One mammoth display to rule them all [Setups]

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Like your parents used to say, don't sit too close to the TV.
Like your parents used to say, don't sit too close to the TV.
Photo: kenneth_powers1@Reddit

These days, lots of folks rock two or three or even four large monitors in their computer setups. But some people go for one huge, mesmerizing display, like kenneth_powers1, among other Redditors — and it’s a TV set, at that.

Powers credits fellow Redditor TerronG for the inspiration to use a Samsung 43-inch TU-8000 series 4K Smart TV with his aging computer. Powers uses it with a 2013 MacBook Pro and a PC he built himself. TerronG runs a similar TU7000 series TV with a 2012 Mac mini upgraded with a newer SSD and additional RAM.

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Another Redditor said he actually uses two of the monsters side by side.

Worth the extra effort

Powers upgraded to the 43-inch beast from a rather respectable-sounding 32-inch, 1080 pixel, curved Samsung monitor. He hasn’t regretted the move one bit.

“I’m honestly impressed,” he noted in a comment. “It does take some time to calibrate (to the best of my ability) and mess with the settings (both on the TV and the devices) to get every input just right, but it’s worth it in my opinion.”

Part of his extra effort involved getting as much of the TV’s 4K brilliance as possible depending on what his computer could support in an external display. A high-quality HDMI cable that supports 4K is crucial, but it can’t work miracles.

With his PowerBook, Powers tried running both Mini-DisplayPort to HDMI cable and a Mini-DisplayPort adapter to an HDMI cable, but he could only achieve output at 1080 pixel resolution. That suits him fine for work.

But he doesn’t use the huge, mesmerizing display just for work, of course. He likes to log hours in the role-playing slasher game Diablo III.

The gaming PC Powers built has a Radeon RX580 graphics card capable of 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution. His said his visual results with that and the 4K TV’s gaming mode switched on (for quick response time and minimal input lag) are “absolutely glorious.”

Not just any mammoth TV set will do

For anybody interested in following their lead, both Powers and TerronG recommend using a website like rtings.com to make sure the desired TV is rated for monitor use and supports Chroma Subsampling 4:4:4. That will ensure text looks crisp enough onscreen.

Powers suggested 43 inches of screen real estate with many applications open might be a “deal breaker” for some people. But he finds he can arrange windows on the screen well enough to minimize distraction and maximize productivity.

TerronG recommended the desktop organization app Magnet to help reduce on-screen mayhem.

You’re gonna need a bigger desk

With a display that big, you better make sure you have enough desktop to handle it. And not just the desk or table’s width – it’s the depth, too.

You probably don’t sit only a foot or two away from your flatscreen TV when you watch it,  and you shouldn’t when you make it your computer monitor, either.

“I will say fair warning … you’ll need a desk not only wide enough, but deep as well to accommodate for such a large display,” Powers said. “I mounted it flush to the wall and sit almost 3 feet back and I sometimes feel like I may be a bit too close. Maybe another few inches back or so would be the sweet spot.”

He said the blue light filter in the lenses of his glasses help, too. And nowhere in his post did he mention a single side effect from staring into the mammoth monitor. You know, headaches. Blindness. Seizures. None of that.

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