Monitor vs TV – What are the Differences?

Monitor vs TV – What are the Differences?

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When shopping for the best extension monitor for your laptop or the best outdoor TV for your next picnic, consider the similarities and differences, so you know what you’re looking for.

Just because you play games on your TV or watch shows on your computer monitor doesn’t mean they are the same thing. TVs and monitors have very different designs and features. However, there are also a few things they have in common.


Monitors generally have a smaller screen than TVs. A 30-inch monitor is significant, while a 42-inch HDTV is on the low end of the spectrum. People sit closer to their computer than to the TV, so it doesn’t need to be visible from a distance.


There isn’t much of a comparison in a monitor vs. TV when it comes to ports. They both support HDMI, VGA, USB, and DVI. You could use either to connect a multitude of other components like DVD players, Roku, Chromecast, flash drives, and much more.


Each device serves its unique purposes, but these may overlap. For instance, there are LCD TVs and plenty of smart TV options that allow you to stream your content while we generally use monitors for gaming. However, a TV can be used for gaming, too.

Modern monitors and TVs have flat-panel displays, and you would rarely find a new CRT monitor or TV. It’s possible at exclusive stores that cater to the types of gamers who prefer CRT setups, but unlikely.

Keep in mind that monitors and TVs have a very different refresh rate, aspect ratio, resolution, and display specifications. A gaming monitor is likely your best bet when it comes to gaming on a screen. You can still have a pleasant gaming experience on a TV with a high Hz refresh rate, though, even if you’re doing console gaming.


In their most basic form, monitors and TVs have buttons and screens. At the very least, you’ll find power buttons and menu buttons, but a TV usually also has a remote with buttons, whereas a monitor does not.

HDTVs and more complicated devices have additional buttons that help you control brightness and other settings. This control can improve your image quality or picture quality.


All TVs have built-in speakers, but only some monitors do. However, you can upgrade or attach different speakers to either to improve your sound quality. For monitors that do have built-in speakers, they are generally basic and don’t sound nearly as good as TV speakers do.


Monitors and TVs are interchangeable when doing many things, including gaming, photo editing, or streaming shows. The important things to keep in mind are the kind of ports you need to connect your components.

If you need an HDMI port to connect your Amazon Fire Stick, make sure you purchase either a TV or a monitor with that kind of connection. TVs are for comfort and visibility, so the viewing angles are broader and more conducive to a living room setting.

However, the refresh rate is much slower, making it hard to game in certain situations.

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