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BenQ Knowledge Center

The 7 Differences between TVs and Monitors

BenQ
2019/04/17

As TVs are getting larger and cheaper than ever, some people might be wondering why they can’t just use their TVs in place of the computer monitors. After all, that does seem like a convenient choice; however, is that truly the case? Actually, it’s impossible for TVs to replace computer monitors. Though they both have LCD panels, that’s about where their similarities end, and if you aren’t careful, you might even damage your eyes by mixing the two.

TVs are too bright and not suitable for viewing up-close

TVs are designed to be viewed by multiple viewers at a larger distance. Most TVs on the market today have a luminance of 450~600 cd/m2, and with the introduction of the new HDR technology and an emphasis on higher contrast, some TVs might even have a luminance of 800~1600 cd/m2. Therefore, TVs with their intense brightness aren’t suitable for viewing up-close.

TVs have lower PPI and images may seem pixelated

A 50-inch 4K TV has 88.12 PPI, and if it has 1080p resolution, then it has 44 PPI. In comparison, a 27-inch 4K monitor has a PPI value of 163. Thus, TVs have lower PPI, which admittedly might not be discernable when you’re viewing at a larger distance, but when you’re viewing up-close, the flaws in their image quality become easily noticeable.

Colors displayed on TVs go through special processing

Displaying dynamic images is the forte of TVs, but in order to achieve such enhanced effects, TVs often end up sacrificing color accuracy for vibrance. This lack of color sharpness and clarity is a massive drawback for users in certain professional or gaming settings who demand accurate colors.

TVs have different AGLR surface coatings

As TVs place a heavier emphasis on colors and contrasts, they would usually go through surface treatment so as to make their images look sharper. However, their surface coatings also tend to result in more reflections, especially in brighter environments, than the AG (anti-glare) coating on computer monitors, and that is more detrimental to the users’ eye health in the long run.

TVs have a different grayscale

Whereas a TV can only display a grayscale of 16~235, computer monitors are capable of displaying the full range of 0~255. The shades of gray that fall between 0 and 16 can’t be displayed properly and are therefore all viewed as pitch black on TVs. Meanwhile, monitors can display all 256 shades between pure white and pure black, which makes them better suited to deal with image details and brightness.

TVs support limited port options

Most TV ICs do not support DP (DisplayPort) or USB-C; however, USB-C is the mainstream when it comes to today’s mobile devices. Whether you’re using a cellphone or laptop, USB-C allows you to connect to a desktop monitor with ease.

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