Whether you’re looking to upgrade your main TV or buy a second screen for your bedroom or kids’ playroom, it’s easier than ever to get your hands on some of the best TVs available. As 4K resolution has become more mainstream, 4K TVs have become easier and cheaper to build, meaning you’ll see a lower price tag in the store. Even premium models like OLED options from Sony and LG are more affordable than ever, which is great news for anyone who prioritizes picture quality over everything else. Brands like LG, Sony, and TCL have even started making 8K models, and while they’re a bit more affordable than when they first hit the market, they’re still pretty expensive. And while native 8K content for gaming, streaming, and broadcast isn’t available yet, you can future-proof your home theater with one of these TVs.
With so many kinds of televisions available, you may have a few questions while you’re shopping. Lucky for you, we have answers to some of the most frequently asked ones:
Is 8K worth it?
That really depends. Like we mentioned above, native 8K content isn’t available yet, but if you are looking to get ahead of the curve, you can pick up an 8K TV to future-proof your home theater. That being said, these TVs can be outrageously expensive depending on panel technology and screen size, so be prepared to drop a couple of thousand dollars if you have your heart set on one.
What is Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos?
Dolby Vision is an HDR processing technology that helps your TV’s CPU analyze content to provide the best color, contrast, and detailing it can make. The main difference between Dolby Vision and HDR10 is that with Dolby, you’ll get richer colors and better brightness, which is perfect for movie buffs.
Dolby Atmos is an audio processing technology that layers sound to reproduce the effect you get from a multi-speaker surround sound configuration with just your TV’s own speakers. This is good for anyone whose living room is on the smaller side, letting you get an immersive listening experience with less equipment.
QLED vs. OLED
These acronyms refer to the kinds of LED panels a TV is built with. OLED stands for “organic light-emitting diodes,” and it’s a premium, patented technology that LG and Sony use to create breathtaking colors and details for some of the most lifelike images you can get in-home entertainment. These models tend to be very expensive as OLED panels are fragile, using organic substrates and individually lit pixels.
Samsung and other brands like TCL and Hisense use QLED (quantum dot light-emitting diodes) panels. These panels are similar to full-array LED panels, but use back or edge-lit LCD units in addition to color-producing panels for richer colors and better contrast than previous models from these brands. These are more affordable than their OLED counterparts, and you’ll still get amazing images, but in a side-by-side comparison, OLED TVs are still the clear winner.
What To Consider Before Buying a TV
Whichever one you end up buying depends on what you want to use your TV for. Do you exclusively stream your entertainment from streaming services? Are you a movie buff? Then you may want to invest in an OLED model for an optimal viewing experience. If you still use a cable or satellite provider, or even over-air TV, in addition to streaming, you can get away with a QLED TV; you’ll get a good picture across all mediums and save a bit of cash to boot.
Even though we’ve answered some of the more pressing questions you may have about new TV models, there are still a few points to consider when shopping for a new TV:
- Price – Determining your budget is the most important factor when deciding which TV to buy. This helps keep you from overspending as well as narrow down your choices to get the most features and best picture quality for your money. And even if you’re working with a very limited budget, you can still find great 4K TVs from brands like TCL, Hisense, and even Samsung.
- Connectivity – So you’ve locked in a budget and have a few different TVs in mind. The next thing to look at is how your TV connects to playback devices, audio equipment, game consoles, and smart speakers. You want to choose a TV that has enough HDMI inputs to accommodate all of your devices so you don’t have to buy an HDMI switcher or fiddle with unplugging anything to connect different things. If you want a wireless home theater setup, look for a TV with Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to use soundbars, subwoofers, and even headsets. You’ll also want to make sure your new TV’s WiFi connectivity is going to be able to handle things like streaming. Nothing ruins family movie night or a watch party with friends like a constantly buffering video.
- Screen Size – For a lot of folks, finding the right screen size for their space is almost like an afterthought, but it’s still important. To find the optimal screen size for your space, measure (in inches) the distance from your seating to where your new TV will be wall-mounted or placed on a dedicated stand. Then divide that distance in half to find the maximum screen size for your living room. For example: if your couch is 10 feet (120 inches) from your TV, the biggest screen size you should get is 60 inches. You can, of course, go a bit bigger or smaller depending on what’s available from brands and what fits your budget, but a screen that is too big can overwhelm your space and even cause motion sickness.
We want you to be able to find the best TV that suits your space and entertainment needs, so we’ve gathered the best TVs from brands like Samsung, LG, Sony, and TCL. You can keep reading below to see what features you can get at what price points and which models are best for streaming or gaming and which ones best fit your budget.
1. Samsung QN90A
BEST TV OVERALL
The QN90A from Samsung is the ultimate TV. It’s available in screen sizes from 43 to 85 inches, meaning you’ll be sure to find one that perfectly suits your space. It’s built with Samsung’s Neo QLED panel, producing billions of colors, incredible contrast, and stunning native 4K resolution. The improved processor scans movies and shows scene-by-scene for better upscaling while also providing a refresh rate of 120Hz for smoother action.
You’ll get rich, room-filling audio with Object Tracking Sound+ that follows the action on screen as well as SpaceFit audio that monitors ambient sound and automatically adjusts settings for an optimal experience. You can stream content from your smartphone or tablet via Tap View, letting you instantly share pictures and videos by touching your device to the TV; Multi View lets you watch several video sources at once, which is perfect for keeping up with sports, news headlines, and entertainment news.
Console gamers will love the 4 HDMI inputs that work with variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing and stuttering as well as the new GameView mode that lets you monitor frame rate, input lag, and refresh rates in real-time. You can also control your new TV with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Samsung’s Bixby for a hands-free experience; it’s also compatible with SmartThings, letting you quickly and easily integrate your new TV into your smart home network.
2. LG C1
BEST OLED TV
If you’ve been on the fence about buying an OLED TV, the C1 from LG is all the convincing you need to take the plunge. It has millions of individually lit pixels to create near-perfect blacks and brighter whites for enhanced contrast as well as billions of colors for vivid, lifelike images. It works with Dolby Vision IQ HDR and Dolby Atmos to create an immersive, cinematic experience while streaming movies, shows, and music, and the updated processor uses deep-learning AI to provide excellent native and upscaled 4K resolution.
It also has a Filmmaker Mode that works with Netflix to recreate shows and movies as their creators intended, making everything from Hollywood classics to the latest blockbusters look their best. The ultra-thin design is also a plus, giving it a super sleek, modern look that will fit into just about any decor and elevate your home theater.
LG C1 OLED TV
3. Sony A90J
RUNNER-UP BEST OLED TV
The Sony A90J is another excellent option if you’re looking to buy an OLED TV. It uses Sony’s proprietary XR technology to give you improved contrast, motion smoothing, and 4K upscaling on top of incredible colors and detailing that comes with the OLED panel. It also works with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for the best cinematic-quality experience you can get at home; and with Bravia Core and Google TV, you can get the most out of these features by streaming thousands of free movies and shows.
Sony BRAVIA XR A90J
4. Samsung QN85A
BEST TV FOR GAMING
Console gamers looking to get a TV that can keep up with their new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X should check out the QN85A from Samsung. This model has an all-new, dedicated gaming mode that gives you unprecedented control over picture settings. You can monitor refresh and frame rates, input lag, VRR modes, and aspect ratios in real-time and change settings on-the-fly to suit just about any genre or title.
The screen has an anti-reflection coating to reduce glare for better visibility as well as Samsung’s Neo QLED technology to create billions of colors and excellent 4K resolution. Object tracking sound follows the on-screen action for 3D audio without extra equipment, and Multi and Tap View let you instantly share content from your mobile devices and watch multiple videos at once; this is perfect for pulling up walkthrough videos when you’re stuck on a particular boss or puzzle. The 4 HDMI inputs work with variable refresh rate technology like FreeSync and G-Sync to prevent screen tearing and stuttering that can break immersion and ruin online matches.
5. Sony A80J
TV WITH BEST SOUND
The Sony A80J is the perfect TV for anyone who puts sound quality at the top of their must-have features list. This TV uses Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology to turn the entire screen into a speaker for better audio and video syncing and better sound projection. It also has two, downward firing subwoofers to add deep, punchy bass to movies, shows, and music.
You can choose from 6 different sound modes to suit your entertainment needs and connect soundbars and speakers via Bluetooth, optical cable, or HDMI ARC for a custom audio configuration. With XR Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos, you’ll get virtual 3D audio without the need for extra equipment, and the Voice Zoom 2 feature boosts dialogue so you never miss a line of your favorite shows and movies. It even has a headphone jack for private listening so you don’t disturb others.
Sony BRAVIA XR A80J
6. Omni Series Amazon Fire TV
BEST AMAZON FIRE TV
While there are many TVs that use the Fire TV platform, the best one comes from Amazon itself. The Omni Series has Alexa built in for hands-free controls as well as a suite of preloaded apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ so you can start streaming your favorite shows and movies right out of the box. You can also download Alexa Skills to turn your new TV into the ultimate entertainment hub.
It supports HDR10 as well as Dolby Digital Plus audio for great 4K resolution and sound. You can even make video calls with your TV via the built-in camera and microphone. And don’t worry about protecting your privacy; there is a microphone kill switch so nobody can listen in on you while you’re watching old episodes of True Blood.
Omni Series Amazon Fire TV
7. TCL 3-Series 32-Inch
BEST BUDGET TV
The TCL 3-Series Android TV is an excellent option for anyone looking to buy their first smart TV and is working with a limited budget or wants a cheap, second TV for the bedroom or kids’ playroom. It uses the AndroidTV operating system to give you access to thousands of streaming apps, and it has Google Assistant built in for hands-free voice controls. It also has Chromecast built in for sharing music, photos, and videos from your smartphone or tablet. It even has Bluetooth connectivity so you can set up wireless soundbars for a custom home audio configuration.
TCL 32-Inch 3-Series Android Smart TV
8. TCL 5-Series 65-Inch
BEST MID-RANGE TV
With the 65-inch TCL 5-Series, it’s easy to see why they’re the king of affordable TVs. This model uses a QLED panel similar to what you can find in higher-end Samsung TVs to produce great 4K resolution and stunning colors. It also supports Dolby Vision HDR for better contrast and detailing.
The Roku platform gives you access to all of your favorite streaming apps, and the Roku app turns your mobile device into a voice-enabled remote; you can also connect your TV to an Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled device for expanded voice controls. With 4 HDMI inputs, you’ll be able to connect all of your playback devices and game consoles, and integrated cable management channels and clips helps keep your home theater neat and organized.
TCL 65-Inch 5-Series Roku TV
9. LG A1
BEST TV SPLURGE
If you’re willing to spend more in order to get every feature you want from your dream TV, the 77-inch LG A1 is the perfect choice. With millions of individually lit pixels, the OLED panel gives you the best contrast, color, and detailing you can get in home entertainment. The fourth generation a7 processor scans movies and shows scene-by-scene for the best native and upscaled 4K resolution as well as AI-enhanced audio.
You can use Alexa or Google Assistant for hands-free controls, and you can also connect wireless soundbars, subwoofers, and speakers for a custom home audio setup. The Sports Alert feature lets you stay up-to-date on scores, league standings, and team stats, making it perfect for fantasy football players and sports enthusiasts alike. It also has a Game Optimizer mode that automatically adjusts refresh rates, input response times, and picture settings to give you a smoother experience.
LG A1 77-Inch OLED TV
10. Samsung Q80A 85-Inch
BEST BIG SCREEN TV
A big-screen TV is the perfect way to make your living room feel like a trip to the cinema, and the Samsung Q80A is the best big-screen TV you can get. This 85-inch TV has built-in sensors that monitor ambient light and automatically adjust picture settings and brightness for the best viewing experience possible in almost any environment. These sensors also monitor ambient sound to give you audio tailor-made to your space; it also uses object tracking sound that follows the action on screen for 3D audio. With a refresh rate of 120Hz, motion blur is a thing of the past, and Bluetooth connectivity lets you set up wireless speakers, soundbars, and subwoofers for the perfect custom home theater.
Samsung Q80A 85-Inch
11. Vizio V-Series 75-Inch
BEST BUDGET BIG SCREEN TV
It’s easier than ever to find a budget-friendly big screen TV, and the 75-inch Vizio V-Series is not only easy on your wallet, it’s still packed to the brim with cool features. It works with Dolby Vision HDR for enhanced contrast and detailing as well as a 60Hz refresh rate for smoother motion. You can connect this TV to your Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Homekit devices for hands-free voice controls. The remote has fast-navigation buttons to instantly launch popular apps like Disney+, Netflix, and Prime Video as well as simplified controls for easier use.
Vizio V-Series 75-Inch
12. Hisense 43A6G
BEST SMALL SCREEN TV
The Hisense 43A6G is a great TV for anyone whose living room is on the smaller side. The 43-inch screen still delivers incredible 4K resolution with both HDR10 and Dolby Vision support for enhanced contrast and detailing. The AndroidTV platform puts all of your favorite apps in one place for easier browsing as well as hands-free controls via Google Assistant.
With Chromecast built-in, you can easily share video, photos, and music from your mobile devices, and the 4 HDMI inputs let you connect all of your playback devices and game consoles. You’ll also get great audio with DTS Virtual: X sound processing for rich, clean music and dialogue.
Hisense 43-Inch Android Smart TV
13. LG MiniLED 99 Series 8K TV
BEST 8K TV
While 8K content is still a few years away, you can future-proof your home theater with the LG MiniLED 99. The TV uses LG’s new mini LED panel to produce color, detailing, and contrast that rivals their OLED models as well as native and upscaled 8K resolution. With 8K, you get four times the pixels as 4K and 16 times that of 1080p HD, making everything from Hollywood classics to the hottest new TV shows look better than ever. This TV is also equipped with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity for blazing-fast wireless internet speeds, making it perfect for streaming, as well as AI-enhanced audio for consistent dialogue levels across multiple types of media.
LG MiniLED 99 Series 8K TV
14. TCL 6-Series 65-Inch 8K TV
MOST AFFORDABLE 8K TV
Since 8K technology is still so new, these TVs tend to be on the more expensive side, but the 65-inch 6-Series from TCL is the most affordable 8K TV on the market. For under $2,000, you’ll get excellent 8K resolution with Dolby Vision support as well as variable refresh rate support and a native refresh rate of 120Hz.
It uses the Roku platform to put all of your favorite streaming apps and connected devices in a simplified hub menu for easier access. The all-new processor uses machine learning algorithms to intelligently analyze and adjust everything from contrast and upscaling to HDR and audio.