PS5 and Xbox Series Monitor - How to Choose It and Why?

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Every gaming console needs a screen. This has long been inherently TV, but what if you don't necessarily need to be sprawled out on the sofa in the living room while you play, but rather like to sit in a chair at a table? If that is your case, you might want to consider not connecting your new console to your TV, but using a monitor. It has a number of advantages. Monitors are generally cheaper, more suitable for gaming than TVs, and have a wide range of uses. But how do you choose a monitor that fits your gaming console? And is this really the right solution for you, or should you prefer TV after all?

Game console monitors

Monitor for PS5 and Xbox Series - CONTENTS

  1. A Monitor for Your Games Console — Should You Give It a Chance?
  2. Choosing a Monitor Based on Your Budget — What to Buy? 
  3. Important Parameters — What Features Should a Gaming Console Monitor Have? 

A Monitor for Your Games Console — Should You Give It a Chance?

If you decide to supplement your video game console with a monitor instead of a TV, you'll be rewarded with a range of benefits. You'll feel the first of these when you buy because whatever monitor you decide to buy, it's usually much cheaper than a similarly equipped TV. You can buy the cheapest 144Hz Full HD monitor for less than two hundred Euros. The cheapest 120Hz TV costs several times more, although, admittedly, it will already have a 4K resolution. But if you don't care too much about resolution and want to save money, a cheap gaming monitor should be the obvious choice.

Game console monitors
The advantage of the monitor is that you can use it for work during the day and play in the evening.

Another important criterion to consider when choosing the best monitor for you is how you want to use your new screen when you're not playing. And also how much space you have for it. If your living room has a blank wall directly opposite the sofa and you like to enjoy movie nights or sports, it might be worth considering going for a big TV. But if you work from home, for example, and you could use the new screen at work, a gaming monitor will do you a greater service. But other variables also come into play, namely system latency and response time.

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System latency and response time - even a cheap monitor can be better than an expensive TV

When comparing TVs and monitors, two parameters play a big role. These are response time and system latency (input lag). In terms of both of these parameters, monitors are generally significantly better than TVs.

The response time indicates how fast the pixels are able to change colour. In practice, it seems that while a screen with a short response time displays the image sharply even with fast movements, a screen with a long response time suffers from motion artifacts. Typically, these are the so-called ghosting. In this process, moving objects leave blurry trails behind them and are themselves out of focus when they move. This, of course, reduces the ease of their recognition and it doesn't look good either.

Input lag, i.e. system latency, then indicates the delay between actions on the input device (e.g. button press) and in-game actions. Therefore, high latency will cause the game control to lag. There is some latency in the control itself (the game controller), then it is increased inside the console, and finally on the screen. And TVs typically have very high latency. In better TVs, it can significantly reduce the so-called gaming mode, but no matter what price range you buy a monitor at, it will almost always have lower latency than an equally expensive TV. For competitive gamers, low latency is crucial, as it gives them an advantage over opponents with higher latency. For other players, low latency "just" provides better enjoyment of the game.

Choosing a Monitor Based on Your Budget — What to Buy?

The only time a monitor is a clear choice to complement a gaming console is when your budget is so low that even a basic 4K TV won't fit. In other situations, you have at least some choice as to whether you prefer a big TV or perhaps an otherwise better monitor. Below you will find recommendations on what to buy in different price ranges to make sure you are happy with your new screen.

Game console monitors
You can buy a basic Full HD monitor even on a really modest budget.

What Can You Get for 250 EUR?

You can reach for the lowest price category not only if you're on a budget, but also if you're primarily interested in high refresh rate gaming and can do without 4K resolution. The cheapest 144Hz Full HD monitor can be purchased for less than 250 EUR. That's similar to what you'd pay for the cheapest TV, but it would have the same display size and significantly worse viewing characteristics in this price range. Plus, you could only dream of a refresh rate higher than 60Hz. All this suggests that whatever your requirements, with a price of around 250 EUR, a monitor for a games console is the obvious choice.

Monitors for Games Consoles in This Price Range

What Can You Get for 400 EUR?

The situation is somewhat similar in this, one step higher price category. If you have that 400 EUR, you can already choose the most basic 4K TV with a display size of 43", but the alternative is a 27" 4K monitor "mid-range" or a really decent gaming QHD monitor with a high refresh rate. The tax for a large display size on a cheap TV is higher system latency, so such screen is not suitable for gamers. Whether you choose an "average" 60Hz 4K monitor or a better QHD (2K) monitor depends on whether you prefer sharpness or high smoothness, i.e. a 120Hz refresh rate (resp. 144 Hz or 165 Hz).

At this budget, the display size also comes into play, because you can buy a 27"/28" or even 32" monitor for under 400 EUR. Again, the choice depends on personal preference. If you have a rather smaller desk and will be working on the monitor a lot, a 27" display size might suit you better, as it will provide a higher pixel density (seemingly sharper image) and you won't have to turn your neck as much when using it. The 32" display size, on the other hand, offers a larger image, but at QHD resolution, the pixel density may be too low for comfortable work use. Plus, you need to place a monitor of this display size far enough from you so that you don't strain your eyes as much while working.

Monitors for Games Consoles in This Price Range

What Can You Get for 900 EUR?

Even with a bigger budget, you can choose a monitor that will serve you better than a TV when you play. But it stops being so clear-cut, because in the 900 EUR budget tier, you can get both a 144Hz 4K monitor and a 4K TV with a 120Hz panel. In this respect, both solutions are equal, as the new consoles won't give you more than 120fps anyway. The monitor still has lower system latency, but the TV's gaming modes can also effectively reduce it, so the differences in real-world use aren't as dramatic.

So the rest of the decision depends mainly on your other preferences. If you're mainly interested in competitive gaming and don't mind sitting close to the screen, you'll be more satisfied with a monitor that also has the advantage of work-related use. On the other hand, when playing the latest story games from the comfort of your couch, you'll appreciate the large display size, which will also come in handy when watching movies, for example.

High-End Monitors for Games Consoles

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PlayStation 5 does not support QHD/1440p

Watch out if you own or plan to buy PlayStation 5. This is because the console currently doesn't support QHD resolution and can only do Full HD or 4K. Some QHD monitors have a downscaling feature that can downscale the input 4K resolution to QHD without the image quality degradation that occurs when displaying Full HD on a QHD monitor. QHD monitors that don't have downscaling translate the signal from your PS5 into Full HD.

In the case of the Xbox Series consoles, everything works seamlessly, as both X and S variants can output native QHD resolution.

Important Parameters — What Features Should a Gaming Console Monitor Have?

If you are looking for a screen for a game console PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series, it is advisable to always check for certain parameters, whether it is a monitor or a TV. An appropriate screen helps you make the most of the new consoles' potential, so you can enjoy the next-gen experience to the fullest. On the other hand, if you're interested in a gaming monitor, you'll find advice on how to choose one in the next section of this article. The following features and specifications are among the aspects that are essential to make a monitor a good addition to a next-generation gaming console:

High Refresh Rate (120/144 Hz)

One of the most significant innovations brought to us by the new consoles is support for high refresh rates. Previously, console gamers were only used to 30 or 60 frames per second. Now the console will provide up to 120 FPS, in many cases in 4K resolution. Therefore, the refresh rate cannot be neglected when choosing a new monitor. This should be at least 120 Hz, and you'll usually see 144 Hz on gaming monitors, which is also appropriate.

Variable Refresh Rate (VRR / FreeSync)

The reason why it doesn't matter that the refresh rate of the monitor (144Hz) is higher than the maximum number of frames generated by the console (120) is the so-called "variable refresh rate", which must be supported by the monitor in addition to the console. If this is the case, the monitor will always display exactly as many frames per second as the console "sends" it. Without VRR, there is typically either a drop in smoothness (stuttering) or horizontal tearing of the image. You can tell VRR compatibility when the monitor is equipped with FreeSync. For 144Hz models, this is a given, but if you're buying a 60Hz monitor, it's worth checking for this feature.

4K Resolution

Next-gen consoles are trying to make 4K resolution as standard an affair as Full HD used to be and still is somewhere. They have enough power to offer 4K gaming. This is the resolution of the vast majority of models in the current TV range, so it's a pretty obvious choice. But you should definitely consider 4K if you're buying a monitor to go with your console. You'll pay extra for it, especially if you want to add a 144Hz refresh rate to the high resolution, but with the plethora of 4K content available outside of console gaming, 4K resolution is an investment that is virtually impossible to regret.

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

Another feature that new gaming consoles offer is HDR, or high dynamic range. The HDR image is deep, with dark black and vibrant whites. It also clearly renders even those details that are only distinguished by a small difference in brightness. In practice, this means that you can easily distinguish even a dark object hidden in the shadows. HDR is offered by a range of monitors, but generally speaking, TVs, especially high-end ones, do better in this regard.

LCD IPS technology dominates the monitors, whose only flaw is the lower contrast ratio. On the other hand, TVs may have an OLED panel where the contrast ratio is a major advantage, or some advanced local dimming system. So if HDR is a priority for you, you might be better off with a TV. But you can also pay extra for an OLED monitor that will have very similar dynamic range characteristics to high-end OLED TVs. But it will also cost similar amount of money.

HDMI 2.1

In order for a 4K signal at 120Hz with variable refresh rate and HDR to be "delivered" from the console to the monitor at all, the monitor must have the latest HDMI 2.1 interface. This is required even if you're not interested in HDR but would like to play in 4K at 120Hz. Older specifications simply do not have sufficient throughput. On a computer, this connection can also be made using HDMI 2.0 if you want to avoid 10-bit colours, but for a seamless connection with consoles, it is advisable to use the newer version. If you only have a Full HD or 60Hz monitor, you don't have to worry too much about the HDMI specification.

Game console monitors
When playing competitive games, a gaming monitor will give you an advantage because it will give you lower input lag than your opponents' TV.
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When it comes to buying a screen for a game console, a monitor is probably not the first choice. But for many users, it may be more practical overall and also more affordable.

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