Monitor VS TV For Gaming: Which One Is Better?


For most of the people out there monitors and TVs are still the same things. But, if you are a gamer then you should not fall in the trap of the looks as there is a lot more to them. However, both TV and monitor can serve their purpose as a gaming display for your console or PC setup.

But, you need to keep a lot of factors into consideration, before you make your decision of going with a monitor or a TV for gaming. If you are in a dilemma and are not able to make the right decision then you can take the help of this article.

Monitor vs TV – Know Which One Is Better For Gaming

Before going deep into the article and discussing the factors that one should consider while buying a display for gaming. Let’s have a close look at the basic difference between a TV and a Monitor.

Monitor vs TV Comparison

The most obvious difference between a TV and the monitor is the screen size. A TV, starting from a portable size can go up to 80+ inches. On the other hand, you can’t find a monitor that extends to 80 inch mark in the screen size. If you are a fan of big screens then a TV is what you should look for.

The other main difference between the TV and a monitor is the screen resolution. Where you can find a TV in full HD(1080P) and 4K resolution. A monitor is available in full HD, QHD(2K) and UHD(4K) resolution. The 2K resolution is missing on TVs which leave you with nothing between the full HD and UHD resolution.

Monitors vs TV For Gaming- Factors To Consider

1. Input Lag

The input lag is the main factor you should look for in a TV or a monitor you want to buy for gaming. A device with higher input lag is not ideal for gaming since it takes more time to process the digital signal sent from controllers.

A television, in general, has a higher input lag because it undergoes a lot of processing before showing the response on the screen. The latency in the processing of the signal reduces the fun of playing games on the big screen. But, there are some TVs that come with the ‘Game Mode’ which reduces the input lag to 20 milliseconds from 60. However, it is still not enough, for the best gaming experience the lag should be less than 10 milliseconds.

Contrary to a TV a monitor has a very low input lag since it directly sends the response from the controllers and shows it on the screen. A monitor does not go through heavy processing like upscaling and noise reduction as in TVs and hence has less input latency. And that’s what makes a monitor a sought after solution for gaming.

2. Refresh Rate

The refresh rate is generally the amount of time the image on the screen is changed per second. The higher the refresh rate the smoother is the gameplay. Generally, most of the TVs come with a 60Hz refresh rate i.e the image is changed 60 times per second.

But, for modern heavy graphic oriented action games, a refresh rate of 60 Hz does not provide the best experience. However, there are brands that claim they provide a 120Hz refresh rate in their TV sets but in actual they use motion interpolation technique to gimmick a higher refresh rate.

Unlike on televisions, you can find refresh rates of over 120Hz in regular monitors. There are some monitors in the market that provides refresh rates of 240Hz as well but they are quite expensive. However, you don’t need to spend a lot because a 120 Hz or a 144 Hz monitor is enough for a good gaming experience.

3. Response Time

Another important factor in deciding whether a display is suitable for gaming or not is the response time of the display. The response rate is generally the time taken by the pixels on a display to change its color from one to another. The lower the refresh rate the better is the display for gaming.

In general, a monitor has a response time of about 5 milliseconds while television has a response time of over 15 milliseconds. Which makes a monitor a better display for gaming than a television. High response time results in blurred images and visible ghosting at higher frame rates which is not good for gaming.

4. Comfortability

Comfortability might not be the most considering factor when looking for a gaming display. But, you should keep it in mind because gaming can be a tiresome process when done for a long period of time. In terms of comfort, television can provide a better deal due to its better viewing angle and viewing distance. You can actually play games by sitting on a couch or lying on your bed.

On the other hand, if you want a comfortable gaming experience on a monitor then you should invest in a good expensive gaming chair as well. Overall if you are looking for comfortability then you should go with television for gaming. But, if gaming experience is more important to you then comfort then you should definitely buy a monitor.

Why Buy A Monitor Instead Of A TV?

If you are a casual gamer and play games just for fun then you can consider TV over monitors for gaming. However, if you are into competitive gaming and looking to build a career in Esports then you should definitely invest in a good gaming monitor. On top of that, a monitor has better input lag, response time and refresh rate than a TV. And that’s what makes a monitor better display for your console(PS4, Xbox) and PC gaming.

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