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4K TCL TV as Monitor

W8OQ
W8OQ Member
edited June 2020 in New Ideas
A recent Google search for using a 4K TV as a monitor found a low-cost TV near the top of the ratings.  It is a TCL Model 43S405.  It is one of the few that has the 4:4:4 chroma requirement for monitor use.  It is now on sale at Amazon and Target for $299 and free shipping from Amazon with prime.  Some Target stores have this TV in stock. The input is HDMI 2.0, so one needs a high-speed HDMI cable ($6 on Amazon) and a recent graphics card with HDMI 2.0 output.  The GT 1030 - based cards go for $90 - $120 on Amazon, Newegg and Best Buy.  EVGA has an outlet store called B-Stock that sometimes has deals on cards.

The result is excellent, sharp graphics and print from 2' away. I can have 4 screens simultaneously each the same size as my original 21" 1080 monitor, or several more than 4 with resizing - each sharp and readable. The Flex SmartDSR screen at 4K resolution on the full 43" screen is a sight to behold!


Dave, W8OQ


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Comments

  • Neal - K3NC
    Neal - K3NC Inactive Employee
    edited April 2018
    I have been using a 42" Avera 4K TV for over a year now (I think it was $299 on sale at Amazon when I got it). Its been the only real 4K I can use, the type is so **** small on 24" and less 4K monitors that I end up using them at 2560 x 1440.
  • K5CG
    K5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited October 2018
    Attach a picture, or it didn't happen! :)
  • John - K3MA
    John - K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    @Dave excellent point and you hit the nail on the head.  I have been using a 55in 4K for the last year and when I tell people it sits on the desk 2-3 ft away from me they look at me like I come from another planet.  It seems until someone tries the multi desktops on a large screen 4K display for themselves they just do not believe how useful and clear it is to do all kinds of viewing and work at the same time on the same screen.  Making the multi 21in 1080 screen somewhat redundant and of less usefulness.  I still run a couple of them stack up beside my 55in 4K but general they are for content the just sits there and I do not interact with but only check on from time to time.

    As a side note I stumbled into this 55in 4K when Sears was quietly closing the Electronics departments.  It was a current moble Samsung that they were clearing out at $225.  The price is what caused me to buy it and then I found the use for it.
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    What does 4:4:4 mean and what does it get you on the screen? Robert
  • Rob Monsipapa
    Rob Monsipapa Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    And where did you find the information that the TV had the 4:4:4 chroma spec??? Very interested because I’m looking for a good 4K TV, 50-55” so I’m listening.... I saw the TCL’s on sale but I don’t typically buy off breed brands, they typically don’t last over the long run, that’s been my experience any way.
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I went with a $500 LG 49”,, 4K HDR!! 4 HDMI input but no Dolby Vision!!
  • Rob Monsipapa
    Rob Monsipapa Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Ahhh, read the section towards the bottom, it gives an example of 4:4:4 very interesting... https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/best/by-usage/pc-monitor Rob - AK7RM
  • K5CG
    K5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited October 2018
    Now, if one of these 4K TVs worked on 12V DC that would be really nice.
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    They all do! With an Inverter! :—)
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I was at Costco today and they have a TCL TV set for $285.. If you use your Costco Visa card you get a total of 4 years of warranty..  However the Samsung MU6290 for $350 looks much better, Picture Quality, it is 4K Plus HDR, 3 HDMI inputs.. These are not OLED LG Tv Sets folks, so they may be fine for FLEX 6400/6600M viewing,, but for home viewing, I love my Sony 70 Inch, and 7.4.4 Dolby Atmos audio system " Yes 4 Subwoofers"! :-)

    https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/samsung/mu6290

    Samsun MU6290,, Most common resolutions are supported, except 120 Hz input which isn't relevant because the TV only has a 60 Hz panel. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color is only supported when 'HDMI UHD Color' is enabled for the port being used. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly when the input's label is set to 'PC' (aka 'PC mode'). Unfortunately, PC mode cannot be activated for some input refresh rates such as 24 Hz; the input's icon will still change to PC, but the settings that are normally disabled in PC mode are not disabled, and 4:4:4 color isn't shown properly


  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    OH,,,,Do we know what the Full Specifications are for the FLEX HDMI Output???

  • W8OQ
    W8OQ Member
    edited February 2020
    I have been getting some requests for more information about the TCL 43S405 TV as a monitor.  It is very important to use a 4K TV with 4:4:4 Chroma capabilities.  Here are a couple of URLs that discuss this and rate several 4K TV's usefulness as monitors:

    https://www.slant.co/topics/6268/~4k-tvs-to-use-as-a-computer-monitor
    https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/best/by-usage/pc-monitor

    If you put the TV/monitor on your desk, 40-43" is probably the largest for best viewing and there are few 4K TVs in that size that support 4K 4:4:4.  See the table in the rtings.com URL.  

    The TCL needs to be told that the HDMI port you are using has an HDMI 2.0 signal.

    Here are a couple of shots of the screen with my keyboard for size comparison.  The screen is sharper than these pics show.  Part of my logbook is in the second image.

    I'd be glad to respond to any other questions.

    Dave, W8OQ

    imageimage



  • K5CG
    K5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    SWEET! Thank you.
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I went with a wall mount 49" LG, 4:4:4 The wall mount allows me to pull it away from the wall, pan and tilt, etc. I have way to much ham gear to put any kind of monitor on the desk, so I went with a wall mount.. 43" is a nice size,,, dont get anything smaller... As you shop around watch out for the Small Print, that reads "REFURBISHED",, sometimes Low Prices can be misleading.. And Costco gets you 4 years warranty, or add in Square Trader for $35,, you get 7 years..

    But for $350, after 4 years, your ready for a 8K TV set.. And Hats Off to FLEX for placing a HDMI output at a 1080P resolution,, the TV set will up convert to 4K.. 4K allows closer scan lines, so basically it allows you to sit CLOSER to the monitor and still get a clear picture.. I have a cable TV box and a Sony 4K HDR player in the shack as well, so the TV set serves multiple uses.. Also, I have a antenna for 8VSB over the air TV....

    Plus, my Laptop is also a full 1080P HDMI output, so it feeds one of the 4 HDMI inputs..  This is an excellent TOPIC for the 6400-6600M radios.. 

    BUT!!!!!! Keep in mind that this conversation makes a lot of ICOM IC-7610 owners very SAD!!! I am sure you all understand why!!!

    Robert
  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    To be fair to the 7610, you _can_ plug in a mouse and navigate on (part of) the screen you are looking at. Can't do that if you plug a monitor into an M model Flex. Of course if you use a computer, there's RS-BA1 versus SSDR. You be the judge. Ted VE3TRQ
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Ted,,, good points, as I mentioned before, I was one who placed a deposit on the Icom back in October, but decided to not go with the Icom and do more research on the Flex.. Now I wait for that CALL from Flex wanting full payment on the radio.. Like buying a new car,, if only they took this feature from a BMW, Cadillac, Porsche, Infinity, Acura and made a car that had all the things you want personally,, you would be 100% satisfied... But I think Flex gets me to at least the 95% point!

    I was at HRO about a month ago and played with the IC-7610 radio,,, nice radio,, but at this point in my life,,, Flex offers more for me PERSONALLY! Complexity is not something that scares me, it motivates me!! And where others may FROWN on the $200 software upgrades from say version 1 to version 2,, their business model is actually a good one... Where is the motivation to pay for and have software developers when you cant pay for them?? 

    Sort of the whole BS related to Facebook!!!!  Let me see now,,, Facebook makes Billions,, ultra profitable,, and the entire Software Experience is "FREE"!!! As they say, nothing is ever free.. So I was totally aware as most people should of known, that Advertising and everything related to that,, was going on... 

    So I felt that when I read that FLEX was charging for software upgrades on main version changes, that for me was a "Plus" for going with Flex... 

    Sorry for going off topic,, but when folks over on the Icom groups complain why is ICOM slow in releasing changes, and when they do come it is nothing to brag about,, they get mad at ICOM!!! 

    This just came to me!!!! I think we can Compare FLEX users to those of Collins Radio users back in the 50's and 60's... Icom would be the Drake folks... Those that  owned the less expensive Drake,, always wanted performance like Collins,, but at a lower price...  

    Now the entire ham community is talking about the new soon to be released Kenwood radio!! Same old story,, how much will it cost, will it have these 7 Billion features,, be able to communicate with Aliens from far away planets,, and of course, only cost $500!!! :-) 

    Robert
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    2018 LG 4K HDR, 4-HDMI, 50", 4:4:4 , 4K HDR YouTube Ready,  $489 Costco, with a 4 year warranty since I used my Costco Visa Card..., $880 at Best Buy.. Picture Blows You Away.. Laptop is Lenove Full HD, 1080P HDMI output.   HDSDR with Icom 8600, HRD with Yaesu FT-991... Cant wait for my 6600M to go Big Screen!!!

    imageimageimageimage


  • Andy - KU7T
    Andy - KU7T Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    I have almost decided to pick up the TCL-43S405-43-Inch for my shack. Seems like it supports 4:4:4 and is very cheap at Amazon ($279).  

    Wanted to make sure to check witch others if the power supply is clean. Is anyone using the TCL/Roku as their shack monitor and noticed anything?

    73
    Andy
    KU7T


  • Rob Monsipapa
    Rob Monsipapa Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    I’m using the TCL 49” 4K as my monitor and it’s clean as can be. It does support 4:4:4 chroma which is key for clean text rendering. Costco has this one for $319, can’t beat that with a stick!!! Rob - AK7RM
  • Wayne
    Wayne Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    Just ordered 1 at target tcl43s405 for $279 2 days left on sale and its in stock:-) Pick it up on way home this afternoon .. something else I probably didnt need or have room for :-)
  • Andy - KU7T
    Andy - KU7T Member ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Last question regarding 4K TV as monitor... I got a 7 year old workstation (Z400) which is still going strong. I need to add a graphic card that can support a 4K and 4:4:4, HDMI2. I would live to get an external USB-based one, but I do not think I have USB3, so this is probably not going to work. So, I am looking at internal graphic cards. Looking at this one: https://www.amazon.com/ZOTAC-GeForce-Profile-Graphic-ZT-71304-20L/dp/B01E9Z2D60/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&a...  is 4K x 30 Hz enough or do I need something better?  Other suggestions what to look out for?  Will this fit in a normal PCI bus?

    73
    Andy
    KU7T
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    I purchases the 2018 50" LG 4K HDR TV at Costco.. $439.00 4 Year Warranty... NOTE!!! The default setting on the 6600M will not fill up the TV screen, black bars on the left and right side, HOWEVER you can go into Advanced Screen settings and change several parameters that will allow you to fill the screen up 100%... 

    Robert
  • Neal - K3NC
    Neal - K3NC Inactive Employee
    edited May 2018
    I have found 4K displays that only handle 30Hz refresh rates just seem fuzzy to me. I am typing on an Avera 4K 42" set I purchased solely for using as a monitor a couple of years ago. My graphics card wants to default it to a 30hz refresh rate and I swear sometimes I could not even find the mouse pointer at that speed. Going to 60 is like cleaning your windshield after a year of not doing so!
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    Neal, correct.. You need to do your homework when it comes to all these consumer type devices.. And having a excellent return policy, like Costco, means a lot! But no matter how much research one does,, it is hard to select a PERFECT product.. Seems everyone has some sort of bad experience when an item is purchased, but other people reviewing the same product have No Problems and love the item..  TLC is sold by a lot of stores these days,, and you can find a lot of Bad Reviews on line,, but others have no issues. Depends on what you are using it for.. Using it for a simple monitor fits it category just fine,, but as a 4K HDR TV set , hooked up to a 4K HDR  Blue-Ray player to watch a 4K movie, then the picture quality is like night and day compared to a higher end TV set from OLED LG , Sony, Samsung......

    When VISIO released its 70" 4K HDR at HALF the price of its competitors, everyone got excited, but then as the TV set began to roll out, the complaints began to roll in, you realized that what you got for $2500 was in fact Half the quality of a Sony, Samsung or LG $5K TV set.. It is not easy to engineer a TV set that can reproduce the entire 4K HDR Color Gamet or Dolby Vision.. It is 100% about picture quality..

    This will sound familiar to many of you!! Remember the MUNTZ, half the price of a Zenith or RCA TV Set.. The saying was they took a RCA TV set and started to remove parts.. They removed parts till the TV set would not work.. Took that final less complicated Schematic and created the Muntz TV set. So much for the "Quality Goes In before the name Goes On"...  And worth mentioning was the Beta-VHS wars of past.. VHS was 40% cheaper then Beta, so in the end VHS won, however the TV Broadcast Stations continued to use Beta exclusively! Why,,, better overall picture quality, video editing and many other quality attributes.. Then their was HD-DVD vs BluRay ... Now we have 4K HDR movies and some Dolby Vision movies...  Life Goes On!!! And is this not "FUN"!! 

    Robert

    image
  • Wayne
    Wayne Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    Wow target cancelled my order out of stock but I found it in stock at best buy same price plus I got reward points picked it up at lunchtime now I gotta figure out how to make it fit in my shack.
  • Rob Monsipapa
    Rob Monsipapa Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    image
  • thomas clay
    thomas clay Member
    edited June 2018
    What program do you use to get several screens on your tv? 73’s KB4CJD
  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019

    So 4:4:4 chroma is a requirement for the TV to act as a monitor and a 4K compatible video card? I picked up a 40" LG 4K that was a display model which I intended to use for the Geochron world clock. I am now thinking I could try and connect to my PC video card and switch the inputs when I want to use it to dismay SSDR. The video card I have is almost 3 years old, but does have a HDMI 2.0 output. Is that 4K or does the card need to specifically be 4K compatible?

    73

    Tim VE6SH

  • Johan / SE3X
    Johan / SE3X Member
    edited June 2018
    I did a search on Google:  "system requirements to play 4k video on a PC"  loads of information. Think if you do that you will find all the answers you need. Google is you friend (at least sometimes ..)
  • K5CG
    K5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    You should be OK with HDMI 2.0 for a 4K TV.

    I ended up getting the TCL 49S403 49" at Costco with the SquareTrade warranty deal that extended it to 5 years.

    It simply looks amazing. Mind you, the text is pretty small (fldigi), but very crisp and readable.

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