By Trae Jacobs,
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If you need a computer monitor, it might be tempting to just use your Samsung TV. Still, is this actually a good idea? Can a Samsung TV be used as a computer monitor, and if so, should it be?
A Samsung TV can be used as a computer monitor, however there are some considerations that must be taken before deciding to use one. A TV is more likely to have problems with it’s connections as well as input lag. Furthermore, many TV’s are too big to be practical as monitors.
If you’re torn between whether you should get a new computer monitor, or suppliment one with your TV, we’ve got you covered. In the following sections, we’ll review why a monitor tends to be the better choice, as well as what to look for in a TV if you are set on using one as a monitor.
Is It Better to Use a TV or a Monitor?
Let’s get down to brass tacks. Which tends to be better, TV’s or monitors? If one group is better than the other, why is that the case?
Generally, it’s better to use a monitor over a TV. This is because monitors are specifically designed to optimize the functions of your computer. For example, a good monitor will not experience input lag nearly as often as a TV because it is designed to minimize it.
If you’re wondering, “what in the world is input lag,” fear not. In the next section we break down what input lag is, as well as other problems you may encounter if you try to use a TV over a monitor.
What are the Problems With Using a TV as a Monitor?
Many TVs you encounter will have at least one, if not all, of the following problems when compared with monitors:
- Input lag: One of the biggest problems is input lag. Input lag occurs when you try to take some action on your screen but there is a delay between you actually doing it and it displaying. This is especially a problem for PC gamers because it can throw off their reaction time.
- Lower refresh rates: The standard refresh rate on a TV is about 120Hz. Contrast that with gaming monitors. Gaming monitors can have incredible refresh rates that often land at 240 Hz, but can get all the way up to 360 Hz.
- Less connectivity options: Some TVs may be limited on the inputs they have. For example, if you have an older computer that primarily relies on VGA, you’ll have to wade through all the TVs that just have HDMI to find one that still has a VGA input.
- Too big: It’s hard to judge how big a TV will look when you’re using it as a monitor. This is another issue that is important for gamers because they need to be able to comfortably see the whole screen for optimal performance.
It’s simply just easier to find a monitor that doesn’t exhibit any of these issues than it is to find a similar TV, because one is designed with these problems in mind and the other isn’t. TVs are instead built to optimize multiple people viewing them at once, with the connections for the latest home entertainment hardware.
Are All TVs Worse Than Monitors?
If you’re a careful reader, you’ve probably noticed just about everything we’ve presented has been hedged with words like “generally” or “typically.” This of course implies that there are in fact cases of TVs that work pretty well as monitors.
Overall, we still recommend monitors over TVs. That said, if you really want to use a TV, you can find one that avoids the problems most others would have as monitors. You just have to know what features to look for.
Features That Make a TV a Good Monitor
Below we’ve compiled four features you should look for in a TV if you’re planning to use it as a monitor:
- Look for a TV with some kind of gaming mode: Many TV’s today come with a mode, usually meant for gaming, that reduces their input lag.
- Ensure the TV has a comfortable size: At the store, TV’s are generally all kept together along a wall. Because so many different sizes are represented together. an optical illusion can be created where they seem smaller than they really are. Be sure to go by measurements when you pick out your TV and not by the impression you get.
- Look for the connections you would like to use: If your computer doesn’t use HDMI, make sure the TV you pick has an input compatible with what it does use. Otherwise you’re going to have to spend more money on adaptors.
- Ensure it has a “true” refresh rate: Most TV’s refresh rates can’t even begin to compare with that of advanced gaming monitors. Still, you can get something decent as long as you make sure the refresh rate isn’t the result of frame interpolation, but rather is a true refresh rate. This should be included in the specs of the TV.
It’s important to note, it will probably be easier to find a TV with all of these features online than it will be in store. This is another reason why it’s still more convenient just to buy a monitor instead.
So Really, Can a Samsung TV Be Used as a Monitor?
To briefly review, Samsung TV’s can be used as computer monitors, however it’s not always the best option. TVs tend to have more input lag, less connections and lower refresh rates than typical computer monitors. If you’re going to use your computer for something like gaming, this can lead to poorer performance.
At the end of the day, it’s really best to go with a monitor unless you have a specific TV in mind that has all the features you require. The monitor will be easier to find and it’s way less likely to suffer from the types of problems a TV can have.