As a web developer who is always dabbling in code, be it some jQuery or PHP, screen real estate has always been a major resource of productivity. The more screen estate you have available to use, the greater your productivity as a developer. In fact we recently upgraded to using 4K TVs as monitors at the web design and development agency I work for – you can read more about it here.
Using a 4K TV as a monitor is the equivalent to having four conventional full HD monitors, this in itself beats many other multi monitor set-ups I’ve ever come across. The sheer size of 4K TVs allows you to take full advantage of the added work space, whereas conventionally with many 4K monitors, scaling must be used as a form of practicality.
The only disadvantage of using 4K TVs as monitors is that to get a refresh rate of 60Hz you must have a HDMI 2.0 compatible graphics card and TV, otherwise you’ll likely be stuck with 30. Although for normal day to day desktop usage 30Hz has proven to be relatively adequate, except you probably wouldn’t want to use it for tasks such as gaming.
Choosing a 4K TV
When faced with a choice of which 4K TV to buy, there are a number of things that you must take into account. Will you use the TV primarily as a PC monitor? Or do you also plan to watch TV, movies and play games? If you answer yes to the latter question, it may be worth spending a little more money on a display that you know supports HDMI 2.0.
If you do plan to play games on your new TV, we would highly advise that you opt for a TV that has low input lag. A list of recommended TVs can be found on Rtings – I used this site myself to pick out my recently acquired Samsung JU7500 4K TV.
In conclusion 4K TVs bridge the gap for those who are looking for productivity rather than a ‘retina’ grade screen, when it comes to choosing a PC monitor. Hopefully in the future we’ll see some monitor manufacturers release some larger 4K monitors for those of us who could do with the added productivity bonus. Using 4K TVs as monitors is an excellent excuse to throw out your old TV setup in favour of a new multipurpose solution. Although a brand new 4K TV can be expensive, you have to factor in the cost saving of no longer having to spend a fortune on a high end multi monitor setup.