Monitor vs TV | Which One Should I Pick for an Awesome Gaming Experience?

Are you indecisive on whether to choose a new TV or monitor?

TV vs monitor, what is the difference? Well, you are not alone. If you are an avid gamer, playing your favourite games on a 60 inch TV sitting in your living room seems like a dream come true! But do you expect the same results on a TV as you would get from a computer display?

Before you can decide which display is best for your needs, there are various factors to consider, including the resolution, size of the display screen, response time, features, etc. Check out the Acer's top range monitors here, or Asus' picks in this post, before you read on. Also, Samsung's  top quality monitors are worthy alternatives, though Sceptre can have their say about it, as well.

So, after considering various factors, which one should you go for and want to use?

TV Vs. Monitor - Which One Should I Pick for Gaming?

Nothing stops you from using a TV as your PC monitor, though it may not be the best option. TVs usually have lower refresh rates compared to the very best gaming monitors we looked at in this article.

To enjoy your gaming, there are features that you need on your display.

For instance, the monitor should have a high refresh rate and fast response time. With a fast refresh rate, you get rid of all screen tearing as you enjoy a fluid transition even when playing a fast action game. Monitors under 200 bucks we looked into, or those under $300 we reviewed as well, may or may not be your pick of the bunch, but they are still worth checking them out before you decide on a more expensive one, like the sub-$500 monitor from this list.

Most monitors have higher refresh rates than TVs. A gaming monitor can have up to 360Hz while a TV will have up to 120Hz rate. Thus, a monitor will be a better option in terms of refresh rate as explained in our top 120Hz monitors review.

anime on a monitor

If it is the size you are looking for, then a TV or HDTVs can make a better option as they are available in various sizes from small to large. Most gamers prefer a large screen as it offers more screen real estate to display the content. It also offers a wide range of viewing angles, ensuring you get quality images irrespective of your viewing position. Anyway, you can still check out the quality 32'' monitors here.

For console gaming, you need to sit closer to the screen. Therefore, you may not need a massive screen. So, a top-notch console gaming monitor is worth checking out.  We already reviewed the best PS4 monitors out there, to boot. And, if you are tight with space, one of the curved monitors from this post can come in handy.

In terms of the size of the screen, your choice between a monitor or a TV or HDTVs depends on the game you want to play and your personal preferences.

Apart from the screen size, you also need to consider other factors such as the input lag. The lower the input lag, the smoother your gaming experience. Computer monitors are better for gaming as they have a lower input lag compared to TVs. If you opt for a TV for your gaming, ensure it has a game mode that helps minimize the input lag.

can you use tv as a computer

Is a TV the Same as a Computer Monitor?

You can watch your TV shows on a computer monitor, and you can play your computer games on an HDTV. Monitors have HDMI ports,  and the same for TVs and HDTVs, but does that make them the same device?

Many TVs have features that you may not find in a monitor, and monitors are usually smaller in size.

Computer displays and TVs can work together to offer a bigger display for presentations and media, and they can also offer an extra screen for your computer.

So, what do you expect from either a TV or monitor screen?

Screen Resolution 

Before you can settle on either a TV or monitor, you need to understand what you need.

Both computer displays and TV screens support a variety of screen resolutions. TVs are available in Full HD and 4K UHD resolutions. Monitors come with an in-between option known as QHD with 2560 x 1440 pixels.

The common screen resolution for the monitor includes 1366 x 768 and 1920 x 1080 pixels. Both TVs and monitors support 8K displays with resolutions of 7680 x 4320 pixels.

The ratio of screen resolution and screen size is known as pixel density, and it measures how many pixels per inch the display offers. A 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution is ideal for 32 inch TVs but not for computer displays that are longer than 24 inches.

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Low pixel density makes small items appear blurry when you look at the screen from a close range.

Computer monitors and TVs are available on various screens, including LED, LCD, and OLED. The latest type of screen for monitors is QLED technology.

OLED and QLED displays light up each pixel independently while LCD and LEd screens use a backlight to light up the screen at once.

Refresh Rate 

Before you can choose between a monitor or a TV, you need to consider what you need in terms of refresh rate.

Gaming monitors can come with a refresh rate of up to 360Hz, ensuring you have the most fluid transition. Thus, you can enjoy even the fast-action games without the risk of screen tearing which enhances your gaming experiences.

On the other hand, TVs offer a refresh rate of 60Hz to 120Hz.

If you compare TVs and monitors in terms of refresh rate, monitors make a better choice for a gaming monitor.

monitor under 200

Input Lag 

If you want to purchase a gaming monitor, you need to ensure it has the lowest input lag.

A TV will be a better choice for console gaming since you'll be sitting further from the screen. However, you need to make sure it has an image post-processing bypass mode, known as a game mode.

The game mode minimizes the input lag in a TV, enabling you to enjoy smooth and responsive gameplay.

To enjoy the best experience, a TV should have less than 16 ms per second and 8ms per second if it supports a 120Hz refresh rate.

Response Time

Response time speed is also a vital factor to consider when choosing between a PC monitor and a TV screen.

Monitor manufacturers put the response time specifications on the paper but not so for TVs. Therefore, you need to confirm the response time your preferred TV offers.

gaming monitor looks

An average IPS panel computer display comes with a response time speed of about 5 ms. On the other hand, an IPS panel TV comes with about a 15ms response time.

Therefore, you will experience more ghosting, blurring, and trailing behind while watching fast-paced objects on an IPS panel TV.

If you want a TV for gaming, it will be best to go for an IPS panel as VA panels are slower. You should also consider a TV with a lower input lag. An OLED TV has a faster response time than LED backlight TVs.


Some gaming monitors offer variable refresh rates or an adaptive-sync feature such as AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-SYNC.

The adaptive-sync technology also requires you to have a compatible graphics card, which offers you various refresh rates that help to get rid of all stuttering and screen tearing.

If you play both console and PC games, a gaming monitor with FreeSync technology and 120Hz and above refresh rates will be an excellent choice. But you can also get TVs with variable refresh rates and FreeSync technology which makes them ideal for any gaming.

laptop and tv

Screen Size

The size of the screen is a crucial factor to consider for most buyers.

TVs are available in various sizes from small to large, but customers are more attracted to large screens as they offer better visibility. A large screen also offers you a wide variety of viewing angles.

Most monitors are smaller in size compared to TVs. The smaller size of the monitors is convenient as they are used from a specific distance as you play your games. However, some gamers prefer large monitors as they offer better visibility and a more lifelike gaming experience.

However, as you choose a monitor or a TV, the screen size should only be one of the considerations. You should consider other factors such as screen resolution, refresh rate, response time, and input lag.

The monitor's size will also determine how much it will cost you to buy the monitor or TV.

best tv is...

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

If you purchase a high-end 4K TV, it should also have an HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature that offers better and more vibrant images that offer a more lifelike experience.

The HDR feature also offers a wider contrast between the brightest whites and the deepest blacks in the display. The wider the contrast, the better the images offered, which takes your gaming to the next level.

With better contrast, you can see the enemy hiding in the dark corners and take appropriate action fast.


If you are into gaming, you probably want to have a giant monitor to enjoy gaming sessions. A large monitor also makes it effortless to multitask. However, as monitors increase in size, they also become more expensive. As such, it's not unusual for people to think of TVs as a cheaper alternative. 

However, TVs may not be the best option for gaming as they have a lower refresh rate, lower response time, and input lag. If you are looking for a display for gaming, a PC monitor is an excellent pick.

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