Update, 11/24/2022: Our roundup has been completely revamped with new 2022 models of our favorite TVs. Take a look!
It’s a great time to buy a TV. While other entertainment products like game consoles and graphics cards are hard to come by and expensive, TVs continue to follow the trend of falling prices year after year. What’s more, image quality has never been better.
There are two dominant display technologies available at the moment—LED-lit LCD TVs and self-emissive OLED displays. These differing approaches to producing an image have their own sets of pros and cons, and you should be sure you understand the difference between them before you buy.
Standard LED-lit LCD TVs use a backlight to shine through the display “stack” to produce an image. To produce a black image, the backlight must be “blocked” by the thin-film substrate (TFT) layer, often resulting in washed-out blacks and a poor contrast ratio.
The newest LED-LCD TVs use dimming algorithms to produce deeper blacks by turning off the backlight in darker areas. This can result in black crush where subtle details are lost or ghosting where the LED “zones” can be seen behind the content.
By comparison, OLED is self-emissive, which means reproducing black is a simple case of turning the pixels off. This allows OLED displays to have a striking, theoretically infinite contrast ratio. This generally leads to superior image quality, especially in a dark room where blacks stand out.
While OLED technology is great in a dark environment, LED TVs are better in brightly lit rooms since these models can get brighter. OLED sets may be susceptible to permanent image retention or “burn-in,” limiting how bright they can get. They’re also more expensive than their LCD counterparts, but the price has fallen significantly over the last five years.
How you intend to use the TV will dictate whether you need gaming features like HDMI 2.1 support. Movie lovers may prioritize motion handling and good HDR support and may benefit from features like Filmmaker Mode. We recommend reading our full guide to buying a TV and checking out reviews on websites like RTINGS before you buy.
What’s the Difference Between Motion Rate and Refresh Rate?
The refresh rate is the frequency at which your TV or monitor updates the image on the screen. It’s measured in hertz (Hz). A higher refresh rate results in a smoother image and is helpful while gaming. On the other hand, motion rate is a marketing term used by TV manufacturers to tout the image-processing technologies used to improve motion clarity. Unfortunately, as motion rate numbers aren’t standardized, they are of little value.
How Do I Clean My TV Screen Without Damaging It?
You can clean your TV screen using a microfiber cloth. Don’t use abrasive pads, paper towels, or cleaners with alcohol or other chemicals, as they can damage the screen or any coating on it. Instead, spray distilled water on the microfiber cloth to wipe the screen if you have a stubborn stain.
What’s the Difference Between OLED and QLED?
OLED is one of the two primary display technologies used in modern TVs. OLED TVs have self-emissive pixels; thus, they can turn off individual pixels to display inky black colors. On the other hand, QLED is a marketing term used to refer to LCD TVs with quantum dot technology. These TVs use LED or Mini-LED backlighting, so they cannot switch individual pixels off.
Does the Refresh Rate Matter for a TV?
A television’s refresh rate can be significant depending on your use case. For example, if you primarily watch broadcast TV, it doesn’t matter if your TV is 60Hz or 120Hz. But if you play games and want to enjoy the high refresh rates offered by the latest consoles and gaming PCs, a 120Hz TV is more suitable. 120Hz TVs are also better for watching movies as their 24fps can be easily multiplied to match the TV’s refresh rate. 60Hz TV, on the other hand, can sometimes struggle with 24fps content.
What Is HDR?
HDR, or high dynamic range, refers to a TV’s ability to produce a broader range of colors than standard dynamic range or SDR TVs. This expanded range of colors includes brighter whites and darker blacks. As a result, HDR TVs can create pictures that look much closer to reality than SDR TVs. You’ll find multiple HDR formats on the market, including HDR10, which is a baseline HDR and is available on every single HDR TV. Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are much less widely available.
Best TV Overall: Samsung S95B
- ✓ Exceptional picture quality
- ✓ Brighter than other OLED TVs
- ✓ Four HDMI 2.1 ports
- ✗ Only two sizes
- ✗ No Dolby Vision support
- ✗ Expensive
Samsung has hit it right out of the park with its first OLED TV, the S95B. Packing a QD-OLED panel that combines traditional OLED technology with quantum dots, the television delivers exceptional picture quality, higher brightness than every other OLED TV, and a respectable sound for such a thin frame.
It is superb for watching HDR content thanks to the TV’s near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect blacks. And there is HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG support. But, unfortunately, the S95B, like other Samsung TVs, doesn’t support Dolby Vision. You won’t be able to enjoy all HDR content to its full potential.
Otherwise, the television is great for gaming, and Samsung has included four HDMI 2.1 ports to get the most out of your Sony PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or high-end gaming PC. In addition, you get low input lag, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and support for all major variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies, including Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. Plus, you’ll be happy to know that there is native support for Microsoft’s Xbox cloud gaming service.
The only downside to the S95B is that it’s only available in two sizes—55-inch and 65-inch. If you want an even bigger TV, LG’s G2 delivers similar performance and comes in 77-inch, 83-inch, and 97-inch sizes, apart from the 55-inch and 65-inch models. The G2 also supports Dolby Vision HDR but lacks HDR10+.
Samsung has produced a winner in the S95B. It delivers superb picture quality, high brightness for an OLED TV, and surprisingly good sound.
Best Budget TV: Hisense U6H
- ✓ Quantum dot technology for lifelike colors
- ✓ VRR support and low input lag for gaming
- ✓ HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support
- ✓ Full-array local dimming improves the contrast ratio
- ✗ No HDMI 2.1 ports
- ✗ Display refresh rate limited to 60Hz
Hisense TVs have come to be known for being great value for money, and the U6H is no exception. It’s an affordable television that punches way above its weight class. The U6H packs a 4K UHD screen with an excellent native contrast ratio and full-array local dimming. These features help the TV deliver a decent HDR experience despite not being able to get very bright.
Another positive of the television is the included support for all major HDR formats, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. So whether you are watching a Netflix Original or Amazon Prime Video’s latest series, you can enjoy the dynamic HDR content.
In other features, the U6H has quantum dot technology that helps it produce vibrant and lifelike colors, eARC to pass through high-resolution audio, and the Google TV operating system. Google TV is relatively easy to use and offers access to all popular streaming services.
While the U6H is also suitable for casual gaming and has AMD FreeSync and HDMI Forum VRR support, it lacks the more advanced gaming features, such as HDMI 2.1 support, and is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate. So if you primarily want a budget TV for gaming, the company’s U7H is a better option. Of course, you’ll have to shell out around $200 more, but for that money, you’ll get HDMI 2.1 ports, better local dimming performance, and a native 120Hz refresh rate.
You don't need to break the bank for the Hisense U6H. It's affordable but still offers vibrant colors, an excellent contrast ratio, and decent HDR performance.
Best 8K TV: Samsung QN900B
- ✓ Fantastic picture quality
- ✓ High peak brightness
- ✓ Great viewing angles
- ✓ Beautiful design
- ✓ 144Hz native refresh rate
- ✗ Expensive
- ✗ No Dolby Vision
You get quantum dot technology for excellent color fidelity, Mini-LED backlighting with full-array local dimming for amazing peak brightness and excellent contrast ratio, and Ultra Viewing Layer for solid viewing angles. Just as importantly, it looks fantastic. There are barely any bezels, and the One Connect Box hides all the cables and ports, barring a cord connecting the TV to the box.
Upscaling is handled by Samsung’s new Neural Quantum Processor 8K, which does a pretty good job, and everything from 480p DVD content to 4K stream is upscaled without issues. This is important because there is hardly any native 8K content, so most of your content will be in 4K or lower resolution.
Tizen OS handles the software duties, and it’s reasonably easy to use and comes with access to all popular streaming apps. To entice gamers, Samsung has also included its Gaming Hub on the TV, which brings access to Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now. Other gaming features include a native 144Hz refresh rate, VRR support, and ALLM. Plus, you get four HDMI 2.1 bandwidth ports.
While there is a lot to like about the QN900B, it lacks Dolby Vision HDR support and is expensive. The latter is expected, given its feature set and the 8K resolution.
Enjoy the bleeding edge of smart TV technology with Samsung's QN900B. It offers everything from superb picture quality to a premium design.
Best Gaming TV: LG C2
- ✓ Stunning picture quality
- ✓ 4K120fps gaming support
- ✓ Four HDMI 2.1 ports
- ✓ Dolby Vision IQ support
- ✓ Available in six sizes
- ✗ No DTS passthrough support
- ✗ Burn-in is a concern
The LG C2 builds upon its fantastic predecessors, like the C1 and CX, and provides outstanding gaming performance. It has everything you might want to realize the full potential of your gaming console or PC.
For example, the TV packs a 4K panel with a native 120Hz refresh rate to enjoy gaming in 4K 120fps. There are also four HDMI 2.1 ports, so you won’t struggle for HDMI ports if you have both Sony and Microsoft consoles and a high-end gaming PC. Plus, the TV supports all popular VRR formats, including AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia G-Sync.
Other gaming-related features include native support for Nvidia’s GeForce Now service and LG Game Optimizer. The latter offers optimized settings for different game genres and allows you to adjust VRR and other settings in one place.
Apart from being a solid gaming TV, it’s also a great all-rounder. The OLED evo panel ensures stunning picture quality, and its higher brightness than previous LG OLED TVs helps with the HDR performance. Speaking of HDR, the TV supports Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10, and HLG formats. However, HDR10+ is sadly absent, as is the case in all LG TVs.
Unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, burn-in is a concern for the LG C2 if you frequently play content with many static elements for long hours. But otherwise, TV’s built-in safeguards will mitigate burn-in. Additionally, the television can’t pass through DTS audio data to a connected soundbar.
The LG C2 is brighter than previous C-series TVs and comes with a comprehensive suite of gaming features, including HDMI 2.1 support, VRR, ALLM, and a native 120Hz panel.
Best TV for Movies: Sony A95K
- ✓ Outstanding picture quality and image processing
- ✓ Dolby Vision HDR support
- ✓ Two HDMI 2.1 ports, native 120Hz refresh rate, and G-Sync support
- ✗ Expensive
- ✗ Just two sizes
While the Sony A95K and the Samsung S95B share the same QD-OLED panel, but the Japanese company’s masterful picture processing sets the Sony TV apart and helps it create a more realistic-looking image on the screen. Combined with Dolby Vision HDR support, which is absent from the Samsung model, you get the best television for watching movies.
It isn’t just the processing that is notable about the A95K. It also offers fantastic picture quality with breathtaking colors and inky blacks. In addition, HDR performance is impressive. And while the Samsung S95B can get marginally brighter, the better tone mapping on A95K results in a more impactful HDR experience.
Additionally, movie lovers will appreciate A95K’s upscaling capabilities, making lower-resolution content watchable on its 4K screen.
Apart from it, this TV is also excellent for playing games. It has a native 120Hz refresh rate and includes two HDMI 2.1 ports. Unfortunately, one of these two ports is also reserved for eARC. You also get Nvidia G-Sync support, a reasonable input lag, and a fast response time.
Google TV is responsible for software duties and has all popular streaming services. It runs quickly and is relatively easy to use.
Our only gripe with the Sony TV is the lack of sizes. It’s only available in 55-inch and 65-inch models. So if you need an even bigger TV, you’ll have to opt for LG C2 or G2. Both are outstanding TVs, but the G2 is slightly brighter and has a design more suited to wall mounting.
With the best picture processing in the business and impressive upscaling, Sony's A95K is perfect for movie lovers. It also supports Dolby Vision HDR.
Best Roku TV: TCL 6-Series R635 2021
- ✓ An affordable Mini-LED TV
- ✓ Powered by Roku with thousands of streaming channels built-in
- ✓ Support for Dolby Vision and HDR10
- ✗ No HDMI 2.1 ports for 120Hz gaming at 4K HDR
- ✗ Blooming still a problem despite Mini-LED backlight
- ✗ Doesn't get as bright as other LED sets
TCL is one of the more disruptive companies in the TV space, breaking into the market with aggressively well-priced products that pack in the features. TCL was one of the first companies to bring a Mini-LED TV to market, and that technology has now trickled down into the excellent value TCL 6-Series R635.
The 6-Series is powered by Roku, so if you’re familiar with the platform then you’ll be right at home here. It’s also compatible with voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The panel is a LED-lit LCD with quantum dot technology, with a native 120Hz refresh rate.
Unfortunately, TCL didn’t include any HDMI 2.1 ports, making it difficult to recommend this model for cutting-edge gaming at 4K 120Hz on consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, or for PC gamers with high-end graphics cards.
The set can handle 4K 60Hz with HDR support just fine and even do 1440p at 120Hz if you’re gaming on an Xbox Series S, but otherwise, you’ll want to go with our gaming pick.
The contrast ratio is great for an LCD panel. 240 local dimming zones help to reduce black crush and blooming, but it’s still visible in some content. HDR performance is decent with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10, but peak brightness falls short of other LCD models like the Hisense U8H or Samsung QN90B.
If the 6-series interests you but you’re not big on Roku, you can always purchase a streaming device and plug it in to get Android TV or Google TV instead.
TCL 6-Series R635
If Roku is important to you, the TCL 6-Series provides great value for money and a ton of features including Dolby Vision support and Mini-LED backlighting. Just be aware that there's no HDMI 2.1 support.
Best LED TV: Hisense U8H
- ✓ Excellent value for money
- ✓ Superb picture quality
- ✓ Two HDMI 2.1 ports, 120Hz refresh rate
- ✓ High brightness and great HDR performance
- ✗ Poor viewing angles
Hisense has successfully established itself as a solid TV manufacturer that doesn’t just focus on the price but also on quality. As a result, the company’s TVs are getting rave reviews from all over. So if you want a top-notch LED TV, look no further than the Hisense U8H.
This is a fantastic television that offers phenomenal picture quality, whether you are watching movies, TV shows, or playing games. This is possible thanks to quantum dot technology, full-array local dimming, and Mini-LED backlighting in the TV’s display stack.
The Hisense television also delivers an impactful HDR experience thanks to its impressive brightness and contrast ratio. And as there is support for HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG, you can enjoy high dynamic range content from almost every source.
Gaming is another area where the U8H shines, as it has low input lag, a fast response time, and support for AMD FreeSync and HDMI Forum VRR. You also get a native 120Hz refresh rate and two HDMI 2.1 ports to make use of it via your PS5, Xbox, or PC.
Sadly, as the U8H uses a VA-type LCD panel, it has poor viewing angles, which isn’t ideal if you frequently watch TV in a group or off-center. So, if the TV’s viewing angles are crucial for you, go for Samsung’s QN90B, which has good viewing angles. The QN90B is also a better TV to use as a PC monitor if that is important. But the Samsung TV is considerably more expensive than the Hisense model.
The Hisense U8H harnesses the power of quantum dots, Mini-LED backlighting, and full-array local dimming to offer impressive picture quality.
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