Trending February 2024 # Upgrading To A 4K Monitor: Enjoy Retina Quality Graphics On An External Display # Suggested March 2024 # Top 2 Popular

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As many of you know, I’m rocking a 13″ Retina MacBook Pro, and I love it. The screen is killer, it’s fairly fast, and it’s portable.

But as I begin to take on more “intense” projects, I’m starting to realize that I simply don’t have enough screen real estate to be the most productive I can be. I need an external monitor.

The problem is, and if you’re a current Retina MacBook owner you’ve no doubt faced a similar conundrum, most of the popular external displays pale in comparison to the Retina display. Even Apple’s mighty Thunderbolt Display, with its 27″ screen and 2560×1440 native resolution, looks downright grainy when placed side-by-side with the Retina screen of a MacBook Pro.

So what to do? You could hold off until Apple finally decides it wants to get with the program and offer a Retina capable Thunderbolt Display, or…or…or! You could get a ultra-HD 4K capable monitor right now and enjoy a “Retina” experience.

That’s exactly what I decided to do. Inside, I’ll break down some of the pluses and minuses of my latest pickup, Dell’s ($799 on Amazon) 24″ ultra-HD display, the UP2414Q.

To enjoy a Retina quality experience on an external display, an ultra-HD 4K monitor with a 3840×2160 native resolution is the very least that you’ll want to opt for, because it means that you’ll get 1080p resolution while running in pixel-doubled HiDPI “Retina” mode. All you need to do is divide the native resolution of the monitor by two on each axis, that is 3840/2 = 1920 and 2160/2 = 1080. So a 4K display will give you the working space of a 1080p monitor, while enjoying extremely sharp Retina assets for fonts and for graphics. It works out pretty well.

One could argue that 1920×1080 is not enough working real estate, but at this stage in the game, it’s the only viable solution if you want a true Retina quality experience. To enjoy the same sort of resolution that the Thunderbolt Display provides and have Retina mode enabled at the same time, you’d need a 5120 (2560×2) x 2880 (1440×2) native display. To my knowledge, no such thing exists as of yet, but if anyone was going to break that barrier, it would probably be Apple. In fact, Apple has already released assets with that exact resolution, hinting at least the thought of a 27″ Retina display, which would, admittedly, be amazing!

But until Apple decides to bless us with something incredible like a Retina Thunderbolt Display, the best option we have is an ultra-HD 4K monitor running in Retina mode with 1920×1080 resolution. When you think about it, that’s still not too shabby.

Consider Apple’s largest Retina display, the 15″ MacBook Pro. That display features a 2880×1800 native resolution panel. That means that in Retina mode, the available resolution is 1440×900. That pales in comparison to the available resolution of an ultra-HD 4K monitor’s 1920×1080, even though the MacBook’s screen features a higher DPI (220.53 versus 183.58) rating. This means that even though an ultra-HD monitor is probably not what Apple has in mind when it comes to a full sized Retina screen, it still looks amazing, and will be a significant compliment to any 13″ or 15″ Retina display found in Apple’s MacBook line.

The UP2414Q

So that takes us to the actual monitor that I decided to go with, Dell’s 24″ 4K ultra-HD display, the UP2414Q. Despite the fact that its a company best-known for making PC’s, Dell has a really good track record for making high quality displays. Many professional graphic designers rely on its UltraSharp line of displays for work, as they feature the color accuracy, contrast, and other particulars that professionals need to do their jobs well.

I’m far from a professional when it comes to doing things like color grading, or anything that requires a high amount of display integrity and accuracy. But regardless of that, it’s satisfying to know that I’m getting top-flight product. Dell even pre-calibrates its high-end monitors, including the UP2414Q, before they leave the warehouse. This ensures that you receive a display that’s largely ready to go, even if you’re a professional.

Unboxing and interfaces

I didn’t do an unboxing video, but the UP2414Q was packed in a thoughtful way so as to prevent it from being damaged. Dell uses a combination of foam and cardboard pieces to keep the monitor and stand from shifting around in the box during the shipment process. It also includes enough protective layers of thin styrofoam to prevent scratches on the screen.

The display comes with two main components—the stand and the display itself. The stand is a heavy-duty piece of aluminum that instills confidence in its ability to securely hold the 24″ display. It’s not at the obsessive level of Apple polish, but it’s close. Save for a few seams and a plastic piece that’s largely hidden on the stem of the stand, the build quality is outstanding.

The display attaches to the stand without the need for any tools. It locks into place and can be easily removed using a quick-release button on the rear of the display. For those of you interested in mounting the monitor on a  third-party stand or wall mount, you’ll be happy to know that standard VESA holes are included for easy mounting.

One of my favorite things about Apple’s Thunderbolt Display is that it’s actually two devices in one: it’s a high quality display, and it’s also a thunderbolt hub for your Mac. In other words, you can connect it to a single Thunderbolt cable running from your Mac, which will allow you to interface with other devices connected to the other ports on the display itself. This means that you can connect keyboards, external sound cards, and even Gigabit ethernet directly to the display, and your Mac will interface with those devices via Thunderbolt. It also means that you can easily daisy chain additional Thunderbolt devices from the display itself i.e. RAID arrays or an additional Thunderbolt display.

The UP2414Q doesn’t feature a Thunderbolt dock, which is kind of a bummer, but it has the next best thing. On the back of the display is a USB 3.0 uplink port that can be used to connect to your Mac. This uplink cable functions similarly to the Thunderbolt cable connected to a Thunderbolt Display. It means that you can connect additional devices directly to the Dell display, and interface with them from your Mac. Now you can leave your keyboard, external Hard Drive, and other devices connected to the display and instantly connect to them all via a single USB cable connected to your Mac.

Of course, USB 3.0 doesn’t provide the same throughput as Thunderbolt 2.0. The majority of USB interfaces also lack the daisy chain ability present with Thunderbolt. But I think that most will find that USB 3.0 is good enough, and it’s much more flexible and ubiquitous than Thunderbolt.

One of the ports that you won’t find on the Dell display is an audio output port of any kind. I don’t expect a monitor like this to feature built-in speakers, in fact, I’m glad it doesn’t. What I would like to see, however, is the ability to draw audio out of the HDMI connection and forward that to an external source. As it stands now, there’s no way to get the audio sent through HDMI back out of the display once it has been routed there. For gamers, this can be a real bummer, especially if you own a console like the WiiU with no native method for routing high definition audio from its source.

The 30Hz conundrum

I connected my 13″ Retina MacBook Pro to the UP2414Q using the included DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable. The display immediately detected my connection, and configured the output to 1920×1080 in HiDPI mode. This means that I was able to get Retina quality graphics on screen at a 1920×1080 resolution.

Unfortunately, as mentioned, the Late 2013 13″ Retina MacBook Pro lacks the bandwidth necessary to output 4K video at 60Hz. While 30Hz is passable for some tasks, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss the buttery smoothness of 60Hz, which basically equals 60 FPS. For that reason, if you’re a gamer, playing games on a the 13″ Retina MacBook over 4K is pretty much unplayable. Even if you aren’t a gamer, you will notice that the display refresh rate is below what you’re used to on a computer monitor. I found that my eyes started to dry out after prolonged use, and it even resulted in headaches. The screen looks amazing—this is truly a Retina capable external display—but the hardware pushing the pixels has a limitation that is bothersome.

With all of this in mind, I went ahead and traded in my 13″ Retina for the 15″ version. The Late 2013 15″ MacBook Pro can handle 4K video at 60Hz courtesy of its Iris Pro on board graphics. If you’re interested in running a 4K monitor, make sure that your hardware can support 60Hz. It’s just not worth the trouble otherwise.

Display Quality

This is where the UP2414Q really shines. For starters, the screen is an IPS display, the same type of display tech that Apple employs in all of its products, including the Thunderbolt Display. IPS ensure that you can view the screen with accuracy from wide viewing angles. You can find some cheaper 4K monitors out there, but the cheap monitors will almost always have major tradeoffs. A cheaper price will usually yield a non-IPS TN panel, which is good for reducing input lag for gaming, but has serious faults with viewing angles and color accuracy. You may even find some cheap monitors that max out at 30Hz, which is a definite no-no. TN panels may be a personal preference, but no one in their right mind would buy a monitor that maxes out at 30Hz. Please do you research before pulling the trigger.

There’s also the matte anti glare finish that the display sports. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of shiny reflective displays, but my eyes are thanking me that I no longer have to contend with reflections all day as I work.

Most importantly, I just want to emphasize how good it feels to have a Retina quality display that’s this big. Enjoying a screen with clarity similar to the Retina MacBook Pro is a real treat.

Conclusion

If you have the means and you have the hardware that can push a 4k display at 60Hz, then I recommend the UP2414Q. It’s a high quality display that’s factory calibrated for color accuracy, and it gives you the Retina experience that’s so hard to deviate from once you’ve experienced it.

If you’re looking for a good 4K monitor, then you will not be disappointed with the UP2414Q. It’s a monitor that I plan on using for years to come. Unless, of course, Apple drops the aforementioned 5120×2880 Thunderbolt Display they’ve been rumored to be working on.

Good

Tons of real estate in native ultra-HD mode

Awesome clarity in HiDPI full-HD mode

High quality aluminum stand that tilts, rotates, and rises

Screen rotates 90 degrees

USB 3.0 Hub with 3 USB ports

SD Card slot

Easy to use OSD

IPS monitor with wide viewing angles

4K @60Hz

Anti-glare screen

Factory calibrated out of the box

Bad

Pricey

A bit on the thick side

Small size may not satisfy some

No audio output

HDMI 1.4 only

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How To Use Your Ipad With An External Display

You can connect your iPad to other bigger displays such as a computer monitor to increase productivity and view content on a larger screen. This tutorial shows you how to use your iPad apps on another display or simply mirror your iPad to that bigger screen.

Use your iPad with a monitor and Stage Manager

You can connect your iPad Air (5th gen or later), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd gen or later), and iPad Pro 12-inch (5th gen or later) to up to a 6K display and use your iPad apps on it. This is not just screen mirroring but using iPad apps on the display as a second extended screen.

Here’s how to use your iPad like a computer on an external display:

1) Connect a mouse or trackpad to your iPad. You can also connect a keyboard if you need to type anything. Don’t have a spare mouse and keyboard? Wirelessly use your Mac’s keyboard, mouse, or trackpad on your iPad.

2) Open the iPad Control Center and make sure Stage Center is enabled. Note that you can use iPad apps on the connected display even when Stage Manager is off!

3) Place your iPad in landscape orientation on a stand or cover.

4) Connect your iPad (models mentioned above) to your display using a USB-C cable. If your monitor doesn’t support USB-C, you will have to use an appropriate cable and USB-C hub.

5) Switch to the right input source on your monitor. For example, I connect my iPad to my monitor with a USB-C cable; thus, I select USB-C as the source on my monitor instead of HDMI.

6) You should now see your iPad screen on the monitor. It’s most likely mirroring the same content as your iPad screen on the second display.

Your monitor will show everything exactly as your iPad’s screen. However, when you use apps like YouTube on your iPad, it will automatically AirPlay the video to the connected monitor. Apps like Netflix that block AirPlay will play on your iPad screen and not the monitor. And productivity apps like Keynote will recognize your monitor as a second display and behave accordingly.

8) Turn off Mirror Display and tap Set.

Note: Be aware of how your iPad is positioned relative to the monitor. It will help you move the mouse cursor from your iPad screen to your monitor (Step 9 below). For example, if your monitor is above the iPad (as shown in the screenshot above), dragging the mouse pointer up from the top edge of your iPad screen will take the pointer to your second display. Similarly, if you drag the iPad thumbnail (in the screenshot above) and place it to the right, you will have to drag your iPad mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen to push it to the monitor. It’s a simple thing, and you will understand it during use.

After you turn off Mirror Screen in iPad display settings, you will see an empty Mac-like desktop screen on your monitor with a Dock at the bottom. Here’s how it looks:

9) Drag your mouse (connected to the iPad) to your external display.

10) Now, you can open apps from the Dock or App Library on the monitor.

You can use other apps on your iPad screen at the same time.

Now, let’s go over some handy things you can do with your iPad apps on the connected display.

Move files

You can copy something from an app that’s open on your iPad’s built-in screen and paste it into an app that’s open on your bigger display.

Change app window size

Place the pointer on one of the four app window edges and drag to adjust the size.

Enter full screen

Method 1: Put the pointer on one of the app window corners and drag it all the way down until the Stage Manager sidebar and bottom Dock hide and your app enters full-screen mode.

Create and use app sets

When you’re using your iPad, you can open two apps in Split View or Slide Over and use them simultaneously.

But using app sets, you can have two or more app windows on the screen at the same time and switch between them. You can also drag & drop files, like drag an image from the Photos app and drop it on the compose email window of the Mail app.

Two ways to create app sets on iPad when using it on a second display

Method 2: With one app open on the screen, drag another app icon or tile from the left Stage Manager thumbnail, Dock, or App Library.

Note: In my testing, I found that one app can not be a part of two app sets at the same time: For example, if the Photos app is already a part of an app set, and you create another app set by dragging the Photos app icon over another app, the Photos app will stop being a part of the previous app set.

To stop using the app set:

Drag one app window all the way to the left Stage Manager sidebar to remove it from the app set.

Or, move the app back to your iPad screen.

Move apps from iPad screen to the display and vice versa

On iPad: Tap the three dots icon for an app window visible on your iPad’s display and tap Move to Display.

Hide Stage Manager sidebar and Dock from showing on the connected display

If you don’t want to have the Stage Manager sidebar occupy your screen area, you can hide it and then have your app(s) windows use the full-display real estate. Here’s how:

Open the Settings app on your iPad or the connected display.

Tap the External Display tab.

Uncheck Recent Apps to hide it.

Similarly, you can uncheck Dock to remove it (but I do not recommend doing this, as it makes it harder to use all apps).

Extend your iPad screen to another TV, projector, or display

AirPlay your iPad display to your Mac or Apple TV

Don’t see your Mac or TV under the Screen Mirroring option? Perform these checks to fix the issue:

1) Make sure your display (Mac, Apple TV, or AirPlay screen) and iPad are on the same Wi-Fi network.

2) Make sure AirPlay is enabled for the receiver display:

Third-party AirPlay TVs: You may have to enable AirPlay from the TV settings or open an AirPlay receiver app on the smart TV.

3) If nothing helps, restart your iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, and retry.

Check out next:

Deals: Ipad Air From $559, Retina 4K 21

Today’s best deals include the latest iPad Air from $559, plus you can save on Retina iMacs, and previous-generation MacBooks. Head below for all of our top picks in the latest 9to5Toys Lunch Break.

Latest iPad Air from Apple drops to $559

Amazon offers Apple’s latest 10.9-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 64GB for $559. That’s a $40 savings from the regular going rate, down $10 from our previous mention, and matching Black Friday 2023.

With a redesigned casing, Apple’s latest iPad Air packs a 10.9-inch edge-to-edge screen equipped with True Tone support. Everything is powered by a new A14 Bionic processor, with Touch ID making a return in the power button alongside USB-C charging and support for the second-generation Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard. 

Save $120 on Apple’s latest 21-inch Retina 4K iMac

Amazon currently offers Apple’s latest 21.5-inch Retina 4K iMac i5 3.0GHz/8GB/256GB for $1,379. Down from its $1,499 going rate, you’re saving $120 here with today’s offer beating our previous mention by $20 and marking a new all-time low. Apple’s latest 21-inch iMac is an ideal machine for handling schoolwork, light content creation, and much more with its Retina 4K display and AMD Radeon Pro 560X graphics. You can also count on plenty of I/O, like two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB-A slots, and Gigabit Ethernet on top of 256GB of SSD storage.

B&H clears out previous-gen. MacBook Air and Pro models

B&H is clearing out previous-generation MacBook inventory from Apple with various all-time lows on different models. Our top pick is the 2024 13-inch MacBook Air with 512GB of storage for $999. That’s a $300 savings from the original price, $100 better than our previous mention, and the best we’ve tracked. While newer MacBooks featuring Apple’s M1 chip are certainly worth a look, this is a great option if you want to stick with Intel’s hardware for the time being. This rings particularly true if you’re in Adobe’s suite of software or just want the extra storage at a notable discount. You’ll also find Thunderbolt 3 ports here along with Apple’s redesigned keyboard, and more. 

SanDisk’s 2TB Extreme Portable USB-C SSD falls to new low of $174

Amazon offers the SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable USB-C Solid-State Drive for $174. Usually fetching $230, today’s offer is good for a 25% price cut, beats our previous mention by $26, and marks a new Amazon all-time low. SanDisk’s portable SSD sports up to 550MB/s transfer speeds, thanks to the built-in USB-C connectivity that makes it perfect for Mac or iPad Pro users looking to add some extra storage into the mix. Its lightweight design is also backed by added water- and dust resistance for extra peace of mind when thrown in your backpack. 

Plugable’s new 14-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock hits $219

Plugable via Amazon offers its new 14-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock for $219. Usually fetching $299, today’s offer saves you 27%, beats the launch pricing by $30, and marks a new all-time low. With support for 100W charging, this Thunderbolt 3 dock from Plugable elevates your workstation with an arsenal of 14 ports. On top of two HDMI and DisplayPort outputs for driving two 4K 60Hz displays, there’s also SD card readers, six USB 3.0 slots, and a USB-C port on the front to complete the package. It also works in both vertical or horizontal configurations to fit into a variety of setups.

Best trade-in deals

9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device. Or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way!

Subscribe to the 9to5Toys YouTube Channel for all of the latest videos, reviews, and more!

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Poor Studio Display Webcam Quality Is A Software Bug That’ll Get Fixed Soon

Early reviews have singled out unexpected quality problems with the Studio Display webcam, but Apple says a software fix is coming soon.

Apple’s new Studio Display will start shipping in less than 24 hours. Early reviews are in agreement that the Studio Display is a more or less fine monitor despite not having such features as ProMotion and HDR (especially given the $1,599 price).

Most reviewers have panned the poor webcam quality of the Studio Display, which is strange considering that features like the built-in camera for video calls or a powerful speaker system are supposed to win over would-be shoppers.

Apple has issued a statement clarifying that the webcam quality issue is a software problem that’ll get fixed with a future firmware update rather than an engineering error that might even require a product recall.

A fix is coming for poor Studio Display webcam issues

The “ultimate video conferencing display,” as Apple is calling its $1,599 5K Retina monitor, is not so impressive when you consider quality issues with the built-in webcam. Early reviews from The Wall Street Journal, The Verge and other publications have criticized the camera for its surprisingly poor image quality.

After sending sample images in various lighting conditions to Apple, The Verge was told by a company spokesperson that the team had “looked into the images you shared and discovered an issue where the system is not behaving as expected,” adding that Apple will be making unspecified improvements “in a software update.”

Apple gave the same statement to The Wall Street Journal, Gizmodo and others.

What are reviewers saying?

Despite having the 12-megapixel sensor and being paired to Apple’s A13 Bionic chip, the integrated web camera “consistently produced grainy and washed-out images,” Joanna Stern noted in her review for The Wall Street Journal.

For confirmation, I again brought in extra eyes. I recorded footage from webcams on the Studio Display (12 megapixel), an iPhone 11 Pro (12 megapixel), a 14-inch MacBook Pro (2 megapixel) and the 5K LG monitor (2 megapixel). I shared frames with a group of colleagues, without saying which came from which. The group was unanimous, ranking the Apple Studio Display’s webcam dead last. Naturally, the iPhone came in first.

The Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel has found the built-in camera to produce images that look “awful in good light and downright miserable in low light.”

I’ve tried it connected to the Mac Studio and on my MacBook Pro running macOS 12.3, and on both machines, it produces a grainy, noisy image with virtually no detail. I tried it in FaceTime, in Zoom, in Photo Booth, in QuickTime — you name it, it’s the same sad image quality. Turning off the Center Stage feature that follows you around the room doesn’t help. Turning portrait mode on and off doesn’t help.

Keys features of the Studio Display

One of the key features of the Studio Display is its camera in the top bezel rocking a twelve-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, which allows it to support Apple’s Center Stage feature. With Center Stage, available in FaceTime and other compatible video apps, machine learning analyses footage to apply crops and zooms in real-time to keep everyone in the frame. Read: Apple Studio FAQ: Everything you need to know

Bluetooth Is Not Available On This Device, Please Try Using An External Adapter

Some users are noticing that the Bluetooth toggle is missing from their computers. The following error message pops up when they ran the Windows built-in Bluetooth Troubleshooter.

Device does not have Bluetooth. Bluetooth is not available on this device. Please try using an external adapter to add Bluetooth capability to this computer.

In this post, we are going to resolve this issue using some very simple solutions. So, let us go to the troubleshooting guide and start executing some solutions.

Why does my PC say Bluetooth is not available on this device?

Usually, when your PC fails to detect Bluetooth hardware, it says “Bluetooth is not available on this device”. This happens if the driver is missing or Bluetooth just fails to register itself or if your system files are corrupted. Whatever the case is, the good news is, that it can be resolved. Hereinafter, we have mentioned some solutions that will help you in resolving this issue.

Device does not have Bluetooth; Bluetooth is not available on this device

If you are seeing a “Bluetooth is not available on this device, Please try using an external adapter” error, then try the following solutions.

Turn off Fast Startup

Check if the Bluetooth driver is available

Update Windows and Bluetooth Driver

Restart Bluetooth Support Driver

Run SFC and DISM

Repair your OS using Installation Media

Let us talk about them in detail.

1] Turn off Fast Startup

Let us start by disabling Fast Startup from the Control Panel. Fast Startup can sometimes prevent Bluetooth from getting installed. So, let us go ahead and disable the feature and see if that works. Follow the given steps to do the same.

Open Control Panel.

Change View by to Large icons.

Untick Turn on Fast Startup.

Hopefully, this will do the job for you.

2] Check if the Bluetooth driver is available

3] Update Windows and Bluetooth Driver

Now, let us go ahead and try updating your Operating System. You can go to Windows Update (Windows 11) or Update & Security (Windows 10) and then check for updates. Once you have installed the latest version of Windows, let us try updating your drivers.

In case the driver is available, then you should update it and see if that works. Following are some of the methods to update your Bluetooth driver.

After updating your driver check if the Bluetooth is working.

4] Restart Bluetooth Support Service

The issue can be caused due to some kind of glitch in the Bluetooth Support Service that’s present on your computer. We need to restart the service and see if that helps. Follow the given steps to do the same.

Open Services by searching it out from the Start Menu.

Now, go ahead and check if Bluetooth is available.

5] Run SFC and DISM

You may also find yourself facing this issue if your system files are corrupted. There are various reasons that can corrupt your system, but we are not going to talk about them, we will be seeing how you can fix them. To do the same, first, we will be running System File Checker or SFC command in the elevated mode of Command Prompt.

Open Command Prompt as an administrator and run the following command.

sfc /scannow

If this doesn’t work we will run DISM in Command Prompt (admin) and see if that helps.

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Once the process is completed, Restart your PC. Hopefully, this will do the job for you.

Read: DISM vs SFC first? What should I run first on Windows 11/10?

6] Repair your OS using Installation Media

If SFC and DISM are unable to help try using Windows Installation Media to repair Windows to do the same. Once you have repaired using this tool, Bluetooth should start working again on your system.

Hopefully, you can resolve the issue using these solutions.

How do I add Bluetooth to my computer with an external adapter?

Also Read: Bluetooth devices not showing or connecting in Windows.

Using A Pc Gaming Monitor On A Console: Pros And Cons

Modern gaming consoles have standard HDMI ports on the back. Modern computer monitors also have the same ports. So what’s stopping you from hooking up your console to a computer monitor instead of a TV? 

The answer is “nothing”, but choosing a computer monitor does involve a few sacrifices you should be aware of. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each option to help you pick the console gaming monitor that’s right for you.

Table of Contents

What’s the Difference Between a Monitor and a TV?

Fundamentally there’s no difference between an LCD computer monitor and TV. OLED TVs are their own thing, but OLED computer monitors do exist, although they are chúng tôi you plug your console into either, you’ll get a picture. Job done, right? Not quite.

TVs are built for a different purpose than monitors. They don’t focus on the same image quality aspects as a computer monitor does. The most important difference is that modern televisions tend to do quite a lot of image post-processing.

This means that the hardware inside the TV looks at the incoming image signal and tries to enhance it. Often to make up for poor native panel performance. However, any processing takes up time. This creates time lag (latency) between the point the signal arrives at the TV’s input and its display on screen.

This doesn’t matter at all when it comes to watching Netflix or a BluRay movie. Since you passively consume it. Video games are different, you send commands via a controller and the game world responds on-screen. Any delay between those two things happening can seriously affect gameplay. Making the game feel sluggish and unresponsive.

To combat this, most modern TVs have some sort of PC or game mode, which strips away post-processing in order to reduce lag. Of course, without that processing the image doesn’t look as nice!

In the end, there are so many TV and monitor models and so much overlap in their features and technology, that it’s hard to make a universal comparison. However, you should know that monitors are not just small TVs. They really are different.

The Advantages of Using a TV With Your Console

TVs have larger screens.

All TVs have built-in sound.

Offer an effortless plug-and-play solution.

Gaming from the couch in the living room is more comfortable.

High-end TVs such as OLEDs are unmatched for gaming experience.

You probably already have a TV, so it represents no additional cost.

Big is beautiful! If you’re lucky enough to have one of the latest OLED or high-end LCD 4K TV sets it can make your gaming experience something else. Even if you’re a lifelong PC gamer you can hook up your PC to that big old TV and benefit from the immersion. Sometimes, quantity has a quality all its own.

Going the traditional route and using a TV as a console gaming monitor does have some drawbacks. Although most people will probably be just fine with a TV setup alongside their console, here are some reasons you might consider choosing the alternative:

TVs take up a ton of space.

Large format TVs are expensive.

TVs with high-end features such as variable refresh rates and high frame rates are even more expensive.

Gaming in a shared family space isn’t always ideal.

Usually TVs are shared with other family members.

TVs can suffer from severe input lag if you buy the wrong model or look bad when running in game mode.

You’re paying for a bunch of hardware and inputs you don’t need if you only want to play games.

The biggest weakness of TVs comes from the fact that they are built to be general-purpose displays. A jack of all trades, but master of none. Unless you’re willing to pay a large amount of money to get something that is exceptional at everything.

The Advantages of Using a Monitor With Your Console

If you’re wondering what’s so great about using a PC monitor as your console gaming monitor, we’ve got a few key things for you to consider:

It allows for a private and compact gaming space in your bedroom, dorm or study.

If your monitor has multiple inputs, you can share the screen between a console and PC.

If you’re interested in high refresh rate gaming at resolutions lower than 4K, a monitor is the cheapest way to achieve that.

Sitting close to a monitor mitigates the size difference compared to a TV.

Modern consoles support a mouse and keyboard on some games, a desk is a much better solution in that case.

You can use your controller wired to the console. No more battery anxiety!

Offers lagless gaming with lower response times.

PC gamers are perfectly happy with the experience sitting at a desk and if you’re OK with playing your console in such a space then a monitor is a good option.

The list of cons for monitors are displays for gaming consoles is perhaps a little longer than the pros, but not all of these will apply to every gaming monitor, so make sure you know whether your specific monitor will run into some of the problems mentioned here:

Gaming consoles aren’t currently compatible with any monitor which doesn’t have a 16:9 aspect ratio. It will probably work, but you’ll have significant black bars on the tops or sides of the image.

Some consoles, such as the PlayStation 5, don’t currently support a 1440p resolution while the Xbox does. This might change in a future PlayStation firmware update.

If you want 4K and 120Hz support, you’ll have to find a computer monitor with HDMI 2.1. TVs face the same problem.

Most monitors do not have built-in speakers. So you’ll have to connect speakers to their audio-out if they have one. Of course, Many consoles support Bluetooth audio or let you plug headphones in the controllers.

If you go along with these limitations, then you’ll probably be happy using a monitor with your console.

Which Choice is Right For You?

Neither a TV or monitor as a console gaming monitor is objectively better than the other. Each is just fit for another purpose. Work according to your budget and the amount of space you have available. Try to balance your need for image quality, screen size and refresh rate. Then decide whether a monitor or television best serves your needs.

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