Should I Buy a Monitor or TV for My Computer?

Should I buy a monitor or TV for my computer? That is a common question with users who want to either replace their PC monitors or to install a secondary display. They both serve the primary display purpose if connected well. However, certain factors make one better than the other.

Should I Buy a Monitor or TV for My Computer?

You should buy a monitor instead of a TV because the design of the monitor makes it better for close-up use and provides sharper and more detailed displays. Compared to TVs, monitors have more pixels per inch. On the other hand, TVs are not ideal for the interactivity that computers need.

TV monitor

While you can always connect your TV to a PC, their design is for a different purpose which makes them unfit for use with computers. However, a TV set can sometimes be as good as a monitor only if it has the perfect resolution, pixel density, refresh rate, and input lag.

Why is a Monitor Better Than a TV for a Computer?

A good monitor is better than a TV when it comes to connections to a PC, partly because that is their primary and only purpose and partly because they have superior features. Let’s take a look at them.

Refresh Rate 

The refresh rate of a screen is the number of times it refreshes images in a second. Here, computer monitors score higher than TVs. They can reach a refresh rate of 240Hz per second while TV’s refresh rates only range between 60-120H.

Fast-paced gaming and video editing require a highly responsive and seamless display. Therefore, if you want to use a TV for such a purpose, you have to buy one with the highest (120Hz) response rate.

Response Time

Response time refers to the duration your screen pixels take to change color. The response time in computer monitors is faster than that of TVs. It might be an issue for some people, but at times slower response time might be frustrating with the countless ghosting’ effects.

HDTV is a good option if you want to use your PC for gaming. With such models, you can reduce the image processing time by switching it to game mode.

Input Lag

Input lag is a significant factor that you must consider in this debate since you will be using a wireless mouse rather than a TV remote control. It refers to the delay between the time you move the mouse to when that movement appears on the screen.

Man looking at his computer monitor

TVs are generally larger than monitors to display such movement. It might not be a thing to worry about, yet sometimes it might be frustrating.

Can I Use My TV as a Computer Monitor?

Statistics show that more Americans are now spending less time on the TV. However, there are instances where you might be forced to use your TV as a computer monitor. Below are two reasons that would make you connect the PC to a TV rather than a monitor.

Display Size

TVs generally come in bigger sizes than computer monitors. They come in different sizes from 19 up to 85 inches or sometimes, even more. On the other hand, the size range for monitors is between 15 to 50 inches.  

One reason behind the small size of monitors is that you have to use them on desks or a working table- desks can only support up to a specific size and weight. However, with TVs, you can use them on low-boards or wall-mount them. They are ok as long as you have enough room.

Screen Resolution and Pixel Density

Both TVs and Monitors rank relatively the same in terms of resolutions. They both have screen resolutions of up to 8k, and both support a pixel density of up to 7680×420. However, TVs have additional features like HDR (High Dynamic Range) that enhance the screen display.

TV screens also come in LCD, LED, OLED and QLED, but you will only find LCD, LED, and IPS computer monitors in the market. Only OLED and QLED displays can light every single pixel independently. The others (LCD, LED, and IPS) use the backlight to cast the full screen at once.

If you consider the aspect ratio (comparison between the height and width of the screen), computer monitors are better. They are flexible and are available in a variety. TVs, on the other hand, are rigid and have a standard widescreen ratio of 16:9.

TV being used for gaming computer

Related Questions

Finally, let’s answer some of the most common questions we also receive on this subject.  

Is it Better to Game on a Monitor or TV?

Monitors are better for gaming since they have better qualities like lower input lags and faster response time. They also exhibit a better response rate, making them ideal for competitive console gaming.

If you ever want to set up a gaming system, we recommend using a monitor instead of a TV. However, if you prefer the display size over other factors, then a TV will work for you.

How Can I Connect My TV To PC?

You can connect your TV to PC by following this simple procedure: First, ensure that both the computer and TV have HDMI or DP ports. Use an HDMI or a Display Port cable to connect your TV to the computer.  

Check to ensure that your TV is on the correct input/source- click the input/source button on the TV remote control to check. Also, ensure that your PC resolution matches that of your TV. 

If you have the older PC model, then you will need to use the Digital Visual Interface cable (DVI). It is a larger connector that employs the same transmission technology as HDMI cables.


While you can connect your TV to a PC, it doesn’t make it the perfect substitutes unless you want a more significant display. When you want optimum and effective results, you need a better monitor rather than a better TV to connect to your PC.

Liam Weissman

A lover of MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing as a guest blogger for numerous websites for over 10 years. Now, he blogs about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets, and other emerging gadgets on

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