10 Best Monitors for Watching Movies in 2020

You don’t necessarily need a big TV to watch movies in decent quality. In fact, modern PC monitors are pretty capable in this regard, especially if you know what to look for. The only downside for some people is that these monitors’ size does not really rival most TVs’ size.

On the other hand, you are usually sitting much closer to a monitor, so you don’t need a very big diagonal to get the same results. As such, there are much more important aspects you need to watch out for while shopping for such a monitor.

What to Look for in a Monitor for Watching Movies

Image quality is naturally the most important aspect, but it can be a bit difficult to find monitors that focus on this factor alone. This is because manufacturers try to cover as many use cases as possible, which means many gaming monitors also double as movie monitors. Due to this, you will also get some useless features while watching movies, such as FreeSync, or a high refresh rate.

Even so, there are some important things you need to consider before making a purchase:

  • Display Size. Anything under 27 inches is a bit too small for movies, and we would actually recommend something with a diagonal of at least 32 inches, if possible.
  • Resolution. Modern films are usually shot in 4K, but you can also make do with a 1440p monitor if you do not have the funds for a 4K monitor.
  • Panel technology. VA panels offer the best contrasts and the deepest blacks, at least if we are not considering OLEDs. IPS panels usually have better colors, but the blacks are much more washed out and distracting. Both of them can be used for movies, but you should probably avoid TN panels.
  • 16:9 aspect ratio. Every Netflix movie and TV show is shot in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which means that you need a 16:9 monitor to properly enjoy them. Ultrawide monitors do not respect this, which is why you will have black vertical bars showing at all times while watching movies on them.
  • HDR support. HDR is a big deal nowadays, which is why most new Netflix productions are released with HDR enabled.

As a side note, it’s also worth talking a bit about curved panels, since they are quite common lately. In essence, curved panels have no impact on your movie experience if you are watching alone at your desk.

However, you should avoid them if you plan to watch with your family or friends since viewing angles are very wonky on curved panels. Anyone who’s not sitting exactly in the middle will experience much lower contrast levels.

The Best Monitors for Watching Movies in 2020

Now that you know what features to look for, here are our recommendations for the Best Monitors for Watching Movies in 2020.

1. Asus ROG Swift PG65UQ 65”

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 81.13 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 65″, VA | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response Time: 4ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 57.01 x 37.28 x 15.35 inches

If you do not want to compromise on size, the PG65UQ from Asus is pretty much a TV that moonlights as a PC monitor. There’s really nothing missing in terms of features either, which is also probably why this model is almost double the cost of a comparable OLED TV.

HDR will look at its best thanks to the 1000 nits of peak brightness, not to mention that the monitor also comes with 384 local dimming zones, which help a lot with consistency across the humongous screen area.

On the other hand, you are also paying for many gaming-specific features that will go to waste if all you want is to watch movies. As such, the 144Hz refresh rate will not affect movie playback, and the G-Sync Ultimate support is not particularly useful either.

Fortunately, the monitor also comes with two pretty powerful 15W speakers, as well as a remote that allows you to control everything from the comfort of your couch. The monitor can also be a bit too big for a regular desk, not to mention quite heavy.

Pros:

  • Big enough to replace your TV
  • DisplayHDR 1000 certification and 1000 nits of peak brightness
  • Fairly powerful built-in speakers
  • Comes with a remote
  • Amazing for gaming as well
  • Works with both DisplayPort and HDMI

Cons:

  • More expensive than an OLED TV of comparable size

2. Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ 43”

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 49.90 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 43″, VA | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response Time: 1ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 38.37 x 24.85 x 9.54 inches

The PG34UQ can be considered the smaller brother of the PG65UQ in terms of size, but the truth is that this model also lacks some of the useful features found in the more expensive version. In addition, this model also comes in two versions, depending on whether you want HDR 1000 or HDR 600.

Even so, the HDR 1000 model can still push 144Hz at 4K, and the 43” diagonal is more than enough for a pleasant movie experience. However, this version does not come with G-Sync Ultimate, although that is pretty much irrelevant if you are only interested in watching movies anyway.

One of the other drawbacks over the PG65UQ is the fact that this one has a weaker speaker system, with two 10W speakers instead of 15W. Thankfully, you are still getting a remote with this model as well, which is definitely a plus.

There’s also the fact that it should be easier to put this monitor on a desk and use it as your day-to-day display for work and web browsing. Not something you can do with the 65” model, that’s for sure.

Pros:

  • Bigger than your average 4K monitor
  • Capable of 144Hz at 4K
  • 1000 nits of peak brightness and DisplayHDR 1000 certification
  • 1ms response time, which is great for gaming
  • Includes a remote
  • Comes with built-in stereo speakers

Cons:

  • Still pretty expensive, especially the HDR 1000 version

3. BenQ EW3280U 32”

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 24.10 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 32″, IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 5ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 28.62 x 8.04 x 20.59 inches

Sound is perhaps the second most important factor while watching a movie, which is why many film lovers also invest in a good sound system to go along with their monitor/TV. BenQ decided to tap this market by including a 2.1 speaker system into this monitor, complete with a subwoofer.

Obviously, there is only so much you can do when the speakers have to be integrated into a relatively thin monitor, so you shouldn’t expect too much in terms of volume. With that being said, the sound quality is definitely beyond what you usually get from a monitor, so it’s definitely worth considering for this aspect alone.

Other than that, this display also supports HDR10, which is not bad. However, it is not certified by VESA, and there’s also the fact that the HDR mode outputs only about 400 nits. Thankfully, at least you get 10-bit color support, which is better than nothing.

If you plan on using the monitor for gaming, the 60Hz refresh rate can be a bit underwhelming, but the 5ms response time is actually quite good. You can also connect it to your PC using either HDMI or DisplayPort.

Pros:

  • Innovative 2.1 sound system (with a subwoofer)
  • Comes with a remote
  • 10-bit color support and HDR10
  • Great colors, thanks to the IPS panel
  • Decent size for a 4K display
  • Minimal bezels

Cons:

  • A bit expensive, considering its capabilities
  • No DisplayHDR certification

4. BenQ EW3270U 32”

$
$699.00
449.99
Save $249.01

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 16.53 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 32″, VA | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 4ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 8.46 x 28.50 x 20.55 inches

From the model name alone, it can be difficult to differentiate between the EW3270U and the EW3280U, which is the previous entry on our list. However, the spec sheet tells us everything we need to know about the missing features, as well as why this model is a lot cheaper.

The biggest and most obvious difference is the fact that this model does not come with the 2.1 speaker system. Instead, you are only getting two 2W speakers and no subwoofer, which means that you will probably have to rely on your own sound system.

On the other hand, the HDR10 support is present in this model as well, and so is the 10-bit color mode. Since this is a VA panel instead of IPS like on the other version, you can also enjoy a 3000:1 native contrast ratio, which is much better than what you would get from an IPS display.

If you are interested in gaming on this monitor, you should keep in mind the fact that you are limited to 60Hz. The good news is that FreeSync is available, which can help with screen tearing issues in some cases.

Pros:

  • Good contrast ratio, thanks to the VA panel
  • Supports HDR10 and 10-bit color
  • AMD FreeSync support
  • Includes a USB-C port
  • The two 2W speakers might come in handy

Cons:

  • No DisplayHDR certification
  • Fairly weak speakers

5. Samsung UJ59 32”

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 16.90 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 32″, VA | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 4ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 28.72 x 9.90 x 21.04 inches

The VA panel on the Samsung UJ59 is what sets this monitor apart from the competition. As previously mentioned, VA panels offer very deep blacks and great contrast levels, which is exactly what’s needed for a great movie experience.

There’s also the fact that this is a 4K display, which allows you to enjoy most films at the highest possible resolution. If you are a gamer, you can also take advantage of the 4ms input lag, although it should be noted that the panel is limited at 60Hz, which doesn’t quite cut it nowadays.

You are not getting HDR support on this monitor either, mainly because its brightness levels do not match the requirements for HDR content. This is only a problem if you are planning on watching HDR movies because otherwise, you probably won’t see too much of a difference in terms of dynamic range.

There are no speakers included with this model, which means you will have to use your own sound system instead. A headphone jack is available, however, which can make your life easier in certain situations.

Pros:

  • The VA panel offers great contrast levels and deep blacks
  • 10-bit color support
  • Supports AMD FreeSync, which is great if you also play video games
  • Works with both HDMI and DisplayPort
  • Includes a headphone jack

Cons:

  • No HDR support of any kind
  • No built-in speakers

6. Acer CB282K 28”

$
$349.99
295.00
Save $54.99

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 20.80 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 28″, IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 4ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 25.08 x 10.59 x 20.00 inches

The CB282K from Acer is not very generous in terms of extra features, but it makes up for this by offering 4K at a very attractive price. It also manages to cover 90% of the DCI-P3 color space, which means that movies should look very good when it comes to color accuracy.

The pixel density is also much greater on a 28” panel, although this comes at the cost of a smaller overall image. This should not be a big problem if you are using this monitor on a desk and sit directly in front of it.

In terms of HDR, this monitor supports the HDR10 standard, and you can also take advantage of 10-bit color support. Granted, HDR10 is the bare minimum in terms of brightness, so don’t expect anything too fancy in this regard.

A particularly useful feature is the fact that the monitor can be adjusted on every axis using the built-in stand. You can even rotate the monitor and use it in portrait mode, which makes it a good choice for home offices as well. There are also two 2W speakers built into the monitor.

Pros:

  • 90% coverage of the DCI-P3 spectrum
  • Decent brightness (300 nits)
  • The built-in stand is very adjustable
  • Comes with AMD FreeSync support
  • Includes speakers

Cons:

  • The HDR is pretty weak

7. Philips 276E8VJSB 27”

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 10.65 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 27″, IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 5ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 24.10 x 7.40 x 18.30 inches

If you want 4K but are not prepared to pay a lot of money for it, this model from Philips is the way to go. At 27 inches, you are probably not getting a very immersive experience while watching movies, but the pixel density might make up for this inconvenience.

The IPS panel is not particularly blinding in terms of peak brightness, but it does support 10-bit color, which is pretty weird to see in a non-HDR monitor. Speaking of which, you can forget about HDR content, since this panel is not capable of receiving an HDR signal.

The low price is also responsible for the fact that you are not getting any kind of variable refresh rate technology either. As such, you are limited to 60Hz, and you might have to put up with some screen tearing issues if you decide to use this monitor for gaming.

There are also no speakers included, which is to be expected. You do at least get an audio out port, as well as the possibility to use either HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 when it comes to connecting the monitor to your PC.

Pros:

  • Very cheap for a 4K monitor
  • Pretty bright for a non-HDR panel
  • Good viewing angles, courtesy of the IPS panel
  • Great pixel density at 27 inches
  • Works with HDMI and DisplayPort
  • 10-bit color support

Cons:

  • No HDR of any kind
  • No integrated speakers
  • The included stand is not very adjustable

8. LG 32GK650F-B 32”

$
$399.99
369.99
Save $30

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 18.30 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 32″, VA | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Response Time: 5ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 28.20 x 10.70 x 23.80 inches

Although this monitor is primarily designed for gamers, the VA panel also makes it good for watching movies, especially since it is rated at 350 nits in terms of brightness. On the other hand, you will have to make do with 1440p instead of 4K, which is actually not a huge problem if you are using platforms like Netflix or Hulu.

There is also no HDR of any kind and no 10-bit color support, but those not usually included in non-4K movies anyway, so you are not losing much. If you like video games, then you are definitely going to be happy with the 144Hz refresh rate, which goes hand-in-hand with the FreeSync support.

Another slight downside is the fact that there are no speakers built into the monitor, probably because the bezels are designed to be as thin as possible. This can be a plus for watching movies, especially if you already have a good pair of headphones or a dedicated sound system.

Pros:

  • High-quality VA panel
  • Great for gaming as well
  • Very thin bezels
  • Supports AMD FreeSync
  • Great size for a 1440p monitor

Cons:

  • No HDR or 10-bit color
  • No built-in speakers

9. Sceptre E325W-2560AD 32”

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 16.50 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 32″, VA | Refresh Rate: 85Hz | Response Time: 6ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 29.08 x 20.37 x 8.69 inches

This 1440p monitor from Sceptre is technically designed for gaming, but it can serve as your go-to multimedia screen as well. This is mainly thanks to the VA panel and the great contrast levels, not to mention that you also get 10-bit color support, which is great value for this price.

The only major downside is that you will not enjoy HDR content on it, as you can probably expect. On the other hand, it’s much better to see this feature missing entirely instead of dealing with a toned-down version, which actually does more harm than good in most cases.

You can also enjoy some light gaming on this monitor if that’s your jam, especially since the refresh rate goes as high as 85Hz. AMD FreeSync is also supported, so you shouldn’t experience too much screen tearing.

The other good news is that the monitor comes with a pair of built-in speakers as well, even though they are pretty underwhelming in terms of volume and sound quality. They can still come in handy if you do not have anything else at your disposal.

Pros:

  • Good contrast levels thanks to the VA panel
  • Up to 85Hz if you are using the DisplayPort input
  • Built-in speakers
  • 10-bit color support
  • A 32” diagonal is great for watching movies

Cons:

  • No HDR support
  • The included stand is pretty basic

10. ViewSonic VA2719-2K-SMHD 27”

Display type: LED | Item Weight: 12.35 lbs | Panel Type and Size: 27″, IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 5ms | Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI | Dimensions (W x H x D): 9.84 x 24.42 x 17.47 inches

Finally, we should also consider those of you who have a very limited budget to spend on a monitor. This model from ViewSonic is a great example of a budget monitor for watching movies, especially since it can also double as an office monitor whenever you have work to do.

The IPS panel runs at 2560 by 1440, and it’s also capable of around 300 nits of sustained brightness, which is not bad at all. On top of that, you can also enjoy 10-bit color support, although there is no HDR to speak of, unfortunately.

In terms of sound, the monitor does come with a pair of 3W speakers, as well as an audio out port that allows you to quickly connect your headphones to it. You can also use either HDMI or DisplayPort as your input, but keep in mind that the HDMI port is only version 1.4.

Pros:

  • Good resolution and diagonal size for the price
  • 10-bit color support
  • Includes a pair of 3W speakers
  • Slim bezel design
  • Good brightness levels

Cons:

  • No HDR support
  • The included stand is not very adjustable

FAQ

Is a Curved Monitor Good for Watching Movies?

If you are the only one watching, then yes, a curved monitor is just as good as a regular monitor for watching movies. If you plan on watching with friends or family, the ones who are not sitting dead center in front of the monitor will have issues with contrast levels and color shifting, so keep that in mind.

Are TN Panels Good for Watching Movies?

Not really, no. TN panels have poor contrast levels and washed-out colors, which makes them a bad choice for any kind of multimedia. They are only good for gaming, mainly because they offer very fast response times and high refresh rates.

Are Ultrawides Good for Watching Movies?

Ultrawide monitors have different aspect ratios than most modern movies, which means that the picture won’t be able to fit the whole screen without being stretched. The solution comes in the form of two black vertical bars, which can be really distracting and annoying. As such, they are not really recommended for watching movies.

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