The 7 Best TV Brands of 2021

All the top names on the market

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The best TV brands are the ones that offer models at different price points to suit every budget from shoestring to the-sky-is-the-limit and features that made finding movies, music, and shows easy. Sony, LG, and Samsung are some of the biggest names in televisions, and have a wide variety of mid-range and high-end televisions with technologies like OLED screens, virtual surround sound, and built-in voice controls. Smaller brands like TCL, Hisense, and Element offer more stripped-down models to fit more meager budgets while still offering essential features like pre-loaded apps, Wi-Fi connectivity, and 4K resolution. We've gathered up our top picks for the best TV brands below and broke down their features to help you decide which is right for your next TV.


Samsung Q900 8K Smart HDR QLED TV
Samsung Q900 8K Smart HDR QLED TV. Samsung

As a long-standing, trusted name in electronics, it’s hard to go wrong with a TV from Samsung. No matter what size or features you’re looking for, there’s likely a Samsung TV for you. But unlike with dogs, you can teach an old TV new tricks. Constantly innovating and leading the way with fresh hardware and technology, Samsung is hard proof. Just look at its imposing 49-inch curved ultra-wide CRG9, or the TV-as-fine-art elegance of The Frame. They were even the first to bring an 8K resolution TV to the mainstream market with the Q900.

Samsung is still one of the best TV brands at the high end of the quality/price spectrum, with offerings powered by the company’s QLED (or “quantum dot LED”) technology. Bright and vibrant in color, QLED screens like the Q90R rival the supposedly unparalleled picture quality of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs, but with lower price tags and without the risk of permanently burned-in images.

In general, Samsung’s premium TVs sport a lot of impressive, emerging technologies, from advanced image processing tools to an excellent smart TV platform with a smooth interface and a wide app collection. Video game frequenter will appreciate the variable refresh rate functionality, which Samsung pioneered in the TV space in order to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering.

Samsung includes their proprietary Bixby voice controls in all of their newest TV models. This means that you won't have to invest in a separate smart speaker like the Amazon Echo or Google Home to have hands-free voice controls for your television. - Taylor Clemons


Sony KD55X750F
 Courtesy of Best Buy

You may have to pay a bit more for the Sony name and reputation, but there’s a visible level of quality you get from its Bravia TVs that can make it worthwhile. The company remains one of the best TV brands due in large part to their focus on picture quality is evident, especially at the top end of its lineup with Master series entries such as the A9G OLED TV.

Even its standard LED options, led by the Z9F, benefit from Sony’s powerful picture processing technologies, like the X1 Ultimate processor that upscales video at 1080p or any resolution to look almost as crisp and clear as true 4K content. There’s also an X-Motion Clarity feature that minimizes motion blur on fast action scenes, and X-Wide Angle to fix the poor viewing angle shortcomings that vertical alignment (VA) panels typically suffer from.

Sony TVs stand out in terms of its smart features, too. Its use of Google’s Android operating system gives the sets a media-streaming interface familiar to many users and access to the Google Play Store with its vast selection of apps. Voice commands and smart-home controls are available through built-in Google Assistant and compatibility with Amazon Alexa. The best part is you’ll find these features throughout Sony’s smart TV collection, including in affordable 4K options like the X750F


LG Signature OLED W7P Series 4K Ultra HD Wallpaper TV
LG Signature OLED W7P Series 4K Ultra HD Wallpaper TV. Image provided by Best Buy

LG makes the strongest impact today in the most premium levels of the TV market, having built the strongest lineup of OLED televisions available. OLED sets are undeniably pricier, especially at larger sizes, and image burn-in is a real (albeit faint) risk. But you can’t deny the quality of the picture, with its individually lit pixels allowing for perfect darks and an ostensibly infinite contrast ratio.

Its minimal input lag also makes it responsive for gaming, and its near-instantaneous pixel response time mitigates pesky motion blur. You’ll, of course, get this with LG’s most premium Signature OLED W9 series, but you’ll still enjoy basically the same stellar picture with its (relatively) less pricey OLEDs like the B9.

While LG’s lower-end models aren’t as compelling, many of them use in-plane switching (IPS) technology on their panels that give them an edge over the more common VA panels in terms of viewing angles and color reproduction. Plus, LG’s WebOS platform is one of the best smart TV platforms around, thanks to a fast, easy-to-navigate interface and a decent array of apps.

Higher-end models include a premium remote, which has a convenient pointer, scroll-wheel, and voice controls. 


TCL US5800 Series 4K Ultra HD Roku TV - Facing Left
TCL US5800 Series 4K Ultra HD Roku TV - Facing Left. Image provided by

One of the newer competitors in the space but already one of the best TV brands, TCL has quickly grown to become the third-largest TV maker in the world. The reason for its skyrocketing popularity? Well, for one, its panels are a killer value. All are built using TCL's own internal and external components, so while it doesn't release a huge stack of new models every year, the company does cover a wide range of sizes and functionality with each refresh it does oversee.

All can be found at very affordable prices, too, while often approaching — or even exceeding — the levels of quality and performance you would otherwise get from a more prominent brand. The 4-Series, for example, is TCL’s entry-level 4K television. That said, it still delivers solid Ultra HD picture quality for a low cost. The 6-Series, TCL’s highest-end model, is available in sizes up to 75 inches and quite possibly delivers the best combination of performance, features, and value.

Another highlight of a TCL TV is the Roku TV smart platform, available on the 3-Series and up. It’s not the flashiest interface, but its simplicity makes it intuitive and easy to use, with a content base that includes thousands of free streaming movies and channels. The free TCL mobile remote app is also one of the best of all the smart TV systems. With it, you can take full control over playback and advanced settings, and even send TV audio to your phone.

The integrated Roku platform means that you have built-in smart features in your TCL television. You won't have to bother with purchasing external equipment in order to enjoy for favorite streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. - Taylor Clemons


Hisense H9E Plus Smart 4K UHD TV with HDR
Best Buy 

Another rapidly growing TV manufacturer is Hisense. Its selection isn’t always as widely available as the big names, but the TVs are available in a variety of flavors, usually with affordable, mid-range prices.

Hisense TVs incorporate a mix of many top image technologies and capabilities, from 4K resolution to quantum dot color to full-array local dimming. They also have full smart TV functionality running either Android or Roku operating systems.

Besides expanding its roster, Hisense has, in recent years, acquired licenses to produce TVs for the long-running Sharp and Toshiba imprints, two of the best TV brands with established reputations. Therefore, it's safe to assume anything under those names was made by Hisense as well.


Philips Roku TV Example
Philips Roku TV Example. Philips

Since its founding in 1927, Philips has become best-known for their lighting, audio, and healthcare equipment, but they also offer a range of great televisions. Their 5000 series is built on the Android TV operating system, with Google Assistant built-in for hands-free controls right out of the box. The 4000 series uses the Roku platform, and when paired with the mobile app or a smart speaker, you can still get access to virtual assistants to control your new TV and connected devices. Both models come in a variety of screen sizes ranging from as small as 24-inches to as large as 75-inches, letting you pick the size that best fits your space. Both also have 4K, 1080p, and 720p resolution options to suit your entertainment needs as well as Dolby Audio technology, HDMI ARC connections, and Bluetooth connectivity to stream content from your smartphone or tablet. 

If you're an environmentally conscious or community-minded shopper, Philips has set up several initiatives to enact carbon-emission reducing manufacturing processes, create greener products, and improve sustainability. They also have a foundation which uses portions of sales to fund medical care and first aid education to at-risk communities, so you can help improve the lives of others as well as reduce your environmental impact when you purchase a new Philips television.


Element TV

Element is a relative newcomer to home entertainment. Established in 2007 and opening their Winnsboro, South Carolina factory in 2014, they offer four different models of televisions, including both smart and "dumb" TVs. With resolutions ranging from 720p to 4K UHD, you can find a model to suit your entertainment needs. Their 400 and 300 series models use the Roku platform, giving you access to preloaded apps, voice controls via the app or smart speaker, and text-to-speech accessibility options. The 200 series uses their proprietary Element Smart TV platform which allows you to customize your entertainment hub with your favorite apps. 

The 100 series isn't internet-enabled, making it a perfect television for your kids' playroom or bedroom, letting you connect a DVD player, game console, or cable or satellite box to make sure your little ones don't get access to shows and movies that aren't age-appropriate. Their 400/500 series televisions are their flagship models, offering 4K resolution with HDR10 support, Dolby Audio, support for both Alexa and Google Assistant, and even the ability to stream content from Netflix or YouTube via your mobile device or laptop. These models also have an almost bezel-free screen to give you an edge-to-edge picture for a more cinematic and immersive viewing experience.

Final Verdict

Samsung is one of the most versatile brands on the market. They offer a variety of televisions with price points to fit nearly every budget and each model has a whole host of features to turn your living room or dorm into the ultimate entertainment hub. They're also the only brand that still makes curved TVs. And while curved screens didn't catch on like many brands hoped, they still have a loyal following that appreciates still having an option. Sony has begun to optimize all of their new televisions for the PlayStation 4 Pro and new PlayStation 5, allowing you to take full advantage of your new console's graphics and audio capabilities. They also have cool features like surface acoustic audio which turns the whole screen into a speaker for better audio syncing and object tracking sound.

About Our Trusted Experts

Taylor Clemons has been reviewing and writing about consumer electronics for over three years. She has also worked in e-commerce product management, so she has the knowledge of what makes a solid TV for home entertainment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best screen size for my living room/home theater/dorm room?

The best way to determine the perfect screen size is to figure out where you're going to wall-mount or have your TV stand and measure the distance to where you're going to sit, then divide that in half. For example: if you're going to sit 10 feet (120 inches) from your new television, the perfect size TV would be around 60-inches. You can go a bit bigger or smaller if you like, but having a TV that is too big can make the room feel crowded and even cause motion sickness. And a TV that is too small can be hard to see and make everyone crowd around, which is not ideal when you're trying to have a Super Bowl party or movie night.

What apps does the TV have?

Many TVs from different brands come with a suite of popular, preloaded apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. This allows you to jump right back into your favorite movies and shows without a tedious, lengthy setup process. With dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, you'll be able to download a host of other apps like Spotify and PlutoTV to round out your entertainment options.

Do I need voice controls for my TV?

Voice controls can make searching for movies, music, and shows a breeze. If your new TV didn't come packaged with a voice-enabled remote, you may be able to use an app for your mobile devices or connect your TV to a third-party smart speaker like an Amazon Echo Show or Google Home. These features are perfect for anyone who has set up a smart home network around a smart speaker. However, voice controls are not essential, and you can opt out of using them if you don't think you'll ever need them.

The Ultimate TV Brand Buying Guide

When shopping for a new TV for your home theater, apartment, or dorm room can be a bit daunting with all of the manufacturers to choose from. From the best TV brands like LG, Sony, and Samsung to smaller names like TCL, Vizio, and Hisense, there is a plethora of models, price points, and size classes available. Each brand offers their own blend of screen resolutions and smart features to suit almost any home theater, dorm, or living room's entertainment needs; from full 1080p HD for those who still primarily use cable and satellite providers, 4K for cord-cutting streamers, and even 8K for customers who need to be on the bleeding edge of home entertainment technology. Samsung has stepped into the realm of smart home technology by including their proprietary virtual assistant, Samsung Bixby, in all of their new televisions alongside Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. LG dominates the picture quality category with their line of OLED TVs, using cutting-edge technology to provide the very best in color range and volume, contrast, and detailing. 

TCL manufactures smart televisions using the Roku streaming app, giving you affordable options for your home theater, living room, or dorm and eliminating the need for extra equipment to access your favorite apps. Vizio seems content in providing customers with reliable mid-range smart televisions which utilize quantum dot technology to create stunning 4K resolution at affordable prices. Hisense televisions use either the AndroidTV operating system or Roku platform to give you access to your favorite streaming apps and hands-free voice controls; while Hisense may not be as popular as their competitors, but they're steadily growing as a company and continuing to provide low-priced, reliable smart televisions. So if brand loyalty is important to you when shopping for your new television or you're just looking for a great TV that fits your budget, there are plenty of models and brands to choose from. We'll break down some of the most important factors to consider when shopping to help you decide which is right for you.

Vizio Smart TV with Internet Apps
Vizio Smart TV with Internet Apps. Vizio

Screen Resolution

The resolution of your new television should depend on where you want to put the TV. If you want a secondary television for your bedroom, workshop, or kids' playroom, you don't need to spend a fortune on a fancy 4K model. There are plenty of 720p and 1080p HD TVs out there that still offer streaming capabilities so you can stay up to date on your favorite shows and movies while relaxing before you go to sleep, keeping the kids entertained, or working on hobby projects. The color ranges and detailing in these models aren't as great or sharp as their 4K counterparts, but the picture quality is still top-notch; and if you're using them as a secondary TV, you shouldn't mind as much since you're not watching it as often as your main smart TV. 

In recent years, televisions with a natural 4K resolution have become more popular and mainstream, meaning they've also become more affordable. Both large manufacturers like LG, Sony, and Samsung as well as smaller brands like TCL and Hisense offer 4K TVs in a variety of sizes to suit almost any living room, dorm, or home theater. Televisions with 4K give you four times the pixels as 1080p HD, meaning you'll get more lifelike picture quality when watching your favorite shows and movies. Some brands like Sony, Samsung, and LG have taken the next step in home entertainment and started manufacturing 8K televisions. TVs with 8K give you four times the pixels as 4K and 16 times that of 1080p HD; as impressive as that sounds, the visual difference between 8K and 4K isn't nearly as dramatic as that between 1080p and 4K. These televisions tend to be extravagantly priced, often in the tens of thousands of dollars, putting them well out of reach of average customers. The lack of 8K content on streaming and broadcast services combined with the very high prices of these models means that the technology isn't quite worth investing in unless you have lots of cash to burn in order to future-proof your home theater.

Sony KDL-W650D Series 1080p LED/LCD TV
Sony KDL-W650D Series 1080p LED/LCD TV. Image courtesy of

Smart Features

Having a smart television is a must in today's home entertainment; they give you access to thousands of apps including Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney+ so you can have your favorite shows and movies right at your fingertips. Some smart televisions are made with integrated streaming platforms like Roku or use AndroidTV or some other operating system that allows you to download apps right to the television. Most smart televisions also support hands-free voice controls via virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant; Samsung even has their own virtual assistant, Bixby, that they integrate into their new televisions. This lets you turn your TV on and off, choose apps, or change settings without fumbling with a confusing remote control making it an excellent option for customers who already have smart home networks up and running. Roku-enabled televisions use a dedicated app for smartphones and tablets to turn them into voice-enabled remotes. 

A lot of televisions also support Chromecast or Apple AirPlay2 which allow you to mirror your tablet, smartphone, or computer screen to your television for more ways to view photos and videos with friends and family. For customers looking to upgrade their home theater or build the ultimate audio and video experience, some high-end televisions feature ambient sound and light sensors. These sensors monitor light and sound levels in your room and automatically adjust picture and audio settings for the best cinematic experience. They also feature Bluetooth connectivity that lets you set up wireless audio equipment like soundbars, satellite speakers, and subwoofers for the ultimate surround sound audio configuration. Console gamers will be happy to learn that there are televisions which use Nvidia G Sync or AMD FreeSync technology. These technologies automatically detect when you start playing a game and reduce input lag and motion blur while boosting color volume and contrast for buttery smooth action, beautiful visuals, and near real-time reactions to your controller inputs.

LG 55EG9100 55-inch Curved Screen 3D OLED TV
LG 55EG9100 55-inch Curved Screen 3D OLED TV. Image provided by LG


Now that we've examined the brands available, screen resolutions, and smart features, it's time to talk about your budget. How much you're willing to spend on your next television determines which smart features, brands, and screen sizes will be available to you. If you're working with a limited budget of just a few hundred dollars, TCL and Hisense have excellent options for smart televisions which are priced considerably lower than their competitors. TCL offers affordable models in larger screen sizes, even 55- and 65-inch models are reasonably priced so you can replace an outdated TV or build your ideal home theater on the cheap. 

If you're willing and able to spend a bit more to get the features you want, you can start to look at options available from bigger brands like Samsung and Sony. These brands offer 4K resolution, expanded smart features, and better connectivity options with prices to match. These kinds of televisions usually range from $300-400 at the lower end to close to $1,000 for bigger screen sizes and more smart capabilities. If money isn't a concern for you, and you're able to spend quite a bit in order to get the perfect television for your home theater, Sony, Samsung, and LG offer high-end models that utilize cutting-edge picture technology like OLED and QLED panels, object tracking sound or built-in virtual surround sound audio, and extra features like an ambient or gallery mode that turns your television into a piece of living room decor or art when not in use. These models can cost thousands of dollars, but give you everything you could ever want in a smart television. No matter what kind of budget you're working with, there is a TV out there to suit your needs.

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