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Monitor vs. TV for Console Gaming: Which One Should I Choose?

A good monitor for amazing gaming experience
What will you get from this article?

As a console gamer, you might be wondering which display will provide you better gaming experience: a monitor or a TV. There is no straight answer to this question because it depends on many factors: the games you play, your console type, etc. This article explains the pros and cons of both monitors and TVs for console gaming.

Screen Size, Resolution and Pixel Density

Monitors usually come in 19 inches to 27 inches sizes, TVs are much bigger ranging from 30 to 60 inches with some of the models even going up to 100 inches. As for resolution, most modern TVs have either Full HD or 4K. In addition to this, monitors also feature QHD resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, providing a middle ground between 4K and 1080p.

Pixel density is the screen size to resolution ratio. Pixel density should be considered when choosing a display for console gaming and will depend on your preferred viewing distance. If you like to play at your desk, you should go for a monitor because it has a higher pixel density. Otherwise, a lower pixel density will end up in a blurred image. Thus, TVs with their lower pixel density are more suitable for distant viewing.

Input Lag

Another make-or-break spec in gaming is the input lag. This is usually measured in milliseconds, refers to the time between your console’s HDMI cable received input and the time this input is actually displayed on a screen. This delay will greatly affect your gaming experience if you are into competitive games. The rule is the lower the input lag is the better.

If you want your screen to react fast to your actions, choose a monitor. However, if you are not a competitive gamer and input lag is not important for you, be sure to choose a model that features a lower input lag or has a “Game Mode”. Such a TV will have an input lag of around 15 ms – 20 ms compared to the usual 60 ms in TVs. It is, though, still far away from the monitor`s benchmark of 10 ms in monitors.

Make sure to give a quick look to Display Lag review about BenQ EL2870U that features only 9 ms input lag.

Response Time

Response time is the time that it takes your display to change from one shade of grey to another or from one black to white. As with input lag, it is measured in milliseconds. A lower response time provides better picture quality, while a higher response time might result in ghosting.

Overall, modern TVs have much higher response times than monitors that might result in ghosting and worse picture quality. While a response time of 10 ms is considered comfortable for casual gaming, competitive and professional gamers usually target for something closer to 1 ms.

Faster response time with clear image and with no image smearing
Refresh Rate and Adaptive Sync

The refresh rate of a screen is important in gaming. In the case of console gaming, however, the refresh rate of your display might not make a significant impact on your results. Consoles typically cannot refresh faster than 60 frames per second, so there is no benefit for you to choose a display with a higher refresh rate.

It will, however, make a difference for Xbox One. Since update from May 2018, Xbox One can output 120 Hz at 1080p and 1440p. It also supports adaptive sync AMD Fresync that helps to avoid screen tearing.

Check out BenQ EX3203R . This gaming monitor has a high refresh rate of 144 Hz and 1440P resolution that gives you a good balance between graphics and performance. To avoid image tearing it also supports a Freesync 2.


Depending on your needs, you might want to have specific types of connectors. TVs use mainly HDMI for transferring video signals; they also have a coaxial connector to connect antennae or cable. Monitors support Display Port, HDMI or even VGA for transferring video signal. They also support 3.5 mm headphone jack as well as USB.


Summing up, monitors have lower input lag, response time and higher refresh rate and pixel density. They are more responsive and allow you to enjoy competitive console gaming. Additionally, monitors are definitely a bang for your buck if you would like to play both PC and console. TVs on the other hand, are usually bigger and more affordable and allow you to enjoy gaming right from your couch.

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