Can You Use A Smart TV As A Computer Monitor

Nowadays, more people are putting their minds towards making the best use of equipment, gadgets, appliances, etc. The idea of having a monitor and a TV in one is one way people are aiming to make the best use out of appliances and equipment.

If the thought of using your TV to serve the purpose of a computer monitor ever crossed your mind, you should know this idea is not out of place and it is very possible. Newer TV models are being made to easily connect with a computer. Making use of your TV as a replacement for your computer monitor is made possible with a High Definition Multimedia Interface cable or HDMI cable. Another option is the use of a DisplayPort cable. 

How To Use Your TV As A Computer Monitor

Connecting your TV to your computer is very straightforward. It is the same way you would connect your monitor to your computer. All you need is the right cables, and of course a computer. First of all, you’ll need to find out the available connector types on your PC. The TV isn’t much of an issue as it will display the screen of your PC once the HDMI connection is established. Below are the steps for connecting your TV to your PC to make use of it as your preferred monitor/monitor replacement.

Step 1: The first thing to do is to connect your PC to your TV. If your PC has an HDMI port, what you’ll need to do is connect one end of the HDMI cable to your PC’s HDMI port, and the other end to your TV’s HDMI/DVI port. If your PC however does not have an HDMI port, but rather a Video Graphics Array port/ VGA port, Digital Visual Interface port/DVI port, USB-C, or a DisplayPort, then you’ll need to make your connection using an adapter or a cable that can achieve the connection.

Step 2: Next is to select PC as the Source on your TV. You can do this by using the input/source button on your TV’s remote. You may have on your remote Home button instead. Use the Home button to get to input/source on your TV. Your TV on the other hand would have recognized the PC as the input from the HDMI, and once you select it, it will display the screen of your PC. 

Please note that your TV may not recognize the HDMI input from your PC. If this happens, just switch to another HDMI port, preferably the one marked with DVI. The DVI port should work best. Once you have switched the port, then repeat the second step.

Step 3: This is the step where you configure the audiovisual output on the PC’s settings to your taste. One adjustment you’ll need to make is the resolution. You want to ensure that your TVs’ and PCs’ resolution are closely matched. To do this, go to the Settings on your PC. Click on System, and then Display. Further, click on Advanced Display Settings, and then click on Display Adapter Properties for Display 1. Next is to click All Modes. From the listed Modes, go ahead and select the resolution that best matches that of your TV.

Disadvantages Of Using A Smart TV As A Computer Monitor

If you are thinking about upgrading your PC setup by moving from a monitor to a TV, you may want to weigh in on your choices. To help you make informed decisions, we will cover in this section some reasons why you may want to stick to your monitor, because even though bigger may seem better, it’s not in all cases, and this is one of such “not in all cases”.

  1. First on our list is the issue of connection. Yes, all TVs have HDMI ports, but do all computers have them? The answer is No! So, before you get a new TV with the sole or main aim of using it as a replacement for your monitor, you may want to think twice. However, there are other connection options available other than via an HDMI port.

  2. The Delay/Lag. This isn’t jet lag! It’s input lag. Input lag is defined basically as a delay between the response you get when you strike a key on the keyboard. In other words, how long or the time that passes between when you press a key on the keyboard and when it appears on the monitor is called input lag. Now, you should know that most computer monitors out there were designed to minimize the occurrence of this input lag, but not so for your TVs. This may not seem much at the beginning, but I promise you, with time, you will begin to feel the frustration, especially when it begins to affect your gaming experience. This makes another good reason why you might want to stick to your computer monitor.

  3. Bigger does not necessarily mean better as the saying goes, and this happens to be an issue with converting a TV to use as a monitor. Ideally, TV screens are too big to be used as monitors. As a general rule, to view a TV, for every 10 inches of your TV, you have to sit a foot away. Therefore, for a 40 to 60 inches TV, you have to sit 4 to 6 feet away. This is important to allow a full view of what is displayed on the TV, as well as protect the eyes and maintain proper posture. This is not an issue when you are using your TV for mainly TV purposes, and not as a monitor. However, for the latter, you will find that sitting that far can affect what is on your screen, because, a TV has lower pixel density and resolution, compared to a computer monitor, therefore, images may appear blurry or unclear at some point, especially text. This will affect whatever effect you were looking to have from using your TV as a monitor. If you are thinking of getting a TV with a higher resolution and pixel density, then you might as well stick with your monitor, because such TVs are far more expensive than your regular monitor.

  4. Compression color, Refresh rate, and Response time are other reasons you may want to look into before making use of your TV as a preferred monitor.

How To Mirror Your Laptop Screen To Your Smart TV

To Mirror your laptop screen to your TV simply means having the same content on both your TV and your Laptop screen. This can be achieved either through a wired or wireless connection. With the wired connections, you can make use of any of the listed cables that are compatible with your laptop and TV.

  • Full-sized HDMI cable connection.

  • Mini/Micro HDMI cable connection.

  • Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, or Mini DisplayPort cable connection.

  • USB-C port cable connection.

This list of wired connections for mirroring your laptop to TV is not exhaustive. If you are not sure which to go for, you can always check with the company of the laptop brand you are using. Better still, you can access more details from Google. For wireless connections, please find the list below.

  • One of the easiest methods is by using Apple’s Airplay if you have an Apple computer. Also, you’ll require a TV that supports Airplay.

  • If you are making use of a Windows PC, then you can connect wirelessly using what is called Miracast. You also need a TV or devices like an adapter that can be plugged into your TV that supports Miracast.

  • For Chromebook users, you’ll need Chromecast, Chromecast Ultra, smart TVs with in-built Chromecast, Nvidia Shield, or Sony TVs that run Android TV. 

There is a possibility of casting from a Chrome browser without an Airplay or Miracast compatible devices. This will allow you to mirror your Chrome browser from any laptop, as long as you have any of the Chromebook devices mentioned in the list above. The catch is some websites might not work, but you will be able to get the visible content of your browser on your TV screen.

Can You Use A Smart TV As A Computer Monitor For Gaming

Yes, you can use your smart TV as a gaming monitor or computer monitor for gaming. Just about any TV can be used, as long as the right set of ports are available. That said, you will need a TV that has modern graphics if you want to get the most out of your gaming experience. There should also be HDMI ports available and in some cases DVI or VGA ports available. 

Should You Buy A Smart TV Or Monitor For Your Pc

The choice of buying a smart TV or a monitor for your PC can be confusing and thought draining. You could start your choice based on affordability, though this may be overwhelming too, as some monitors may cost more than your smart TV, because its function cannot be executed by a smart TV, an example here is a monitor for editing. 

However, if you revisit the section for disadvantages of choosing a TV over a monitor, you would see that they by far outweigh the advantages.

Computer monitors are made with the chief purpose of interactivity in mind, but not so for TVs. TVs are larger compared to monitors, and this can be an issue when you are dealing with limited room space. Also, things might get a bit more complicated in set up, because you will need different connections and connectors to make your TV your monitor.

So, do you think you should buy a smart TV or monitor for your PC? The choice is yours. But if we have to recommend, you should stick to your monitor rather than a smart TV.

Take Away from This Article

While it may seem a good idea and all fun to replace your monitor with a TV, you may want to weigh in on the option, taking into consideration what both options have to offer. We have looked at both options and have presented you with information to help you make that decision between using a monitor or using a smart TV for a monitor. We do hope you have found this article informative. Thank you for reading!

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