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 reviewed more than 100 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best monitors to watch movies that are available for purchase in 2020. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 1440p monitors, and the best monitors overall.
The LG 27UK650-W is the best multimedia monitor that we've tested so far, and the best monitor for movies. This 27 inch, 4k screen delivers an immersive multimedia experience with its HDR support, and although performance is somewhat hindered by its mediocre peak brightness and the lack of local dimming features, the gradient performance is outstanding, which minimizes banding. It also has wide viewing angles, great for watching the latest trending videos with your friends.
Response time on this monitor is great for gaming and fast action scenes; however, you're limited to a 60Hz refresh rate. Given that 4k gaming at a high refresh rate is still uncommon due to hardware constraints, we don't expect it to be an issue. Inputs include two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort, which allows for multiple devices to be connected, such as a gaming console or media streamer.
As expected, the IPS panel isn't ideal for darker rooms, as it can't produce true blacks and has mediocre black uniformity. Overall, though, this is a very good monitor that's feature-packed for its price.
If you like the LG 27UK650-W but screen size and real estate are more important to you, check out the LG 32UD99-W instead. This larger model offers almost identical performance, with great motion handling, wide viewing angles, and excellent gradients. Other than the difference in screen size, this monitor has slightly better contrast ratio, a wider color gamut, and better black uniformity than the other LG. Finally, connectivity is also improved with the addition of a USB-C port, which allows you to connect a laptop and use it as a second screen or to charge other devices.
If you're looking for the absolute best multimedia monitor, look into the 27UK650-W due to its price and features. If you're looking for something larger, the 32UD99-W is an excellent choice, though it has a significant increase in price.
The best 1440p multimedia monitor we've tested so far is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. It lacks the LG 27UK650-W's 4k resolution, so the latest content won't display at its native resolution, but it's still an impressive monitor for consuming multimedia. It has decent reflection handling, so a few more lights in the room won't be an issue, and thanks to its wide viewing angles, both you and a friend can enjoy an accurate image when you watch a movie together. The input lag is extremely low and the response time is very fast, so the monitor feels very responsive and displays very crisp motion with almost no blur.
Unfortunately, it can't display deep blacks in a dark room like most IPS monitors and doesn't have a wide color gamut. Although it supports HDR content, it can't display the full richness of colors in some HDR content.
Overall, however, this is an impressive monitor that will deliver great multimedia performance.
If you often consume multimedia in a dark room and you find that the ASUS TUF VG27AQ can't deliver the deep blacks you want, then check out the Samsung CHG70. It has a great contrast ratio, thanks to its VA panel, and displays deep blacks in a dark room. The monitor also looks great in a bright room thanks to its high peak brightness and very good reflection handling. Unfortunately, you have to sit straight in front to enjoy an accurate image.
If you want the best 1440p monitor for movies, consider the ASUS, but if deep blacks in a dark room are important, then the Samsung is a better choice.
If you're looking for a large monitor with a ton of screen real estate, then check out the Samsung C49RG9. It doesn't have wide viewing angles like the ASUS TUF VG27AQ, but its 5120x1440 resolution is the equivalent of placing two 27 inch 16:9 monitors together. Although it uses a VA panel, which is usually great for dark room viewing, the contrast ratio is only decent and the black uniformity is bad, and it's better suited in bright rooms. It has outstanding peak brightness, and it can get really bright in HDR, bringing out specular highlights. It has outstanding coverage of the sRGB color space used in most content and great coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content, so whatever you're watching, it'll be able to display a wide range of colors.
If you're looking for the best 1440p monitor, then consider the ASUS, but if you want a super ultrawide screen, consider the Samsung.
The best budget multimedia monitor we've tested so far is the BenQ EX2780Q. It's a good multimedia monitor with a 1440p resolution, and it has one of the best SDR color volumes we've seen so far, displaying rich, saturated colors. It also has near-perfect coverage of the sRGB color space used in most content and fantastic coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing. It supports a wide color gamut for HDR content, but unfortunately, it only has decent HDR peak brightness, so it fails to bring out some specular highlights.
As is the case with most IPS panels, it has excellent viewing angles, great for sharing your screen with others, but that comes at the cost of its contrast ratio, which is unremarkable. Its dark room performance isn't good since blacks look gray and its black uniformity is mediocre, with visible backlight bleed. On the upside, it has amazing gray uniformity, with only a bit of darkening around the edges, so uniform colors, such as on web pages or in panning shots, will look great.
For its value, it offers a good picture quality and performs well when watching multimedia content, making it the best budget monitor for movies.
04/07/2020: Replaced the Dell U2518D by the BenQ EX2780Q as the best budget pick, updated notable mentions based on market prices.
01/08/2020: Added the ASUS TUF VG27AQ and changed the article structure.
11/06/2019: Minor text and structure changes; removed one recommendation as the price is too close to the main pick.
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.