Hardware Things to do with unwanted flat panel monitor

Harsky

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I was given a mid 2000 era flat panel pc monitor. It only has a VGA input and I was tempted to get a VGA gamer box to play some retro consoles on it but the ones I keep finding only works with the PS3/360 component plugs or the hdmi cable. Is the quality even worth playing old games on a PC monitor? Only reason I'm asking is that my HDTV displays PS/N64 games really badly so I'm looking into this alternative.
 

Lumstar

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Old PC games would be OK. Or the Dreamcast VGA box, that has very good quality.

If you somehow have lots of money to spare... Maybe get a computer to use as a RAID file server. The monitor quality won't matter much then. An array of large hard drives would make it great for network streaming movie collections to your normal PC.
 

alphamule

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DVI-to-VGA adapters are very cheap and common (although going the other way isn't), and you can use for an emulator display. I don't know about your older PCs but I've seen an old AMD 3500+ x2 run VBA with 100's of FPS with scaling and sound. So you can probably use it for practically any game that would normally not be anywhere near as legible as the LCD will make them. Also, a LCD monitor tends to be a lot brighter than a portable system since it needs not worry about keeping a charge!
 

Sicklyboy

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Old PC games would be OK. Or the Dreamcast VGA box, that has very good quality.

If you somehow have lots of money to spare... Maybe get a computer to use as a RAID file server. The monitor quality won't matter much then. An array of large hard drives would make it great for network streaming movie collections to your normal PC.

I forego using a monitor on my server and just teamviewer-ing in to do stuff. Though this weekend I'll be sticking a slim HDMI cable into it to a port in the back (self built server in a NES shell).

OP, I'd just use it as a secondary monitor for your computer. You may not see a giant need for two monitors, but if you have the desk space, holy hell is it fantastic. Given the time frame, are we talking flat screen LCD or flat screen CRT? Lol. But anyway, for me, I tend to use my two monitors as one for gaming/web usage and the other for keeping foobar2000 open on. And I routinely switch back and forth between which is used as the primary (though the leftmost monitor is always Windows' primary monitor because I have no reason to change it.)
 

Harsky

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Shoat

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Things to do with unwanted flat panel monitor

I still use a ~10 years old phat monitor (it's over a meter thick and weighs almost 50 kg) so if you don't want it you can give it to me as charity.




... wait, I just realised that if I can't afford buying a simple monitor I probably won't be able to afford shipping costs from the UK to here either.
 

alphamule

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Yeah, you'd be better off with Craiglist if you're in the USA. I live in a town with a bunch of military contractors, so you can imagine that Sun 24-inch monitors have been pretty easy to find. People really just want to get rid of them thanks to lead laws. Irony: The cable adapters on them are worth more than the price to throw the monitor away. And by throw away, I mean to have them recycled. Double irony: The cables are obsolete since the invention of digital HDTV's. ;)

Is there an equivalent thing in Germany to Craigslist?
 

Harsky

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Well, after almost 2 weeks since I ordered it, this VGA box:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/v2v-pro-video-to-vga-monitor-converter-box-pal-ntsc-secam-45232

FINALLY arrived. While I was waiting, what I did with the monitor in the meantime was connect it to my laptop and then turned it into a dual monitor so that I can play movies as well as do web browsing. A few days later I decided to bite the bullet and bought a cheap 19" HDTV which actually handles retro games a little better than my 32" HDTV. So anyways, here's my quick thought on the VGA box.

I connected it to my old flat panel monitor and then hooked my N64 up to it. My first con is that this VGA requires power and as a result, it means one less power point to connect my other consoles to it. My other problem is that trying to play US games on my 64drive flashcart gives a lot of funky weird scrambled signals. I'm sure a few more tweaking in the options should fix it but it's not high on my "must want" list. PAL games play great and there's a certain satisfaction in playing a game on an SDTV (well, a flat panel PC monitor but it still feels like my old 90's TV) which kinda hides the imperfection that HDTV exposes and blows up to show you.

In conclusion, what can you do with a flat panel monitor? Surprisingly, hooking it up to a PC/Laptop as a second monitor was my favourite but my original intention was to place it in my room as a gaming monitor and unfortunately I didn't like the idea because it means more and more wires crawling over my floor and on my desk. I'll probably end up hiding it in the cupboard like the tech hoarder I am in just in case someone needs a monitor for their PC.
 

Sicklyboy

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Two weeks? Shit, you're lucky coming from DX. I always get somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks for my shipments, lol.

Pretty cool that it seems to work well, though. For all of my old games, I (unfortunately) like emulating them. But the ones I play the most (Sega Genesis) can have a varying degree of artificial scanlines added in in Sega Fusion, which makes it looks soooo nice.
 

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