How to use your TV as a computer monitor
A TV is an excellent choice for a computer monitor in 2019, due to its significant improvements in resolution and input delay. It’s even more useful as new, powerful laptops are available to replace your PC.
Casting wirelessly is the best way to use your TV as a computer monitor. Roku, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV allow you to share the output of your computer with any screen. To make the transition smooth, there are some key points you should consider.
Can you use a TV to monitor your computer?
A TV can be used as a computer monitor. However, even two years ago, we would have been advised to apply the brakes. What has changed? The TVs of today pack more pixels in smaller screen space and respond quickly to inputs from a trackpad or mouse than ever before.
Casting is another great feature of a TV that can be used as a computer monitor. Miracast and Google Chromecast are two examples of devices that can transform your living space into a home office. Simply grab your laptop, and get on the couch.
Why would you use a TV to monitor your computer?
It was not practical to use a TV as a monitor for computers in the digital dark ages. Computers were housed in their own rooms, with separate desks and peripherals. There was also a lot of dusty wiring. Computers have struggled to free themselves from their deskbound shackles, even with the HP OMEN 17 and HP Spectre x360 powerful PC-replacement laptops. This is no longer the case.
The days of the “computer room” are over. Today’s larger TVs have sky-high resolutions, vivid colors, and we can now relax on the couch with a lap table while we work or play in style.
First, you need to know the basics of PPI, lag, streaming devices, and which TV is best for your monitor. Once you have the basic facts down, the debate over computer monitors or TV will be settled.
Make sure you have your PPI checked
What is PPI? And why should you care about it? Although it sounds technical, PPI is just “Pixels Per inch.” A 4K phone has approximately 4,000 pixels. The same amount of pixels is spread over a larger area on a 4K TV. This is important when you use a TV to monitor your computer. Some older TVs have low PPI scores. Your documents and web pages may look fuzzy if you have a low pixel count.
A TV used as a computer monitor was not possible two years ago because of its low PPI score. New TVs have PPI scores above 80. How do you determine your TV’s Pi? To get an idea of the PPI on your TV, you can refer to the manual or Google for the model number.
Check your lag time
Serious gamers pay attention to the delay between mouse or controller commands and on-screen actions. This is called “input lag”. Before you use a TV to monitor your computer, think about whether it’s something that interests you. If you answered “yes”, then you can find your TV’s input lag online using a database [2,3]. Or, simply Google “input lag” and the model number of your TV.
Look for TVs with low input lag if you are looking to buy a new TV that can be used as a computer monitor. Today’s TVs have a lot of advantages. They are much faster and less lag-prone. We can’t see lag times below 40 milliseconds (ms) and there are many great sets on sale with lag times between 5-15ms [4,5]. Longer lag times won’t bother anyone, even serious gamers.
How to wirelessly use a TV as a monitor
A smart TV is a great choice for computer monitors in 2019. The cables are not necessary. You’ve longed for connector cables to disappear and leave your floors without tripping hazards. Chromecast, Roku, and other casting or streaming devices solve the TV-as-computer-monitor problem in Tony Stark levels of style.
First, choose a streaming device. There are many options, including Roku and Google Chromecast. These flash drive-style dongles or sticks plug into the HDMI port of a TV.
Pro tip: All major streaming devices come in both 3K and 4K versions. The 4K model is the best. While the 3K units are fine for video, they won’t work well when used as a monitor on a TV. The 3K streaming unit can cause bottlenecks and reduce image quality.
Once you have chosen a casting device, connect it to your TV’s HDMI port. There’s a short configuration process, but anyone who can install an app can get it done in minutes.
For older computers or TVs that are very new, you can use a wired setup
Sometimes a wired setup works better for a TV that is being used as a monitor. You may not need to screencast if you have an 8K TV, or an older computer. Instead, use the spaghetti pile of wiring.
You should first think twice before using an 8K TV to wirelessly monitor your computer. Although you paid a lot for the extra resolution, Chromecast, Roku, and other streaming devices are going to waste it. An 8K screen will place 8,000 pixels across your monitor. However, TV-casting devices can’t deliver more than 4K.
You can get the most out of an 8K TV as your computer monitor by going back to the wired setup.
Computers and TVs older than 10 years
You may experience some fuzziness or lag time if you use an older HDTV to monitor your computer. Miracast, or another streaming tech, can be used to wirelessly share your computer’s screen to your TV. Are you wondering, “Can I use a TV as a computer monitor with an old TV?” You can, but you may need a VGA-to-HDMI adapter.
You will need to use the wired technique if your computer is the weakest link, as it is not compatible with casting. You can do this by connecting a DVI to-HDMI cable to your computer’s DVI port. A newer, higher-resolution TV is the best choice for computer monitors. A 4K TV is the best choice for your computer monitor if you don’t have $5,000. You should use the standard HDTV to watch Netflix and Prime Video in most cases.
Eye strain: A warning
Eye strain can result from using a TV as an internet computer. However, it all depends. The Mayo Clinic recommends that monitors and TVs be placed at eye level . After several hours of daily usage, eye strain can result from a TV mounted high on a wall. Your eyes could also be affected by a 4K TV curved as a computer monitor . Apart from this, TVs that are used as computer monitors should be kept at a greater distance from your eyes.
Can a computer monitor be used as a TV?
It is simple to use a computer monitor for a TV. Computer monitors are smaller and pack more pixels in a smaller area, which improves their resolution.
Important points to keep in mind
It’s easier than ever to use a TV as an input monitor for a computer because of today’s high resolution and low input lags. To do it right:
1. You can check your TV’s Pixels Per Inch (PPI), and input lag times. Best is a PPI score of 80+ A minimum input time of 40ms is required.
2. To preserve the sharper resolution of an 8K TV, you can use it as a monitor using a wired setup.
3. Have a 4K TV to share? You can stream using Chromecast, Roku, or Amazon Fire Stick.
4. Have an older HDTV? You can still use an older HDTV as a computer screen, but you will experience some fuzziness or lag time.