Can you use your computer monitor as a TV? How to take streaming to a whole new level

Nina Rodríguez
NR
Nina Rodríguez
Sep 6, 2019

Two-in-one monitors and TVs can save you money and space

We may not recognize it, but having two-in-one equipment is now baked into our everyday existence. Our watches are now phones and our phones are cameras that fit in our pockets.

We’ve come to expect this out of our mobile devices. But what about at home? Consider taking that same mentality with your work and entertainment spaces by looking at using your TV as a monitor or your computer monitor as a TV.

Use your computer monitor as a TV

First off, we imagine you might be asking, can I really use a monitor as a TV? Yes, you can. But before you buy a new one or try to use one you already have, you need to take a few things into consideration.

  • Make sure your computer monitor has an HDMI input. In case it has a DisplayPort connection or a DVI/VGA connector, check for adapters to convert it to HDMI.
  • Does the monitor have built-in audio? After all, if you’re going to stream your favorite content or watch live TV, you need to be able to hear it. If it does not have an audio jack or integrated speakers, no problem! You can fix that by simply getting an adapter that can either be an audio extractor (if your monitor has an HDMI input) or any other external speakers that have an Auxiliary input (AUX, in case your monitor has an audio jack).
  • If you have a cable or satellite provider, make sure the cable box has a DVI or HDMI output. Check your monitor’s input so it matches your receiver box’s outputs.

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Looking for recommendations on monitors that can be used as a TV?

Here are some budget-friendly options with good reviews. Also, these are gaming monitors, which means great contrast display, usually HD quality as well as sharp moving images. Another great thing about gaming monitors is they include various ports and audio jacks integrated.

Use TV as computer monitor

Want to know how to use a TV as a computer monitor? It’s easy and if you already have a big TV, that means playing, streaming or working on a bigger monitor. Fiesta!

Before jumping into using your TV as a computer monitor, there are a few things you should know.

  • You will need special cables to make this work, so check the input and output ports you’ll be using. Also, don’t forget to find out how many of them you have — if there are just a few, you may have to disconnect other equipment first.
  • Computer monitors and laptops usually have a higher pixel density (Ppi, or pixels per inch), so your laptop’s screen might appear sharper and more detailed than a TV screen. Meaning that while you may be dealing with a bigger screen, the text, icons and images could be more blurry than you’re used to.
  • A TV with great resolution and higher pixel density is usually more expensive as a TV than a computer monitor.

Looking for recommendations on TVs than can be used as computer monitors?

As with the monitors, we want to give you a few budget-friendly, all with strong, positive reviews. They all have WI-FI capability, which allows connecting to your favorite streaming services directly.

I’m about to buy new equipment, should I buy a monitor to use as a TV or the other way around?

If you are looking for options to save money and maybe even space, consolidation is a great option. It’s also a nice way to be more thoughtful about the environment and one’s consumption footprint.

When choosing between watching your TV shows on your computer monitor or taking a look at your iPhone screen on your TV, you should consider the features each of them offers.

Differences between a monitor and a TV

Specs MonitorTV
Size Screens are usually below 30 inchesScreens are usually 24 inches and above
AudioNot all monitors have built-in speakersAll TV’s have built-in speakers
ResolutionFrom 1080p (Full HD) up to 2120p (4K)From 720p (HD ready) up to 2120p (4K)
Ports Some options support VGA, HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort and USB.Some options support VGA, HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort and USB.
Additional commentsUsually cost less money, and have better response times for gaming. Could potentially save you money in the long run.There are smart TV options that allow you to connect cordlessly with your phone, navigate the internet and do all your streaming directly to the TV screen.
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