Should I Pick a Monitor or a TV for Work?

You’re setting up your office, and you noticed something strange. Large screen TVs tend to be cheaper than much smaller computer monitors. But can a TV replace a monitor in this role? Will you save up or just have to buy a monitor after a while?

When you see the prices of monitors that are 22” or larger and compare them to the prices of 32” TVs, you can be seriously tempted to take a TV instead of a PC monitor. TVs and PC monitors are rather similar when you look at the basics. However, that’s where everything gets complicated.

Here Are a Few Things You Should Take into Consideration Before You Decide

Refresh rates and response times

TVs have refresh rates and response times that are slower than what most monitors can offer.

Response time for an average IPS panel TV is approximately 15ms, while it is 5ms for IPS panel PC monitors. As a result, using a TV will mean more visible trailing of fast moving objects on the screen.

When it comes to refresh rates, TVs are usually limited to 60Hz. Even the ones that advertise having 120Hz or 240Hz aren’t using those refresh rates when there’s an external signal. With most TVs, you have the option to set them for PC input. That will improve the refresh rate and provide a smoother experience.

On the other hand, with a PC monitor, you get what you buy. If its specs claim that the refresh rate is 240Hz, you will have a smooth, clean, and sharp viewing experience.

If you need a monitor for work, fuzzy, unclear text isn’t an option. That especially goes if you’re spending hours in front of the screen typing. So, PC monitors win here.

Size to price ratio

If you look at this aspect, TVs will always win. A 4K PC monitor of up to 27 inches will cost you as much as a 32 inch 4K TV.

Same goes for lower resolutions and smaller screens — if you compare same panel types, refresh rates, and other features, a TV will turn out to be cheaper than a PC monitor.

If the budget is a large part of your decision, and you need the extra size for your work, you should go with a TV.

Brightness and viewing angles

When it comes to brightness and viewing angles, this is important if you work on video material, or you need a screen that several people can watch at once from different positions in the room. For that purpose, TVs are better, as they provide more brightness, and have better viewing angles than most PC monitors.

And while watching videos will be easier on a TV, everything else will still look and feel better on a PC monitor.


Before you go out and buy a TV instead of a PC monitor, you need to check whether your graphics card can support it. If your graphics card has an HDMI 2.0 output, you need to find a TV with that same spec. Also, if you want to watch videos in 4K, you will need to make sure that the TV you choose supports HDCP 2.2 so it doesn’t downgrade the image to 1080p.

When it comes to PC monitors, there are several different options, from VGA and DVI which you can run into if you decide to buy used ones, to HDMI and DisplayPort which are standard for newer models.

PC monitors are at an advantage here, as you can easily switch their cables so that they connect to any new graphics card you buy to upgrade your computer. However, if you don’t plan on doing that, a TV with above-mentioned specifications will do the job.


PC monitors are perfect for everyday use. You can adjust their height, position, and angle so that they are at the same height as your eyes. That means that you can place a 20–27 inch monitor on your desk and achieve optimal comfort.

However, if you take a 32–55 inch TV, you will either have to lower the display, raise your chair, or even place it on a cabinet. If you try to put a TV that big on your computer desk, you’ll quickly develop a cramp in your neck from looking up at the screen.


TVs usually come with integrated speakers, TV tuners, and they have more advanced image processing abilities. On the other hand, monitors have a higher pixel density, DisplayPort connections, and a crisper image without smearing.

In the end, everything depends on your preferences and needs. If you need a high resolution, amazing color balance, and image quality, you will use a monitor. However, if you want to save up some cash and get a bigger screen, you can definitely get a TV and connect it to your PC.