Monitor as TV

I have (or I guess now had) a 7 year old 32" LED TV that just died.

I did use it mostly as a TV but it is next to my desk (and 27" iMac) in the “spare” bedroom and I also used it as 3rd monitor.

But it occurred to since The TV is connected to a cable box (and my Mac) via HDMI and I never use the built in tuner, and I can’t go bigger than 32" because of space considerations, maybe I should buy a monitor instead. One can get a 32" 4K Monitor for a similar price to to a good 720P 0r 1080P TV… And I suspect 1080 monitors might be cheaper.

As the primary use would be as a TV, the TV picture (and sound!) is important… would buying a monitor for use with the cable box (and my Mac!) be a good idea? If so, what models or specs might be best to get?


Cant say I have any experience with such a set up

Since its going to be connected via hdmi it should work

With a 4K monitor showing 1080p content it may scale it
That said a monitor wont have much in the way of sound built in
You may need something else for sound like external speakers IF your cable box supports such a thing

That said a TV like this is very inexpensive (esp since its not a smart TV)

It depends. I have one monitor with built-in speakers, which renders audio from my computer using HDMI, just fine.

I have one as well with built in speakers
They sound really bad even compared to the MBP 16" speakers (they’re side by side)
IF the cable box has an audio out that will probably give much better results
A TV may have an audio pass thru so HDMI sends all the av data but a pair of speakers plugged into the TV may sound a lot better

Thanks all. I decided to get a high end 32" TV… It’s a 4K Quantum dot Set… its new but a 2019 model on sale for $378 today

Samsung Q50R 32" Class HDR 4K UHD Smart QLED TV


1 Like

I have connected an old macmini to my (not so) smart TV via HDMI and the TV connected to my (analog) stereo for better sound when needed.
It works like a dream and I can watch streaming, video, etc with familiar controls.

My 21" external monitor is connected to an Intel i5 MacBook Pro (via both HDMI and Thunder…- Apple Cable; one at a time) and this works fine.

Same HDMI/Monitor, connected to my M1 MBP: nothing.

I too had a monitor with terrible sound from its loudspeakers…