The case against a single large monitor

If you are determined to use a single large high resolution TV as a monitor you must:

  1. Select a TV that has the right specifications so that it displays text and sharp lines correctly without blurring
  2. Be comfortable with a method of splitting the screen into segments
  3. Use one monitor
  4. Sit close enough to the monitor to take advantage of the resolution

The case against a single large monitor [Sarcasm]

  1. Your mother told you not to sit so close to the damn TV
  2. Two is better than one
  3. Change is BAD: Windows 3.0 has set the bar and there is no need to deviate

It has been proposed to use 42” and larger TVs to replace multiple monitors. While any technical limitations could be overcome by proper feature selection there remain three major reasons not to adopt a single large monitor.

Your mother told you not to sit so close to the TV. While a single 42” 4K TV would replace 4 1080p 21” monitors with the equivalent dots per inch of resolution, it would go against your mothers directions. If you cannot comfortably see all 4 edges of the screen, without moving your eyes, you must back away from it to 8 or more feet away. Now to read the screen you must reduce the resolution until you can easily read from your new position across the room. This will make your new TV equivalent to a 21” monitor and you will have wasted a lot of money on nothing.

Two is better than one. The goal is to maximize desktop space. Because you are sitting 8’ away from your 4K monitor it is effectively a 1080p monitor. To get everything you want on the screen at one time you need at minimum two monitors. Two is always better than one. Any cost savings you would have seen from replacing Four 1080P monitors with one 4K monitor has now been washed away because you are using the 4K monitor as a 1080P monitor.

Change is bad and this is the most important reason not to get a 4K monitor for your work station. We have been using the maximize button since Windows 3.0 and there is no reason to stop supersizing every application to fill the screen. Sure there are lots of free to cheap programs that make it easy to divide large screens into easy to use sections. While that would be trivial to learn and adapt to, it would still be new and change is bad. Besides, every application deserves to occupy the entire screen.

We now wrap around back to reason number one. If you maximize an application on a large high resolution monitor, the icons are too small to see from 8’ away. Again proving that this large a monitor is just a bad idea.