You don't need to spend a fortune on the latest 4k TV to get an enjoyable movie experience; most monitors deliver a decent multimedia experience. New 4k monitors have some of the same features as high-end TVs, including support for HDR and even local dimming for better dark room performance. However, our recommendations aren't limited to only 4k resolutions, as the difference between 1440p and 4k on monitors this size can be difficult to notice at a distance.
We've tested more than 220 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best monitors to watch movies that are available for purchase. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 1440p monitors, and the best monitors overall.
The best monitor for movies with a 4k resolution that we've tested is the Dell S2721QS. It has a large 27 inch screen with a high pixel density to deliver a sharp image. The stand allows for height, tilt, and swivel adjustments, making it easier to get a comfortable viewing position or share the screen with someone else. The image remains accurate even if you view the screen from the side because it has great viewing angles like most IPS panels.
It has full sRGB coverage, which is great for viewing content in the standard dynamic range. Color accuracy is okay out of the box and good enough for general media consumption. There's HDR and wide gamut support; however, it has a mediocre contrast ratio with no local dimming to improve the black level, and it doesn't get quite bright enough for true HDR. The response time is pretty good for a 60Hz display, so fast motion looks reasonably clear with only a little bit of ghosting.
It has very low input lag and VRR support to reduce screen tearing if you want to play some games, and there are speakers built-in if you don't have dedicated ones. There's also a Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you display an image from two input sources simultaneously so that you can watch a TV show or movie while working. All in all, it's a simple but versatile monitor that should please most people.
If you're looking for something bigger than the Dell S2721QS for better immersion, then you're better off with a TV, like LG 48 C1 OLED. We tested the 48 inch model, which should fit on most desks, or you can wall-mount it with a VESA 300x200 mount if you don't have enough space. Its OLED screen is fantastic for dark room viewing because it can produce inky blacks, and it can get very bright to deliver a great HDR experience. It's also a fantastic choice for gaming because it has a 120Hz refresh rate, a near-instantaneous response time, and variable refresh rate support. Like all OLEDs, there's a risk of permanent burn-in with static content, but we don't expect it to be an issue for most people.
If you only want a standard desktop monitor, go with the Dell. However, if you want a large screen for a more immersive viewing experience, go with the LG.
The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is the best 1440p monitor for multimedia that we've tested so far. The large, high-resolution screen delivers sharp images and an immersive movie-watching experience. It has wide viewing angles and great ergonomics, so you can easily share your screen with a friend. It also has great visibility in a bright room, with impressive peak brightness in SDR and decent reflection handling, ensuring it can easily overcome glare.
This monitor has an impressively wide color gamut, with complete coverage of the sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces, which is great if enjoy rich, vibrant colors. It supports HDR, and it can display an amazing color gamut in HDR, but unfortunately, HDR content doesn't look as good as it should, as it can't get bright enough for HDR content to stand out properly.
Sadly, it doesn't look as good in a dark room, as it has a low contrast ratio, just alright black uniformity, and no local dimming feature. Thankfully, these issues aren't really noticeable unless you're in a completely dark room. Overall, it's a great monitor that should please most people, regardless of how you choose to use it.
If you want a monitor that's better suited for dark room viewing, then check out the Samsung LC32G75TQSNXZA. Unlike the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD, it uses a VA panel, which has much better contrast, so blacks look black instead of gray in a dark room, but this comes at the expense of viewing angles, so it's not as good for watching videos with other people. It's still a very good monitor for watching videos, with a large, high-resolution screen that delivers an immersive movie-watching experience. It supports HDR, and although it's not bright enough to deliver a true cinematic experience in HDR, it's bright enough that some small specular highlights do stand out.
Overall, the MSI and the Samsung are both good for media consumption, and choosing between them depends on what you need. If you want wide viewing angles, go with the MSI; otherwise, the Samsung is better for dark room viewing.
The best multimedia monitor with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the ASUS TUF Gaming VG34VQL1B. It's a 34 inch model with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which gives you a wider field of view for better immersion. It uses a VA panel with an excellent contrast ratio, making it a great choice for dark room viewing. It also gets impressively bright to combat glare and handles reflections well. However, the viewing angles are only mediocre, so it isn't ideal for sharing content with someone else as the image looks washed out from the side.
It has near-full sRGB coverage, the color space used in most SDR content, and it's impressively well-calibrated out of the box. It also supports a wide color gamut and gets decently bright to make highlights stand out in HDR content. It has a good response time at 60Hz, but there's a bit of dark smearing behind fast-moving objects, which might bother some people. The backlight is flicker-free, and there's also a blue light filter to help reduce eye strain.
There's a USB hub with four USB 3.0 ports so that you can plug your peripherals into the monitor for a cleaner setup, and there are speakers built-in if you don't have dedicated ones. It has a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals simultaneously, great for getting some work done while you catch up on a few TV shows. Overall, although the presence of motion artifacts might bother some people, this is still the best monitor for watching movies that we've tested with an ultrawide format.
The Gigabyte M27Q is the best multimedia monitor in the budget category that we've tested. It's a 27 inch IPS model with wide viewing angles, which is great for sharing content with others as images remain accurate when viewing off-center. It has decent reflection handling and great peak brightness, so visibility shouldn't be an issue even in bright, sunny rooms. However, it isn't ideal for dark room viewing because it has a mediocre contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray.
It has full sRGB coverage, the color space used in most content, and the accuracy is outstanding out of the box, so you get accurate, life-like colors. It has an impressive HDR color gamut, but unfortunately, it doesn't get quite bright enough to deliver a true HDR experience. It has an exceptional response time that results in clear images in fast-moving scenes and a Black Frame Insertion feature to further improve motion clarity.
Sadly, the stand only allows for height and tilt adjustments; however, it can be VESA-mounted if you need swivel adjustment or pivot to portrait mode. It has a USB-C port that supports Display Port Alt Mode, Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes, and a KVM feature that lets you control devices with one set of keyboard and mouse. The backlight is flicker-free, and there's also a blue light filter to help reduce eye strain. Overall, it's a great and versatile monitor that should please most people.
Dec 13, 2021: Switched our Best 1440p Multimedia Monitor pick to the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD, moving the Gigabyte M27Q to the 'Best Budget' category instead. We removed the AOC CU34G2X as a cheaper alternative, as there's almost no price difference between it and our main pick now.
Sep 24, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Removed 'Best Budget' category because the Gigabyte M27Q is a budget monitor, and there's no better choice. Added AOC CU34G2X as 'Cheaper Alternative'.
Jul 27, 2021: Replaced Dell UltraSharp U2720Q with Dell S2721QS. Added LG 48 C1 OLED as 'Larger Alternative'. Replaced LG 34GN850-B with ASUS TUF Gaming VG34VQL1B.
May 28, 2021: Moved the LG CX to Notable Mentions and replaced it with the Dell S2721QS as 'Cheaper Alternative'; added the Dell S3221QS and Acer Nitro XV272U to Notable Mentions.
Mar 30, 2021: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the Dell U2720Q because of availability. Replaced the LG 32UD99-W with the LG CX; updated Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors currently available for multimedia. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the metrics that fare worse are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.