Can You Use a TV As a Computer Monitor?

TVs are specifically designed for viewing images at greater distances than computer monitors. A few years ago we would have told viewers to turn down their TV sets, but nowadays televisions pack much more pixels into a smaller space with better Pixels Per Inch (PPI) scores than many monitors.

These devices offer an attractive alternative to more costly monitors, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before making a decision.

Screen Size

Modern TVs typically come equipped with HDMI ports that support computer video output, making it simple and straightforward for you to connect your television as a monitor for PC use.

Use of a TV as a monitor presents unique challenges that go beyond its physical size, however. Resolution or “pixel density” determines how sharp and clear documents will appear; older TVs with low PPI scores often make spreadsheets and website pages appear unclear or blurry. Furthermore, using one as your primary monitor means placing it very near to both keyboard and mouse which could result in eye and neck strain.

Monitors on the other hand are more densely packed with pixels, producing crisper images and creating crisper text and photos when compared with printers and screens. While this may not matter much for everyday computing tasks such as email and word processing, it can provide real benefits when gaming or working with photos and videos.


Two years ago, using a TV as a computer monitor would have been unheard of; but today’s more advanced television models pack more pixels into smaller areas while offering lower input lag than ever before.

Today’s best TVs typically boast resolutions such as 720p (often known as HD) or 1080p, or Full HD. As the higher pixel density means sharper images.

Finding out your TV’s screen resolution is key to selecting the appropriate settings in Windows, so consult your manual or perform a Google search for “TV model name + PPI.” (Alternatively, Noteloop offers an estimated Pixel Density chart).

Be mindful of your TV’s viewing angle – the distance at which one can sit without witnessing degraded images onscreen – to prevent eye strain and posture problems. A general guideline suggests sitting one foot from each ten inch screen size TV screen size for optimal results.


Modern TVs feature HDMI ports on one side for connecting PCs quickly and effortlessly, and this is often the quickest and simplest method for doing so. HDMI also carries audio over its single cable connection so separate wires for audio will not be necessary.

Older HDTVs may have DVI or VGA inputs, though these are increasingly uncommon. While you can still use these, your computer graphics card might not support these, so a DVI-to-HDMI adapter may be required; additionally, DVI does not carry audio so a separate audio cable will likely be necessary.

Prior to now, televisions had component connections (usually known as Y-Pr-Pb), however this type of connection is now becoming obsolete. Modern televisions typically feature HDMI or HDMI 2.1 ports which will support 4K resolution if your computer can output at this level. Some televisions even come equipped with stereo input jacks which can connect directly to computers using an audio adapter.


People often think of ergonomics in terms of seating or designing car controls and instruments – but it goes much deeper. Ergonomics is an academic science which explores how humans interact with their environments, products and work spaces.

Utilizing a television screen as your computer monitor requires you to look upward, rather than downward, which can cause neck and eye strain if mounted too high or placed too close. Aiming your viewing distance around arm’s length away allows for proper posture maintenance while decreasing risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders.

By using a television as your PC monitor, it becomes difficult to use its speakers effectively as they may not be in their proper places for sound reproduction. Furthermore, TVs tend to have slower response times than computer monitors which may lead to image ghosting; however, many have “game mode” settings which can improve response times and reduce input lag.

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