Are you watching that big beautiful TV in the living room wondering what it would be like to use it as a computer monitor? With the right connections and some innovative accessory setups, you'll be able to use your TV as a computer screen in no time.
Read on to find out how to use your TV as a computer monitor.
In the market for a new TV? These are the best TVs of 2020.
Check your connections
First, your PC and TV need to have the correct connections. Typically this is not a problem as all modern televisions support an ubiquitous audio / video standard called HDMI. Televisions have at least one labeled HDMI port on the back, on the side, or both if more than one is available.
However, computers are a little more of a success or a failure. Most desktops have at least one HDMI port on the back: one inside all the other ports attached to the motherboard and / or one on a discrete graphics card if installed. Laptops are less likely to have an HDMI out if they're ultra-thin or MacBooks, and rely on USB-C connectivity instead.
Overall, there are two types of HDMI connections. The more common scenario is two female connectors – one on the PC and one on the TV – that require a single cable with male connectors on each end. Just plug the cable into each port and off you go. If your TV has more than one HDMI connection, use the remote control to switch to PC connection.
The other, less common scenario is for a mini HDMI port on the PC side that is smaller than the typical HDMI port. This connection requires an HDMI to mini HDMI cable. Simply plug the cable into each port and you're good to go.
Lastly, make sure your HDMI cable is long enough to support the setup you intend to use. Space and positioning issues often mean that longer cables are required to support televisions as monitors.
If you don't have HDMI
There are two common cases where either your TV or computer doesn't have the correct HDMI ports. Don't fret though: there is a workaround.
If you have an older TV or computer, it might have a DVI port instead of HDMI. The former was the primary video connection before HDMI became more common. In that case, you'll need a DVI to DVI cable or a DVI to HDMI adapter cable like this AmazonBasics model which is very affordable.
However, using an adapter can increase the likelihood of input delays, lower video quality, and other problems. Therefore, a compromise has to be considered.
Second, a PC might only have DisplayPort connections. This is unlikely to happen on desktops, but it can also happen on newer computers that prioritize DisplayPort or Mini-DisplayPort – a standard common with monitors but very rare in televisions. In this case, there are inexpensive DisplayPort to HDMI adapter cables for desktop and USB-C to HDMI adapter cables for laptops.
For desktops with only DVI video output, you should upgrade the graphics card. On laptops, you get stuck with adapter cables unless you're willing to spend big bucks on an external GPU dock.
Working with audio
HDMI supports audio, but routing audio from your computer to your TV can be a bigger job than routing video. The key lies in the capabilities of your pc.
Most modern GPUs have built-in audio codecs, a design specially developed for HDMI and DisplayPort that can produce excellent audio results. A single HDMI or DisplayPort cable supports both video and audio. Typically, you'll need to tell the operating system to send audio over this connection through the motherboard's audio ports or built-in speakers.
In some cases, a desktop graphics card comes with a straight-through S / PDIF cable. When this connection is established, the digital audio from the PC can be transmitted through the graphics card and through the card's HDMI port. This eliminates the need for a separate S / PDIF cable connection between the PC and TV. For this connection, however, the PC must be opened and the cable from the motherboard to the graphics card must be connected.
For PCs with a video output older than HDMI, such as B. DVI, you must either connect headphones to the PC or use audio cables to connect the digital or analog audio outputs on the PC to the audio inputs on the TV. In some cases, like a laptop, you might need a 3.5mm port on one end – it plugs into the headphone jack – and multiple analog ports on the other.
Understand the limitations
Transferring the image from a PC to a television is only part of the story. Unlike monitors, televisions are not precisely designed to support computerized input. This means your experience can vary greatly depending on the hardware you have. Input delay, mouse movements, text size and resolution can create hurdles on the way to a perfect experience.
While not all of these hurdles are easy to overcome, the following suggestions can improve your TV connection.
Use chroma 4: 4: 4 subsampling
Chroma subsampling is a compression standard used to send video data. 4: 4: 4 subsampling skips as much compression as possible in order to send the full amount of color data over HDMI connections. That makes it great for computer-to-TV connections, great for text size and other formatting, and generally a must-have if you are serious about your setup. Check out the TV specifications for Chroma 4: 4: 4 subsampling or find a knowledgeable representative to ask.
Use suitable HDMI generations
You will get better results if all of your devices and cables support the latest HDMI standard. The latest version is HDMI 2.1 and is completely over the top for anything but 4K resolution or higher at high frame rates. Make sure you are using a high quality HDMI 1.4 or 2.0 connection on all devices.
Have a good processor
Older PC processors can sometimes degrade performance depending on the task; B. when playing. Updating to a new model can be helpful. Do you need help choosing? Check out the best CPUs available today.
Healthy TV mounting practices
TV mounting may not affect the picture quality, but it can improve eye and neck strain. Find the right position that allows you to use your TV as a monitor while practicing good posture (and being comfortable). Do not use a television that is too tall or tilted away from your eye level. A standing desk can be very useful there.
Get a newer HDTV
The latest HDR standard, HDR10, can also help improve image quality for entertainment, gaming, etc. It's a nice bonus and it's available on many new TVs.