The TV is a centerpiece for your living room. It is such an important part of life, giving you a way to keep up with the day's news, watch the latest blockbuster movies, and follow your favorite sports teams. So, choosing the right TV is super important. Luckily, we’ve gathered a good list of the best, based on our years of research and testing, to help narrow down your choices.
The Insignia has Fire TV already programmed onto it, so it’s easy to access streaming apps from a single dashboard. It integrates with the Amazon Echo to provide easier search, setting, and viewing options. The 32-inch screen uses high-definition technology to deliver impressive and well-defined picture quality. This television can connect to both Wi-Fi and ethernet. It also includes three HDMI ports for connecting video consoles and other devices.
Integrated surround sound
The Toshiba 32LF221U21 TV has excellent sound quality thanks to the inclusion of HD DTS TruSurround. This gives you a more inclusive experience with very detailed and moving sounds. For example, you’ll hear a bypassing car on the screen similar to what you would hear outside. Fire TV is also included and can be controlled using voice commands through an Amazon Echo.
The TCL 4K TV gives you some of the best image performance, including rich colors, deep blacks, and decent tracking. It is a great option for gamers, with very detailed images and a quick pixel refresh to eliminate lag and blur. You'll get all the HDR formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG. Roku is also built-in so you can access a wealth of apps and features right from your remote.
The Samsung Q900 Series 8K QLED TV is about as future-proof as you can get right now, thanks to its 8K resolution HDR panel. It upscales content, so even current 4K feeds look better on this screen. With a bright performance, wide color gamut, and smooth motion handling, this is a superb model that should stay that way for years to come.
The Vizio M-Series TV gives you rich and punchy colors with local dimming for excellent blacks. The HDR, which supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, delivers both contrast and a wide color gamut. You also get the SmartCast 3.0 operating system, which is limited on apps but offers all the big streaming platforms, plus you get Google Cast and Apple AirPlay control built-in. It's a genuinely good-looking set, too, with minimal bezel that helps show off that great picture quality.
Choosing the right TV for you
For many of us, sorting out our budget and figuring out what price range we can afford is the first step. 8K TVs are still mighty expensive at the moment. 4K models are much more reasonably priced, though, and you can easily find a budget model that doesn't put much of a dent in your pocket. If you want to go even more budget, you can still buy HD televisions for even less than that, though you’ll be buying into a technology that’s already on its way out.
Size is the other factor to consider when choosing the best TV. If the screen is too small, there’s not much point going for a high resolution like 4K unless you plan on sitting really close to it—you just won’t notice the difference. We’d say 55 inches is a good size for a normal living room. At this size, you’ll be able to enjoy the picture quality. You can go bigger, of course, but expect to see the price rise accordingly.
Sound is another factor to consider. The speakers in most modern TVs offer limited bass and sound range, as flatscreens are too slim to fit proper speaker systems in. If you want an immersive audio experience, we’d suggest purchasing a soundbar or home theater system to go with your set.
But what format should you go for? OLED offers the best range of blacks making them ideal for movies, while QLED offers really bright top-end images, making them great for daytime viewing. LED tries to reach those levels, but you'll need to spend more to get a performance as good as the others offer in their most basic models.
The future of 8K is coming, but it's still a long way off. TV prices are still prohibitively expensive, and there's very little content to enjoy on them. They will upscale anything you watch, but for true 8K, it may still be a while off. So, for now, here are the best options you can buy, organized by their stand-out feature to help you pick what you need more easily.
4K refers to the maximum resolution that the television can display images. Almost all modern options are 4K, which is a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels displayed in the standard 16:9 format. You may also hear it described as Ultra High Definition (UHD or Ultra HD), but the resolution is the same. We call it 4K because it is four times the pixel resolution of regular HD.
Full High Definition, or FHD, is 1920x1080 pixels. You'll often see it referred to as 1080p, which is how the picture is generated by your display. The 'p' stands for progressive scan, which basically means that when your set displays a picture, it is showing 1080 lines all at the same time, updating them each time a frame changes. Technically, the lowest HD resolution is 1280x720 (or 720p), and images shown at this size are still classed as High Definition.
You should also consider that not all movies and broadcasts are 4K. In fact, a surprising number are only in Full HD or lower. So, regardless of the TV's maximum display, it could be that you're only watching content in regular HD (1080p). Many televisions will attempt to artificially upscale images from HD to 4K, but you'll never get the same result as footage that is created in 4K originally.
OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode and is a technique in TV panels that allows each pixel to be switched on and off independently of the others. This means you can get sharper pictures, for sure, but how does that explain OLED's famously deeper black tones? Well, regular LED panels use either backlights or sidelights to illuminate, and they do so in groups. So, no matter how accurate your back or side-lighting is, you will always get a slight halo or blooming effect around LEDs, and you won't be able to switch areas of the panel off completely to obtain those levels of absolute black. The advantage of OLED panels is they can be incredibly thin (you don't need to house a backlight!) and can show sharp images with deep blacks. The disadvantages are that they're expensive, and can't get as bright as QLEDs.
QLED is Samsung's preferred technology and works differently than OLED, despite sounding remarkably similar. QLED stands for Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diode, and it works by placing a Quantum Dot filter over the LEDs in the TV. Inside the filter are crystal semiconductor particles that can be lit to form precise colors at higher brightnesses than regular LEDs. This means you're able to produce more vivid color ranges, while retaining accuracy, even though QLED panels are technically backlit, like regular 4K TVs. The pros are that you get brighter images and better, more accurate colors. The downside is that panels are heavier and slightly thicker than OLED and, oh yeah, they're very expensive too.