Can I Use A Computer Monitor As A TV Screen? Complete Guide


We often get asked ‘Can I Use a Computer Monitor as a TV’? Yes, you can! A computer monitor can be used as a TV provided you have an HDMI input on the monitor. This enables you to connect your laptop or desktop directly to the monitor without any additional hardware. With this setup, you can use the same cable that connects your television to your set-top box, DVD player, or other devices. You can even use an adapter for connecting gaming consoles such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to the computer monitor.

This complete guide will explain how you can easily convert your computer monitor into a TV screen with minimal effort. The whole process is relatively straightforward and requires no special technical knowledge. First, you’ll need to check that your computer monitor has an HDMI port which will allow it to receive signals from external sources like your laptop or gaming console. Once that’s done, just connect one end of the HDMI cable to the appropriate port on your device and then plug in the other end into its corresponding port on the back of the monitor.

Key Takeaways

  • Converting a computer monitor into a TV screen is possible with an HDMI input on the monitor, and various devices can be connected to it.
  • There are differences between a computer monitor and a television in terms of size, resolution, refresh rate, and image quality.
  • It is possible to turn a computer monitor into a TV by connecting it to a cable box, streaming device, or other external sources, and using software like Kodi or Plex for streaming.
  • To convert a computer monitor into a TV screen, one can use a TV tuner kit/box, connect a cable box directly to the monitor via HDMI, or connect a TV antenna to the monitor’s RF input.

What’s The Difference Between A Computer Monitor And A Television?

Understanding the differences between a television and a monitor can help when deciding which one to purchase.

  • TVs are usually much larger than computer monitors, with sizes starting at 42-43 inches and extending up to 82 inches or more.
  • Monitors, on the other hand, are generally smaller, starting at 15 inches and going up to 27 or 32 inches.
  • The resolution of a TV is typically 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), while monitors offer various resolutions including Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels).
  • The refresh rate is also an important factor. TVs usually have a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, while it’s possible to find monitors with 144Hz, 165Hz, and even 240Hz refresh rates.

When considering size, resolution, and refresh rate, it’s clear that computer monitors offer sharper images compared to televisions.

Feature Computer Monitor TV
Primary Use Designed for displaying computer outputs, such as operating systems, software applications, and web browsing. Designed primarily for watching broadcasted content, movies, and shows.
Resolution Often available in higher resolutions, suitable for close-up viewing and detailed tasks. Varies, but 4K TVs are common. Designed for viewing from a distance.
Refresh Rate Higher refresh rates (e.g., 144Hz, 240Hz) are common, especially in gaming monitors. Typically 60Hz or 120Hz, suitable for most broadcasted content.
Input Lag Generally lower input lag, which is beneficial for tasks like gaming. May have higher input lag, though some modern TVs have “Game Mode” to reduce it.
Connectivity Primarily DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA ports. Primarily HDMI, with options for AV, components, and sometimes even built-in streaming apps.
Sound Some monitors have built-in speakers, but they are often of lower quality. Usually comes with built-in speakers and options for external sound systems.
Size Typically smaller, ranging from 15 inches to 32 inches (though ultrawide and larger monitors are available). Ranges from 24 inches to over 85 inches.
Price Can vary widely based on features, but generally more affordable than TVs of the same size. Can be more expensive, especially for larger sizes and smart TVs.

Can You Turn A Computer Monitor Into A TV?

It is possible to transform an existing monitor into a television. This can be achieved by connecting the monitor to your cable box, streaming device, or other external sources using a variety of cables and adapters. For instance, if your monitor uses VGA ports and the device you’re connecting uses HDMI ports, you will need an HDMI to VGA converter in order to connect them. The same applies for DVI connections as well.

If you don’t have any external devices connected to your computer monitor such as a game console or set-top box, then you can use software such as Kodi or Plex on your computer which allows you to watch movies and TV shows directly from the internet. You may also want to look into getting a dedicated streaming device like Chromecast or Apple TV that connects directly to your monitor via its HDMI port.


No matter what method you choose, it is possible to convert a computer monitor into a TV screen with little effort. All it takes is some knowledge about connecting cables and adapters, finding the right software for streaming content, and having access to an external device for tuning cable channels if needed. With these simple steps, anyone can get their old computer monitor working as a brand-new TV in no time!

How To Convert A Computer Monitor Into A TV Screen

One way is to use a TV tuner with your monitor, which allows you to pick up over-the-air digital channels directly from an antenna or cable.

Alternatively, you can hook up a cable box directly to your monitor and access premium channels like HBO or Showtime.

Using A TV Tuner With Your Monitor

To use your old monitor as a TV screen, you’ll need to buy a TV Tuner Kit/Box. These kits are available for anywhere between $30 and $200, depending on the brand and features. Look for one with an HDMI Out port so that it can easily connect to your monitor’s HDMI port.

Once installed, the TV tuner will allow you to watch cable TV or other digital broadcasts using your computer monitor. With the right tuner, it’s easy to convert your existing monitor into a television screen without having to spend too much money.

Hooking A Cable Box To Your Monitor

Transitioning from using a TV tuner to hook up your monitor to using a cable box, the key component is the HDMI port.

Connecting your cable box’s HDMI port to the monitor’s HDMI input allows you to access whatever content may be available through your provider. This can include live television, on-demand content, and other streaming services.

Connecting A TV Antenna To Your Computer Monitor

If you don’t have a cable box or Wi-Fi, connecting a TV antenna to your monitor is an easy way to access free content.

To do this, start by plugging the coaxial cable from the antenna into the RF input of your tuner. Then, connect the HDMI cable to your monitor. If you have an AV input, you can use the AV cables instead.

After that, just follow your TV’s instructions for setting up and tuning channels. Once it’s done, you’ll be able to watch all of the available channels on your computer monitor!

The entire process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and requires minimal effort – so don’t worry about getting frustrated with complicated setup processes. With this method, anyone can enjoy great-quality television content without needing any additional equipment!

Using A Streaming Device

Another way to do so is to connect a streaming device like Google Chromecast, Apple TV, or Amazon FireTV to an HDMI port behind your monitor.

If you don’t have an HDMI port, you will need to purchase a VGA to HDMI converter.

Setting up the TV as a Second Monitor

Connect your TV to your PC and select the input source.

To use a computer monitor as a TV screen, you need to make sure that the GPU connected to your PC supports at least two displays. Check for HDMI or DisplayPort ports on your laptop, or use an HDMI Audio Extractor if you only have one monitor port.

Once you have connected the TV to your PC, press the Windows+P keys and select from the given options. Then right-click on a space on your Desktop and choose Screen Resolution.

Select Multiple Displays, then duplicate or extend according to what best fits your needs. Finally, arrange the display orientation settings so that they match the physical placement of both screens before clicking Apply and OK.


Therefore, it is clear that setting up a TV or computer monitor as a second display can be done with ease. Using an HDMI cable or Fire TV stick, you can connect either a 4K or 8K TV to your computer monitor and adjust the resolution for a better viewing experience. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose either option and enjoy streaming content directly from the comfort of your home.

Using the right setup with the correct cables is important to achieve optimal performance when using a PC monitor as a TV screen. If you are using an 8K television, we recommend using wired connections over wireless ones to maintain its sharp resolution. For 4K televisions, streaming tech like Fire TV should do just fine.

No matter what type of display device you want to use, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be compatibility issues between different devices; therefore we suggest doing research about the product before making any purchase decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of cables do I need to connect my computer monitor to my TV?

To connect a computer monitor to your TV, you’ll need the right type of cable. Generally, you’ll need either an HDMI or VGA cable.

An HDMI cable will provide the best quality connection and will allow you to transfer both audio and video signals from your computer monitor to your TV.

If you don’t have an HDMI port on either device, then a VGA cable is the next best option. It can also transfer audio and video but may not offer as clear of a picture as an HDMI cable would.

What type of adapter do I need to use to connect my laptop to my TV?

To connect your laptop to your TV, you need an adapter. Depending on the type of video output port on your laptop and the type of input port on your TV, you may need a VGA-to-HDMI adapter, HDMI-to-DVI adapter, or DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter.

You can find out what type of adapter is compatible with both devices by consulting their user manuals. Once you have the correct adapter, simply plug one end into the video output port of the laptop and the other end into the video input port of the TV.

Is there a way to stream content from my computer directly to my TV?

Yes, you can stream content from your computer directly to your TV. All you need is a device that supports streaming services such as AppleTV, Chromecast, or Roku. This will allow you to mirror the content on your computer onto the TV screen for an enjoyable viewing experience.

You’ll also need to check that both devices are connected to the same WiFi network and then use a compatible app on your laptop or desktop computer. Once everything is set up, it’s just a matter of following the instructions provided by the streaming service and launching the playback from your computer.

Can I use my computer monitor as a secondary monitor for my TV?

Yes, you can use your computer monitor as a secondary monitor for your TV. To do this, you’ll need an HDMI or VGA cable and compatible adapters to connect the two devices.

You will also need to make sure that both devices are set up correctly and configured for dual display.

Once the setup is complete, you’ll be able to use your PC monitor as a second screen for streaming content from your TV.

Related: Can A TV Be Used As A Computer Monitor? All You Need To Know

What type of sound system do I need to use with my computer monitor as a TV?

The best choice is a digital surround sound system that connects to your monitor via an HDMI cable.

This type of system will give you the best audio experience, giving you a virtual surround sound and making movies, shows, and music come alive.

A basic 2.1 stereo speaker setup can work too, but if you want true immersive sound quality then go for the digital surround sound option.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...