$300 to spend: 4K Monitor vs 4K TV?

mnewxcv

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I have a budget of about $300 and want to get into the 4K world. Currently using a 50" Samsung FHD led backlit LCD as a monitor, for gaming, web browsing, watching videos, etc. General use. I was thinking of getting one of the <$300 50-55" TCL TVs. What are the pros and cons of going monitor vs TV? I definitely want 4K, not ultrawide, not 1440p, etc. I don't think I want high refresh, since I end up doing most of my gaming over parsec to the home theater PC where I have a projector, and I always prefer eye candy to FPS. Currently running RTX 2060, likely to replace with a 3070 or better. Appreciate your insight and experience!
 

ochadd

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I do not have personal experience with a 4k TV vs. monitor but I have used TVs for monitors in years past. I didn't like the way text looked but that was back when 32" 720p TVs were still $500. Lag and off-center viewing was also a problem with colors washed out but maybe IPS TVs don't have the problem, I'd sure want to test it or have the option to return. If you've been happy with text and general use on a 1920x1080 TV then I don't see why this would be a problem. What are your concerns?
 

mnewxcv

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I do not have personal experience with a 4k TV vs. monitor but I have used TVs for monitors in years past. I didn't like the way text looked but that was back when 32" 720p TVs were still $500. Lag and off-center viewing was also a problem with colors washed out but maybe IPS TVs don't have the problem, I'd sure want to test it or have the option to return. If you've been happy with text and general use on a 1920x1080 TV then I don't see why this would be a problem. What are your concerns?
Some TV's do 4:2:2 and some do 4:2:0 color (I think). I know in my price range any tv will be 60hz, but some have 'game' hdmi ports, not sure if I should use that for desktop use or not. As for text, no complaints on the samsung I have, though it looked like trash on a westinghouse I tried. Not entirely sure what the difference was. Mostly trying to know what to look for on the spec sheet when picking the best display for my needs.
 

ochadd

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My opinion is your budget doesn't allow for the 4k gaming experience I'd recommend. If the starting point is adaptive sync, IPS panel, and enough video card to hover at 60 fps for any AAA title you might want to play. I don't see how you get that with a screen size anywhere close to what you're coming from and the video card you have or are considering. I can see where a 1080p TV performs well in gaming because you can drive it pretty easily with the video card you've got. With enough video card to push whatever you want to play past 60 fps at 4k you would shake the need for adaptive sync.

You could spend allot more on something like Asus XG438Q or Acer CG437K and Gsync will smooth out the experience if you can't quite hit 60 fps all the time.
You could spend allot more on something that can easily deliver 4k 60 fps performance and get by with a cheaper display without Gsync or Freesync. (The 2080 ti barely qualifies today but maybe RTX 3080 or AMD competitor.)

Personally I've had too much monitor for my video card on two different occasions. Triple 1080 monitors on a 6970 and whatever the next gen was on a 2560x1600 Ultrasharp. Life is better with too much video card and adaptive sync.
 
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Some TV's do 4:2:2 and some do 4:2:0 color (I think). I know in my price range any tv will be 60hz, but some have 'game' hdmi ports, not sure if I should use that for desktop use or not. As for text, no complaints on the samsung I have, though it looked like trash on a westinghouse I tried. Not entirely sure what the difference was. Mostly trying to know what to look for on the spec sheet when picking the best display for my needs.

HDMI 2.0 has been out for what, 6 years now? Most TVs should have no problems with 4:4:4 chroma at 60hz.

The problem with text on TVs is BGR subpixel layout generally.
 

Wiz33

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$300 is very low for a decent 4K TV in the 40"-43" range. Much less anything larger. 4K is not just about resolution, it won't make much of a difference without decent HDR performance on a 10 bit panel. Check this site as they not only rate TV for watching media but also on how good it will work as a computer monitor.

https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/best/by-size/40-42-43-inch
 
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LazyGamer

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4K is not just about resolution
The '4k' part really is just about resolution.
it won't make much of a difference without decent HDR performance on a 10 bit panel.
These are separate from resolution, and are different things themselves. HDR is a tone-mapping solution. The more bits the better, with diminishing returns, but there's no base requirement in theory. In practice you want at least 8 bits for HDR. Since that can get a bit janky with respect to tonal gradations, 10 bit definitely helps. And that's about the limit of what current technology can actually be used to capture, record, process, publish, distribute, and actually play motion for viewers.

Now, I do get where you're coming from. '4k HDR' has basically been sold as a package deal, and we're really better off for it being done that way because it means at least some standards are being enforced!
 

madpistol

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As others have said, $300 gets you a very low-end 4K TV that really isn't worth much for PC usage. 4K doesn't really become "good" until you reach around $700+, and honestly, the place that it becomes "exceptional" is around $1300. That's the low-end of OLED TV's, and that will get you a great experience.
 

Daleon

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If you wait about 6-8 months you there should be some pretty nice 4K/120 TV's in the $600 range most likely but for right now in your range the Hisense - 50" Class H8G Quantum Series for $380 at BB is head and shoulders above anything cheaper. Really low input lag. Decent HDR brightness, much better than entry level models at least. Once calibrated it should look very nice. Doesn't do 1440p/120 which would be very nice option but if your sticking to 4K\60 anyway not to big a deal. Could save some more and wait for a good BF deal maybe move up to a TCL 635 series.
 

mnewxcv

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thanks for the feedback everyone. My budget is around $300 like I said, and my use is general PC use, so HDR would seldom get used. But if the consensus is a decent 4K TV is unavailable for $300, I will take a look at monitors. The Thinkstation 28" 4K monitor looks good if I can find one in stock. I cant wait much longer unfortunately as the TV I'm using now developed an intermittent issue.
 

UltraTaco

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Sam's club has 4k for about 200 American. Picture looks fantastic, nt sure what you lads are seeing.

Edit: found her!!! Edit2: taco is sorry, it is 1080p
Screenshot_20200913-085212_Opera.jpg
 
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Wiz33

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If you can up the budget to $400. The Vizio M series 50" will be your best bet as last year's M437-go was rated as the best 4K at 43" but the 2020 lineup starts at 50".
 

mnewxcv

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BenWah

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A whole lot of people who buy into 4k would have been a lot better off with 2k.

But 4k is more!

yeah, and you also want a sound system with a volume knob that goes to 11
 

DanCar

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Perhaps the thread with the worst advice I've seen. 4K is leaps and bounds better than 2K for PC use. 43 inch monitor is much better than a 28 inch monitor for me. 4:4:4 vs 4:2:0 is a real issue as colored text might get blurry. I don't have a good suggestion for 43" TV except to say, I've seen many posts here and elsewhere where people are happy with setup for PC use. One issue with TV as monitor is low power modes may not work well if you are using an adaptor cable. If you have a video card with HDMI out then it should work fine.
This might help:
https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/best/by-usage/pc-monitor
 
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