PC monitors (see our monitor reviews) and TVs aren't very different from one another and they tend to use similar connections. The biggest difference between the two is the inclusion of a sound system and a tuner for over-the-air broadcasts. Monitors are designed for that specific use, so if you're looking to get a TV to use as a PC monitor, the biggest things to consider are the TV's supported resolutions, its ability to display chroma 4:4:4 and the width of its viewing angle to avoid uniformity issues when sitting close. Now that we're getting close to Black Friday, TVs are reaching their lowest official price before getting discontinued.
So far, we've tested 39 TVs in 2017 and below are our recommendations for the best ones to use as a PC monitor.
Best TV to use as a PC Monitor (40"- 43")
The best 40-43 inch TV to use as a PC monitor is the Sony XBR43X720E 4k LED TV. It has a wide viewing angle, low input lag as well as good motion which are all important for a PC monitor.
While it's only 60 Hz, it supports chroma 4:4:4 which is essential for sharp text. It also has a good response time of about 10ms so scrolling content is clear and don't have any major trails following them. Unlike its more expensive cousin, the Sony X800E, the X720E has a lower input lag that makes it particularly suitable to use as a PC monitor.
Best TV to use as a PC Monitor (Large)
If you're looking for a larger TV to use as a PC monitor, we recommend the LG B7 OLED TV. Its picture quality is unmatched, and it's packed with all the important features necessary to make a great monitor.
Its input lag with standard resolutions is a very adequate 21 ms. Furthermore, OLEDs can't be beaten for motion at higher refresh rates, so fast moving content and text remain very clear. It supports chroma 4:4:4 as well as 1080p at 120 Hz covering all the necessary bases.
Unfortunately, it isn't without compromise. Inherent to OLED TVs is temporary image retention. This means that content that remained static on-screen will have a "ghost" retained for a few minutes. This is pretty minor and fades fairly quickly, but it can be an annoyance for some people. There is also a risk of burn-in (see our 20/7 Burn-In test for more information).
If the image retention is an issue to you, the Vizio P55-E1 LED TV is the only size variant of the P Series which uses an IPS type LCD panel with wider viewing angles. We didn't review this particular size, but we expect it to have all the features found on the other sizes such as good motion, low input lag and great resolution support in addition to the advantages of IPS.
Best Budget TV to use as a PC Monitor (Large)
For a larger TV that doesn't break the bank, go for the Sony KD55X720E 4k LED TV. It's the same as our pick for the smaller sized monitor, but in a larger, more immersive 55 inch size.
Its attributes are the same as the smaller variant: Chroma 4:4:4 support, low input lag, and great handling of motion. It even has the widest viewing angle of any TV we've tested this year, making sitting closer to it a non-issue even with its larger size.
If you want something larger and don't plan on using your TV from a sitting desk, the TCL 65S405 is a good alternative to the Sony X720E. It's a bit dimmer and isn't as suitable for using up close, but it supports essentials like Chroma 4:4:4 while keeping the price low.
What is Chroma 4:4:4?
Every pixel in a screen is sent a brightness value, which tells it how bright or dark it should be. There is also a color value that is sent, which tells the pixel which color to be.
A common method of compressing a file is to make groups of pixels share color, or chroma, data. This reduces the size of a file significantly, and with most video, the difference in quality is minimal.
This type of compression, though, doesn’t look great on a computer monitor. In particular, the lack of specificity that you get by making pixels share chroma values leads to blurry text. That’s why, especially for productivity purposes, it’s desirable to have a TV capable of chroma 4:4:4, which is uncompressed.
Above, you can see images illustrating three levels of compression. You can see that from 4:4:4 (uncompressed) to 4:2:2 (compressed a bit), there is a bit of a loss of specificity in the lower text - it's not quite as sharp as with 4:4:4. It’s an even more noticeable drop in quality when you’re looking at 4:2:0 (the typical level of compression). Again, this is only really important for text. It’s very hard to spot this compression with normal footage.
- LG B6. Exceptional TV, but the C7 is almost as cheap now and is a little better. See our review
- Sony X900E. Good PC monitor, but the Vizio P Series is a better performer. See our review
- LG SJ8500. Very good PC monitor, but a bit expensive compared to the Vizio P Series. See our review
- LG UJ7700. Good choice for a PC monitor, but odd pixel structure makes it less usable as a monitor. See our review
- Samsung MU7600. Very good PC monitor, but doesn't offer much over the cheaper MU6500 for the money. See our review
- Sony X800E. Decent choice for a PC monitor, but the cheaper X720E does even more for less money. See our review
- TCL P607. Great overall budget TV, but the Sony X720E is a better PC monitor for most people. See our review
- LG C7. Great OLED TV, but almost identical to the cheaper B7. See our review
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs to use as a PC monitor for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.