clothilde3 wrote:I have really basic questions -- haven't owned a tv since college.
Right now I use a 13" macbook air to watch netflix, youtube etc.
1) Can I use this tv as a larger monitor for my laptop? And if so is there any way to do that wirelessly?
2) Could I get a roku and use this tv for hulu, netflix etc? Is that fairly easy to set up?
3) I won't be subscribing to cable, but can I get "regular" over-the-air tv on this set without any additional paraphernalia? Last time I had a tv was before digital signal.
4) Finally, given that I won't be getting cable, is there any advantage at all to getting a tv as opposed to a large monitor, in terms of either ease of setup/use or better variety of viewing options? In other words, if one is not a cable tv subscriber, is there a reason to buy a tv over a same-sized computer monitor?
thanks in advance!
I have a bit of TV experience, so I'll give this a go... My apologies ahead of time if you were looking for shorter answers - I prefer thoroughness to brevity
1) Yes, this can be used as an external monitor, with a few caveats: Coming from a MacBook Air, this would be a size upgrade, but a slight hit in acreen resolution, though for movie purposes that would be just fine. For productivity, youmwould absolutely want a higher res 1080p tv/monitor, at the least. You would also need an adapter from Displayport mini (or Thunderbolt) to HDMI. Not too rare or expensive. However, that signal would be quite difficult to send wirelessly to the TV. Your options for that would be a wireless HDMI kit (which range in price from $50ish to $200 or so), or use an Apple TV device ($90-100), if your MacBook Air supports AirPlay. Best to check with some Apple Store Geniuses before buying in though, since there are only a few of the newer macs that can push wireless video.
2) Yes, the Roku devices would all work fine with this TV since HDMI is the standard connection for modern hi-def signals. However, if you are already in the Apple ecosystem, the Apple TV may make sense as an alternative, since it offers similar options for subscription video (e.g. Netflix, etc.), and with a slightly easier user interface. Neither device is difficult to set up, though you would need to set up a Roku account or use your Apple ID for the respective devices, and they both require a credit card number be attached to the accounts, just in case you want to pay them exorbitant amounts for their convenient streaming libraries.
3) This point is unclear... It appears that the TV has a built-in tuner, which means that it can accept channels and guide info, but it doesn't seem to list specs for an antenna. I may be wrong on this, but it looks like you would just need an external antenna (one of the newer flat ones would suffice - we don't really need the rabbit ears of older years), and a cable to connect them.
4) TV versus monitor is a long argument, so I will try to sum up the pros and cons of each and let you decide:
+ Built-in tuner for cable or OTA (over-the-air) broadcasts.
+ Typically better built-in automatic video processing for film/video sources.
+ Typically better built-in speakers.
+ More inputs, so you can add more than just the computer without extra HDMI switches, a receiver, etc.
- At lower end, almost no control/options for picture, other than brightness.
- Lower resolution, at least for this TV, since you would really hard-pressed to find a mass market monitor with less than 1080p resolution.
+ Typically better options for control of picture color, brightness, contrast.
+ Higher resolution for this price range, usually.
+ Potentially better screen response time, and input lag (usually not a huge issue unless you game).
- Not many have speakers buil-in.
- Fewer inputs.
- No TV tuner, though that hardly matters if all of your sources are Internet-based.
- Not many monitors have great video processing options for film/video sources at lower price points, although you should be able to do some adjustment with the computer before the signals is passed.
In your stated case, I would probably say the TV is a pretty good deal, if you don't plan on using it with the MacBook Air for doing office work. It will do your multimedia well if you can deal with the wires, or with the cost of a wireless HDMI kit or Apple TV. Ther are indoor flat antennas available that are cheap, and you could have multiple things hooked up at once without cables having to be switched around all the time. And the speakers on this unit seem to be pretty good for this size of TV.
Hope that helps!