Are there any cons to using a TV as a gaming PC's monitor?

#1 Posted by B0HICAH (42 posts) -

I need to upgrade my screen for gaming. I currently use a 720p Vizio 26" TV for both PC and 360 gaming. I have been looking at monitors lately but it seems like TVs are about $100 cheaper than comparable monitors.

Why is this? I have heard that pixel density is tighter on monitors as they are meant to be viewed closer than a TV is; is this true? Why should I get a 1080p monitor over a 1080p television for PC gaming as the internet seems to insist?


#2 Posted by John1912 (1811 posts) -

A monitor can usually display higher resolutions then a tv thats really it....So no reason not to use a TV.

#3 Posted by Sumbog (481 posts) -

PC monitor will usually allow you to get a higher resolution, and you can view them from closer... That's all I can think of.

#4 Posted by FritzDude (2250 posts) -

Depends on the TV, but low response time & ghosting could be an issue, though probably not an issue anymore like it was before. Cheap TV's however might.

#5 Posted by believer258 (11563 posts) -

PC monitors are usually of a higher quality, but a tv isn't a bad way to go if that extra 100 makes you raise an eyebrow.

#6 Edited by Marz (5641 posts) -

yeah response times are usually better on pc monitors but using a TV should be fine.

#7 Posted by buft (3300 posts) -

the main issue i had in the past was reading text in word documents and in some games when small text would become obscure at the lower resolutions but windows has a built in text adjustment option that you can use to make the text more legible.

#8 Posted by Ares42 (2556 posts) -

This won't really matter for most people, but TVs tend to have clunkier operating systems with less options. Things like screen position, resize, colors etc. Going through the options on the TV I'm using is just a pain in the ass (with a ton of strange locks etc) and changing input between consoles/pc isn't exactly snappy. Back when I used to have my consoles connected to a monitor it was instantaneous with the push of a button on the screen. Trying to do something like comparing the map of a game I'm playing on a console with a map from a FAQ on my PC (like collectible hunting) becomes quite tedious.

#9 Posted by Strife777 (1490 posts) -

A good monitor will always be better than a tv in terms of quality. But if you really want a bigger display it's not really an issue.

Also, higher resolutions than 1080 comes at a pretty high price on monitors. My IPS monitor is 1920x1200 (4x3) and it cost me a bit over 500$ and that's a good price for that kind of hardware.

#10 Posted by Leptok (942 posts) -

There's also something to do with pixel arrangement that can make text hard to read. Monitors are meant to have text read on them, tvs aren't. The tested guys seemed against the idea when it was asked about on their podcast.

#11 Posted by Devildoll (876 posts) -

@Strife777: dont you mean 16:10?

the IPS part of that monitor is responsible for part of that pricetag as well.

#12 Posted by Strife777 (1490 posts) -

@Strife777: dont you mean 16:10?

the IPS part of that monitor is responsible for part of that pricetag as well.

Yes you're right, it is 16:10, sorry about that.

Yes also for the IPS thing, quality comes at a price. But I don't rememer ever seeing monitors over 1080 that weren't IPS. I could be wrong.
#13 Posted by StarvingGamer (7918 posts) -

If you don't plan on reading any text, then go for it.

#14 Posted by Hobbaswaggle (61 posts) -

I use a 54" LG as my monitor and I definitely notice the drop in resolution. I also find myself re-sizing a lot of websites so I can read text as mentioned above

#15 Posted by Spuirrel (82 posts) -

You can't get an IPS TV but if quality doesn't matter to you then it's not exactly a problem. If you plan on working with images then an IPS panel is essentially essential.

#16 Posted by AlexW00d (6168 posts) -

@Strife777 said:


@Strife777: dont you mean 16:10?

the IPS part of that monitor is responsible for part of that pricetag as well.

Yes you're right, it is 16:10, sorry about that. Yes also for the IPS thing, quality comes at a price. But I don't rememer ever seeing monitors over 1080 that weren't IPS. I could be wrong.

There's a bunch of monitors over 1080 (especially as 1200 was the 'norm' for a while) that aren't IPS. IPS isn't that good for gaming anyway cause of the increased response time.

#17 Posted by JasonR86 (9587 posts) -


A TV is great for playing games. The biggest issue is that if you have a PC that is capable of playing a game at a resolution higher then 1920x1080 at an acceptable framerate you won't be able to see the games at that higher resolution on a TV. What I would say is that I wouldn't use the TV as your primary display for the PC because it sucks for general PC use. Text is tiny, it is hard to see your mouse cursor, and it just overall is an odd experience. You can fix the text issue but I wouldn't even bother if I were you. But, for games at 1920x1080 or lower resolutions, a TV is a great display for the PC.

#18 Edited by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

I read text just fine on my 24" LCD TV, and manage to get a resolution of 1290x768. I will eventually get a full fledged monitor because the color desaturation is kind of annoying with my particular set. Still, it still looks good enough for me and better than anything I get out of my consoles. I just connect my PC to it with an HDMI cable. It gets the job done.

#19 Posted by Strife777 (1490 posts) -
@AlexW00d I stand corrected then.
#20 Edited by MeatBoy (51 posts) -

I play PC games on my 40 inch TV all the time but I probably wouldn't use it as my primary display. Bigger screen gives lower pixel density when resolution stays the same. At 40 inches that makes text kind of uncomfortable to read. A smaller screen size might be fine though. Also as far as I know a lot of TVs won't support more than 60Hz input which is great for gaming, that can also be kind of uncomfortable while reading.

A TV might also give you a problem with input lag if you like playing with a mouse and keyboard. At least make sure you get a TV that has some kind of "game mode" to minimize input lag. You won't notice any input lag as much if you play with a controller though. If you didn't notice input lag with the TV you already have, maybe it's won't be a problem for you either way.

Also, changing inputs and settings can be kind of slow and clunky on many TVs.

#21 Posted by The_Great_Time_Muffin (30 posts) -

I use a 40 inch Samsung as my monitor. I had to enable "PC Mode" to get it to actually not look terrible, but now it is rather amazing.

I sit about 5 feet away from it and there are times I do have to resize websites to read, but not too often.

However, not all TVs will be good as a monitor. The last TV I had (still a Samsung) was terrible. Everything looked atrocious and text was barely readable.

#22 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

My 32" Sony TV handles text just fine. And I'm pretty sure I'm incapable of noticing input lag because it's never been an issue.

Switching inputs is merely a button press on the remote.

I will probably never go back to having a monitor exclusively. Maybe when I get more space I'll have a TV and a Monitor but probably not either exclusively.

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