PC monitors (see our monitor reviews) and TVs are close relatives. Usually, they differ in design and image processing capabilities and connectivity. TVs usually have more advanced image processing capabilities than monitors and come equipped with TV tuners and integrated speakers, whereas monitors usually have DisplayPort connections that TVs still lack.
Most TVs offer a PC Mode option, which removes the extra image processing and ensures the lowest possible input lag. The most important things to take into consideration when choosing a TV for PC monitor usage are the TV's supported resolutions, the ability to display chroma 4:4:4, and the viewing angles that can cause uniformity issues when sitting close to the screen.
We've tested over 200 TVs and here are our recommendations for the best TVs to use as a PC monitor in 2019.
The best TV for use as a PC monitor is the LG 43UM7300. It's available in a 43 inch size which, although still large, can fit on a large desk. It has an IPS panel, and thanks to the wide viewing angles the image remains uniform at the sides when you sit up close. It has excellent low input lag for a responsive desktop experience, and the response time is fast so there is very little blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4 in any resolution, so text looks good.
Unfortunately, the backlight flickers at 120Hz, which might bother some people, and the dark room performance is lacking due to the low contrast ratio.
Overall, this is an excellent TV for use as a monitor.
If you find the size of the LG UM7300 limiting and want a TV that will also perform well in dark environments, then check out the Samsung QN55Q80R. It's not available in 43" and it's more expensive than the LG in 55".
This TV doesn't have an IPS panel, but thanks to the TV's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, the image remains accurate for wider angles and can deliver a more uniform image if you sit up close. It has a very low input lag and it feels very responsive. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4, so the text is crisp in any resolution and the response time is very fast, leaving only a small blur trail behind fast-moving objects.
Unfortunately, it's not available in sizes smaller than 55", which might be a limitation if you wish to place it on a desk. Overall, this is an excellent large TV for use as a PC monitor, and it excels in any other use as well.
If you're looking for the brightest TV for use as PC Monitor, then get the Vizio P Series Quantum. It's almost as good as the Samsung Q80R, but doesn't have the wide viewing angles and is only available in 65". This TV lacks the FreeSync Variable Refresh Rate option found on the Samsung, but it's an excellent TV for use as a PC monitor with great picture quality and deep blacks for dark rooms. It can get very bright, so you can use it in a bright room without any issues.
When used as a PC monitor, it reacts immediately to your actions thanks to the low input lag, and the very fast response time leaves almost no blur trail in fast motion. Finally, it accepts most common input resolutions and can display clear and crisp text, as it supports chroma 4:4:4.
If you find that the viewing angles of the Samsung Q80R cause uniformity issues, then check out the LG 55SK9000. You won't get the deep blacks you'll find on the Samsung, and you won't have the FreeSync support for tear-free gaming. Nevertheless, this is a TV with a very low input lag that reacts instantaneously to your actions, supports chroma 4:4:4, and can display crisp text, which is great if you use it as a PC monitor. It has wide viewing angles thanks to the IPS panel, so you won't experience uniformity issues at the edges when you sit up close. Overall, it's a great TV that also serves well as a PC monitor.
The TCL 6 Series/55R617 2018 is the best budget TV for use as a PC monitor. It has outstanding low input lag with any resolution, ensuring a responsive experience for gaming and desktop use. It also supports the vast majority of the most common resolutions, and it can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, so text looks sharp. This TV even automatically enters PC Mode when it detects a connected PC.
The biggest issue with using this TV as a PC monitor is the viewing angle, as the image degrades when viewed at an angle. This shouldn't be an issue if you're sitting directly in front of the TV at a comfortable viewing distance, but if you're too close, the edges of the screen can appear non-uniform.
Overall, though, the R617 is a great TV for use as a PC monitor, despite the budget price. When you're not using it as a PC, it's also a great choice for almost any use, with great peak brightness and an excellent contrast ratio.
If you want a cheaper alternative to the TCL R617 or are looking for a smaller option, check out the TCL 4 Series/55S425 2019 instead. The S425 is a much simpler TV than the R617, with no local dimming, no motion interpolation, and a much dimmer screen. These aren't the most important features when using a TV as a PC monitor, so if that's your main usage, this TV is a great choice. It has outstanding low input with any supported format, and, like the R617, it supports the majority of the most popular formats.
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).
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.