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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Feasability of even larger iMac screens?

Feasability of even larger iMac screens?
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Judge_Fire
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Oct 29, 2009, 04:40 PM
 
I've enjoyed using an iMac as a TV/Media Center, while obviously compromising on screen size. The benefits over a previous setup, using a Mini hooked to a real TV set, make me one of those people wishing for a 'real Apple TV'.

The 27" 2560 x 1440 LCD component can't be cheap - anyone have info on the manufacturer and price? Trading pixels for size, could one find something like a 37" 1920 x 1080 in the same price range? (Probably not LED though.)

A ballpark figure for the price of an entry level Core 2 Duo system with a TV sized screen, based on current component prices would be interesting. Any insights, or sources for research would be appreciated

(edit: ok, feasibility - its my third language)
( Last edited by Judge_Fire; Oct 29, 2009 at 05:17 PM. )
     
EndlessMac
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Oct 29, 2009, 05:44 PM
 
Since you said english isn't your first language maybe something is lost in translation. Are you asking how much you think a larger screen like a 37" screen might cost at current prices if it were made into an iMac? I don't really know the answer to that but someone else might know.

The problem I see with making a desktop screen too large is that not everyone has that much space on their desktop. I certainly don't want a screen of that size on my desk but I'm sure you are not alone in wanting an even bigger screen. The other issue I see is that I personally don't want to use a screen so large that I have to constantly move my head back and forth in order to see the whole screen. Remember that went you watch a movie on the screen you probably are sitting further back but when you use the computer you are usually sitting a lot closer. Anyway that's my preference but you may or may not feel the same.
     
Eug
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Oct 29, 2009, 08:19 PM
 
I used a 26" 1366x768 TV as a second monitor for a while. It was not very good for general usage because the pixel size is too large... unless you sit way back. The same would be true for a 37" 1920x1080 screen. Plus, it's difficult to make a screen of that size be ergonomic while sitting on a desk. The top of the screen becomes very high, which can cause neck or back strain for some people.

A much better solution would be to have something like the 21.5" iMac, and then a second 21.5" LCD screen. Height is normal so there is no neck strain, but the effective horizontal space is doubled: 3840x1080.
     
P
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Oct 30, 2009, 03:50 AM
 
What you're asking about is the never-ending rumor that Apple will make a TV. I doubt they will, because there's little point. Using an iMac as a TV is a compromise. A workable one, but if you can fit a 37" screen anywhere, you can fit both an iMac and a TV. If you're really starved for space, go ahead with that 27" iMac. You really don't need a bigger display.

The LCD manufacturer is LG, according to teardowns, but it is an odd panel.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Judge_Fire  (op)
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Nov 2, 2009, 03:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
What you're asking about is the never-ending rumor that Apple will make a TV. I doubt they will, because there's little point.
I'm skeptical, too, but for the sake of 'what-if', there are some questions:

• If Apple can get these great prices for LCD components from LG, why wouldn't they want to sell TV- size devices with a good markup? They have the content foundation in iTunes (as with the current Apple TV- box), and an end-to-end product would be both easier to use and easier to support than a combination with some random tv set.

Besides, a generic screen with a Mac/set-top box tucked away somewhere IMHO goes against Apple's way of creating striking, beautifully built machines meant to be seen. Why give the spotlight to Samsung?


• Is Apple interested in going beyond personal devices? So many of my friends have a Mac connected to their living room tv, for purposes of iPhoto slideshows, iTunes and more interestingly, the casual Google query, auction site visit or YouTube video. In all these homes, this Mac is a communal experience, people huddling on the floor, in front of the screen to do stuff together.

To me it seems all current Apple tech is more or less aimed at a singular user (notice the comments above mentioning sitting at a desk), often at a high level of intimacy (iPod/iPhone). I wouldn't take strategic advice from Steve Ballmer, but his current mantra appears to be 'three screens and a cloud', the third of those screens being television; a shared experience.

So I'm simply wondering whether Apple will eventually set the standard for that space, too, as they've done with the first and second. And if they will, I'm pretty sure it won't be a Big Ass Table.
     
P
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Nov 2, 2009, 04:50 PM
 
The question you have to ask yourself is this:

What does Apple have to add?

The iPod was easy: A great interface and enough space that you could fit your entire collection (or a significant subset) in your pocket. The difference was that you didn't have to pick out songs any more - you had it all in your pocket. The iPhone was also simple: A true palmtop computer with 3G networking. That it's a phone is an afterthought. What would Apple have to add to a TV? Access to iTMS videos? Big whoop. No, Apple won't do it unless it's a gamechanger somehow - that's why they keep calling the AppleTV "a hobby".
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
frdmfghtr
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Nov 3, 2009, 12:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by EndlessMac View Post
The problem I see with making a desktop screen too large is that not everyone has that much space on their desktop.
I have to agree with you there. I have a 20" iMac from late last year, and it fits perfectly on my desk. The new 23" might fit, but the 27", as nice as it would be to go there, just wouldn't physically fit on my desktop.

The other issue is physical stability. At some point you will need a second support arm in back just to support the size and weight. Eventually you go beyond desktop size and get to "wall display" size, followed by "billboard" size.
     
Judge_Fire  (op)
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Nov 4, 2009, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The question you have to ask yourself is this:

What does Apple have to add?
(There might not be a market for it, but) I guess the game changer would be what you described for the iPhone above. A networked computer with the traditional TV in there, almost as an afterthought. iLife, communication, lightweight editing and productivity, and entertainment.

In some ways, the ecosystem resembles the pre- iPhone markets. There are well positioned hardware makers, dabbling with SD card readers and the occasional web browser software, maybe bold enough to go on record that Apple can't just walk in this space. There is Microsoft with their software platform, playing for sure on numerous non-descript boxes.

Bit by bit, the television manufacturers are learning how to live in an on-demand world by integrating the occasional YouTube button, Hulu subscription and all that. They integrate card readers for music, photos and videos. In all this, Apple is miles ahead in OS/UI (Apple TV, Front Row) and they have the content infrastructure, so pulling a 'this-is-how-its-done' would resemble the iPhone.

The large interactive living room screen is standard fare in science fiction and future design concept videos, but it simply might not work in reality. Then again, the tricorder and its kin were utopian, too, not that long ago.

If this is indeed a hobby at Apple, then it should allow for experimentation– there's no need to keep it as a set-top box. However, launching a TV set would probably get a lot of attention and a flop wouldn't go as unnoticed as some peripheral, like the iPod Hi-Fi or the current Apple TV.

This is why I'm thinking of expanding the iMac line with a jumbo-size model. Rather than a revolutionary new product, it'd be more like the 17" MacBook - good for a small group of people but for most, simply too large for comfortable use (and expensive).


I just now remembered I've actually lived with an Apple television, in the dark days of Michael Spindler's endless Performa releases. I borrowed a Performa 630 from work and it came with an Apple TV/Video System card and a player application. Didn't exactly love the performance of the machine, but the dream lives on
     
Eriamjh
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Nov 5, 2009, 12:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post
Eventually you go beyond desktop size and get to "wall display" size, followed by "billboard" size.
I'm waiting for the "billboard" iMac.

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
   
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