Cross functionality has become the norm in everything technology. You now have flying cars, laundry machines that combine the wash and dry function, as well as TVs that can work as PC monitors. Creating the best TV PC combination is not as simple as it seems. It is not just about cables and connections. There is a lot more that goes into making the best setup.
Depending on the TV you have, there can be three to four HDMI ports, that the manufacturer has promised you will work with any device. Although this is true, you may not be getting the full information. Without getting too technical, here are the main things to consider when creating the best TV PC setup.
There are two ways in which you can connect your PC to the TV. There are cable connections and wireless connections. For cable connections, you can either use an HDMI, USB Type-C, or VGA cable. The sort of cable connection you use will depend on the technology on each of the devices. All you need to do is ensure that the right ports are linked, and voila, you are good to go.
Wireless connections can be a little tricky if you are still a novice to the technology. For this to work, both your devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Here is a quick guide on how to link your PC to the TV:
- Enable screen mirroring on your smart TV. You can find the option under the source menu or in your settings.
- Press the Windows key and letter K simultaneously on your laptop to open the “connect to a display” menu.
- Select the “connect to wireless display” option and allow your computer to locate your TV.
- Input the relevant passcodes, and you are good to go.
For non-windows devices, you can use the respective built-in technologies to create the best TV PC combo:
- Airplay is exclusive to Apple products.
- Chromecast is exclusive to Google products. However, you can still use Chromecast to beam images directly from your chrome browser to the TV.
- There are also third-party devices that you can use for your TV PC wireless display set up. They use either of the above technologies to support this function. You can check out any of the following recommendations:
2. The Type of Display
The thing that people fail to understand is that computer monitors and TVs serve different functions. Despite them being display panels, the technology varies immensely. For example, Range Rovers and Ferrari are both cars. However, one can go off-road while the latter is for the track. When setting up your TV PC combo, avoid OLED screens at all costs as they tend to burn in overtime.
Although there are 4K TVs that can work as PC monitors, you are better off using an FHD monitor instead. It is not only cheaper but also offers a much better viewing experience. Keep reading to find out more. Stick between screens of 24″ to 65″. Anything larger is a complete waste of time, mainly if it is for personal use.
Flat panels are also better for TV PC usage as they are more practical, particularly for presentations and commercial displays. Curved screens limit the viewing angles and tend to have issues with the picture quality on the sides. The ideal panel types for TV PC setups are IPS, VA, and QLED. IPS panels offer the best viewing angles, QLEDS are strong on color and picture quality, while VA panels are the middle ground.
3. Check Your PC Specifications
Many PCs now feature onboard graphics cards. These are by far much better than the GPU units you get on TVs and can deliver pictures at a much higher quality. Therefore, you need to make sure your TV can support all the resolution outputs from your PC. You can check the different resolution outputs by accessing the advanced display setting options on your Windows computer. Follow these steps to get there:
- Right-click on the desktop and select “Display Settings” from the resulting menu.
- Click on the “Advanced Display Settings” options, followed by “Display adapter Properties”.
- Click on the “list all modes” and see all the output capabilities of your onboard graphics card.
It is advisable to make sure that the TV you select matches the output for best results. Key features to keep in mind when selecting the best TV PC combinations.
1. Pixels Per Inch (PPI)
You may have come across a figure such as 1366 X 768 (1080p). It refers to the concentration of picture elements per square inch on the screen. Although the setting may match in both your PC output and TV, the density may vary considerably. A laptop screen of 15 inches has a PPI of 141 whereas a TV of 32 inches has 68 PPI. This difference results in less clarity of images from your TV as compared to your screen. Therefore, always look at the PPI density when selecting a TV to use as a monitor.
2. Refresh Rate
Refresh rate refers to the number of frames that a display panel processes in a second (fps). PCs output more than 60fps in most cases, depending on the GPU unit that is available. Most TVs only function up to 60 fps. Therefore, look for monitors that have a dedicated PC or Game mode in their picture setting to enjoy smoother viewing. Alternatively, you can look for models that include variable refresh rate technology. These can compensate for the differences in outputs from the PC.
3. Input Lag
The speed by which your TV responds to inputs from the computer is also a determining factor. The mouse and keyboard movements can delay depending on the onboard GPU. Computer monitors are more focused on reducing lag times while TVs are on video processing. The difference in priorities can result in delayed actions, primarily when gaming. The best TV PC combinations are those that have an input lag of less than 20ms.
4. Purpose of Your Entertainment Hub
The purpose of the setup will determine the choice of TV. If you are looking for a multi-screen display, then it makes sense to have a TV as the extra monitor. You can use it for more subtle tasks such as a display for your office advertisements, catalogs, and the likes. Similarly, if you want a larger screen for presentations and gaming, it makes sense to have a TV as your PC monitor.
One thing to note is that any TV below 43 inches is not a wise investment, because the purpose-built TV monitors will outshine it in all aspects.
Best TV PC Monitors to Buy
Here are the best T PC combinations you should consider for your entertainment hub:
1. Best 4K Resolution: Samsung Q90T Series
The Samsung Q90T range of TVs comes with a Real Game Enhancer mode that adjusts the screen display capabilities as per the input. They are not only stylish but also adjust exceptionally well to the brightness of the room. You can expect your images to be upscaled up to 1440p.
In addition to their upscaling capabilities, the Q90T series also has an input lag of less than 5ms when set to game mode. But, not all is rosy with the Q90t series though. They lack VRR technology and do not support NVIDIA GPUs. However, they make up for this with FreeSync technology that supports refresh rates of up to 120 Hz. Screen sizes are available from 55″ to 85″.
Best 4K Alternative: Hisense H9G Series
If you are still looking for a 4K TV but at a lesser price point, you can consider the Hisense H9G series of TVs. They offer impressive contrast ratios, and there is a very low input lag when used as a monitor. The only issue about the H9G series is the lack of VRR technology. The inability to adjust accordingly, given the different input may result in ghosting when viewing specific types of content. However, if you are using the monitor for personal use, the effect is inconsequential. The Hisense H9G series is available in screen sizes of 55″ and 65″.
2. Best Full HD Resolution: Insignia NS-32 Smart HD TV
The Insignia can process images at 720p at full HD with a refresh rate of 60Hz. It does not have HDR technology, which means you may experience picture quality issues when gaming. The TV is better suited for modest tasks such as presentations and advertisement viewing, or as part of a multi-display setting and not a stand-alone monitor. You can get yourself a unit at any of the following retailers.
Best Full HD Alternative: Hisense H4F Series
Unlike Insignia, Hisense H4 TVs have a motion rate120 technology which is ideal for handling input lag. They also can manage a 1080p resolution on both TV and PC inputs. The dedicated game mode adjusts the TV’s picture settings to offer you a more immersive picture experience.
The TV also comes equipped with DTS surround sound, which allows for clear sound on any inputs. You can place it either on a stand or mount it on the wall, depending on what setup you are going after. You can connect your PC either through HDMI or wireless connectivity depending on your preference. Screen sizes are available in 32 “, 40″ and 43”.
3. Best Gaming Setup: Samsung Q80T Series
The Q80T is a predecessor to the Q90T. However, despite the age difference, it is better suited for gaming scenarios as compared to its sibling. Among the technologies available to you are:
- Quantum Dot which provides for better clarity and image processing
- HDMI 2.1 variable refresh rate that responds effortlessly to the changing outputs from your PC when playing your fast-moving games.
- 4K upscaling at 120 Hz. Depending on your PC, the Q80T can go toe to toe with even the most advanced of computer GPUs.
Unfortunately, the viewing angles on the Q80T are not that great. Images lose their quality once you move greater than 30 degrees on either side. Screen sizes are available from 49″ to 85″. However, we recommend the 55″ as that makes more commercial sense.
Best Gaming Setup Alternative: Sony X900H Series
The TV can either be X900H in the USA or XH9005 in the UK. We are not sure why the difference in model numbers. Regardless, the specs of the unit are still the same. The X900H is the latest addition to the BRAVIA product line, and it comes with loads of technology to suit every function. Its release coincides with that of the PlayStation 5, and it is the unit that Sony used for demonstrations during CES 2020. Following successful demos, the unit received the award for Best of CES 2020 HD Guru.
Display technology includes support for 4K imaging at 120Hz for gaming, making it ideal for even the most advanced PC GPUs. The TV’s picture processing power comes from the VRR technology in tandem with HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. All this is run by the onboard X1 4k HDR processor that works effortlessly, regardless of the input.
Sony did not play around with sound quality either. You get two 10W stereo speakers, armed with Dolby and DTS codecs. You do not need an external audio device if you are using this unit as a PC monitor. Despite all this technology in its arsenal, the VA panel does not provide wide viewing angles. The lack of HDMI 2.1 support is also a downer. However, Sony seems to have realised this and has promised to offer it in subsequent firmware updates. The X900H is available in screen sizes ranging from 55″ to 85″.
Best Gaming Setup Alternative: LG Nano 85 Series
The LG Nano 85’s come with an IPS panel that provides impressive viewing angles of up to 178 degrees. You also get full HDMI VRR support, and they have included Auto Low Latency Mode technology, both of which allow for smooth transitions between frames. The Nano 85 also has a dedicated Game Mode, through which you can expect input lags of less than 15 milliseconds at 60 Hz and six milliseconds at 120 Hz respectively.
The TV has a lower contrast ratio as compared to the Samsung Q80T and Sony X900H, but you can excuse this given its price point. The TV has one over its competition as it functions well in both gaming and regular usage. Screen sizes are available from 49″ to 75 inches.
4. Best Budget Setup: TCL 6 Series R635
The TCL R635 comes with mini-LED backlighting which provides local dimming and high contrast ratios across different inputs. With the capacity to offer up to 1440p at 120Hz, this unit is ideal even for the most avid gamers. Unlike the previous models that we have discussed, the R635 is modestly priced to make it more accessible to the mid-level market.
The design is exquisite as compared to other budget TVs, and it blends well with any décor. Among the technology included are VRR and Dolby Vision, both of which work very well to achieve crisp and clear pictures from the accompanying QLED display panel. You can get the TCL R635 in screen sizes of 55″, 65″, and 75″.
Many factors contribute to creating the best tv pc monitor combination. It all depends on what your objective is when having such a setup. Whether it is at the office or for your personal use, you have several options to choose from. Always remember that to get the best results always resort to what the manufacturer specifies.
Frequently Asked Questions.
The PC has two GPUs will it still work in a TV PC setup?
Yes, it will. Use the display settings of the secondary GPU to determine which TV monitor to select. These tend to be more high performance than the standard-issue graphics cards. Be mindful of the GPU manufacturer as well. The most common are AMD Radeon and NVIDIA. TVs like the Samsung Q90T do not support NVIDIA GPUs and therefore do not make the best TV PC combinations for gamers.
Why are OLED TVs, not the best TV PC monitors?
OLED TVs are the best when it comes to picture quality in a TV PC combination. However, they are discouraged because they are prone to burn-in. Burn-in refers to a situation where some sections of your display start fading or become unresponsive to image changes. It happens in cases where the screen is subject to multiple image changes.
You can still use an OLED screen as a PC monitor for other inputs that do not require fast and frequent changes in the picture density such as gaming. The LG CX OLED series is an ideal choice for TV PC monitors.
What does HDR mean?
High Dynamic Range is a technology that widens the number of colors and contrast ratios of your TV. It makes images appear more color-rich and with a significant distinction between hues.
Why are there two model numbers for the same TV?
Depending on where the manufacturer intends to sell the unit, there are specific production and quality standards that they need to fulfill. To distinguish between the models in the production line, the manufacturer assigns different model numbers. The variation is not that great, and you can quickly identify if the TVs are similar. For example, the Sony BRAVIA 900 series is referred to as X900H in the US and XH900 in the UK.
What is the maximum screen size for a TV PC monitor?
It all depends on the purpose of the setup. If you are using the TV in a commercial setting, you can get a screen size as big as 85″. Manufacturers offer different models for different purposes. For example, the Samsung QB series is specifically for commercial use.