What is the difference between a monitor and a TV

What’s the difference between a monitor and a TV: what to choose for gaming and work

Monitor and TV are both techniques designed to display information. The devices are very similar both externally and functionally, but there are significant differences between them: in size, resolution, speed of response and other characteristics. Below we will consider for what purposes a monitor is suitable, and what are better to cope with the TV.

For many users, the line between monitor and TV is blurred. If both screens have a similar diagonal and thickness, it is difficult to tell them apart. To do this, we suggest you pay attention to the terminology:

  • TV is an autonomous device, designed for decoding video and audio signals and then transmitting the picture to the screen. Usually has a built-in tuner to process the signal received from the satellite and other broadcast elements.
  • Monitor is a device which is designed to display text and graphical data and which cannot receive signals from television antennas and satellites. The monitor is not able to work without a system unit, which transmits broadcast information.

There are several parameters which immediately distinguish the monitor from the TV. You can check them out below.


The size of the TV set can greatly exceed the dimensions of the monitor. The TV is designed so that several people can enjoy the picture at the same time. They can be placed in different parts of the room (quality of perception depends on the matrix and viewing angles). When watching TV viewers must stay at least 2 meters away from the screen (the larger the diagonal, the greater the distance must be).

In order for all viewers to see the image well, manufacturers produce devices with wide-angle display. At the moment, more than 40 brands of equipment refused to produce TV sets with a diagonal of less than 40″ in favor of large format devices. At the same time TVs with a curved screen form are often produced.

TV with a curved matrix

When working with a computer monitor the user can be at a distance of 30-55 cm. Therefore, the maximum allowable diagonal of the monitor, which will not harm the eyes is 27″. In most cases, the display shows text and other small elements, so it is uncomfortable to work with him at a great distance.

Matrix type

The main task of a TV is to transmit a picture. At the same time the transmission should be such, that the human eye can easily perceive it. Primarily for the image quality is responsible matrix, on the basis of which the screen is built.

The matrix is a panel with a large number of pixels (the number depends on the technology used). Each dot is a liquid crystal connected to electrodes. All pixels have only three colors: red, green, and blue. The other colors are produced by successive mixing of primary colors. When light passes through the crystals, the display shows a color image.

The sensors in expensive televisions produce bright images that are closer in color to what we see in real life. For the manufacture of such displays OLED technology is used, which offers wide viewing angles and natural color reproduction. In addition, modern models of TV are made with support for HDR (high dynamic range). Because of this, the television is able to display a richer picture.

Televisions use a matrix like this:

  • A simple technology with weak color reproduction. Characteristic for budget TVs, not suitable for models with a large diagonal. The main advantage. low cost.
  • IPS/VA. The advantages of matrix may include realistic color reproduction and wide viewing angles. They differ from each other by saturation of dark colors. Also have a different service life.
  • OLED. Provides enhanced contrast and better rendering of black tones. Widely used in TV sets with diagonal size starting from 50″.
  • QLED. Innovative technology that uses quantum dots. Has a very bright color reproduction and high resolution. The key advantage is that the matrix does not burn out at all.

The following matrices are commonly used in monitors:

  • Uses the vertical alignment of light that passes through the pixels. Liquid crystals in matrix do not let the light pass when turned off. Main advantage is high contrast. VA panel is ideal for graphics
  • Enhanced VA matrix with expanded viewing angles.
  • Used in most monitors. Combines wide viewing angles, realistic color reproduction and acceptable refresh rate (from 60 Hz to 360 Hz).

Less common are monitors with TN and OLED matrices already described.

Comparing monitor and TV matrices

Even with the same type of matrix, monitor and TV will be partially different in these aspects:

  • Greater detail. Transmitted picture from the same matrix on TV and monitor will have different pixel density.
  • Response speed. Monitors have a faster response time. If your TV set has 8-10 msec as standard, the monitor will have 4-5 msec or less.
  • Image inversions. There is an inversion when you look away from the monitor’s central axis. TVs today don’t have it.
  • Color rendering. TVs have a much higher color rendering than monitors.

Also, the monitor is easier to tilt and adjust to the desired viewing angle. Especially the VA matrix models.

Response time

Response time is the timing of the processor’s response to a given action, measured in milliseconds. Modern televisions usually have a response time of less than 10ms, and some models reduce it to 5ms. When watching movies you may not notice the difference, but in the fast-paced games it will be felt. The response time of monitors is up to 5 ms, often. 2-3 ms.

The lower this figure, the more smoothly the picture will be displayed. If you want to choose a screen for gaming, aim for a response time not to exceed 3 msec. In premium class monitors the rate can be as little as 1 ms.

TV or monitor. which is better?

Today many buyers are choosing between. TV or monitor? And what is the difference between them??

A TV set is a device which receives a signal from the transmitting stations by means of a TV tuner. Monitors have no tuner. The signal it receives from the video card. For a long time this was considered to be the main differentiator.

Now that there are TV models without a tuner and monitors with built-in tuners, the differences are no longer so obvious, but still it is possible to highlight a few points.

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Monitors are designed for working on it, at a distance of about 70-90 cm from the screen. TVs are best viewed from a distance of 2-3 meters.

TV has a larger pixel size, which is noticeable from a short distance. Accordingly monitors have a greater number of monitors.

The average monitor is able to support more picture formats.

Monitors support progressive scanning while TVs support interlaced scanning. When working with text interlaced scanning is an inconvenience.

TVs have a greater choice of screen diagonal sizes.

In general, the TV is larger than the monitor, so a TV with a large screen diagonal is cheaper than a monitor of the same size, and with a small is more expensive.

The presence of a remote control make it more convenient to handle the TV.

You can choose a TV to use instead of a monitor for working at a PC, but it is better to choose a model with an LCD matrix. Models with a plasma panel or LED matrix have more modest features.

Large size may be inconvenient for arm’s length work. With monitors measuring 18-22 inches all the information fits in a person’s field of view, with a bigger screen it becomes necessary to switch your attention. With screens over 40 inches is much more convenient to watch movies and play video games, but it should be done from a distance of at least 2 meters.

For watching cable TV, your best bet is a TV with HDMI-interface. If you have fast Internet you can watch programs directly from the monitor, pre-installing the program for online TV. The only inconvenience is that there is no remote control for switching programs, but a simple wireless mouse can easily replace it.

When working with text information is better suited monitors, because they were originally designed to work close and the eyes when reading will be less tired.

Many customers choose the device primarily for video games. In such a situation, you should be guided by the values of framerate. It determines the smoothness of the picture. But only if your video game puts out at least 45 frames per second. Otherwise you won’t notice the difference.

Another important parameter is Input lag. This characteristic shows how quickly the device can process the signal and display the picture on the screen. If the response time is high, the cursor can “slow down” and “slip” during work, which causes some inconvenience. TVs usually have response times that are a few milliseconds faster than monitors.

To summarize, the main difference between TV and monitor is the presence of a tuner and the type of scanning frames. TVs have a TV tuner and a fixed sweep, while monitors have no tuner, and the sweep can be completely different, depending on the clock signal. Many users use different devices, if possible, for different purposes.

In general, to choose between a TV and a monitor, you first need to determine the purpose of its use. If you lack funds or limited space, a TV with monitor functionality is perfect. But if you can, it is better to use both devices for their intended purpose.

Screen diagonal in this group of TVs is 60-65 inches. In addition to the improved picture, they differ in the presence of Smart-TV and audio systems with cinema sound.

Panasonic TC-P65ZT60

Since its introduction to the market this model remains the best-selling plasma TV. The screen is made with only one glass plate, which maximizes image quality.

The dual-core Hexa processor provides excellent dynamic scene playback. Smart-TV features provide access to Internet content. You can transfer files to the screen from other gadgets via USB port or via Bluetooth.

  • The ability to create personalized settings for each member of the family;
  • voice control;
  • No glare on the screen;
  • Smart features.

A 65-inch diagonal screen and excellent picture quality make it perfect for your spacious living room.

LG 60PB6900

This model has become one of the best-selling plasma panels from LG due to the presence of Smart-TV and 3D playback.

The brightness of the screen is somewhat inferior to LCD models, but it transmits excellent colors, including realistic black. The Smart-TV platform is a bit limited, but it provides access to popular streaming video resources.

  • loud and surround sound;
  • high image sharpness;
  • optimal processor speed in dynamic scenes;
  • 3D content support.

LG 60PB6900 is a good choice for watching TV and content from the Internet. For video games, it may be weak.


TV draws attention to a durable aluminum body. Despite the impressive size of the screen (60 inches) it does not look bulky, because the speakers are located at the bottom.

VCV technology is responsible for a realistic transfer of 1 billion. tones. Two built-in TV tuners provide reception of analog and digital channels. And TruSurround XT sound technology improves sound quality to cinema standards.

  • High contrast ratio. 7000:1;
  • Improved sound and picture;
  • 14 ports;
  • Ability to mount on a stand or wall.

High speed signal processing gives a great picture when watching sports and fast-paced movies. TV can also be used as a monitor for game consoles.

Which option is more suitable for the computer?

If you do not know the difference between a monitor and a Samsung TV, then it is worth considering this topic in more detail. Many people have a question what can be used. a monitor or TV for a personal computer. There is no definite answer here. To date, TVs with an LCD matrix are quite popular. They are ideal for the device in a personal computer. And if we talk about other models of TVs, the kinescope variants have long since receded into the background and are practically never used. Plasma televisions are not suitable for such purposes. TVs with LED matrix is also inferior to the LCD matrix. In addition, the TV receiver can not be used as a regular monitor if you are sitting at arm’s length. It is not suitable for scrolling through documents on a large scale. It can be used for viewing pictures, movies. If you want to choose a TV for you and embed it in a personal computer, you should do it wisely.

Possible difficulties

Before synchronizing devices, it is better to turn them off, and only afterwards connect cables. The computer will automatically find the TV. If not, you can do it with the “Find” button. Next, set the display sweep: the item “Monitor”, where you select “Frequent Screen Refresh”. If the TV doesn’t show the picture from the PC anyway, go ahead and configure.

Windows 7 users need to right-click on the blank area and select “screen resolution”. There you will see the monitors (they will be numbered). Check the box to select the desired one, the one that will work as the main, confirm and save. If you want both displays to work, in the section “Several screens” click on “Duplication”.

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To get a high quality picture you may need to change the resolution or adjust the colors in the video card properties.

Setting up the TV as a computer monitor is not difficult. Big screen allows you to watch movies with comfort, and if the characteristics of TV allow, then to play games. Plus and minus the big screen at the same time. Yes, it accommodates more information, but you have to increase the distance to the screen, and it’s not always convenient. As a temporary measure TV instead of monitor suits, but on a permanent basis is not recommended to practice it. the vision is more expensive.

Main differences between monitor and TV

Before we outline the differences, it is necessary to understand what each device is.

Looking in detail at the characteristics of the monitor, it becomes clear that this technique is designed to read and display graphic and textual data on the screen, the device has no built-in tuner. The principle is based on receiving and playing back audio and video signals from TV broadcasting stations and antennas.

The presence of the tuner has always been considered the main difference, but technology is not standing still, now complete without it. And certain models are produced with a tuner. What is the difference?

There are the following differences:

  • the TV has an extensive range of possible screen sizes, determined by the diagonal, plus a greater number of video elements;
  • working with the monitor requires close proximity to it, and the TV, on the contrary, is viewed from a distance;
  • picture quality. Screen resolution, expressed in pixels, is better in the monitor, superior in the number of formats;
  • ease of use. Presence of remote control;
  • Price with the same technical characteristics. The price of the monitor is lower;
  • The lack of a television receiver system that interacts with different software.

Operating principle

Studying how TV works reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the technology. Ordinary users due to lack of knowledge are not able to determine which TV is better. plasma or LCD. Especially for them and was created this material.

Now let’s carefully study the specific features of both technologies. Based on this information, let’s form a list of advantages and disadvantages. This is the only way to make an objective assessment of the technology on the market.

Plasma panel

The technology of plasma TVs (based on the use of ionized gas) was one of the first. When the first plasma TVs hit the market, they were still losing out to CRT technology. Why? The reasoning is very simple. The novelty was much more expensive than analogues with identical functionality.

A plasma panel is two glass plates, between which there is a matrix consisting of cells filled with ionized gas. Voltage is supplied to the cells through transparent electrodes. Gas converts into plasma and begins to glow.

Ultraviolet radiation from plasma provides the phosphor backlight in three colors: red, green and blue. It is these shades in different ratios that are controlled by the computer. You also see them when you turn on the TV.

Which TV to choose. plasma or LCD? Plasma models are becoming less and less every year. This technology is significantly outdated. Some companies are still producing plasmas, improving the picture quality and performance parameters of the device as a whole. The screen diagonal is enlarged, on a small display it is impossible to achieve maximum detail of the picture because of the low resolution.

Now let’s analyze the advantages and disadvantages of plasma TVs. Let’s start with the positive qualities:

  • Deep, bright and saturated color palette;
  • Impressive contrast and perfect black depth;
  • the maximum viewing angle of up to 180 degrees;
  • Long service life. up to 30 years;
  • 3D technology.
  • Increased power consumption;
  • Image fades when the screen is exposed to sunlight;
  • high weight, which causes problems with fixing it on the wall;
  • pixels burn out on a static image.

This is all you need to know about plasma TV.


Plasmas appeared quite a long time ago. Their appearance marked a new epoch in TV technique industry. LCD technology came even earlier. It just was not immediately used in the manufacture of televisions.

The very first LCD-display was created in the early seventies of the last century. Monochrome screens were installed by specialists on watches, calculators and various other devices. A little later there were laptops with LCDs, but they were very primitive. Especially if you draw parallels to modern LCD televisions.

Liquid crystal technology in TV technology began to be used only in the 2000s. Initially there were models with a small screen diagonal from 14 to 32 inches on the market. They interested the users by the quality of the picture and the affordable price. Its popularity grew dramatically. The novelty rapidly became a real hit of sales. At that time, however, LCD TVs were far behind their analogues in terms of picture quality.

What is an LCD TV? This is an LCD display based on liquid crystals. They are placed between several layers of polymer and glass plates. A layer of crystals forms a matrix with a large number of pixels. The luminescence is provided by the backlight behind the panel. RGB matrix guarantees the color.

It was the appearance of liquid crystal TVs that caused the CRT TVs to leave the market. Some kinescope models did not lose out in terms of picture quality, but consumers still preferred the new technology.

  • Little power consumption;
  • no static picture;
  • Even a small screen is capable of displaying a picture in Full HD;
  • relatively low cost;
  • Compact size and light weight.
  • LED TVs and plasmas have better contrast;
  • Limited viewing angle;
  • Unsatisfactory black depth;
  • there is no way to change the resolution;
  • not the best response time.

The list of strengths and weaknesses can vary depending on the TV model, or more precisely, on its cost. Much depends on the manufacturer. Premium brand equipment has always had a wide viewing angle and excellent contrast. The cheapest devices have even bigger list of weaknesses. Lifetime of liquid crystal TV is about 7-10 years.

Monitor with a tuner: what is it?

When you study what is the difference between a monitor and a TV, you may notice that the former does not have a tuner. Some time ago, a computer monitor model was developed that had a tuner built into it. But this is not a TV, so this innovation is not widespread. The main difference here was the resolution. In monitors it is computer, which means that it doesn’t allow to record programs and tune itself according to the owner’s preferences. This is why the models did not become popular. But when people choose a small TV for the kitchen, they are ready for some simplifications. That’s why in the stores you can buy just a monitor with a tuner. So why should we choose a TV and spend a bit more money than opt for a monitor with a tuner?? Let’s take a closer look.

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The TV? Monitor? Who cares?! ” All about TVs

Everything comes back. At the end of the last century monitors simply did not exist for most users. There were TVs with convex screens which you could hook up to Atari without any problems or by tinkering.

History repeats itself in many ways. Except that things have gotten a lot more complicated. If in the past a monitor from a TV set could be distinguished even by a baby, then now the line between these two notions is getting thinner. Some get the functions of others, and vice versa.

Not everything is a monitor that is called a monitor

Let me explain the terminology a little bit. Nowadays, in the Western tradition, monitors are often called digital, primarily HD-panels.

What distinguishes them from TVs of the same functionality is the lack of a built-in tuner (for example NTSC/ATSC in the USA and PAL/DVB in Europe). In the English-speaking world they are called TV/Monitor, Tunerless Monitor, etc. п. Such “monitors” are cheaper than TV sets of the same size. However, in our tradition, both are called televisions or simply “panels”.

Actually, a TV set does not always have to have a tuner. In fact, tuners are only designed to receive over-the-air (name), usually free-to-air broadcasts. If you have enough cable/satellite broadcasting you do not need a tuner, because the appropriate receivers are already equipped with tuners.

Often larger size TVs are sold without a tuner. This is rare for small models.

Recall, though, such panels are not “real” monitors. Next we will talk about the computer models, which in recent years are functionally very similar to TV sets.

Not so long ago (and to some extent even now) there was a popular trend. computer monitors were equipped with built-in tuners. But that did not make them TVs.

First, they were analogue models with analogue tuners and second, the main thing for them was the computer component. Special algorithms were used for television signal processing, which had an impact on the image quality.

Such a monitor is, in some ways, worse than a system of monitor and PC with external/internal tuner. First of all, it’s almost impossible to reprogram the tuner built into the monitor to suit your needs, and secondly, having a tuner in the computer itself allows you to record TV programs to your hard drive, watch video in a small “window” while working, etc. п.

As a result, monitors with built-in tuners do not represent the strongest party on the market of displays/panels.

Great prospects for monitors without TV-tuner. Т. е traditional computer monitors. Many users have long realized that manufacturers ask less money for a resolution comparable to HDTV, and many models are equipped with both DVI and sometimes HDMI inputs, allowing you to connect digital video sources with HD resolution.

The main thing is that the monitor must support HDCP content protection protocol. this requirement to HD-TVs is fixed in the decisions of many international institutions and without such support HD content in its most part will be simply not available. Usually such support is provided in modern monitors, but it’s worth to be vigilant, so that you don’t have to bite your elbows in helpless rage.

Optimal for use as digital TV. widescreen monitors. Unfortunately most of such models support 16:10 screen format instead of 16:9 and resolution not corresponding to HD, for example 1920×1200 instead of 1920×1080. When “reformatting”, “rescaling”, etc. п. Either “frames” are used on the edges of the screen, or special algorithms are used, and therefore the quality of the image does not always correspond to the reference for HDTV.

Recently there have been monitors from Sharp, LG, Dell, etc. п., Widescreen monitors which support 16:9 aspect ratio and the corresponding 1080p resolution. They are designed for fans of multimedia content, primarily video. These monitors are not much different from TV sets. Primarily in the presence of additional functions, typical only to monitors. the ability to change the scanning frequency, to use minor auxiliary functions such as Gaussian Blur, sepia, etc. п., and obligatory for monitors and not obligatory for TV sets presence of distinctive computer inputs. VGA, DVI, etc. п. And of course, monitors are still smaller than large TV panels.

With such a mix of technologies, it’s not surprising that many TVs today can be used as computer monitors. Most HD panels have both DVI and VGA input or at least one of them. In addition, many modern “first echelon” video cards are equipped with an HDMI output, support for which is mandatory for HDTV.

The trouble with TV sets is that their display pixels are often too big, so it is not very comfortable to work with such a panel up close on your computer. Up to the fact that individual “dots” become visible.

It is important that your TV supports not only interlaced, but also progressive scan (monitors use progressive scan). it is very tiring for your eyes to work with office/text documents on an interlaced screen.

Also. TVs have the same problem as monitors. the problem of resolution compatibility. If for HDTV 720p and 1080i/p it is 1280×720 and 1920×1080 respectively, then the corresponding conventional computer resolutions are 1440×990 (WXGA) and 1680×1050 (WSXGA). Also, many manufacturers often cheat and their HD is not real! It is not uncommon for 1080p to be replaced, for example, by a resolution of 1024×1080.

But, as a rule, TVs have a shorter “pixel response time” than monitors, better contrast and brightness and larger viewing angles, and for computer/video games with proper compatibility/adjustment the big screens fit perfectly at all.

What to choose, what to choose.

As you can see there are a lot of universal solutions on the market and despite some minor flaws, it is possible to buy a TV monitor or monitor-TV. The main thing is to decide which of the two functions is a priority. what tasks are to be solved in the first place. And, based on this, make your choice.

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