Whether you want to buy a PC for the first time or update your old one, you’re going to face another cost—the monitor.
Monitors are an integral part of your PC setup because they help capture all the hard work your CPU and GPU are doing to give you the best graphics possible.
However, new PC owners may wonder why monitors are more expensive than TVs.
Here are 10 reasons monitors cost more than TVs.
Why Are Monitors More Expensive Than TVs? (10 Reasons)
1. High Refresh Rate
One of the reasons monitors are more expensive than TVs has to do with the refresh rate.
If you’re a PC gamer, then refresh rate is extremely important.
It’s the amount of time it takes for the screen to update.
In terms of gaming, this means that a high refresh rate shows a more accurate movement of your mouse or character.
If you’re playing a competitive shooter, having a higher refresh rate than someone else can give you an edge.
You’ll be able to see them or what they’re doing a fraction of a second faster than they will.
If you have great reflexes and reaction time, you can respond accordingly before them.
Monitors have a higher refresh rate than TVs because they’re designed to do so.
They’re designed to work with your GPU or graphics processing unit.
TVs don’t have as high of a refresh rate because they don’t need to.
Most TVs have a game mode that helps speed up their refresh rate, but since the majority of people using TVs do so to watch movies, shows, sports, and the news, it doesn’t need a high refresh rate.
Having a high refresh rate isn’t going to make the movie or show go faster.
Monitors are more expensive than TVs because they have higher refresh rates which appeal to PC gamers.
2. Color Image Accuracy
Another important reason monitors are more expensive than TVs is their color image accuracy.
When you watch TV, you aren’t always seeing the most accurate color display.
That’s because some TV modes, like cinematic mode, put a filter on the TV.
Other TV resolutions tend to bolden certain colors to make them look brighter.
Monitors don’t do this.
They have better color image accuracy.
That’s because monitor manufacturers know how important it is to get the right color for designers and artists.
If an artist or designer makes something on their monitor, then prints it out, they may discover that the image on their monitor looks completely different from what they printed out.
The colors are off.
This can ruin the design, logo, or product that they’re trying to sell.
Gamers also care about color image accuracy.
When it comes to realistic graphics, for example, gamers want the most accurate shades and colors possible.
They don’t want a filter that changes the colors and skews things a certain way.
To avoid those problems, monitors invest a lot of money into ensuring that their screens display accurate colors.
This uses expensive electronics to do.
Because of that, monitors carry a higher price.
3. Anti-Blur Technology
Another feature that monitors have that most TV screens don’t is anti-blur technology.
When gaming on a TV screen or watching a movie, you may notice some blurring when movement occurs too quickly.
While this is sometimes due to the fact that TV screens have slower refresh rates, it’s also because they don’t always have anti-blur technology.
For monitors, they have anti-blur technology to provide gamers with the best action images possible.
Because gamers sometimes have to run their characters at fast speeds or suddenly turn their cameras at fast speeds, a lot of blurring can occur even with high refresh rates.
Anti-blur technology further helps them experience a smooth gaming experience.
It also helps cut back on the sense of motion sickness.
Sometimes certain games can have a lot of movement to them.
The swaying of a camera is one example.
When there isn’t anti-blur technology included in the monitor, the gamer might start to feel sick.
There’s the swaying motion of the camera, but there’s also the blurred vision.
With this technology included, the monitor can remove the blur and make it a bit easier for gamers to watch their monitors without feeling ill.
The unfortunate part of anti-blur technology is that it costs monitor manufacturers more money to add it to their products.
Since it costs them more money, they have to sell their monitors at higher prices.
4. Smaller Production Scale
There’s less demand for computer monitors than there is for TVs.
While some households might get a computer, most will either get more affordable options like tablets or laptops.
In a time when smartphones can handle some of the basic functions that an expensive computer can, the need to own a computer, and thus a monitor, is becoming smaller and smaller.
That affects how expensive monitors are, especially compared to TVs.
A quick examination of how many TVs were sold in 2018 and how many PC monitors were sold in 2021 gives a glimpse of the kind of production scales that both see.
In 2018, manufacturers sold around 214 million TVs.
In 2021, PC monitors had a record number of sales.
Manufacturers shipped out 143.6 million monitors in 2021.
That was the highest number of units sold since 2012.
However, that price isn’t something that you can expect in 2022 or any of the subsequent years.
The number of monitors that were sold increased because people had to buy computers for their home offices.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers found themselves having to work at home.
Needing a PC of their own led to increased monitor sales.
Now that everyone has a PC and most workers are returning to the office, the need for PCs has decreased.
As such, the need for monitors has also decreased.
Even at their peak, however, monitor sales are still lower than TV sales.
This impacts how many monitors manufacturers produce each year.
Since they don’t produce as many, that leads to an increase in price.
There’s a naturally limited supply.
TVs, on the other hand, are mass-produced.
They’re always in demand, so factories keep pumping them out.
Since there’s a constant supply of TVs, the price for them is lower than that of PC monitors.
Monitors are more expensive than TVs because there are fewer of them on the market.
5. Response Rate
Another big difference between monitors and TVs that adds to the price of a monitor is its response rate.
Response rate and refresh rate are closely linked.
However, while the refresh rate refers to how quickly the screen updates, the response rate refers to the monitor’s ability to respond to input.
This all comes down to how well the monitor communicates with the CPU and GPU.
When you click a button on the keyboard or press the mouse, a high-quality monitor will practically have an instantaneous change.
Couple that with a good refresh rate, and gamers and professionals are able to use their PCs effectively.
A TV doesn’t have a great response rate.
You may even notice that it takes your TV a few seconds to switch channels, change volume, or even switch between different inputs.
That’s because a TV doesn’t need to be that fast.
While this is a nice feature, it isn’t something that anyone is going to complain about either.
PC monitors, however, need fast response times.
For one, this is because people use computers professionally.
They need it to respond to their inputs immediately if they’re an artist, designer, or someone else who does most of their work on their computer.
Gamers need it to get an edge over the competition or even just to enjoy a game.
Since it’s more valued in monitors, manufacturers spend more money on quality parts to give the best possible response rate that they can.
Since their monitors cost more to make, they have to put a higher price tag on them to cover the cost.
6. Different Target Audiences
A major factor that determines TV and computer monitor pricing is each of their target audiences.
TV audiences are large and general.
You have some people who prefer to buy large TVs with the best resolution.
You also have people who prefer cheap and basic TVs.
Because the market is so large, the competition among TV manufacturers is stiff.
Along with big brand names, you also have several smaller brands or even generic brands that are looking to steal customers.
Because of that, most TV manufacturers have to price their TVs low.
If they don’t, there’s a good chance that another company will steal their customers from them.
That isn’t necessarily the case for computer monitors.
While there is some competition among monitor manufacturers, it’s less about price and more about features and performance.
Their target audience is generally gamers and professionals.
These are individuals who are more willing than TV owners to spend lots of money on their equipment.
For example, if the average price of a mid-tier gaming computer is around $1,500 to $2,000, these customers are likely not going to have a problem paying anywhere from $200 to even $1,000 on a great PC monitor.
That’s because they’ve already invested so much money into the actual computer.
If they didn’t have a monitor to let their computer show its best qualities, that money they spent on the computer goes to waste.
Monitor manufacturers can get away with selling their products at higher prices because they know that their target audience has already invested a lot of money into their setup.
7. Customization Options
Another feature that PC monitors have which TVs do not is their ability to customize.
With TVs, the general aspect ratio is 16:9.
In most cases, you can’t change this.
TVs have this ratio because the manufacturers expect most viewers to be at a certain distance from their TV screens.
Computer monitors, on the other hand, have an aspect ratio that you can customize.
In fact, they have several different customization options.
Depending on how much performance you want to get out of it, you can tamper with everything from its aspect ratio to its resolution.
As with any product, if you’re able to customize it, you can expect to pay a higher price.
That’s because it takes more time to build something that someone else can change.
In a monitor, this means more time is spent designing the software to allow for customization.
It also means that the monitor itself needs to have different types of hardware that allow its users to switch between the various settings.
While TVs have some customization options, most of them are also pre-generated.
A monitor allows you to customize your picture to extreme detail, which makes it more expensive than a TV.
8. Longer Lifespans
When buying electronics, longevity is often at the forefront of a buyer’s mind.
Even though there’s always a new model coming out, if you’re someone with a budget, then you want the electronic device that you buy to last.
That ends up creating a big difference between TVs and monitors.
TVs generally don’t last as long as monitors.
TVs have an average lifespan of between four and 10 years.
Monitors have an average lifespan of between 10 and 20 years.
There are a few reasons that PC monitors last longer than TVs.
For one, they usually use better parts.
Since they have to deliver stronger performances than TVs, they use high-quality parts.
These parts last longer than the cheaper parts used to make TVs.
Perhaps the biggest factor that influences the longevity of a monitor is its usage.
In most cases, a TV screen is going to see more use than a PC monitor.
Even gamers need to take breaks and turn their PC monitors off.
TVs, on the other hand, are the seat of entertainment.
Everyone gathers together to watch the news, movies, or their favorite shows.
Monitors have very specific uses.
They’re used either for work, school, or games.
Your phone, laptop, or tablet can handle web surfing and other mundane tasks on the internet.
Because monitors aren’t used as often as TV screens, this also helps preserve their electronics.
Since monitors last longer than TVs, people buy fewer of them.
As a result, manufacturers need to get as much money from every sale as they can.
They’re going to have to wait between 10 and 20 years, in most cases, for the customer to return to get another monitor.
Since they can’t rely on frequent purchases from the same customer, they have to change their business model.
Instead, they have to charge high prices to make their revenue streams last longer.
9. Expensive Electronics
Perhaps one of the main reasons monitors are more expensive than TVs is the electronics that reside within them.
Since monitors have to do a lot more than TVs in regards to performance, they have more electronics in them.
Those electronics are expensive to make.
Sometimes, when there are certain fluctuations in the market, it’s even more expensive than usual to make those electronics.
Monitor manufacturers also rely on high-quality materials to make their electronics.
Low-quality materials won’t give them the type of performance standards that they’re aiming for.
They know that they won’t sell a monitor with low-performance standards since those users will likely just buy a TV instead.
Due to the high cost of materials, manufacturers have to put higher prices on their monitors to make up for their investments.
10. Sharper Audio Quality
A final reason PC monitors are more expensive than TVs is because of their audio quality.
When it comes to TVs, you usually get a few options for audio quality.
However, in most cases, if people want superior audio quality, they need to buy speakers.
Monitors have better audio quality than TVs because manufacturers know that professionals and gamers rely on high-quality audio.
Professionals need it to communicate with their employers, co-workers, and employees.
Gamers need it to immerse themselves in the gaming experience.
To get high-quality audio, the manufacturing company has to spend more money on high-quality materials to make their speakers.
Since this adds more cost to their monitors, they have to get those investments back through high prices.
Although TVs and monitors both act as screens for people to watch films or play games, they’re actually quite different.
Since monitors emphasize better quality visuals for professionals and gamers, manufacturers invest more in the hardware and its parts.
As a result, higher manufacturing costs and a smaller market lead to higher prices on PC monitors.