable and see how that goes.
 

DiscoDuck

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I use a dvi to Hdmi cable from my HTPC to my Sharp Aquos and an nvidia 7900gs and it runs at 1366x768 as default setting. In fact the windows xp video settings(right click on desktop) has 13x7 as a choice after you tell it to allow different setting between the 2 monitors. It will mimic the primary monitor unless you tell it to allow different settings.
 

TheOnlyPenguin

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hmm, i just forced it to show all video settings and have set it to the 1360x768, when i move my mouse over to the tv the screen will actually move from side to side acting like it does not support this resolution.

im wondering if it is limited by the s-video cable, hopefully when my dvi-hdmi cable arrives it will resolve this issue otherwise i am truely perplexed
 

rexter

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Yea for some reason before I change my X800 GTO to HD 2400 I can change my settings to whatever resolution I want even my monitor can't handle it. Now with new driver I'm limited to specific resolution. Unfortunately I haven't got a time to check it out.

The driver I was using before going to ver. 8.4 dd-cc-wdm was ver 7.11.
 

TheOnlyPenguin

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disco how did you go about setting it to allow different settings per monitor, b/c it is mimicking my primary monitor right now. this would be super to know how to go about doing.
 

rexter

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The old Catalyst driver has an option to change resolution even the card does not support. So besically your forcing it to select the resolution you want. I just can't remember which version was it exactly.

but if you're using Nvidea I can't really help on that. Long ago I have my share of bad experience so I went with ATI and have less troublesome. Since then I never switch back.

Maybe I got Lucky that time, but three installation have the same resolution option. 3X luck I suppose?.
Anyway Old ATI drivers makes text display on regular 480i jumpy. New one is very stable and you can even read the text now, no flickering.

If you are you using the TV as the main monitor, try to set the monitor attributes to manual from Control Catalyst and select the resolution from there. or have you done that already?

Hope you are not one of many people who does not want to install net frame works therefore 'can't install Control Catalyst. :)
 

TheOnlyPenguin

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i have the CCC installed since other programs i use require .net

but i am not exactly sure how to set the attributes maually in the CCC, alittle help here would be appreciated.
 

rexter

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Set CCC to custom view. On Monitor Propertes Click to open sub menu. There you'll find attributes. Uncheck Use Extended Display Identification (EDID) then set Resolution.

By the way Check the monitor information if the settings are supported.

Go back to Display manager and try if there's a selection for the resolution you wanted.

However as mentioned earlier old catalyst has the option to display all unsupported resollution, which display odd resolution settings. Or maybe I just got lucky.

Unfortunately just last weekend I loaded Windows Vista trial I downloaded last August. so I still have 24 days left on the trial period. So my driver imay be different from yours.
 

TheOnlyPenguin

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i think the reason i am having so much trouble is that im still using an s-video cable so its an analog signal and not a digital signal.

i will have to try again when the dvi-hdmi cable i ordered arrives, which will not be until sometime next week.
 

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