As an owner of a 4K TV, I was frustrated to find out that it shouldn’t be used as a computer monitor. After doing some research, I’ve gathered enough information and experience to put together a comprehensive post on the pros and cons of using a 4K TV as a computer monitor, as well as some tips and tricks to get the most out of it. In this post, I’ll share what I have learned and discovered, as well as some of the solutions I’ve tried.
The answer is yes, as long as the TV has a compatible port to connect to the computer, like HDMI or a display port. Luckily, most 4K TVs now have them. However, don’t expect it to display your desktop in HD, not unless your computer itself has a graphics card supporting 4K resolution.
|Compatibility||A 4K TV can be used as a computer monitor if it has a compatible port (HDMI, DisplayPort).|
|Graphics Card Requirement||To display 4K at 60Hz, a computer’s graphics card must have an HDMI 2.0 port or later.|
|Price||4K TVs are generally more affordable than computer monitors of the same size.|
|Size||TVs offer larger screen sizes, making it easier to read small text and browse documents.|
|Refresh Rate||TVs have higher refresh rates, which is great for videos and gaming.|
|Color Chroma||Some TVs support 4:4:4 chroma, which is better for displaying small text.|
|Burn-in||Burn-in is a concern for some 4K TVs, especially OLED models, when used as computer monitors.|
|Latency||When used as a computer monitor, a TV’s latency should be lower than 30 ms for optimal performance.|
|Return Policy||It’s recommended to buy a TV from a store with a flexible return policy to test its suitability as a computer monitor.|
Can a 4k TV Be Used as Computer Monitor?
Yes, it can. In fact, people have been using TVs as computer monitors for years now, and 4K TVs aren’t an exception. Whether it works well or not depends on the strength of your computer’s graphics card.
However, in most cases, unless you pay extra attention, you can’t even notice the difference. Additionally, with modern technologies, you can wirelessly connect your TV to your computer, which is a huge plus.
Since most modern devices now contain at least one HDMI port, it’s probably the most convenient way to connect your TV to your computer.
That said, to be able to view 4K at a refresh rate of 60 Hz, your computer’s graphics card must have an HDMI 2.0 port or later, which allows for HDR10 displays.
What Are the Differences Between a 4K TV and a Computer Monitor?
Using a 4K TV as a computer monitor seems like a great idea, and it is. I mean, who wouldn’t want to save a few bucks and, at the same time, get a better resolution?
Although there are a few disadvantages to using a 4K TV as a computer monitor, they may not affect you unless you’re using the computer for demanding tasks like gaming or photo editing.
Even then, most of these disadvantages are avoidable if you choose the correct TV specifications. Here are the differences between a 4K TV and a computer monitor:
TVs are much more affordable than computer monitors of the same size, which is justified.
Because of their application, manufacturers design computer monitors for tasks like visual projects, gaming, photography, video editing, and so forth. However, in most cases, TVs can perform just as well.
TVs are much larger than computer monitors of the same price range. A bigger screen means that you get to read the smallest text without squinting.
Also, browsing any document is much more comfortable on big-screen TVs than on smaller computer monitors. This allows you to keep multiple windows open without losing clarity.
Modern TVs have a higher refresh rate than most computer monitors, which is excellent for watching videos and playing computer games.
A refresh rate is the number of times the screen refreshes in one second, meaning that it defines how smoothly motion plays on a display. Usually, TVs refresh rate can reach up to 144 Hz.
That said, there are types of gaming monitors with a refresh rate of up to 360 Hz. They’re pretty pricey, though.
Some TVs only support 4:2:0 chroma, and it’s OK if you’re watching a video. However, when it comes to small text, it might appear a bit fuzzy.
On the other hand, a computer monitor plays chroma at 4:4:4, so it has higher pixel accuracy. Nonetheless, more TVs are supporting 4:4:4 chroma now than before.
Burn-in is an issue that doesn’t apply to all 4K TVs, only some of them, especially OLED TVs.
Also known as “image retention,” it happens when a static image remains on a TV’s display for an extended period of time. More precisely, when a pixel or more stays the exact same color for quite some time.
As a result, this image or pixel may get permanently imprinted, leaving something like a watermark over your TV screen. That’s not usually an issue when watching TV because it’s always moving. When it comes to using it as a computer monitor, it’s not the same.
Latency is the time a display takes to respond to an action. For TVs, it’s not an issue because you normally wouldn’t notice some millisecond delay when pressing a button.
However, when it comes to computer monitors, a low response time is essential, especially when playing computer games. Anything higher than 30 ms wouldn’t go unnoticed.
Enjoying a larger computer monitor without breaking the bank has many advantages. That’s why people are switching their computer monitors for TVs, but can a 4K TV be used as a computer monitor?
Yes, it can, and it works just fine. However, when buying a TV to use as a computer monitor, you need to pay more attention to some specifications. The refresh rate, latency, burn-in, chroma, and much more options can highly affect a TV’s performance as a computer monitor.
Finally, purchasing a TV at a store with a flexible return policy is highly recommended. That allows you to try it for a couple of weeks or more, which helps greatly in deciding whether it’s fit for your use.
Read more: 4k 60Hz vs 1440p 144hz
Pros of Using a 4K TV as a Computer Monitor
- More affordable than computer monitors
- Larger screens
- Higher refresh rates
- Support for 4:4:4 chroma
- Can be wirelessly connected to the computer
Cons of Using a 4K TV as a Computer Monitor
- Graphics card must be strong enough for 4K resolution
- Lower response times than a computer monitor
- Risk of image retention/burn-in
- 4:2:0 chroma may cause fuzzy text