The Best 4K TVs for Gaming & Streaming in 2021

best 4k tv
Courtesy of Amazon
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With 8K TVs already available (but with little content), the best 4K TVs are more abundant and affordable than ever. Now, many of our favorite shows and movies are streamed in 4K. And once you experience 4K quality on a TV built for it, it’s difficult to go back.

But 4K isn’t necessarily new — in fact, 4K TVs have been around since around 2013. It was just hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on a 4K TV when in reality, there just wasn’t much, if any, 4K content around. Now that 4K content has finally caught up, right as 8K is starting to creep into the picture, it’s dropped the price of 4Ks. On top of that, brands like Samsung and Sony have already released 2020 models of their most popular flatscreen TVs. That means consumers can choose from a premium 2020 model or save a few hundred dollars on the 2019 model, many of which are still on the cutting edge of high definition video.

For all these reasons, the summer of 2020 is actually the perfect time to buy the best 4K TVs.

But before we leap into our recommendations, here’s everything you need to know about 4K.

  

4K TVs: Frequently Asked Questions

What Does 4K Mean, Anyway?

The easiest way to explain: 4K has four times the pixels as a 1080p screen, which ultimately means a better much better resolution. Cool. So, what’s a pixel? A single pixel is a digital representation of an image. Have you ever seen those mosaic pictures that are made up of tiny little pictures?

Look at this photograph:

what is 4k

That 311 album cover is a crude example of what is happening inside of your television — a bunch of individual pixels making up a larger picture. In a 1080p TV, there are two million of those pixels making up the imagery. Since there are four times as many pixels in a 4K TV compared to 1080p (4 x 2,000,000), there are eight million of those tiny little things jam-packed inside of your display.

And as you can see in the 311 album cover above, with relatively large pixels, the overall image is a little blurry. When you introduce more pixels, your image becomes sharper, hence why 4K has better image quality than 1080p.

What Is HDR?

When you venture into the world of 4K TVs, you’re bound to run into HDR. HDR stands for high dynamic range, and although is a little more tricky to define, it works in tandem with 4K. In the most consumer-friendly definition possible, HDR is essentially the range of colors each pixel can display.

Let’s say a company has two accountants. Bob the accountant rounds all expenses to whole dollar amounts — $10.11 becomes $10, $12.87 becomes $13, so on and so forth (not great, Bob!). Jenny the accountant doesn’t do that, and uses the actual values to input expenses. At the end of the month, Jenny’s accounts will paint a more accurate picture than Bob’s of the company’s expenses, because she was using more specified dollar amounts. Bob will also probably get fired.

That analogy is essentially how HDR works. Standard dynamic range uses a limited amount of the color gamut to display colors (like whole dollar amounts). HDR uses more finite precision ($10.11) to display a more accurate color representation. Because more of the color gamut is available in HDR, totaled with better resolution, the picture quality is more vibrant and sharp.

What 4K TV Features Are Good for Gaming?

If you’re looking for a new TV to be the perfect complement to your new Xbox, Switch or PS5, you’re going to want a TV with these specs:

  • At least 120Hz refresh rate
  • OLED, QLED or mini-LED technology
  • At least three HDMI ports (most TVs on this list have four)
  • Input lag of 40ms or less

If you’re unsure what TVs have those specs, don’t worry, we have you covered. Below you’ll find the best 4K TVs for gaming that can handle even you most intense gaming sessions. It’s time to hop online and start owning the competition.

Are 8K TVs Worth It?

The short answer is, no. If you apply that same math from 1080p to 4K, now from 4K to 8K, we end up with four times the resolution of 4K. Wow, seems great, right? But the same problem occurs with 8K as it did with 4K in the past — there just isn’t much 8K content yet. And to stream 8K content, you need a ton of bandwidth and HDMI cables that can handle that sort of information load. Above and beyond that, the benefit of 8K is most noticeable on TVs that are larger than 75 inches. They're also wildly expensive.

  

The Best 4K TVs for Sale in 2021

Now that you’re up to speed on the technology inside of the best 4K TVs, it’s time to go out and get one. And now is the perfect time to upgrade, with 4K being more affordable than ever. Plus, with all the streaming and live 4K content available today, watching TV in 1080P almost feels primitive at this point. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to a 4K TV if you haven’t already.

Below you’ll find our recommendations for the best 4K TVs for sale.

1. LG CX Series OLED 65-Inch 4K TV

When it comes to gaming, speed is key. With the LG CX Series OLED TV the smooth motion, 120Hz refresh rate keep the picture from jittering or jumping, and allows you to play at the speed you need to crush the competition. Not to mention the incredible contrast the OLED produces to be able to hone in on the most finite details while you play. And when you set the controller down, you’ll be more than happy to watch any and all content on this LG TV.

LG CX Series OLED 65-Inch TV, best Best 4K TV Courtesy of Best Buy
  

2. Sony A8H 65-Inch 4K TV

If you have the extra cheddar and you want an incredible gaming experience, the Sony A8H is a top-tier, A+ gaming TV. The OLED panel looks amazing and provides incredible detail, making even the most finite parts of the image pop. Turn on Game Mode and max out the image motion capabilities and brightness for ultra-smooth and incredible gameplay. And beyond all the gaming stuff, it works with Alexa, has Apple HomeKit support and Google Assistant.

Sony A8H 65-Inch TV Courtesy of Amazon
  

3. Samsung QLED Q80T 4K TV

Whether you like to game during the day or in the middle of the night, the adaptive picture automatically adjusts the TV’s lighting conditions to bring you the best picture possible. And the Real Game Enhancer reduces input lag and blur when the movements get fast. Add in Quantum HDR to make the picture pop and it all equates to a 4K gaming TV that’s tournament worthy.

Samsung QLED Q80T Courtesy of Amazon
  

4. Sony X900H 4K TV

When you pair X-Motion clarity to smooth out fast moving objects on the screen and the ultra-powerful X1 Ultimate processor for premium picture processing, you have a hardcore gamers dream TV. In fact, there is even a game mode which maxes out the TVs capabilities to give gamers the smoothest and brightest gaming experience possible. Although it’s not an OLED TV, this is a great choice for gamers, and a smart way to save some dollars on a premium TV.

Sony X900H Courtesy of Amazon
  

5. Samsung QLED 70T 4K TV

The image processing and refresh rates here are no joke. Maxing out at 240Hz, your gameplay is going to be incredibly smooth with minimal haloing or motion blur. And with the powerful 4K processor found in these T-series Samsung TVs, along with the Quantum Dot technology, picture quality is going to be * chefs kiss *. Plus, you get to save a little coin opting for the 70T over the 80T.

Samsung QLED 70T Courtesy of Amazon
  

6. Vizio 55-Inch OLED 4K UHD TV

This Vizio can hang with the titans in the TV world. With an OLED panel, you get incredible contrast to go along with 120Hz refresh rate for detailed and smooth picture. Toss in HDR format compatibility like HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and we’re talking a TV that’s on par with the likes of Sony and LG, but with a more consumer friendly price tag. Don’t sleep on this 4K gaming TV from Vizio.

Vizio 55-Inch OLED 4K UHD TV Courtesy of Best Buy
  

7. Vizio 75-Inch PQX 4K TV

Sporting full 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and HDR10, and powered by the IQ Ultra chipset, the picture quality whether you are watching a movie or gaming is going to look great. But when it comes to gaming, the 120Hz refresh rate helps to smooth out the picture and reduce motion blur when you are in the middle of an intense, fast moving battle.

Vizio 75-Inch PQX TV Courtesy of Best Buy
  

8. TCL 65-Inch Class 6-Series 4K UHD TV

Even though TCLs are known as more of a budget option with the great Roku platform, the TCL 6-Series has enough under the hood to be your go-to gaming TV. The 4K resolution along with a true 120Hz variable refresh rate make for detailed gaming with minimal motion blue. And the QLED technology combined with the mini-LED backlit display gets plenty bright for gaming quality picture. TCL has put out an impressive TV in the 6-series, and you should consider it.

TCL 65-Inch Class 6-Series 4K UHD TV Courtesy of Walmart
  

9. Hisense 55-Inch Class H8 4K TV

If you are a little more strapped for cash, but still want a good 4K TV, the Hisense 55-inch H8 is a smart choice. It’s under $600, but sports full 4K capabilities and has Dolby Vision and HDR. Combine that with Motion Rate 240 to smooth out fast moving objects on the screen, and now we’re talking about a solid performing 4K TV for gaming. Sure, it doesn’t get as bright or have as much contrast as some of the heavy hitters like Sony, Samsung or LG, but for the money, this is a really solid option.

Hisense 55-Inch Class H8 Courtesy of Amazon
  
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