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Buying a monitor


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#1 cmptrgy

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 11:34 AM

I need advice on buying a new computer monitor. I've looked on line for tips but I'm getting confused on how some items are described

 

I'm going to be buying a Windows 8 computer and the intended use of the monitor I'm looking for will be for that new computer

--- I want to compare prices and specs on-line as well as local stores

 

So I'm looking for a 20" diagonal LED flat screen monitor

--- How can I tell by the specs whether or not it has touch screen capability?

--- I want it to have VGA connection and that doesn't seem like it will be a problem

------ However, what is HDMI? It appears to me the benefit of HDMI is in case I ever want to connect to my TV

------ If that's true, does that mean I can use the TV as a monitor or watch downloaded movies from Netflix etc on my TV instead of on the computer monitor?

--- Then there's DVI-D's

------ I still can't figure what's the benefit there. Can you please let me know?

 

Then I see other specs such as aspect ratio and some others I can't recall right now, but are there some specs most important to be aware of?



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#2 bory504

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:09 PM

For the most part it should not be that hard to pick one out.

 

In the specs area of the product you are looking at, it should definately say wether or not it is touchscreen. All depends on what you are actually using the computer for. As far as VGA goes, you shouldnt have a problem getting a monitor with VGA, but keep in mind that there are more and more monitors coming out with just DVI and HDMI connections on it; same thing with computers so keep an eye on that. The main differences between VGA, DVI and HDMI are quality, reponse time, refresh rate, resolution, and sound. VGA being the oldest and poorest quality; DVI having better quality and response time/refresh rate; and HDMI having overall the best quality, response time/refresh rate and can possibly transfer sound. You can hook up your computer to a TV with any of these 3 ports in several different ways if you wanted to. Again, it all depends on what you want to do and what you are using the computer for.


Sincerely, Blake.

7 year Computer Hardware + Software Technician.

Operations Technician at a retail company.

Rhythm guitarist for the band Headspill.

:guitar: 


#3 cmptrgy

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 06:18 PM

Thank you for your response. One of my friends bought a new Windows 8 computer last month that included a monitor in the package deal. What she didn't realize was that the monitor wasn't touch screem capable.

--- The monitor has VGA & HDMI ports

--- When she asked what those meant, she was told to use VGA for the monitor to computer display and use the HDMI for the monitor to TV display

------ The computer tower does not have an HDMI port, only VGA

And I've had friends ask me what HDMI and/or DVI are for; I couldn't answer other than they are better technology than VGA. That's ok, now it's my turn to know what I'm buying and I'll be fine figuring that out now

--- So maybe I'll wait & buy a computer/monitor package myself but I'll make sure I know what I'm buying as I have found some deals on-line and it's pretty easy comparing their specs

--- Although descriptions of specs on-line can be confusing at times depending on the presenters point of view, they are more confusing when checking out thproducts in a store if I'm going in blind. That's ok, I'll take off my blinders


Edited by hamluis, 12 September 2013 - 03:41 PM.


#4 bory504

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:35 AM

Ya if the back of the computer doesnt have an HDMI port, just use the VGA. To make a a little easier, in most cases you want a monitor with a high contrast ratio and a low response time. Being that most places are starting to have more and more LED monitors, thats not even something major you have to worry about anymore. You can get a really good monitor for like $150.00 nowadays.


Edited by hamluis, 12 September 2013 - 03:41 PM.
PM sent re signature - Hamluis.

Sincerely, Blake.

7 year Computer Hardware + Software Technician.

Operations Technician at a retail company.

Rhythm guitarist for the band Headspill.

:guitar: 


#5 smax013

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:29 AM

I need advice on buying a new computer monitor. I've looked on line for tips but I'm getting confused on how some items are described
 
I'm going to be buying a Windows 8 computer and the intended use of the monitor I'm looking for will be for that new computer
--- I want to compare prices and specs on-line as well as local stores
 
So I'm looking for a 20" diagonal LED flat screen monitor
--- How can I tell by the specs whether or not it has touch screen capability?


Generally, if you are buying just a computer monitor, then it should be pretty obvious in the specs whether or not it is touchscreen. Most places tend to be pretty good at indicating that, but it will depend on the site. If you are unsure, then you can always look up the monitor another online store site or even the manufacturer's website.

--- I want it to have VGA connection and that doesn't seem like it will be a problem
------ However, what is HDMI? It appears to me the benefit of HDMI is in case I ever want to connect to my TV
------ If that's true, does that mean I can use the TV as a monitor or watch downloaded movies from Netflix etc on my TV instead of on the computer monitor?
--- Then there's DVI-D's
------ I still can't figure what's the benefit there. Can you please let me know?
 
Then I see other specs such as aspect ratio and some others I can't recall right now, but are there some specs most important to be aware of?


The obvious difference between VGA, DVI and HDMI (and DisplayPort...if you want to add to the confusion by tossing in another monitor connection type) is the physical connector. They all use a different connector.

The next difference is that VGA is an analog connection, HDMI is a digital connection, and DVI can be either an analog or digital connection (i.e. there is DVI-D and DVI-A).

For all intents and purposes, which one you use is usually more dictated by what ports you have on your computer. You will want a monitor that have the same connection type. You can potentially use adapters depending on the situation (for example, if the monitor supports DVI-A and you have a VGA port on your computer, then you can use a VGA to DVI-A cable or adapter to connect your computer to the DVI-A port...there are other examples).

I will note that DVI-D and HDMI are more or less interchangeable in many ways. In other words, you can usually use an HDMI to DVI cable or DVI to HDMI cable. The only issues are that HDMI can also carry audio while DVI cannot. And some DVI connections may not support HDCP (copy protection), while most HDMI connections do.

The other way to look at it is that VGA and DVI are both meant to be computer video connections, while HDMI was made for use with TV video (and audio) connections. This distinction has been blurred, however, as there are many computers that have HDMI ports and many HDTVs might have a VGA or even a DVI port for hooking up computers.

#6 dpunisher

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 12:21 PM

Its a sin to have a nice LED monitor, and use a VGA connector on it.  Couple years ago I set up a new system for a client with a top of the line 16-9 24" LCD (big bucks $400+ back then).  Got everything set up, connecting cables, hooked up the DVI cable to the monitor, wiggled under the desk to hook it to the tower and..........only a VGA connector w onboard video.  I cried a little bit.  Hooked up the VGA to that nice monitor, and it was sad.  The client was happy as hell because they didn't know better so I let them be happy and kept my mouth shut.

 

Touch monitors will usually have a USB cable as well so the "touch" portion works.  HDMI is nice if your monitor has speakers as the HDMI cable carries audio as well.  Ditto on the HDCP posted above.


I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#7 bory504

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 01:49 PM

A friend of mine had a custom built system hooked up to a 42" TV and the resolution + response time was HORRIBLE. I looked around, sure enough he had VGA hooked up. His graphics card had a mini HDMI port on it, and the cable was in his closet................... so.. I got the HDMI cable, hooked it up, and the picture would like to blind you and the response time was amazingly better. Tested it playing Tribes Ascend. Such a big difference.


Sincerely, Blake.

7 year Computer Hardware + Software Technician.

Operations Technician at a retail company.

Rhythm guitarist for the band Headspill.

:guitar: 





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