32-inch 1080p TV as monitor

Well, that’s because it’s a 720P display.

Well, that’s what 720p means: maximum resolution is 1280x720 pixels.

If you want higher resolution, get a 1080p screen. That will give you 1920x1080.

I tried using the x720 setting and even that didn’t work.
720p means that x800 is the max? I don’t understand.

720p has…a vertical resolution of 720 pixels and a horizontal resolution of 1280 pixels, or 1280x720, for a total of 921,600 pixels.

If your television is not letting you select 1280x720 for your screen size, then you need to read the TV instruction manual and find out more information about what it supports on the VGA input.

Does your TV have HDMI input, by any chance? I had issues using my 27" Olevia panel with my PC over VGA, but those issues disappeared once I switched to the DVI input.

A good DVI-to-HDMI cable (dirt cheap at Monoprice) could do the trick, assuming your video card has DVI output and your TV has HDMI input.

Well, of course you’ll have less screen real estate if you move to a physical larger screen but with lower physical pixel resolution. Your pixels will be that much larger.

Might help to learn what the “p” in “progressive” means.

Also, most low-end HDTVs that are 720p can actually have higher physical resolution like 1366x768.

$599 CAD on sale until July 30 for Sharp Aquos 32" 1080P gaming HDTV:


Was $1199. Probably won’t go much lower before it gets discontinued entirely. I picked up one, for dual 32".

I’ve tried using one of our 32in TV’s as a monitor, but the one I used only does 1366x768 native (which I hit using a VGA cable) and it gives me a headache as a monitor for some reason. Would that be the resolution or the VGA cable?


You NEED a 1080P monitor where its actual physical pixel count is 1920x1080.

Many of the cheaper ones have “1080i” and “720p” stickers but you need to ignore those and look for actual physical pixel count.

DVI or HDMI is a better connection as well.


I just switched my office over to this setup - my 32" Toshiba HDTV is now hooked up to the PC via HDMI. I have yet to connect my consoles to it.

I had to drop the TV sharpness way down to make text legible for some reason, but it seems to be okay now.

Booted up Crysis to check the performance. It’s pretty awesome. Much more immersive … the edges of the screen disappear.

My question is: for people who have this setup, if you’re using a 32" while sitting at your desk (as I see some are in photos above), did you have to drop the brightness of the TV way down? When I first turned it on, I felt like Kramer in the Kenny Roger’s Roaster Seinfeld episode. I’m wondering what the best settings are to use to minimize eye strain.

Was it new in the box? If it was, it might have been set to “vivid” mode, which is the setting that stores put it on so that it will look tolerable under a giant bank of lights with eighty billion other televisions blazing away beside it. You don’t want to leave it on that setting, and it’ll burn through your retinas at any distance.

The brightness is the main thing. Most TVs come from the factory at the “blinding” level so they stand out more on showrooms, so reducing the brightness for normal TV viewing in your house should happen anyway. Depending on how close you are to it when using it as a monitor, you might need to drop it down a few more notches.

And with all the new 1080p LCD and LED TVs out right now with their fancy 1zillion Hz modes and Super Adaptive Motion Xtreme Dynamic Enhancement Engines and whatnot fiddling with the motion/framerate of the video source, you might also need to tinker with those settings to keep it from looking weird with PC graphics. I have a Sony 32" I have set up as a secondary monitor and while it looks very nice, it still doesn’t feel like it’s made to be a PC monitor. I’m sure I could get used to it, but since I already sit pretty close to my 23", I’m just not sure I could get used to the 32" for normal use. For games it’s great, but for regular desktop stuff, I find having to physically move my head to look at different parts of the screen to be a bit too much.

It’s about three years old, but yes I bought it new. I used it with my 360 for a few years, but it was across the room so I didn’t really notice it being too bright, but up close and personal, it is much more noticeable.

For desktop use, I don’t find it too bad … yet. I’ll have to use it for a while and see. This whole experiment was really because I was tired of using my old 19" at 1280x1024, and wanted a higher revolution, but I don’t necessarily want to drop $200 for a new monitor right now. I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing it before.

Are you talking about settings on the TV, or tweaking your video card for use with the TV? I’ve looked around in my TV’s menu, but haven’t seen anything about framerates … at least not anything that I understood.

What’s the exact model number of the TV?

Toshiba 32HL57

EDIT: Whoops – cat on the keyboard…

The spec sheet for that model lists the native resolution as 1366x768 so make sure you have that exact resolution selected. I can’t find the user manual so can’t tell you what other settings to adjust or disable, but it’s usually best to turn Sharpness down completely and turn off anything that even remotely sounds like it massages the video signal to make it look better. Also turn on ClearType if it isn’t enabled already to make your text look smoother, although it will always look a little fuzzy at 720p on a monitor that large if you’re sitting close to it.

Generally the backlights have a separate setting that you’ll want to turn down first, then you can start messing with brightness/contrast. It’s best to put both on 50%, adjust contrast first (as it actually controls brightness levels on most sets), and then adjust brightness. Use a calibration tool like this one. Also adjust the gamma level using something like this.

I’m stunned. Admittedly I’ve had this TV for a while, but 1080p is plastered all over it and the manual. I ran my 360 at what the xbox thought was 1080p with it for months. It even has a section in the manual for PC input via HDMI which says that resolutions of up to 1980x1080 are supported. Does the “native” resolution mean that it things are being up-sampled somehow?

I feel ripped off. Now I get the feeling that I’ve never actually seen “true” 1080p at all.

I suspect that running at 1366x768 will just be too huge on this TV that close. I’ll give it a try tonight when I get home though.

Downscaling, actually. The television can understand 1080p signals, but it must scale down to render the frames on it’s lower resolution 720p display.

I feel ripped off. Now I get the feeling that I’ve never actually seen “true” 1080p at all.

You’re right to feel that way, because you haven’t.

You’re also right to feel angry. You purchased a TV on the basis of deliberately misleading advertising.

Scream bloody murder at the store you bought it at. Perhaps they’ll take it back and let you buy a real 1080p resolution TV.