HDTV computer monitor combos offer a huge advance in their ability to save space. A TV and a computer monitor are must have’s in most homes. And if you’re living in a small house getting a combo is the ideal choice. In fact, any electronics or appliances that serve multiple purposes are a perfect match for a small house. Here’s my story with the skinny on HDTV computer monitor combos and how they can be best adapted to a small space.
Before I purchased an HDTV computer monitor combo, I discovered by accident that I could connect my computer to my new standard HDTV. It was my first flat-screen TV so I was very excited when I ran across information on this capability.
Initially, I had trouble finding the correct resolution on my computer so everything looked normal. After a couple of calls to tech support, I got it straightened out. It was great being able to toggle back and forth between using it as a computer monitor and a TV. And watching a 24” “HD” TV was a huge improvement over my 13” analog TV so I was pretty stoked.
Another new capability that I like with this configuration was the ability to use my new HDTV as the source for my computer’s audio output. That way I could get rid of my computer speakers and the bulky woofer box that took up needed space below my small (of course) desk. I really appreciated the extra space and reduced clutter.
After a while, however, I started to notice that I was feeling fatigued after working on my computer for a few hours. It felt like my eyes were being strained. I decided to do a comparison so I hooked up my computer to my old 15” flat screen monitor (no speakers) and my new HDTV and then toggled back and forth. The text and the images were much sharper on the old monitor.
At that point, I thought the only solution was to get a larger flat-screen computer monitor. So I began my research on the Internet. I quickly discovered that few, if any, of the flat-screen computer monitors on the market (Jan 2012) had speakers. These limited choices dictated that I’d be able to reduce eye fatigue but I’d have to increase clutter and give up precious space because I’d have to reconnect my computer speakers.
I found that the consensus on the Internet for using an HDTV versus a computer monitor was split about 50/50. But those who felt a computer monitor provided the best resolution and the least amount of eye fatigue were the most adamant by far. I resolved to go with a 24” flat-screen computer monitor. At least I did until I discovered the ideal solution: An HDTV computer monitor combo. I was elated by this find.
Samsung had recently introduced this new product at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas the prior year. That was perfect for me since I won’t buy any product during its first six months of production. I prefer to give the manufacturer time to work out the bugs and glitches in the product, distribution, and service. This strategy has proven to serve me very well.
Finding the Samsung HDTV computer monitor combo meant that I could use this single piece of equipment for video and audio for working on my computer, watching TV, and playing DVDs. Not only does the Samsung provide a much better resolution when using it for my computer (and TV) than my HDTV, but it also has Picture-In-Picture capability. With this, I can watch an important event on TV while I’m doing work on my computer or on the internet! This package of features is nirvana for a tiny living enthusiast like me.
I have 10 cables connecting my Samsung to all the equipment and services I mentioned above. That may seem like a lot of cables. But together they are the highest quality connection configuration which sometimes means multiple cables to a single device like a DVD player. Hooking it all up is a bit of a bear, but you quickly forget about it once you start enjoying the ability to toggle between devices with the Samsung full-featured remote.
I found an incredible deal on a 23” Samsung HDTV computer monitor combo. Although it was already on sale, the box was severely damaged so I asked for a discount and got one. The sales clerk and I checked inside to make sure there was no damage to the product before I paid for it. There was no damage so we carefully taped up the box to secure it and I took it home! I think my total savings was about $175.
Although it took me a great deal of time to figure out, I found a “minor” adjustment that is needed to correct a significant display problem. Here’s the ridiculously simple fix.
The problem involves the quality of the monitor display when using the HDMI connection, especially on the Internet. The problem is that the HDMI connection needs to be designated as a “PC” on the Samsung. Here’s how. On the remote control, press the “Source” button. Select “HDMI 1/DVI.” Press the “Tools” button. Select “Edit Name” and then select “PC.” Once I did this, the computer display was perfect.
I added another feature to make this setup even more flexible and convenient. I put the Samsung on a (Lazy Susan) turntable so that I could comfortably watch TV from other locations in the room. In effect, the turntable allows my home office to be instantly converted into a den or bedroom with a slight nudge.
I also discovered that when I was using the Samsung as a computer monitor, the turntable enables me to easily adjust the monitor to the best viewing position as I shift in my chair. This becomes particularly important when you’re doing graphic or website design work, as you can imagine.
Although I used an ordinary wooden kitchen turntable, the way that I set it all up didn’t look ordinary at all. The Samsung comes with an attractive pedestal stand. If you put it on a desk without a monitor riser, it will be too low for many people. That issue worked in my favor since I knew in advance that I’d be putting it on a turntable.
The turntable I had was sturdy but the lite wood color didn’t match well with the black monitor and DVD player. It also did not elevate the monitor high enough. Solution? Put a nicely finished block of wood underneath the turntable that was the exact needed dimensions and painted glossy black. So how do I get this done if I don’t have a workshop and appropriate tools? I knew the answer before I finished the thought. Pops! My father is a genius craftsman and artist when it comes to projects like this.
I called my dad and presented the challenge. I think you’d be amazed by what he brought to me a few weeks later. The turntable and the wood block riser look like a single piece of furniture and a work of art. No kidding. As I knew he would, the riser was to exact specifications, it was painted perfectly in a beautiful glossy black, and he added his signature pinstripe accents.
Needless to say, I have a very unique, multipurpose setup. I should mention that I also purchased a new computer at the same time that I got the Samsung. I’ve actually got both my new (HDMI port) and old (VGA port) computers connected to the Samsung. So I am riding pretty high in the saddle right now. In comparison to my old hag-like computer, I feel like I’m riding a racehorse!
For small houses and rooms, the HDTV computer monitor combo is an ideal solution. If you put it on a turntable, you can add a significant component to its multipurpose capabilities.