Can a Computer Monitor Be Used as a TV? (Answered)

Yes, you can use a computer monitor as a TV, and the process is quite common. However, before you start with the setup, you need to understand whether your computer monitor has the capabilities to be used as a television screen. 

The process depends on the computer monitor and the media source. You also need a set-top box that can provide TV signals. You can use a VGA converter and a TV tuner to convert a monitor into a TV. Now, simply plug the items into your computer’s HDMI port, and it will be ready to play.

You need to connect the set-top box to access the required content. But if there is no cable box, then you can use a TV antenna instead. Now, all you have to do is tweak the settings, and your computer monitor will be ready to use as a TV.

To proceed with the steps, there are a few requirements that you need to meet. So, let’s walk you through a step-by-step process that can help you on converting a computer monitor into a TV.

What is the difference between a TV and a computer monitor?

Here are a few major differences you need to consider before you use a computer monitor as a TV:

  • You can easily find a television with the largest size and aspect ratio of 16:9. On the contrary, for computer monitors, the screen size is usually smaller with a narrow aspect ratio.
  • Television screens also come with higher resolution screens but computer monitors can only provide a higher resolution image. 
  • Television comes with a variety of ports that include USB VGA HDMI on the other hand, the monitor has similar port options except for the coaxial cable connection. 
  • Now, the major difference is that televisions have in-built speakers, whereas most computer monitors do not come with an inbuilt audio jack or speakers.

Irrespective of these facts, the best advantage of using a computer monitor as a TV is that you get a very cheap replacement. In case your TV screen gets damaged, to get the best quality TV, you might have to go as high as $ 50,000, but for a computer monitor, you have to pay $ 5,000.

What are the basic setup requirements?

Now, before you connect a computer monitor to a TV unit, go through certain basic setups and adjustments. You need to check whether the computer monitor has an HDMI input which is the primary necessity for home audio or video.

Also, check if it has a VGA connection or DisplayPort connection, which you can convert to HDMI using an adapter. Check whether the computer monitor has built-in audio. In case it does not, then you can use an adapter. But, if your monitor has an audio jack, then you can connect external speakers to it, such as a soundbar.

Along with this, you also need to consider the screen resolution of the monitor. If you want to view the content on TV on a computer monitor, then it must support at least 720p.

Methods to convert a Computer screen into a TV

Here we have discussed 4 methods that would help you to convert a computer screen into a TV.

Method 1: Use the HDMI port

You have an HDMI port on the monitor, and you can connect any kind of modern device with it. If you have a monitor that uses VGA input, then you need to get an HDMI to VGA converter; now you need to plug the HDMI output from the cable box into the adapter and plug the computer monitor into the VGA connection of the adapter. You can also hear the sound through this adapter. Otherwise, you can also strip the audio signal from the HDMI connection through the audio output by providing a soundbar.

Method 2: Use a TV Tuner

You can also use a TV tuner to convert your computer monitor into a TV. Here you need to connect a cable or antenna signal to the monitor, which will help to record the signal coming in and transform it into an image.

If your TV is built after 2006, then this comes with the inbuilt tuna that converts the cable or antenna signal into audio and video. Now, if the computer does not come with an integrated tuner, then you have to use alternatives. You can go along with a set-top box combined with a tuner.

Method 3: Use an Amazon Firestick

You can use an Amazon Firestick with your computer monitor and connect without the necessity of having any cables. So, connect it to your monitor’s HDMI port and start binge-watching the content. Now to access the content, you can buy any subscription that you prefer, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.

Method 4: Use a cable box

If you want to use a cable box with your computer monitor, then your computer must have built in-built audio with an HDMI port. So, you need to plug one end of the cable into the HDMI output of the cable box. Take the other end of the cable, and it goes to the VGA input of the monitor.

What if the computer monitor lacks audio?

If the monitor has no audio or poor-quality audio, then you need an HDMI audio extractor. You can connect the HDMI card from the cable box to the HDMI extractor. Next, the HDMI cable should be plugged into the monitor, which will provide video signals. 

You also need to connect an audio output signal from the audio extractor to the speaker. But, again, you need the HDMI to VGA converter to complete the setup. You need to plug in the cables properly so that you can start watching content without any hassle.

Now, if you do not have any cable connection or cable box, then you can connect the computer monitor with an antenna and TV tuner. You can also get a device that converts digital converter boxes, which would be an ideal setup for watching TV channels on a computer monitor.

For a perfect set-up, you need to connect the coaxial cable to the RF input on the TV tuner with your TV antenna. Now, connect the HDMI cable to the monitor. If your monitor does not have an HDMI input, then you have to get an audio extractor.

Can you use the TV as a computer monitor?

Yes, you can use the TV as a second monitor for a laptop. All you need to do is connect them using an HDMI cable after checking that both the device has HDMI and DP ports. Once you have successfully connected the cables to the right input source, you need to go to the PC setting > System Display > Advance Setting > Display Adapter Properties for Display 1 > List All. Now, tweak the setting according to the number of displays. Select a resolution that would match your TV screen, and you can start browsing instantly.

What TV size is best for a computer monitor?

It is always recommended to get a TV with 50 inches screen size and no less if it is going to be used as a computer monitor.

What are the devices you need to turn a computer monitor into a smart TV?

You need streaming devices, a DVD player, or a cable box that you can plug with the HDMI output from this device into the adapter. Next, plug the computer monitor into the adapter’s VGA connection, and you are done with the setup.

Sayan Dutta
Sayan Dutta

I am glad you came over here. So, you want to know a little bit about me. I am a passionate digital marketer, blogger, and engineer. I have knowledge & experience in search engine optimization, digital analytics, google algorithms, and many other things.

Articles: 352