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Is a TV Better Than a Computer Monitor? Which One to Buy

by Ledmond Team
A gaming monitor on a desk near headphones

Cross-functionality in technology has made life easier in some aspects. Combining two functions in one piece of technology has its advantages hence the search for the best TV PC combinations. After all, a TV that can also function as a computer monitor is a great two-for-one deal. You will spend less money and time and use less space when your computer monitor is your TV.

Before buying a TV PC combo, you must ask yourself: is a TV better than a computer monitor? The kind of work you do on your computer will greatly determine the answer to that question. If you need a computer for general office work, a TV could work just as well as a computer monitor. However, if you are in graphics or a gamer, you will need to compare the specifications of a TV versus a monitor.

TV vs. Monitor: Specifications Comparison

Screen Size

Generally speaking, TVs are available in larger sizes than monitors. Whereas the largest computer monitors are 50 inches, you can get TV screens measuring up to 85 inches. Computer monitors are smaller than TV screens due to their function. Standard office desks will not fit large screens hence the 50-inch limit. But you can mount TVs on walls to accommodate their large screen sizes. So if your main concern is screen size, TVs would be a great option.

Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio is critical to your viewing experience, whether on a TV or a monitor. It indicates the relationship between the width of your screen and its height. For TVs, the aspect ratio is usually 16:9, while monitors have various aspect ratios. Your choice here will depend on the kind of work you are doing. For instance, the aspect ratio may not be an important consideration for standard office work.

Alternatively, if you are a photo or video editor or a programmer, you should seriously consider the aspect ratio of the monitor you buy. In fact, you shouldn’t use a TV in place of a monitor. Only a computer monitor will have the aspect ratio to that of your camera or programming needs.

Screen Resolution

Screen resolution measures the pixels across the height and width of a screen. It determines the pixel density of the screen based on its size. Pixel density measures the number of pixels per inch within a screen. The higher the pixel density, the sharper the images and texts displayed on the screen. 

Computer monitors generally have a higher pixel density than TVs. Monitors are smaller than TVs, so they have higher pixel densities at the same resolution. Pixel density is important for any computer work but especially for detail-oriented creatives. So if you work with heavy graphics, a monitor may be better than a TV.

Panel Types

Common monitor panels are Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), Light Emitting Diode (LED), and Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED). TV screens have all these and an extra one called Quantum Light-Emitting Diode (QLED). QLED displays are recent entrants to the market. They have nanoparticles embedded in the LCD display for better color and brightness. Plus, QLED TVs are more affordable than OLED TVs.

There are no computer monitors with QLED panels, so TVs beat computer monitors in this regard. However, it would help to remember that TVs with advanced panel technologies are more expensive.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

TV tech development usually works on making your viewing experience better, which is where High Dynamic Range (DHR) comes in. HDR enhances contrast and broadens the screen’s color spectrum. These enhancements help to display detailed and true-to-life images on the screen. You can also find HDR on some computers and high-end 4K TVs.

So if you want an HDR screen, TV screens have refined the technology. Computer monitors still have a few bugs with HDR implementation. Either option will cost more than a screen without HDR capability.

Ports

Ports are important whether you are buying a computer monitor or a TV. They facilitate connections to other devices to enhance your productivity and entertainment. TVs and monitors have the same ports. That is USB, HDMI, DVI, and VGA, which allow for expansion when necessary. 

TVs have two additional coaxial cables and antenna ports. So if you need more ports then TVs get you covered. However, it all depends on where you need to use the ports. If you need it for programming, then a monitor is better since you don’t need the extra coaxial and antenna ports.

A TV in a living room
TVs and Monitors have different features that make each better for its specific job
Photo by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash

Other Similarities and Differences to Consider

Ergonomics

If you spend many hours in front of a screen, your eye health should be a top priority. Using either a TV or monitor will have an impact on your eye health. Monitors display information in such a way that you don’t need to move your head to see everything on your screen. TVs are larger than monitors and require frequent head movements and muscular strains. Further, unlike the sharp monitor images, pixelated TV images can cause eye strain.

Price

Following specifications, the price ultimately informs the final decision between TVs and monitors. There are high-end, expensive, and affordable options for both TVs and monitors. What determines the price difference is the size and type of screen. Larger screens are more expensive, especially if they have the latest screen tech like QLED. 

The number and types of ports, screen resolution, and even brand will influence the price. So, to determine how much you will spend on a screen or monitor, figure out the specifications you need. 

Conclusion

So, is a TV better than a monitor? The answer depends on the intended use of the monitor. For general use, either a TV or a computer monitor would do well. However, the features are what counts for gaming, graphic design, programming, photo, and video editing. TVs are for entertainment, while computer monitors are designed for work. So comparing the two is only possible to a certain extent.

For example, TVs do not specify their response times like computer monitors. So you may purchase a TV for gaming but find that it shows trailing and ghosting, which can affect your efficacy. You would rather get the best budget gaming monitor than struggle to work with a high-end TV in such a case.

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