Investing in a brand new flat-screen television can often strain your budget, leaving you searching for alternative options. Thankfully, with a reasonable one-time investment, you can convert your old computer monitor into a fully fledged television set. And it's not just limited to old monitors— even a new one in use can be repurposed as a TV while still being utilized for your computer needs. Another option for converting your computer monitor into a TV is by using a TV tuner card, although in this case, the CPU will still be needed to access your favorite TV channels.

The process of converting your computer monitor into a TV is relatively straightforward, regardless of whether you have an LCD or CRT monitor. The only difference lies in the available options for each. CRT computer monitors offer more conversion options than LCD monitors, with one notable example being the use of a TV motherboard. Nowadays, TV motherboards compatible with CRT monitors are more readily available compared to those for LCD monitors, given the age of the technology. LCDs, on the other hand, represent a more recent technology that uses liquid crystals to produce images, while CRT monitors (cathode ray tube) have been around for quite some time.

Here are the steps to convert your computer monitor into a TV:

  1. Consider the available internal and external TV tuners that can be used with your computer system. Key components to look for include HD, DVI, component video, stereo, s-video, surround sound, and other relevant features. Ensure that the internal TV tuner card is compatible with your computer's expansion slots.

  2. If your computer monitor has coaxial input, RCA input, or S-video input, a regular TV tuner should work just fine. These ports are typically located on the back of your monitor and are often clearly marked for easy identification. If your computer monitor lacks these components, other available options include:

    • TV tuner cards compatible with the VGA cable of your computer
    • TV motherboard to replace the monitor motherboard
    • Internal/external TV tuner cards attachable to expansion slots or USB ports of your computer
  3. Connect your TV tuner card using the supported connection method, such as an S-video or VGA cable.

  4. Connect the TV tuner's audio output to your computer speakers' input or use external speakers in a similar manner.

  5. Install a TV tuner antenna to improve reception for available free-to-air channels.

  6. Scan and store the available television channels using the settings provided by your TV tuner.

Hybrid TV tuner cards are considered the best option, albeit slightly more expensive than digital and analog tuners, due to their ability to receive both digital and analog signals. By following these steps, you can repurpose your computer monitor into a fully functional television, offering you a cost-effective solution without compromising on the viewing experience.