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Windows 7: HDTV questions. Buying a TV with a media center PC in mind


24 Jan 2011   #1
211

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
HDTV questions. Buying a TV with a media center PC in mind

I'm shopping for a HDTV. My local Fred Meyer's has a Samsung 42" Plasma 720p HDTV for $399.99 right now. This is very much in my price range.
Eventually I'd like to build up a media center PC around a Radeon HD 4870 (only because it's what I've got in my current build and I don't play PC games anymore so no need for a gaming vid card).

So my question is, will I notice a huge difference with a 720p television as a PC monitor?
I could drop down to 40" and get into 1080p for a little more than that sale price of 399 but if the viewable differences are not significant I'd rather not spend the extra money.

I don't have BluRay and I don't have cable TV. I play Xbox360 and stream Netflix and that's about it.
From what I understand 1080p really only makes a difference with bluray since most TV (including HD) is broadcast in 720, and most games are still 720.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Jan 2011   #2

 
 

If you had the money, go for 1080p but to be honest you may not notice so much of a difference. I've got a 43" 720p Plasma and the image quality is spectacular compared to anything else i've watched (Scart/Monitor).

You're correct in your understanding of TV resolution output, Sky TV only output @ 720p and most games are 720p so if you don't have a Blu-Ray player (Standalone/PS3) then stick with the bigger 720p.

Hope thie helps


OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

1080 is the way to go in my opinion. 1080 gets you a desktop area of 1920x1080.

More vertical display area makes webpages and other documents easier to view.

I understand the limited difference in video viewing enjoyment, but I spend more time on my media PC doing things other than viewing videos.

42 inch LCD displays for < $500 are not hard to find.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

If you don't play games anymore just buy a motherboard with onboard graphics.
I built a machine recently with an AMD 785G chipset, works great, plays Blurays and 720P rips that I have on my main machine.
Newegg.com - ASUS M4A785-M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

My personal HTPC/Media Center has an Nvidia 9300 chipset and does great with all the media I throw at it.
I have this older board, Newegg.com - ASUS P5N7A-VM LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300/nForce 730i HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

I have my HTPC hooked up to a 42" 1080P Panny Plasma.
here is an older shot of my HTPC before I bought a Bluray drive for it, was just using an Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive for it since HD-DVD's were really cheap at the time. Case is a Silverstone SUGO SG02B
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2011   #5
211

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeVandal View Post
1080 is the way to go in my opinion. 1080 gets you a desktop area of 1920x1080.

More vertical display area makes webpages and other documents easier to view.

I understand the limited difference in video viewing enjoyment, but I spend more time on my media PC doing things other than viewing videos.
I don't plan on surfing much web or viewing documents on my TV. Strictly Media Center so besides whatever media browser I'd use it would be movies only.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeVandal View Post
42 inch LCD displays for < $500 are not hard to find.
in a 120Hz model they can be.
I play a lot of online shooters (Black Ops) so I'd like to eliminate any potential motion blur.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 211 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeVandal View Post
1080 is the way to go in my opinion. 1080 gets you a desktop area of 1920x1080.

More vertical display area makes webpages and other documents easier to view.

I understand the limited difference in video viewing enjoyment, but I spend more time on my media PC doing things other than viewing videos.
I don't plan on surfing much web or viewing documents on my TV. Strictly Media Center so besides whatever media browser I'd use it would be movies only.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeVandal View Post
42 inch LCD displays for < $500 are not hard to find.
in a 120Hz model they can be.
I play a lot of online shooters (Black Ops) so I'd like to eliminate any potential motion blur.
using the 120hz feature of the HDTV can add lag to the game.

120hz computer monitor is not the same as 120/240Hz on an HDTV, 120Hz computer monitor can accept a 120Hz signal and the HDTV does internal processing to create 120Hz/240Hz.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

IMO, an LCD TV is more appropriate for mating with an HTPC. Consider one with the least response time and good viewing angle. About a year back I went in for a 42" LG LCD TV after a lot of deliberations. IMO, LG LCD panels are better than Samsung.

Here is a picture of how a webpage looks like on my LG 42LH60YR Jazz Theater(may be an India-specific version).

HDTV questions. Buying a TV with a media center PC in mind-1-25-2011-5-39-21-pm.jpg

More of my rantings and pictures here ,here and here . (may not be in chronological order)

Again, give allowance to technological changes/advances that have taken place since then such as LED backlighting, 3D etc.,

For HTPC, if you are not considering one to build, look into the Zotac website. They have mini-PCs with DVD and blu-ray drives.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2011   #8
211

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Here's a link to the TV I'm looking at.
It boasts .001 ms response time at 600hz. Not sure how that will affect gaming or make a difference in a HTPC setup...

I'd be willing to go down in size to 40" and 1080 but to stay in my pricerange I'm looking at 60hz.

Maybe someone can comment more about the refresh rate and how I'd benefit from it? I read enough about the differences but as far as real-world applications I cant compare. Most reviews I've read simply state, "if you have the option to go 120 or greater, you should".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2011   #9

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 211 View Post

I don't have BluRay and I don't have cable TV. I play Xbox360 and stream Netflix and that's about it.
From what I understand 1080p really only makes a difference with bluray since most TV (including HD) is broadcast in 720, and most games are still 720.
Honestly, for your usage needs - a 720p panel would suffice.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 211 View Post
Maybe someone can comment more about the refresh rate and how I'd benefit from it? I read enough about the differences but as far as real-world applications I cant compare. Most reviews I've read simply state, "if you have the option to go 120 or greater, you should".
Keep in mind that when connecting to a PC, you are still essentially limited to typical monitor refresh rates.

ie I have a 58" Samsung Plasma connected via DVI>HDMI and my max reported refresh rate is still only 1920x1080 @ 75hz.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

While increasing the refresh rate to 120Hz and 240 Hz in case of LCD TVs is justified as a means to combat motion blur, Plasma TVs which already have a good response time do not need this enhancement. So do not waste your money on 120Hz or 240Hz Plasma TV. (Whether adequate for your needs or not, I still consider Plasma TVs as a dying breed.)

You may google on this topic (120/240Hz refresh rate) to find lots of writing on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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