4K or Ultra HD TVs are very popular these days. TVs generally focus on image quality and come with integrated speakers and connectivity ports. Monitors focus on the display’s refresh rate for the smooth and lag-free gaming experience.
While selecting TVs there are a lot of things to consider such as TV supported resolution, type of panel (IPS, LED, OLED, etc.), refresh rates, etc. Usually, TVs offer dual purpose like you can use it as regular TV as well as a monitor but vice versa is not always preferable. TVs offer better viewing angles but there is so much of an input lag when you connect peripheral devices.
See also: Things to consider when buying a new TV
Important things to know
A serious problem is when you want to use your monitor for gaming and video editing at very high resolution because those things are possible with smooth displays (high refresh rates such as 120 Hz, 144 Hz, and 240 Hz) not with nice display technology. Also, most of the 4K televisions are HDR (High Definition Range) compatible but only a few monitors do support that. Connecting a TV is very similar to that of a monitor except a few more things are needed for attaining optimal performance. Firstly, an HDMI cable is necessary. One big difference is that monitors support several numbers of ports like HDMI, Display Port, Mini Display Port, and more recently, USB-C.
Another important thing is that your computer and TV must support 4K at 60 Hz through an HDMI output. This is possible if you use HDMI 2.0, so make sure you use that. You may also opt for 4K at 30 Hz, but it will be a bad experience when you have already experienced a 60 Hz refresh rate. When you connect DisplayPort and HDMI, you also make sure that the adapter supports 4K at 60 Hz. For connecting Mini Display Port and HDMI there are a number of adapters available and all of them support 1080p at 60 Hz with some exceptions that can work in 4K at 30 Hz resolution. When you use USB-C, the dongle must be compatible with your laptop too, so keep this in mind.
Setup 4K TV as a monitor
When you have the necessary connectors mentioned above, the next step is to configure the 4K TV and your PC. Firstly, from your TV make sure that the screen is optimized so that you will experience minimal input lag. This can be done by simply switching to PC or Game mode that scale the resolution to 4K at 60 Hz. Cable quality is of prime importance since some TVs may experience less input lag when using only certain HDMI ports and even sometimes by just turning off the HDR option. Settings you can change in the monitor is usually applied to a single input source. So, be aware of that. When plugged in, your computer will automatically use it as the default settings, and you are ready to go.
Configure your PC
The following are the steps for Windows 10 PC:
- Right-click your mouse from desktop and click the Display Settings option.
- Set the resolution to 4K (3840 x 2160).
- If you notice some screen lag, go to Display Adapter Properties available at the bottom of the same window.
- In the new window that pops up, scroll to the ‘monitor’ option and select 60Hz as the refresh rate. If there is no 60 Hz option in it, maybe your adapter or your computer doesn’t support it.
So that’s it, now you are good to go. This is the dual advantage of 4K TVs. You can enjoy your day to day High Definition contents with a crisp quality screen and in the meantime, you can use it for weekend gaming as well.