Compact Living: Display Devices

Consider televisions and computer monitors. You may be thinking of two discrete devices: one dedicated television broadcast programming, the other dedicated to office work. Functionally, however, they both project moving picture.

As a recent graduate from UC Berkeley, I’ve experienced a smaller living-situation in triple-room student housing and have seen my friends’ adaptations to cramped apartments. In dorm rooms or studio apartments, there just isn’t enough space or real estate to house both a new 52-inch television and a new 25-inch monitor – even less so in shared living arrangements. Smaller spaces constrain the amount and size of hardware you can store and keep, but with some consolidated thinking you won’t have to sacrifice your visual luxuries. The compact resident would be wise to select a mid-to-high-end monitor to serve both as the television and a computer display (or even serve as a second monitor – those are always nice!). I have found them more portable and lighter, making them easier to rearrange when needed.

Since the monitor will be doing the work of a television, a larger screen is probably preferable. This lets viewers comfortably distance themselves and recline on a couch or bed. Look for 1080p resolution support. SAMSUNG has well-rated 27-inch monitors starting from around the low $300s (see Newegg). While you can get larger-sized TVs for a lesser price, computer monitors often support much higher resolutions than TVs. The higher resolution affords computer users a roomy workspace for Facebook and Reddit working on, say, high-resolution graphics work, multiple documents, or software development. If a variety of source inputs (VGA, DP, HDMI, composite) aren’t available on the monitor or if you need more input ports, a switcher box would provide great convenience in organizing and hooking up multiple feeds (this ViewHD box for instance).

Realizing you can satisfy two needs with one piece of hardware helps you fit more into compact living.

Below is my monitor and laptop setup. The monitor is frequently used for TV and movie viewing. It is a Hanns.G HZ251.

My laptop hooked up to a large monitor, frequently used for movie or tv viewing.

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3 thoughts on “Compact Living: Display Devices”

  1. Originally posted by: DORIS BONNE on May 2, 2012 at 7:09 am said: 
    I think your idea of a small back yard home is great. I can think of so many ways to use this indepndent home. Love your ideaThanks Doris

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