Saving up for a new screen? To help you navigate the dozens of seemingly identical TV models from Samsung, LG, Vizio, TCL, Sony, and other manufacturers, we’ve watched hundreds of hours of content on them and picked a few of our favorites. We’ve listed everything from the very best TV to the best budget set you can buy—and a few excellent choices in between.
All of these models have a 4K Ultra HD pixel resolution (and some have 8K), because there aren’t a lot of good reasons to buy a standard HDTV anymore. TVs now come with wonderful displays, but they’re terrible at audio and can have lackluster interfaces, so you should also invest in a good soundbar and a TV streaming stick if you can’t find the app you want. If you’re unfamiliar with much of the lingo TV manufacturers use, our How to Buy a TV guide can help.
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Still the Best
The center pedestal and an easy-to-reach port section on the far right of the TV make it great for setting on existing TV stands or even wall mounting. It also has super thin bezels, if you, like me, sometimes like to put on some art or fake window action in your living room. You know, to be classy.
This TV Also Rules
I prefer the Roku interface and pedestal mount of the TCL above, but all people are not me! Many folks (myself included) are in love with the latest mid-tier option from Hisense (8/10, WIRED Recommends). It’s super bright, has similar Mini-LED tech, and features an awesome Google TV interface that makes it perfect for Chrome users and Android owners.
I like how easy to move this model is, thanks to its thicker design, but I’m not the biggest fan of its legs. They’re aesthetically pleasing, but they can make it hard to place longer soundbars in front of the set. For that reason, I’d try to wall-mount this model if I bought it. Low input lag and AMD FreeSync built in make it a decent choice for gaming, albeit just as good as the 6-Series above. It does get brighter overall, though, so if you watch in a room with windows, start here first.
Best Entry-Level TV
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It has full-array local dimming, which means it has deeper contrast than many budget TVs, and quantum-dot technology means better colors. It’s usable for gaming thanks to AMD FreeSync, and it looks miles better than the HD or early 4K set you might have right now. It comes with built-in Roku, so the remote is easy to use, and it streams right out of the box. We recommend the 55-inch model, because it’s the best bang for your buck, but TCL makes other sizes. The larger you go, the more you might want to consider wall-mounting or buying an aftermarket pedestal mount.
Another Great Mid-Tier TV
Don’t sleep on Vizio’s offerings. The latest M-Series Quantum X (8/10, WIRED Recommends) has better legs than the Hisense above (they’re closer together), and I’m genuinely a fan of the Vizio Smartcast interface. The downside? It’s not as bright as the above TVs. But still, quantum dots and Vizio’s excellent local dimming make for one of the prettiest TVs in dark rooms. Also, it’s under a thousand dollars! I also liked gaming on this model, which has a 120-Hz refresh rate in 4K, matching the maximum output for the latest consoles from Microsoft and Sony.
Best for Gamers (and Film Nerds)
OLED TVs use technology where each pixel acts as its own backlight. This means perfect black levels, as each pixel can actually turn fully off when it is supposed to be black. LG is the only panel maker that makes large OLEDs at scale. Any other TV you see with an OLED panel and another maker’s logo is just a panel from LG with different guts.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that LG’s own C2 OLED is the one I’d recommend for most people. The house-made panel is utterly gorgeous. It has some of the lowest input lag of any TV I’ve ever seen, which makes it perfect for gaming at up to 120 Hz in 4K. You can get it in sizes down to 42 inches, which makes this a great model if you have a smaller built-in for TVs, or if you just want the world’s dopest computer monitor.
Best for Bright Rooms
Samsung QN90B (2022)
We loved last year’s QN90A (8/10, WIRED Recommends) for its astonishingly good contrast and extreme brightness in well-lit rooms, and this year’s QN90B model (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a great follow-up. You get a center pedestal stand, a 120-Hz refresh rate for the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, and Mini-LED backlighting that gets so bright you’ll want to change to Filmmaker Mode for nighttime viewing. I also like that this TV has a very wide viewing angle, making it one of the better models for bright, modern living rooms. The interface is easy to use, and the TV is very easy to set up thanks to the aforementioned stand. If you watch in groups and have a lot of glass around you, this is the best option.
The Prettiest TV
The world’s first mass-market quantum dot OLED panel doesn’t come from inventor Samsung, but rather from Sony. The new panel on the Bravia XR-55A95K (9/10, WIRED Recommends) combines with Sony’s acclaimed processing to make this model one of the prettiest TVs we’ve ever laid eyes on. The overall brightness is high as compared to an LG OLED, but it also reveals great detail while still retaining a natural feeling to the image. A Google TV interface and stellar gaming performance make this a great TV for the nerdiest about picture quality and viewing options, and it even has decent built-in speakers (though we still recommend a soundbar for most people).
The Best 8K TV
There still isn’t much content to watch in this crazy-high resolution, but if you want the best 8K experience I’ve seen, you want this flagship Samsung model (8/10, WIRED Recommends). The gorgeous Mini-LED backlit TV comes with a solar-powered remote (!) and some of the most beautiful colors and processing I’ve ever witnessed from a screen. Watch The Martian on this thing and you feel like you’re going to fall into space.
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It’s heinously expensive, and it looks sleek as heck, whether mounted to the wall or on its gorgeous pedestal mount. The intuitive connection box system also makes it look more discreet. If you have the budget, and you love watching movies, and you don’t want to buy a new TV for many years, it’s worth a look. Just be careful. Once you see one of these, you may wrestle with your pocketbook and lose.