Why Are Monitors More Expensive Than TVs?

Computer monitors in a working area

Based on the size difference, you would think that TVs should be more expensive than monitors. Obviously, that is not the case. Monitors are smaller with fewer ports, but they are more expensive than the latest TV models. This is why people would rather get the best TVs to use as computer monitors than spend more money on a monitor. So why are monitors more expensive than TVs?

Different Purposes

TVs are for entertainment, while monitors are an essential part of a computer. Monitors do basic office work, programming, or graphics-oriented work. As such, they will differ from TVs in functionality which affects their cost. Some people would even use these differences to discourage using TVs as monitors. Let us take a close look at some of these differences:

Monitors Are Part Of A Larger Setup

A monitor is just one of many components that make a computer set up. However, without a monitor, the computer is useless. Since manufacturers and marketers know you need it, they will raise their prices to profit. You will pay more for the extra features needed in a monitor for graphics work, photo or video editing, or gaming. TVs are a singular purchase, so marketers cannot mark up the prices.

Monitors Last Longer Than TVs

People buy televisions for entertainment or as part of their home decor. As mentioned, it’s easier to buy the latest TV than to buy the latest monitor. Most people will replace their TVs more often just to keep up with the latest trends. Frequent TV replacements lower their prices since manufacturers expect frequent purchases. However, this is not the case for monitors.

People will take their time choosing a good monitor and stick with it until it no longer works. Most people would get a new computer first before buying a new monitor. Manufacturers are aware of this and so make monitors as durable as possible. Components and technology must be of the highest quality to achieve this, making them more expensive.

Monitors Have Longer Warranties Than TVs

TVs usually have a warranty of between 6 months to a year which keeps their prices low. You can even reject the warranty on a TV to save money on the initial cost since it is not a built-in feature of most TVs, not so with monitors. They have a built-in warranty to cover their high-quality components and technology. Some monitors even come with built-in CPUs included in the warranty. These warranties last for about five years, adding to the monitor’s cost.

Monitors Have More Responsive Screens Than TVs

Monitors must have highly responsive screens due to their specialized functions. A monitor should respond instantaneously to commands to enhance user productivity. TVs generally have lower responsiveness than monitors. Producing these highly responsive screens is expensive. It requires a lot of time, skills, and specialized technological components. Thus making monitors more expensive than TVs.

Monitors Have Faster Refresh Rates Than TVs

Refresh rate is an important specification for all monitors but rarely for TVs. Measured in hertz (Hz), refresh rate indicates how often a monitor updates its display. It’s better to have a monitor with the highest possible refresh rate for seamless outputs. It takes additional technology and money to create a monitor with high refresh rates.

Computer hardware for a gaming computer
Monitors have better hardware that lasts longer
Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

Monitors Offer Higher Aspect Ratios Than TVs

Aspect ratio describes the relationship between a monitor’s width and height. The aspect ratio for TVs is commonly 16:9, while monitors have different aspect ratios. You can even find monitors with ultrawide aspect ratios measuring 21:9, 32:9, and even higher. High aspect ratios improve user experience and productivity, so professional gamers prefer monitors over TVs. Higher aspect ratios make for more expensive monitors.

Monitors Show More Accurate Colors Than TVs

Photo editors are always looking for the best PC monitors for photo editing. This is important as accurate colors give quality output and overall eye health. Color accuracy requires specific components that increase the monitor’s cost. On the other hand, TVs do not always show accurate colors, so they are less expensive.

Monitors Protect Your Eyes

If you spend long hours on TV, you will notice headaches and your eyes straining more than with a monitor. This is because monitors have built-in technology that protects your eyes. Blue light filter technology, for example, protects your eyes from harmful blue light. Further, flicker-free technology reduces eye strain caused by flickering screen backlights. Additional technology costs more, making monitors more expensive than TVs in this aspect.

Gaming Monitors Are More Expensive Than TVs

Graphics intensive monitors like gaming monitors are the most expensive. As technology rapidly changes, gaming monitors, even on a budget, need to keep up. The constant updates make gaming monitors pretty expensive. Games change their graphics, speeds, and displays, and monitors need to keep up. TVs don’t work well for professional gaming, so they are cheaper than monitors.

Gaming monitors are expensive due to built-in software that enhances vertical synchronization. Software like AMD Free-Sync prevents screen tearing to improve user experience and output. TVs do not come with this software, hence their low price.


Monitors are more expensive because they serve different purposes from TVs. Different purposes need different skills, technology, and components, increasing their manufacturing costs. The different components will also need better warranties to ensure longevity. All these factors contribute to the higher retail cost of monitors over TVs.

Depending on the kind of work you are doing, TVs can replace monitors. Most basic office work needs either a monitor or a TV without much difference in the output quality. Graphics demand high color accuracy, high contrast, high refresh rates, and response times. So here a TV can’t replace a monitor. You will need to pay the extra cost for your intended productivity and output level.

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