TV vs. Monitor – Which is Best for Gaming?

If you are a gamer, you have probably played your games on both a computer monitor and a gaming TV. But which is best for the gaming experience?

That depends on what you want to do and how you intend to use your connections.

Sometimes it has to do with the environment that you want to enjoy. If you are just in your room by yourself and want to enjoy solo gaming on your computer, a monitor is best. But when you want to get others in your household involved, you can bring your gaming equipment into the living area and broadcast it on the 60″ TV screen with full stereo sound.

Okay, so you’d probably better get the permission of the other members of your family or others in the area before turning off the program they are watching and switching it to gaming. That being said, using your gaming hardware on a full-screen TV system allows you to immerse yourself in the gaming experience in full stereo sound (provided you have the audio hooked up to a stereo or sound system).

So much of whether you should choose a monitor or TV is based on the environment you are playing in and what you want to do.

Now let’s take a look at some of the specific aspects of TVs vs. monitors to see how they compare with each other.

Screen Size

The screen size that you are using is important to the entire gaming experience that you get from your setup. Most monitors range from around 20-27″ which is big enough for individual play but may not be big enough for group interaction or more than one player. A widescreen HD TV allows for comfortable play with some people “in the real world” who are assembled around your TV to play together or take turns at their favorite video game. PC monitors are more designed for solo players. However, solo players may join other players online through a multiplayer option that many PCs or online gaming systems offer.

Size Matters

TVs can range from 36″ to over 100″ which would be a mind-blowing gaming experience. For avid gamers, nothing else comes close to what they get with a TV gaming setup. The most common sizes for TVs are between 30 and 60 inches, so the “full-screen” wall-sized TVs are rare. Still, the experience is going to be much more vivid to the senses with so much visual and aural output.

Couch Potatoes Unite

If you’re one of those people who enjoys sitting on your couch to play games after a long day’s work, you’ll probably prefer the large screen experience of a TV over a computer monitor. With a TV, you can also enjoy options such as the split-screen multiplayer selection.

Response Time

Responsiveness and response time and important “buzzwords” with today’s technological settings. Online, this means something a bit different. But in the real world, responsiveness has more to do with pixels. Pixel response time determines how fast a pixel changes color which results in clarity of picture, motion, and smooth camera movements.

Low vs. High Response Times

The difference between low and high response times is that lower response time allows for smooth camera movement but higher response times on TVs can potentially lead to ghosting, motion blur, and other issues when using TVs for monitoring.

How Do You Know the Response Time of Your TV?

Unfortunately, most TV manufacturers choose not to reveal the response time of their TV products, since they fear it may bias consumer opinion without having a chance to try out the whole TV. Many other factors are involved in choosing a TV, so it’s best to weigh all of the factors before buying.

One good rule of thumb is to stick with brands that you are familiar with and which have a good rating from consumer reviews. Keep in mind that TV manufacturers focus more on making their products multimedia-friendly rather than gaming specifically. So the results you get may vary based on the brand. It’s a good idea to test the TV in person in a store that offers TV displays on the floor before buying rather than ordering one from a store online.


The resolution is another factor that varies between monitors and TV sets. Resolution is directly related to how many individual pixels you’ll see on the screen, as well as the number of pixels, and the image details.

The resolution defines the sharpness of the picture, as well as how many pixels are present on the screen. The more pixels you have on the screen at one time, the more detailed the image is.

Available Resolutions

Monitors come in several different resolutions:

  • Full HD (1080p)
  • QHD (1440p) (2K)
  • UHD (2160p) (4K)

The newest technology involves the use of the latter type of resolution which is based on Ultra High Definition (4K). There are technical specifications that are important to your understanding if you have a UHD TV and certain resolutions with not work with 4K if your end receiver is not compliant with the technical specifications required for output. However, most 4K-ready equipment will work with standard HD (1080p) TVs.

One Disadvantage of Monitors

One big disadvantage of using a monitor is that a monitor cannot be much bigger than 27 inches because it will become too large for closeup viewing.

One Disadvantage of TVs

While monitors are limited to 27 inches to maintain the quality you have with gaming equipment, modern TVs are generally huge and full HD TVs start at 32 inches. TVs are meant to be viewed from a distance, making them less feasible than monitors to use for gaming. There is always a possibility of fraying the edges, ghosting, and other anomalies since TVs blow up the image to the largest resolution by default opening up the possibility of blurring or pixelating.


Most TVs rely on a direct HDMI connector to connect the video signal to your monitor or gaming system. HDMI is the best digital output format available today, and it offers a clear picture and output to other devices as well. HDMI has become the standard for TV gaming and TV-to-device connections.

Some TVs do have DVI connections, but most users opt to use HDMI instead.

Monitors have more options for connections. The VGA connection is almost obsolete but some people still use this, and it is built into new computers and gaming systems for the most part. The standard 3.5 mm jacks and RCA inputs can still be used with most monitors if they are built to accept this format and many models have USB ports to output sound or video.

Of course, whether connections work between two units depends on how the hardware was built and whether the parts are compatible with a certain connector.

What Is Displayport?

DisplayPort is a type of connectivity that is available with some gaming and computer systems. It carries the signal from your gaming unit to your monitor. But you will not find this technology in modern TVs. That’s because the standard for TV technology is HDMI regardless of the type of input or output you are using it for. The only way to use DisplayPort is to connect from your computer monitor to your gaming system or other devices that have this similar technology.

About Modern TV Connections

Most TVs today have at least two HDMI connections which allow you to input either DVD, Blu-ray players, or gaming systems into your TV. The setup is very simple and does not require an expert to install it. Many Smart TVs are built with apps that allow you to have access to various types of programming and may also allow an option for inputs for gaming devices and other multimedia equipment. But the standard is still going to be either HDMI, USB input for photos and data, and most do have the old analog RCA composite audio and 3.5 mm RCA inputs for audio.

Additionally, many TVs are built with a hardwired ethernet because some people like the better signal they get from a standard Ethernet hardwired connection. You can go from your broadband internet connection straight into the TV in many cases allowing you to do multiplayer gaming and other activities through your TV without the lag or disconnections you sometimes get from wireless devices.

The Technology of the Future

There is no doubt that the technology of the future will continue to change in both a smart TV and regular HDTV realm. Is important to keep up with the standards if you do enjoy gaming and other activities that require you to interconnect units into your TV or computer system.

Whether or not you use a monitor depends on the environment you wish to do your gaming in, whether you’d rather be alone or with a group of people, and how much you want the multiplayer capabilities that you can get through most TV systems.

Best Quality

The quality, in general, is going to be better for close-up viewing for the PC monitors because you have fewer pixels spread out over a smaller area thereby improving the quality. However, if you want a full theatrical experience in gaming complete with sound and fury, you will probably want to engage in using your TV from time to time to enjoy The full experience.

Also, remember the modern technology such as 3D hardware encourages the use of a TV to get the full theatrical experience.

Do some shopping around when you are looking at new gaming equipment and be sure and pay attention to the connectors so that you will know which cords to get and which units work together to make sure your units are compatible with each other.

The Final Analysis

If you wish to participate in more features, bigger picture, virtual reality, and other peripherals such as surfboards or workout options, you may want to use your TV for your gaming.

On the other hand, if you prefer to work with your PC or gaming console alone in a more self-contained space, you’ll probably want to use a monitor. Monitors are best for better “closeup” viewing, and smaller spaces and TVs are better for a long-range view and bigger, wider spaces.

One final tip: Remember that even more important than whether you use a monitor or a TV to output your signal to is the quality of every component you are using. Make sure your gaming devices, cords, units, and connections are high quality and that they meet the standards of the respective units.