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Beyond HDTV monitors



With the house fire, I'm in the market for a new monitor - so I dropped in at my local Best Buy to get a feel for what is available. I felt like I was buying a Model T - I could have any size I wanted, as long as it was 1920x1080. I've since confirmed this via Newegg - there are a few 1920x1200 (all 24" 16:10 so I suspect they are the same panel) and a few 2560x1440 or x1600, but the majority are 1920x1080.


Now I understand the economics at work - HDTVs use the same panels and they don't need more than 1920x1080 for their content. So it's cheaper to use the same panel for both solutions.


Now, I should be overjoyed with 1920x1080 considering the number of years I used 640x480 (and even lower if I consider the A2 and CoCo). And I probably won't be wanting in most cases. But I do start to wonder if trying to get the biggest monitor within my budget might backfire. Is 27" too large at 1920x1080? IIRC the original Macs assumed 72dpi, which means I could go up to 30" !!!


Speaking of Macs, one upshot of sticking with 1920x1080 is that's the max resolution for the Mac Mini over HDMI. Going higher (up to 2560x1600) requires a DisplayPort (or Thunderbolt).


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Most of our 27" monitors at work are Dell U2711s, and are 2560x1440.


However, they're crap. Incredibly unreliable. Decent picture though when they work, but their failure rate is completely unacceptable.


I run a vintage 30" Apple Cinema Display @ 2560x1600 at work, which I dread having to replace someday if/when it fails. Best monitor I've ever had.


I have a 27" iMac at home, which is 2560x1440, and has an excellent picture. I would assume Apple's current Thunderbolt Display is comparable in quality.


I'd have a hard time working only at 1920x1080 on a 27" display. I'm completely spoiled for pixels now, and I'd take even more if I could get 'em. However I've found a 30" monitor is about as large as I can effectively use as a desktop display, since that pretty-much fills my usable field-of-vision.

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This is probably useless information, but I'll post it just in case. I'm using a 32 inch Samsung LCD HDTV as my monitor at 1360 x 768 right now. Looks like I have room for a larger HDTV, though. It probably can't be any larger than 40 inches. A larger HDTV would be nice since I also play Xbox 360 games on it. I sit in a La-Z-Boy Rocker Recliner instead of a computer chair, so I'm guessing that my eyes are about 5 to 6 feet away from the screen.

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I've been disappointed with the resolution logjam as well. I suspect the "any size you want at 1080" will go away once "retina" monitors take off.

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I switched to projectors years ago. Never looked back. Never pined for 4096x9078 resolution. Once you have a wall as your screen nothing else matters.

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I have an HP ZR2440w and I'm happy with it. It has the LED backlight and my previous monitor was flourescent and had banding issues pretty much from day 1.


What I wanted in a monitor was 1920x1200 because I sometimes like to capture things in FRAPS (like Star Trek Online) and want the taskbar masked out of my video. It's hard to find that resolution nowadays. It's near extinct. Had I not upgraded now, I probably wouldn't be able to find that resolution later. Others may not care so much for the extra pixels. Your mileage may vary.

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Once you have a wall as your screen nothing else matters.

Hmm... a nice idea if I had an empty wall (ideally in a darkened room).



I have an HP ZR2440w and I'm happy with it. It has the LED backlight and my previous monitor was flourescent and had banding issues pretty much from day 1.

There are 20 1920x1200 monitors on Newegg.ca, all of them 24", including your HP (C$400). The cheapest is a C$300 Samsung.

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I was looking at some monitors last night, when I realized that since I'm basically restricted to 1920x1080 and will be using HDMI anyway there's no reason I can't use an HDTV instead of a monitor. (Plus HDTVs have built-in speakers.)

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Yesterday I had a flash of the obvious and hooked my netbook up to the 39" 1920x1080 HDTV in the bedroom. (Yes, it's stupidly big for a bedroom TV. And it cost me less than C$300 - Insignia model on sale at Best Buy.) After I configured Win7 to scale the display by 150% it became surprisingly usable sitting on the edge of the bed.


So now that that test is successful, I'm thinking the next step is to buy the Mac mini and hook it up in the bedroom.

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