At first glance, TVs and monitors look identical.
However, their prices differ by a huge margin.
See, a 32-inch Samsung monitor costs $400.
While you can get the same-sized TV for less than $200.
Unsurprisingly, this makes you wonder…
“What makes TVs much cheaper than monitors?”
Continue reading to find out:
- 11 weird reasons TVs cost less than PC monitors.
- Which of the 2 devices has much longer durability.
- The technical aspects where TVs can’t compare to monitors.
- And this is just the beginning…
Why are TVs cheaper than monitors? 11 reasons
#1: Lower refresh rate
This refers to how frequently a screen refreshes to display a new image per minute.
And simply speaking…
The higher this value is, the smoother your screen’s video will be.
Now, most PC monitors have high refresh rates.
After all, a smoother video means more fluid movements of your display. Or in-game character.
So, companies spend more to ensure that their monitors have a refresh rate of at least 120 Hz.
Or even 240 Hz for the high-end models.
In contrast, though…
Lower-end TVs usually only come in 60 Hz, making them cheaper to produce.
Because movies and shows don’t require a high refresh rate to display properly on your screen.
Note: TVs that have 120 Hz are aimed at customers with gaming consoles like Xbox. And they’re more expensive compared to those with a slower refresh rate.
#2: Higher input lag
When you tap the pause button on your TV remote…
The show you’re watching won’t immediately stop playing.
Instead, your TV reacts milliseconds later.
Because, like monitors, it has something called input lag or latency.
Now, this delay doesn’t really cause significant problems if you’re just streaming on your TV.
After all, you barely interact with your big screen. Unless you want to change the show or volume.
However, if you’re playing games on your monitor…
A high input lag will negatively affect your experience.
Imagine playing a first-person shooting game.
And when you try to jump…
Your character leaps half a second later.
If you’re a gamer, you know how frustrating this would be.
Because every millisecond matters in playing games.
Monitor manufacturers know how crucial having low latency is with PCs.
So, to ensure that their customers have the best gaming experience possible…
Unlike TV companies…
Monitor manufacturers spend more to lower the latency of their devices.
#3: Less-accurate colors
TVs are mainly used for entertainment.
So, TV companies don’t pay too much importance to the color accuracy of their devices.
See, instead of using high-quality LCD panels like IPS…
They rely on color-enhancing filters to make their devices’ screens more appealing. As it’s the cheaper option.
Now, the opposite is true for PC monitors.
Many people use their computers to perform creative works. And color accuracy is crucial for this craft.
As a result…
Most companies don’t add filters to enhance or modify the picture quality on PC monitors.
Instead, they use higher-quality panels to improve color accuracy. And these are more expensive than simply adding filters.
#4: Lower pixel density
TVs may be bigger than monitors.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have better video quality.
If you compare a 1080p 55inch TV to a 24-inch monitor with the exact resolution…
You’ll see that the latter shows better details or, specifically:
- Texts will appear clearer.
- Images will look sharper.
- You won’t see aliasing. Or lines that look like stairs.
Because monitors have a much higher pixel density.
In other words, they have more pixels per inch (PPI) than TVs.
Now, visual examples would let you understand this concept a lot quicker.
So, watch this video to see how pixel density affects video quality:
#5: Limited usage
Once connected to a streaming device…
You can use a monitor in various ways, including:
- Working from home.
- Accessing social media.
- Editing images and videos.
- Streaming or playing games.
So, companies make monitors that can cater to all types of picture and video formats.
However, this isn’t the case for TVs.
See, the primary purpose of television is to let you stream content.
And since they don’t need to accommodate as many apps as monitors do…
Companies design TV panels more simply. Even if it compromises the following:
- Refresh rate.
- Pixel density.
- Color accuracy.
And as a result, they’re much cheaper to make.
Recommended reading: Do You Need A Monitor For A PC? 5 Vital Answers
#6: Less durability
TVs are durable devices. But they generally fail much earlier than monitors do.
See, most mid-range TVs like those from LG typically last up to 7 years max.
However, monitors can last for 30,000 to 60,000 hours. Or 10-20 years with regular use.
This huge durability gap exists because monitors were built with higher-quality materials.
So, it’s not surprising that TVs usually cost less.
#7: Shorter warranty
TVs are cheap because their companies spend less on free services.
See, TVs only get a warranty of 6 months to 2 years.
While monitors are covered by a much longer protection plan.
For example, the company Asus provides a 3-year warranty for its monitors.
And that’s 50% longer protection than what LG TVs get.
#8: Highly competitive market
Buying a TV used to mean emptying your pocket decades ago.
For example, most models back in the 1950s cost over $700.
And that’s equivalent to about $8,000 at today’s rate.
You can easily find dozens of TV models that cost less than $200.
“How did this happen?”
Well, we all have the highly competitive TV industry to thank for it.
See, with all the brands wanting to get their name out in public…
TV companies, especially new ones, always aim to sell their models cheaper than others.
After all, this is one of the easiest ways to make people buy their products.
The situation is a bit different for monitors, though.
Since fewer companies are competing in the PC industry…
Brands don’t need to lower their prices just to sell their monitors.
#9: Broader target audience
Different people have varying budgets when buying TVs.
Some prefer those that are high-end.
While others want affordable models that aren’t too space-consuming.
So, to cater to all these different types of customers…
Companies create various TV models with different prices.
And they ensure that there are always cheap TVs that those on a budget can buy.
“Isn’t this also the case for monitors?”
See, those with PC setups are usually less concerned about the price than the quality.
And most gamers are willing to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars for a decent screen.
Knowing this fact…
Monitor brands get away with pricing their products much higher.
#10: Limited aspect ratios
TVs are cheaper than monitors because they’re mostly limited to the 16:9 screen ratio.
See, CRT or old-style TVs used to look like squares.
They simply have that familiar rectangle shape regardless of their size, don’t they?
The 16:9 ratio makes it extremely easy for companies to reproduce TVs.
So, they lower their production costs. And charge customers less.
In contrast, though, monitors come in various aspect ratios.
Some are longer lengthwise to improve productivity, like this model from LG.
While others are shaped like squares to maximize space in small places like the cashier desk. This monitor from ViewSonic is an example.
Aside from these…
There are also curved monitors for better gaming immersion.
See, having more variations mean more expenses for the company.
Hence, monitor manufacturers always sell their devices at a much higher price point.
You might also want to know: What Does A 32 Inch TV Look Like In A Room? 3 Tips
#11: Higher volume in sales
As mentioned earlier, TVs have a much broader audience than monitors.
And this lets television companies sell more products.
For example, about 214 million TVs were sold in 2018 alone.
In comparison, the highest annual sales of PC monitors are only 143.6 million.
And that was recorded in 2021.
Now, since TV companies sell more models compared to monitor manufacturers…
They earn more profit. As a result, brands have the privilege of pricing their TVs less. Because they won’t suffer too much loss in revenue in the long run.
Unfortunately, this strategy doesn’t work for PC monitors.
These devices are already less in demand.
So, if companies lower their products’ prices…
Monitor brands will further lose profit.