What’s the Difference Between a Monitor and a TV?


Do you want to know whether you should buy a new TV or a new display? Although the TV and the display are made of the same basic technology, they usually have completely different specifications, so they are more suitable for certain applications. This article will introduce the most important difference between TV and monitors. When you buy a new TV or display, whether it is daily or games, we will tell you everything you need to pay attention to.


a monitor

Definition of Monitor

The monitor is a device. We usually use other hardware (such as video cards) of the computer to display the video and graphics information generated by it. The display is no less than the TV, but the resolution of the display is higher. These are usually placed on the table instead of hanging on the wall.

Earlier, these monitors were made with the help of the visual pipe (cathode ray tube), and the visual tube can render video images. These images can be represented by color or monochrome (black and white). Basic picture control to the display includes horizontal, vertical, contrast, clarity, brightness, etc. The main purpose of display design is to provide accurate and stable images.

Features of a Monitor

  • Size -Available computer displays are not very large. Because these are operated from a specific distance, if your display is too large, another reason is that the resolution is too high, which will become very inconvenient. However, in the game, a large-size monitor can be used because when the observer leaves its position, it will produce effects.
  • Resolution -When the size of the display increases, its resolution is reduced. The resolution can be understood as clarity, where the basic pixels are small and close to each other; the resolution is very high. Therefore, if the pixel size is increased, the image may look granular and distorted.
  • The refresh rate and frame rate -the refresh rate of the monitor is very good because we need a good input response in the monitor.
  • Entering lag -Due to high response rates, there is negligible input lag in the monitor.
  • Image quality -The images generated in a computer display are more realistic and clearer.
  • Perspective -the perspective of a computer display is about 110 degrees.



Definition of Television

Similar to the display, TV is also used as an electronic device for watching video content. Today, the size of these TVs is large, and as the size increases, the cost of the TV has increased. In order to make a TV, the radio frequency tunter and audio speakers are added to the monitor, and the generated device will be the TV.

The purpose of the radio frequency tunnel is to receive TV signals through any method such as cable TV systems, broadcasting, or satellite antenna systems. These radio frequency signals are composed of audio and video signals; audio signals are provided to the display tube for display, and the audio is sent to the speaker. To select a channel from various channels, you need to adjust the tuner (for traditional TV).

However, today, TV or display is merged into a single device. The device can be used as a TV or a display with the computer system. Earlier, because the two devices handled different signals, they could not merge them. For example, the display can process video signals, and TV can only process RF signals.

Features of Television

  • Size-TV has various sizes, but because of the good visibility of large-scale TVs, the coverage is larger and the angle is wider, so customers are very interested in large-scale TVs.
  • Resolution -TV resolution is reduced due to its size. 4K and 8K TVs will have good resolution but are lower than 4K and 8K displays.
  • The vertical and horizontal ratio -traditionally, TV is made in squares, so the vertical ratio is 4: 3. Because high-definition TV has become a standard, TV is now rectangular, so the current ratio is 16: 9.
  • Frame rate and refresh rate -TV has a lower refresh rate and frame rate.
  • Image quality -because the purpose of TV manufacturing is to provide a better viewing experience. Therefore, the images made on TV are more realistic. Therefore, the image feels more real.
  • Perspective -TV has a wider viewing angle, and people can watch TV from any angle because the viewing range of TV is 160 degrees.

Difference Between a Monitor and a TV

Difference Between a Monitor and a TV


One of the most obvious differences between TV and computer monitors is the size of the device. Usually, the monitor is much smaller. This is related to watching from such a close distance. TV is much larger because they are designed to watch from a distance.

The size of the screen is usually measured by the distance between the diagonal. The common size of computer monitors is between 20 and 40 inches, and television over 70 inches is also common.

Aspect Ratio

Related to the size, the vertical and horizontal ratio is an important factor, usually different. The vertical ratio is the ratio between the screen width and height. Television usually has a width ratio of 16: 9 (widescreen), and the display can have a series of width ratios.

According to the purpose and available space of the display, users need different vertical ratios. For TV, 16: 9 is suitable because most TVs and movies are made in widescreen format.


Generally speaking, the larger the screen, the higher the cost. Therefore, larger TVs are usually more expensive than smaller displays. There are some exceptions related to the special monitor.

The design of some displays has higher color accuracy (for image editing) or game specifications (such as 240Hz refresh rate). Some of these monitors may be more expensive than televisions of the same or similar size.

Screen Type, Resolution, and Image Quality

Both the display and the TV have a variety of screen types. The most common types are LCD (LCD display), LED (light-emitting diode), OLED (organic light-emitting diode), and QLED (quantum light-emitting diode). These screen types vary in the way of light in pixels. LCD and LED screens need backlight, while OLED and QLED technologies can independently illuminate each pixel.

QLED and OLED technologies have to be updated much. However, although QLED and OLED TVs are becoming more and more common, there are relatively few monitors using these screen types on the market.

When it comes to resolution, the display and TV have an available range. The resolution refers to how many pixels are on the entire screen. The available resolution includes 1280×720 (720P), 1920×1080 (1080P), 3840×1960 (4K), and current 7680×4320 (8K).

The important issue that needs to be considered here is the pixel density. Pixel density refers to how many pixels are on a square-inch screen. The higher the pixel density, the clearer the image will be.

Due to the vision of TV, the pixel density does not need to be so high, because the farther away, the clearer the image will be. For display, pixel density is more important.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate refers to the number of times the screen refreshes in one second. The refresh rate is actually very important. The 60Hz refresh rate means that it refreshes 60 times per second. When it comes to the frame rate of the source video, this is important. You want to refresh the frame rate faster than any content on the screen. Otherwise, frames will be lost and exercise will become vaguer.

Television usually has a refresh rate of 60Hz (sometimes up to 120Hz), which is very good for most radio and television, and movies. The refresh rate of some game displays is as high as 360Hz, and 120Hz is now a very popular option. The faster the refresh speed, the faster your response time, and the smoother the playback in the game.

Input Lag and Response Time

Input delay (also known as input delay) is the time required for the input (such as clicking the mouse or controller) to register on the display or TV. The input lag is directly related to the refresh rate. The faster the refresh speed, the faster the input is recorded on the display. Computer monitors usually give priority to the smallest input delay, and television is preferred to consider smooth videos.

TV usually has a lower refresh rate (such as 60Hz), and the time to process its video input far exceeds the computer display, which will increase the input delay. Although the difference in milliseconds does not seem to be large, when you try to do something that requires a faster response, you will notice the differences when online games. Having said that, many TVs have a “game mode”, which can reduce image processing to reduce input delay.

The response time is usually confused with the lag. The response time is the time required for each pixel from light to black. If the response time is too slow for the refresh rate of the screen, the image-heavy shadow will appear. This will look like a fast-moving object at the tail. In order to avoid re-sharing in the monitor, the proposed response time is 1 millisecond or less.

Viewing Angle

The perspective refers to the distance you can reach the center of the screen before the image begins. This depends on the model, so if you need a TV that can be watched from a larger angle, you must pay attention. For computer monitors, the perspective is not important because they usually watch it directly.

Do You Need a Monitor or TV?

Selection between the display and the TV should be easy. To decide, please figure out what you want to do for the screen. For example, do you want to play fast-paced online games? Or watching movies in the living room?

Pay attention to the screen size, resolution, available port, refresh rate, and input delay, and get a screen that supports the function you want to use.


As you can see, there are many differences between the TV and the display. The choice between the two mainly depends on the type of content you browse and the game you play. Key Differences Between Monitor and Television are:

  • In display and television, the scale of television manufacturing are greater than the display.
  • The TV is equipped with a curved screen, such as OLED and QLED, but it is impossible to be in the case of the display.
  • The number of jacks on the display is greater than on the TV.
  • Both monitors and TVs can provide high-end images and videos and an 8K display, but due to the small size, the display has better resolution.
  • The refresh rate of the monitor is high. In contrast, the refresh rate of TV is low. For this reason, the input in the TV is more delayed than the computer display.
  • The perspective of the TV (that is, 160 °) is much wider than the perspective of the monitor, and the monitor provides a maximum of 110 ° perspective.

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