The best TV

TV & Video

For improved sound quality, flat-screen TVs often need external speakers or a soundbar which are purchased separately.

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Which TVs are best?

It wasn’t that long ago when TVs were heavy, blocky pieces of equipment with poor-quality screens — but since we didn’t know any better, we accepted it.

No longer. The best TVs these days are huge yet surprisingly lightweight and deliver incredible image quality while they continue to drop in price. New TVs have a host of impressive features that ensure they’re ready to handle continued improvements in picture quality.

Top TVs

1. Samsung Class Q900TS Series QLED 8K Smart TV: When you want the next level of display quality, this model has an 8K resolution, which makes it an impressive newcomer on our list.

2. TCL Class 6 Series LED 4K Smart TV: We kept this TCL model on our list because of its mixture of display quality and value for the majority of users.

3. LG Class UN7300 Series 4K Ultra HD Smart TV: For those who like streaming, this LG model’s built-in webOS platform is very easy to use, making it a strong holdover on our list.

What you need to know before buying a TV

Before starting the search for a television that will meet your needs, it’s important to understand the jargon associated with flat-screen TVs and the various technologies available.

Resolution refers to the number of pixels (or dots) the screen can display. Manufacturers express resolution in the number of pixels in the screen’s width versus the pixels in the screen’s height, including:

  • HD: 1920 x 1080
  • 4K (or Ultra HD): 3840 x 2160
  • 8K: 7680 x 4320

Manufacturers list screen size in inches, measured from one diagonal corner to the opposite diagonal corner. The smallest flat-screen TVs measure 32 or 40 inches diagonally, while the largest screens measure 75 to 85 inches.

Smart TV refers to the software built into the TV, allowing viewers to access the internet or streaming services easily. A smart TV should be able to make a connection to your Wi-Fi network, or you can plug it into an ethernet cable that’s connected to your internet router. Running a streaming service over ethernet is the best way to ensure a fast and reliable signal.

HDR, or high dynamic range, is a technology appearing in TVs more frequently. HDR creates greater levels of contrast in your television picture, as well as richer and more vibrant colors. Both the TV and the programming must support HDR to take advantage of it.

OLED TVs make use of organic LEDs to create the picture, which has a greater image quality than LCD TVs, but OLED TVs have a significantly higher cost than LCD TVs.

Prices for televisions fit within an extremely wide range, from around $200 to $5,000 or more. As a general rule, TV prices are higher for units with larger screens, but resolution and the display technologies included also play a role in the overall price.

TV FAQ

Q. Does any TV work well for gaming?

A. Not necessarily. A television with a refresh rate of at least 120Hz (hertz) works better than one with a refresh rate of only 60Hz. An input lag measurement of less than 30 milliseconds is key for gaming, too.

Q. Do I need 4K resolution in a TV?

A. The majority of current programming for TV is HD resolution, but there is some 4K resolution programming. The best feature of a 4K TV is its ability to upscale HD programming to fit the 4K screen, making it a good investment.

In-depth reviews for best TVs

Best of the best

Samsung Class Q900TS Series QLED 8K Smart TV

Samsung Class Q900TS Series QLED 8K Smart TV

What we like: With its 8K resolution and ability to upscale HD and 4K programming, this model has incredibly impressive display qualities. Delivers high-end performance for games, movies and TV shows equally well.

What we dislike: You pay a premium for this television.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

TCL Class 6 Series LED 4K Smart TV

TCL Class 6 Series LED 4K Smart TV

What we like: TCL is an underrated TV manufacturer, and this model delivers a good value in a huge screen. Gives you 4K resolution and HDR technology, creating impressive pictures.

What we dislike: Has integrated streaming software built into it, but the software seems to run slowly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

LG Class UN7300 Series 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

LG Class UN7300 Series 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

What we like: This 4K TV has impressive display quality, delivering an immersive experience all for a reasonable price. LG’s webOS platform simplifies the streaming process.

What we dislike: Struggles to make a connection to external speakers that are not LG branded.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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