Content of the material
- Introduction: How to Use a TV As a Computer Monitor
- When you don’t have HDMI
- Should I Buy a Monitor or a TV for My Computer?
- How to use a TV as a monitor wirelessly
- What To Do Before Turning Your TV Into a Monitor
- Getting your PC ready
- Why You Shouldn’t Use a TV as a PC Monitor
- Differences in Connections
- TVs Are Much Larger – You’ll Need To Move Your Head a Lot
- How to Use TV as a Computer Monitor
- What Kind of Cabling and Accessories Do You Need?
- How to Switch Between Your Computer vs. TV
- Features to Consider Before Switching Your Monitor with a TV
- A warning about eye strain
- Step 6: Finish It Up
Introduction: How to Use a TV As a Computer Monitor
Okay so.. This is my first instructable, so bear with me… In this instructable im going to show you.. thats right.. how to use a TV as a computer monitor! It works pretty good, but there are limits.. for example you can’t read small text, but a picture comes is clear enough, so you can use your computer as a DVD player. NOTE: This is unnecessary if your computer has an S-Video or Composite out. If you have an S-video out on the computer and a composite (standard RCA) in on the TV or VCR or whatever, see hereOh, yeah I didn’t make this into an instructable until after I had it all set up, so the pictures will just be there as close ups of what the step is about. Speaking of pictures, you’ll notice that most of them aren’t very good. This is because it was kind of hard to take the picture while crouched under my desk, or while I’m using my good hand to hold stuff in the pic.and, sorry in advance; the image notes tool isn’t working.UPDATE: heres a good site all about this subject: they sell adapters like the one i used and all different ones like if your computer has a s-video out but your tv or vcr doesnt have an s-video in, then this is the place for you
When you don’t have HDMI
There are two common cases where either your TV or your computer doesn’t have the right HDMI ports. However, don’t fret: There’s a workaround.
First, if you have an older TV or computer, it may have a DVI port rather than HDMI. The former was the primary video connection before HDMI became more common. In this case, you will need a DVI-to-DVI cable, or a DVI-to-HDMI adapter cable, like this AmazonBasics model, which is very affordable.
However, using an adapter can increase the chances of input lag, lower video quality, and other issues, so there’s a tradeoff to consider.
Second, a PC may only have DisplayPort connections. This is unlikely on desktops but can happen even on newer computers that choose to prioritize DisplayPort or mini-DisplayPort — a standard that’s common among monitors but very rarely seen with TVs. In this case, there are affordable DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter cables for desktop and USB-C-to-HDMI adapter cables for laptops.
For desktops with only DVI video output, you may want to consider upgrading the graphics card. On laptops, you’re stuck using adapter cables unless you’re willing to spend loads of money on an external GPU dock.
Should I Buy a Monitor or a TV for My Computer?
Due to the availability of options, it can be challenging to decide whether to purchase a computer monitor or a TV. The price range of a monitor can range from $400 to $1,000, but a TV unit can be found in any of those ranges.
Therefore, price cannot be the only factor to take into account.
How to use a TV as a monitor wirelesslyThe best part of using a smart TV as a computer monitor in 2019 is the lack of cables. If you’ve always wished connector cables would vanish and leave your floors free of tripping hazards, your wish is granted. Chromecast, Roku, and other casting or streaming devices solve the TV-as-computer-monitor problem in Tony Stark levels of style.The first step is to pick a streaming device. You can choose from several, including Google Chromecast and Roku. They are flash drive style sticks or dongles that plug into a TV’s HDMI port.Pro tip: All the major streaming units come in 3K and 4K models. It’s vital to get the 4K version. The 3K units work fine for video, but not when using a TV as a computer monitor. A 3K streaming unit will cause a bottleneck and scuttle the image quality.Once you’ve settled on a casting device, plug it into your TV’s HDMI port. There’s a short configuration process, but anyone who can install an app can get it done in minutes.
What To Do Before Turning Your TV Into a Monitor
First, make sure you have the right cable. Most modern TVs use HDMI connections, but look at your TV’s particular inputs to confirm the one it uses.
If there's a mismatch between your PC and TV, you're not entirely out of luck. You can always use a converter or adapter to turn one connector into the other. That can affect picture quality, and you won't be able to turn a VGA cable into HDMI if you're connecting to a 4K TV (as VGA doesn't support a resolution that high), but as long as your PC and TV aren't too distinct in age from one another, you should be able to find a solution that works.
As well as getting the resolution right for the cable, your PC's GPU will need to support your TV's resolution. To find out what GPU you have, type Device Manager in the Windows search box and select the Device Manager option. Then look for Display adapters and select the arrow next to it.
Your GPU should be listed there, but if it's ambiguous, right-click (or tap and hold) the result, and select Properties. Then check the Details tab for more information.
Getting your PC ready
You’ll also need to determine whether your graphics card (or your PC’s integrated graphics) is capable of outputting at the resolution of your HDTV. To do this, you will first need to find the resolution of your HDTV by consulting the manufacturer’s manual. Some HDTVs have non-standard resolutions; it’s not a given that your HDTV will be supported. Most stick to standard 720p, 1080p, or 4K resolutions however. Next, find the maximum resolution your graphics card/integrated graphics supports.
Open the Windows 10 Start menu and head to Settings > System > Display > Advanced display settings > Display adapter properties for Display 1. In the window that pops up, click List All Modes. Find the resolution that matches your HDTV’s resolution and select it.
If you’re using the HDTV to supplement a standard computer screen, simply follow our guide on how to set up two monitors to tell Windows how to manage both displays.
Will it look good? Maybe. It depends on how you’re using your HDTV.
Why You Shouldn’t Use a TV as a PC Monitor
If you still haven’t figured out why a TV when used as a computer monitor is a bad idea, listen up to these reasons.
Differences in Connections
Almost all TVs and monitors have HDMI input, which enables games consoles and computer monitors to display movies and TV shows. HDMI is an industry standard, so you’ll find it everywhere.
Some monitors do not have HDMI inputs. Some use DisplayPort or other connections. The difference in connections can make connecting your display challenging if done incorrectly.
TVs Are Much Larger – You’ll Need To Move Your Head a Lot
It is not sensible to buy a 40-inch TV if your space is limited. On the other hand, it is optimal if you plan to set it up in your room. up a 50-inch TV as your monitor and the display is meant to be seen from across the room, then using a TV as monitor wouldn’t be an issue.
Make sure the resolution matches your set-up. For example, if you have a 1080p screen on the desk, it may look blurry close up, even if it produces quality images if hung from a wall across the room.
Not only would blurry images strain your eyes, but you’d have to make a lot of head movements while watching, gaming, or editing.
How to Use TV as a Computer Monitor
Using a TV as a monitor is possible, as long as your computer graphics card supports it. Here’s how to use a tv as a monitor:
1. Check connection compatibility – For the TV to work, it must be able to connect to your computer (more specifically, the GPU or graphics card processing unit).
Your first bet is to look for an HDMI port (most modern TVs are built with this) on both the TV and your GPU. Try to connect them using either the male-to-male HDMI link, HDMI adapter or HDMI-to-mini-HDMI-cable. If either of these cables work, you should be able to use TV as monitor effortlessly.
2. Use alternative cables – If HDMI is not available (but a DVI port is), your solution is to purchase a DVI-to-HDMI cable, which will serve as adapter to older TVs or PCs without HDMI connections.
For computers without an HDMI, check if a DisplayPort connection is available and buy an adapter that will enable your TV to connect to your computer.
What Kind of Cabling and Accessories Do You Need?
While still at the store, I wasn’t sure if I needed to buy an HDMI cable just yet. This was because the sales technician mentioned that an HDMI cable might be something that our cable company could provide. Plus, I knew I had the option of using the RGB port. The sales technician stated that he was able to get a free HDMI cable from his cable company. He simply called and asked for one, and since he was a loyal customer for over 20 years, they provided him with a cable. I decided to wait until I got home to check and see what cables I may already have on hand before purchasing any additional cables.
As far as additional accessories, this depends on what equipment you have, and how your equipment is setup. In my case, I already had a router and a cable modem setup in my home office, along with a splitter. The router allows wireless connectivity in our house for other computers and devices, such as laptops, portable game systems and WII game system. One end of my splitter connects to my cable port in the wall, and the other end connects to my cable modem.
How to Switch Between Your Computer vs. TV
To switch between my computer and your TV, I just use either TV button, or the RGB button on my remote control to switch back and forth.
Did I leave anything out? If I did, let me know and I will try to help.
Please note: Connectivity may vary depending on the type of equipment you have, and the type of internet service you have as well.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Features to Consider Before Switching Your Monitor with a TV
Before switching your monitor for a TV, you must understand several components that would make or break your gaming or movie-watching experience. These include:
A warning about eye strainUsing a TV as a computer may cause eye strain, but it all depends. For best eye health, the Mayo Clinic says TVs and monitors should be at or just below eye-level . A TV high on a wall could cause eye strain after several hours of daily use. Also, using a curved 4K TV as a computer monitor could hurt your eyes . Aside from that, the greater the distance from your eyes, the healthier when using TVs as computer monitors.
Step 6: Finish It Up
This is the (fun) part where you start messing around with the buttons on the TView until you get a good picture on the TV. Have fun, and I’ll be happy to offer any help I can.