HDTV Vs. PC Monitor

By Scott Eilers

High-definition televisions (HDTVs) and computer monitors generally are similar in terms of inputs, resolution and overall picture quality. The primary difference between the two is available sizes and the lack of a TV tuner in computer monitors.


Generally speaking, computer monitors support a wider array of resolutions than HDTVs, which support standard definition (640X480) and one or two resolutions of high definition, depending on the specific set (1280X720 and sometimes 1920X1080). Most monitors support all of these resolutions, as well as several settings in-between. Some monitors allow for even higher resolutions than 1920X1080.


PC monitors may have any combination of HDMI, DVI, S-Video, and VGA inputs, although the HDMI inputs generally lack the ability to process an audio signal unless the monitor has integrated speakers. HDTVs may have all of the above inputs as well as coaxial, composite, component and designated audio inputs.


PC monitors generally come in sizes ranging from 15 to 24 inches, with a select few larger models offered. HDTVs can range in size from 9 to more than 70 inches, making them a more suitable choice for longer viewing distances.


PC monitors lack a designated TV tuner, meaning that they cannot decode a television broadcast signal without an external tuner box. Some, but not all, HDTVs contain an integrated TV tuner that allows for the reception of TV broadcasts.