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LCD Gamign Tables?

MacMathan

Explorer
LCG Gaming Tables? (Cursed poor typing)

I did not want to clutter the thread on projectors but I am curious to hear from those who have gone the LCD flatscreen route for a gaming surface.

What size do you use?

What resolution do you play in?

etc.
 
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khantroll

Explorer
My group and I have tried it, using a 48" RCA LCD. at the native resolution of 1024 by 720. It worked well enough, especially when we hooked it to a linux box using wii-motes as laser sensors. We used this setup for both a "draw on the fly" over a map session and a miniatures + images setup.

The primary downsides were that A) there was no way to scale the size of the table output, like with a projector and changing the throw, and B) this particular TV that we used was not designed to be used laying flat like table. It died within four sessions.
 


Oryan77

Adventurer
this particular TV that we used was not designed to be used laying flat like table. It died within four sessions.

Was it because it got too hot from not having adequate air circulation? I'm using a 46" Samsung but I built a stand for it that has laptop fans underneath blowing into the vents on the back of the tv. I've used it about 4 times so far. So far so good. It seems fine but I do worry about using it like this.
 

khantroll

Explorer
Actually, I am not one hundred percent certain why it failed. It was working, and then it just quit producing a picture. It wood turn on, stay on, everything would seem to work find, but no picture or sound.

I finally broke down and took it apart, and I found two things which may or may not be the cause. The LCD in that model a sort of pressure fit, no clips or anything hold the panel in place. The weight of the panel caused it to sort of sag, so that it was slightly curved when I pulled it out.

The other thing was that I did find some discoloration on the video board. Not sure if it is from heat, or simple failure. Or if it is just something that this model does as it ages (it was about 4 years old).

But, whatever it was, it is apparently a know issue, because I downloaded several service manuals for RCA flat panels trying to diagnose it, and they all said "Do not operate or store television in a non-upright position."

I don't THINK it was heat, though. We had a stand for it, so it wasn't laying flat on the table. But, then again, we didn't add any fans either, so that might have been it. I finally said bugger it, put it back together, and put it in storage.
 

Xeterog

Explorer
I used a 32" LCD tv for a year and a half with no issues. Used Maptools for mapping and stuff. We quickly went to using the Maptools tokens for everything, no mini's required on the TV. I think it was at 1024x768. Was nice to be able to zoom in or out depending on needs. Also could use LOS to hide creatures/terrain if I went to the extra effort to set the map up--but usually I just revealed the map as they went along.

Highly recommend maptools tho, it's free and worth the time to learn how to use it.

I often used the monitor between sessions as a 2nd monitor for my laptop, and that was my downfall. I didn't secure the TV to the base and while working on a computer on the table, the TV fell over and cracked the LCD panel, thus ending our days of playing D&D on the LCD (my players were sad...)

(eventually, I'll get another one tho--it was fun to use)
 

Stormonu

Legend
I tried to use a 19" LCD monitor for our game a couple years back, but there were several issues that made me stop.

First was heat; I had built a display box to protect the monitor, but it also made it run hot as there was nowhere for the heat to go.

Second, I nearly had a heart-attack when someone spilled their 32-ounce drink on the table. If I hadn't put it in a protective case, it would have been ruined.

Third, the monitor had been set as a secondary display, so it was difficult to position (and scale) things. It would have been easier to manipulate if it was a mirror copy of my main display, but I also had init trackers, PDF of the module and other things up I didn't want the players to see.

Also, I tried using my iPad as a game table for a Savage Worlds game once. If I wasn't also using the iPad as a rule book, it probably would have worked wondrously, though it was a little small. Still, for a group maneuvering through a dungeon by torchlight, it's just about the right size.
 

Oryan77

Adventurer
IThird, the monitor had been set as a secondary display, so it was difficult to position (and scale) things. It would have been easier to manipulate if it was a mirror copy of my main display, but I also had init trackers, PDF of the module and other things up I didn't want the players to see.

If you ever try a similar setup again, these issues are easily dealt with by using Maptool and run it as a server where a 2nd computer connects to the server (very easily done in Maptool). That way the server computer acts as your DM screen, and the other computer hooked up to the tv acts as the player screen.

Maptool makes using a VTT extremely easy. Maptool really spices up the VTT experience.
 

OnlineDM

Adventurer
I'd XP Oryan77, but I've apparently done so recently.

I just wanted to echo the praise for MapTool. It's perfect for use as a player display either as a projected image or as a second monitor. Set your display to "stretch" mode with the "left" screen (your main computer monitor) as the DM screen and the "right" screen (the projected image / second monitor / TV) as the players' screen.

Start MapTool and load up your campaign. Start a MapTool server.

Start a second instance of MapTool. Connect to the first MapTool server.

Drag that second instance of MapTool onto the "right" screen. Hit CTRL + ALT + ENTER to put it in full-screen mode.

Rock on.
 

filthgrinder

First Post
I'd really like to built a multitouch surface. Here are some brief overview videos of the different types:

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4g3cdgoU78]‪How To Build a Multitouch Table - Part 1‬‏ - YouTube[/ame]
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8skXwI97CdQ]‪How to Build A Multitouch Table - Part 2‬‏ - YouTube[/ame]

The problem with monitors/tvs is that most of them are not meant to be laid flat, so it "can" cause damage.
 

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