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Home / Tips and Tricks / Use your TV as a computer screen: everything you need to know

Use your TV as a computer screen: everything you need to know



You are not the first to wonder what it would be like to have a giant desktop monitor. Think of all the multi-tasking and immersive gaming that you could manage if you had a 50- or 60-inch monitor instead of a standard 24-inch monitor! But you have probably noticed that as monitors become larger, they often become unaffordable.

You probably already have a big screen in your house, a TV. After all, isn't an HDTV just a giant living room-oriented computer monitor?

Not exactly. Although in most cases you can use a TV as a computer screen, this does not mean that this is the best option. In fact, it's probably less attractive, convenient, and usable than you think (not to mention, probably not that is cheap). There is a reason that extremely cheap 32-inch HDTVs don't fly off the shelf to be used as budget-friendly jumbo screens.

You can certainly use an HDTV as the screen of your PC. Here's everything you need to know about setting up a TV as a computer screen ̵

1; and why you might not want that.

Will it even work?

The short answer: Yes. You may need a special cable depending on the outputs of your PC and the inputs of your HDTV, and you need to check a few settings, but you shouldn't have too much trouble connecting most modern PCs. close to most modern HDTV & # 39; s.

Modern HDTVs have HDMI outputs. Some older HDTVs have DVI inputs and some even have VGA inputs that are specifically intended for "PC use". If your graphics card has an HDMI output, you can start: just use an HDMI cable to connect your PC to your HDMI.

  basics of Amazon HDMI Amazon

HDMI connectors are everywhere and even Amazon own brands.

If you use an older graphics card or motherboard with only a DVI output, you can connect a cheap DVI to HDMI cable and connect it to the HDMI output of your HDTV. Amazon sells a six ft. AmazonBasics version for only $ 7 . Although some older HDTVs and some older computers only have VGA inputs / outputs, they are not an ideal choice. VGA is an analog signal that gives you a much more blurred image with a lower resolution than you get with an HDMI or DVI cable.

If you want to use your HDTV as a second or third monitor, you may need to use a different port, such as the DisplayPort output of your graphics card. In this case, you must use a different cable ( DisplayPort-to-HDMI ). The main advantage of using the DisplayPort output instead of DVI or VGA is that HDMI and DisplayPort have both video and audio signals. A DVI-to-HDMI cable can send both video and audio if your graphics card supports HDMI audio via DVI – unlikely if there are no HDMI ports – while VGA only transmits video. If you use DVI or VGA, you most likely need to connect the audio from your PC to the HDTV separately or use external speakers or a headset.

Bottom line? Try to keep it with HDMI if or DisplayPort-to-HDMI connections if this is possible. It is the easiest solution.

Preparing your PC

You must also determine whether your graphics card (or the integrated graphics card of your PC) can be output with the resolution of your HDTV. To do this, you must first find the resolution of your HDTV by referring to the manufacturer's manual. Some HDTVs have non-standard resolutions; it is not obvious that your HDTV is supported. However, most adhere to the standard 720p, 1080p or 4K resolutions. Then find the maximum resolution that your graphics card / integrated graphics card supports.

  display adapter properties Brad Chacos / IDG

Open the Windows 10 Start menu and go to Settings> System> Display> Advanced display settings> Display adapter properties for display 1 . In the window that appears, click Show all modes . Find the resolution that matches the resolution of your HDTV and select it.

Does it look good? Could be. It depends on how you use it.

HDTV functions to keep in mind

If you turn your HDTV into a PC-supported multimedia powerhouse and intend to use it primarily as a television and streaming hub – such as a screen that you view from a distance of watch a few meters – it probably looks good. But if you try to stick a 60-inch HDTV on a desk, you are more likely to get a headache and tired eyes.

There are a few different factors that you should take into account when using an HDTV as a computer monitor.

Pixel Density

Pixel density, or the number of pixels wrapped in a square inch screen (measured in pixels per inch or ppi), is the most important factor to consider. A 15.6-inch laptop screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 has a pixel density of 141.21ppi, while a 32-inch HDTV screen with the same resolution has a considerably lower pixel density of 68.84ppi. The lower the pixel density, the less clear and detailed the image becomes.

But the importance of pixel density decreases with viewing distance. The farther you are from a screen, the lower the pixel density must be to have a comfortable viewing experience. You will have no trouble watching a 15.6-inch / 141.21ppi screen two feet away, but you will find it much harder to view a 32-inch / 68.84ppi screen of the same distance . This is why an & # 39; Retina & # 39; screen on the iPhone has a pixel density of 326ppi, but an & # 39; Retina & # 39; screen on the Macbook Pro has a pixel density of just 226ppi.

  65r617 hero TCL

6-series TCL TV.

A normal user is usually between two and three feet of a desktop monitor. If you want to comfortably view a monitor at this distance, you should aim for 80ppi or higher. This means that for a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (1080p), your screen should not be diagonally larger than 27.5 inches, and for 4K sets you want up to 55 inches, such as the $ 500 TCL 55R617 4K UHD Roku shown above TV. We have reviewed it and it is solid.

Important: "4K" is not a market standard. A 4K HDTV can mean 4x720p (3840×2160 resolution) or 4x1080p (4096×2160 resolution). Most models use 3840×2160, but you must check the exact specifications of your model to determine the pixel density.

Input delay

Input delay is the delay between the movement you make on your input device (in this case a mouse and keyboard) and what is displayed on your screen. While most computer monitors give priority to minimum lag times, HDTV & # 39; s generally do not – instead they prioritize (laggy) video processing. These extra milliseconds may not seem that important, but they will make a huge difference if you try to do something like playing online with competitions.

DisplayLag maintains a good database with delayed input, sortable by display type. An input lag of less than 30 milliseconds is considered good for an HDTV if you use it as an HDTV. For a computer screen you want to pursue less than 20 milliseconds and the lower you can, the better.

Response Time

Often confused with input delays, response time describes how long it takes for the pixels of a screen to change color between scenes. HDTV's and computer screens can have very different response times. HDTV's tend to give priority to richer colors, higher contrast and wider viewing angles – all for a longer response time. Computer monitors tend to drop part of the image processing and viewing angles for faster response times. If you use a screen with a slower response time, you may see & # 39; ghosting & # 39; in fast video and gaming sequences.

  lg oled55e8pua rear entrances LG

Also note the type and number of ports. This is just one of the two port areas on an LG TV. Many TVs also offer side ports for easy access.

Some HDTVs have a "game mode" setting, which cuts off part of the image processing to improve both the input lag and the response time. If you plan to play PC games on your TV, be sure to check out the options on your HDTV to see if it has this feature.

Refresh rate

Another factor that can affect performance is the refresh of a display rate. Refresh rate is the number of times a display "refreshes" or redraws its image every second. Most modern screens have a refresh rate of 60Hz, which means that they refresh their image 60 times per second. But you've probably also seen advanced gaming monitors and HDTV & # 39; s with higher advertised refresh rates – 120Hz, 144Hz, or even 240Hz. However, this can be misleading because a computer monitor with a refresh rate of 120Hz may not be the same as an HDTV with a refresh rate of 120Hz.

The reason for this is because the content that people watch on a television is produced on both 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps. The content that people view on a computer screen can be very different – many games can run frame rates of more than 60 fps if you have a powerful enough graphics card. An HDTV with a high advertised refresh rate can use post-processing technology to that rate, for example by creating additional frames to scale up content or by adding black frames between each frame to prevent blurry images. The good news is that this is unlikely to make a difference if you do not play PC games with very high frame rates. But if you have a PC designed for the best possible gaming experience, connecting an HDTV instead of a computer screen probably means you're not getting the most out of your machine.

Is it worth it?

There is no harm in connecting your computer to a TV that you already own to see if it works for you. Go for it!

  pcw windows10 tv Getty Images / Dmitriy Moroz

Our advice varies if you & # 39; If you looking for the best value for money, an HDTV does not necessarily have to save you money on a monitor.If you buy a new screen, I recommend that you go to the proven computer monitor.First, smaller, cheaper HDTV & # 39 ; s usually a resolution of 720p, not 1080p, while monitors with comparable prices are almost always 1080p, so if you're looking for something less than 27 inches, an HDTV will probably be more expensive and with a lower resolution.

This cheaper one 1080p monitors often also support FreeDync adaptive synchronization technology from AMD, which can make your games look buttery smooth – you won't find that in a cheap TV.

If you're looking for something larger than 27 inches, remember that pi xeldichth eid decreases considerably with every few centimeters you win, and there is a reason why HDTV makers suggest they are a few meters away from their screens. If you need a display that is multitasking as a close-up work / e-mail display as well as a movie / entertainment display, you want something with a sufficiently high pixel density that text won't be a burden to read – and even with a high pixel density can still cause a large screen eye and neck strain if you are too close.

  twitch stream Twitch

An HDTV as a secondary monitor is perfect for streaming Twitch, watching Netflix, or monitoring Twitter in real time.

However, there is an ideal situation where the HDTV appears as a monitor.

If you want to add an extra screen to a single or multi-screen setup for entertainment – say, so you can watch Netflix or Twitter while writing articles, or you can play Skyrim on a 60-inch screen – then an HDTV can a very capable (and cool) monitor replacement. Bonus points if you happen to have an extra HDTV or if you can buy one for dirt cheap.

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