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A bigger TV is not always better
For no other reason than “Why the hell not” I hooked up my PlayStation 3 to my 23” inch computer monitor. The 32” Sony Bravia has always displayed my games wonderfully even if it was only in 720p. When I played on the monitor, I was shocked to see such a crisp and colorful picture; really, I was floored! Here was this comparatively small Asus monitor outperforming the monster television which has served me so well these past years. This led me to reevaluate my gaming setup. I ultimately decided to grab another monitor and setup a station that left my TV almost console-less. Upon doing the research for another monitor at a good price, I looked deeper into the world of console gaming on PC monitors.
Like many men in the world, I always subscribed to the “Bigger is better” school of thought. When sent to purchase a new living room TV, I came home a hundred dollars over budget which I gladly gave to have a 40”, 1080p monster TV. The gamer in me drooled over the thought of seeing not only a full HD picture but having it as close to movie theater big as I could get (40” was huge having grown up with a majority of 27” TV’s). My research into computer monitors taught me something that really should have been common sense; the smaller the screen, the more you can see. Some gamers even went on to attest that they saw improvements in their gameplay due to the fact that despite the screen size being smaller, their field of vision increased. Why had something that seems so simple, eluded me until this time? Like many guys and technophiles, I wanted a screen as big a house and clearer than life itself.
Another simple fact is that the bigger a picture gets, the more distortions one can notice. Several years working in a photo lab and using digital cameras taught me this but not once did I apply that to TV sets. Of course ones distance to the set can impact this as well. I’m sure we’ve all been told not to sit so close to the TV because it will kill our eyes. If you’re not into eye safety, then how about sitting further to increase screen quality? The closer you sit, again, the more you’ll notice all of the pixels and/or distortions. With a smaller screen, if a person is so inclined, they can sit closer and get it away with it because the pixels will be smaller and closer together, still creating a sharp image.
When I bought my PC monitor, I was lucky enough to get one that displayed the 1920×1200 resolution. I noticed that most of the resolutions listed today were that of 1920×1080. I merely chalked this up to not taking full notice of my resolution. I soon discovered that 1920×1080 had become the new standard not only to keep costs down but because most games run at a max resolution of such. The thought distressed me seeing as how I neither wanted any degradation in my PC games or in my console games now using this current monitor. My fears were laid to rest as I educated myself more in the world of HD. Being mostly a PS3 gamer, I’m quite used to my games being in 720p. Upon finding out that 1920×1080 is indeed 1080p, I breathed a sigh of relief. This meant that my current monitor could continue to play my PC games as beautifully as it has and my newer monitor would display my console games as clear as they had played when I began this test.
What I learned from all this is that bigger TV’s aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. I’m still in awe of this realization but I can’t argue with the results. Besides, there’s something to be said for sitting at a desk playing a game having your TV blasting the latest Law & Order marathon.