When you set up a new gaming system, everyone asks you about the graphics card you have or the processor that you decided to go with or even whether you chose to go for a solid state drive. It is incredibly unusual for someone to ask about your monitor apart from a cursory inquiry to its size.
Does this mean that is isn’t really important?
That the monitor does not really have an impact on the gamer’s experience?
Well, that is a bone of contention in the gaming world with some claiming that the choice of monitor is one of the most important decisions you will make, with others arguing that this is merely elitist claptrap and that the monitor is not really that important on the whole.
The people whose voices are loudest on the importance of monitors are people who are competitively playing first-person shooters like CS:GO, Day Z or Overwatch. These gamers require quick reflexes and instantaneous reaction to succeed, with some believing that a 3-4 millisecond edge is a difference between winning and losing.
The three elements that determine this advantage are the response time, the input lag and the frame rate.
The response time is how quickly each pixel can change from white to black and back to white again, while the refresh rate is how many times the panel can draw the image in a second. Ideally, competitive gamers are looking for low response time, and as high a refresh rate is possible. Input lag is the time it takes between moving the mouse and seeing the effect on the screen, and this again needs to be as low as possible.
It is understandable why competitive gamers feel that the performance of a monitor is so important.
When playing fast-paced games like Overwatch, the margins for the best players are very tight and indeed sometimes milliseconds will indeed make the difference, so it is critical for them to make sure they have the best monitor in terms of performance to make sure that they don’t give their competitors a head start before they even start playing.
On the other side of the argument are casual and pleasure gamers who often feel that apart from the resolution, the monitor is not really that important. These gamers tend to be more focused on the look of their games rather than the performance. They tend to be looking for bigger monitors with a high resolution which will display the game with the brightest colour and the most realistic picture.
They tend to prefer to spend their money on a good graphics card with lots of VRAM and supporting high resolutions, rather than spending a lot of money on the monitor itself. They find that the improvement per dollar is much higher when spending on a graphics card than when investing in a monitor, and so tend to feel that monitors are much less important overall when gaming.
So, do monitors have an influence on gaming?
The answer, I think you will agree, is undoubted yes.
A monitor is hugely important to someone who is competitively gaming and will have a huge impact on their experience, while for someone who is a more casual gamer, the monitor has a limited influence on their experience.
As with most things in life, it is a case of horses for courses.
Almost everyone would like to have a cinema feeling in the living room.
This desire is often at least a bit closer with a new TV. But before buying it, the key question to be resolved is: Should it be a 4K UHD device with around eight million pixels, or is a cheaper Full HD TV with two million pixels enough – after all, ultra-high resolution content is still in short supply. You can read our reviews of the best console gaming monitors.
The content offering is growing slowly
In addition to pay-TV Sky, which broadcasts football games in 4K, only special-interest channels such as UHD1, Insight TV and Fashion 4K as well as the shopping channels Pearl.tv 4K and QVC UHD broadcast their first UHD TV bites via satellite. RTL offers Formula 1 races, all other TV stations such as ARD and ZDF have not jumped on the trend and plan only for the 2022 World Cup regular UHD broadcasts.
Anyone who prefers to stream movies and series anyway, gets at least in the services Netflix and Amazon Video for selected content at its own expense. Netflix requires a more expensive premium subscription (currently 13.99 euros). If you want to stream 4K content, you also need fast internet connection: Netflix recommends a minimum bandwidth of 25 megabits per second (Mbps), with Amazon Instant Video it should definitely be 15 Mbps.
Those who still buy films on disk get a currently considerable and growing selection of 4K films on the UHD Blu-ray. However, you need a UHD Blu-ray player in addition to a corresponding TV to watch the high-resolution movies on the TV. This costs about 200 euros, but is also included in the Xbox One S game console, which has been available for over two years, and the Xbox One X, which is based on 4K gaming.
The picture is not necessarily sharper
“The pictures are rich in detail, and even TVs with a screen size of 140 centimetres, despite their size, show a fine pixel structure,” says Stiftung Warentest attesting to 4K TVs’ quality.
However, so the restriction, neither the richness of detail nor the finer pixel structure revolutionized the viewing experience. This is due on the one hand to the footage, which is usually available only to full HD resolution, on the other hand on too large seat pitch of the audience. In a test of the consumer protection organisation with 24 subjects, most remained at the usual viewing distance – so bled the extra pixel power.
As a rule of thumb: For 4K TVs, the optimal distance is one and a half times the picture height, so you have to sit pretty close to the device to really notice the sharpness.
HDR is the magic word
Differences between Full HD and 4K would have recognised the tester only by the image enhancement HDR used in some 4K TVs. High Dynamic Range allows for much higher-contrast images and lets the colours shine. “Small differences in brightness and the finest shades, such as the gradient in the blue sky, which disappear in normal HD playback, remain visible with HDR.
The picture is crisper, the colors look more natural, “says the foundation. However, there are also Full HDTV with HDR technology, so the argument goes in both directions.
To be able to really use HDR, you must first activate the function on most televisions for each source, ie receiver or other players. In the case of manufacturers such as Sony, LG, Samsung , and Philips, the function is unfortunately partly hidden.
Philips and LG list HDR in the general settings menu, but hide it behind the terms “HDMI Ultra HD” or “Ultra HD Deep Color”. For Samsung, enable HDR as follows: Settings > Picture > Expert Settings > Turn on HDMI UHD Color for the HDMI port you are using. For Sony: Settings> External Inputs > HDMI Signal Format > Optimized Format .
What you need to know about HDR on TV
In order to get more out of conventional Blu-rays or TV broadcasts, the so-called upscaler plays an important role. It scales HDTV images up to four times the resolution on a 4K TV. “For increased TV enjoyment, the upscaler has to be so powerful that it can conjure up the worse HDTV signal with a gain in sharpness and detail on the 4K screen,” explains Bernd Weeser-Krell from the “PC World”.
Which technique should the TV have?
In addition, one should take a look at the processor.
The power decides how well the pictures are scaled and how fast the TV works. This includes not only station changes, but also the navigation through the numerous multimedia offers of Smart TVs with Internet connection. Basically, 4K TVs have a more complex internal signal processing than HD devices.
To be prepared for the next few years, the new flat-TV de Leuw should have at least one HDMI port that accepts 60 and not just 30 frames per second. Important is also the HDMI standard 2.0, duty for the playback of UHD content is the copy protection HDCP 2.2. When streaming Ultra HD movies is nothing without H.265 codec, but as good as all 4K TVs since the year 2016 is integrated.
OLED display: Expensive, but good
In addition to flat-screen TVs with LED backlighting, more and more OLED devices with organic light emitting diodes are conquering the market. “Because the technology works without backlighting – an OLED screen lights up – OLED televisions provide a much better contrast,” explains Weeser-Krell. “Unpowered pixels remain absolutely black, while LCD TVs always emit some light in the backlight and black appears as anthracite.” OLED devices also feature a more populous color display and extremely fast response times. Disadvantages are the higher price and the limited life of the luminous dots.
Yes, refresh rate does matter for console gaming. To start, here’s a quick definition of “refresh rate”.
Refresh rate describes the number of times a monitor redraws its image each second. Matching your refresh rate with your frame rate will create a better overall experience.
The average frame rate is 30 frames per second (FPS), which is easy to match, but as games get more intensive, their supporting equipment needs to improve as well.
The primary function of a monitor is that it shows still images at such a fast pace that our brains believe the images are moving. When you have large frame rates from your game console, a lower refresh rate from your monitor could lead to movements that aren’t as smooth.
Another issue that happens when your frame rates and refresh rates don’t match is tearing. When your monitor’s image isn’t refreshing as fast as your game is sending these images, tears can show on your screen.
Even though most people can’t see differences in a lower refresh rate compared to the frame rate, nearly everyone can see tears. These broken bits of game graphics on your monitor can ruin your gameplay.
If you are a hardcore gamer or a regular gamer who’s seeing lag in your game, purchasing a higher-end monitor with a higher refresh rate can improve your play and you can see my reviews of the best console gaming monitors in 2019.
Other improvements you can see with a monitor that has a higher refresh rate is an increase in sharpness of fast-moving action scenes, less blur at all times, and reduced lag.
For many people, these changes in Hz might not be visible, but for others, they notice the differences immediately. Professional or highly competitive gamers need the smoothest experience possible to compete.
Another possibility that can help your gameplay is Variable Refresh Rates (VRR). These come with some monitors and TVs. With this technology, your console’s GPU can control the refresh rate of your monitor, so that tearing won’t happen.
This technology removes all of the problems that happen when the frame rates and refresh rates don’t match. One caveat though: this technology works between 40 Hz and 60Hz. If your game is running 30 fps, VRR won’t help if there is lagging or tearing.
In summary, the average frame rate is 30 fps. Most game consoles barely run at 60 fps. However, if they do, VRR can bridge the gap between your frame rates and refresh rates to even out your gameplay.
Currently, there are only a few games that natively run at 120 fps, or the more graphic-intensive, 240 fps.
Your monitor depends on what kind of games you plan to play. If you’re playing games with lower-end graphics, a regular monitor should be fine, but if you’re playing the latest releases, opt for a monitor that can keep up.
It will be some time before you need higher-end monitors, but if you want to be ready when the games come, buy monitors that have higher Hz so you can easily play at 240 fps or higher.
If the above has been the question on your mind, it means you don’t know much about computers, and it’s okay. You have nothing to worry about for there are many like you out there, and this article will help shed some light on the matter.
Can you watch TV on a gaming monitor? The answer is a definite yes.
It is a good idea for most people because, the picture quality is likely to be great due to the high resolution and refresh rate of the display. You can check out our selection of the best gaming monitors for console gamers here.
It is common for most people to use their HD TVs as monitors because the process is as simple as connecting the TV to a system unit or laptop. In addition, more often than not, all you need is a cable (e.g., HDMI) that is compatible with both the TV and either the system unit or laptop and you are good to go.
However, using a monitor as a TV is not as straight forward for most people. The reason is that you need more equipment than a single HDMI cable for the modification.
Moreover, most people may not be readily equipped with the extra gadgets that will facilitate the transition.
To add TV capabilities to your gaming monitor, you may need to invest in the following:
To determine whether you can use your particular monitor for watching TV, you need to inspect the display first to take note of its features.
Different monitors come with different ports and slots. These aspects of the display unit will determine how well it can do as a TV. You’ll want to take note of the display ports it has such as HDMI, DVI, VGA, SVGA or other. If there is HDMI in there, the chances are that you won’t have trouble with the TV capability modification.
Furthermore, you should not have any resolution problems because we are referring to a gaming monitor here, which often support insanely high resolutions and refresh rates. However, just in case you have some funny version of a gaming monitor, your monitor should support at least 720p to work with the modern day HD capable TV Tuner or Cable boxes.
What if my monitor doesn’t have HDMI ports?
It’s very unlikely for a gaming monitor, but just in case, you have something from another planet, that’s where the DVI/ VGA to HDMI converter comes in. If you have a different port than DVI or VGA, then get an adapter for that particular port.
Monitor to TV
The thing that will facilitate the TV addition, transition, or modification is the TV Tuner or Cable Box. These devices will give your monitor the capacity to tune in TV signals and let you enjoy your favorite TV programs.
Chromecast is another addition to this mix. With Chromecast or FireTV, you can stream Netflix or Hulu on your crisp, clear gaming monitor.
Please Don’t Stop the Music
Audio is something you can easily miss when adding TV capabilities to a monitor because most monitors don’t have inbuilt audio.
Luckily, your TV Tuner or Cable box may come with an audio port that will allow you to connect external speakers and enjoy your TV programs as usual. Otherwise, you’ll need to invest in an audio extractor, particularly if you’ll be using HDMI.
Using monitors for watching TV is an old practice in the PC world, for TV Tuner boxes (or TV Tuner cards) have been around for decades now. This is just one of those cases where what you don’t know won’t be of benefit to you, but now you know!
Playing video games is not the same as watching a movie or a television series, that is why many gamers ask themselves the eternal question: What is better to play on? A monitor or a television?
In this article, we are going to try to shed some light on this question.
Choosing which is the best console gaming monitors or TV is difficult. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your budget. The place where we are going to locate it and the technology that is implemented in each of them, among other factors that can make balance from one side to another.
Monitor vs TV for video-games: what to buy and why
Both are a screen but do not offer the same technical features.
Both a television and a monitor can be connected to a video game console, or to a computer, if we want to use video games . But there are some technical differences that we should take into account when buying one or the other . In this way we will achieve the experience we seek, and spending as little money as possible.
The video game television
The television, as its name indicates, allows us to watch television . It is a good idea to have this feature, if the place where we are going to install the screen and the console is also where, albeit occasionally, we go to watch television.
But they are more limited devices in connectivity ; most of them only have HDMI connections , and although they have several audio / video inputs of this type, they usually have only one HDMI 2.0 , which is what we need for a 2160p resolution at 60 fps.
At the same time, although we take advantage of the HDMI 2.0 connection, we can not aspire to a higher framerate, which is one of the main disadvantages of a television that does not have DisplayPort. In a video game console we will not have problem, but if we are going to play with PC, we can go beyond 2160p 60 fps.
Why do televisions have no DisplayPort?
But there is an advantage in televisions – besides that they are for watching television, of course – and that is that they have a built-in sound system ; that is, speakers. Maybe you are going to use more helmets, or maybe you want to buy specific and independent speakers , but having integrated speakers is interesting, and it is also a second factor that makes them more expensive , another disadvantage that we can add to the list in this comparative monitor vs television.
Returning to that of the resolution and the framerate , most of the TVs are limited to 60 Hz , then the maximum framerate that we will reach is 60 fps for its refresh rate. It does not matter if you have an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti inside your computer, that the maximum number of images you will see per second will be 60. There are TVs that reach up to 120 Hz, but they are undoubtedly more expensive than a 120 Hz monitor;
In addition, monitors can reach far beyond this refresh rate.
How to use two screens with your PC in Windows 10
But what if, besides playing, I want to see movies on this screen? So, maybe you should consider that there are more and more HDR televisions , and increasingly cheaper, while this technology is scarce in the market of monitors. And it’s not just about movies, because both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One – in some of their versions – support HDR for some of their video games, in addition to 4K resolution .
Another important problem for a large number of televisions is the ‘over processed’ image . If we want a television to play , we should make sure it offers a PC mode or a game mode ; otherwise, the image signal is processed before it is displayed to ‘correct’ any type of imperfection, or give it a more HiFi look, and this introduces a significant delay , something we do not want when we are playing video games.
Monitors for Video Games
The monitor is a screen more focused on the computer. Hence, they are more complete devices in connectivity , with the DisplayPort connection as a feature more prominently extended. And this connection is the one that, as we mentioned earlier, will allow us to play content at 2160p above 60 fps , with a significantly higher image quality and, above all, greater fluidity. In video games, framerate is important, as we will now continue to explain, and having DisplayPort is almost essential.
Following this framerate, the refresh rate in monitors reaches higher figures . We have 60 Hz monitors, of course, and at ridiculous prices if we settle for Full HD resolution; but there is also a wide variety of models with 144 Hz , and even 240 Hz. We can get four times more images per second on one of these monitors than on a 60 Hz TV, something that completely changes the gaming experience if we look for the maximum quality and fluidity.
In a monitor, the response time is noticeably lower, and the input latency also because there is no such ‘processing’ of the image carried out by a television. For a lower price we can find monitors with better features in this section, and online games at a competitive level is something that drastically changes the experience. Much more still if we join the previous section, relating to the refresh rate of the screen, which will take advantage of all the power of our graphics card.
So, I buy a monitor or a television for video games?
It depends on your priorities, and how far you want to go with the video games, or you can for the hardware that you are going to use.
If yours is a video game console , check if it offers 4K HDR , and in this case you may be more interested in a TV – especially the HDR – and remember that although it is very likely that you are limited to 60 fps for the refresh rate from the screen, your console can only reach up to 2160p 60 fps maximum. And if you meet all this, get yourself a DisplayPort cable for your new TV, or you’ll stay at 30 fps maximum at this resolution.
In addition, you may also be more interested in a television for games if, as we said before, you want a television set and you are interested in integrated sound . And finally, it is also a point in favor of the television that the largest screens are only possible in this format, unless we are willing to sacrifice a kidney to afford our new screen for video games.
But if you want the best experience, buy a monitor .
Only with them you will be able to reach 240 Hz as a refresh rate, and squeeze your graphics card up to 240 fps . And only with them will you get the shortest possible response time , as well as the lowest entry latency .
Things that, as we said before, in a video game console are over because, due to hardware limitations, you simply will not be able to take advantage of it – the refresh rate, specifically.
The conclusion is to buy according to your needs and priorities. A television or a monitor can be better depending on your circumstances . In my case, I have gone with a computer monitor since I only game, watch Netflix and Amazon Video.