How to Use Your TV as a Secondary Computer Monitor

If your computer has a smaller screen, you can connect it to a TV and use it as a monitor. Most modern PCs can be connected to newer TVs using an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) or DP (Display Port) cable. Here’s how and why you can utilize a TV as a computer monitor.

Steps to Make a TV Monitor Work as a Computer Monitor

Using smart TV as a computer monitor

To begin, make sure your computer and TV both have an HDMI or DP port, then connect your computer to your TV with the cable. Next, ensure you connect your TV to the correct input/source. You can accomplish this by pressing the input/source button on your remote or the input/source button on your TV.

Once you’ve linked your TV and computer via an HDMI or DP cable, double-check that your PC’s resolution matches that of your TV.

To do this, navigate to your PC’s Settings and select System > Display > Advanced Display Settings > Display Adapter Properties for Display 1 from the drop-down menu. Under List, choose All Modes, then select the resolution corresponding to your TV.

If your PC is an older model with an older motherboard or graphics card, you may need to utilize a DVI (Digital Visual Interface) cable. Although DVI is a larger connector than HDMI, it uses the same visual transmission technology as HDMI.

Is It Better To Buy a Monitor or Television For My Computer?

If you use your computer to browse the web, receive emails, or work, a large-screen TV may not be the best option. While a computer display merely requires you to move your eyes to scan a whole page, a large-screen TV necessitates a significant amount of neck movement. We recommend you look through this selection of the best monitors to find the best one for your needs.

Your eye level should be two to three inches below the top border of your monitor in an ideal situation.

It makes sense to utilize your TV as a monitor if you’re using your PC for streaming, gaming, or other forms of entertainment. Check the resolution, pixel density, input latency, response time, and TV refresh rate.

Features to Consider Before Switching Your Monitor with a TV

Before using your TV as a computer display, take a look at the following features:

1. Pixel Density and Resolution

It’s essential to consider the resolution and pixel density while using a larger TV screen. Pixel density refers to the number of pixels per inch, while resolution refers to the dimensions of your screen in pixels (PPI).

The resolution of a 55-inch TV and a 27-inch computer display, for example, can be the same. The image quality may appear fuzzier when using a larger TV; this is especially true when reading little text on a huge TV, which might be challenging.

Check the pixel density of your computer monitor and TV. A 55-inch TV with a 1080p resolution has a pixel density of 40ppi, whereas a 15-inch laptop screen with the same 1080p resolution has a pixel density of 141ppi. The display will be less sharp and clear as the pixel density decreases.

Because you’re usually sitting far enough from the TV to notice, most TVs don’t have a high pixel density. Because you are sitting so close to the monitor, it requires a higher pixel density. So, although looking at a 15.6-inch monitor from two feet away looks okay, gazing at a 55-inch TV from the same distance might not look so good.

2. Input Lag

The phrase “input lag” refers to the time it takes for a mouse movement to be displayed on your screen after you make it. Input lag is relatively low on most computer monitors but not on TVs.

This implies that there may be a few milliseconds delay every time you do something on your TV. While this may not initially seem like a big deal, you may find it annoying after a while.

A lag time of fewer than 20 milliseconds is preferred when using a TV as a computer display. The less lag time you have, the better it will appear to you.

3. Color Compression

Color compression is another element to consider when using a TV as a computer monitor. When an image size on your screen is reduced, the picture quality deteriorates.

When watching a movie from your couch, most TVs compress visuals more than monitors, which you won’t notice. However, when you’re standing right in front of your TV, you can notice how hazy the image is, especially when trying to read text.

To get the best image, use a TV with 4:4:4 chroma subsampling or at least 4:2:2 chroma subsampling. To enable accurate 4:4:4 color, alter your TV’s picture settings to “computer.”

4. Response Time

The amount of time it takes for the pixels on your screen to change colors is known as response time. Computer monitors have faster response times than televisions. As a result, a TV with a substantially slower response time may provide a “ghosting” effect.

The good news is that some HDTVs have a Game Mode setting. When you switch your TV to a gaming mode, the image processing time is reduced, which improves both response speed and input latency.

5. Refresh Rate

The TV’s refresh rate is also something to think about; it’s the number of times your TV’s image refreshes per second. While computer monitors can have refresh rates of up to 240Hz, most televisions typically offer 60-120Hz refresh rates.

If you want a snappy and smooth experience when playing fast-paced games on your PC, make sure your TV has a refresh rate of at least 120Hz.

But what if your TV doesn’t have an HDMI port? Here is what you can do


Is it wrong to use a TV as a computer monitor?

The Dimensions

Most TV displays are far too large to use as computer monitors. Because computer work requires proximity, using a large TV screen will obstruct your ability to sit at a safe distance, making it difficult to view everything on the screen.

Can I use my TV as a computer monitor wirelessly?

You can buy wireless HDMI devices, such as the IOGEAR Wireless 3D Digital Kit, to use your TV as a second PC display or mirror your screen. Your PC should identify the TV as a new monitor once you switch them on and set your TV to the correct HDMI channel.


If you want to use an HDTV as a computer display, you need to consider everything covered in this blog post.

It’s not a bad idea to test connecting your computer to your TV to see whether it works. Take a chance!