What is the difference between an LCD TV and an LCD Monitor?
Seems like a simple question with a simple answer and it is… sort of.
An LCD TV could also be an LCD Monitor, but not always. And an LCD Monitor may not be an LCD TV. So what is the difference? It has to do with the video display (the box that is displaying the video) having a built-in tuner which can receive the TV channels directly without the need for a cable box.
Built-in TV Tuner
The built-in tuner is a ‘digital’ tuner that receives TV signals in digital packets. In 2009, our (U.S.) broadcast industry changed from ‘analog’ radio wave signals that transmitted video signals over the air (or what we call ‘OTA) to ‘digital’ signals that are carried over different radio waves. Recently, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) had a big auction that made someone a lot of money by repacking the content that is being transmitted using the radio waves, but we’ll save this ‘side wave’ for another post. There are two types of digital TV signals. One is ATSC which I won’t define (okay, so it means Advanced Television Systems Committee) which refers to all OTA (see above) TV signals which are also called ‘terrestrial’ signals. The other type of digital TV signal is called QAM (Quadrature Amplified Modulation) that is used for all cable (and DirecTV) signals. The good news is that most TV tuners (which are inside ‘LCD TVs’) receive both ATSC and QAM signals. Here is a picture of what the TV tuner’s connection port looks like:
ToteVision makes both LCD monitors – those video displays that do not have a built-in tuner, and LCD TVs (or what we often call ‘an LCD Monitor with Built-in Tuner’).
Why produce an LCD Monitor without a TV Tuner?
You may ask “why would they produce an LCD Monitor”? There are many reasons as there are many different video signals that need a monitor to display the signal. A computer uses a monitor to see what is on the computer, a security system uses a monitor to see what is on the cameras and what has been recorded, and a video production company uses monitors to view the camera’s position so it can get just the right shot. Plus, more and more cable companies are encrypting their signals and require ‘TV’s to use one of their set top boxes (STBs) so the built-in tuner isn’t being used. Instead, an HDMI cable is connecting between the ‘TV’ and the STB so all the viewer really needs is an ‘LCD Monitor’.
So, why does ToteVision still make LCD TVs? There are many commercial applications where watching a TV signal is needed, and we will continue to make TVs as long as there is a need. Our TVs are also LCD Monitors in that they have multiple video signal inputs so you can view a pc connection, or a camera, or an HDMI source.