If you are in the market for buying a new screen, TV vs Monitor is something that first strikes in mind. While TV is best suited for watching movies and TV shows, monitors are best suited for gaming and other tasks where you need low input lag, no delay and latency. The confusion still prevails because a lot of gamers are already using TV while other people are using monitors to watch movies and tv shows. Which one to buy is still a big question for some.
So whether you should buy a TV or a monitor? Let’s discuss this in detail.
TV vs Monitor – Which One Should You Buy?
Both TV and Monitor are good on their own. The buying decision directly depends on the user’s purpose. To make it easy for you, we have divided this into 2 parts. One is where we will discuss TV vs Monitor for Everyday use and the second is TV vs Monitor for gaming, which is the biggest reason for buying a new screen.
TV vs Monitor – For Everyday Use
When we say everyday use, it means watching movies, tv shows, news, sports, streaming music or consuming general entertainment. If you are into this kind of content consumption and are confused between TV or Monitor, you should be choosing TV over the monitor. TVs are best suited for everyday usage. Here are the reasons why:
1. Screen Size
Movies, sports, news, and tv shows are best enjoyed on the big screen. While monitors start from 24 inches and go all the way to 48 inches (can go bigger with ultrawide monitors having a 21:9 aspect ratio), a TV starts from 32 inches and goes all the way to 85 inches.
Now, if you want to add a screen in your living room or even in your bedroom where there is more than 4ft distance between screen and eyes, there is no way possible to add a 32-inch monitor or even TV in that space simply because that would be way too small considering the size of the room.
It would be better to equip 40-inch 55-inch, 65-inch, 75 inches and 85 inches TV in big space. The bigger the size of the room, the bigger would be the screen size, and the better would be the visibility, viewing angles, and overall experience.
So, if you are looking for a screen for a big room, a TV should be your priority. For portable big screens for movies and other entertainment here are the best big-screen tablets for you.
2. Screen Resolution
Screen resolution is another important aspect that many people overlooked because they get distracted by screen size. Most of the TV came with 4K (3840 x 2160p) & Full HD (1920x1080p) resolution. Now we are also seeing some TVs with 8K resolution (7680 x 4320) which looks absolutely insane in terms of picture quality and size.
On the other hand, A monitor came with Full HD, QHD, and 4K resolution. Full HD and QHD resolutions only look good and are acceptable on 24-inch, 27-inch, or max 32-inch displays. The pixel density (denoted by Pixels Per Inch or PPI) will go lower as we increase the screen size with low resolution. More pixel density means, sharper picture quality. Big screen size and low resolution (Full HD or QHD) will only give you burst pixels and blurred picture quality which is something no one wanted to experience.
Considering the amount of 4K content rolling out, it makes complete sense in getting a 4K TV. A big 55-inch 4K TV would offer more pixels and better picture quality than a 32 inches 4K monitor. More pixels means more screen clarity, sharper picture quality and better overall experience.
So, if you are going up with the screen size of any screen be it a TV or monitor, make sure you are also going up with the screen resolution.
3. Screen Type
Other than that, Screen type is another thing to be considered. A monitor comes with LCD, LED and now even comes with an OLED screen. On the other hand, TV comes with LED, OLED, and QLED screens which are far superior to LED displays. For now, there are only a few OLED monitors but the market is already filled with OLED and QLED TVs. You can easily get an OLED TV from LG, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, TCL etc.
The OLED screen is any day better than LED because of its properties. OLEDs offer much better colors, viewing angles, higher refresh rate (for console gaming), offers best-in-class contrast ratio.
So, if you are looking for an OLED or QLED screen for everyday use, go for a TV instead of a monitor. OLED TVs are slightly more expensive than LED TVs but when it comes to overall experience, OLED TVs are worth the money. OLED screens are also known for their OLED burn-in issue. Here is everything about OLED burn-in that you might be interested to know before finally buying one.
3. HDR (High Dynamic Range)
HDR is the biggest reason why you should incline toward TV instead of a monitor. You will find a lot of monitors in the market that comes with HDR10 support which, more or less, looks like a gimmick. There are only a few monitors that actually come with HDR10 support. But when it comes to TV, HDR performance gets top-notch. There are some TVs that also come with Dolby Vision for streaming Dolby Vision content for enhanced picture quality and Dolby Atmos sound.
There is enough HDR content on Netflix, and Prime Video, and having an actual HDR screen will offer more colors, high brightness and a much better contrast ratio. If you want to watch HDR movies on Netflix or any other platform for that matter, a TV would be better than a monitor. Monitors are not suitable for HDR content and we barely have good monitors with actual HDR which is not a gimmick.
4. Ports & Connectivity
When it comes to ports and connectivity, both monitor and TV are good to go but make sure you have your priority clear. The monitor comes with DisplayPort, HDMI ports, USB ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and USB Type-C ports which are computer/laptop-centric ports for connecting GPU, USB drives, external speakers or headphones, multiple monitors and laptops, PCs etc. If you are into gaming or want to connect more PC/laptop-centric peripherals, a monitor is better for you.
While TV comes with multiple HDMI ports with HDMI Arc, and RJ-45 LAN port, and Optical Digital which are best suited for connecting Blu-Ray players, DVD players, Home Theatre Systems, soundbars, etc. If you want ports to connect audio/video devices, a TV makes more sense than a monitor.
5. Sound & Speakers
Good entertainment is not about good picture quality, good sound plays an equivalent role. Every TV out there comes with inbuilt speakers. Some premium TVs like LG OLED evo C3, LG OLED C2, TCL 8 Series, LG ZX, etc even come with high-quality speakers with woofers that are powered by Dolby Atmos for an absolute surround sound experience.
Monitors, on the other hand, are not made for this. Only a few monitors offer inbuilt speakers and they don’t sound good at all. In easy words, if entertainment is your need, TV is the best screen for you. Don’t even think about monitors for watching movies, tv shows, or use it as a media center of your home.
6. Other Features
Apart from these technical aspects, there are some other features that make TV a better option for everyday use. Every TV comes with a remote controller which is a more practical way to control your TV from a distance. Other than that, we have more Smart TVs than Non-smart TVs right now. Smart TV runs either on Android, TizenOS, LG WebOS, etc. allowing you to install any streaming app like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney which a monitor cannot do because there is no Operating system on the monitor.
However, there are a few smart monitors from Samsung and LG that uses TizenOS and LG WebOS respectively but they are specifically made for those who want a single display for work as well as for entertainment purposes. From smart features and operating systems, the TV is a better option when compared to a monitor.
TV vs Monitor – For Gaming
Now if you are into hardcore gaming and spend most of the time on the battleground instead of watching movies or tv shows, a monitor will make more sense to you. Here is why.
1. Refresh Rate
Refresh rate means how many times the display refreshes in one second to produce a new image. The higher the refresh rate, the smooth would be the gaming performance. Here is more about Refresh rate. Most TV comes with a 60hz refresh rate which is also good for casual gaming but when it comes to hardcore esports gaming, gamers prefers to have 144hz, 240hz or even 360hz refresh rate monitor which is only possible in gaming monitors.
Some new OLED TVs however are offering 120hz refresh rate with HDMI 2.1 port which makes them perfect for console gaming. If you own a PS5 or Xbox and are confused between a TV or monitor, you can easily consider a TV with a 120hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.1 port. LG OLED C1, C2, C3, Samsung QN90A, QN85A, and Hisense U8H are some good TVs suitable for console gaming.
So, if you are into PC gaming and want a higher refresh rate, FPS, TV is not for you. A good gaming monitor with a high refresh rate is all you need. But if you are into console gaming, you can take a look at some specific TVs which came with HDMI 2.1 port, 120hz refresh rate and VRR. You can also check out HDMI 2.1 gaming monitor if you don’t want a big TV screen for gaming.
2. Response Time
Response Time is yet another important aspect of gaming. Response Time means the time taken by the display for changing one color to another. The lower the response time, the better would be the motion performance. For gaming, 1ms to 5ms response time is preferred which is, again, not possible with TV. Higher response time on TV would give the motion blur and it will show the blurry image, especially during high-paced action scenes in FPS, racing games.
Go for a gaming monitor having a response time of less than 5ms and you are good to go. A TV would not be able to perform like a gaming monitor, especially for competitive gaming.
Also See: Best Monitor for RTX 4090
3. Adaptive Sync
Adaptive sync makes sure that the frame rendered by GPU matches the refresh rate of your monitor otherwise you will see screen tearing, broken pictures, or 2 different frames at the same time. That makes Adaptive Sync a vital thing to have for gaming. We cannot deny the fact that there are some TVs that are now coming up with Adaptive Sync technologies like Nvidia G-Sync, AMD FreeSync, and VRR but those TVs are either rare or expensive while you can get a good gaming monitor with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync within $200-$300.
Most TVs with a 120hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.1 port will offer Variable Refresh Rate which is again, good for console gaming.
If you are into competitive gaming and want a perfect screen for gaming, a monitor is a more feasible option than a TV. You can easily find a good gaming monitor with Adaptive Sync technology in every price spectrum.
4. Panel Type
The refresh rate and response time are directly affected by the panel of the monitor. Most esports players prefer to play on TN Panel because of its low response time and higher refresh rate. They also prefer to play on Full HD resolution only. Most TVs only offer a VA panel which is also a good panel for contrast ratio but that limits the option for professional or even serious gamers.
The monitor market offers much more options in terms of panel types like IPS, VA, and TN so that customers can choose what they want. So yes, if you are a gamer and want a specific panel that matches your style of gaming because it performs better, there are ample choices in monitors and limited options on TV.
Most gamers have a gaming desk where they sit, relax and game. A monitor comes with better ergonomics as compared to a TV. You can adjust the height, tilt, swivel, or pivot a monitor but it is not possible to move the TV according to your preferences. There could be a specific category of users who wanted to use their monitor in a vertical orientation for any other purpose other than gaming, even in that sense, a monitor seems more practical than a TV.
Price is the ultimate factor in every buying decisions. When it comes to price, monitors are comparatively cheaper than TV. A good TV will cost you more than $500 but you can easily grab a good 27-inch QHD gaming monitor for less than $500. There are some cheaper options in TVs as well but you only get Full HD resolution which, if used on 40-inch screen size, will give you poor picture quality.
If your whole purpose is gaming and you want a cheaper screen, look for some good gaming monitors instead of a TV. The good TVs that are suitable for gaming come with a hefty price tag.
TV vs Monitor – Which One Should You Pick – Final Verdict
Here is the main part you might be waiting for. TV vs Monitor is not at all a hard puzzle to solve. It all depends on the user and their purpose.
A TV is best suited for everyday use and for consuming media like watching movies, tvs shows, News etc. A few TV with HDMI 2.1 port and 120hz refresh rate is also best suited for console gaming on PS5 or Xbox. TV offers an immersive big screen, better picture quality, the best HDR performance, and better sound output, allows you to connect Blu-Ray players, Soundbars, etc., and can be used as a family’s media center.
While a monitor is best suited for those who spend most of their time on PC gaming, web browsing, video editing, photo editing, etc. You can still watch movies and tv shows on the monitor but there is no comparison between a TV and a monitor when it comes to the immersive experience of the big screen. You cannot use a monitor has the family’s media center.
Now it all depends on your preferences. Are you an entertainment person or a gaming person? Once you found that out, the decision-making would also get better.