With new TVs boasting huge improvements in resolution and input lag, using a TV as a computer monitor can be exciting. Imagine if you had a 50-or 60-inch monitor instead of a 24-inch monitor for multi-tasking and gaming! Cool, isn’t it?
Using a TV in place of a computer display is not always straightforward to some folks, as it leads you to the questions of how you use your PC and where you plan on putting it in your room.
Can You Use A TV As A Computer Display?
The short answer is Yes. However, this depends on your PC’s outputs and your TV’s inputs. Also, you may need to adjust some settings on both your PC and TV to make it work. Most TVs now come with HDMI ports at the back, while some older TVs have DVI and VGA inputs. So, make sure your TV has the most common inputs and outputs.
Alternatively, you can use one of the streaming devices like Roku, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV to cast your PC’s content to any compatible TVs. However, you need to make sure your TV supports a streaming device. Most TVs from 2017 onwards come pre-loaded with Chromecast for easy content streaming.
Things to Consider
There are many things to consider if you want to use your TV in place of a computer display. I have been using the 42-inch LG C2 OLED TV as my computer monitor for three months now, and I have to admit that’s mind-blowing.
The C2 TV is nestled neatly between my Mac Studio and my desktop PC. I go back and forth between them for video editing and gaming. This is an expensive set-up, but it’s worth every penny. I will let you know why.
Pixel density is one of the first things to consider if you want to use a TV as a work and gaming monitor replacement. An average user typically sits between two and three feet away from a computer monitor. Go for a TV with a pixel density of 80ppi or higher.
I use the 42-inch LG C2 OLED TV to replace my 38-inch Ultrawide monitor for work and gaming. The cool thing about this TV is that it’s less ridiculously big than most other top-tier TVs at 42s on the market. Basically, it’s a gorgeous 4K OLED HDR 10-bit 120Hz screen with HDMI 2.1 and G-Sync and Freesync. The TV delivers a pixel density of 99.05 PPI, which is good for both work and gaming.
Where to Put Your TV In Your Room
The TV has a bigger screen than most desktop monitors out there. While the best place to put a TV in a bedroom is right across from the bed, that’s not the case here. You can buy a new desk for your set-up or use your current one if you still have space for a new TV. If you use your TV as a second display for your PC, I recommend getting a bigger desk.
Putting a TV in your room may depend on its design. In my option, go for a TV with a built-in stand. My C2 OLED TV features a dual-foot stand which sticks out about one inch on the back. This means I can push it much further back and even wall-mount it.
TV features matter if you want to use a TV as your desktop monitor replacement. If you game on your PC, it’s a good idea to go for a TV with a high refresh rate and support for HDMI 2.0 or later.
The LG C2 OLED really shines when it comes to gaming. With 4 HDMI 2.1 ports on the back, it’s perfect for gaming on consoles and desktop PCs. The coolest thing is that it automatically switches to the low latency game optimiser mode, which switches off all the background stuff to give you the fastest response time possible.
Another TV feature you should pay attention to is HDR support. With a TV, you will be getting much better HDR support than monitors. Also, you will get support for Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and HLG.
Problems When Using a TV as a Computer Monitor
When using a 4K OLED TV as your desktop display, you may encounter some annoyances.
Problems with Apple Macs: Apple’s HDMI ports are only 2.0, while most TVs out there do not have a USB-C Thunderbolt port. As a result, you are limited to 4K 60 Hz even if your TV supports HDMI 2.1 for up to 120Hz.
Auto-Dimming Problems: A lot of OLED TVs feature auto-dimming to prevent overheating as OLEDs are not designed for long periods of displaying bright white images. However, the screen suddenly dims down and then goes back to full brightness. This is pretty annoying if you are writing or editing videos. To fix this, try lowering the OLED pixel brightness to under 50.
The Bottom Line
Using a TV as a computer monitor delivers an impressive multitasking and gaming experience. However, it comes with compromises, such as auto-dimming and Mac’s 4K 60Hz limit. If you do not care about a high refresh rate, go for a TV with a high pixel density, brightness, and good colour accuracy.
On the other hand, if you do not want to spend too much money on an OLED TV, go for smart monitors like the Samsung M8 Display, which acts as both a smart hub and a desktop PC.