Using Large Monitors & HDTVs with Your Workstation

With the price of HDTVs of all kind going down to affordable levels, it makes sense for the modern home office to have one large display. These displays can be used to stream media, play video games or just for extra screen real estate when you feel like you're getting cramped.

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An ideal setup for many people would include two large screens for your main workstation, plus a 40 to 50-inch LCD HDTV with enough screen resolution to serve as an additional screen for your computer. Needless to say that you'll need to have enough graphics processing power and RAM in order to drive all of these screens. In our experience, you'll need at least two video cards to do so. By multiscreen standards, that's not much and most people can afford to spend the extra $150-250 to get the additional video card and RAM.

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When it comes to selecting the right HDTV for your home office, we'd stay away from the cheapest available options, and check out the screens that have enough resolution in order to work well as computer display monitors. The Sharp Aquos line comes to mind, as well as the most recent LED LCD HDTVs. In a home office setting, we'd stay away from 3D HDTVs and other fanciful tech. You just need a barebones display, without much fluff, that has the best resolution you can afford. Since the HDTV is going to be connected to your desktop, you won't need any set top boxes, or features that allow you to access the Internet directly from the HDTV.

Ideally, we'd mount this screen on a nearby wall. The best place would be right smack in front of your desk, if you desk is facing a wall. You'll have to juggle things around to find enough space for your monitors. You might even have to consider using articulated monitor arms, which will easily sway out of the way when you want a clearer and unobstructed view of your bigger display.

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(Images with permission: Flickr member K3PHR3N)