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Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 04, 2020 09:20AM
(I posted this on a different forum, and though my friends here at MRF might find it useable for yourselves or those you advise. Feedback and comments are welcome!)

Basically there are two types of screens TN and IPS, and their variants. TN is cheaper and can refresh faster; IPS is brighter when viewed off-axis and can have a broader color gamut.

Most of that is irrelevant unless you are working professionally/advanced amateur on graphics or video or are a gamer; gamers like TN because it refreshes faster. The general consensus is that IPS is better for most people, but perhaps not better enough to overcome its somewhat higher cost. YMMV.

If you want to dive into this stuff, a great starting point is rtings.com

If you're talking 4K resolution, to get anything faster than 60hz costs a LOT more money, especially in IPS.

Some people get a 4k monitor but then don't use it at native resolution; rather, they use those tiny pixels to give a smoother impression at a lower effective resolution. Think of it this way. A 4k screen is 3840x2160 pixels. If you run it at native resolution for a circle, you'll be able to see every little stair step between pixels on the periphery (if you're close enough to the screen). If you tell the use those pixels to emulate, say, 1920x1080 pixels, then the screen will be able to show less content, but it will appear smoother. here's an image that shows the difference. If you imagine that you have a screen that's only 2.54 cm (1 inch) wide, you can see that the screen on the left is using 48 pixels for the image, while the screen on the righ is using 316 pixels to produce the same shape and sized image as the screen on the right, but the image on the right is much smoother.

Now imagine that your screen is, say, 15 inches wide by 1 inch tall. If you use the “smoothing” effect, you’ll be able to show the image 15 times. But if you don’t use the smoothing effect, and show the image with the same number of pixels as in the 10 PPI image, you’ll be able to show 30 images, but they will be much smaller. The same thing applies to the vertical dimension.



{DANG! it looks like the image isn't showing up; anybody know how to fix that? Thanks}

Lots of folks like that smoothness. You can buy a 27" 4k monitor to get that right now for about $250. So if you use the smoothing effect, images will be the same size as they are on a 27” 1920x1080 monitor, but much smoother.

But I don’t care about smoothness! For the work I do, I care about how much information I can throw up on the screen! So instead of buying a 27” 4K monitor and luxuriating in the smoothness, for the same $250 I bought a 43” 4k TV, and I run it not at the 1920 x 1080 resolution, but at the full 3840x2160 resolution. I don’t get the smoothness, but I can put four times as many words or numbers up on the screen! By using a 43” screen, I get about the same lack of smoothness as on my old 1920x1080 monitor, which was acceptable for me, and I effectively have four monitors on one screen. That's a lot of information on one screen.

That's what I'm doing. I get the equivalent of 4 monitors, without the cabling and port hassles, and without the transition of moving documents from one physical monitor to another. Or when I have a huge spreadsheet, I can simultaneous see 58 columns with 12 characters per column! The one down side is that the edges and corners are a bit hard to view, so I bought a pivoting stand, which I use a couple of times day.

Some may quibble and say, “Well don’t you really want a 49” 4k monitor to get the equivalent of 4 24” monitors.” Those folks have a point, but it’s irrelevant for me. I tried that, and the problem is that the edges of the monitor are too far away from the center of the monitor, where I sit. I found myself moving the chair over to the edges of the monitor to be able to see the edges clearly.

So my take is that for edge cases (hard-core gamers, designers, etc.), yes there is a difference between 4k monitors and TVs. For most of us, not so much. Depending on your use case, the TV is a much, much better value. For instance, a 4k 43" monitor is about $800; usable TVs are about $250-300.

For my money, I’d buy either the 40” Class V from Vizio, or the 43” UM7300 LG. The Vizio is TN but slightly smaller; the LG is IPS but slightly larger.

Oh--and you'll need to attach these with an HDMI connector, which most modern computers/video cards have.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2020 10:35AM by anonymouse1.
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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: Rolando
Date: October 04, 2020 10:06AM
How far away are yours screens from your eyes? My concern would be brightness....
I have 2 20" 1080p screens about 18 in from my eyes,

A 40" at that range would be too bright?

A little quick math tells me a 28" screen would have roughly the same display area as 2x20",

but the pixels would either be too small (4k) or big/smooth (1080).



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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: GGD
Date: October 04, 2020 10:12AM
Quote
anonymouse1

[forums.macresource.com]

{DANG! it looks like the image isn't showing up; anybody know how to fix that? Thanks}

You need to bracket that URL with [ img ] and [ /img ] (spaces removed)
Quote my post and you'll see.

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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 04, 2020 10:19AM
Reminds me of an arguement I had with a video teacher back in 2013. She was upgrading computers and got a mac pro for the editing station. She then bought two Apple 27" screens to edit on. The finished material would then be broadcast to classrooms using epson projectors.

I told her she was wasting on money on the screens. She should just buy a couple 32"/40" TV's since the final product was going to be garbage in any case. Then use the savings to buy another student iMac and camera.

she ignored me and bought the monitors because the salesperson said they would be better. RollingEyesSmiley5



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 04, 2020 10:35AM
Perfect-thanks!
Quote
GGD
Quote
anonymouse1

[forums.macresource.com]

{DANG! it looks like the image isn't showing up; anybody know how to fix that? Thanks}

You need to bracket that URL with [ img ] and [ /img ] (spaces removed)
Quote my post and you'll see.

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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 04, 2020 10:36AM
Fortunately, brightness is adjustable.
Quote
Rolando
How far away are yours screens from your eyes? My concern would be brightness....
I have 2 20" 1080p screens about 18 in from my eyes,

A 40" at that range would be too bright?

A little quick math tells me a 28" screen would have roughly the same display area as 2x20",

but the pixels would either be too small (4k) or big/smooth (1080).
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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: jdc
Date: October 04, 2020 11:16AM
Maybe you arent aware, or maybe a point of clarification -- any decent 27" screen is 2560 x 1440, not 1920 x 1080.

For example, original 27" iMacs. Now 5K tho, so It can run higher.

Technically I can run 5120 x 2880 on my 5K iMac, but choose 2560 x 1440 to get nice middle ground. Its too small to read at the 5K size, so I could see how if it was a 42" screen, that could be easier to read.

If the goal was max pixels, even 2 non 4K 27" screens side by side would technically get you 5120 x 1440.

Left is full 5K resolution (I think, did it quick) -- a 29 MB screen shot. the right is what I run, 2560 x 1440 -- a 14 MB screen shot, less pixels...)





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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: October 04, 2020 11:48AM
Quote
Ombligo
Reminds me of an arguement I had with a video teacher back in 2013. She was upgrading computers and got a mac pro for the editing station. She then bought two Apple 27" screens to edit on. The finished material would then be broadcast to classrooms using epson projectors.

I told her she was wasting on money on the screens. She should just buy a couple 32"/40" TV's since the final product was going to be garbage in any case. Then use the savings to buy another student iMac and camera.

she ignored me and bought the monitors because the salesperson said they would be better. RollingEyesSmiley5

You were wrong.

The rule is to do your editing with the highest quality and on the best display that you can.

Making sh!tty video from the start ensures that you have sh!tty video at the end and you'd be locking her into a sh!tty video workflow.

If they ever upgraded the Epson projectors, a good source video might look much better after the upgrade, but in your model everything would continue to be sh!tty because it was sh!tty from the start.



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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 04, 2020 01:00PM
Sure, that was just simplifying for the sake fo the explanation.

As for dual 2560x1440, that's definitely more horizontally, but then you're looking at a span of about 50", which is WAY too wide (unless you angle the monitors, which has its own issues). And you're still about 33% shorter than 4k. So while dual 2k monitors is viable, it's not the best choice for me, nor for most.

Also, if I want to watch a movie on my computer monitor, that's much nicer on the 40" or 43" 4K than on a 2k!

Quote
jdc
Maybe you arent aware, or maybe a point of clarification -- any decent 27" screen is 2560 x 1440, not 1920 x 1080.

For example, original 27" iMacs. Now 5K tho, so It can run higher.

Technically I can run 5120 x 2880 on my 5K iMac, but choose 2560 x 1440 to get nice middle ground. Its too small to read at the 5K size, so I could see how if it was a 42" screen, that could be easier to read.

If the goal was max pixels, even 2 non 4K 27" screens side by side would technically get you 5120 x 1440.

Left is full 5K resolution (I think, did it quick) -- a 29 MB screen shot. the right is what I run, 2560 x 1440 -- a 14 MB screen shot, less pixels...)

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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: jdc
Date: October 04, 2020 01:27PM
Quote
anonymouse1
Sure, that was just simplifying for the sake fo the explanation.

Of course. Just an open thought thread. =)

Im running 3 screens on a corner desk, 27+ 27 + 24 -- and yea, its a lot of space.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 04, 2020 01:59PM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
Ombligo
Reminds me of an arguement I had with a video teacher back in 2013. She was upgrading computers and got a mac pro for the editing station. She then bought two Apple 27" screens to edit on. The finished material would then be broadcast to classrooms using epson projectors.

I told her she was wasting on money on the screens. She should just buy a couple 32"/40" TV's since the final product was going to be garbage in any case. Then use the savings to buy another student iMac and camera.

she ignored me and bought the monitors because the salesperson said they would be better. RollingEyesSmiley5

You were wrong.




The rule is to do your editing with the highest quality and on the best display that you can.

Making sh!tty video from the start ensures that you have sh!tty video at the end and you'd be locking her into a sh!tty video workflow.

If they ever upgraded the Epson projectors, a good source video might look much better after the upgrade, but in your model everything would continue to be sh!tty because it was sh!tty from the start.


In a normal work environment that might be true. I'm in a high school. Eight years later, we are still using the same projectors in most classrooms. The only change is some rooms now get a 40" Vizio set. The next idea is just to stream to the student iPads.

They also weren't using HD cameras. If I recall, they were using flipcam knockoffs.

So the TV's would have been plenty of quality



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: October 04, 2020 02:02PM
Quote
anonymouse1
Basically there are two types of screens TN and IPS, and their variants. TN is cheaper and can refresh faster; IPS is brighter when viewed off-axis and can have a broader color gamut.

Or 3. I'm viewing this on a VA monitor. VA has 3x higher native contrast than IPS or TN, comes in between them on viewing angles, but has relatively slow panel speed for dark level changes, which is most noticeable on dark games with high refresh rates, like 100+Hz.
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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 04, 2020 03:31PM
VA is a TN variant, no?
Quote
Lew Zealand
Quote
anonymouse1
Basically there are two types of screens TN and IPS, and their variants. TN is cheaper and can refresh faster; IPS is brighter when viewed off-axis and can have a broader color gamut.

Or 3. I'm viewing this on a VA monitor. VA has 3x higher native contrast than IPS or TN, comes in between them on viewing angles, but has relatively slow panel speed for dark level changes, which is most noticeable on dark games with high refresh rates, like 100+Hz.
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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: ADent
Date: October 05, 2020 01:57AM
Been using a Samsung 40" 4K monitor for a few years - $289 - that was cheap back then.

Using 3840x2160 at 60Hz.

It would be nice to use Displayport monitor instead of HDMI, but it works fine - esp with the current graphics card. The old one would wig out momentarily occasionally.
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Re: Using a 4k TV as a computer monitor: brief overview
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: October 07, 2020 12:54PM
Quote
anonymouse1
VA is a TN variant, no?
Quote
Lew Zealand
Quote
anonymouse1
Basically there are two types of screens TN and IPS, and their variants. TN is cheaper and can refresh faster; IPS is brighter when viewed off-axis and can have a broader color gamut.

Or 3. I'm viewing this on a VA monitor. VA has 3x higher native contrast than IPS or TN, comes in between them on viewing angles, but has relatively slow panel speed for dark level changes, which is most noticeable on dark games with high refresh rates, like 100+Hz.

I watch a lot of monitor reviews nowadays (yeah, what's with that?) and they treat TN, VA, and IPS as 3 different technologies. And all 3 really do have very different strengths and weaknesses.
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