Is a PC monitor or TV better for Xbox One gaming?

Traditionally, since the early days of gaming consoles, you've plugged your little box into your big screen. There's a freedom associated with consoles that you don't traditionally get with PC gaming. It's great to relax, put your feet up, grab a controller and play some of your favorites on the largest display in the house.

However, is that the best screen to use? PC gamers — and PC users in general — don't necessarily favor TVs. Should you consider using a PC monitor along with your console? There are two sides to this story.

Why you should use a monitor for gaming

HP Omen 32

Omen monitor (Image credit: Windows Central)

Unless you're truly attached to playing Xbox on your sofa, there are some potential gaming improvements you can only get by using a monitor.

On a technical level, gaming monitors will give you a sharper, faster experience. A TV won't offer you the same response time as you'll get from even a low-cost gaming monitor, nor will it have as little input lag. A combination of these two features means that you'll have less motion-blur and image-ghosting, along with a more responsive gaming experience.

After all, when you press to take out your enemies you want to see it happen there and then. No one likes delayed movement.

There's also a case for reduced eye strain. A TV still only shows the same number of pixels as a monitor, but the increased size means you likely sit further away. Pixel density is higher on a monitor, you sit closer, and you're not straining to look for details on the screen.

Then there's price. A quality 1080p gaming monitor can be had for under $200. Even at that price, its performance will be greater for gaming than most televisions.

Why you should use a TV for gaming

Xbox One S

The biggest convenience of a modern console is that it can also be the heart of your home entertainment setup. The Xbox One S has substantial app support from the big content providers, as well as a 4K Blu-ray player and OneGuide integration for your cable or OTA TV channels.

Monitors are great for gaming, but they're not designed for use in the living room. The Xbox isn't going to be your entertainment hub if it isn't hooked up to your big screen TV for the whole family to enjoy.

That goes hand-in-hand with the increase in 4K video content. PC monitors just aren't as big as TVs. The best way to use your Xbox for 4K content is hooking it up to a large TV.

The same can be said of HDR. TV and monitor technologies advance at different rates, which is perhaps strange because they're both fundamentally displays. But if you want to take advantage of HDR in both video and games, a TV is currently your best bet. Monitors with HDR are still fairly rare.

Bottom line

Samsung 4K TV

There's a good case to be made for using either option, but ultimately your planned use of your Xbox One is the best way to help decide. If you're not interested in entertainment, and you use the Xbox strictly for gaming, you might be better off with a monitor. They're cheaper and will offer a better experience. But if your Xbox is at the heart of your entertainment setup, you should definitely stick with a TV. Get the best one you can afford, put your feet up and enjoy!

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at