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Any LCD monitor can be used as a TV monitor. Of course you will need a TV tuner hooked up to your computer.
One consideration, though not critical, is the resolution of the monitor. Older LCD monitors offer resolutions that are close in their aspect ratio to proper TV monitors, but not exactly the same. I don't remember the exact values but for the same horizontal resolution TVs will have less pixels vertically.
In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.
I use a Samsung 32" TV which has two HDMI inputs. In one of those I have a Intel Compute Stick which is basically a Windows 8 computer in a tiny package smaller than the typical TV remote. It has 2GB of RAM, two USB ports, a Micro SD slot, as well as BT and Wi-Fi built in. I use a Logitech BT keyboard and mouse with it and it makes a nice package for basic computing, surfing the web, reading email, etc. The Samsung TV took the place of a slightly smaller TV we had above the kitchen desk for many years. When it died I got this setup and I use it more than anything else now.
The stick is plugged into the back of the TV and out of sight. No wires with BT KB and mouse makes for a clean desktop. I can take the KB and mouse over to the table and the 32" monitor is big enough to be seen anywhere in the room.
To watch TV just swap inputs on the TV remote, two clicks and you're on your favorite TV channel, so catching the news or whatever is easy.
The TV was less than $200, the Compute Stick was $129, and the KB and mouse were $29. I added a 128 GB USB drive and a 64GB Micro SD card for storage.
Using Windows remote I can log in to my desktop computer and use the compute stick just as if I was sitting at the desktop machine in the ham shack downstairs.
I tried using a TV as a monitor, and it was ok, but 1080P leaves little to be desired at 50". Text was nearly un legible unless zoomed in or using large font settings and just didn't work for what I wanted. I ended up swapping to a 4K 50" TV instead, and it's awesome. I use it for building plans, commercial building plans, which I'm sure most of you know have gobs of fine print details. No more zoom in and out and scrolling, love it!