In search of: Unusual Monitor!

I’m guessing that Architects and Engineers are most likely to know of a solution to my need for a specialized monitor - but I’ll be happy with suggestions/solutions from anyone!


In my work, I often have to do electrical gear take-offs from plans provided to me as a PDF. They are almost always full size plans on with a page size of either ARCH D (24" x 36") or most often ARCH E (36" x 48"). Either one of these sizes is a real PITA to deal with on the monitors I use for work - generally 22-24" (Diagonal). I have to zoom in/out all the time, and pan left/right and up/down frequently.

What I’m looking for:

A wall mountable monitor somewhere around 50" diagonal (± 5") with LIMITED touch screen capability. I want to use it when I’m taking off the plans - and shows things close to the actual size they’re intended to appear when printed - i.e. readable on a job site without a magnifying glass!

What to I mean by “LIMITED touch screen”? I don’t need 10 or 20 point multi-touch - as are most of the ones I’ve found on the web are - and they are WAY too expensive for my needs! AT MOST, I’ll need to be able to:

  • Move the image up/down (including to the preceding or following page) and left/right a bit. Hoping this will require a SINGLE finger touch/move!
  • Some plans are so information dense that a pinch to zoom (and whatever it’s opposite is called) will still be necessary - I’m thinking that should need no more than 2 fingers.

I’ll be mounting it on the left wall as shown in my recent post in the “show me your peripherals” topic - outside of the area of the picture. Probably placed for easiest use when standing (the desk is sit/stand - and it’s good for me to force myself to stand up periodically through my workday!

It’s OTHER use will be as a TV - fed by either streaming apps on my computer, or by my Android TV Sling device (which is still at my OTHER office). Or just by built in Android TV!

If I give up on ANY touch screen capabilities, I can find MANY options well under $1,000 that include 4K UHD resolution - but when I add touch screen to it, the price jumps to a MINIMUM of $2,000 - and that’s for a 1,920 x 1280 resolution - going to 4K UHD brings it up to at least $3,000!

So I’m hoping someone here can point me to something that is 4K UHD - with MINIMAL (but not non-existent) touch screen capabilities at a (relatively) budget price!

You probably want to look for second hand at that price range…you will definitely want 4k.

The signage/advertising people that install them have three methods available:

  1. Get a built in display like the Samsung QMR-T Series (not the cheapest).
  2. Use any display, and add a touchscreen overlay (a powered, clear film that goes on top - can be cheap or expensive, capacitive or inductive)
  3. Use any display and add a finger-detecting camera or sensor array. The camera is fixed above.
  4. Remote into it.

Options 2 and 3 are good because they scale to almost any screen size, and can even be used over top of paper prints. The camera is designed for fixed or overhead viewing (great if you can mount the display flat onto a table top (under perspex)…then it’s like a real digital drawing board/print table).
Both camera and overlay options need an app that runs on your computer, or a tablet that knows how to alter the picture. Last I researched this was a while ago, so you can probably get some better Smart-TV-style options that use Chromecast.

Option 4 (which many people go for in office environments) is to simply cast to it, and have a tablet nearby with a stylus. It’s not really what you want, but it’s cheap and easy, and quite powerful.

At our office, we also have large 60" displays (on mobile stands - the “digital whiteboard” type that you find in most schools these days) - however the touch and pen sensitivity is barely adequate to make revisions clouds or notes onto a drawing, so we don’t use them very much.

Pardon the semi-stream of consciousness that I’m about to write, but your Chromecast suggestion has led me down a path to what will, I think, be my solution - and FAR less expensive than I expected!

Brilliant - Maybe!
4K TVs with built in Android TV (which can, among many other things, be the recipient of a ChromeCast) are FAR cheaper than the monitors I’ve been browsing.

I already am a devotee of the Chrome browser, which will allow me to cast a browser tab, file, or “desktop”. And since Window’s 11 has the possibility of multiple desktops, I can just open the PDF in Acrobat on an alternate “desktop” and cast that one!

Any controlling I need to do of that desktop will be easy - my desk is just to the right of where I’m going to put the large screen - and I’m right handed! And I just now tested combining app specific custom key assignments for my Logitech Trackball with navigating and zooming in Acrobat - and I can do everything I expect to want to do while standing at the large display with ONLY my trackball.

Which leaves one worry: Resolution

If I cast from an HD display (all I have - just multiple 22" displays) - will I be able to “cast” at the 4K resolution of the new large screen? Or will it just be a larger version of what’s shown on my screen - at just HD resolution?

(Off to Google to see if I can answer this. While off Googling, I had another thought which stopped my looking for an answer)

Wait a minute! If I can find a TV that happens to have a Display Port input, I can just drive it directly from my computer - no cast necessary! And with Windows 11 having the ability to remember different screen arrangements, I just store a couple of profiles - one for when I need the large display - and one where I don’t! This might even work over HDMI - Have to research the capabilities of my graphics card!

Search isn’t over - yet. But many thanks to @AK_SAM for sending me down this path!

Glad to help , i guess!

You want to search for Screen Mirroring. That’s the windows terminology.

There, you will find ways to connect a Smart TV (or a TV with a wireless/bluetooth receiver module) to act like a second monitor. You can get wireless HDMI connectors.

Chromecast is designed to cast a Chrome browser, whereas Screen Mirroring will enable you to cast other apps or your desktop.

I’m not 100% sure if or how you get the full resolution, I assume the software is smart enough to figure that out, but maybe not.

One can experience some serious latency with wireless casting.

Update: Televisions with a Display Port are few, far between, and expensive. But don’t despair! Since I’m only looking for 4K resolution, HDMI can handle that - as long as you get a higher rated cable!

And, in my case, a mini Displayport to HDMI adaptor. I had to look closely at the specs of both cable and adaptor to make sure that I ordered ones that would support 4K@60HZ - but I found them and they’re on order - as is a VESA wall mount.

The TV? Will probably be a Hisense - well rated and significantly less expensive than similar models in other brand. 55" won’t fit in my car - otherwise I’ve have done the 200 mile round trip to the closest Best Buy yesterday!

I’m at my 2nd home office, and can’t order one shipped before I head back to my 1st home office. Will time my order to arrive when I’m next at the 2nd home office.

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However, I won’t be using wireless. My large display will have a wired connection to my computer. Mini Display port at the computer, HDMI at the display, connected by 4K/60Hz rated DP–>HDMI convertor and HDMI cable (ALSO rated 4K/60Hz).

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