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Monitor vs. TV: Which One Should You Choose for Gaming

While a lot of people see monitors and TVs as interchangeable, there’s more to it than initially meets the eye. First of all, one of these devices is dual-purpose while the latter is one-purpose (especially if we’re talking about monitors that are designed specifically for gaming). Therefore, it wouldn’t be that far-fetched to already know the superior device when it comes to gaming. Nonetheless, how big are these differences and are you really restricted to this one (obvious choice)? Of course not. Things are never that clear-cut and here are several facts to support that.

The screen size

The first thing you need to understand is the fact that there’s no general rule to the size of the screen that you get with either TV or monitor. Sure, most monitors are under 27 inches, while TVs often range between 30 and 100 inches. However, it’s not mandatory that your monitor will be smaller than your TV. Nonetheless, this is most often the case and you can get somewhat larger TV within the same price range (in terms of screen size alone).

Now, this is a double-edged sword, seeing as how bigger isn’t always better. For competitive video gaming, the massive size of the screen can reduce one’s awareness. On the other hand, if you’re sitting far from the screen, the gaming experience can be enhanced. This is particularly true for movie-like first-person exploration and adventure video games. This can also be pivotal if you’re into split-screen multiplayer, seeing as how a bigger screen provides a more authentic gaming experience.

Response time

One of the most important things for the quality of the image, yet, something that’s also frequently overlooked is the issue of pixel response time. This is the ability of the pixel to rapidly change color. Now, the term may be confusing seeing as how the lower response time is actually faster, while higher response time is slower (even though the wording makes it sound like a positive thing).

Here things get quite tricky, due to the fact that TV manufacturers never actually reveal their response time. An average is at about 10ms, which is substantially higher than 1ms or 4ms that are standard in modern monitors, so purchasing a gaming monitor would be a better idea if this is an important factor for you.


The quality of the image isn’t necessarily tied to the screen size, as much as it is a feature of its own. Sure, on a smaller monitor, the resolution will be quite limited, yet 4K resolution doesn’t look the same on a 27-inch monitor as it does on a 100-inch TV. As for the terminology goes, 1080p screens are Full HD, 1440p is QHD (quad high definition), while 2016p is referred to as UHD (ultra-high definition).

Moreover, QHD is commonly referred to as 2K, while 2016p is referred to as 4K. Anyone who has ever browsed for monitors was bound to encounter these terms. The higher the resolution, the higher the price of the screen. This is quite logical and goes for both monitors and TVs.

Now, people who are unfamiliar with the “HD terminology” often mix up HD Ready and full HD, which is a grievous mistake. Simply speaking, Full HD screen can develop images up to 1080p, while HD Ready only has the ability to develop up to 720p images. The term HD Ready is controversial due to the fact that it has a different meaning in the US and Europe. In the US, any screen with a digital tuner that has the ability to output 720p images is HD Ready.

In Europe, a digital tuner is unnecessary for a device to get classified as HD Ready, yet, the device can also develop a 1080p resolution. Still, if this is the case, the device won’t get labeled as HD Ready but HD Ready 1080p. This is much closer to Full HD, while some may argue that it’s the exact same thing.


So, to sum it all up, TVs usually come with bigger screens and a wider choice of screen size but they lack in most other departments. High-end gaming monitors have a higher pixel density which contributes to the quality of the image, have a higher variety of resolutions and a substantially lower response time.

The greatest downside is the smaller screen. In other words, it all comes down to your preferred game genre and the intention of use. Moreover, with a TV, you get two devices in one. In other words, a large high-end gaming monitor provides you with the best gaming experience, yet, with an adequate monitor, you can get the next best thing.

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