Finding the right monitor or HDTV
To get the exact size of the mirror-glass and frame a decision for the monitor was needed. The pc monitor I was looking for was:
- About 27″ to get a width from 41 cm in portrait orientation
- As thin as possible
- Power and video connector needed to be mounted sideways, to get the whole mirror as thin as possible
- A minimum resolution from 1080p
After some time hanging around in the bigger electronic shops I found some nice models but had to realise I underestimated the prices for pc monitors.
So I started to compare bigger and cheaper smart tv screens. Here is what I’ve learned.
The most important difference between pc monitors and HDTV screens is pixel density, which means the number of pixels placed into one square inch. A 15.6-inch laptop screen has the same number of pixels as the 32-inch HDTV screen, but the laptop has a much higher pixel density (141.21ppi) than does the HDTV (68.84ppi). The laptop’s screen will appear clearer, sharper, and more detailed than the HDTV’s screen when viewed from the same distance. The importance of pixel density decreases with viewing distance; that’s why the iPhone’s “Retina” screen has a density of 326ppi, while the MacBook Pro’s “Retina” screen has a density of just 227ppi.
So a decision had to be made. The bigger the better? Or a more detailed and sharp view?
I decided to give it a try and ordered a brand new Samsung UE32J6250. This 32″ HDTV has a diagonal ratio by 15:9 which provided me some extra height of a total of 70 cm by a width of still 42 cm (in portrait orientation).
Preparing the screen
To get the whole mirror as thin as possible I removed the casing. It’s a bit thrilling to open a new and never used TV, but hey, living on the edge …
By the way, you better be careful with the sharp edges of the frame, I just cut myself several times while removing the spindly plastic case.
While tearing everything apart it showed had some nice advantages. The speakers were easy to detach and would find a new place in the lowest part of the frame. Also the control knob and the IR receiver weren’t glued to the frame and could easily find a new position.