How to Use a PC Monitor as a TV | Digital Trends - Latest Global News

How to Use a PC Monitor as a TV | Digital Trends

Samsung

Would you like to use a PC monitor as a television? With the majority of TV consumption focused on streaming services, this is certainly an easy and convenient way to enjoy your favorite TV content on a slightly different viewing style. You can use a TV as a monitor. So why not use a monitor as a television?

They tend not to be that big and you’ll want to sit a little closer to them because of their design choices. However, if you want to watch TV or movies on your monitor, this is absolutely not a problem. If you want to replace your television in the living room with a monitor, that is also possible. Here’s how.

Streaming stick? Just plug it in

Fire TV interface on a television.
Amazon

If you want an easy way to watch TV shows on your monitor, you can often simply navigate to the streaming service’s website, log in, and watch them like you would any other online video. However, for a more TV-like experience, you can connect a streaming stick to a free HDMI port and you’re off to the races.

You can then control the apps using the remote control of your streaming stick. Depending on your monitor, you may need to manually set the input to the correct HDMI port. After that, it is quite possible that from now on you can only control everything with the remote control. Turn the monitor on and off, launch apps, play content – whatever you want. You can use it again for work or play by simply changing the input.

Alternatively, you could buy a monitor like Samsung’s M80C or the excellent Alienware AW3225QF, both of which come with a great selection of streaming apps right out of the box. The former even supports Samsung’s Gaming Hub, so you can use it for native game streaming and simply connect a controller via Bluetooth.

Live TV? You need a tuner

The Channel Tuning section on an LG TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

If you want to watch live TV or at least use your antenna to receive free TV on your monitor, you need to add another intermediate step to make it work.

While your monitor undoubtedly has an HDMI port, it almost certainly doesn’t support a coaxial antenna input. The lack of a built-in tuner is one of the biggest differences between a monitor and a TV. To get this support you need a converter. These are called tuners, set-top boxes or digital converters, but all you really need is a coaxial antenna cable input and an HDMI output.

Connect your antenna to the set-top box and an HDMI cable from that box to your monitor and you’re ready to go. Simply select the appropriate HDMI input in the monitor control and there should be no problems displaying what you receive through your antenna. Depending on your setup, you may need to complete tuning to get a stable image. However, your set-top box should have simple instructions for doing this.

Adjust your viewing distance

One of the most obvious differences between your average monitor and your average TV is size. While your average living room TV is at least 48 inches, your average monitor is probably closer to 24 inches. That’s not a problem because you can still enjoy crisp, high-quality TV with HDR and all the important visual enhancements of modern TV shows and movies on one monitor. But it will probably be smaller than a television. This means you have to expect to sit closer to the monitor than a TV, otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy the same level of immersion.

This isn’t something you need to worry about if you’re just adding TV support to your existing monitor. However, if you’re trying to mount a monitor on the wall in your living room to use it as your main TV, you’ll need to consider sitting at a distance appropriate for its size.

Don’t forget the sound

Most TVs have built-in speakers, even if they aren’t great. Some monitors also come with built-in speakers, but if they are present, they will almost certainly have very low power consumption and will not provide impressive sound. If you want to watch TV on your monitor, you’ll almost certainly need to consider connecting some external speakers.

This is easier if you already have a speaker setup for your PC. However, please note that if you connect your TV tuner or streaming stick directly to your monitor, you will also need to connect the audio solution to your monitor. If it supports ARC or eARC, you can use HDMI to output to an A/V system. However, if your speakers require a 3.5mm port or a USB connection (meaning a desktop PC can handle audio), then some adjustments may need to be made before it works effectively.

Check your monitor’s audio output options before proceeding.

You may not have upscaling

Another key difference between TVs and monitors is that monitors are designed to be connected to a desktop computer or laptop and therefore do not have much of a function. This means that while a television has its own processes and hardware for dynamic image enhancement and enhancement, a monitor leaves this to the device it is connected to.

This means that watching 1080p content on a 4K TV is likely to look better than watching 1080p content on a 4K monitor, unless you first cast it via a desktop PC or laptop and use technologies like Nvidia’s RTX video.

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