We usually have a separate computer and television. But this is not always the case and it is likely that you want to make two uses of the same device, saving space and money. But is it a good idea? Is a TV the same as a computer monitor? We review in the next paragraphs what are the advantages and disadvantages of use a Smart TV as a monitor on your computer to work or play.
Advantages of using the Smart TV
There are two main advantages to using the Smart TV as monitor of the computer: we save space and we save money. The first advantage is that we save space if we want to have it in a small room. For example, a teenager’s room in which he wants to be able to use sometimes the TV or sometimes the computer. Or if you usually use the computer but you also want a second television in another room in which you go to watch football games on television or programs while another person in your family watches something in the living room. Or if you share a flat and want a television all to yourself, for example.
The second and most obvious advantage is that we save money: we only have to buy one screen instead of two so we will spend less, the outlay will be much lower in this case. O well, if you had a small television in the room t and now you are going to use a bigger one, what do you do with it? Use it as a monitor in the bedroom without having to pay anything more to add a larger panel to your computer.
But are these two advantages in the long run? We see the drawbacks …
Drawbacks and problems
Using a Smart TV as a monitor may not be the best idea and there are many reasons to prove it. If you have no choice or you make little use of the computer, it may be an option but not the best. And there are many factors that affect. Is something “bad” going to happen to you for doing it? No, but you should know that there are drawbacks that will make your experience with the computer not the best.
Size, resolution and color
If you want 4K resolution, you will have to opt for 32 or 43. That is usually the maximum size that we find in some monitors on the market without taking into account NVIDIA BFGD with 65 inches. If you want something 32, there are models from manufacturers like Samsung. The problem is that, for what a TV like this costs, you have a 4K monitor with much better features. AND if you opt for a Full HD, for that price you get 1440p monitors, and even 1080p at 144Hz for an even smoother desktop experience. And if you opt for a larger size, being so close to a 43 or even 50-inch screen will not be the best option to be comfortable or for your vision.
The image quality that we can obtain on a monitor, if it uses IPS technology, is much higher than that of a cheap television, since for the same price of a television we have panels with higher reproduction of color spectra such as sRGB or DCI-P3. To have a television with good color reproduction, you have to go to huge sizes above 55 inches, and a monitor can give you that in 27 or 32 inches.
Another problem or drawback that we are going to find in recycling our TV is the connectivity. If you are going to use an old TV, bad. If you are going to buy a new one to have only one screen, you must take into account a number of aspects.
We must pay attention to the fact that it has HDMI 2.1 ports, officially launched in November 2017 but incorporated in televisions since 2019. Many Smart TV brands such as LG or Samsung or Sony already use this version in their televisions so it would be recommended that they count with this guy. Why? It supports resolutions of up to 8K or 10K at 50 or 60 GHz and support for 4K at 120 GHz, so we would achieve better fluency on high-definition screens, for example.
In addition, monitors have the advantage of having connectors DisplayPort, which give less problems at the level of configuration and color quality, but have the disadvantage that they do not send sound through this port. Televisions do not usually use DisplayPort, a technology that was developed by VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) and whose idea is to be the alternative to HDMI for video and audio transmission. Generally there are no televisions with this port but there is the HDMI that was launched much earlier. In addition, it is not only because of age but HDMI is not an open standard but belongs to companies of major brands such as Panasonic or Hitachi.
Input lag and refresh rate
The input lag on a Smart TV is much higher than on a monitor. They are designed for different uses so this will make their characteristics very different. Although in recent years these televisions have incorporated solutions like Game Mode, no TV is below 10 ms yet, and most, as standard, offer figures of 40 or even 100 ms. That causes everything to move with a delay on the screen when we move the mouse, because televisions have many image smoothing technologies active by default. To that the refresh rate is added, which is 60 Hz in the cheapest televisions, and that for the same price of a television we can have 1440p at 144 Hz, 1080p at 144 Hz, or even 1080p at 240 Hz.
Also, next to input lag, we have response time. This is often confused with input lag, but response time is also key because it tells us how long it takes for pixels to change color. This setting on televisions is usually slower, as it is often compensated for by smoothing technologies.
What if I only have room for one screen and I want to watch TV? Better buy a quality monitor that you can also use with a television function. Today you do not need to have an antenna on your Smart TV to be able to watch all kinds of channels thanks to the fact that practically all can be seen live over the Internet so you can use the monitor as a television whenever you want without encountering all these inconveniences.
If you are going to use a monitor for your PC, but you want to continue enjoying what a television offers you, you have many options. We can watch internet tv without any problem. There are online services like Tivify or as Pluto TV or Rlaxx, completely free with content on demand or live broadcast. Or as FuboTV that allow us to access television channels without even having a television antenna. Even Movistar + Lite itself if we have an account or decide to register. And if you want a system designed to consume streaming content from apps like Netflix, you can use Windows apps or the web versions of each service, or buy external devices like a Fire TV or a Chromecast with Google TV. Simply connect to one of the monitor’s HDMI ports and with that you already have access to everything in a similar way to TV.
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