Question: Television vs. Monitor?

meskauskasDecember 14, 2006


I am puzzled as to whether I should get a Television or a Monitor, and am hoping someone can help me understand the technology?

I would like to put a TV in my sewing room. I plan on running cable to it, and getting an additional cable box. I don't have much space, so I was thinking of getting a 17" LCD flatscreen, and mounting it on the wall.

When I looked at the options at Best Buy, it seemed like more than half were "monitors", and not televisions. I'm confused as to which is which, and what I need. The monitors go for about $200 or so, and the LCD TV's were over $1000. I've gotten several different explanations from Best Buy people...everything from "it's a matter of preference" "you can't watch TV on a monitor - they're for computers." There must be some reason that a TV is five times as expensive as a monitor...but I can't figure out what it is, as the descriptions on line for some of the monitors refer to your being able to "watch TV" on them.

Can you watch TV on a monitor with a cable box and change chanels with the cable box remote? Which is the right way to go?



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The main difference (originally) between "television" and "monitor" is a television has a built-in tuner to select broadcast and/or cable channels from a coaxial cable, and a monitor does not.

A monitor simply accepts a video signal (composite, S-video, component) and displays it. Channel selection must be done via an external device such as a satellite tuner or a VCR. My 4-year-old Panasonic plasma panel would be considered a monitor. It does not have a coaxial input or a tuner. I selected channels (when I had cable) by using my VCR as a tuner.

However, nowadays most all consumer-level display devices / televisions / monitors DO have a built-in tuner, so "television" vs. "monitor" may simply be a marketing term. Just make sure whatever units you are considering have a built-in tuner and can take whatever kind of wire or cable connection you have, and make your choice on which one fits your budget, has the features you want, best picture quality, etc.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 5:02PM
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