Although traditionally we have always associated monitors with computers and televisions with content viewing and console gaming, the line that separates them is increasingly blurred. As a result, certain users wonder what is best for their usage scenario: a monitor or a television. Although it will depend on different factors, the good thing is that each one enjoys its advantages and disadvantages. In this article we will try to clear them so that, whatever you choose, you are right.
TV vs. monitor: comparison of characteristics
Although in Xataka we have a wide collection of articles on factors related to screens such as technology, panel type, resolution, HDR, size, etc., in this comparison we will address the differences between televisions and monitors from a practical point of view .
Likewise, we will take into account the strengths and weaknesses of televisions and monitors in general, that is, that although there are exceptions, there are a number of factors that are usually met within the same price ranges.
When the diagonal and resolution are the determining factors
One of the great advantages of televisions over monitors as an output peripheral for the computer is that for the same diagonal and resolution, it will generally be more affordable to buy a television.
If for example we take the 32 “and the Full HD resolution – lower than 1080p in this size would be critical in our experience, around 200 euros we can find top brand televisions with IPS or VA panels that meet our criteria and although in Smaller measure for a similar image quality, we will also do the same with monitors. As we go up diagonal and resolution, the advantage becomes more evident
For starters, it is difficult to find TV manufacturers that offer 2160p below 40 “, something that does occur on monitors from 27”. And well, for certain users this diagonal may seem excessive. However, for those who edit video or photo, 3D modeling or work with a lot of data, these sizes are very convenient for productivity.
When the diagonal grows and we care about image quality, we incorporate high dynamic range or HDR into the equation, a technology whose objective is to offer images with a very wide luminance range, which in practice translates into its ability to deliver a set of levels of different light intensity in which factors such as color and brightness influence. For these sizes and price ranges, we will have to “settle” for the basic HDR10.
Here TVs win again: it is more common to find models with HDR technology, which will not only improve our experience for content viewing, but also to play ambitious titles, which often implement this innovation.
A fundamental aspect when choosing a television to connect it to a computer is that it includes “presentation mode” or “PC mode”. Turning it on will disable cropping and stretching that some TVs perform to remove frames from images (known as overscan), as well as image processing, which results in sharper images … at the cost of increasing the latency of input, a critical factor in gaming.
To play: watch the response time, latency and refresh rate
Considering the previous point, for the diagonal-HDR-4K resolution shortlist, it would be easy to opt for televisions for console gaming. But it’s not always like this. If in addition to playing we are going to compete online – especially if we do it at a high level – the monitors make the difference by the response time and latency.
While TV manufacturers do not usually provide the response time – although you can find quite a few on the Display specifications website -, normally in game mode they are usually between 10 and 20ms, a long time compared to not too ambitious gaming monitors (especially if are TN).
The refresh rate is especially interesting if we are going to play on a PC and connect it to the television or monitor. We will delve further into how to achieve this, but respectable figures are those of managing signals from 2160p to 60 fps. However, there are ambitious monitors and TVs that allow us to overcome that 60 fps barrier … but they are neither cheap nor with the consoles of this generation they can be used.
Also the input latency of the monitors is lower than that of the televisions, although the “game mode” of these allows to reduce it appreciably thanks to deactivating the majority of image processing. Even so, the monitors are winners in this duel.