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TV vs. Monitor for Gaming: This Choice is Your Best Bet

TV vs. Monitor for Gaming?

TV vs. Monitor for Gaming: This Choice is Your Best Bet

Gaming has changed its face multiple times within the past several decades. As technology progresses, gamers have to adapt to new tools or get lost in the fray. Of course, vintage gaming will always have a place for diehards, but more often than not, true gamers will update their setup when it’s time for a revamp. 

These days, TVs and monitors are among the most popular formats for gamers. Most are left wondering which is better for them since both are relatively accessible. Analyzing the differences between TVs and monitors will help you make the right decision.

TVs vs. Monitors: Full Comparison

There are a few core differences between TVs and monitors for gaming. However, at first glance, the two screens may feel like the same device. After all, they actively provide the same basic function, which is displaying moving images on a screen. You can use a TV as a monitor and vice versa.

TVs are almost always offered in larger screen sizes. However, while gaming monitors are smaller, they will have higher pixel density. A perfect example of this pixel density is when you compare a 32″ monitor to a 65″ TV — both with a resolution of 4k. The image on the TV will appear more stretched out and less crisp due to the lower pixel density.

Brands are making more gaming-friendly TVs after the success rates of consoles like the PS5. Your favorite screen will depend on your personal preference, but there are some concrete factors that could change your mind. 

TVs vs. Monitors: What’s The Difference?

There are many similarities between TVs and monitors for gamers. They are so similar that many newbies get frustrated as they are building up their gear. However, you shouldn’t let confusing tech terms dissuade you from your favorite hobby.

Display Quality

This is arguably the most important aspect of your gaming display. You want to ensure that every image is crystal clear. Some games are especially focused on details, and you don’t want to miss the finest easter eggs that are sprinkled throughout them. 

TVs are great with contrast, brightness, and saturation. It is also easy to adjust these settings to fit your preferences. Luxury gaming monitors will be sharp as a knife, as they are designed exclusively for gaming, whereas TVs are multifaceted devices.

Practicality

TVs are generally limited to single-screen use. Sure, you could probably set up multiple TV screens and connect them, but that would take up a lot of wall or entertainment center space. Working with several different computer monitors is a common setup for gamers. However, if you think you need several different screens for your games to see the most content, and you only have a small desk, one large TV might still work.

Latency

Image lag is the arch-nemesis of all gamers. You could fine-tune your rig to the nines so that everything runs smooth as a whistle, and yet an unexplainable lag might haunt you. Instead of letting this inconvenience turn you into a supervillain, try troubleshooting other options instead.

TVs will almost always have a significantly higher latency or response time than monitors. However, modern TVs are manufactured with an awareness of this issue. You want low latency for the best gaming experience. Therefore, many will automatically gravitate towards monitors to improve their display rates instead of a TV.

Best L-Shaped Gaming Desk
If you’re playing a competitive game — something where milliseconds count — then you might not want to trust a high-latency TV with the job.

Streaming

Gamers often aren’t just using their devices to play games. Most gaming units are multipurpose; you can do a whole lot with just one rig if you play your cards right. You might want to sit down and watch a movie without having an entirely different setup for that kind of entertainment.

TVs are more capable of streaming different kinds of content than monitors, hands down. They will typically have settings and SMART apps that enhance your entertainment experience. Some new TVs have caught onto their gaming audience, condensing your setup to one device without any extra consoles necessary. A TV will always reign supreme as a multipurpose entertainment device.

One recent case that unexpectedly highlights this is that Netflix typically doesn’t output at 4k if you are using your PC — even if you have a 4k monitor! So, that is just one more point in favor of a TV.

Performance

Gamers have higher expectations for their display performance than nearly any other category of tech enthusiasts. You can’t expect someone who spends hours of their life grinding away at a game to not want their gear to run at its best possible capacity. Input lag and low refresh rate, two top gripes of most gamers, are a bit unpredictable between monitors and TVs. 

A monitor is most likely to avoid these issues, as their primary use is likely going to be for gaming. Monitors are often marketed to gamers specifically for their high refresh rates. If you have never experienced the difference between a 60hz monitor and a 144hz monitor, you might be fine with a TV for gaming. But if you have seen the difference firsthand, you know that the high refresh rates of monitors can’t be beaten with a TV.

Young gamer playing video games online while broadcasting on social media - Working live streaming on internet platforms
Once you experience the joys of a high-refresh-rate monitor, you won’t be able to look at TVs that same way ever again.

Cost

One could suggest that monitors are more economically friendly for most gamers, especially those just starting out. You could get a whole lot for a small budget of around $200. A gamer-friendly TV will cost a few hundred more. However, if you’re optimizing your dollar value, a TV could appear more economically friendly if you’re looking for a multipurpose solution. There is no one-size-fits-all, or clear-cut answer when it comes to the cost.

TVs vs. Monitors: 8 Must-Know Facts

  • TVs are adding specific features for gamers
  • Most TVs will only have one HDMI port
  • You can connect external speakers to a TV like you would with monitors
  • Console gamers tend to prefer TV displays
  • You can connect multiple different monitors to each other
  • A monitor tends to be a more affordable option for gamers
  • You can sometimes play console games on a PC with monitors
  • Monitor screens are often smaller than TVs

TVs vs. Monitors: Which Is Better? Which Should You Use?

The “better” option for gaming displays will vary depending on what kind of gamer you are. If you’re a console gamer wanting a multipurpose unit for displaying media, get a nice TV.

If you’re primarily a PC gamer, go with monitors. Monitors offer lower latency and higher refresh rates, which can make a noticeable difference for all kinds of games. They are also primarily designed for gamers, so if your heart is set on setting up the ultimate gaming rig, you’re better off with a few monitors.

TVs vs. Monitors: Deciding Factors

Think about the number of hours you dedicate to gaming, the graphics in the games you tend to play, and of course — your budget. Getting practical about your expectations will make or break your experience with your gaming display.

TVs are almost always more expensive, but they can be a staple piece for your entire home. However, gaming monitors can help further your career if you take work-from-home freelance clients or have a remote job. Take inventory of your standards and read user reviews to make the best decision.

The Best TVs for Gaming in 2024

If you’re set on getting a TV for gaming, there are a few models that you really can’t go wrong with. Based on past reviews we’ve done, where we broke down just what makes for a truly great TV, we’ve come up with three picks that are perfect in every way for gaming:

  1. LG C3 Series 42-Inch Class OLED evo
    $866.99
    • The a9 AI Processor Gen6 upscales content to 4K
    • 120Hz refresh rate
    • NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium
    • Four HDMI 2.1 ports
    • Supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
    • Built-in Alexa
    Buy on Amazon

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    02/09/2024 01:46 am GMT
  2. VIZIO 50-inch MQX Series Premium 4K Smart TV
    $498.00
    • 4K Ultra HD display
    • Full-array backlight LEDs
    • AMD FreeSync Premium and VRR
    • Dolby Vision HDR Bright Mode plus HDR10+
    • Wi-Fi 6E for fast streaming
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/09/2024 02:22 am GMT
  3. SAMSUNG 32-Inch Class QLED 4K Q60C Series
    $447.99
    • 4K upscaling and Quantum HDR
    • Dual LED backlights
    • Motion Xcelerator improves smoothness and clarity
    • Object Tracking Sound Lite tracks the movement on screen
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/09/2024 02:22 am GMT

The Best Monitors for Gaming in 2024

If you’re a PC gamer, there is no doubt that you should opt for a monitor. But that still leaves so much choice. We’ve picked our top three favorites based on a mix of price, performance, and overall quality. Depending on your budget, one of these monitors is definitely the right move.

  1. Sceptre C305B-200UN1 30-inch Curved Gaming Monitor
    $206.56
    • 30-inch 2560 x 1080p 200Hz 21:9 display
    • Ultra Wide/Slim
    • HDMI, DisplayPort
    • Built-in speakers
    • Metal speakers
    Buy Now

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    02/09/2024 02:41 am GMT
  2. Sceptre 24-inch Professional Thin 1080p LED Monitor
    $99.97
    • 99% sRGB display
    • Up to 75Hz refresh rate
    • 3ms response time
    • 2x HDMI ports and VGA input
    • Built-in speakers
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/09/2024 02:42 am GMT
  3. Acer Nitro XZ270 Xbmiipx 27″ 1500R Curved Gaming Monitor
    $255.65
    • 27" 1,500R Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
    • VA Zero-Frame
    • Adaptive Sync
    • 240 Hz refresh rate
    • 1ms VRB
    • DisplayPort and 2x HDMI 2.0 Ports
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/09/2024 02:46 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a monitor better than a tv for gaming?

It really depends on your preferences, but many gamers swear by monitors. They are cost-effective, versatile, and designed for gaming.

 

 

Is there a downside for using a tv as a gaming monitor?

The most common complaint that people have with tvs as gaming monitors is that they tend to have a higher input lag. It can be frustrating for gamers constantly dealing with a lagging display, especially since details in graphics are so important. Gaming monitors can lag sometimes, but generally, you’re more likely to deal with these issues less if you use a monitor or multiple monitors.

Is a gaming monitor better than a TV for PS5?

A solid gaming monitor is definitely a better bet than most entry-level TVs on the market, especially for a PS5.

Why buy a monitor instead of a TV?

If you want to hook it up to your computer, a monitor is better. You’ll enjoy easier connectivity, better frame rates, response times, and even resolution. All of this will likely come at a lower price tag, too. The only caveat is that monitors are often much smaller for the price.

Are TVs good for gaming?

They can be. Just make sure you buy a TV that is marketed to gamers, and one that has enough performance to warrant it’s cost. Specific models that are popular with gamers include the LG C3 and Samsung QLED.

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