Monitors for Movies

For movie watching it’s often desirable to have a screen with strong contrast. The extra depth to dark shades and superior atmosphere that can deliver, especially in dimmer lighting conditions, can be a key part of the experience for some movie-lovers. When it comes to LCD panels, that’s the domain of the VA panel with static contrast typically around 3 times as high as other LCD panel types. OLED technology is far from prolific in the monitor market. But it’s even stronger in that respect, with a practically infinite contrast ratio due to their per-pixel illumination. Depending on the content you watch or your preferences, IPS panels may be more attractive than VA panels for video content – and there are ways to counteract the weaker contrast in dimmer lighting conditions. Anime, cartoons and other animated content really highlight the relative strengths of IPS-type panels when it comes to colour consistency – a key concept explored in our panel types article. These superior colour reproduction characteristics can also be appreciated for content set in the real world, with richness and saturation better maintained throughout the screen.

Some video content, including on streaming platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, is mastered in the ‘4K’ UHD resolution. So it can be attractive to use a monitor that matches this resolution and therefore takes full advantage of this content. An increased pixel density improves the detail and clarity of suitably high-resolution content such as this. HDR (High Dynamic Range) is also becoming more readily available, with the HDR10 standard being the most widely supported. Monitors which support HDR are fairly widespread now, although many offer only a very basic and limited HDR experience. Sometimes the experience is so compromised it’s better to stick to ordinary SDR (Standard Dynamic Range), other times there is a genuine enhancement to the experience under HDR. 10-bit colour reproduction, a wide colour gamut (~DCI-P3+) used appropriately and improved contrast due to local dimming and a powerful backlight are key benefits of a good HDR experience. VESA DisplayHDR’s certification system will give a broad idea of the relative HDR capabilities of a display, but even within each ‘tier’ there’s quite a bit of variation between how good the actual HDR performance is.

VESA DisplayHDR

VESA DisplayHDR


For extended boxset binging, watching long movies viewing comfort is important. All models featured here have flicker-free backlights and many offer LBL (Low Blue Light) settings. Although viewing comfort has many facets and is a very subjective area. Responsiveness is also something to consider, not just for viewing comfort but general enjoyment of the content. It’s less of a factor here than it is for gaming monitors, however. The frame rate of most video content on platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube is ~24 – 30fps. With 60fps being the upper limit in most cases, usually reserved for certain content on platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. Some models may show obvious weaknesses when gaming at high refresh rates and frame rates, due to slower than optimal pixel responses. But might deal with movie content just fine. And because you don’t interact with the content as you do when gaming, input lag or the overall ‘connected feel’ of the monitor isn’t something you need to worry about. High refresh rates are therefore much less important. In theory a high refresh rate could slightly reduce some instances of juddering. 24fps, 30fps and 60fps all divide evenly into 120Hz and 240Hz, for example. But the frame rate is the main barrier to fluidity and when viewing 24 – 30fps content on a monitor of any refresh rate you can expect moderate juddering to persist.

 

Our key up to date recommendations are given in the table below, grouped by size.

 

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~24 inches27 inches~32 inches34 inches

AOC C24G1 (23.6″ 144Hz curved VA, 1920 x 1080)

 
AOC C24G1

AOC C24G1

 
Key points:

  • 23.6″ 144Hz VA panel (TPV TPM236WF1-HP02 Samsung SVA)
  • 1500R curve
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p)
  • 3000:1 contrast ratio
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (250 cd/m² peak luminance, ~sRGB gamut)
  • 2 HDMI 1.4 ports, DP 1.2a, VGA, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Tilt, height and swivel stand adjustment with VESA 100 support


Why choose this monitor:

The AOC C24G1 features a VA panel with ~sRGB colour gamut, delivering quite a natural-looking image with less saturation than wider gamut options. The contrast is strong, helping achieve a more atmospheric look to dark scenes and helping bright elements stand out well against darker surroundings. The 1500R curve helps draw you into the experience a bit, but wasn’t something we found unnatural – given the relatively small screen size we didn’t find it changed the overall viewing experience too dramatically, really. The monitor lacks HDR support but is an affordable Full HD option which matches up well with most video content. The pixel responsiveness is better than average for the panel type, too, handling movie content well. With only minor weaknesses that most users will not find distracting or necessarily even notice. A fairly well-implemented strobe backlight setting (MBR) is also included, which can provide an edge in motion clarity that some may appreciate. Flexible Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are also included to aid relaxing viewing.

Further reading:

Our review of this model.

Manufacturer product page

Samsung F24T45 (23.6″ 75Hz IPS, 1920 x 1080)

 
Samsung F24T45

Samsung F24T45

 
Key points:

  • 23.6″ IPS-type panel (75Hz)
  • Medium matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p)
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (250 cd/m² peak luminance, ~sRGB gamut)
  • DP 1.2a, 2 HDMI 1.4 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2 USB 2.0 ports (plus upstream)
  • Tilt, height and swivel stand adjustment with VESA 100 support


Why choose this monitor:

The Samsung F24T45 features an IPS-type panel with ~sRGB colour gamut and flexible gamma settings to allow some fine-tuning. The panel type allows the screen to deliver ‘rich and natural’ colours, with saturation levels appropriately maintained throughout the screen. As with other IPS-type panels, contrast isn’t a key strength – so don’t expect a deep and ‘atmospheric’ look in a dark room. But in brighter room lighting its weaknesses in this respect are less apparent. This model doesn’t offer any HDR support and doesn’t include integrated speakers. But it’s an affordable and well-built screen, a solid budget offering with a Full HD resolution which matches a lot of video content well. Pixel responsiveness is also sufficient for a good experience, even for 60fps content. And Low Blue Light (LBL) settings including a ‘Warm2’ colour temperature setting are included to promote a more relaxing viewing experience.


Further reading:

Manufacturer product page

Philips 288E2UAE/288E2E (28″ 60Hz IPS, 3840 x 2160)

 
Philips 288E2UAE (288E2E)

Philips 288E2UAE (288E2E)

 
Key points:

  • 28″ 60Hz IPS panel (Innolux M280DCA-E3B AAS IPS-type)
  • Light to very light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (300 cd/m² peak luminance, ~87% DCI-P3 gamut)
  • DP 1.4, HDMI 2.0 (x2 for ‘E2E’), 3.5mm audio output, 4 USB 3.2 ports (‘E2UAE’ only)
  • Tilt and height adjustment with VESA 100 support
  • 2 x 3W speakers (‘E2UAE’ only)


Why choose this monitor:

The Philips 288E2E (288E2UAE) features a 28″ ‘4K’ UHD IPS-type panel. This offers strong clarity for ‘4K’ video content, whilst also handling Full HD content well, with the screen running at its native resolution. The screen size provides a decent level of immersion from a normal viewing position. Meanwhile, the panel type keeps colours nice and consistent, rich throughout the screen. The colour gamut provides a good dose of extra vibrancy without the heavy oversaturation of even wider gamuts. The light to very matte screen surface helps the screen maintain its clarity and vibrancy potential better than ‘stronger’ screen surfaces, too. Contrast is not strong enough for a deep and atmospheric experience in a dark room, but works well in brighter room lighting and is a touch beyond what some IPS-type models provide. There’s no HDR support and the brightness adjustment range is quite limited, but will still be sufficient for most users. Pixel responsiveness is sufficient for a good experience when viewing ~23-30fps or 60fps content, whilst flexible Low Blue Light (LBL) settings promote relaxing viewing. The unit we reviewed was very well calibrated in terms of gamma and colour temperature for our preferred ‘2.2’ and 6500K targets, respectively.


Further reading:

Our review

An article exploring the ‘4K’ UHD resolution on screen of this size

Manufacturer product page

BenQ EX2710 (27″ 144Hz IPS, 1920 x 1080)

 
BenQ EX2710

BenQ EX2710

 
Key points:

  • 27″ 144Hz IPS panel (AUO M270HAN03.2 AHVA)
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 1920 x 1080 (Full HD or 1080p)
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio
  • Basic HDR10 support
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (400 cd/m² peak luminance, ~sRGB gamut)
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.2a+ (HDR feature set), 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Tilt, height and swivel adjustment with VESA 100 support
  • 2 x 2.5W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The BenQ EX2710 features a 27″ Full HD IPS-type panel. The resolution matches most video content well, whilst the screen size offers a decent level of immersion. Colour consistency is strong thanks to the IPS-type panel. Combined with the colour gamut, which extends just a bit beyond sRGB, colours are presented in a ‘rich and natural’ way. The light matte anti-glare screen surface with relatively smooth finish offers more direct emission of light and a less grainy look than stronger matte surfaces, too. The contrast performance is as expected for the panel type, so not really the main strength here. But slightly stronger than some IPS models and certainly workable in a better-lit room or with lighting behind the monitor. The monitor provides basic HDR10 support, but lacks a sufficiently generous colour gamut, backlight dimming precision or the stunning brightness required for a true HDR experience. Well-implemented and flexible Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are also provided to aid relaxing viewing. The pixel responsiveness is strong for video content of all frame rates, whilst a broad range of refresh rates can be selected – including 23Hz, 24Hz, 30Hz, 60Hz and higher. If you like the sound of this monitor but would prefer something slightly cheaper and smaller with a bit of a tighter pixel density, we’d recommend the BenQ EX2510.

Further reading:

Our review

Manufacturer product page

Philips 278E1A (27″ 60Hz IPS, 3840 x 2160)

 
Philips 278E1A

Philips 278E1A

 
Key points:

  • 28″ 60Hz IPS panel (TPV TMP270WF1-PF1L Panda IPS)
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (350 cd/m² peak luminance, ~87% DCI-P3 gamut)
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.2, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm audio input
  • Tilt adjustment with VESA 100 support
  • 2 x 3W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The Philips 278E1A provides a natural and consistently rich look to things from its IPS-type panel and ~sRGB gamut. Combined with a ‘4K’ UHD resolution, this provides a good match for ‘4K’ content, whilst also displaying Full HD video content well with the screen at its native resolution. At 27″, the screen provides a reasonable level of immersion as well. The contrast performance is in-line with expectations for the panel, whilst the screen surface is less grainy than quite a few competing 27″ ‘4K’ models for a slightly smoother look to bright shades. The monitor lacks HDR support and it’s very limited in terms of ergonomics, but the price to performance ratio is excellent. The monitor also provides decent 60Hz pixel responsiveness whilst providing a strong performance for lower refresh rates. Flexible Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are included to potentially improve viewing comfort, too.


Further reading:

Our review of the 276E8VJSB. Similar image performance, different aesthetics and slightly different features.

An article exploring the ‘4K’ UHD resolution on screen of this sort of size

Manufacturer product page

BenQ EW3280U (32″ 60Hz IPS, 3840 x 2160)

 
BenQ EW3280U

BenQ EW3280U

 
Key points:

  • 32″ 60Hz IPS panel (AUO M320QAN02.1 AHVA)
  • Very light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio
  • VESA DisplayHDR 400
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (350 cd/m² SDR peak luminance, ~95% DCI-P3 gamut)
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.4, USB-C (60W PD, DP Alt Mode and upstream data), 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Tilt adjustment with VESA 100 support
  • 2 x 2W speakers plus 5W integrated subwoofer


Why choose this monitor:

The BenQ EW3280U features a 32″ IPS-type panel with 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) resolution. Combined with a relatively generous colour gamut (~95% DCI-P3 coverage), the monitor provides a vibrant look to shades throughout the screen. The resolution and screen size combination provides an immersive ‘4K’ UHD experience, with excellent detail for suitably high resolution video content. Full HD movie content is also displayed well with the screen at its native resolution. The very light matte screen surface offers strong preservation of the clarity and vibrancy, with a relatively smooth finish which prevents a clear graininess when viewing lighter content. VESA DisplayHDR 400 support is included, allowing the monitor to puts its fairly generous gamut to good use and pulse the luminance up to slightly higher levels. This is still only a basic HDR level, not necessitating local dimming or a high luminance by HDR standards. Our unit was very well-calibrated with respect to gamma as well, with good flexibility there. The monitor also provides competent pixel responsiveness for movie content at up to 60fps. We found the rustic aesthetic of this screen quite endearing in person, more interesting and less eye-catching than it appears in some images of the screen. The integrated subwoofer and IR OSD remote are also nice touches which some users will appreciate.

Further reading:

Our review

Manufacturer product page

Philips 328E1CA (31.5″ 60Hz curved VA, 3840 x 2160)

 
Philips 328E1CA

Philips 328E1CA

 
Key points:

  • 31.5″ 60Hz VA panel (TPV TPM315WR1-FP01.S Samsung SVA)
  • 1500R curve
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD)
  • 2500:1 contrast ratio
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (250 cd/m² peak luminance [>300 cd/m² measured], ~122% sRGB gamut)
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.2a, 3.5mm audio input, 3.5mm audio output
  • Tilt adjustment with VESA 100 support
  • 2 x 3W speakers


Why choose this monitor:

The Philips 328E1CA provides an engrossing experience from its 31.5″ screen, with a 1500R curve drawing you in a bit. We didn’t find this unnatural when watching video content. The high pixel density provides good detail levels to ‘4K’ content, whilst presenting Full HD content well with the screen at its native resolution. The colour gamut extends a bit beyond sRGB, but not by an extreme amount. Helping inject a bit of extra vibrancy without a strongly oversaturated appearance. The relatively strong contrast, meanwhile, aids the atmospheric look to darker content. Whilst helping bright elements stand out well against darker surroundings. As usual for a VA model there are some pixel response time weaknesses, but this model is quite well-tuned in that respect and provides a decent experience for lower and higher refresh rate content. Flexible Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are also included to aid relaxing viewing.

Further reading:

Our review

A post summarising our thoughts on this model in the context of some alternatives

Manufacturer product page

AOC CU34G2X (34″ 144Hz curved VA, 3440 x 1440)

 
AOC CU34G2X

AOC CU34G2X

 
Key points:

  • 34″ 144Hz VA panel (TPV TPM340YP05 M01A Samsung SVA)
  • 1500R curve
  • Light matte anti-glare screen surface
  • 3440 x 1440 (UWQHD – 21:9 UltraWide)
  • 3000:1 contrast ratio
  • Basic HDR10 support
  • Flicker-free WLED backlight (300 cd/m² peak luminance, ~119% sRGB gamut)
  • 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 DP 1.4 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack, 4 USB 3.2 ports (plus upstream)
  • Tilt, swivel and height adjustment with VESA 100 support


Why choose this monitor:

The AOC CU34G2X offers a 3440 x 1440 resolution and 21:9 aspect ratio, providing a screen-filling experience for supported video content. The size and curvature provides an experience many find quite immersive, too. The colour gamut extends some way beyond sRGB but not by an extreme amount (~119% sRGB), providing some extra vibrancy without strong oversaturation. The VA panel, meanwhile, delivers relatively strong contrast to help bright elements stand out well against darker surroundings. And create a more atmospheric look to darker scenes. Basic HDR10 support is also provided, allowing the colour gamut to put to good use and allowing 10-bit colour support. But this is a very limited HDR experience – without the brightness level, local dimming capability or wide enough gamut for a ‘true’ HDR experience. Pixel responsiveness is fairly standard for the panel type, so some weaknesses are present for 60fps content in particular. But these weaknesses are less pronounced than on some VA models and most will not find this distracting when engrossed in their film content. Flexible Low Blue Light (LBL) settings are included, too, promoting a more relaxing viewing experience.

Further reading:

Our review

An article exploring the 3440 x 1440 resolution

Manufacturer product page

This list is heavily condensed; look out for the recommended badge in our reviews as well. You can sort our reviews by badge status and various other features in the review archive.