TVs and PC Monitors are very similar in function. When looking at TVs to use as a PC monitor, you need to consider two major aspects: viewing angle and supported resolutions. Viewing angle is the most important, especially if you use it traditionally from up close. The other aspect is the resolution support: you're looking for the ability to output at full resolution with chroma 4:4:4 for smooth text and support for 120hz refresh rate for gaming. TVs that cover both these aspects are rare, but a few are a part of our lists.
Best TVs for a PC monitor (40"- 43")
The Sony X830C LED TV is the best 40–43 inch 4k TV to use as a PC monitor. It offers a great experience for general computing as well as when playing video games.
The Sony X830C excels when used as a PC monitor. The excellent viewing angle from the IPS LCD type provides a much better experience when sitting close. For gaming, a combination of excellent response times, pretty good input lag and support for 1080p @ 120fps make it a great candidate. This TV is also capable of outputting 4K @ 60hz @ Chroma 4:4:4 for general desktop use and higher resolution gameplay.
Even if it doesn't have the best blacks and contrast, the X830C is the best buy in this category.
If you like to watch movies on your computer, the Samsung UN40KU6300 UHD TV is better at it than the Sony X830C while still being a very capable PC monitor.
High contrast is the biggest difference. Because of that, movies watched in the dark look a lot better. For text, it properly supports 4k @ 60Hz @ Chroma 4:4:4. Input lag on this TV is excellent, as good as higher end models from Samsung. Expect very smooth and sharp gaming at that resolution.
It’s important to note that this TV flickers when in use at a darker environment, as long as it is set at 10 or higher in the settings, it should not cause problems.
Best high-end TVs for a PC monitor (Large)
If you want something bigger and play a lot of video games - look for the Sony X850D LED TV. It might not have as good image quality as OLED, but it’s still the best TV to use as a PC monitor.
Motion blur and input lag are good. No TV beats this one for PC gaming, particularly as it supports 1080p @ 120 fps. For more general use, it has a wide viewing angle which helps when you’re up close. The TV also supports 4K @ 60Hz @ Chroma 4:4:4 for clear text.
As usual with Sony TVs, the 120 fps mode has a slight bit of artifacts. It can, however, be mitigated by using the “Graphics” picture mode.
If you're looking for the prettiest picture, you might want to consider the LG B6. As usual with OLED TVs (see our article about OLED vs. LED), the B6 is at the top of our rankings for picture quality. Thanks to OLED, there is next to no motion blur, and the blacks are incredibly deep, with better uniformity than last year’s models and best in class viewing angle.
While the B6 supports 4k @ 60hz @ Chroma 4:4:4, it doesn’t allow for 1080p @ 120 fps. Input lag is good at only 28ms, so no major issues there.
There is one thing that makes it less suitable for this use. As seen in our video review, the B6 will retain a static image for a couple of minutes. This isn't too major, but it might annoy some people.
Best budget TVs for a PC monitor (Large)
If you’re looking for a large PC monitor that doesn’t break the bank, look for the Sony XBR55X700D. It performs close to our high-end LED pick for quite a bit cheaper.
It has wide viewing angles, which is perfect for a monitor of this size. Input lag is also at a reasonable 31ms, and that number is consistent across all resolutions. While it doesn’t support 1080p@120hz, 4k @ 60hz @ Chroma 4:4:4 functions without issues.
In a larger size, this is the go-to TV for most people looking for a PC monitor.
If your TV is not going to be exclusively used as a PC monitor, the Samsung UN55KU6300 is a good alternative.
It uses a different LCD type than the Sony, so it has a lot better contrast at the cost of viewing angles. This can be a problem if sitting up close; if you’re using it from a couch in a living room, however, it won’t be a problem. It supports the same resolutions as the X700D, but with even lower input lag. The better contrast helps make it a better choice for people who watch a lot of movies.
For most people, it’s not a better choice than the Sony as a PC monitor. If you’re going to be watching a lot of movies, though, it’s a good alternative.
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.
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).
A few examples of TVs that didn't make the cut:
- LG E6. Exceptional TV, but the LG B6 is a very close performer for quite a lot cheaper. See our review
- Samsung KS8000. Best in class image quality and great input lag, but a larger viewing angle and better resolution support gave the edge to the Sony X850D. See our review
- Sony X900C. While it can be had for the same price as the Sony X700D and offers almost the same performance as the X850D, it might not be available for purchase. See our review
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.