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"As a long-standing, trusted name in electronics, it’s hard to go wrong with a TV from Samsung."
"You may have to pay a bit more for the Sony name and reputation, but there’s a visible level of quality you get."
"LG makes the strongest impact today in the most premium levels of the TV market, having built the strongest lineup of OLED televisions available."
"All TCL panels are built using TCL's own internal and external components."
"While Vizio used to be known more for the low cost of its TVs, it has since demonstrated its ability to produce some aggressive contenders with cutting-edge features."
"The TVs are available in a variety of flavors, usually with affordable, mid-range prices."
Whether you're looking for your very first TV or just think it's time to upgrade your home theater or media room, choosing the right model can be a bit intimidating. We've taken a look at hundreds of models from dozens of brands and compiled a list of our top picks. Our list features top brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony as well as newcomers like TCL and Hisense to help you find the right TV for your home.
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.
The high end of Samsung’s offerings is 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.
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’s 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 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.
One of the newer competitors in the space, 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.
While Vizio used to be known more for the low cost of its TVs, it has since demonstrated its ability to produce some aggressive contenders with cutting-edge features. At the top of the list is the P-Series Quantum, a premium 4K television that utilizes quantum dot technology to improve the range of its color spectrum and the overall vibrancy of its picture.
Even on their more budget-friendly 4K options like the V-Series, many models are backlit with full-array local dimming, which controls the brightness on individual LED zones for better, more impactful contrast across the screen. This is a rare feature for the price level. Vizio TVs also tend to have good motion handling and low input lag, which — along with the high 120Hz native refresh rate on some premium models — make them great for gaming.
Like most modern TVs, Vizio televisions highlight a number of internet-enabled smart features, though with a slightly different focus. The SmartCast system that comes with Vizio TVs today have Google’s Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2 built-in, so you can “cast” (or stream) video and other media from your phones, tablets, and computers to your TV. They also support voice commands from Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri.
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 brands. Therefore, it's safe to assume anything under those names was made by Hisense as well.
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.
What to look for in a TV brand
Resolution - This is the single most important feature to look for when shopping for a new TV. The bare minimum for full HD is 1920 x 1080; for 4K TV, you need 3840 x 2160. HDR is another feature that goes great with 4K, and a high-contrast ratio will make the picture pop even more.
Built-in apps - The proliferation of inexpensive set-top boxes and streaming devices means you don’t absolutely need Wi-Fi connectivity or built-in apps, but they’re nice to have. Look for a TV that has a nice selection of your favorite apps, like Netflix and Hulu, and an interface that’s easy to navigate.
HDMI 2.0 - All new TVs come with HDMI ports, but you need to make sure that at least one of those ports is HDMI 2.0 — this is required to watch 4K video with the highest possible frame rate. If you don’t want to use an HDMI switcher, it’s also important to make sure the TV has enough ports to support all your devices.