TVs as Monitors for Text Work?

icor1031

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I can't find a monitor that I like. I have three LG 4k monitors right now, and they're decent, but their contrast ratio is only ~800-1,100:1. Plus there's no BFI, ULMB, etc. for when I want to play games.

What's it like to use 4k TVs as monitors? I like sharp text, so I'd set them far enough away to take the same portion of my vision as my monitors do.

They'd mostly be used for studying and for programming.

Thoughts? Would I hate it, love it? Why?
 

Mad Maxx

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I've been using 4K TVs as monitors since 2015. I'm a writer, so clear readable text is vitally important to my work. too. I've found 43" to be the sweet spot for my uses. Any bigger and I get some neck strain from looking up constantly. I now have a 43" Samsung Q60R and it's the best I've ever used for work and gaming.
 

icor1031

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I've been using 4K TVs as monitors since 2015. I'm a writer, so clear readable text is vitally important to my work. too. I've found 43" to be the sweet spot for my uses. Any bigger and I get some neck strain from looking up constantly. I now have a 43" Samsung Q60R and it's the best I've ever used for work and gaming.

Thanks! How far away did you set yours? I want to use you as a reference point.
 

Mad Maxx

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Thanks! How far away did you set yours? I want to use you as a reference point.
I'm about 2 feet away. Here's my setup...

249920_q60r.jpg
 
D

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I’m using a Vizio e43-f1 as a monitor. It’s about 2.5’ viewing distance. I find I have to move my neck just enough for it to strain a little... another 2-3” back, or a 40” screen instead of 43”, would probably be a little better for me.

I actually run the screen at 200% magnification, so effectively I’m getting a very clear 1080p display. I could probably do 150% magnification if I had it a little closer, but then it takes up a bit too much of my field of view to be comfortable.

I’m really happy with it, though I expect image clarity / color on their newer m-series quantum (and the aforementioned Samsung Q60R series) would be even better. I bought it to have clear text for reading and writing and it has been wonderful for that. It has also been nice the few times I’ve been able to play a game on it. Nice for movies too.

just make sure you’ve got an HDMI 2.0 output for 4k60. Any earlier revision will be limited to 30hz refresh at 4K.
 

Mad Maxx

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That's really close. Do you think you'd like it at 2x that distance?
No, that'd be too far back for me. It really comes down to personal preference, so the only way to know for certain is to try for yourself.
 

icor1031

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No, that'd be too far back for me. It really comes down to personal preference, so the only way to know for certain is to try for yourself.

Yeah, just trying to get an idea before spending the money. Though, I've been looking at TVs and I don't think I can find one that I want. Their input delay is too high, or they have poor color gamut coverage (I'm a portraitist), etc. The Vizio M is very close to what I want, but it has input delay over 20ms.
 

candre23

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Thanks! How far away did you set yours? I want to use you as a reference point.
I've been using large 4k panels at work and home for many years. I sit at just over arms-reach (~3ft) from the panel, and I don't really have to move my head at all. I have to move my eyes, obviously, but it's really not difficult or annoying. Frankly, I don't think I could ever go back to small displays again. I'm downright annoyed when I have to get any kind of work done away from my desk on a laptop with a puny 17" panel mere 1080p resolution.




I now have a 43" Samsung Q60R and it's the best I've ever used for work and gaming.
Do you not find the BGR subpixel layout to be problematic for text? I know it bugs the hell out of me on my (cheap) 43" TCL monitor at work.
 

Luke M

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Do you not find the BGR subpixel layout to be problematic for text? I know it bugs the hell out of me on my (cheap) 43" TCL monitor at work.

Makes no difference unless you're using subpixel antialiasing (called Cleartype in Windows) with wrong settings. Either turn it off, or use correct settings.
 

FrgMstr

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I sit ~34 inches away from my 48" Samsung JS9000. I have written and edited a LOT of text over the last 3 years on this screen and love it. And pretty awesome for gaming as well.

IMG_20191107_174248.jpg
 

FrgMstr

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If there is no difference between TV and Monitor then why doesn't everyone pay so much less buy a TV and use as monitor. Monitors are more expensive then TVs twice the size of monitor. Its different technology,, Im not saying youll go blind like that Im just saying it will be hard on the eyes.
I may not know much about tech, but I know my JS900 TV has been a great monitor for me for desktop work and gaming.
 

amittalkin

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I am using Samsung 4k TV as monitor for like 3 years now. I love it! Initially it took me some time to get used to it, but now I cant think of going back to smaller display.
 

kasakka

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If there is no difference between TV and Monitor then why doesn't everyone pay so much less buy a TV and use as monitor. Monitors are more expensive then TVs twice the size of monitor. Its different technology,, Im not saying youll go blind like that Im just saying it will be hard on the eyes.

Because people can't fit a huge TV on their desk or move it enough far away to make it comfortable to use. TVs also don't support high refresh rates for their native resolutions but that will chance in a few years.

The underlying technology is exactly the same as desktop monitors. The reason why TVs are much cheaper is because they are a mass market product compared to computer displays. Likewise it's easier to manufacture them at large sizes with low pixel density compared to the same resolution at a much smaller size.

TVs and desktop displays are slowly converging together and when you can get top tier tech like OLEDs in sizes that are more reasonable for desktop use (no larger than 43" 4K in my opinion) it might indeed be a better move to buy a TV than a display meant primarily for computer use.
 

Peat Moss

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Wait....text is sharper on TVs ?? Seriously?

I can see how text would be larger (and thus easier to read), but actually 'sharper'?
 

kasakka

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Wait....text is sharper on TVs ?? Seriously?

I can see how text would be larger (and thus easier to read), but actually 'sharper'?

Text is not sharper on TV. There is literally no difference to the tech running most TVs vs monitors.

How sharp text is depends on several factors: resolution, screen size and viewing distance. 4K TVs are usually both large and high res. Because they are large you have to look at them further away, which means you won't be able to see individual pixels.

On the flip side you could have a 27" 4K monitor. This display on the other hand has so small pixels that it is most likely a bit uncomfortable without using DPI scaling to enlarge text and UI. But this allows you to keep it at regular viewing distance and just scale everything up to a comfortable level. The drawback is less desktop space but the plus side is that you have more small pixels representing text and thus sharper text.

Depending on your situation you might want to use DPI scaling on both of our example displays. Desktop displays because the pixels are too small and you don't want to bring the screen any closer. TVs because they have to be put further away or else you are moving your head like an owl to look at the corners.
 
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