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The LG C2, our current pick for Best Overall TV, displaying 4K/HDR content Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Best TVs of 2022

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The LG C2, our current pick for Best Overall TV, displaying 4K/HDR content Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Editor's Choice Product image of LG OLED55C2PUA
Best Overall

LG OLED55C2PUA

The LG C2 OLED is one of the best TVs we've ever seen. It's spectacular for movies and games, especially if you don't have a bright living space. Read More

Pros

  • World-class picture quality
  • A top-tier gaming TV
  • Wafer-thin design

Cons

  • Not as bright as top-shelf QLED TVs
  • Slight off-angle color shift
Editor's Choice Product image of TCL 55R635
Best Value

TCL 55R635

The TCL 6-Series is one of the most value-packed TVs, offering a bright, colorful picture, a built-in smart platform, and a host of gaming-centric features. Read More

Pros

  • Quantum-dot brightness and color
  • Built-in Roku
  • Great choice for next-gen gaming

Cons

  • Garden-variety design
  • Lackluster internal speakers
Editor's Choice Product image of Samsung QN55QN90BAFXZA
Best For Bright Rooms

Samsung QN55QN90BAFXZA

The Samsung QN90B Neo QLED is dazzling, premium TV whose stunning brightness allows it to perform at a high level in bright rooms. Read More

Pros

  • Incredibly bright
  • Brilliantly showcases HDR
  • Great for next-gen gaming

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision
  • Noticeable light bloom
  • Would benefit from calibration
Editor's Choice Product image of TCL 50S535
Best TV Under $500

TCL 50S535

The TCL 5-Series is a dependable TV. Its quantum-dot display, sensational price, and built-in Roku smart platform will satisfy most bargain hunters. Read More

Pros

  • Dependable performance
  • Built-in Roku smart platform
  • Sensational value

Cons

  • Doesn't get very bright
  • Limited viewing angles
Editor's Choice Product image of Samsung QN55S95BAFXZA

Samsung QN55S95BAFXZA

The Samsung S95B is one of the best TVs you can buy, blending the unparalleled contrast of an OLED TV with the brightness- and color-boosting benefits of quantum dots. Read More

Pros

  • QD-OLED is a game changer
  • Excellent gaming TV
  • Superb design

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision
  • Might need to be calibrated
  • Minor color artifacts

Whether you use your TV for shows, movies, or gaming, you want the best TV you can buy. But what makes a TV the best? Every year, TV makers add new bells and whistles that promise the latest and greatest in picture quality.

While the buzzwords may change, the basics of a good TV usually remain the same. You want inky black levels, brilliant colors, excellent motion, and a fast, intuitive smart interface. Lucky for you, we've spent years testing hundreds of the most popular TVs on the market, so we know a thing or two about how to shop for one.

If you just want to buy the top TV we've tested, check out the LG C2 (available at Amazon for $1,596.99). This LG OLED features stunning contrast, 4K resolution, Dolby Vision specifications, and LG's webOS smart platform. To top it off, its cutting-edge gaming hardware will support next-gen gaming for years to come. If you don't want to shell out that kind of cash, don't worry: We've got great TV picks for every budget.

These are the best TVs we've tested:

  1. LG C2
  2. TCL 6-Series with Roku
  3. Samsung QN90B
  4. TCL 5-Series with Roku
  5. Samsung S95B
  6. LG C1
  7. Sony A90J
  8. LG G1
  9. Samsung QN90A
  10. Hisense U8G
The LG C2 OLED TV displaying 4K/HDR content in a living room setting
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The LG C2 combines the unbelievable performance of an OLED with an array of exciting features.

Best Overall
LG C2
  • Screen sizes: 42”, 48”, 55”, 65”, 77”, 83”
  • HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: LG webOS 22

The LG C2 OLED (available in sizes from 42 to 83 inches) is the successor to our favorite TV of 2021, the LG C1. While not radically different from the C1, the C2 nevertheless improves on an already-fantastic formula. It’s our current pick for the best TV you can buy right now.

The main ingredient of this successful formula are the C2’s self-lit pixels. Unlike traditional LED TVs, OLED displays are capable of adjusting their brightness on a pixel-by-pixel basis, even turning pixels off. This allows for perfect black levels, which is why OLED TVs feature unparalleled contrast.

Anchored by perfect black levels, the C2 delivers exceptionally bright highlights for its class. It features LG’s OLED evo display technology, a blend of software and hardware enhancements that were only available in the company’s tippy-top G1 Gallery model in 2021. OLED evo succeeds at what it sets out to do: improve brightness and color volume. In HDR, the TV is capable of producing specular highlights in the 700- to 800-nit range, and it covers about 97% of the HDR color space (DCI-P3). SDR content (like most cable broadcasts and streaming titles) also look spectacular on the C2, though not as bright.

Cinephiles and A/V enthusiasts will appreciate the C2’s Dolby Vision support. If you’re a gamer, the C2 is one of the best TVs you can buy this year. All four of the C2’s inputs are full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1, meaning they support 4K gaming at 120 hertz (Hz). The C2 also supports both Auto Low Latency (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), with AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync along for the ride, too. Like the C1, the C2 is equipped with LG’s Game Optimizer settings menu, which toggles the TV’s various VRR options, relays frame rate information, and allows for easy tweaks to the TV’s picture while gaming.

It’s not a perfect TV, however. LG TVs quietly stopped supporting DTS audio in 2020, so if you own Blu-rays with DTS soundtracks and you’re planning on connecting a Blu-ray player directly to the TV, you won’t be getting the full DTS experience. LG’s smart platform, webOS, can also be a chore to use, as it’s chock-full of sponsored content and often slows down during navigation. If you spring for the C2, we recommend pairing it with an external streaming device so that you don’t have to rely solely on the TV’s smart features.

The LG C2 is the newest addition to a long line of winning OLED TVs from LG. It’s pricier than most TVs, but the price is justified by its world-class performance and impressive, all-encompassing list of features.

Pros

  • World-class picture quality

  • A top-tier gaming TV

  • Wafer-thin design

Cons

  • Not as bright as top-shelf QLED TVs

  • Slight off-angle color shift

TCL 6-Series (2020)
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The 2020 TCL 6-Series offers a taste of quantum-dot performance for a price most people can justify.

Best Value
TCL 6-Series with Roku
  • Screen sizes: 55”, 65”, 75”
  • HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: Roku

Packed with a robust array of features and picture quality that punches well above its weight, the 2020 TCL 6-Series (available in 55-, 65-, and 75-inch variants) is an easy Best Value pick. The 6-Series performs better than just about every TV in its price range, making it perfect for folks looking to maximize their dollar.

The TCL 6-Series produces a bright, colorful 4K picture for both SDR and HDR content, thanks in part to the TV’s quantum dots. Our lab testing consistently clocked the 6-Series at around 800-900 nits of brightness while receiving an HDR signal. This makes it a great option for rooms with a fair amount of ambient light. The inclusion of quantum dots also makes for rich, well-saturated colors, particularly for HDR content.

Gamers will be thrilled with the 6-Series’ native 120Hz refresh rate (up to 1440p at 120Hz). They’ll also love the addition of “THX Certified Game Mode”. This is a suite of enhancements that includes VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) support and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) to adjust to gaming frame rates.

Being a Roku TV, the TCL 6-Series comes equipped with our favorite streaming platform right out of the box. Its software is sleek, easy to use, and offers access to a vast library of apps.

The TCL 6-Series isn’t as impressive as the top TVs on our list. Still, its performance and features are highly commendable given its price tag. In short, it’s one of the best deals in the industry at the moment.

Pros

  • Quantum-dot brightness and color

  • Built-in Roku

  • Great choice for next-gen gaming

Cons

  • Garden-variety design

  • Lackluster internal speakers

The Samsung QN90B displaying 4K/HDR content in a living room setting
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Samsung QN90B is one of the brightest LED TVs we’ve reviewed this year.

Best For Bright Rooms
Samsung QN90B
  • Screen sizes: 43”, 50”, 55”, 65”, 75”, 85”, 95”
  • HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: Samsung Tizen OS

If you’re looking for a top-shelf TV that blends cutting-edge features with a powerfully bright picture, the Samsung QN90B is one of the year’s best options. It’s our current pick for the best TV for bright-room viewing.

The QN90B features the second generation of Samsung’s Neo QLED technology, which blends the contrast-enhancing power of mini-LEDs with the bright, color-boosting qualities of quantum dots. The result is a dazzlingly bright, colorful picture that excels at reining in its luminance during dark scenes.

In fact, the QN90B delivers one of the brightest pictures we’ve ever seen, showcasing HDR content better than just about every LCD/LED TV on the market.

Casual and avid gamers are sure to appreciate the QN90B’s gaming prowess. All four of the QN90B’s HDMI 2.1 ports support 4K gaming at 120Hz. The QN90B also supports Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), which ensures low-latency gaming free of visual artifacts like screen tearing. FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync are both accounted for, should you choose to use them.

Unfortunately, like all Samsung TVs, the QN90B does not support Dolby Vision (though it does support HDR10 and HDR10+). In addition, the QN90B sometimes falls victim to minor light bloom, particularly when viewed from an off-axis position.

Still, if a bright picture and premium features are what you’re looking for, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option this year than the Samsung QN90B.

Pros

  • Incredibly bright

  • Brilliantly showcases HDR

  • Great for next-gen gaming

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision

  • Noticeable light bloom

  • Would benefit from calibration

The TCL 5-Series displaying HD content
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The TCL 5-Series offers dependable performance and a fantastic smart platform for a price most folks will appreciate.

Best TV Under $500
TCL 5-Series with Roku
  • Screen sizes: 50”, 55”, 65”, 75”
  • HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: Roku

The TCL 5-Series isn’t the most robust 4K TV on the shelf. But what it lacks in performance, it makes up for in value. This is a budget-friendly quantum dot TV with commendable picture quality that won’t break the bank.

It’s not nearly as bright and colorful as the other mid-range and high-end QLED TVs we reviewed recently. However, the TCL 5-Series is nevertheless brighter and more colorful than most of the entry-level TVs it shares a store shelf with. And at this price point, it’s a steal of a deal that most bargain shoppers will appreciate.

Its motion handling and viewing angles aren’t particularly impressive, and you won’t find up-and-coming features like variable refresh rate and auto low-latency mode. But the 5-Series is a great performer for its price. Plus, as a Roku TV, a terrific, easy-to-use smart platform is built right in.

If you’re looking for a bargain without scraping the bottom of the barrel, the TCL 5-Series is worth the minor price hike over the cheapest options. It's especially great for folks who are upgrading to their first 4K TV.

If you don't mind spending a little more, the TCL 5-Series with Google TV swaps the Roku software for Google TV. It offers slightly better performance than the Roku version, as well as Variable Refresh Rate.

Pros

  • Dependable performance

  • Built-in Roku smart platform

  • Sensational value

Cons

  • Doesn't get very bright

  • Limited viewing angles


Other Top TVs We Tested

Product image of Samsung QN55S95BAFXZA
Samsung S95B
  • Screen sizes: 55”, 65”
  • HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: Samsung Tizen OS

The Samsung S95B is one of the first TVs to combine the perfect black levels of an OLED display with the color- and brightness-boosting qualities of quantum dots. Commonly referred to as QD-OLED technology, the S95B showcases its advantages brilliantly.

For years, one of the main criticisms of OLED TV technology was that it was incapable of getting anywhere near as bright as an LED TV—particularly an LED TV with quantum dots. And although the S95B still doesn’t get as bright as a TV like the Samsung QN90B, it’s nevertheless the brightest OLED we’ve tested to date.

Coupled with OLED’s perfect black levels, the S95B’s added brightness has an incredibly powerful impact on HDR content, be it a movie, a video game, or otherwise. Specular highlights pop off the screen, adding an astonishing level of depth. But perhaps the most significant improvement brought to the table by quantum dots is their effect on the S95B’s color reproduction. In particular, reds and greens look stunning on the S95B.

It's built for next-gen gaming, too. All four of the S95B’s HDMI ports support 4K gaming at 120Hz, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). Combined with Samsung’s Game Bar (a dedicated settings menu for game optimization), avid gamers will be covered for years to come.

Being a Samsung TV, the S95B does not support Dolby Vision (though HDR10 and HDR10+ support are included). Samsung’s Tizen-based smart platform is a bit laggy and difficult to navigate this year, too, which will incentivize pairing the S95B with an external streaming device. Picture purists who don’t intend on hiring a professional calibrator might want to check out the LG C2, as that OLED TV’s out-of-the-box picture is closer in line with reference standards.

However, if you’ve been waiting for an OLED TV that’s better suited for bright room viewing than almost every other OLED TV on the market, the S95B is an excellent (albeit pricey) choice. Despite its lack of Dolby Vision and its cumbersome smart platform, the Samsung S95B is a total game-changer.

Pros

  • QD-OLED is a game changer

  • Excellent gaming TV

  • Superb design

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision

  • Might need to be calibrated

  • Minor color artifacts

Product image of LG OLED65C1PUB
LG C1
  • Screen sizes: 48”, 55”, 65”, 77”
  • HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: LG webOS

The LG C1 (available in 48-, 55-, 65-, and 77-inch models) is a stunning OLED TV. Its array of future-facing features will help maintain its value for several years to come. The LG C1 was our pick for the best TV you can buy before its successor, the LG C2.

OLED TVs are known for incredible contrast, and the LG C1 is no exception. It pairs a perfect black level with stellar highlights. Its sustained peak brightness of around 700 to 800 nits in HDR makes it one of the brightest OLED TVs we’ve ever seen.

The C1’s color performance is top-level, too. It features 100% SDR color saturation (Rec.709) and 97% HDR color saturation (DCI-P3). That means that whether you’re watching TV shows or Blu-rays, you can expect rich, true-to-life color.

The LG C1’s four HDMI 2.1 inputs all support 4K resolution at 120Hz. That makes it a great TV for gaming on an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.

In fact, the LG C1 is stuffed with gaming-centric features. You’ll find Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and FreeSync/G-Sync support. The TV’s Game Optimizer menu features a suite of additional picture enhancements.

The C1 comes with the sixth iteration of LG’s webOS smart platform pre-installed. While it’s not our favorite smart software, most folks will find it meets their needs. It’s zippy, easy to navigate, and offers a broad app selection via LG’s Content Store.

The incredible performance, wide array of features, and elegant design means the LG C1 is still one of the best TVs you can buy, even a year after its release.

Pros

  • Incredible contrast and color

  • Impressive array of features

  • Elegant design

Cons

  • Not a good fit for particularly bright rooms

Product image of Sony XR-65A90J
Sony A90J
  • Screen sizes: 55”, 65”, 83”
  • HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: Google TV

If you don’t mind splashing out on an ultra-premium TV, the Sony A90J is one of the best OLED TVs we’ve ever tested, and one of the best TVs we’ve ever tested, period.

OLED naturally offers picture-perfect black levels. The A90J augments that with excellent highlights for an OLED. It regularly reaches 700 to 800 nits in HDR, with highlights getting much brighter than that in short bursts.

The added brightness elevates the TV’s colors, which are both voluminous and accurate. In fact, the A90J’s HDR color palette covers about 98% of the expanded DCI-P3 color space when the TV is in its “Custom” picture mode.

This Sony is also packed to the gills with features. It includes the Google TV smart platform, replacing Android TV. It has eARC compatibility and support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. It has a native refresh rate of 120Hz. Its Center Speaker mode lets you use the A90J’s built-in speakers as the center channel of a surround sound setup.

Crucially, two of the A90J’s HDMI 2.1 ports offer Variable Refresh Rate, Auto Low Latency Mode, and support for 4K content at 120Hz. If you want to get the most out of current-gen gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, these features are essential.

If you have the means and want an incredible out-of-the-box TV experience, the A90J is one of the best you’ll find. Having been on the market for over a year now, the A90J is currently on sale, making it a great time to pick one up.

Pros

  • Incredible contrast and color

  • HDMI 2.1-specified features

  • Zippy, flexible smart platform

Cons

  • Dim compared to LCD/LED TVs

Product image of LG OLED65G1PUA
LG G1
  • Screen sizes: 55”, 65”, 77”
  • HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: LG webOS

The LG G1 (available in 55, 65, and 77 inches) is an amazing TV stuffed with an incredible amount of features. The G1 was significantly more expensive than the LG C1 upon release, but these days, the gap in their price tag has shrunk considerably. We still feel that the C2 and the C1 are a better fit for most people, but the G1 is nevertheless a fantastic option.

As an OLED TV, the G1 sports perfect black levels and incredible picture detail. It uses LG’s OLED evo technology to achieve slightly greater brightness than the LG C1. (This year, OLED evo technology has made its way into the LG C2, the C1’s successor).

The OLED evo panel is also marginally better at saturating HDR color than the C1. That said, only the keenest eyes will notice the quality difference between the two.

Feature-wise, the G1 offers everything but the kitchen sink. With a 120Hz refresh rate, HDMI 2.1, G-Sync/FreeSync, Auto Low Latency Mode and more, the G1 is one of the best TVs for gamers. It also comes with LG’s webOS smart platform, which is fast and flexible enough for most users.

The “G” in G1 stands for “Gallery”. LG designed their Gallery OLED to hang on a wall like a piece of art. If you don’t want to wall-mount your next TV, you’ll need the G1’s stand, which is sold separately.

There’s no denying that the LG G1 is one of the best TVs we’ve ever seen. However, it’s only a marginal improvement over the C1, and the newer C2 is our overall pick for the best TV you can buy. Still, if you go all-in on this TV, you’ll be getting one of the best, and you’ll be getting it at a significant discount.

Pros

  • Top-tier picture quality

  • Speedy processing

  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • Overkill for many shoppers

Product image of Samsung QN55QN90AAFXZA
Samsung QN90A
  • Screen sizes: 55”, 65”, 75”, 85”
  • HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: Samsung Tizen OS

If you’re shopping for a top-shelf TV with a bright, colorful picture, the Samsung QN90A (available in 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch models) is still one of the best options. It combines the impressive performance we’ve come to expect from Samsung’s flagship TVs with an incredible toolbox of features and enhancements. Before the release of the Samsung QN90B, the QN90A was our pick for the best TV for bright-room viewing.

The QN90A is outfitted with Samsung’s Neo QLED display technology, which marries quantum dots with mini-LED backlights. Quantum dots create a brighter, more color-rich picture. Meanwhile, the mini-LEDs offer above-average black levels and tight contrast control. The end result is one of the best pictures we’ve seen all year, especially for HDR content.

Beyond the dazzling display, it’s packed to the brim with hardware and software enhancements. The 120Hz refresh rate—combined with HDMI 2.1 support—make it a great choice for avid gamers. It supports both Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate, both widely considered essential for next-generation gaming. The QN90A also puts all of its gaming-related settings in an easy-to-access menu called Game Bar. Gamers should take note, however, that the QN90A only offers one HDMI port that supports 4K gaming at 120Hz. If you want more flexibility in this department, you’ll have to spend up on the newer QN90B.

The QN90A offers a host of other extras, too, from Multi View (which allows users to watch more than one source at a time) to the Samsung Health ecosystem. And while the QN90A’s Tizen-based smart platform isn’t our favorite, it’s easy to use and offers enough flexibility for most users.

All told, the Samsung QN90A is still one of the best Samsung TVs you can buy. While it’s not exactly budget-friendly, its current sale price makes it a great deal.

Pros

  • Searing brightness

  • Rich color saturation

  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • Occasional LED bloom in high contrast scenes

Product image of Hisense 65U8G
Hisense U8G
  • Screen sizes: 55”, 65”
  • HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Smart platform: Android TV

The U8G is one of the best TVs Hisense has ever released. It blends top-shelf performance and future-facing features at a far friendlier price than most of its direct competitors. If you’re in the market for a premium TV but blush at some of the prices, the U8G might be the perfect compromise.

The U8G is a hardware heavyweight. It’s equipped with full-array local dimming, quantum dots, and HDMI 2.1 ports. It also supports 4K/120Hz gaming, Auto Low Latency Mode, and Variable Refresh Rate. That makes it great for folks who own (or plan on buying) an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.

In our lab tests, the U8G dazzled us. It’s one of the brightest TVs we’ve ever tested, and its out-of-the-box color accuracy is incredible. SDR content (cable TV and most streaming) looks terrific on the U8G. But HDR content like 4K Blu-rays and movies mastered for Dolby Vision is its bread and butter.

Simply put, if you want your next TV to showcase all that HDR has to offer, the U8G is one of your best options, even a year after its release.

Unfortunately, the U8G’s Android-based smart platform isn’t our favorite. The user interface is hard to navigate, and a bit rough around the edges. However, you can easily solve this by connecting an external streaming device to an HDMI port.

The U8G’s local dimming is also not as refined as some of the competition, like Samsung’s QN90A and QN90B. That means it may not be the best choice for cinephiles or picture purists who’d prefer a balanced picture over intense HDR performance.

Still, the Hisense U8G rivals some of the best LED TVs we’ve seen in recent years, at a significantly lower cost than most of its competition. If you’re after a future-facing TV for a terrific price, it’s hard to beat the U8G.

Pros

  • Incredibly bright

  • Excellent color

  • Future-facing features

Cons

  • Light bloom during off-angle viewing

  • So-so smart platform


How We Test TVs

Credit: Reviewed

Our lab is outfitted with much of the same equipment you would find at a factory that manufactures and calibrates televisions.

The Testers

Reviewed has been testing TVs for over a decade. Our current Home Theater expert is Michael Desjardin. Michael is a Senior Staff Writer and an eight-year veteran of the Reviewed tech team. A film enthusiast and TV expert, he takes picture quality seriously, but also understands that not every TV is a good fit for everyone.

A TV tester measuring a TV's contrast
Credit: Reviewed / Chris Snow

We measure things like peak brightness, black level, hue, and so on.

The Tests

It'd be an understatement to say that we're serious about TV testing. Our Cambridge laboratory has much of the same equipment factories use to manufacture and calibrate televisions.

Our hardware includes a SpectraCal C6 colorimeter and a LS-100 luminance meter. We have a Leo Bodnar input lag tester, and a Murideo Seven 8K signal generator for testing 8K TV features. We also have more Blu-rays than we can keep track of.

For software, we use Portrait Displays’ Calman Ultimate color calibration software. It’s the industry standard for display measurement and screen calibration.

Our testing process has been honed over many years. We gather enough esoteric data to satisfy curious video engineers, while also focusing on the average person's viewing experience.

We measure factors like peak brightness, and black level. We test hue and saturation for primary and secondary digital colors. We check the accuracy of the TV's electro-optical transfer function—you get the idea.

We weigh our performance tests based on how the human eye prioritizes vision. The human visual system processes brightness better than color. So we weigh brightness first, then move on to colorimetry, and so on.

Beyond the technical tests, we also spend a lot of time just using each TV. We stream video, connect a Blu-ray player to watch movies, and use the smart features. We also check out the ports, remote, and on-set buttons. We evaluate anything and everything that might be relevant to the daily experience of using the TV.

How to Buy the Best TV

Figuring the best TV for you can be an intimidating process. Unsurprisingly, we suggest reading current TV reviews to learn about specific models. But with all the technical terms and plethora of features, eyes can quickly glaze over. Here’s a quick look at the most important considerations as you decide on your next TV.

What is Resolution?

Resolution refers to how many pixels comprise the screen. All the TVs on our Best TV list are 4K. They have 3,840 pixels across and 2,160 pixels down for a total of almost 8.3 million pixels. UHD stands for Ultra High Definition, and specifies resolution plus a whole host of other parameters including Wide Color Gamut and frame rate. While there are 8K TVs on the market, we don’t recommend them…yet. Available content is virtually nonexistent and the exorbitant cost doesn’t validate the minimal increase in performance.

Different Display Types

There are two main display technologies with current TVs—LED/LCD and OLED. LED/LCD refers to Light Emitting Diodes and Liquid Crystal Display. The LEDs are the light source, or backlight, for the TV that sends light through a color filter and LCD layer before it hits our eyes. The LED backlights use a process called local dimming, where zones of LEDs dim or boost brightness depending on what’s on the screen. This vastly improves contrast if done well. The LCD layer reacts to electrical current that causes the liquid crystals to twist and control the amount of light that passes through. LCD panels on TVs are of either the VA or IPS variety, which each have their own benefits and drawbacks.

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) TV technology might sound similar to LED, but in reality the name is where the similarities end. OLED is an emissive technology, meaning the pixels create their own light so a separate backlight isn’t necessary. Each pixel can be shut off too instead of relying on dimming zones, allowing OLED TVs to achieve deep blacks and an infinite contrast ratio—the most notable benefit of OLEDs over LEDs. OLEDs have been plagued by the threat of burn-in (or image retention) in the past, where the impression of an image stays on the screen, but that’s not a concern with current TVs for consumers.

Tied to these display technologies are quantum dots. These are microscopic noncrystals that produce colored light when illuminated, increasing the light output and color range of a television. We’ve seen them on LED TVs for a few years (called QLED, QNED, or Triluminos by Samsung, LG, and Sony respectively). We’re now seeing quantum dots on OLED TVs (QD-OLED), namely the S95B from Samsung and A95K from Sony.

What is HDR?

High Dynamic Range (HDR) refers to both a type of TV and a type of content. HDR expands the potential range of both luminance (brightness) and color that a TV can produce. There are four different varieties of HDR—Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG. All of our best TVs are HDR compatible and support at least HDR10, with some supporting all four.

Which HDMI Connection Do You Need?

The predominant connection on TVs is HDMI, but you might have seen there’s both HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 out there. The biggest difference between the two is an increase in data bandwidth (18Gbps on HDMI 2.0 vs up to 48Gbps on HDMI 2.1). For most people, HDMI 2.0 is sufficient, but if you want to get 4K resolution at refresh rates higher than 60Hz on the Xbox Series X or PS5, you’ll need at TV with at least one HDMI 2.1 port. Just make sure you have an HDMI cable that's capable of that increased bandwidth as well.

The higher bandwidth of HDMI 2.1 also allows for eARC. It sends high-bitrate audio (such as Dolby Atmos) from the TV to an AV Receiver or the best soundbars available, pumping up the audio experience that is sorely lacking from built-in TV speakers.

Smart Platforms

How you interact with your TV, and how much or how little frustration is involved, comes down to the smart platform. This is where you’ll find streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, as well as the TVs input selection and setup menus. Some, such as LG and Samsung, use their own homegrown options while others rely on Roku or Google to supply the OS. We’ve been fans of Roku for years and it’s still the best OS available, although others have made strides to close the gap. If you’re not a fan of the built-in OS, you can always buy an external streaming device to use instead.

What About Gaming Features?

In addition to looking for HDMI 2.1, companies have been adding gaming-specific features to TVs the last few years—such as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). Variable Refresh Rate comes in different varieties, so you might see FreeSync or G-Sync to refer to this as well. The technology syncs the refresh rate of the TV and game console to prevent unwanted artifacts like screen tearing that can be distracting while gaming.

Some companies have their own gaming hub interface built in to a TV where you can access all the gaming features the TV offers. And now on some TVs—such as Samsung TVs with Gaming Hub—you don’t even need a console to play. Instead they include cloud gaming services that allow you to game without needing to download anything, as long as your internet speeds are fast enough.

What Size TV is Best?

Our recommendation will always be “the bigger the better” as larger TVs offer a more immersive experience. For optimal movie viewing, your sitting distance should be at most 1.2 times the diagonal size of the TV away (so 5.5 feet back from a 55-inch TV). Getting too close is a small concern, as it can cause eye fatigue and at lower resolutions you can start to see the pixels. But with 4K it isn’t a huge issue.

What Is A TV Series?

You may notice the TVs listed in this roundup don't follow the traditional naming convention you might see when shopping. That's because we don’t nominate a single TV. Instead, we nominate the entire range of sizes within a "series."

Typically these TVs are the same model, just in different sizes. While the price and dimensions differ, the performance is usually identical with occasional differences in things like dimming zones on LED TVs. We focus on the series to offer you more flexibility. But it's also the most accurate, useful way to discuss televisions.


Meet the testers

Michael Desjardin

Michael Desjardin

Senior Staff Writer

@Reviewed

Michael Desjardin graduated from Emerson College after having studied media production and screenwriting. He specializes in tech for Reviewed, but also loves film criticism, weird ambient music, cooking, and food in general.

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Lee Neikirk

Lee Neikirk

Editor, Home Theater

@Koanshark

Lee has been Reviewed's point person for most television and home theater products since 2012. Lee received Level II certification in TV calibration from the Imaging Science Foundation in 2013. As Editor of the Home Theater vertical, Lee oversees reviews of TVs, monitors, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers. He also reviews headphones, and has a background in music performance.

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John Higgins

John Higgins

Editor, Electronics & Audio/Video

@johntmhiggins

John is the A/V Editor for Reviewed. Previously he's had bylines at ProjectorCentral, Wirecutter, IGN, Home Theater Review, T3, Sound & Vision, and Home Theater Magazine.

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