How to Use Computer Monitor as a TV – A Complete Guide

Furqan Shahid
Furqan Shahid
How to Use Computer Monitor as a TV

I know this is not as common as one might think but the idea of using your computer monitor as a TV screen is something that has been around for a long, long time. The best thing is that if you want to go ahead with this, you might end up saving some money as well as space on the wall or wherever you are looking to put your TV. The best thing is that we are living with so many multi-purpose devices that we do not even have to worry much, to begin.

Related Article: TV vs Monitor for Gaming

Whether you are trying to repurpose an existing monitor that is not in use or purchasing a monitor for multi-purpose, this whole article is about how to use computer monitor as TV and honestly, you would be surprised just how easy the entire process actually is, so we are not going to waste more time and start looking.

Learning How to Use Computer Monitor as a TV and Making Life Easier

Now, the best thing is that if you are looking to go ahead with the process, it is fairly simple and straightforward with not a lot of things that you need. In most cases, you will already have everything available to you and in the worst-case scenario, you will have to spend some money on getting these things, therefore, you should not really have any problems.

With that said, let’s have a look at how you can get started.

Understanding the Differences Between TVs and Monitors

Available in several sizes from small to massive.Available in largely smaller sizes compared to the TVs
Have a standard 16:9 aspect ratio.Variety of aspect ratios to choose from.
A single, higher resolution screen.Ability to switch between various resolutions.
Wide variety of ports such as HDMI, USB, and coaxial.Support most of the same ports with the inclusion of DisplayPort and exclusion of coaxial ports.
Ability to switch between several inputs.Can support multiple accessories and display modes but not a lot of inputs.
Built-in speakers.Not all monitors come with built-in speakers.

You can just look at the table above and you will be able to figure out how the differences are there. Now, another aspect that you might have to go through and consider is the pricing. With both types of displays, you are more or less getting what you pay for. The cheapest TV can run you $100 and go all the way to $50,000 depending on various factors such as use of advanced technologies, inputs, screen sizes, and more. 

For monitors, you can easily pick up a monitor for $60, and spend as much as $5,000 or more and yes, the same applies here as there is such a massive variety here that one can easily get confused and lost in the process of getting the right offering. Of course, it all depends on what you are looking to get your hands on.

Now, the fanciest computer monitors are not going to cost you as much as the latest TV. The main difference here is that the TVs that you look at in the market are using technologies that are not widely available in the monitors. For instance, you are likely to find more OLED TVs than you would find OLED monitors. Similarly, you are more likely to find more 8K TVs than you would find 8K monitors.

Therefore, the playing field is not as even as one would like. But still, both markets enjoy their fair share of offerings and the best part is that most of the higher end TVs can actually be used as monitors, too. Especially the ones that come with HDMI 2.1 since that port alone manages to support 120Hz at 4K and features such as variable refresh rate, and more.

Can I Really Turn a Computer Monitor Into a TV? 

The short answer is that yes, you can easily go ahead and use a computer monitor as a TV but the process is not as simple and straightforward for beginners. For starters, your monitor needs to have certain capabilities and as long as you have those offerings, you can go ahead and actually use your monitor as a TV without any effort.

There are a few details that you will have to consider beforehand and once you are all sorted, you are good to go. Let’s have a look at what factors you need to consider.

  • First things first, you have to be sure that your monitor has an HDMI input, this is going to be a primary mean of connection for a proper home audio/video. In case that is not available, you can always use a converter.
  • Secondly, you are going to be sure that your monitor has built-in audio. However, if that is not the case, then you will need to adapter that works as an audio extractor and if your monitor has an audio jack, you can connect external speakers.
  • Last but not the least, you will need to consider the screen resolution of your monitor. Not all monitors available in the market will be of the highest resolution. Ideally, you should have a 1080p monitor or higher.

Converting Your Monitor Into a TV

Now that we are done giving all the important information, the next step involves the actual process that you will need to convert your monitor into a TV and to be honest, things are not as difficult as they might seem to a beginner. Still, I am here to help you out with the process.

But before you use a computer monitor as a TV, there are a few things that you are going to need, starting with a streaming device. We are going to break down everything you would need, so let’s get started.

Getting a Streaming Device

Streaming Devices

The first thing that you need to invest in is a streaming device. The reason behind this is rather simple, your monitor will need to display content. Now, as far as streaming devices are concerned, the market has a number of options available that you can opt for to have a better experience. Below, I have mentioned some of the best streaming devices that you can buy right away.

  • Amazon Fire Stick.
  • Roku.
  • Mi Box.
  • Amazon Fire TV.
  • Google Chromecast.
  • Apple TV.

You are going to need either one of these streaming devices so you can convert your computer monitor to a TV. These devices would connect to your monitor via HDMI and then you will be able to stream whatever content you wish to stream.

How to Use Computer Monitor as a TV

Now that I have told you what you need to get your hands on, the second step involves actually setting things up. This is perhaps the easiest as you do not really need to get into any trouble or stop yourself in the tracks. The process is simple and well, it just works and that is the best thing.

  • Get your hands on one of the streaming devices mentioned above.
  • Plug that streaming device using an HDMI to your monitor, and plug any other inputs that need to be plugged in.
  • Make sure that the monitor has a higher resolution so the streaming device works with full compatibility.
  • Turn the monitor on and set the streaming device up with the controller provided.

Getting Better Audio Out of Your Monitor

Getting Better Audio Out of Your Monitor

Now, this should not come as a surprise but the overall audio quality that comes out of a monitor is generally very poor. Why? Well, it is simple, monitor manufacturers do not make these monitors with the thought of having a better audio quality. Why is that, you might ask? Well, most of the time, they are already aware of the fact that the users are going to use other solutions such as headphones, speakers, or sound bars.

Therefore, if you are looking to get started with your computer monitor as a TV, there is a high chance that you are going to need a good soundbar, a pair of headphones, or a set of speakers, for that matter.

 Now, choosing between a soundbar, a speaker, or a headphone is not as difficult. You can use your existing offerings and get started and the sound quality will be amazing, always. However, the best experience that you can get is always out of a sound bar as that is going to help you have the sound you are looking for without going the extra mile. The only thing to be careful about here is that before you invest in a soundbar, be sure that your monitor has all the right ports.

Other Important Necessities 

Now that you have managed to successfully create your monitor into a TV, you have to know that this is not the older, ordinary TVs that we are used to. We are looking at a smart TV here and you will be needing subscriptions to services such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime.

In addition to that, you will also be able to use services like YouTube and Spotify should you wish to. The monitor will also be able to get access to USB drives and play media directly from there. Last but not the least, the monitor that is now a smart TV will now get you access to streaming apps such as Twitch, ESPN, UFC, WWE, and a lot more, for the complete, definitive experience.

If you are wondering if you will be able to use your monitor as a monitor once again, then yes. Most modern monitors come with multiple inputs, so all you have to do is change your input from where the TV streaming device is plugged in, to the input where your HDMI or DisplayPort is connected and you are good to go.


I do understand that for a lot of people, the whole process of using a computer monitor as a TV might be confusing. If you have been wondering how to use a computer monitor as a TV, then you are at the right spot as we have nearly covered everything that you would want to know and you are good to go in this whole post.

In the beginning of the guide, I was focusing largely on turning a computer monitor into an ordinary TV, however, after doing some digging, I realized that ordinary TVs have gone out of fashion and it has been a long, long time since that happened.

Smart TVs are the new need and while it might seem like a bit more difficult than one might think, it is actually the opposite. Sure, you are likely to spend more money on a streaming device as opposed to a TV tuner set that is a lot more affordable. But what you are getting with a smart TV is a plethora of streaming services that you are already subscribed to, and a lot of original TV shows and movies, as well. Allowing you to have the best experience you can.

Frequently Asked Questions

I do understand that a lot of people want to use a computer monitor as a TV, and this whole article focuses on explaining how that works.

If you are looking to turn your monitor into a smart TV, you might have to connect a set top box, or another device that can help use the monitor as a smart TV.

Yes, you can actually go ahead and watch Netflix on your monitor. If your monitor is hooked up to your computer, you can just go to the website and start watching.

Furqan Shahid

I have been gaming for almost 24 years with extensive knowledge of all platforms and the gaming industry, in general. With interests in literature, art, gaming, and PC hardware.

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