Using your TV as a monitor: you want to know

Whatever your reason, it can be a good or fun idea to turn your TV into a monitor for PC or laptop. Handy for working from home or when you want to quickly show a video or give a presentation.

The first question is really: is it possible? The short answer is: yes. Most laptops and computers nowadays have HDMI connections, so you can connect your system to your television with a simple HDMI cable. It is possible that your computer still uses DVI or VGA, but then you have an older model. Not every modern TV has those connections; in case of dvi you can buy another special dvi to hdmi cable. Otherwise you have the DisplayPort and the accompanying DisplayPort to HDMI cable. So check carefully which cable you need for your PC or laptop.

It is also useful to check in advance whether the graphics card can handle the resolution of your TV. That is often not a problem with modern hardware: laptops run 720, 1080p and 4k and so do televisions. If you have a somewhat older laptop, for example, with an integrated graphics card, then it can be a different story. You can find the resolution of your screen by going to Settings / System / Display to go.

TV as a monitor: things to keep in mind

There are also other things to keep in mind. The smaller a screen and the higher the resolution, the more compact the pixels are. That's the pixel density. If that number is high, then the image quality is sharp and good. If you project the same PC resolution onto a screen that is perhaps four, five or six times larger, the pixel density – and with it the quality of the screen – will therefore decrease. In addition, it can help to distance yourself from the television, such as in the living room.

In addition, there is a higher input lag, because TVs - unlike real monitors - take this less into account. So if you want to play competitively with your mouse and keyboard on your lap, it can help to turn on the game mode. The same goes for response time: monitors have a higher response time than TVs; if the TV takes too long (it is about milliseconds) then the ghosting effect can occur.

And then, of course, we have the refresh rate. Monitors usually have a higher refresh rate, especially the screens intended for gamers. Many TVs have 60 Hz on board. When you watch videos or presentations, there isn't much going on. But if you plan on gaming a lot, a higher speed can be much easier on the eyes.

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