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Using a 40-inch TV as a Computer Monitor (Can you? Should You?)

At a glance, both TVs and monitors seem to be highly similar, but does that mean you can use a screen from a 40-inch TV as a computer monitor?

It’s possible to replace a traditional monitor with a 40-inch TV screen as long as it has an HDMI connection and is compatible with your graphics card. However, you might need to compromise on aspects like pixel density and computing power.

How is this swap possible, and how can you tell if it’s a good fit for you in the first place? Let’s find out!

Can You Use a 40-inch TV as a Computer Monitor?

As long as the 40-inch TV’s resolution is compatible with your graphics card output, then it’s possible to replace the monitor with the TV screen. In most cases, you won’t have trouble with standard full-HD resolutions.

Then all you’ll need to do is hook an HDMI cable from the motherboard to the TV screen. This single cable should get you covered in terms of audio and video signals.

However, it’s also possible to use external speakers if you’re not all that happy with the audio quality on your 40-inch screen.

Will you be happy with the net results after the setup is done? That’s a whole different story.

Should You Use a 40-inch TV as a Computer Monitor?

Being able to do it and actually taking on the challenge are two entirely different things. Just because you can use a 40-inch TV as a computer monitor doesn’t necessarily mean it’s recommended for anyone.

So, to help you decide if this setup will work for your needs, let’s take a look at some situations where the swap can prove its worth:

  1. You’re Looking for a Size Upgrade

Your typical computer monitor is going to range between 21 to 30 inches, which is significantly smaller than the 40-inch TV screen in question.

Some casual users will be more than happy with this screen size. However, others might need a larger screen for gaming, video rendering, or any purpose where split-screen interfaces come in handy.

The reason why 40 inches exactly is a good option here is that it’s larger than the average monitor without being too large for a desk.

However, if the screen size is important to you and you need a lot of heavy features to match it, then getting an ultra-wide monitor with curved panels might be a better fit. These come with specific dimensions that won’t be available with any TV, including the 40-inch models.

  1. You Need Something Budget-Friendly

On average, a 40-inch TV screen will be cheaper than most comparable computer monitors out there on the market.

So, if you spot a discounted TV, this swap can be quite hard to turn down, especially if you’re not ready to splurge just yet.

  1. You Don’t Mind a Drop in Image Quality

You might not find a huge difference in resolution between a traditional full-HD monitor and a 40-inch TV screen, making the TV seem more like a steal. However, that’s not the defining factor here.

Instead, you should be looking at (PPI) or pixel density, which relates the total number of pixels to the screen size.

That sounds too technical, but you think of it as having the same number of pixels stuffed into a smaller screen. The result is a crisper image on the computer monitor versus the 40-inch TV.

To make up for this difference in pixel density, you might need to jump to higher resolutions, like a 4K, on the TV. Unfortunately, this won’t only drop the affordability advantage but could also significantly limit your options.

  1. You’re Ready to Deal With Adapters

To successfully swap a monitor for a TV screen, you’ll need some adapters in your setup.

For instance, your 40-inch TV could have an HDMI input, but it might not cover things like USB and thunderbolt.

So, if you don’t mind working a bit harder to accommodate keyboards, speakers, webcams, headphones, and hard drives, then the swap might be a good fit for you.

  1. You’re Looking Forward to Movie Nights

For some people, the highlight of using a 40-inch TV screen instead of a square computer monitor is to shift the aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9.

This adjustment makes for a better wide-screen display for movie nights!

  1. Your Computing Needs Are Basic

Modern TV screens are quite versatile, but they’ll hardly beat a monitor in terms of computing power.

However, if things like response times and refresh rates aren’t a priority for you, odds are, you won’t be disappointed with the 40-inch TV on your desk.

Final Thoughts

Technically, you can use a 40-inch TV as a computer monitor. In fact, it can be a good option if you’re looking to upgrade to a slightly larger screen without splurging on extra computing power.

Just make sure to always leave an adequate distance between your screen and your seat to avoid eye strain!