monitors

Why can't I direct enter channels on my TV?

Episode 1431

Gary from Buffalo, NY
Insignia HDTV

Gary got an Insignia HDTV, but it won't let him directly enter channels on the remote. Leo says that at under $200, it's likely that the TV doesn't have direct channel entry on the remote control and it was done to cut costs by reducing features. It may not even have a tuner. He would need to use his cable or streaming box that has a tuner built-in that could do that.

Why is my Mac's monitor so fuzzy?

Episode 1431

Carl from Goodland, IN
SwitchResX

Carl has a 2012 MacBook Pro Retina, and now when he connects it to his Vizio, he's noticed that the screen isn't as clear. The fonts are fuzzy and the image quality varies from app to app. Leo says that it could be that the native resolution of his Vizio screen may not be one that his MacBook understands and therefore, it runs the default resolution, which is generally half the native resolution of the screen. He'll need to figure out what the native resolution of the screen is, divide it by two and choose the best option based on that. Could updating to El Capitan also be a factor?

What's the best monitor for my laptop?

Episode 1412

Cathy from Laguna Nigel, CA
Dell 27" Monitor

Cathy is looking for a monitor that she can use with her laptop when she's at home. Leo says that any modern laptop will have an HDMI port and that will connect to an external monitor. In fact, some can support up to three monitors!

What size should she get? Leo says to go with the Dell 27". It's very affordable and the color quality is really good. ASUS also makes monitors, and they are very wide for gaming. It would be great for what Cathy needs as well.

Is it worth it to fix my Thunderbolt display?

Episode 1397

Don from Los Angeles, CA
Apple Thunderbolt Display

Don has a Thunderbolt display that turns off randomly. He hears that it's an overheating issue. Jason says that a Thunderbolt display is like its own computer, and if the fans have become clogged or defective, it could be turning off. It may be an expensive fix, to the point where it would be cheaper to just buy a new one. Finding a local guy who could fix it may be the most affordable option.

How can I use a monitor with the Kangaroo PC?

Episode 1330

Donna from Buena Park, CA
Kangaroo PC

Donna bought the $96 Kangaroo as a replacement for her old Windows PC that died. It's been a great PC for Donna, but she doesn't know how to use her VGA monitor with it because it doesn't have a VGA port. She said that they came out with a dock to solve this problem, but the dock isn't sold separately and only comes with the pro version. She currently has it connected to an HDTV, which isn't designed for computing.

Leo says she could get a cheap $80 monitor that would have an HDMI port. Or she could even use an iPad as a monitor with it.

What monitors should I buy?

Episode 1330

Ed from Charlotte, NC
Dell 27" Monitor

Ed is looking to upgrade his monitors, and he plans to spend $150 to $200 per monitor. Leo says the biggest change in monitors now is size. A 21" monitor nowadays is small. Typical monitors now are 27" and up. Monitors are also widescreen now. Leo would look at the Dell monitors. Dell has a range, and the more he spends the "better" the monitor is in terms of color accuracy. So Leo would recommend the inexpensive Dell monitors. He'll probably get an LCD IGZO panel.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1317

Dickie's gadget of the week is the Sunfounder 7" wide screen monitor. Popular with makers, the Sunfounder monitor has a resolution of 1024 X 600 and the picture quality is really decent. inputs: PC (VGA), AV1, AV2, and HDMI. It can operate in a car/van/truck/ or even boat with the DC 12V harness that comes with it. comes with an AC power supply, remote control too. Stand is included. It even has a small built-in speaker, which many monitors lack. It's $55.99.

Should I use an LCD TV as a computer monitor?

Gene from California

Episode 1303

Gene wants to know if it's a good idea to use an LCD TV as a monitor. Leo says no. The reason is that computer monitors are much higher resolution than TVs, and as such, he'll really see the pixels when sitting up close to it. If he's using a 4K monitor, he can abate that a bit. A better choice would be to just get a larger monitor. He can get them pretty big these days. Scott Wilkinson says that 4K would be a better choice because he would need super clean text to make it easier to read.

What is a good monitor to limit eye strain?

Douglas from Las Vegas, CA

Episode 1273

Doug wants a monitor that won't give him eye strain. What about BenQ? Leo says that they've been around a long time and are very good. They have a monitor that has low blue light and reduces flicker. Any monitor with a high refresh rate will help with eye strain, though. So he doesn't have to limit his choices to one. He should just shop for that feature.