It’s been about 10 years since 4K TVs hit the market, so it’s no surprise that many brands have begun to introduce 8K TVs. These models have four times the resolution of 4K and a staggering 16 times that of 1080p HD. This means that you’ll get even better detailing, contrast, and color accuracy, though it does come at a price. Since 8K televisions are still fairly new to the market, they can be quite expensive. But they are a worthy investment if you’re looking to future-proof your home theater since native 8K streaming is on the horizon. And as you’re browsing around, mulling over your choices, you may have one question:
Is 8K worth investing in?
And the answer is: that depends. Like we’ve already mentioned, 8K TVs are pretty expensive, so unless you have a couple of thousand dollars to spend, you’ll probably want to wait on buying a new TV. However, if you’ve got the money and you’re serious about your entertainment, an 8K TV can be a worthwhile investment. Native 8K content is still a few years away, so you won’t be able to get the most out of your new TV, but purchasing a capable TV now can save you the hassle in the future.
And if you’re compiling a list of possible choices, here are a few key points to keep in mind while you’re shopping for a new 8K TV:
- Price – These TVs are going to be expensive, no matter what. However, there are a few models, like those from TCL, that are on the more affordable end; they retail for about the same price as a high-end OLED TV from LG or Sony. Make sure you’ve set a hard budget so you not only prevent yourself from overspending but that you also get the best features and screen size for your money.
- Screen Size – And speaking of screen size, you want to make sure that your expensive and fancy new TV is actually going to fit into your house. The best way to find the ideal screen size for your space is to measure, in inches, from where your TV will be wall-mounted or placed on a stand to where you will be sitting. Then you divide that distance in half. So if your couch is 120 inches (10 feet) from your TV, the ideal screen size you should get is a 60-inch TV. You can go a bit bigger or smaller depending on what is available and what your budget is, but there is such a thing as a TV that is too big. A screen that is too large for your space can overwhelm you and even cause motion sickness, where a screen that is too small will make your space feel like a cavern and make everyone have to crowd around to see; which isn’t any fun when you’re trying to host a Super Bowl or watch party.
- Connectivity – You also want to make sure that your new TV is going to be able to connect to all of your playback devices. You want to get a TV that has plenty of HDMI inputs for things like cable or satellite boxes, streaming devices, Blu-Ray and DVD players, and game consoles. If you like wireless setups, choose a TV that has Bluetooth connectivity for soundbars, speakers, and subwoofers.
- Virtual Assistant Compatibility – If you use a virtual assistant like Alexa or Google Assistant, you’ll want to make sure your new TV will be able to work with it. Most new TVs have either Alexa or Google Assistant built-in, though there are a few (like those from TCL) that require you to connect an external smart speaker to use voice controls.
We’ve gathered five of the best 8K TVs available to buy right now and put them in a list below. We want you to be able to find the best model for your space and entertainment needs, so we’ve broken down their features and price points for you. We chose models from top brands like Samsung and Sony for feature-packed, high-end options, as well as ones from smaller manufacturers like TCL for more affordable, and surprisingly feature-filled, options. Keep reading below to find the perfect 8K TV for you.
1. Samsung QN800A
The Samsung QN800A is the best 8K TV on the market. You can choose between a 65, 75, or 85-inch screen that is packed with pixels that provide excellent native and upscaled 8K resolution as well as a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother on-screen action. And with Object Tracking Sound+, the integrated speakers create audio that follows that on-screen action for a more immersive experience. They also work with built-in sensors that monitor ambient sound and automatically adjust volume and sound settings to create audio tailored to your space. Each of the 4 HDMI inputs supports VRR for smoother playback across devices and gaming consoles, and the Game View feature lets you change aspect ratios and monitor frame rate, input lag, and VRR modes on the fly.
The QN800A is compatible with the Samsung One Connect box, which lets you use a single cable to connect all of your audio equipment and playback devices for a cleaner, and more organized, home theater. You can instantly share videos, music, and photos from your Samsung mobile devices with Tap View, and Multi-View lets you watch multiple video sources at once; which is perfect for catching up with news headlines while binging your latest Netflix favorites. The included remote control is voice-enabled and works with Alexa, Samsung’s Bixby, and Google Assistant to give you hands-free controls.
2. TCL 6-Series
Since 8K is still a fairly new technology, televisions capable of ultra-high-definition can be very expensive. Fortunately, the TCL 6-Series offers itself as a more affordable option for anyone looking to future-proof their home theater. With a price tag of just under $2,000, the 6-Series is probably the most affordable 8K television, and it’s packed with plenty of features to help convince anyone still on the fence to upgrade. The 65-inch TV uses QLED technology similar to what you can find in premium brands like Samsung, providing excellent resolution and color volume.
The native 120Hz refresh rate creates smoother motion for better detailing during action scenes, and the 240 contrast control zones create enhanced blacks and whites to make details and colors pop. This model uses Dolby Vision HDR for further detail enhancement as well as a THX-certified game mode to bring your console games to the next level. It uses the Roku platform to give you access to thousands of apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ so you can start streaming right out of the box. And the simplified home menu keeps your favorite apps and connected devices in one place for easier access. And if you use a virtual assistant, the 6-Series is compatible with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant for hands-free controls.
3. LG NanoCell99 MiniLED
BEST FOR STREAMING
LG may be more known for their OLED televisions, but their NanoCell99 8K TV is an excellent choice for movie buffs looking to create the ultimate home theater. It uses a fourth-generation a9 processor that has been redesigned from the ground up to produce incredible native and upscaled 8K resolution, and the miniLED panel creates stunning colors that rival its OLED counterparts. With Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos, you’ll get incredible detailing and virtual surround sound for a more immersive cinematic experience. And the Filmmaker Mode lets you watch Netflix originals and other blockbuster hits as their creators intended.
For sound, the speakers work with artificial intelligence to automatically boost dialogue and flatten louder audio so you never miss a line. You can also set up a custom 5.1CH surround sound system via Bluetooth for a custom home theater configuration. Sports fans will love the 120Hz refresh rate for clearer action and the Sports Alert feature that keeps you up-to-date with scores, league standings, and team stats.
4. Sony Z9J
The Sony Z9J requires a huge investment, but it’s worth it to future-proof your home theater. The 85-inch TV uses Sony’s proprietary XR Triluminos Pro and XR Contrast Booster 15 technologies to not only give you great native and upscaled 8K content but also the best color accuracy and contrast you can get outside of an OLED model. The screen is coated with an anti-reflection film to enhance visibility and reduce glare from overhead lights, giving you better viewing angles.
With Sony’s Acoustic Multi Audio technology, the upward- and side-firing speakers work together to create room-filling, immersive sound that is perfect for streaming blockbuster films and the hottest TV shows. You’ll get access to thousands of streaming apps via Google TV and Bravia Core, including movies-on-demand, while AirPlay 2 compatibility lets you share media from your iOS mobile devices. The voice-enabled remote works with both Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free controls over your new TV and its connected devices.
5. TCL X9
The TCL X9 is an 8K TV that is built for people who are just as concerned about how their TV looks as they are about how it performs. TCL redesigned their panel with mini LEDs and Quantum Dot technology similar to Samsung’s QLED panels, letting it produce billions of colors for more lifelike images. It also allows for an ultra-thin TV, which TCL calls Zero Depth; the screen and LED panel have virtually zero distance between them, allowing for maximum backlighting without annoying bloom and an incredibly thin build.
The screen is housed in a brushed, anodized aluminum frame with glossy, piano-black accents to create a gallery-worthy look. It also has an integrated soundbar with a dedicated subwoofer and a mindblowing 25, Onkyo-tuned speakers which all work with Dolby Atmos to create ultra-immersive, 3D audio. The screen doesn’t have any bezels, giving you an edge-to-edge image for wider viewing angles and a cleaner look. The screen has a 120Hz refresh rate, supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and has support for AMD FreeSync VRR technology. And with a peak brightness of 1000 nits, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite shows and movies in almost any lighting environment.
This latest TV from TCL uses Google TV as its operating system, not only giving you access to thousands of streaming apps, but also the ability to make video calls with the pop-up camera. The camera also allows for gesture-based controls over your new TV; you can raise your palm to pause your movie and actually shush your TV to lower the volume. We are truly living in the future.