HDTVs instead of your monitor?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I think Windows XP Media Center PCs suck. However, I think that in a few years, that idea could work if done right.



First of all, HDTVs will become widely adopted. I don't know if that's in 5, 10, or 15 years to be honest. But I think when, say, 7 out of 10 TVs in households are able to support high resolutions like today LCDs then its the right time to have computers take a larger role in the living room.



This is where I think a headless "media center" computer would be a great treat to many people. First of all, you would already have a high resolution monitor so you don't have to spend money on that. So you'd only need the computer and wireless input devices.



So now imagine a computer with whatever processor is available then (the G6 or G7 or a Pentium 8 with HyperSpamWare if you're into Windows). and a massive hard drive to store your photos, movies, songs, computer files and shows you record off the TV.



This wouldn't be a set top box or a TIVO, this would be sort of like the headless eMac for the living room that also records from TV through some sort of iLife branded software.



I think that many years from now, maybe in a decade, the idea of having a "media center" computer could be redone very nicely. Mostly because of the better TV sets that will be already set on living rooms and dens everywhere and that will make traditional computer monitors expendable to some.



Does this idea suck or does anyone like it? Just thought it would be cool in a few years.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    d3ctd3ct Posts: 56member
    i agree if i had enough money to buy an hdtv, that would've been one of the first things i'd try to do
  • Reply 2 of 15
    eupfhoriaeupfhoria Posts: 257member
    HDTV still does not have enough resolution, especially considering the distance from it you have to sit.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Search google for epson HDTV. If that was available when I bought my HDTV I would have gotten one.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    Do you realize a Decade ago :



    Apple had just moved from the 68040 chips to the PowerPC



    System 7.5 was the newest OS.



    Laser printing in the home was out of the question.



    It makes me feel ancient man. Here's my take on the Media Computer.



    We'll be there in 3-4 tops. "There" is



    a nice low profile computer the size of todays STB. It'll have a GPU more powerful than anything we have today. It'll accept multiple digital inputs and be able to scale those inputs in multiple ways.



    It'll link up to your home network via 100+Mbps wireless and Gigabit. It'll support HDTV resolutions up to 1080p and 7.1 Audio.



    It'll run a full featured OSX optimized for multimedia and web viewing on the TV. It may even contain amplification in some models so that you simply set on TV attach speakers and you're listening to music and watching movies.



    It'll support conferenceing. Just like iChat lets you see video on the computer this box will easily show transmitted webcam images.



    HD-DVD and Blu Ray will both be supported.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    a nice low profile computer the size of todays STB. It'll have a GPU more powerful than anything we have today. It'll accept multiple digital inputs and be able to scale those inputs in multiple ways.



    It'll link up to your home network via 100+Mbps wireless and Gigabit. It'll support HDTV resolutions up to 1080p and 7.1 Audio.



    It'll run a full featured OSX optimized for multimedia and web viewing on the TV. It may even contain amplification in some models so that you simply set on TV attach speakers and you're listening to music and watching movies.



    It'll support conferenceing. Just like iChat lets you see video on the computer this box will easily show transmitted webcam images.



    HD-DVD and Blu Ray will both be supported.




    Most of what you've said in that will be in the next gen consoles. In a lot of respects I prefer the console market and if you added wireless keyboard + mice there are serious benefits over computers. It's easier to actually work at a desk though.



    Personally I've always preferred the more stagnant hardware that gets upgraded every 3 years or so. Obviously it'd never work for professional apps but for home computers and interfaces they could make a definite imprint if software companies were so inclined.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eupfhoria

    HDTV still does not have enough resolution, especially considering the distance from it you have to sit.



    1920x1080 is pretty high... I think I remember reading somewhere that going any higher on typical sizes of HDTVs at home wouldn't have much advantage. Something about the resolving power of the human eye - the stuff students learn about in Astronomy classes.



    I just purchased one of those new JVC D-ILA TVs. I was going to go DLP, but I'm a victim of seeing rainbows from the spinning color wheel. I plan on hooking up a small "shuttle" PC I built to watch movies. The JVC only has HDMI as a digital input option, so my options are limited to buying a VGA breakout, the ATI VGA->component adapter, or a DVI->HDMI cable.



    Sadly, it seems only high end receivers will be getting HDMI switching in the next batch of product iterations. Gefen sells an HDMI switch for about 250 bucks - a little sharp. The cool thing about HDMI (beside the Terminator-like logo) is that it carries digital audio. No more optical/coax cables required But, a moot point until more receivers and preprocessors support HDMI switching. Ah!!!! HDTV is an eternal waiting game!!
  • Reply 7 of 15
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ubertweek

    1920x1080 is pretty high... I think I remember reading somewhere that going any higher on typical sizes of HDTVs at home wouldn't have much advantage. Something about the resolving power of the human eye - the stuff students learn about in Astronomy classes.



    I just purchased one of those new JVC D-ILA TVs. I was going to go DLP, but I'm a victim of seeing rainbows from the spinning color wheel. I plan on hooking up a small "shuttle" PC I built to watch movies. The JVC only has HDMI as a digital input option, so my options are limited to buying a VGA breakout, the ATI VGA->component adapter, or a DVI->HDMI cable.



    Sadly, it seems only high end receivers will be getting HDMI switching in the next batch of product iterations. Gefen sells an HDMI switch for about 250 bucks - a little sharp. The cool thing about HDMI (beside the Terminator-like logo) is that it carries digital audio. No more optical/coax cables required But, a moot point until more receivers and preprocessors support HDMI switching. Ah!!!! HDTV is an eternal waiting game!!




    Apple's larger monitors have higher pixel counts than 1920 x 1080. Of the fixed-pixel (Plasma or LCD) HDTV panels, only Sharp's AQUOS LC-45GX6U 45" LCD integrated HDTV has resolution this high. It is a brand new model. I haven't seen a price for this new set, but an arm and a leg will probably not be enough. The other HDTVs capable of 1080 vertical lines are all projection sets with interlaced scans. Fundamentally, the problem is that combining the functionality of digital TVs and digital computer monitors sounds like a great idea to the uninitiated, but these are really two different worlds. My 23" Apple Cinema Dispay is capable of displaying all HD content at full resolution with space left over.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    The other great thing about having a computer use a HDTV as its monitor is that you don't have to replace it as often. A good quality TV can last 12 years. How many computers do you typically have in that span? You'd save a lot of money on monitors.



    And as hmurchison said, iChat would a a natural for this type of computer setup. It would be like living in Marty McFly's house in the year 2015 (Back to the Future Part 2) where they take calls through the TV in the living room and it displays info about the person you're talking to (their name, age, interests, favorite food, etc).
  • Reply 9 of 15
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by monkeyastronaut

    The other great thing about having a computer use a HDTV as its monitor is that you don't have to replace it as often. A good quality TV can last 12 years. How many computers do you typically have in that span? You'd save a lot of money on monitors.



    And as hmurchison said, iChat would a a natural for this type of computer setup. It would be like living in Marty McFly's house in the year 2015 (Back to the Future Part 2) where they take calls through the TV in the living room and it displays info about the person you're talking to (their name, age, interests, favorite food, etc).




    Sharp claims that its LCD flatpanel displays have a lifetime of 30,000 hours. This works out to 12 years if you assume that the set is on for approximately 7 hours per day. However, plasma screens are rated at only 10,000 hours lifetime. If your viewing habits are the same for both, then the plasma can be expected to last for about 4 years. The lifetimes of plasma displays are improving, but they lag significantly behind competing technologies.



    The numbers listed above are only manufacturer's projections. Anecdotal evidence indicates that flatpanels, particularly the plasmas, have lifetimes somewhat shorter than Sharp's projections. I hear that our nearby casinos have their plasma displays on 24/7 and that each must be replaced after nine months or so. Your numbers for TVs are based on experience with CRTs. Flat panels have not been around 12 years. It is a serious mistake to expect that the lifetime of one TV display technology is the same as that of another TV display technology.



    As I said in my previous post, TVs--even HDTVs--serve very different purposes than do computer monitors. When I bought my 37" Sharp Aquos, it had the highest resolution available on a fixed-pixel flat-panel HDTV monitor. I love it. The quality of its display does not hold a candle to my 23" Apple Cinema Display.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. Me

    Sharp claims that its LCD flatpanel displays have a lifetime of 30,000 hours. This works out to 12 years if you assume that the set is on for approximately 7 hours per day. However, plasma screens are rated at only 10,000 hours lifetime. If your viewing habits are the same for both, then the plasma can be expected to last for about 4 years. The lifetimes of plasma displays are improving, but they lag significantly behind competing technologies.



    The numbers listed above are only manufacturer's projections. Anecdotal evidence indicates that flatpanels, particularly the plasmas, have lifetimes somewhat shorter than Sharp's projections. I hear that our nearby casinos have their plasma displays on 24/7 and that each must be replaced after nine months or so. Your numbers for TVs are based on experience with CRTs. Flat panels have not been around 12 years. It is a serious mistake to expect that the lifetime of one TV display technology is the same as that of another TV display technology.




    You're right, it is wrong to expect the same lifetime out of different TV technologies. However, I'm assuming that in 10 to 15 years, just like you said, TVs will have a longer lifetime, making them suitable for Media Center computer usage or as to replace traditional computer monitors.



    I totally agree that using a plasma TV for a media center computer wouldn't be such a good idea today because of the cost, the shorter lifetime, etc. But in a decade? You betcha.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    Not to discredit any of the ideas here, but when I am sitting in front of my computer, I am seriously a foot or so from it. I fully believe what Steve said about that versus across the room or whatever with HDTVs makes total sense to me. I focus on what I am doing on a computer and to do that, ahem intimately, I need to be close.



    For movies, media, whatever, across the room is fine, because the brain is in low-power (PowerTune) mode.



    It's hard for me to find a happy medium.



    That not withstanding, HDTVs are on a boom right now. HDTV signals will be brought online more and more in the next 2-3 years, and, God-willing, will be exclusive in the next 5-6 years.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Quote:

    The other great thing about having a computer use a HDTV as its monitor is that you don't have to replace it as often. A good quality TV can last 12 years. How many computers do you typically have in that span? You'd save a lot of money on monitors.



    And as hmurchison said, iChat would a a natural for this type of computer setup. It would be like living in Marty McFly's house in the year 2015 (Back to the Future Part 2) where they take calls through the TV in the living room and it displays info about the person you're talking to (their name, age, interests, favorite food, etc)



    Don't forget to wear your pants inside out!
  • Reply 13 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    Don't forget to wear your pants inside out!



    Did you know they still sell (refurbished) DeLoreans? I'd get one so fast if I had the money.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    mike peelmike peel Posts: 185member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ubertweek

    1920x1080 is pretty high... I think I remember reading somewhere that going any higher on typical sizes of HDTVs at home wouldn't have much advantage. Something about the resolving power of the human eye - the stuff students learn about in Astronomy classes.



    It depends on how far you sit away from it. resolving power is basically wavelength / distance - wavelength being that of optical light, around 550nm here. I can't remember the exact number (was it an arcminute, or an arcsecond?), but methinks that you're meaning sitting at an average distance away from the TV there. Fine for every-day usage, but if you want to use it as a computer monitor it needs much higher resolution.



    Look at your monitor. From the distance you're looking at it (assuming normal distance), you can't see the pixels. Now look closer, and you should be able to.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mike Peel

    It depends on how far you sit away from it. resolving power is basically wavelength / distance - wavelength being that of optical light, around 550nm here. I can't remember the exact number (was it an arcminute, or an arcsecond?), but methinks that you're meaning sitting at an average distance away from the TV there. Fine for every-day usage, but if you want to use it as a computer monitor it needs much higher resolution.



    Look at your monitor. From the distance you're looking at it (assuming normal distance), you can't see the pixels. Now look closer, and you should be able to.




    The minimum angular separation of two distinguishable objects is one arcsecond.
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