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4K Monitor vs. TV for Gaming?

A good monitor for amazing gaming experience

As a console gamer pursuing a better gaming experience, you might wonder what is better for gaming: monitor or TV. It might seem that there is no difference between monitor and TV when playing console games. The truth is that TVs and monitors are designed for different purposes so they have a lot of differences in tech specs.

Screen Size

Consumers pay a lot of attention to screen size when choosing a display. Size of your display heavily depends on the viewing distance: how far or close you are going to sit to a display. Since televisions are not designed for looking close up, their screen size are usually significantly bigger. Monitors, on the other hand, are designed for shorter viewing distance, so they have smaller screen size and usually have more size options.


Most of modern televisions and monitors feature 4K resolution, meaning that they can provide sharper and more detailed images of 3840 X 2160 pixels. TVs are designed to be viewed from a far, with a lower pixel density. Thus, when viewed from a short distance, the image turns out pixelated. Gamers who use a display at a shorter distance to have a more immersive gaming experience, might want to pick out monitors with a higher pixel density. No one would like to play games watching images with low pixel density.

Response Time

Response time refers to the time it takes a pixel to transition from one shade of gray to another (GtG) or from black to white. It is measured in milliseconds. A fast response time helps to remove the smearing of moving images, providing a smoother picture. For monitors, TN panel types have the fastest response time of 1ms, for example, BenQ EL2870U . IPS panels generally reach a 5ms response rate. As for televisions of IPS panel types, they often have a much higher response time up to 15ms and thus create screen tearing.

Faster response time with clear image and with no image smearing

The biggest difference between a television and a monitor are connectors. Televisions use mainly HDMI for transferring video signals. They often require various connectors to receive the signals, some analogous or the other types. Monitors are equipped with HDMI, DisplayPort and Type-C connectors for video signals. They also have 3.5mm stereo jacks for audio input and output.

Overall, monitors have more ports to receive signals from a computer. They also have broader bandwidth to support higher resolution and refresh rate. Monitors are much more suitable for multimedia consumptions.

After reviewing the comparisons, will it help the gaming consumers pick out the right type of displays for optimum gaming experience? Maybe, maybe not. There’s still other factors that you need to take into consideration for a better gaming consumption, such as input lag, refresh rate and FreeSync.

Refresh Rate, Input Lag and FreeSync

The refresh rate is the time it takes, per second, to update images on the screen. The majority of monitors can support a refresh rate up to 120Hz. Some can even go as fast as 144Hz, guaranteeing a smoother image. One example of this is the BenQ EX3203R .

Many TV manufacturers nowadays claim that their TVs can reach refresh rate of 120 or even 240Hz, which is notoriously known among gamers as “fake” or stimulated refresh rate. In fact, real refresh rate of most TVs are still 60Hz. That is because each brand uses its own techniques to make images seem less blurry while watching videos. It has no benefits to gameplay since such a TV will not play actual frames at a claimed rate of 120 or 240Hz.

monitors have a higher refresh rate so no blurry images and tearing. TV only has lower refresh rate

Input lag is the delay between a display receiving a signal and it being displayed on it. This delay would greatly affect the responsiveness of the games. Many TVs have a, so-called, “Game Mode” which is designed to decrease input lag and provide a smoother gameplay.

Monitors have many more options to decrease their input lag, such as FreeSync compatibility or higher refresh rate. FreeSync (See BenQ EW3270U and EL2870U ) and FreeSync2 (See BenQ EX3203R ) are developed by AMD. Once a monitor is FreeSync- or FreeSync2-compatible, it can sync the refresh rates of a monitor and a console, eliminating tearing effects.

Viewing Comfort

To conclude, if you want to have optimum gaming experience, a monitor is obviously a much better option, especially for competitive games which require faster response time, higher refresh rate and the support of FreeSync. You can thus enjoy smooth, clear and immersive games. Last but not the least, a display which can offer you viewing comfort is also a feature you need to take into consideration as well. Low blue light and flicker-free are just the basic; a monitor with brightness intelligence which can be adapted to the ambient light will offer the comfortable viewing /gaming experience.

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