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Equipment Question: Using Full HD TV instead of PC monitor?
Thread poster: Claire Fumoleau-Itani
Claire Fumoleau-Itani  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
English to French
+ ...
Oct 20, 2014

Dear Group,


I recently switched from PC to Mac. I bought a Retina-Display MacBook Pro laptop which I use as a CPU when I am home.
I am very happy with it despite having to upgrade quite a few peripherals, and next on my list is my "old" monitor (5 years old) that is really not doing justice to the top screen resolution.
Because of budget constraints, I cannot buy a matching top-end monitor.
I have been advised to buy a medium-range Full HD TV which will do the job provided the resolution is high enough and the refresh rate satisfactory.

This one ticks all the boxes (incl. 1920 x 1080 resolution) but I wonder if this is suitable for a 6-hour daily use 6 days/week.
SEIKI 24-inch Widescreen 1080p Full HD LED TV with Built In DVD Player and Freeview https://digitalpromo.co.uk/seiki-24-inch-widescreen-1080p-full-hd-led-tv-with-built-in-dvd-player-and-freeview-hd.html#product_tabs_description_tabbed


Has any of use chosen a Full HD TV over a PC monitor for work? If you have, are you happy with it? Aren't your eyes feeling any sort of strain? Which one have you bought?


Many thanks in advance,
Have a lovely week-end!


Kind regards,


Claire Fumoleau-Itani


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:20
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Think again! Oct 20, 2014

I strongly recommend this monitor:

http://www.macworld.co.uk/review/displays/benq-gw2760hs-27-inch-monitor-review-outstanding-quality-price-3465425/

Note the editorial comment "So what we have here is a 27-inch monitor that’s technically on par with the Apple Cinema Display (SRP £899) with a matte screen for just £210."

I am using one with a MacMini and after making the initial adjustments, I have to say the performance is superb - much better than the poor performance I get from my Sony HD TV (which I also use, but only for watching movies). NB you may need to buy a Thunderbolt adaptor but they only cost pennies on eBay.

PS I got mine for £168.00 via Amazon.

[Edited at 2014-10-20 08:19 GMT]


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 12:20
English to German
Are TVs really cheaper than comparable PC monitors? Oct 20, 2014

Claire Fumoleau-Itani wrote:

This one ticks all the boxes (incl. 1920 x 1080 resolution) but I wonder if this is suitable for a 6-hour daily use 6 days/week.


It is more expensive than comparable PC monitors (offered by that dealer), anyway. But your point is budget, isn't it?

Make sure that your PC provides an HDMI output. otherwise most TV screens will stay dark.


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Claire Fumoleau-Itani  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you to Tom& Rolf + Extra info please Tom :-) Oct 20, 2014

Thank you for your prompt replies, Tom & Rolf.

Tom, I just had a look at the monitor you recommend and yes, it seems brilliant. Thanks for this!
I've got a "MiniDisplay Port to VGA Adapter" which I bought from Apple, will it do? Or do I need to buy the "Thunderbolt to HDMI Adapter" Sorry for my ignorance, I am still getting my head around Apple's terminology, peripherals & functions

Also, what do you mean by "initial adjustments"? If you had a "quick guide" to these, it would be fab...

Thanks in advance & Kind regards,
Claire


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Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:20
Member (2002)
English to German
Go for it Oct 20, 2014

I've been happily using a 42" TV for work for several years, and I am seriously considering upgrading to a 50" or 55" UHD TV, which has four times the pixels of a regular Full HD TV. When it comes to avoiding eye strain, there's nothing like being able to put the screen more than one meter away from your eyes.

While Rolf is right that a HDMI output on your computer is the easiest way to connect, you can buy DVI-HDMI or Displayport-HDMI adapters for next to nothing, so basically any digital output (i.e. not analogue VGA) will do. I am using a DVI-HDMI adapter myself. Apparently though, not all HDMI adapters and not all HDMI cables work equally well, so you might have to either do some research or accept some trial and error.

There are some other caveats though. Some TVs refuse to output the pixels 1:1 as they receive them from the computer, insisting on "enhancing" the image by either oversharpening the pixels, which give you halos on high-contrast edges, or by simplifying the colors that are output. Look for chroma subsampling if you need more details; computer monitors use no subsampling (4:4:4), some TVs use 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 - see this thread. But I believe newer sets should be better than those from a few years ago when I was shopping for them. If you can, choose a set that has been confirmed to work well with computers, or make sure you can return it if you are not happy with the output. Or take your laptop along and test it in the store.

And finally, the most annoying thing about my own TV screen is that it does not switch to energy-saving standby mode on its own when I switch the computer off or when the screen is blanked as per power management options. So I'm having to switch it on and off manually a lot. Also, if I forget to switch the TV back on before waking the computer up, it thinks the TV screen is gone and it resets the desktop to using just the laptop's integrated screen, which involves a lot of flickering and a few seconds of waiting, only to reset it back to two screens (either manually or if you are lucky, automatically) a few seconds later.

So there might be some loss of convenience (though newer sets are hopefully better also in that regard – if you go to a store, be sure to test that aspect), but for me, it's definitely worth it.

Good luck,
Endre

[Bearbeitet am 2014-10-20 09:35 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:20
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Extra info Oct 20, 2014

Claire Fumoleau-Itani wrote:

Thank you for your prompt replies, Tom & Rolf.

Tom, I just had a look at the monitor you recommend and yes, it seems brilliant. Thanks for this!
I've got a "MiniDisplay Port to VGA Adapter" which I bought from Apple, will it do? Or do I need to buy the "Thunderbolt to HDMI Adapter" Sorry for my ignorance, I am still getting my head around Apple's terminology, peripherals & functions

Also, what do you mean by "initial adjustments"? If you had a "quick guide" to these, it would be fab...

Thanks in advance & Kind regards,
Claire


Initial adjustments: fiddling with the settings on the display and in your System Preferences--> displays on the Mac, until you've got the colour temperature/brightness/contrast the way you want it.

Adaptor: my BenQ display was delivered with an HDMI connector only and I had to buy a Thunderbolt to DVI cable converter like this:

http://tinyurl.com/lrm6ror

As you can see, it's cheap....if you don't buy it from Apple !

[Edited at 2014-10-20 09:42 GMT]


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:20
Finnish to French
Retina 5K Oct 20, 2014

Tom in London wrote:
As you can see, it's cheap....if you don't buy it from Apple !

Yes, but I'm sure you secretly lust for the new iMac Retina 5K display (5120 x 2880)


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 12:20
English to German
Don't use VGA Oct 20, 2014

Claire Fumoleau-Itani wrote:

I've got a "MiniDisplay Port to VGA Adapter" which I bought from Apple, will it do?


Don't use VGA anymore. With PCs, VGA is a totally outdated standard and provides bad viewing quality.

[Bearbeitet am 2014-10-20 11:49 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:20
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Nope Oct 20, 2014

Dominique Pivard wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
As you can see, it's cheap....if you don't buy it from Apple !

Yes, but I'm sure you secretly lust for the new iMac Retina 5K display (5120 x 2880)


No. Actually I don't. I can't stand glossy displays.


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:20
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Glossy displays Oct 20, 2014

Tom in London wrote:

No. Actually I don't. I can't stand glossy displays.


My thoughts exactly - I can't understand why people keep buying them ...


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:20
German to Spanish
Same Oct 21, 2014

Tom in London wrote:

Dominique Pivard wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
As you can see, it's cheap....if you don't buy it from Apple !

Yes, but I'm sure you secretly lust for the new iMac Retina 5K display (5120 x 2880)


No. Actually I don't. I can't stand glossy displays.


neither do I

For professionals working in Photography/video may be a good option, but not sure if iMac is professional enough for this. I think the target group are, as in the last 5 years, kids and families for applications like Netflix, etc.

For translators, working in a a bright environment, a matte monitor is the best thing.

Happy with my 27" DELL (2550 pixels are more than enough and matte!)



[Edited at 2014-10-21 07:51 GMT]


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:20
Finnish to French
iMac for professional use Oct 21, 2014

Fernando Toledo wrote:
For professionals working in Photography/video may be a good option, but not sure if iMac is professional enough for this. I think the target group are, as in the last 5 years, kids and families for applications like Netflix, etc.

FWIW, I know plenty of translators who are using an iMac as their main computer. And why wouldn't it be "professional enough" for photography/video?


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:20
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Mac user Oct 21, 2014

As a Mac user since 1995, I would never try to use an iMac for one simple reason: it has a glossy display. In every other sense it's an excellent professional-level computer with very high performance. See https://www.apple.com/uk/imac/specs/

What a pity I can't use it!

Alas, PC users tend to think that because Macs don't go wrong and are easy to use, they're for children. Only a computer that goes wrong and requires the frequent intervention of a "technician" is a serious computer.

[Edited at 2014-10-21 09:31 GMT]


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:20
German to Spanish
Maybe Oct 21, 2014

Dominique Pivard wrote:

Fernando Toledo wrote:
For professionals working in Photography/video may be a good option, but not sure if iMac is professional enough for this. I think the target group are, as in the last 5 years, kids and families for applications like Netflix, etc.

FWIW, I know plenty of translators who are using an iMac as their main computer. And why wouldn't it be "professional enough" for photography/video?




cause a professional graphic card cost the same as the whole iMac?


Anyway, I think it is a bad idea to buy a "all in one" computer. My monitor will do a good job for at least 10-15 years (I hope) but computers I change every 3-4 years. iMac (all Macs now) has "solded" parts so you can not upgrade it, even the new Mini is with soldered RAM, you can not change it anymore with cheap NON Apple modules, for 4 GB more RAM they want to have now 200 €!!

I am happy I get the last Macbook Pro (with i7) where you can do a lot. I buy it with 8 GB RAM and 750 GB HD for a reasonable price. But now I have 16 GB RAM + 500 GB SSD + the 750 GB HD (instead the CD Unit). This upgrade cost 320 €, if I have to buy this extra configuration in Appel it is al least 1500 € more.





[Edited at 2014-10-21 10:17 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-10-21 10:25 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:20
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes you CAN upgrade the RAM in an iMac - and it doesn't have to be from Apple Oct 21, 2014

http://www.macrumors.com/2014/10/17/owc-ram-kits-retina-imac/

However you're right about the other iMac models. Like you, I have a MacBook Pro in which I've changed the hard drive and the RAM. Too bad if that's no longer possible. What is Apple thinking of?

I'm not an Apple worshipper at all but I like the operating system far better than Windows.

[Edited at 2014-10-21 10:26 GMT]


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