Watching TV Channels on Your Desktop Computer LCD Monitor


Most people do not know about this but there is more to a computer monitor than, er, meets the eye. Most LCD flat screen monitors today can be more than just a display monitor for you computer (e.g. used for surfing the Internet, running computer software, watching movies in optical movie discs, etc.). You can actually use that computer flat screen display as a TV where you can surf hundreds (if not thousands) of television/cable channels.

One practical situation where this can come in handy is when you have a desktop computer system CPU that has broken down beyond repair. LCD displays are such durable electronic devices that they are indeed likely to outlive the CPU of you computer system; leaving you with a perfectly functional flat screen with no processing unit. Why not convert it into a television where you can watch your favorite shows?

Related article: Use your 4K LED TV as your PC or Mac monitor

Four Easy Ways to Convert a Computer Monitor Into a TV

  • Online TV Channels Access – If you have an existing desktop computer or laptop unit that you wish to use for watching TV shows (that’s aside from using it as a computer) then you could probably get TV access via the Internet. Most major networks are now offering online access to their shows. ABC, for example, has a portal ( where you can live stream their series lineups. It’s the same with NBS with their “full episodes” library at There are also other online portals that offer not only a few video feeds but thousands of them. A couple of examples are the Direct-PCTV service which offers at least 9,000 channel feeds from all over the world. All you need to do is signup with them (you will need to pay a one-time fee) and then you can start surfing their video feeds.

  • TV Tuners for your PC – Here is another option for those who still have a fully working computer system but wants to have the convenience of accessing television shows through their computers. By installing a TV tuner adapter into your motherboard (usually into the PCI slot) equipped with video input, you can directly hook up your cable subscription or antenna connection to your computer and be able to watch shows. These adapters usually even come with remote controls for extra convenience. An example of this is the Hauppauge 1196 WinTV-HVR-1250 PCI-E x1 TV Tuner which you can get at Amazon.

  • Digital Cable Boxes –  If you currently have a digital TV subscription installed via a digital cable box, chances are your box already has provisions that enable them to send out TV signals to an external display (other than a television) via DVI, HDMI, Firewire or USB, etc. You can attach it to your computer’s available interface or even directly to you flat screen LCD monitor.
  • Direct-to-monitor HD TV Tuners – Given that your CPU has been scrapped leaving you with only a desktop LCD or CRT monitor, you can use one of those TV tuners (sometimes also called TV boxes) that you can hook up to your cable or antenna and connect directly to an LCD or CRT monitor so the monitor can display TV signals without requiring a CPU unit. One example of a good HD TV tuner for monitors is the Mygica SuperColor HD TV Box Video Converter Box that you can get from Amazon. You can also use it even if you still have a working PC/CPU so you won’t have to turn the PC on just so you could watch television. Just connect your TV box to the monitor, turn them on and you’re ready to go. These things also usually come with remote control for easier channel surfing. You can also hook up your Wii, PS3, Xbox, etc. and play to your heart’s desire! There is no need for special software at all, plain and simple!

Your computer display is now more than just a computing tool that you can use for word-processing, surfing the net or any of the boring business-as-usual stuff.  Enjoy them more by using them to watch your favorite TV shows or use with your gaming console! Your PC just broke down beyond repair? Well, convert that monitor to a television now!

Read related article: How to cut on cable TV expenses