Dolby Vision is the "premium" version of High Dynamic Range, and while it isn't available in every TV, it is available in some super-premium ones. If you're here, you probably already know a little about Dolby Vision, Dolby's proprietary HDR (High Dynamic Range) format. It's less widely adopted than the open-source HDR10 format, but the trade is that Dolby Vision content is mastered to a higher standard, allowing the content to remain relevant longer as better TVs come along.
If price is no object, the best Dolby Vision TV around is the LG C9 series OLED TV(available at Amazon). It's one of the best-looking Dolby Vision TVs we've seen, and also plays Dolby Atmos, the audio companion to Dolby Vision's video.
If you're not looking for the best TV money can buy, fear not: While it's slightly harder to find Dolby Vision TVs, there are quite a few on the market, and you don't necessarily have to shell out an arm and a leg to get a good one.
These are the best Dolby Vision TVs we’ve tested, ranked in order:
Vizio P Series Quantum X
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LG's C9 OLED TVs is our current pick for the overall best TV you can buy, so it stands to reason that it’s also our pick for the best Dolby Vision TV, too.
If you haven't heard, OLED panels are some of the best displays money can buy. Each pixel turns "on" and "off" automatically, so when an OLED TV displays black, it’s displaying actual, true-to-life black. Likewise, when they display a color, it emits from the pixel directly, giving it a more pure, vivid appearance than the colors of traditional LED TVs.
The C9 series (which is available in 55-, 65-, and 77-inch sizes) isn’t cheap, but it justifies its price tag with the excellent OLED picture quality, 4K resolution, High Dynamic Range and Dolby Vision specifications, LG's friendly "webOS" smart platform, and more. It's chock-full of great features and a geeky array of calibration tools for the AV nerds who want to tinker with their TV’s picture. Check out our full review of the LG C9 series for more information.
The 2020 TCL 6-Series (available in 55-, 65-, and 75-inch variants) is one of the most value-packed TVs of the year, thanks to a robust offering of features and a picture that punches well above its weight. All told, the 6-Series performs better than just about every other TV that supports Dolby Vision in this price range, making it a great pick for folks looking to maximize their dollar.
The TCL 6-Series produces a bright, colorful 4K picture during both SDR and HDR content, thanks in part to the TV’s quantum dots. In our lab, we consistently clocked the 6-Series at around 800-900 nits of brightness while receiving an HDR signal. This makes the 6-Series a fantastic option for folks whose living rooms receive a fair amount of ambient light. The inclusion of quantum dots also makes for rich, well-saturated colors, particularly during HDR content.
Gamers will be thrilled with the 6-Series’ native 120 Hz refresh rate (up to 1440p at 120 Hz) as well as the addition of something called THX Certified Game Mode, a suite of enhancements that includes VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) support and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) to adjust to the different frame rate of gaming content.
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 quite as impressive as the top TVs on our list, but 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.
Reviewed has been testing TVs since some of its current employees were in middle school. While many proud TV testers have come and gone through Reviewed's labs, the current Home Theater team consists of Michael Desjardin and Lee Neikirk. Michael is a senior staff writer and a six-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.
As Reviewed's Home Theater Editor, Lee doesn't do as much testing these days. However, he designed the company's current TV testing methodology after receiving calibration certification from the Imaging Science Foundation.
It'd be an understatement to say that we're serious about TV testing. Our lab in Cambridge location is outfitted with much of the same equipment you'd find at a factory that manufactures and calibrates televisions.
On the hardware side, we've got things like a Konica Minolta CS-200 tristimulus color meter, an LS-100 luminance meter, a Leo Bodnar input lag tester, a Quantum Data 780A signal generator, and more Blu-rays than we can keep track of. For software, we use CalMan Ultimate, the industry-standard in taking display measurements and calibrating screens to specifications.
Our testing process is equally complicated and has been honed over many years to gather data that is marginal enough to satisfy curious video engineers, but also relevant to the average person's viewing experience. We measure things like peak brightness, black level, hue and saturation for primary and secondary digital colors, the accuracy of the TV's electro-optical transfer function—you get the idea, it's complicated. Weighting for our performance tests is based on how the human eye prioritizes vision, which means we put "brightness" data (monochromatic eye based on light sensitivity) higher than colorimetry, which is also scaled by the eye's sensitivity, and so on.
Outside of the strictly technical tests, we also spend a lot of time just watching and using each TV, getting a feel for the at-home experience of doing things like dialing up streaming video service, connecting a DVD player and watching movies, using the smart features, and checking out the TV's ports, remote, and on-set buttons—anything and everything that might be relevant.
What You Should Know About TVs
While everyone has different eyes, generally, our vision all functions the same way: we prioritize dynamic information and bright, compelling colors over subtler hues and resolution (sharpness). Generally, a TV can be considered a good TV when we forget that we're watching a TV. We don't see pixels creating mixes of red, green, and blue to simulate colors; we see the real world, lit and colored as it is, in fluid motion.
In simpler terms, this means a TV that can get very bright and dark without obscuring details; produces accurate colors (compared to various color standards designated by the International Telecommunication Union); possesses proper bit-mapping and the right codecs and decoders for video processing; and can properly play the various types of content thrown at it without judder, blurring, and so on.
Note that specs alone (pixel count, measured brightness) aren't automatic indicators of quality, much like intense speed is not automatically an indicator of a good car.
What Is Dolby Vision?
The biggest thing in TVs right now is "HDR," or High Dynamic Range. Movies that are HDR-compatible have been mastered to push TVs to their limit, with brighter highlights, deeper blacks, and a wider array of colors.
There are currently two HDR formats: the "open" (open-source) HDR standard, HDR10, and the "closed" (proprietary) Dolby Vision standard. Thus far, HDR10 is far more popular, but plenty of TVs support Dolby Vision as of 2020.
What Are The Differences Between HDR10 And Dolby Vision?
These two HDR formats have a few things in common:
Both formats require TVs to have a minimum 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution
Both formats call for "wide color gamut" displays capable of ~90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut
Both formats require TV panels and components capable of at least 10-bit color depth
Here’s what sets HDR10 and Dolby Vision apart:
Dolby Vision mastering supports up to 10,000 nits peak brightness, with a current 4,000 nit peak brightness target
HDR10 mastering supports up to 4,000 nits peak brightness, with a current 1,000 nit peak brightness target
Dolby Vision mastering supports up to 12-bit color depth, HDR10 is mastered for 10 bits
Dolby Vision mastering supports up to the BT.2020 color space, HDR10 is mastered for DCI-P3
Essentially, Dolby Vision is aiming to be a premium version of HDR10, so in theory, Dolby Vision is the superior format, promising better image quality across the board.
What Other TV Terms Do I Need To Know?
When it comes to knowing what you're paying for, almost no category is more rife with subterfuge and tomfoolery than TVs. While knowing the specs of the TV you're shopping for is only half the battle, it's the bigger half. Here are the key bits of jargon you'll want to know while browsing:
LED/LCD: This refers to Light Emitting Diode and Liquid Crystal Display. LEDs are the backlights used in LCD TVs, also sometimes called a LED TV for this reason. The LED backlight shines through a layer of a semi-solid substance called "liquid crystal," so named for its ability to morph in reaction to tiny electrical volts and allow light to pass through.
OLED: This means Organic Light Emitting Diode. This is an altogether different panel technology than LED/LCD, albeit on the surface they work similarly. Rather than an LED backlight element shining through an LCD panel element, OLED TVs essentially combine the backlight and crystal array, using sub-pixel strata that produce light and color individually.
4K/UHD: Usually 4K refers to resolution—specifically, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. This is the current standard/mainstream resolution for most TVs. UHD means Ultra High Definition, and actually refers to a suite of picture improvements like 4K resolution, Wide Color Gamut, and High Dynamic Range.
60 Hz/120 Hz: These numbers refer to what is called a "refresh rate," with Hz (hertz) meaning "times per second." So if a TV's refresh rate is 60 Hz, this means it re-scans and updates for picture information 60 times per second; with 120 Hz, it's 120 times per second. Currently, TVs only come in 60 or 120 Hz. A higher refresh rate is always better, but not always necessary.
Smart TV: The term "smart TV" has evolved a lot over the years, but all it really means is that the TV connects to the internet. Most smart TVs these days are just a way to watch streaming services like Amazon Prime Video on your TV. Some smart TVs have browsers, calendars, or even Roku or Android functions. All smart TVs have ethernet or WiFi built-in.
Quantum Dots: Quantum dots are used in LED/LCD TVs only. These are microscopic nanocrystals that produce intensely colored light when struck with light. Quantum dots can be used to vastly improve the red and green saturation of a TV, and are one way that LED/LCD TVs can match the color spectrum of OLED.
Local Dimming: OLED panels look great because each pixel can operate independently. LED/LCD TVs can imitate this functioning via a process called local dimming, where localized clusters of LEDs dim or boost depending on whether the screen needs to be darker or brighter, sometimes vastly improving their performance and worth.
What Is a TV Series?
You may notice the TVs listed in this roundup don't follow the traditional naming convention you might see in a store or online. That's because rather than nominating a single size of TV (such as the LG OLED65C8PUA, aka the 65-inch LG C8 series OLED), we nominate the entire range of sizes within a "series."
Typically these TVs are identical in performance but differ in price and size. We do this in order to offer you more flexibility in your decision, but also because it's the most accurate representation available.
Other Dolby Vision TVs We Tested
The LG CX (available in 55-, 65-, and 77-inch variants) isn’t the best OLED TV you can buy, but it’s an OLED TV nevertheless, which means it’s currently one of the best TVs money can buy.
In true OLED fashion, the LG CX features the signature near-perfect black levels that we’ve come to expect from this premium technology. Stellar contrast is the primary reason that TVs like this look so good, but you can also expect gorgeous, vivid color production and excellent motion handling. In fact, the CX’s native 120 Hz refresh rate makes it a great option for sports fans and gamers alike—you can expect clear, judder-free motion pretty much across the board. The TV's sleek, ultra-thin design is worthy of praise, too—the CX is sure to class up whatever room it occupies.
For anyone expecting top-notch brightness from their top-notch TV investment, a word of caution: Although the LG CX features some of the best contrast money can buy, its peak brightness levels don’t come close to those we’ve measured on high-end, non-OLED TVs, particularly those outfitted with quantum dots. Still, if you're searching for a top-tier Dolby Vision TV, few are superior to the LG CX.
The LG BX (available in 55- and 65-inch variants) is one of the most affordable OLED TV series released in 2020, which makes it a great pickup for folks who don’t mind paying a premium for stunning, top-of-the-line TV technology, but nevertheless don’t want to spend the extra dough to land a better-performing TV, like the LG CX.
The BX is a 4K TV whose HDR support meets the Dolby Vision standard. Since it’s an OLED TV, you can expect perfect black levels and dazzling, voluminous color. For some folks—gamers in particular—the main draw of the BX will be its special features; the TV is equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports, supports FreeSync/G-Sync, and features a native refresh rate of 120 Hz. Simply put, the BX is one of the most affordable ways to secure a TV that will get the most out of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, even if its price tag doesn’t seem very affordable at first glance.
Because OLED TVs don’t get as bright as quantum dot LED TVs—and because the LG BX isn’t as bright as higher-end OLED TVs like the LG CX—folks with relatively bright living rooms might want to give brighter TVs a closer look. The LG BX isn’t exactly a dim TV, but it’s not as bright as you might expect given its price tag.
Here’s the bottom line: The LG BX isn’t a budget-friendly TV, but it is one of the most affordable ways to secure incredible OLED performance and future-proof features.
Vizio’s first OLED TV successfully blends the high-end picture quality we’ve come to expect from OLED TVs with the value-forward philosophies that helped give way to Vizio’s recent rise in popularity. It’s currently one of the most affordable ways to secure an OLED TV that supports Dolby Vision.
Available in 55- and 65-inch models, the Vizio OLED is packed with features fit for next-generation gaming, including HDMI 2.1 support (with eARC passthrough), VRR, and ALLM. Like all of the OLED TVs we’ve tested in recent years, the Vizio OLED also features a native refresh rate of 120 Hz. This refresh rate, combined with the TV’s HDMI 2.1 support, means that the Vizio OLED will be capable of 4K gaming at 120 FPS.
And then, of course, there’s the Vizio OLED’s picture, which is unsurprisingly stunning. Due to the self-illuminating nature of organic LEDs, the Vizio OLED is capable of perfect black levels and rich, accurate colors. Although it doesn’t get nearly as bright as high-end quantum dot TVs, it’s about as bright as its direct competitor, the LG BX.
If you’re hoping to make your next TV an OLED, the Vizio OLED is the most affordable way to go about doing so without investing in an OLED TV from one or two years ago. Simply put, when you factor in its performance chops and its next-gen gaming features, the Vizio OLED is one of the most value-packed TVs on the market.
The Sony A8H is available in 55- and 65-inch models and offers the industry-leading picture quality we expect from OLED TVs. Perfect black levels, rich, accurate color production, and super-smooth motion handling are the highlights here, with an Android-based smart platform whose robust app selection makes up for its lackluster user interface. The A8H also gets quite bright for a contemporary OLED TV, climbing as high as 700-750 nits while receiving an HDR signal. All told, it's a fantastic way to showcase Dolby Vision content.
Unfortunately, given the state of the industry, the Sony A8H falls short in the all-important category of hardware and features. It doesn't come equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports and gaming features like VRR and ALLM are absent.
If you’re not an avid gamer—or if you simply don’t care about your next TV being as future-proof as possible—the Sony A8H is a stunning, top-tier TV that will serve as an impressive home theater centerpiece for several years to come.
Available in 65- and 75-inch sizes only, the Vizio P Series Quantum X might be the brightest TV Vizio's ever made. Outfitted with full-array local dimming, quantum dots, and a sleek, understated design, the P Series Quantum X looks better than any LED/LCD TV has a right to. If you’re looking for a bright TV to show off Dolby Vision content, they don’t get much brighter than the PQX.
From its searing highlights to its brilliant hues, the P Series Quantum X is a top-shelf Dolby Vision TV with the picture to prove it. It's a particularly good option for folks who long for the performance of an OLED but remain skeptical about an OLED's relatively limited peak brightness.
If you’re looking for a premium Dolby Vision TV that harnesses the power of quantum dots but don’t like what you see from LG, Vizio, or Sony, why not take a look at the TCL 8-Series?
This QLED TV is only available in two sizes: 65 inches and 75 inches. It aced just about all of our lab tests and wowed us with its ability to produce bright pictures with extra-vivid color.
One of the reasons the TCL 8-Series is such a stellar TV is the inclusion of TCL’s “mini-LED” technology, which allows for tight contrast control second only to OLED displays. The TV’s excellent motion handling and built-in Roku software also make it a versatile pick for gamers and streamers.
The only real drawbacks are the TV’s chunky design and its limited viewing angles (the latter of which isn’t as big of an issue as it is on the TCL 6-Series, but still might deter some folks). Additionally, while the 8-Series’ price tag reflects the TV’s performance, bargain hunters might feel safer committing to a more affordable mid-range TV, and folks hunting for top-tier performance might be better off springing for something with a better design and picture.
The Sony X950G isn't perfect, but given the cost, you're getting a lot of really awesome specs and features, including Dolby Vision support. It’s easily one of Sony's best TVs of 2019.
There’s a few things to keep in mind about the X950G, however, namely its narrow viewing angles and slightly disappointing color production. That said, you're looking at a great TV that holds up well in brightly lit rooms, and for the most part, the X950G performs as well as it should, given its price tag.
While you can check out our full review of the Sony X950G for more information, the thing to know about the X950G is that it's a good all-rounder. Performance isn't the X950G's only selling point. You're also getting the Android smart TV platform, and a slick, modern design, too. It's not the best value pick from last year, nor the best performer of 2019, but it’ll do a great job for years to come and most folks will be quite happy with it.
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.
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.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.