You don't need to spend a fortune on the latest 4k TV if you want a display 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 160 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 multimedia monitor that we've tested with a 4k resolution is the Dell UltraSharp U27020Q. It's a simple 27 inch monitor with a ton of features, and even though it's mainly designed for office use, it's a very good choice for watching the latest videos online with a few friends. It's well-built and has excellent ergonomics, making it easy to place your screen in an ideal viewing position.
The 4k resolution helps deliver clear images because of its high pixel density. Even though its reflection handling isn't anything special, it's still a good choice for well-lit rooms because it gets bright enough to combat glare. Its wide viewing angles make it easy to share your screen with a few friends because the image remains accurate when viewing from the side. It's packed with features, including a USB hub with USB-C input that allows you to display an image from a compatible device while charging it.
Sadly, it's not the best for dark room viewing because its IPS panel has a low contrast ratio and lacks a local dimming feature, so blacks look gray when viewing in the dark. Also, despite displaying a wide color gamut for HDR content, it may not make colors pop the way they should because of its okay HDR peak brightness. Regardless of these small issues, this is amongst the best multimedia monitors that we've tested.
If you want something even bigger, then check out the LG OLED48CXPUB. Since this is a TV that we tested as a monitor, it doesn't have an ergonomic stand like the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q. However, the CX delivers a much better picture quality since its OLED panel can individually turn off pixels, resulting in perfect blacks, and there's no blooming around bright objects either. It has wide viewing angles, so the image stays accurate if you sit close to the 48 inch screen. It comes with LG's WebOS smart platform, so you get popular streaming apps pre-installed. Sadly, OLED panels are prone to permanent burn-in, so we suggest watching varied content if you're going to use it as monitor.
If you want the best monitor for watching movies, you should be happy with the Dell, but if you don't mind spending more money for a larger screen and better dark room performance, look into the LG.
The Gigabyte M27Q is the best multimedia monitor with a 1440p resolution 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 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.
If you want a monitor that's better suited for dark room viewing, then check out the Samsung LC32G75TQSNXZA. Unlike the Gigabyte M27Q, it uses a VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio, allowing it to produce deep blacks, but that means it has narrower viewing angles. The Odyssey G7 is available in a 27 and 32 inch size, and the screen is curved to provide better immersion. It gets a bit brighter in some scenes when in HDR, but it's still not enough for HDR movies. It has an edge-lit local dimming feature that aims to improve the contrast ratio, but it performs terribly and causes blooming around bright objects, so it's best to not use it.
Overall, the Gigabyte 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 Gigabyte; otherwise, the Samsung is better for dark room viewing.
The best multimedia monitor with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the LG 34GN850-B. It's a 34 inch curved model with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which provides an incredibly cinematic experience. It has decent viewing angles, so images remain fairly accurate when viewing from the side. However, the stand only offers height and tilt adjustments, making it harder to place the screen at your optimal viewing position.
It has a high pixel density, full sRGB coverage, and great accuracy out of the box to deliver good picture quality. The response time is outstanding, which results in clear images with almost no blur trail behind fast-moving objects. While most modern movies are shot in the 21:9 aspect ratio and fill up the whole screen, the majority of online videos or TV shows are still in the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, which means that you get black bars on the sides. This might not bother some people, but it does make any backlight bleed or uniformity issues more apparent when viewing in a dark room.
Unfortunately, even though it supports HDR and can display a wide color gamut, it doesn't get bright enough for a true HDR experience. Also, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear grayish, so it isn't ideal for dark room viewing. Nonetheless, this is a good ultrawide monitor that provides an immersive viewing experience and one that most people should be happy with.
The best monitor for movies in the budget category is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. Versatile and well-rounded, this is one of the better 1440p models we've tested, and most people should enjoy its picture quality, especially for its price point. It's well-built and also has built-in speakers, which is a nice addition.
Its large screen and high-resolution help deliver detailed and crisp images. Combined with its high peak brightness and very good reflection handling, you shouldn't have any issues placing it in a well-lit environment. The out-of-the-box color accuracy is good, so you likely won't need to get it calibrated unless you really want to. It has excellent gray uniformity and wide viewing angles if you want to sit back and enjoy a movie with a friend. If you also want to use it for gaming, it has an impressive response time, low input lag, and FreeSync support.
Sadly, it doesn't support HDR, although this is somewhat expected for a model of its price. It has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. Luckily, its stand is one of the most ergonomic we've tested, so it's really easy to place in an ideal viewing position. If you're on a budget, this is the best monitor for watching movies that you can buy for a budget-friendly price.
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.
Jan 29, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Replaced ASUS TUF VG27AQ with Gigabyte M27Q. Replaced BenQ EW3270U with LG 32UD99-W. Replaced Acer Nitro XV340CK with LG 34GN850-B.
Dec 02, 2020: Removed the LG 27UK650-W, Samsung CHG70, and LG 34GN850-B with the Dell S2721QS, Samsung Odyssey G7, and the Acer Nitro XV340CK.
Oct 02, 2020: Replaced the LG 32UD99-W with the BenQ EW3270U and the Dell U2520D with the ASUS PA278QV.
Aug 03, 2020: Replaced the Samsung C49RG9 with the LG 34GN850-B and put it as its own pick; replaced the BenQ EX2780Q with the Dell U2520D.
Apr 07, 2020: Replaced the Dell U2518D by the BenQ EX2780Q as the best budget pick, updated notable mentions based on market prices.
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.