Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Quick Search: in
Large UHD TV as a replacement for multiple monitors?
View unanswered posts
View posts from last 24 hours

 
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Desktop Environments
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
1clue
Advocate
Advocate


Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2535

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:55 pm    Post subject: Large UHD TV as a replacement for multiple monitors? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I currently am working with dual 24" 1920x1080 monitors. I'm 50 so my eyes are not so good as they once were. I'm a programmer, and I like to have multiple files open and on the screen at the same time.

I'm contemplating a large screen (50" or 125cm) UHD tv as a replacement for multiple monitors. I haven't bought yet, I'd like to get some sort of confirmation that this works before I do.

I know there are UHD monitors out there but they're generally smaller and being used as "retina" displays. I don't want that. A 24" 1920x1080 monitor is "retina" enough for me. I want real estate for lots of text on the screen at once.

So, questions:

  1. Is it easy to get these monitors set up with the same dpi as a normal half-dimensions monitor?
  2. Can you divide this monitor into snap-to sections so they act as though they are several monitors, so browsers and such zoom out to fill one region rather than the entire monitor?
  3. What's the overall experience like?


Snap-to sections that I would find interesting:

  1. Down the middle horizontally and vertically, to make a 2x2 array of visible 1080p resolution pseudo-monitors.
  2. 25% and 75%, so the main region is in the center and several smaller visible regions are around the edges.
  3. 33% and 66%, so you make a 3x3 grid.


Note that I also use a workspace switcher, that would not change.

Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
thumper
Guru
Guru


Joined: 06 Dec 2002
Posts: 528
Location: Venice FL

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The DPI will likely be different, I have a Seki 39 inch 3840x2160 and it's DPI is 113.

I don't know of a way to divide it into sections, although I've seen Monitors with multiple inputs that was sectioned as if it was a multi-monitor setup.

The experience is fantastic, I used to have four 22 inch monitors, I like this much better, plug in HDMI and go.

Now that being said had I to do it all over again, and may yet should I decide to treat myself to an upgrade, I'll be looking at a 55 inch 4K Ultra-HDTV curved model for my display, while I could never stand a curved model for the family HDTV, it makes sense when using it as a monitor.

George
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
khayyam
Watchman
Watchman


Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 6228
Location: Room 101

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Large UHD TV as a replacement for multiple monitors? Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
Can you divide this monitor into snap-to sections so they act as though they are several monitors, so browsers and such zoom out to fill one region rather than the entire monitor?

1clue ... I can't answer to any questions re the display, but for the above you can achieve this sort of setup with a tiling WM (like x11-wm/i3) ... a 'workspace' can be divided via 'split containers' with applications assigned to workspace/container. These containers can be tweeked (much the same as tmux's 'panes') to reflect your desired layout, and saved ... see: layout saving.

HTH & best ... khay
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
1clue
Advocate
Advocate


Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2535

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm not sure I would want to decrease dpi. Which for me means something like a 50 or 55.

Is there anything you can tell me about refresh rate or picture quality, or is that pretty much the same as for a TV?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
1clue
Advocate
Advocate


Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2535

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Khayyam,

i3 might be a good fit. I generally want maximum coverage anyway, and I use tmux a lot so I'm used to the idea.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Akkara
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 6677
Location: &akkara

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
Yeah, I'm not sure I would want to decrease dpi. Which for me means something like a 50 or 55.


Did you mean you don't want to increase dpi?

Displays are measured diagonally. HDTV is 1920*1080 which comes out to (Pythagorean theorem) approximately 2203 pixel-units long diagonally. At that resolution you get 96 dpi on a 23-inch display.

Doubling that to 3840*2160, you'd need a 46 inch diagonal display to stay at 96 dpi. Larger will be less dpi, smaller will be more.

It's your eyes so I can't comment on what to aim for in that regard, however consider that a large monitor requires that much more real-estate on the desk, and you need to be sitting further back from it to not have your focal range change drastically from middle to corners. Depending how big a work area you have, this could be a limitation. (There's one guy at work with something like a 50-incher, and it's a good thing he's got an office, because that setup wouldn't fit comfortably in most areas.) (Although, if you currently have two 24's, a single 48 or 50 shouldn't be much different. The curve would help since I suspect your two 24's are angled towards you.)

As far as "how does it work", I can say it works well. I'm using a 28" display (which comes out to 157 dpi) and I love it. If you can, try looking at some displays on display at your local stores. Higher-dpi gives much smoother-looking fonts, which might turn out to be easier to to read despite not being able to make out the individual pixels. Try to find out. There's a lot of middle ground in between the extremes of {same-size, hi-dpi} and {same-dpi, 4x the text area}. A 35" model gives 126 dpi which is 30% higher than your target of 96, and would give 3x the text area after scaling up the fonts to match the dpi. Somewhere in there there's a sweet spot for you.

One thing to watch out for, is be sure it's meant for use as a monitor. Some of the inexpensive TVs come with lots of built-in picture "enhancement" stuff which might work well for video, but it can mess up otherwise crisp fonts and lines when used as a monitor. Glance thru the menus and settings to find out what it has and whether it can be set it to a neutral pixel-for-pixel display. Some interact badly with things like screen-savers and display-blanking: machine is idle for a while, powersave blanks the display, and the monitor thinks the signal was lost and starts auto-scanning thru its inputs. You move the mouse to wake it up and instead of it appearing instantly there's this annoying latency as the input-scanner cycles around to your port... and there's no way to set it to "stay here no matter what".
_________________
Isn't it odd that no job openings ever list being potty-trained as one of the requirements?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Syl20
Guru
Guru


Joined: 04 Aug 2005
Posts: 564
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Large UHD TV as a replacement for multiple monitors? Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
I'm 50 so my eyes are not so good as they once were.

Rather than dealing with DPI, perhaps you just need to inscrease the fonts sizes in your DE. Like so, you avoid the pixelation, and the headaches.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
1clue
Advocate
Advocate


Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2535

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Akkara,

You're right, I don't want to increase dpi. Sorry I was a bit tired when I posted that.

I already have 2x24" monitors side-by-side on one system and 2x24" monitors vertically on another, on a single custom sit-stand workstation. I hope to replace all that with a single UHD tv.

What I'd really like to do is get a good kvm unit and use the same UHD monitor for both setups, and get more desktop space for each system.

I hear you about the image enhancement features. I'll be sure to do my homework but I doubt that most of the bigger units are meant to be computer monitors.

@Syl20,

Rather than going to 3 or 4 monitors I now want to try 4x the pixels on a single screen. My problem is I don't get enough information visible on the screen at the same time with my current setup. I've been doing the dual monitors thing for more than a decade now. I know about stress headaches from poor quality monitors. At some point I may go to dual 4k setup, but hopefully not real soon. :)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
thumper
Guru
Guru


Joined: 06 Dec 2002
Posts: 528
Location: Venice FL

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A 4K TV as a monitor is a beautiful thing, even my POS 39 inch Seki looks nice, but as I mentioned it has taught me a few things, and after doing some simple math, 55 inch as a nice target size.

A note: KDE 5 in system settings under Display and Monitor / Display Configuration there is an option to Scale Display.

Have not tried it yet, as I had enlarged my fonts before I knew of it's presence.

I'm not sure if this is allowed in the forums, but have a look at Samsung UN55JU6700 on the Rtings ratings website and look for the Video games section (PC Mode).

Also you need a video card and TV that supports HDMI 2.0 or higher for 60Hz frame rate (the UN55JU6700 does), anything less is at 30Hz frame rate (Like my Seki but it has never been an issue for me.)

Good Luck in your quest.

George
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
davidbrooke
Guru
Guru


Joined: 03 Jan 2015
Posts: 341

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been using a TV for a monitor for years. My current setups for desktop or media:
1. 55" TV set for 1080p, connected via hdmi.
2. Use KDE and adjust the font size to 9 and the "Force fonts DPI:" A. desktop use = 136 B. Media use (>=20') = 168
3. I trade for a living and the trading platform allows me to open each chart in an individual window. See the layout here: http://imgur.com/K5GOebz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dufeu
l33t
l33t


Joined: 30 Aug 2002
Posts: 896
Location: US-FL-EST

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:06 am    Post subject: Re: Large UHD TV as a replacement for multiple monitors? Reply with quote

I realize this reply is a little late for the OP, but for anyone else interested I'll still post my reply in the hope in helps someone else later.

1clue wrote:
Hi all,

I currently am working with dual 24" 1920x1080 monitors. I'm 50 so my eyes are not so good as they once were. I'm a programmer, and I like to have multiple files open and on the screen at the same time.

I'm contemplating a large screen (50" or 125cm) UHD tv as a replacement for multiple monitors. I haven't bought yet, I'd like to get some sort of confirmation that this works before I do.

I know there are UHD monitors out there but they're generally smaller and being used as "retina" displays. I don't want that. A 24" 1920x1080 monitor is "retina" enough for me. I want real estate for lots of text on the screen at once.

Been there, done that. See my thread here for more details. In that thread, I discuss requirements, experiences and gotchas. Here, I'll add some comments relevant to your specific questions.

Quote:
So, questions:

  1. Is it easy to get these monitors set up with the same dpi as a normal half-dimensions monitor?
  2. Can you divide this monitor into snap-to sections so they act as though they are several monitors, so browsers and such zoom out to fill one region rather than the entire monitor?
  3. What's the overall experience like?

A 49" UHD (3840x2160) monitor has the same DPI as a 24" HD (1920x1080) monitor. This may or may not be true depending on pixel shape and a series of other factors but any discrepancies are meaningless in terms of how small those discrepancies will be. i.e. You will not be able to see the differences with your naked eyes.

Whether or not the UHD monitors are as easy to set up as the HD monitors is going to be in the details. The main problems break down into to areas. The first is physical. You must have graphics ports on your computer that support UHD. These are either DisplayPort {DP} version 1.2 or HDMI port version 1.4b as a minimum. No other ports will support UHD. The second is EDID handling. EDID is the standard by which the monitor tells the computer what it's capabilities are. These include resolution, refresh rate, modes, hibernation types, yada yada yada. The general rule is that the more recently the monitor is manufactured, the more recent versions of X11, windows manager (ie KDE), graphics driver and kernel you need.

Assuming you have the correct graphics ports and your package versions are sufficiently up to date to correctly interpret the EDID info from the monitors, than yes. These monitors are just as easy to set up as the HD ones. But ... read my thread above for potential Gotchas.

Quote:
Snap-to sections that I would find interesting:

  1. Down the middle horizontally and vertically, to make a 2x2 array of visible 1080p resolution pseudo-monitors.
  2. 25% and 75%, so the main region is in the center and several smaller visible regions are around the edges.
  3. 33% and 66%, so you make a 3x3 grid.


Note that I also use a workspace switcher, that would not change.

Thanks.

I don't actually know of a specific 'snap-to' function that exists and works in the way you envision. However, I think I understand the need and there are two other ways you can approach this.
  • Most of the windows managers include 'session' management. The session management function is designed to re-open your virtual desktop to be the same as when you logged off.

    I make very heavy use of this. I have six virtual desktops setup. I currently use three of them for very different work. The first desktop contains 8 terminal windows, each with 5 tabs; at least 4 web browser windows, once again each with multiple tabs; one text editor with multiple files opened for reference/editing and sometimes one or two virtual PCs. This is my 'admin' desktop.

    The second virtual desktop is my primary workspace and usually has two torrent clients, 4 file manager windows, 15~20 web browsers, one terminal session and one simple editor open.

    The third virtual desktop contains everything I have open for any anime I might be subtitling. This would be aegisub, one web browser {for aegisub documentation}, 1 fonts display window, 2 file manager windows and 1 terminal session.

    With the exception of the virtual PC windows and the aegisub window, the KDE session manager will save the placement and status of all of my open windows when I logoff my account. When I log back in, I'm brought to where I left off.

    This is not perfect but works well enough that I continue to use it.

    It's good practice to be sure to save all your work first before logging off. Especially in any editors you have open. When you log back in and re-open your desktop, some of the web browser windows are likely to be duplicated. You'll need to close the dups. Web browsers need to be configured to re-open where they left off. This can conflict with certain use cases. Terminal sessions only reopen in the original window you opened them in. If you used 'su -' to another account on the same or another machine, you'll need to redo the 'su -'. This is pretty obvious especially from a security standpoint but some people seem to expect their desktop to re-open everything exactly where they left off. For a number of cases, this isn't possible.

    If close your desktop with only terminal, file manager and {depending on which} editor windows open, these will re-open in the same places and with the same files open as to when you closed. There are gotchas. See my above referenced thread for more detail.

  • The physical alternative is to have a graphics card with 4 ports you can use simultaneously. You'd need to also get a UHD monitor with at least 4 ports as well. All the UHD TV/monitors I looked at have screen in screen capability. The 49" LG monitor I got has 3 HDMI ports and one digital VGA port. According to it's marketing literature, one of the 'screen in screen' configurations is to assign one quadrant to each input.

    As far as your computer would be concerned, this would be a 4 head 1920x1080 configuration.

    Other screen in screen configurations are available so you'd have some flexibility setting this up

_________________
People whom think M$ is mediocre, don't know the half of it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
szatox
Veteran
Veteran


Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 1745

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found fakexrandr. Unfortunately wasn't able to actually test it with DVI, but it looks promissing: just click on the small picture representing your display to split in either horizontally or vertically at the position you pointed.
So it's gonna be reasonably easy to use and convenient (assuming it works) and transparent for the window manager, because it's replaces some hardware discovery functions allowing you to alter the results on the fly (And trick X server into thinking you have several displays attached)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Desktop Environments All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum