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PC Gaming on TV (Can you? Should you? How to PC game on TV)

As an avid PC gamer, I’ve always wanted to game on the big screen, but I wasn’t sure if it was even possible. After a lot of research, trial and error, and a few successes and failures, I’m here to share my experience of PC gaming on TV. In this post, I’ll cover the basics of what you can do, should you do it, and how to go about it. I’ll also provide some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way, to help you make the most of your gaming experience.

Most PCs are compatible with monitors and TVs, meaning you can play pc games on a TV screen. However, with various flaws and differences in the focus of performance, unless you spend a lot of money on a new TV, you may not want to game on it, though you can by using the HDMI port. 

Tips:

  • 1. It is possible to connect a PC to a TV to use as a monitor for gaming.
  • 2. You should consider your gaming style, input lag, the type of TV/monitor, and the refresh rate before deciding whether using a TV as a gaming monitor is best for you.
  • 3. You can connect your PC to your TV using an HDMI cable and select the right screen options for projection.
  • 4. Enable gaming mode for your TV by looking for the dedicated button on your remote or by accessing the menu options.
  • 5. If you are a competitive PC gamer, it is best to get a TV that suits your needs, as some TVs may not deliver the performance they claim.

Can You Connect Your PC To Your TV For Gaming?

With the range of modern monitors and TVs, it is possible to connect your TV to your PC to serve as a monitor, and you can play games on it if you wish. Using your TV as a PC monitor is not an uncommon thing to see in recent years.

Since both TVs and PC monitors have the same or similar input slots and cable compatibilities, you may be able to use cables you already have to connect your PC to your TV instead of a monitor. However, some people prefer not to, and the reasons may not be the same for all of them, but they become more critical if you play more competitive games.

Should You Use Your TV As A PC Gaming Monitor?

Though you may not see the differences immediately, there are differences between tv and monitors that can ultimately change how you play games and how much you enjoy doing so.

For many people, the most significant benefit of using a TV as a PC monitor is the added size you can get. In addition, the quality of the pictures may be better depending on the TV and the monitor you use.

However, using a TV as a gaming monitor may have problems, and they become more evident when playing highly competitive games. Below are some of the main things you should look at before deciding which of these options is best for you.

Your Gaming Style 

If you are a competitive PC gamer, you may want to stick to a monitor instead of a TV. Since the focus of a TV is usually not on providing the best refresh rates or lowering input lag, you may get frustrated with your TV rather quickly as a game starts to stutter or become much harder to play compared to a monitor.

However, a new range of TVs is getting released, and there are still more made that come with built-in gaming modes that allow you to take back control of your TV while gaming. These settings enable you to enable and disable certain features that are “non-toggleable” when your TV is in its primary mode.

However, before you buy a TV with these features, you should consider the price and do thorough research as some TVs claim performance that they cannot deliver.

Input Lag

If you are unfamiliar with the term “input lag,” it refers to the time between pressing a button or making a movement and the time that change appears on your screen.

Though modern TVs allow you to have less input lag, especially with a “gaming mode,” most TVs still struggle to compare to the low input lag a gaming monitor provides. 

Though input lag gets measured in milliseconds or ms, the difference is very noticeable if you are playing competitive games.

More modern, so-called “gaming TVs” claim to lower input lag to as little as that of a monitor, around 1ms, but these enhancements usually come with a much higher price.

The Type Of TV/Monitor

As mentioned in the previous section about input lag, the performance of your TV getting used as a PC monitor may differ depending on your TV type.

If you are still playing PC games on an old monitor from years ago, you may have better luck playing on a modern TV; however, giving up a newer monitor to play on an older TV is rarely a good idea.

However, if you are a casual PC gamer, you may be more inclined to use a TV as you can use it for more than one purpose, and the negatives of using a TV as a PC monitor may not matter as much.

The Refresh Rate

The refresh rate of your TV or monitor is a significant factor that you need to consider when playing PC games using a TV. Though the imaging quality may be better, it does not help if your game is slow to respond or your TV is causing motion blur that makes you nearly unable to see what is happening.

TVs are commonly known to have a lower refresh rate, at around 60Hrz compared to the more standard 120 Hrz of a PC monitor. However, some TVs claim to have 120Hrz refresh rates, which is becoming increasingly popular because of the “next-gen” consoles that require that standard of input to function at their best.


How You Connect It

The way you connect your PC to your TV, though not the most significant factor, is one that you should consider.

Though most TVs have an HDMI cable port, which allows you to connect the TV to the box, some modern TVs also allow you to connect wirelessly. Though the wireless feature may seem great for saving space, it may harm your input and cause more input lag.

How To PC Game On A TV

If you are lucky enough to have a new or modern TV with a gaming mode or a “gaming tv,” you may wonder how you connect it and start gaming on it. Luckily, some primarily universal rules will allow you to do just that. Below are some steps to get started gaming on your TV, even if it is to try it.

  1. Connect Your PC – You first need to connect your PC box to your TV. The simplest way to do this is by using an HDMI cable by inserting the cable into the port on your PC and TV. For a Mac PC, you may need some extra adapters.
  2. Select The Right Screen Options – If you have your PC connected to a monitor and a TV, you should select the correct options to allow your PC to “project” to your TV. On a Windows PC, you can hold the “Win” button and click the letter “P” to change your projection settings, but on Mac, you need to access your display settings to set this up.
  3. Enable Gaming Mode – Your PC should now be able to show an image on your TV, usually on the HDMI option, and you can now enable gaming mode for your TV. This process may differ based on your TV, but you will usually find a dedicated button on your remote or see an option for this when you press the menu button. Once enabled, you can launch the game you want to play.

Pros of PC Gaming on TV

  • Much larger screen size than monitors.
  • Better imaging quality.
  • Modern TVs offer gaming modes to reduce input lag and improve performance.
  • Can use the TV for multiple purposes.

Cons of PC Gaming on TV

  • Higher input lag than a monitor.
  • Lower refresh rate than a monitor.
  • Some TVs may not deliver the performance they claim.
  • Wireless connection may cause more input lag.

Conclusion

If your PC monitor suddenly gives out or you play less competitive games, your TV may be a decent alternative. However, if you are a competitive PC gamer, you may want to get a TV that suits your needs, so it is essential to research the matter. There is no reason you can’t use your TV as a monitor, and the easy steps above will allow you to get it up and running.

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