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TV VS Monitor – Which Is the Better Option?

TV VS Monitor – Which Is the Better Option?

by Aiman MaulanaJuly 11, 2019
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TV VS Monitor – Which Is the Better Option?

In the past, monitors have been essentially exclusive to the PC whereas the TV is for general consumer use. Today, the lines have been blurred and you can use both TV and monitor for all your display needs. I’m sure some of you are wondering why you should go for one or the other so let’s check out the pros and cons for both TV and monitor for your viewing pleasure.


TV VS Monitor - Which Is the Better Option?

Dual-monitor Setup

Our first contender in the TV VS Monitor battle is often associated with computers but aren’t limited to them. There are a wide variety of monitors that cater to the different needs of users in today’s world. I’m sure many are wondering why it’s so pricey, with a 27-inch monitor being about the price of a 40+ inch TV. Well, it’s not the size that matters (that’s what she said) and there’s a lot more to it.

For starters, monitors can have really high refresh rates, up to 240Hz and the more common option being 120Hz. TVs on the other hand usually only go up to 60Hz. This number refers to the number of frames that can be shown on the display, so 120Hz means it can display up to 120 FPS. This will result in a very smooth viewing experience which is beneficial for gaming.

TV VS Monitor - Which Is the Better Option? 19

60Hz vs 144Hz

Furthermore, fast-moving visuals will appear clearer in higher frames / refresh rate displays. Some TVs are said to have something like “TruMotion 120” or a similar feature. Unfortunately, that is not true 120Hz refresh rate and instead is a frame interpolation technology which inserts extra fake frames to make it seem that way. This results in what many call the soap opera effect.

The higher refresh rates also bring another added benefit with monitors, which is less input lag. A 60Hz refresh rate will have an input lag of roughly 15ms. 120Hz will halve that amount so roughly 7.5ms, and you can do the math if there’s a higher refresh rate. This means that it will take less time for actions to be shown on display with monitors.

While the difference may seem small for many consumers, it can be the difference between winning and losing for Esports professionals and hardcore gamers. Also, it would be highly dependent on the type of panel that the monitor uses, with TN panel providing the lowest input lag / response time, which we’ll discuss more about in a future post.

TV VS Monitor - Which Is the Better Option?

One major benefit that monitors have is adaptive sync technology, such as AMD Freesync and NVIDIA G-Sync. Usually, images are displayed at a set refresh rate and at times, it can deliver portions of different frames at the same time. This is known as screen tearing.

Adaptive sync fixes this issue by having the monitor displays the frames that are being pushed out rather than a constant set rate. Of course, which adaptive sync technology to use will depend on the graphics card that you’re using as well. Even video game consoles can utilize AMD FreeSync, albeit not all of them. While there are TVs that come with NVIDIA G-Sync and / or AMD FreeSync, the availability is nowhere close to monitors, and those specific models are usually very pricey.

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All the ports you can have.

Monitors usually have more ports than TVs, giving users added versatility on how they want to use it. You can have HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D, and even multiple ports of those on some monitors. TVs generally stick to HDMI and, at most, VGA. This makes it easier if you only have certain cables, your graphics card can only use specific ports, and if you need to plan out a multi-display setup.


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The consumer-friendly contender in the TV VS Monitor battle, TVs are arguably the most convenient displays around. You can pretty much find one almost anywhere these days, even supermarkets. One major benefit of choosing a TV instead of monitors is price. They are generally affordable, with even the 4K resolution ones seeing major price drops as of late.

You can easily get a 40-inch Full HD TV for under RM1,000, and you can get a 50-inch+ 4K TV for under RM2,000. Within that price range, you could probably get a 27-inch or 31-inch monitor at best but, that’s if you’re comparing it solely from a size standpoint.

TV VS Monitor - Which Is the Better Option?

Big TV in the living room.

Those monitors could have a different aspect ratio, higher refresh rates, and more. Visuals may also appear sharper on monitors rather than on TV, but that doesn’t mean that visuals will be ugly on a TV. Essentially, if you just need a large display and nothing more, a TV would make for a more sensible purchase especially given the price.

A major benefit of a TV, especially if it’s a decent size with a good viewing angle, is that more people can watch what’s being displayed even at a distance. Monitors are usually for solo use whereas TVs can be enjoyed with multiple people in the room. This gives users added comfort and makes for a great addition for any home entertainment setups. Of course, this is assuming you’re not going for curved displays.TV VS Monitor - Which Is the Better Option? 22

TVs are also more consumer-friendly because they tend to follow a particular standard. Like resolutions, it will follow the standard Full HD, 4K, 8K, and more. With monitors, you can have WQHD, QHD+, and so on, and a lot of content these days aren’t designed for those resolutions which can lead to images being stretched out. In essence, TVs are usually a safe bet if you’re looking for something simple and don’t have specific needs for it.

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Nowadays, we also have TVs that are powered by an OS called Smart TVs. Android is one of the more popular options but there’s also proprietary operating systems such as the LG webOS and Samsung Tizen OS. These will allow you to do a variety of things with the TV without any set-top boxes, PC, or game console connected to it. How? With apps, of course. You can easily run NetFlix, YouTube, and even play games on it. As most of them require you to use the remote control to interact, it might be a bit cumbersome to use but it’s still a useful option to have nonetheless.


TV VS Monitor - Which Is the Better Option?

There’s more to both display devices that we can go into, but it can go very in-depth and would require its own post, such as the different display panel types for monitors and TVs. On the topic of TV vs Monitor, there is no universal best choice here as it ultimately depends on your needs and budget. From a performance standpoint, monitors would be the better choice. However, TVs are continuously evolving so don’t be surprised to see some of the monitor features slowly popping up here. After all, we are now starting to see TVs that have support for adaptive sync technology.

Personally, I use a Philips 42-inch Full HD TV and a 27-inch BenQ UXGA display with my PC, and both work great for specific uses. The TV is very convenient as I’m usually seated a bit from it, and the monitor works great for an ultra-smooth viewing experience.

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If you have any questions, we at Pokde.net are more than happy to answer them. Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)

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