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 205 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 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. It's available in 27 and 32 inch sizes, and we tested the 32 inch model. 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 not to 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 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.
If you find the ASUS TUF Gaming VG34VQL1B too expensive, then check out the AOC CU34G2X. It's also a 34 inch curved monitor with a 3440x1440 resolution, so you're getting the same wide aspect ratio and sharp image. It has a high contrast ratio to deliver deep blacks, and it supports a wide color gamut for HDR. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very bright, so it might not be the best option for well-lit rooms. On the upside, it has better ergonomics so that you can get a more comfortable viewing experience.
Overall, the ASUS is a better choice because it delivers superior picture quality. However, the AOC is also a good choice as long as you don't mind a few compromises, and it's easier on the wallet.
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.
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.
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.