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.