Should I Use a TV for Gaming?

One of the big question I get from gamers is ‘should I use a TV or a monitor for gaming’? It must be a big question in the gaming community because if you Google ‘play video games on TV or monitor’ there are over 11 million results.

Many from gaming forums.

Most have traditionally used a computer monitor for gaming. So the real question they are asking is ‘should I move to a TV for playing video games’?

The short answer, in my opinion, is ‘Yes’

The rise of HDTVs have blurred the line between computer monitors and flat screen TV displays. This makes modern televisions an attractive alternative to a computer monitor.

What avid gamer wouldn’t want to play their favorite console games on a display more twice the size?

I may know something about gaming, but with the ever evolving HDTV technology, I’m not an expert of televisions. If your serious about getting a huge TV for a gaming display, I’ll refer you to an excellent guide on how to find the best tv for gaming at CurvedView.com

So you want a big immersive gaming experience today. Here’s why you might consider going with a TV instead of a computer display.

The Price of the Big HDTVs

There are 4K TVs that Cost Less than their Equivalent Monitor

4K HDTVs are the hot item right now, and they’re much cheaper per square-inch than 4K computer displays. Thanks to tough competition, prices for 4K TVs are falling quickly.

Companies like Vizio are driving the prices down, with their M-Series and D-Series line of 4K TVs.

The M-Series offers a nice bundle of technology. The Vizio M-Series features full-array LED backlighting, which helps with black levels by individually turning off zones. It also has a refresh rate of 120Hz, which should help with FPS games.

The M-Series features a 6-core ARM processor, built in 802.11ac wireless, and comes with smart TV apps including Hulu and Netflix.

TVs for gaming can deliver a more immersive experience

TVs for gaming can deliver a more immersive experience

Size is Everything

You can remain in the 20-something inch monitor universe, but why stay small when you can go big? Size is a big part of the immersive gaming experience.

Bigger, by itself, doesn’t always mean better. If you go with a big HDTV display, you might not get the response rate you want for competitive FPS gaming.

That’s why it is important to familiarize yourself with all the specifications and features that you need to consider. See the above mentioned guide.

I recommend going with something within the 40 inch to 50 inch range. It’s big enough to be more immersive and provide more details, but not to big so that your head is on a swivel checking the different views.

We don’t want any neck injuries here.

Resolution: I Can See Clearly Now

As computer monitors go, we often find that using very high DPI displays at small sizes makes items virtually unreadable. Text and controls becomes ultra small, and you’ll be squinting a lot unless your OS is Hi-DPI aware. Windows is slowly getting better at handling high-DPI displays, but it is still not the great at it.

4K televisions make excellent stand in’s for a computer monitor. With the enhanced pixels of 4K, straining your eyes to monitor the field and read displays is a thing of the past.

So What’s the Downside of 4K TVs

There are some potential downsides.

First, there’s currently no G-Sync or FreeSync enabled TVs. At 4K, FreeSync and G-Sync become really helpful if your gaming console can’t quite keep up the 60Hz.

Second, you can’t pivot a TV the way you can with a computer display. Your going to have to be okay with your display being mounted horizontal.

Last, if your display goes big, it means it will take up a lot of room. With a 40″ to 50″ screen, you are either going to have to mount it on a wall or get a big enough desk or table to stand it on.

If after considering the pros and cons you’ve decided to get a 4K HDTV for your gaming display, here are some tips to getting the most from your new technology.

Gaming TV Tips and Tricks

Connectivity

Most modern video cards have an HDMI output. This is the easiest way by far to connect a computer to a TV. The newer video cards even output audio over HDMI, allowing single-cable hookup.

Any HDMI cable will work, and most new video cards come with an adapter to go from their Micro-HDMI output to a normal HDMI connector.

There’s no point in outputting a game in a higher or lower resolution than your TV can handle. Forcing your TV to scale resolutions will almost certainly result in poor graphics or a slow gaming experience.

If you’re using HDMI, your computer or gaming console and TV should communicate properly. It’s still best to check the TV resolution and make sure it is set to the resolution your gaming console or computer outputs.

4K gaming tvs

Higher resolutions of a 4K TV can deliver finer gaming details

If you’re not sure what your computer, gaming console or TV’s native resolution is, a simple Google search of the model number should give you the answer.

Slightly older video cards have DVI. This larger connector uses the same video transmission tech as HDMI, but lacks audio. You’ll need audio cables to run from your PC to TV.

If your gaming console or computer doesn’t have HDMI or DVI, it will likely have VGA (RGB-PC) analog outputs. The trick is finding a 4K TV with RGB-PC inputs. If your TV doesn’t have them, you’re out of luck. There are a few converter boxes out there, but they’re not cheap.

RGB-PC is an old-school computer monitor connection,and you shouldn’t still be using it. It will work, but rarely does it look as good as DVI or HDMI. Fine details can blur, making it hard to read.

One last tip for avid video gamers. Running modern games at 1080p is quite taxing for the entire system. You might suffer from choppy frame rates and stuttering for a sloppy screen image.

You can either reduce the resolution of the game or turn off some of the unnecessary image processing defaults of your TV.

The graphics and details of today’s games are getting more and more detailed. Being forced to watch it all on a tiny screen seems needlessly constricting. Using a large TV screen as a monitor is easy, and – especially with gaming – can be awesome

Are you going to move to a big screen 1080p or 4K HDTV? Have you already made the switch from a computer monitor to HDTV? What do you consider to be the best TV for gaming right now? Leave your thoughts and views in the comments below.

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