Skip to Content

Why Are Monitors More Expensive Than TVs?

As an owner of both a monitor and a TV, I have often wondered why the former is more expensive than the latter. I have done some research and testing in order to better understand why this is the case and I’m here to share what I have learned.

In this blog post, I’ll explain why monitors are more expensive than TVs, and I’ll also offer some solutions to help you find the right monitor for your budget.

Monitors are generally more expensive than TVs due to their interactive nature and relative hardware complexity. Since monitors intend to display detailed information to users and allow them to respond rapidly, they focus on entirely different aspects of image representation.

PriceGenerally more expensiveUsually cheaper
Target AudienceLimited, specificWider, general audience
Pixel DensityHigher, with more accurate color and image detailLower, with larger but potentially distorted images
Refresh RateHigher, improving reaction times and smooth actionLower, more suitable for leisurely gaming
Input LatencyLower, providing faster response timesHigher, causing slower reaction times
UsageInteractive, ideal for gaming and graphical workPrimarily for media consumption
Eye Strain ReductionDesigned to minimize eye strain during extended useNot specifically designed for long-duration screen use
InterchangeabilityCan function as a TV in some casesCan function as a monitor for leisure gaming and general use

How Do The Prices Of TVs and Monitors Compare?

It would be wise to gauge how wide the disparity between the cost of a new TV and monitor is to start the conversation on pricing. With the variety of screens available In the market, there will always be alternatives matching your requirements that come in different sizes, resolutions, and refresh rates.

The average price of a computer monitor sits between $200 and $300, and the average cost of a 42″ flat panel TV rests between $400 and $500. But in both cases, prices may vary wildly depending on device specifications.

The prices of individual monitors and TVs mutually rely on the screen size, display technology, and resolution of the device, but there are specific characteristics each will depend on more. The refresh rate of a monitor and the year a TV model was released may have surprising effects on how much they cost.

Like-For-Like Comparison Between TV And Monitor Prices

The disparity in price comes through more clearly when comparing the price of a TV and that of a monitor depending on their respective screen size, screen type, resolution, and refresh rates. The relevant pricing factors of TVs and monitors available for purchase online formed the comparative criteria in a study of TV and monitor costs.

A simplified comparison of the prices of TVs and Monitors with similar specifications:

Screen SizeScreen typeResolutionRefresh RatePrice
27″ TVLED1080p75Hz$179.99
27″ MonitorLED1080p75Hz$214.00
32″ TVLED1080p60Hz$227.99
32″ MonitorLED1080p75Hz$249.99
15.6″ TVOLED1080p60Hz$189.99
15.6″ MonitorOLED1080p60Hz$349.99
48″ TVOLED2160p120Hz$799.99
48″ MonitorOLED2160p120Hz$1296.99
48″ MonitorOLED2160p120Hz$1499.99
86″ TVOLED2160p120Hz$1699.99

The price of TVs is often lower than that of a similarly sized monitor with a matching resolution and refresh rate. There is a relatively muted price difference in lower-end models, which is quite pronounced among the most advanced models. A 48″ OLED TV can be nearly $500 cheaper than a monitor of the same size and resolution, and in many cases, you can obtain a sizeable TV for the same price as an advanced monitor.

How Differences Between TVs And Monitors Influence Pricing

Frequently marketing factors can contribute to how expensive monitors are relative to TVs. Since the target audience for monitors is limited, electronics companies manufacture fewer monitors, thus restricting supply. But, in the same breath, monitors are also highly in demand, as computer systems cannot function without them.

Furthermore, the different tasks that TVs and monitors satisfy determine their design and function. Monitor manufacturers engineer each device to optimize a particular set of processes and structures to achieve their goals.

Whereas TVs serve as displays that allow you to view visual media comfortably, monitors are more interactive. Monitors are most often associated with work and play as computers are an integral part of modern information systems and analytical capabilities, and gaming.

Monitor design prioritizes the ability to present information accurately and speedily to the user, which is particularly valuable for gaming. Likewise, color accuracy, particularly valuable when you do a lot of graphical detail and editing, is often higher on a monitor than on a TV.

Additionally, monitors are assembled with a mind to extend the number of times users can view the display without developing eye strain. Since monitors are literally in your face for hours on end, the user’s welfare is a significant priority. As per their design, many monitors minimize harmful exposure to blue light and unnecessary neck movements from sitting too close to the screen.

Enhanced Monitor Ability Makes Them More Expensive Than TVs

While the quality of a TV and monitor’s graphics ties into the screen’s resolution, monitors benefit from higher pixel densities. Because monitors ease video and photo editing, a greater emphasis falls on their color and image detail precision. While the images on a TV are larger and more apparent, the broader distribution of pixels tends to distort the quality of the displayed images.

Coupled with pixel density, monitors benefit from highly responsive screens, higher refresh rates, and anti-blur technology. The increased tempo of color change within the diodes that make up the pixels of the screen enhances the perception of movement, providing smoother action sequences with fewer distortions.

The higher refresh rates of monitors, compared to those of TVs, also help improve user reaction times. Since a higher refresh rate increases frame counts, more information is more readily available to users, and decisions can be made quicker. For gaming, the optimized reporting of game events is integral to player performance.

Perhaps the most crucial gaming advantage monitors have over TVs is a reduction in input lag. A deliberate decrease in image quality filtration reduces the processing burden on the screen and allows for the immediate presentation of user actions on display. A lower input latency provides gamers with improved reaction potential, which is, for pro-gamers, a competitive advantage.

How Well Do TVs Serve As Monitors And Monitors As TVs?

In some cases, the difference between the performance of a TV and a monitor can be nearly indistinguishable. Both devices excel as task-built display platforms within user interaction or viewer comfort, but they may be highly interchangeable for general use. There may be alternatives to buying an expensive new TV or monitor, which may already be standing in the home.

TVs can serve as adequate monitors for users that prefer more leisurely gaming activities that rely less on quick reactions. The increased screen size also allows various ways for you to include other people in the activities on display. If the screen is big enough, a monitor’s increased pixel density, higher refresh rates, and color accuracy will similarly offer new ways of watching blur-free movies or shows.

Pros of Monitors

  • Interactive nature
  • Increased pixel density
  • Higher refresh rates
  • Color accuracy
  • Lower input latency
  • Faster response times

Cons of Monitors

  • Expensive
  • Limited target audience
  • Potentially unnecessary features for some people


Monitors are essentially extensions of computers, and because they are indispensable parts of the system, they tend to be suitably expensive. But the added utility of monitors comes at a premium, leading to even smaller monitors often costing more than TVs with equal resolutions.

While the performance difference may escape many people, monitors provide specific access and tools for graphical design and gaming professionals. Despite TVs having more impressively sized screens and an emphasis on a cinematic quality, monitors have higher refresh rates, lower input latency, and faster response times.

Read more: Netflix volume low on smart TV