Would you watch TV on a monitor? Or connect your PC to your TV?

By | June 5, 2009

Way back when I was in University, I remember being taken to someone’s room. When we went in, I saw an Apple Mac (it was 1987… guesses please on which Apple it was!) and everyone was watching TV on the screen. How neat I thought? Twenty-two years later, it still hasn’t happened. Why?

That puzzles me because with sale prices on large LCD tvs and computer monitors becoming affordable, the vast improvement on technology and TV since 1987, and the availability of TV online services, it really should be much more commonplace. Can you name a single person who watches TV on their PC instead of what we would call a regular TV set? I can’t.

For example, you could set up a regular multi-media PC with DVD player, Digital Video and Broadband Internet running something like MythTV and pair it with an affordable 24″ Viewsonic Monitor, and some decent home theater speakers. You might need an appropriate TV capture card, as well.

viewsonic 24inch monitor

Now compare that with a 42″ LCD TV which costs more than double. True, you do get more real estate, more connectors for audio and video, and more options. But if space is at a premium, you play a lot of PC games, and you’re short on your budget, then a 24″ monitor from a reputable supplier like ViewSonic seems a great alternative.

There is one reason I would prefer a traditional style telly, and that’s mostly because I can’t bear must-have technology that doesn’t work properly. A good example: our TV over IP box supplied by our local telecoms company has a nasty habit of crashing when you least need it or you just turn it on. TVs do not crash like that at all, they warm up quickly, and they work. PCs, love them as much as I do, don’t. They crash, they boot up slowly, and sometimes they just stop working. Not what you want in a TV!