Differences Between TV and Monitor: Gaming vs Streaming

In this article, we will highlight the differences between TV and monitor. The reason for you to look for the differences is that you want an all in one solution. That is, if you have a TV, you want to watch TV as well as play games.

Or, if you think you want a high-end monitor for your profession and gaming entertainment, then you want to watch other content on that also.  There are some major differences between TV and monitor and some of them are size, resolution, and input lag. These are what make it an ideal choice for game-freaks.

TV is for people who love to sit back on the couch and enjoy larger screens. You can also connect gaming consoles with TV because modern TV models focus on gaming features too. However, the primary concern of a TV is actually to stream content.

Difference between TV and monitor: at a glance

  • TVs have a larger screen size compared to monitor
  • Monitors have better resolution
  • Monitors have lower input lag and adaptive-sync
  • TVs come in OLED and Quantum OLED
  • Monitors have a higher refresh rate



What is the difference between a TV monitor and a computer monitor?

Monitors are displays that provide images with high accuracy. It produces an image when a device is connected to it. You can use a computer monitor as a TV monitor because it has an HDMI port.

Most modern TV monitors come with a Smart OS platform via which you can watch and stream contents online. TV monitors like the one from LG can be used as computer monitors as well. If you look into different types of monitors you will come across LED or LCD.

LED monitors can also be called LCD monitors but it is not the other way around. The difference between LCD and LED monitor is that, the LCD has fluorescent as backlight but LED deploys light-emitting diode as the name suggests.  If you are choosing one for gaming, then the full-array LED is good.

The LED and LCD monitor differences also lie in resolution, contrast ratio, and cost, where LED outperforms LCD in terms of resolution and price but has a poor contrast ratio.

How is TV different from a monitor?

Screen size32”-100” or more20”-49”
Aspect ratioMostly 16:9Varies
Resolution720p to 8k, low compared to monitor1080p to 8k, high
Panel typeTN, IPS, VA,
Adaptive-syncOn specific modelsFreeSync, G-sync available
Refresh rateNative: 60Hz or 120Hz60, 120, 144, 240Hz
Input lag1ms- 5msVaries, 40ms-60ms
Response timeLow compared to monitorsHigh
AngleGood viewing angleOverall good viewing angle
DesignFixedCan be rotated up down or sideways
Sitting distanceFar, varies with a screen sizeClose

Size and sitting distance:

The differences between TV and monitor starts with screen size. Monitors usually have a smaller screen size compared to TVs. While standard monitors range from 20”- 21” to 30” or more, TVs are meant to be bigger with a size range between 32” to 100” or more.

People don’t use the 32” or smaller TVs anymore and the 100” is used in rare cases. Users typically use 55” to 85” which is based on room size. So, the question that matters is, is bigger always better?

If you want to sit up close or use a desk table for gaming purpose, then you have to choose the smaller sized monitor, whereas if you love watching or gaming from a couch distance, then a larger TV will suit you. To know more about sitting distance and TV size.

The aspect ratio of the monitor varies so you can buy one with a broader width if you want to use multiple screens.



One of the crucial aspects while choosing a monitor or TV is the screen resolution. Higher pixels will result in a detailed image. For monitors you can find 1980x1020p resolution in most 24” screens. But if you buy 27” with the same resolution, the image quality will degrade slightly.

4k monitors

If you want more resolution you can buy 2560x1440p Quad HD or even 4k resolution. The 4k monitors will produce a sharper and brighter image that is ideal for the photographer or graphic designers. While you will find 720p to 8k resolution in TV as well, because they tend to get bigger, the pixels also get spread over the screen.

A Full HD or Quad HD monitor for gaming which will be standard for most people. However, if you are a die-hard gamer and you have a high-end graphics card then you can also choose 4k resolution.  You can choose Dell U-Series 32-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor (U3219Q). If you want to choose a 4k resolution, the difference between 4k TV and 4k monitor is that for TV the resolution will spread over a larger screen compared to the monitor.

So 4k monitors will display a better 4k resolution than monitors. Another price of a 4k monitor is also higher than 4k TV. The difference between TV and monitor resolution is that although both can produce higher resolutions because the TV gets larger than the monitor, the image becomes softer and less sharp compared to monitors.

Color reproduction from monitors is required for video editing and graphic design. TVs utilize bright colors to enhance movies and television shows. Between the TV and the monitor, the monitor may be able to generate a picture that is similar to the original image.

Color gamuts on monitors range from 6-bit to 8-bit to 10-bit. While the majority of people prefer 8-bit, professional “color calibrators” may utilize 10-bit. HDR pictures offer a wider variety of colors and contrast. There are HDR 400, 600, and 1000 nit displays available. HDR 1000 and 10 bits are supported by the Acer Predator XB271HUbmiprz 27″ WQHD Gaming Monitor.

Screen panel type

Monitor screen panel type:

There are four types of panel:

  • TN: cheap and low delays but poor view angle and picture. The low input lag of 1 ms.
  • IPS: costly but has a high-quality image and color gamut. It has a good view angle. Low lag but higher than TN
  • VA: affordable but gaming may suffer from haziness. Although it has good image quality, compared to IPS it is poor. They have higher brightness than IPS
  • OLED: most expensive and extraordinary image quality but may suffer from burn-in. very few models are available

TV panels

  • TN
  • OLED
  • QLED
  • IPS

In general OLED and QLED TVs are best in terms of picture quality and contrast ratio. For gaming, you can also choose an IPS panel.

Input lag

Define input lag

The difference between the time needed for the TV to display an image after receiving the signal for the image. The input lag is one of the most important features for gaming and is the time needed to show a reaction on the screen once you have completed an action.

For instance, the time needed for the shooting to start once you have pressed the button. The differences between TV and monitor is that monitors usually have 1ms to 4ms-ms delay compared to 50 or 60ms of that of TVs. For instance, the input lag of 4k@ 60Hz of Samsung Q60/Q60T in ‘Game Mode’ is 10ms and without ‘Game mode’ is 60ms.

However certain brands make some specific models build only for gaming. Such as: LG OLED55CXPUA Alexa Built-In CX 55″ 4K Smart OLED TV (2020)

Input lag for TV

The input lag can be measured for different circumstances described below:

Input lag of TVInput lag of monitor
· 1080p @60Hz <25ms
· 1080p @60Hz non-game mode <40ms
· 1440p @60Hz <25ms
· 4k @60Hz <25ms
· 4k @60Hz non-game mode <25ms
· 4k @60Hz 4:4:4 <25ms
· 4k @60Hz +HDR input lag <25ms
· 4k @60Hz with interpolation (Soap opera effect) <25ms
· 8k @60Hz <25Hz
· 1080p @120Hz <25Hz
· 4k @120Hz <25Hz
· 8k @120Hz <25Hz
· 1080p with VRR <30ms
· Input lag @ native resolution <15ms
· Input lag @native resolution @60Hz <15ms
Input lag + HDR <15ms
· Input lag + VRR <15ms
· Input lag +BFI <15ms
  • 1080p @60Hz: here the delay is measured when you receive 1080p with a 60Hz signal. You can get this if you are using a PS4 or Xbox1 gaming console. A recommended good value for TV is less than 25ms. You can achieve this lowest lag if you use the ‘Game Mode’
  • 1080p @60Hz non-game mode: if you don’t want to use ‘Game mode’ and play games with precise picture details, then the lag will increase. A value less than 40ms is considered good
  • 1440p @60Hz: you will get 1440p@60Hz from Xbox One S, One X, and PC. While 1080p @60Hz is more common, the 1440p @60 Hz must be supported by your TV. A good value will be less than 25ms.
  • 4k @60Hz: if you connect PS5, Xbox One X, and PC for gaming, then you will get 4k @60Hz. A standard lag should be lower than 25ms to play fast pacing action games in ‘Game mode’. The 4k @60Hz without game mode should also be lower than 25ms.
  • 4k @60Hz 4:4:4 input: this is useful if you use the TV for PC. It is also used for games where you need clear and readable texts. Again, the value should be less than 25ms.

Input lag for monitor

  • Lag at native resolution: this is the amount of delay the monitor will show at its native resolution. Good values are lower than 15ms
  • Input lag+ BFI: BFI stands for black frame insertion. This feature in monitors minimizes blur and maximizes the clarity of the image.
  • Lag for native resolution at 60Hz: when you will use a monitor with a gaming console at 60Hz, the ideal value should be less than 15ms.
  • Input lag + VRR: monitors with VRR will ensure there is no stuttering and the value should be <15ms.
  • Input lag +HDR: for HDR games the delay should be less than 15ms

Refresh rate

The refresh rate is the number of times the screen will flash or refresh an image. The higher the refresh rate in TV or monitors, the better and smoother the picture

Refresh rate of TV

Refresh rate of TV_soundboxlab.com

The refresh rate of TVs is confusing. Most TVs show a higher refresh rate but actually, the native refresh rate is lower. You can find a refresh rate of 60, 120, 240, or 480Hz. Most modern TVs have a native refresh rate of 120Hz or 60Hz.

While you will fall into the debate of ‘60Hz and 120Hz is the same”, the 120Hz has certain benefits. The 120Hz will work if you have HDMI 2.1 when you use games with higher frame rates and allows movies to be smoother.

If you look at specs showing above 120Hz, know that this is not the actual native refresh rate with which it will recreate an image per second.

Refresh rate of the monitor

Refresh rate of the monitor_soundboxlab.com

While TVs write higher refresh rates simply to attract customers, monitors don’t do this. With the lowest rate of 60Hz, you can choose higher ones like 120, 140, or 240Hz.  Monitors with a higher refresh rate can display clearer and smoother images with precision no matter how fast-pacing the content is.

While the refresh rate isn’t needed for normal office work, it is important for gaming. A higher refresh rate means you need to less-frequently flicker your eyes. It is also needed for ‘creative and game development’.

Adaptive-sync technology

Define adaptive-sync: Simply put, the adaptive-sync works with graphics and makes sure there is no screen tearing, judder, or stutter. All these things will destroy the image quality making it look blur and hazy. There is FreeSync by AMD for LCD screen and G-sync by Nvidia.

Both of these technologies are easily available on monitors but rarely found on TVs. The LG 4k OLED 2019 models like LG OLED55B9PUA has G-sync.

Viewing angle

Some TVs have wide viewing angles which makes it ideal for watching it with friends or family. You can also play games as multiple players because the screen color won’t wash away. Monitors also have a good viewing angle but it doesn’t matter.

If you want a TV with a wide view angle we recommend: Hisense 32-Inch Class H4 Series


The differences between TV and monitor connections are noticeable. Both have HDMI, USB, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Monitors come with DisplayPorts and UBS-C, whereas the TV has optical audio, coaxial port, and Ethernet.

For gaming

The difference between a gaming monitor and a tv lies in precise resolutions, response time, input lag, and refresh rate. For panels, you can buy a TN panel if you don’t want to spend more and have a decent monitor such as the Acer Gaming Series KG241P 24” monitor.

If you use the monitor for several different works like PC uses, watching movies or videos, and gaming, then you can choose an IPS with low lag or even a VA panel. For editing or graphics-related work, you can choose an IPS with good color accuracy.

For gaming lowest input lag is essential and for that, you can choose the Asus VG248QG 24” Gaming Monitor. on the other hand, both FreeSync and G-sync go for the Acer XFA240 bmjdpr 24″ Gaming.

You can also use the TV for gaming given that the TV has a higher resolution, better response, and refresh rate.  It should also support VRR and FreeSync such as Samsung Flat 49-Inch 4K 8 Series UHD Smart TV.

TV vs monitor for gaming

Asus ROG Swift PG279Q 27″ Gaming Monitor

Although this TV is very costly, it supports 1440p resolution and on a small 27” screen the images will look more detailed and vivid.  The refresh rate is high, 144Hz and the input lag is very low. It also supports G-Sync for VRR.

SAMSUNG 50-inch Class QLED Q80T Series

This 4k TV has better contrast and clearer image. It has a 120Hz refresh rate and input lag for 4k @ 60 Hz is 9.8ms which is very low.

For streaming

LG 32MA70HY-P 32-Inch Monitor

You can easily use this TV for watching movies and TV shows. This HDR display has deeper blacks, wide color presentation that uses sRGB. It has a wide view angle.

Sony X950H 49 Inch TV

This 4k TV produces excellent content in HDR. The picture quality is high with deeper blacks and pure whites. It has a wide color gamut and can minimize blur and judder. It has Android TV and works with Google Assistant.

Which one should you choose?

Buy a monitor if:

  • You are a hardcore gamer who wants the lowest possible delay
  • Being an avid user of tables and love gaming in close and smaller screens
  • You are a graphics designer, photographer, or photo/video editor
  • You will use the monitor for office work and other PC-related work (Word, PowerPoint)
  • When you want the best possible resolution with the sharpest image with clarity

Buy a TV if:

  • You love large screens
  • A high-quality 4k resolution is sufficient for you
  • You love watching contents from a couch distance
  • You love gaming with consoles
  • Your sole purpose is to watch cable TV, and content from Netflix, Vudu, etc.

Parting words

Now that you know the differences between TV and monitor, you can narrow down your list to decide which one you should buy. A monitor is ideal for serious gamers who don’t want to compromise.  It is also good for graphics designers or video editors. If gaming is your first priority then you can choose a monitor over a TV.

Comparing TV vs monitor, we see that TVs focus on streaming from most popular content but you can also play games on it. The resolution of a TV is low compared to a monitor because of its larger size. You can choose from different sizes of TV screens because the larger screens are the most popular.

Throughout the article of the differences between monitor and TV, we have listed down our recommendations and suggestions so that you can compare and choose the one best for you.


You are almost at the end of the article, and here we are still helping you to find the differences. let’s solve some of the most asked questions about tv and monitor.

Is the monitor better than the TV?

Monitors are better than TV for gaming. It is also better than TV because the TV can give you eye strain. Compared to monitors, TVs have higher lag, poor image quality that can cause eye fatigue.

Are curved monitors good?

Curved monitors are gaining popularity. With a large screen size, it can give you an ‘immersive’ experience. It has a broader field of view angle that reduces eye strain. They also have less distortion.

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