4K TCL TV as Monitor

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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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W8OQ

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Posted 5 months ago

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Neal - K3NC

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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 damn small on 24" and less 4K monitors that I end up using them at 2560 x 1440.
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Danny K5CG

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Attach a picture, or it didn't happen! :)
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John - K3MA

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@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.
(Edited)
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Robert Lonn

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What does 4:4:4 mean and what does it get you on the screen?
Robert
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Rob Monsipapa

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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.
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Robert Lonn

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I went with a $500 LG 49”,, 4K HDR!! 4 HDMI input but no Dolby Vision!!
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Rob Monsipapa

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Ahhh, read the section towards the bottom, it gives an example of 4:4:4 very interesting...
https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/bes...

Rob - AK7RM
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Danny K5CG

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Now, if one of these 4K TVs worked on 12V DC that would be really nice.
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Robert Lonn

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They all do! With an Inverter! :—)
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Robert Lonn

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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
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Robert Lonn

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OH,,,,Do we know what the Full Specifications are for the FLEX HDMI Output???
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W8OQ

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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

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Andy - KU7T

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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
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Rob Monsipapa

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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
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Rob Monsipapa

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thomas clay

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What program do you use to get several screens on your tv?
73’s
KB4CJD
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Danny K5CG

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It doesn't look like there is any additional application. Just window placement of a bunch of apps on a screen like normal.
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Wayne

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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 :-)
(Edited)
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Andy - KU7T

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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
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Robert Lonn

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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
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Neal - K3NC

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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!
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Robert Lonn

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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

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Wayne

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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.
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Tim Ellam

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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

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Andy - KU7T

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I got the 65 inch version of the TCL Roku from Costco. It is very, very nice. I got so hooked on it that I am considering the same one for work.  See photo. I believe all of these TCL Roku Tvs support Choma 4:4:4 which is what you need (HDMI v2).

I can imagine that 49 inches may be too small to run 4k resolution with 100% sizing on Windows. You could increase sizing but some applications do not look great in 125 or 150...  If you have the space, I suggest to go bigger than 49.  

Thanks
Andy
KU7T
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Dan -- KC4GO

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I'm running 100% sizing on my 49 inch and am very happy. Don't think I could stand the 65 inch :) Video card Nvidia 1070ti rig 6600 
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Andy - KU7T

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Typo in my last message. I am using a 55 TCL (not a 65) and it is perfect.

Andy
KU7T
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Tim Ellam

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Thank you all. I have the Samsung 40” 4K TV running with one input for the Geochron and the second as my 4th monitor.

73

Tim VE6SH
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Johan SE3X

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Look's amazing with those large, or supersized one might say, monitors. But as a contester and always thinking about redundancy, I'm not sure it's for me? With two SBS 24", or even larger monitors, I can very quickly move a program from one to the other, should one monitor decide to go down. But gosch .. that supersized monitor, it does look amazing!
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Rick WN2C

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I have been looking at 4k mainly for this...http://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/geochron-digital-4k-uhd-review.616465/

Thought it would look cool in the shack but am also thinking that a bigger monitor would be nice to use when having multiple programs running like when running WSJT and SSDR and the HRD log all going at the same time. So will I need to replace the video card in my computer too? It has HDMI output but not sure which version. Walmart has this on sale...

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hisense-49-Class-4K-Ultra-HD-2160p-HDR-Smart-LED-TV-49H6E/166752596 for $220 but not sure if it is 4x4x4.

Any help is appreciated.
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Rob Monsipapa

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I had posted a link to a great website that had a lot of details on a large number of tv’s and included a good display show the difference between a 4:4:2 and 4:4:4 chroma tv, big difference... take a serious look at TCL tv’s. Costco has a 49” for $319 which is what I have and it’s tack sharp.... even the finest of text.
(Edited)
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W8QB

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I share Rick's interest in clarifying whether the Hisense 49" 4K TV is/is not 4:4:4 chroma compliant.  Is there some straightforward solution for determining whether a particular 4K TV does/does not have 4:4:4?  I've searched multiple manufacturers, but the published specifications rarely divulge whether a particular TV is 4:4:4 compliant.
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W8QB

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49H6E
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Rob Monsipapa

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Google “The 5 Best 4k TVs For PC Monitors” and a wed site www.ratings.com will come up. Or the 82 TV’s reviewed for use as a monitor, HiSense did not come up. I would guess it does not have the 4:4:4 chroma spec. Send me the model number and i’ll Find out.

Why would you want a TV that looks better at an angle vs being right in front of it??? Even if you put it off to the side wouldn’t you still angel it so you can view it directly vs at a angle?

Don’t get hung up on the brand. I never heard of TCL until I started looking at reviews. For the money it’s hands down a fantastic tv for the money and I couldn’t be happier with my set up!
(Edited)
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Rob Monsipapa

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Ok, I found a post where someone was looking at that HiSense and the TCL... it indicates that the HiSense does not have 4:4:4 chroma feature...

Quote from AttA3266
Which one do you reckon is better ? This or the 49" HiSense at https://slickdeals.net/f/11607315-49-... ?
The reason this tcl gets a lot of attention is because of chroma 4:4:4, which makes it a much better computer monitor.

Hope this helps!
Rob - AK7RM
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W8QB

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Thanks Rob!
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Rob Monsipapa

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It’s nice when I can actually contribute to this group. I fell like such a techie virgin compaired to most of the folks on here.
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Robert Lonn

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As I mentioned in a previous post,, I went with the LG, 49", 4K, HDR ,4:4:4 from Costco.. Been using it for over a month and so far pure perfection!! Also LG has BlueTooth connectivity and a few other neat items.. This is considered a 2018 model..

LG SPEC,,, (Only UHD models) • ( ) Picture Additional Settings HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color - On : Support 4K @ 60 Hz (4:4:4, 4:2:2, 4:2:0) - Off : Support 4K @ 60 Hz 8 bit (4:2:0) If the device connected to Input Port also supports ULTRA HD Deep Color, your picture may be clearer. However, if the device doesn’t support it, it may not work properly. In that case, change the TV’s HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color setting to off. - 

 https://www.costco.com/LG-50-Class-49.6-Diag.-4K-Ultra-HD-LED-LCD-TV.product.100409711.html?langId=-...
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Andy - KU7T

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Since some people have asked about the graphics card, I upgraded my PC with a GTX 1050i card (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MF7EQJZ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and together with the TCL 55, working great.

73,
Andy
KU7T
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Rob Monsipapa

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I have the exact same graphic card, in a Dell i7 quad core PC. Works really well with my 49” TCL, great set up!
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mikeatthebeach .

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Visit this website for best TV monitors for PC's

https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/best/by-usage/pc-monitor

73 Mike

Best viewig Angle & Chroma 4:4:4 is the Sony X720E Top Pick 


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Tim Ellam

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I picked up the 40" version of the LG MU6300 (Perfect size for where I have it located). It was a floor model at BestBuy and the sales guy demoed it on a PC for me. Price was a definite factor as it was heavily discounted as a demo, but while it scores mid-range for a TV it does do well as a monitor:

https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/samsung/mu6300

I am driving this with a GX970 video card. I have one HDMI input set for my Geochron clock and the second as a monitor  so I can easily switch to PC mode and the video card detects it as the 4th monitor (I have one 34" wide for SSDR and two 27" for logging programs etc). I can switch the SSDR display to the 4K when needed.

Tim VE6SH