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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 screens, 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 with superb picture quality 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?

Monitor vs TV - Which One Should I Choose for Gaming?

Nothing stops you from using a TV as your computer monitor or vice versa, 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 pc 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 the best refresh rate for gaming, 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. The best computer monitors for gaming we recommend can be found in our earlier detailed guide on computer displays, so go and give it a look.

anime on a monitor

If it is the size of the display 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 image quality 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 whole screen, your choice between a monitor or a TV or HDTVs (see our HD guide) 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 modern TVs. If you opt for a TV for your gaming, ensure it has a game mode that helps minimize the input lag (see also VIZIO TV settings for gaming).

can you use tv as a computer

Is a TV the Same as a Computer Monitor?

You can watch TV shows, movies on computer monitors, and you can play your computer games on an HDTV. Monitors have HDMI ports and an HDMI cable,  VGA, and the same for most TVs and HDTVs, but does that make them the same devices?

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 big screen 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 are 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 pixel resolution is ideal for 32 inch TVs but not for computer displays that are longer than 24 inches.

green atmosphere

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 screen types for monitors are QLED technology.

OLED and QLED displays light up each pixel on screen 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 or console gamers 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 important 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 (see LG). 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 IPS panels 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 tears.

If you play both console games 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 a TV with variable refresh rate 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 (see Toshiba). The smaller size of the monitors is convenient as they are used from a specific distance as you play your games. However, most PC 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, aspect ratio, 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 - see TVs from LG - as a cheaper alternative. 

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


1. Is it better to use a monitor or TV for gaming?

Yes, monitors are a far superior gaming option to televisions. This is because they have a faster response time than television. While faster response times are less critical when watching video, TV shows, or watching movies, they are essential when gaming.

2. Does a monitor make a difference for gaming?

The answer is yes. A good monitor can provide a better gaming experience by providing clearer images and faster response times. This means that you’ll be able to see enemies and objects more clearly, and you’ll be able to react to them faster. In addition, a good monitor can help reduce input lag, which can cause problems with gameplay.

If you’re looking for the best possible gaming experience, then you should consider investing in a good monitor. Not all monitors are created equal, so you’ll need to do your research to find the one that’s right for you.

3. Why do pro gamers use small monitors?

It is large enough to see details while remaining compact enough to fit easily into small rooms and desk and tablespaces. Additionally, 144Hz and 240Hz refresh rates and a fast response time are reasonably priced for a display of this size. While larger tv (see TVs by Sony), or monitors will be used for home rigs, a 24-inch display is sufficient for most competitive gaming.

4. Why is TV cheaper than monitor?

Frequently, consumers are unaware of the manufacturing cost. This means that TV manufacturers can easily set prices as high as the market will bear. Additionally, because TVs (see Sharp and Hisense TVs) are purchased in more significant quantities than monitors, it is easier to sell TVs at a profit than it is to sell monitors.

Also, if you want your TV to fit a tight budget and are a casual viewer, looking for more affordable options like TVs by Vizio, Hisence, or TCL TVs, will leave you even more better off.

5. Are gaming monitors worth it?

Is it worthwhile to invest in a high-refresh-rate screens? Indeed, there is little point in having the best gaming laptop or PC with powerful components unless you have a monitor (see also white monitors for gaming) with a high enough refresh rate to display those high frame rates. So purchase one for yourself as a treat!

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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