How to use TV as Monitor (Wired Solution)

When we look at a monitor and a LED TV. It seems so similar. 

Both are screens one is smaller another is bigger. Both are flat from sideways

This makes us wonder when working on our computer or Laptop. 

Why I should have a separate Monitor. I have a big TV at home. I should use my TV in place of Monitor.

Imagine how good it will be to use such a big TV as a screen without hurting our pockets for buying a monitor.

In this post let’s see how to use our LED TV as a computer monitor.

Can I use a TV as computer Monitor ?

Yes, you can use your TV as a computer Monitor unless it is a CRT TV.

For connectivity, you need HDMI or VGA ports.

Modern TVs or even old TVs have various ports like HDMI port, VGA port for connecting TV and computer.

In the case of a desktop PC, it must have HDMI or VGA port.

In the case of a laptop, it must have one of these

  • HDMI port
  • VGA port
  • DisplayPort
  • USB Type-C

If it does not have any of these then you cannot connect your laptop to a TV or even Monitor using wires.

Connect TV to Computer

1. Identify the ports on TV and Computer

Before connecting your TV to your computer

You need to identify the cable which will transfer video/audio from the PC to the TV.

This decision will be based on the ports on both devices.

Lookout for ports like this below on your TV and Laptop

different types of ports

In the case of a TV, you will find its ports behind it or on the sides.

Most probably you will find a VGA port or an HDMI port on it.

If your TV is a newer model then it definitely will have an HDMI port and if it is old then it must have a VGA port.

In the case of a computer or laptop, check the various ports available.

It is certain that you will find a HDMI port or a thunderbolt port or a USB Type-C port on it.

After Identifying the port on both the devices let’s see the cable you will need.

2. Identify the required Cable

2.1 In case of HDMI ports on both devices

If both computer and TV have HDMI ports on it.

Then connecting both devices is pretty easy

You just need an HDMI cable which is pretty cheap.

Nowadays many TVs come with an extra HDMI cable. But if you do not have it

Grab an HDMI cable from amazon

It can transmit both video/audio and does not require an extra cable for audio.

There are many other uses of it like connecting gaming console, set-top box, home theatre, etc.  

2.2 In case of other ports

If both the devices have different ports then you will need an adapter with the cable for connecting both

Let’s see the various cases

Both Having VGA Port

In case when both devices have a VGA port, you will need a VGA cable

But this only transmits video

For audio, you will need a separate 3.5mm audio cable also called AUX cable but your TV must have Audio Input as shown in the image below 

audio input in sony tv

If it does not have audio input you can use a 3.5mm to RCA adapter

For both the cables one end will go inside the headphone jack of your computer.

Checkout 3.5mm audio cable

Checkout 3.5mm to RCA adapter

Both Having different Ports

If both devices have different ports like computer-HDMI port and TV-VGA port

Then you will need an adapter that makes you connect devices with different ports.

Checkout HDMI to VGA adapter

3. Display Computer screen on the TV

After grabbing the right cable, connect both devices using it.

The PC screen will immediately start to appear on the TV screen.

If it does not, then you need to set the right input for your TV 

Go to the settings and change the input to computer input.

You will have to figure this out by trying out different input settings.

This process will differ from TV to TV

For me, the input settings were like this 

Input settings on Sony TV

Selecting PC mode will make my computer display appear on the TV screen.


Audio/Video Not Working

It may happen due to the use of an incorrect adapter or cable.

Or your TV is not using the right input for video.

Do make sure to get the right cable or right adapter based on the ports available on both TV and computer.

And select the right input for TV

You must also know that any cable other than HDMI does not transmit audio signals.

The best solution for audio will be using external speakers and connecting it to the PC.

Displayed Resolution small

If the picture appearing on your TV is smaller

For Windows 10, go to display settings and increase the resolution from there. 

windows 10 display settings
Image Credit: Windows 10

If the display appears smaller even after changing the resolution to the highest.

This means your computer graphics does not support your TV resolution

If the resolution is fine but the text appears smaller then increase the size of the text

Why you should not use a TV as Monitor?

TV and Monitor exist for two different things.

If both were to be used for the same things then there would be no two different devices.

TVs are meant for watching movies, shows and is purely for entertainment purpose

While a Monitor is meant for work and productivity. Also, it is best for gaming due to its low response rate

The Screen may appear pixelated

TVs are mostly big in size compared to a monitor or laptop screen.

If your TV resolution is low – 720p and if you use this kind of TV as a monitor.

Then the pictures will appear pixelated and bad.

Watching poor resolution screen from near may also hurt you eyes

Cursor Lags

If you use your TV as a monitor then while moving the cursor it may appear lagging or trailing.

This is due to the higher response time. To use any TV as a monitor the response time must be very low.

Not good for gaming

If you are trying to play PC games on a TV screen.

This may not give you the best gaming experience.

Higher refresh rate is demanded by gamers.

In the case of a TV, the refresh rate is always lower. So it may not give you the optimum results. 

Monitor is the only option for gaming.

High-end TVs are costly

Few TVs which are designed keeping in mind the need of gamers and you.

These are made such that they have a high refresh rate, low response time and other features like G-Sync.

But these are very costly.

If you still want to use a TV as a monitor then keep in mind these factors.

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