can I use my TV as a monitor?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Brawn, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. Gary Brawn

    Gary Brawn Auditioning

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    Hi,

    I am so tired of staring at my little computer screen. I am wondering if I can hook the system up to my TV. Currently I have a PII 466mHz running W98 (but I am considering an upgrade soon). I would eventually like to have my home theater and computer linked so I can burn DVD's. Please someone let me know if this is even possible.

    Thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    If you have a video card that can output to a TV, and a TV that can accept say S-Video then yes you can... Now after saying that yes it can be done a better question would be is it a good idea.

    unless you are running a high quality TV (HDTV Plasma, etc) that can display a resolution high enough the picture will look absolutely terrible if you are trying to run Windows. Many people run HTPC machines for running DVD's but that I think is a different story from what you are wanting to do.

    KyleS
     
  3. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    I'm going to have to agree with Kyle, I keep a computer in my home theater that is mostly for games at the moment the computer has to run at 800x600 or less and I have to use the extra large windows settings in appearence just to make the test legible. if it's just a normal TV you won't get much from using it in place of a monitor.

    On the other hand if you own a projector or some variety of a hdtv I think it would be a great idea. I plan on getting a HDTV sometime in the future and I have every intention of hooking a good computer up to it [​IMG].
     
  4. Gary Brawn

    Gary Brawn Auditioning

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    OK, so my TV accepts S-video (it's 32 inch) but it's not HDTV or plasma. The resolution would be that bad? The video card would have to be replaced though.
     
  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  6. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    If you're wanting to completely replace your monitor with your TV, then don't even try it.

    But if you want to use the TV to watch videos or whatever, it's not a bad idea since the equipment to do so is so cheap now.
    I put a $50 video card with TV out on my basement PC and it works great as a way to watch Southpark episodes and things like that.
    It is about impossible to interprit text though. I keep a little 15" monitor on top of the PC case when I need to get online (XBconnect etc) or install software, and use the TV when watching video.
     
  7. Tom Lowden

    Tom Lowden Agent

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    I've tried this on a couple of different computers and the results were extremely disappointing. The picture was not only poor quality (in terms of sharpness, etc.), but also distorted and the borders were totally uneven. It wasn't worth using at all.

    The reason I tried it in the first place was when my DVD player (an older Toshiba 3108) wouldn't play a certain DVD, so I used the s-video output of my notebook computer (it had a 32mb Nvidia video card) in hopes of using it as my DVD player. Again, it wasn't worth using.
     
  8. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    I recently hooked up my TV to a voodoo3 tv out for watching mpegs and avi's. Now, although at 800x600 resolution, I find that video playback is far better than looking at the standard desktop on the tube. But I have a question here.. I can't use the feature of stretching the image to fill the screen, because I get vertical lines throughout the picture if I do. When used at the only setting that comes out clear, the picture is not only cropped on top and bottom ala letterbox, but also on the sides. So essentially, I have a smaller screen to work with. Is there anything I am doing wrong, or is it the limitation of the card, or drivers for the card.

    Running 440BX board
    Celeron 633
    320 mb ram
    dvd
    cd/rw
    1 13 gig dr
    1 20 gig dr
    voodoo 3 16mb for tv out
    phillips rhythmic edge sound card
    linksys nic
    lucent winmodem
     
  9. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I have the same problem with "windowboxing" as Juan, but I use a Radeon 7500 card, S-video out.

    There is a setting in the software to adjust the height and width of the screen area (similar to regular adjustment buttons on the monitor), but they don't seem to do much.

    Is there some other software that would allow me to stretch the picture so it fills the whole TV screen?

    /Mike
     
  10. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Also remember that TV's use RGB (NTSC) pixels to display their images.

    For example, If you had an entire white screen, your computer monitor can make every single pixel a true white pixel...the way your tv does it, is it turns the Red, Green, and Blue pixels completely on, giving the illusion (to your eyes) as white. When you stand far enough away you get the illusion that the screen is white, but if you look real close, they're actually a combination of red, green, and blue dots...No white what-so-ever.

    In other words, this is why your tv screen will make your pc look "crappy". Also, aliased text & single/horizontal lines will flicker due to the fact that TV's interlace their signals.
     
  11. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    unlike Micke S. I am not trying to make the picture fill the whole screen. some of the avi's and mpegs are letterboxed intentionally, and I do not care to make the people in the files look taller or skinnier, just want to make the picture fill the width of the screen. The stretch option I have on the voodoo3 allows me to do that, but when I do, I get horizontal lines of missing data throughout the picture. I am just wondering if it is a hardware issue with video, memory, or other settings, or a software driver issue that is causing that. I would think that i have enough *not all I want* but enough processor to let the software apps I am using do the decoding and decompressing. If I am wrong here, let me know. One day when I have the means to get a better TV or projector, I won't worry about the shoddy TV out and instead use some other higher form of video transmission from my PC to my output device. For now, I am just wanting to make what I have look better, or learn to deal with what I have which may be my only choice. Thanks for the input. Sorry to hijack this thread, hopefully Gary's original question has already been answered sufficiently so as not to upset him for doing so.
     
  12. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I believe we are actually trying to achieve the same thing. Even a letterboxed image would have to be using the whole picture area to display the picture in the right proportions, but of course the top and bottom would be black.
     
  13. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I didn't have any problems using TV-out on my old original Radeon Video-in-video-out card. Watched videos and played D&D Tower of Doom on MAME just fine.
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  16. Brian_A

    Brian_A Auditioning

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    I just ordered a new machine for gaming. It has a GeforceFX card in it with s-video out. Most of the talk here has been about using a regular TV for a monitor. I have a 57" Sony HD ready RPTV (with a HD decoder from Time Warner). I usually run my games in at least 1024x768 resolution. Will the tv be capable of handling that resolution and if so, how will it look? I'm sure someone here has tried this on a similar setup.
    Thanks
    Brian
     
  17. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    I have a game rig/DDR rig in my home theater that spits out to a normal TV at 800x600. TVs handle images quite nicely and I at times prefer the TV over a monitor. especially on games that are more baed on beautiful imagery.

    pain int he butt to open the game up, have to use 800x600 with the extra large windows text to even attempt to get anywhere, but once in the game, it's definatley a good way to go. it's truely no different than any other gaming system like the xbox.

    But now, if you have an HDTV your TV should be able to support some higher resolutions and you might just be able to get away with using it compeletly as a monitor replacement. just play around with some of the resolutions until you find one that looks good.
     

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