Using a TV Screen as a Monitor

If you are considering using a TV screen as a computer monitor, you should be aware that TVs and monitors have been designed for different purposes.

TV Screens vs Computer Monitors

TVs are designed for viewing experiences and therefore can be super bright and full of vibrant colors. Computer monitors on the other hand are made for extended usage at an up-close distance. Therefore, their colors are toned down and don’t get too bright in order to be easier on your eyes.

The problem with TVs

If you use a TV as a monitor, it would most likely be a temporary affair or for emergency purposes. This is because the contrast is high and all the vibrant greens, reds, and yellows, will strain your eyes rather quickly. This is especially true if you are using the TV screen up close. Remember how yo mama used to say “Dont sit too close to the TV!”. Now you are deliberately doing it and beginning to understand why.

TV Screen as monitor
A TV can work as a very bright monitor

How to properly use a TV as a monitor

The only way you can practically use a TV screen as a monitor is by sitting far away from it. Get yourself a long HDMI or display cable and hook up your laptop or PC to the screen sitting at least six feet away from it, the same distance you would sit at when watching TV.

For this to be effective, the TV should be rather large and you can comfortably read text or this article at a distance. If you are using a small TV, say about 17 inches or less, then you will have to sit up close in order to read anything.

Given the above concerns about TV screens, you can still use them as monitors but will have to tweak the picture or display settings a bit if you plan to use it extensively. Specifically, you will have to tone down the brightness and contrast, and the color temperature. Most modern LCD TV’s come with display presets such as dynamic, Cinema, Sports, Warm, Soft etc. I found that for the “Soft” setting works best for this situation.

Soft display setting for using a TV screen as a monitor
Soft Display settings on a TV is causes less strain on the eyes

In conclusion, its okay to use an LCD TV screen as a monitor, though you have to either:

  • Tone down the colors and brightness for up close usage
  • Keep it far away from your eyes
  • Use it in a well lit room so that you are not focusing on the brightest object

If you use the TV as is, chances are that your eyes will get tired very quickly and you wont even need to read this article to decide whether it was a good or a bad idea.

Bonus Material

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Export a Pages document to PDF

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How to measure length using an iphone

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