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How to Pick Your New OLED or LED TV

Best LED & OLED Flat Screen TVs: Reviews & Buying Guide - wall of LED TVs

Updated:

Choosing a new TV can be tricky. With so many options, where do you start? If you need help, check out this buying guide to the best OLED & LED flat-screen TVs.

It seems so easy. Search through a list of the best flat-screen TVs and pick the one you want. Simple.

Unfortunately, these days I seem to begin most of my guides in the same way – “It’s really complicated to decide on the best <insert name of device here> for you.”

Some may say that’s because I’m not a great writer and should try a bit harder. You got me there! However, it’s also because it’s true.

Unfortunately, with modern flat-screen televisions, we come across the same problems. A confusing list of specifications and acronyms that blind us with science.

It can make choosing the right TV appear impossible.

However, let’s not give up too quickly. Why don’t we take this one step at a time and try to understand our choices?

First, I’ll point out the different types of flat-screen TV available today. Then, I’ll provide a buying guide and highlight some essential features that I think you should be looking out for.

Finally, I’ll review a few models that are some of the best TVs to buy in 2022.

Ready to get going? Hold on to your hats. By the end of this article, we will be flat-screen TV ninjas.

Top 10 Flat Screen TVs Comparison Table

Image Model Screen Type HDR? Screen Sizes (inch)
LG C1 4K OLED TV
LG C1 OLED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 83 / 77 / 65 / 55 / 48 Check Price
Samsung QN90A 4K Neo QLED TV
Samsung QN90A Full-array | VA QLED | 4K UHD HDR10+ / HDR10 / HLG 98 / 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 / 50 Check Price
Sony A90J 4K OLED TV
Sony A90J OLED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 83 / 65 / 55 Check Price
Sony X950H 4K LED TV
Sony X950H Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 / 49 Check Price
Hisense H9G 4K ULED TV
Hisense H9G Full-array | VA ULED | 4K UHD HDR10+ / HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 65 / 55 Check Price
Samsung Q80A 4K QLED TV
Samsung Q80A Full-array | IPS QLED | 4K UHD HDR10+ / HDR10 / HLG 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 / 50 Check Price
TCL 6-Series R635 4K QLED TV
TCL 6-Series R635 Full-array | VA QLED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 75 / 65 / 55 Check Price
Hisense U6G 4K ULED TV
Hisense U6G Full-array | VA ULED | 4K UHD HDR10+ / HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 75 / 65 / 55 / 50 Check Price
Sony X85J 4K LED TV
Sony X85J Direct-lit | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 / 50 / 43 Check Price
TCL 5-Series S535 4K QLED TV
TCL 5-Series S535 Full-array | VA QLED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 75 / 65 / 55 / 50 Check Price

A Brief History of the Flat Screen TV

You will probably remember your old CRT TV if you are an old so-and-so like me.

Up until the mid-2000s, CRT was the TV technology. But the problem was, this type of TV was bulky and very heavy.

You couldn’t hang one of those babies on the wall!

Also, it was impossible to produce a TV with a screen size larger than around 40-inches.

I remember my first widescreen CRT TV. It was a 28-inch beauty, and it needed two of us to carry it into the house. Boy, you could really put your back out moving one of those around!

Mind you, I thought it was the bee’s knees. I’d never seen such a HUGE television picture.

28-inch widescreen!

Hey, don’t laugh. We were easily impressed in those days.

Three scientists with an old TV

As TV technology developed, the trend was for thin and wall-mountable televisions. Not only that, but we all wanted ever-larger screen sizes.

This was made possible by two different TV technologies – LCD and plasma TVs.

Although these TV technologies worked in different ways, they allowed for thin TVs that could be easily wall-mounted.

As with all technology, there were fans of both types.

The LCD TV was the most widely available in a large range of screen sizes – and was generally cheaper.

The plasma TV was a little bulkier than an LCD TV – and more expensive. But, many believed it to have the best picture quality.

However, all good things come to an end. We have now moved into another era for the flat-screen TV.

To improve the picture quality, the technology of LCD TVs evolved into the LED TV.

An LED TV is essentially the same technology as an LCD TV, but with LED lights used for the backlight.

The marketing departments decided it sounded more impressive to call it an LED TV rather than stick with the LCD tag.

Unfortunately, you’ll come across this quite a bit in the world of TVs – using new names and branding to make existing technology sound fresh and exciting.

As the trend continued towards higher screen resolutions and lower prices, plasma TVs started to decline.

Plasma TV technology could not compete with the price and improved picture quality of the best LED TVs. So, by 2014, LG and Samsung became the last two plasma TV manufacturers to stop production.

Goodbye, my old friend. It’s been emotional.

Different Types of Flat Screen TVs

So, where does this leave us in 2022? Well, you have a simple choice these days.

You can buy an LED TV or an OLED TV.

In some ways, this current choice is like that between the old LCD and plasma TVs.

Very generally, an LED TV offers better value and a wider choice of screen sizes, whereas an OLED TV is more expensive, but many consider it to have the best picture quality.

By the way, it’s impossible to discuss this subject without mentioning some technical terms.

In some cases, I’ll briefly explain things as we go.

However, if you are confused by any of the acronyms or technical terms, you will find many of them explained in my home theater glossary.

What is an LED TV?

The LED TV is the most common type of TV you can buy, and they come in a wide range of screen sizes and with many different features.

You can get budget models if you want something cheap and cheerful – or high-end models with top-notch picture quality.

There are two main designs used when building TVs with LED backlights:

  • Edge Lighting: the lights are arranged around the edge of the screen, and the light spreads out across the back from the sides. Also known as edge-lit TVs. The main advantage is they can be very thin. The main disadvantages are reduced black levels, and the backlight can be brighter in some parts of the screen.
  • Back Lighting: the lights are positioned in rows directly behind the screen. Also known as backlit, direct-lit or full-array TVs. With full-array TVs, the lights are arranged in blocks rather than rows. Their main advantage is better contrast by using local dimming – where the screen can switch off the light in dark areas of the picture. You can get local dimming on edge-lit TVs too, but it is usually less effective. One disadvantage with local dimming is that it can cause a ‘halo’ effect when there is a bright image on a dark background.

If you want more detail on the differences, go to the article on edge-lit vs back-lit LED TVs.

VA vs IPS LED TV Screens

One point you may want to consider is that there are two different panel types used to build an LED TV.

  1. VA panel: Vertical Alignment
  2. IPS panel: In-Plane Switching

I shan’t bore you with the design differences, but they make a difference in the performance.

In short, a VA panel should have the best picture quality and will be more suited to viewing straight-on in a dark room, i.e., better for your home theater TV.

However, if you need an LED TV that gives a good picture in a living room with wider viewing angles, you may want to buy one with an IPS panel.

The Advantages of LED TVs

The main advantages of LED TVs are:

  • Wide range of prices points – from budget to high-end TVs
  • Available in many screen sizes
  • Produces a bright picture that will work well in a sunny room
  • Great for general day-to-day use
  • Doesn’t suffer from image retention

The Disadvantages of LED TVs

The main problems with LED TVs are:

  • Washed out colors when viewed from an angle
  • The backlight makes it hard to get deep blacks
  • The picture can be too bright in a dark room

Other Types of LED TV Screens

As LED technology improves, there have been several different screen types released by various brands. However, they are all based on LED backlights.

Here’s a summary of some of the terms you might see.

What is an QLED TV?

QLED is a term initially used by Samsung, although other brands now also use this technology.

They are also known as Quantum Dot TVs.

To keep things simple, you just need to know that QLED is a type of LED TV and not some completely new display technology.

QLED technology places a film of tiny particles in front of the LED backlight. These particles can change size very quickly – and different size particles create different colors.

The main advantages of a QLED TV over a standard LED TV are:

  • Wider color gamut – i.e., they can display more colors
  • Increased brightness
  • More energy efficient
  • Wider viewing angle (but not as good as OLED televisions)

Currently, the biggest downside of these TVs is they are considerably more expensive than standard LED TVs, and you need to decide if the improved performance is worth the extra money.

Other brands that now produce QLED TVs are Hisense and TCL.

What is a ULED TV?

ULED TV is the name used by Hisense for their QLED televisions.

What is a NanoCell TV?

LG has a range of LED TVs using the name NanoCell. These use an LED technology very much like QLED – with similar pros and cons.

LG NanoCell TVs were their top-of-the-range LED TV lines, with the best picture and features. But they have now been overtaken by the QNED range which combines QLED, NanoCell and Mini-LED technologies.

What is a Mini-LED TV?

Mini-LED is a new type of LED backlighting first used by TCL in 2019.

In a Mini-LED TV, the lights are much smaller than the traditional LED backlights, which means they are almost as small as an individual pixel.

The small size of the lights means that more can fit on a panel, resulting in a brighter picture for HDR and more control over dimming.

When combined with QLED technology, you get a TV with better contrast ratios, black levels and power efficiency.

It’s still not quite as good as OLED yet, but it’s closer than ever.

Mini-LED TV screens are now produced by TCL, Samsung (Neo QLED) and LG (QNED MiniLED).

What is an OLED TV?

If you must have the best picture quality, then an OLED TV should be high on your shopping list.

OLED technology is relatively new to the mainstream TV market and is different from the display technology used by LED TVs.

It shouldn’t be confused with the QLED TVs described above.

OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, and an OLED TV has an organic layer that emits light with an electric current.

Because there is no need for a backlight, the screen can be very thin and light. The lack of a backlight also means that the contrast ratio is fantastic.

The contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks – which is very important to the perceived picture quality.

OLED TVs produce almost perfect black levels because when we remove the electrical current from a pixel, it goes black instantly.

The Advantages of An OLED TV

So, the main advantages of OLED televisions are:

  • Picture quality: perfect black levels for a fantastic contrast ratio
  • Viewing angles: excellent picture quality from any viewing angle
  • Low response times: great for fast-moving images
  • Power: low power requirements make it an excellent green option
  • Home theater: superb performance in a dark room for watching movies

The Disadvantages of An OLED TV

OLED TVs do have some potential disadvantages:

  • Cost: an OLED TV will often be more expensive than an LED TV of a similar size.
  • Brightness: OLED TVs aren’t generally as bright as LED TVs, which may be a problem if you regularly watch your TV in a room with plenty of ambient light.
  • Image retention: this technology can be prone to image retention – where a faint impression of static parts of a picture (like a logo) can be left on the screen.

In most situations, image retention is unlikely to be permanent and will fade quickly. But this may prove annoying for some people.

It is more likely to be a problem if the screen is used regularly for gaming where there are static logos or banners – or if you watch the same TV channel with fixed-position logos.

Most of the leading TV manufacturers now have one or two OLED TVs in their range – although not Samsung at the time of writing.

However, you won’t get a large range of screen sizes to choose from, like LED televisions.

Although, that could be a positive as it makes it easier to make your choice!

If you want help finding the best OLED TV, check out the reviews further down this article.

LED TVs in different sizes

Flat Screen TV Buying Guide

No matter what type of TV you are looking at – LED or OLED – there are some standard features that you will find for both types.

So, let’s take a look at some of the essential features. This should help to narrow down which TV you want to buy.

Plus, there are also a few other considerations that you might want to think about before you decide which TV is the right one for you.

TV Sizes

For LED TVs, screen sizes range from a dinky 15-inch model to put in your kitchen up to a huge 85-inch beast to use as the centerpiece of your home theater.

In fact, you can get some LED TVs even larger than this.

But, if you want an OLED TV, then TV sizes are more limited.

Most models will come in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes, although larger screen sizes of 75-inches and over are now more common.

However, there are few OLED TVs below 55-inches, so you may not have a choice if you are looking for a smaller screen – although LG has recently added a smaller 48-inch screen size to their OLED range.

But, for many people, the million-dollar question is, “what size TV is right for my room?”

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer to this question.

One way of doing it is to make some calculations based on your TV screen’s diagonal size.

By doing this, we can either:

  1. Decide on the screen size we want, and then calculate the ideal viewing distance in our room.
  2. Estimate the viewing distance in our room and use that to calculate a perfect screen size.

There are also several other factors to consider:

  • Will you be mounting the TV on a wall – or placing it on a piece of furniture?
  • Is the TV mainly for ‘in the background’ viewing, or as the main screen for watching movies?
  • Will you be watching pin-sharp Ultra HD pictures or lower-quality images like DVDs?

The bottom line is that there isn’t a right or wrong answer when choosing the best TV screen size for your room. Just whatever suits your circumstances, space and personal taste.

My article about understanding TV viewing distance investigates this in more detail, and it also includes some calculators for working out your ideal viewing distance and TV size.

If you want to learn more about calculating your screen dimensions, check out how to measure a TV screen.

Screen Resolution

The resolution of a TV screen refers to the number of physical pixels that make up the screen – which is also known as the screen’s native resolution.

When you are looking to buy a modern flat-screen TV, there are currently four main screen resolutions to choose from:

  • 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels – aka HD Ready
  • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels – aka Full HD
  • 2160p: 3840 x 2160 pixels – aka 4K / Ultra HD / SUHD
  • 4320p: 7680 x 4320 pixels – aka 8K / Ultra HD 8K

A smaller TV screen is likely to be 720p or 1080p because it is easier and cheaper to make a small screen with fewer pixels.

As the screen size increases, you will more likely see 4K screen resolutions – although some budget models might still be 1080p.

At the time of writing, 8K TVs are new, rare… and expensive!

An 8K TV’s main advantage is with huge screen sizes – where the extra resolution might be more noticeable.

I’m talking 80 or 90-inches. Or more! Don’t expect to find a 40-inch 8K television any time soon because there’s no point.

At present, you will also struggle to find much 8K content. So, anything you watch will need to be upscaled.

3840 x 2160 4K Ultra HD TV Resolution
3840 x 2160 4K Ultra HD TV Resolution

Does it matter if you buy the 1080p, 4K or 8K version of a TV?

If you have a choice, it mainly depends on what you will watch on the screen – and how far away from the TV you will be sitting.

For example, you will benefit from a 4K TV if you watch lots of 4K video content and if you will be sitting close enough to be able to see the extra detail.

However, at present, there aren’t many ways to watch genuine 4K pictures. You can:

  • buy an Ultra HD Blu-ray player
  • stream 4K content from Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube
  • watch the relatively limited 4K content on a few broadcast or cable TV channels
  • use the latest game consoles

If you don’t have any of these, your 4K screen will just upscale any lower resolution video content. This will look fine but won’t be true 4K.

In fact, 1080p content upscaled on a 4K screen can look pretty darn good.

But SD content upscaled to a 4K TV may not look so great, especially if you are sitting relatively close.

The article on understanding TV resolutions goes into this in a bit more detail.

Picture Quality

This is where it can get subjective. A ‘good’ picture for one person might not look so great to another.

However, several technical factors contribute to a ‘good’ picture, and the quality of a TV picture depends on these factors working together.

We need to consider things like:

  • The screen’s contrast ratio, i.e., how bright are the whites, and how dark are the blacks.
  • How many colors the screen can show.
  • How accurately the TV can display those colors.
  • How bright the colors are.
  • How accurately the screen can display dark and light parts of an image simultaneously – this is a benefit of HDR technology.

If you want to get into the technical details, many independent websites measure all these variables.

If that is too much for you, you can either check out independent recommendations and reviews (hey, you know, like here!) or by going to a store to take a look for yourself.

Just be aware, many stores make the TV picture very bright and colorful, so it stands out.

However, these settings will often be too much in a home environment, and the TV may not look so great when you take it home and dial the settings back a bit.

If you want a generalization, an OLED TV is widely thought to have the best picture quality.

However, the picture is often not as bright as the best LED TVs, so an OLED will work best in a darker room, e.g., watching a movie with the lights down.

An LED TV is more versatile in a range of lighting conditions – and is available in more screen sizes.

If picture quality is the most critical issue for you, and you don’t want to buy an OLED TV, then an LED TV made with a VA panel is the way to go.

An LED TV with an IPS panel is a better all-rounder in a larger room with wide viewing positions.

The bottom line? These days, even mid-range LED TVs can produce a fantastic-looking picture, and TV technology is improving year on year.

There has never been a better time to replace your old TV – whatever your budget.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

A relatively new development is the introduction of High Dynamic Range (HDR) video content. HDR video includes metadata that increases the contrast ratio of an image.

This means that the blacks are darker, and the whites are brighter.

But that’s not all. The specification for HDR also allows for greater brightness and a wider color range.

To watch HDR video, your TV will need to support it. So, an HDR-certified TV must display a very bright image and a wide range of colors.

The result is an amazingly vibrant and life-like picture. There will be greater detail in the image, even when there are both bright and dark areas on screen at the same time.

So, while this is a good thing, there are a couple of gotchas you need to be aware of:

  • There are different versions of HDR. HDR10 is the most common, but others include Dolby Vision, Dolby Vision IQ, Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), and HDR10+. These are all independent of each other and are different technologies. Some newer TVs will support all the current versions of HDR. However, be careful. If you need a particular version of HDR, make sure that the TV you buy supports it.
  • HDR movies and TV shows are slowly becoming more widespread, but there are a limited number of ways to access HDR content. Ultra HD Blu-ray is one. Also, streaming services and some broadcast TV shows are starting to provide HDR content – e.g., Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube HDR, Apple iTunes, etc.
  • To see an HDR image on your screen, having an HDR TV may not be enough on its own. Your complete hardware chain will need to support the same version of HDR. So, that might include an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and an AV receiver with HDR pass-through – all connected to your HDR TV. If you use a Smart TV app to stream the video directly to the TV, then the TV is all you will need.

HDR images on a supported TV do make a big difference to the picture quality. You can often get some ‘WOW’ moments when watching some movies and documentaries.

While many people get hung up on the TV resolution, I would say HDR is more important in getting a better picture.

Refresh Rate

With TVs, you will come across many technical features which can complicate your decision-making.

You will see specifications that sound great… but you’re not entirely sure what they mean.

A cynical person might say that manufacturers like to highlight these features to make their TVs sound more exciting! Fortunately, I’m not a cynical person…

Anyway, many of these features will have a negligible impact on the average user’s day-to-day use.

I don’t want to list every technical option you might see for TVs, as I like to keep things simple to avoid confusing everyone – and, to be fair, myself.

Other websites go into these in more detail if you prefer.

However, the refresh rate of a TV is an excellent example of a specification that sounds exciting – but, in reality, it may not make that much difference to your daily viewing.

The theory is that higher refresh rates will look smoother to the human eye, which can be especially useful for fast-moving images such as sports.

In the US, the standard refresh rate of a TV is 60 Hz – however, we now have new TVs with higher refresh rates.

Some will have a 120 Hz refresh rate, and some will claim even higher rates – such as 240 Hz.

Spoiler: they’re not really.

The problem is the refresh rate of video and movie content hasn’t changed. Most video is 30 Hz (in the US), and movies are 24 Hz.

So a TV with a higher refresh rate simply duplicates the same frames to play at 120 Hz.

If you are looking to buy a native 120 Hz 4K TV, you will find most mid-range to high-range models will support this. Cheaper models, or Full HD TVs, are more likely to be 60 Hz.

Believe it or not, this is the simplified version about refresh rates.

If you are in a particularly geeky mood today or just have too much time on your hands – you can find this explained in more detail in my article, which looks at the question, what is a TV refresh rate?

If you prefer a video, you might find the following video interesting. It looks at the difference between refresh rates and frames per second:

YouTube video

Viewing Angles

By viewing angle, I mean, does the TV picture still look good if you are sitting on one side of the screen?

In an ideal world, you will install the TV in your room and sit directly in front of it. You may be close or further away, but you will view the TV screen front-on.

However, if you have a larger room with several different home theater chairs, you won’t fit every viewer in front of the screen. Therefore, some people will be looking at the screen at an angle.

This can be an issue with some TV types because the picture will lose its quality if viewed from an angle.

The contrast will reduce, and the colors will lose their accuracy and brightness. In short, it won’t look very good.

This may not be such an issue if your TV is just for general day-to-day viewing. But, if you want it to get the best picture possible, then you might want to give this some thought.

If you know that your room will have people viewing from the sides, buying a TV that won’t cause too many problems would be wise.

TV Viewing Angles Diagram
Ideal TV viewing angles

In the image above, the ideal position is obviously at 0°, directly in front of the screen. The wider you move either side towards the 45° position, the image will get worse.

You may find some degrading of the image at around 25 to 30° – although that will vary depending on the TV.

In the worst cases, it may start as low as 15°.

Currently, the best televisions for viewing angles are OLED TVs. This technology allows for a wide viewing angle where the picture won’t degrade a great deal.

Although, the wider you sit, the colors may still change a little.

Historically, LCD/LED TVs have always had problems with the viewing angle, and if you want an LED TV that works well at an angle, look out for one made with an IPS panel.

The alternative is a VA panel, which will have the best picture quality when viewed straight-on but will look worse from the side.

One of the strengths of QLED TV technology is to improve the viewing angle over standard LED TVs, and you may well find an improved viewing angle with these – although still not as good as an OLED TV.

Upscaling and Downscaling TV Pictures

You can play all the different types of video on a modern flat-screen TV – standard definition (SD), high definition (HD) and even 4K and 8K (UHD).

This is because every TV has a built-in video scaler, which will upscale or downscale any incoming video to the correct resolution for the screen.

So, if you play some SD content, a 1080p/4K screen will upscale it to display on the higher resolution screen.

Or if you play some 4K UHD video, then a 1080p TV will downscale it to 1080p before it is displayed.

Higher-end TVs will have better quality scalers, so they will perform this process better – but this isn’t so important if you mainly watch HD content on a 1080p screen as no scaling is required.

But, if you still watch plenty of SD content – like DVDs – it is more important to check reviews to see if the TV provides good quality scaling.

Also, bear in mind, a DVD or Blu-ray player may also have a high-quality video scaler.

So, if you have a high-end DVD player, you could let the player scale the content to 1080p, and it doesn’t matter about the scaling on the TV.

In top-of-the-range 4K UHD TVs, 1080p content can still look excellent. So, a 4K TV can still be worth getting even if you don’t have much 4K content.

Connections

A modern flat-screen TV will have many standard audio and video connections found on all modern AV devices.

The most common connection used these days is HDMI, and you will probably just need this for connecting your devices.

However, you may find a combination of one or more of the following:

Most of the above will be inputs for sending content into the TV.

Some TVs will also provide audio outputs – for connecting to a home theater surround sound system.

This is important if you send the audio from the internal tuner or apps to a surround sound setup.

However, if your TV supports HDMI ARC, you may be able to use this to send audio back to your speaker system – in which case, you won’t need to use any digital audio outputs.

Common Flat Screen TV Connections
Common flat screen TV connections

You may also find a DVI or VGA port for connecting your computer – or you may be able to use a spare HDMI port depending on your computer’s output connections.

Many modern TVs will also have Ethernet or wireless connectivity to access your home network and internet connection.

Access to the internet will allow you to stream video content online – usually via the many built-in apps such as Netflix. You may also be able to stream files via DLNA from your home network.

The main thing to consider is; what connections do you need? Try to think about this before you buy a new TV.

If you plan to use an AV receiver to connect all your devices – as part of a home theater system – you may need fewer input connections on the TV.

In this case, you will connect most of the devices to the receiver and just send one HDMI cable to the TV.

The article on how to set up surround sound explains this in more detail.

Sound Quality

The sound that you hear on your TV will depend on your setup.

Although some ‘professional’ models may not, a TV screen will have built-in speakers to provide a decent, if unspectacular, sound.

The quality of the onboard speakers does vary. So, if you rely on these speakers completely for the sound, it may be worth paying more for a model with better speakers.

If you aren’t happy with the sound that you get from your current TV, check out my guide on how to improve the sound of your TV.

However, many people will use a separate speaker system and may not use the onboard speakers at all.

The simplest method is to use a stereo amplifier you already own and use this for the TV sound.

It takes a bit more effort to install surround sound, but it’s not that complicated, and it will be well worth it in the end when you hear the improvement in sound.

I always recommend using a surround sound system because it takes watching a movie or sports to another level. But in the end, it is something that you can decide for yourself.

Another popular way of improving the sound of your TV is by installing a soundbar. If you find the idea of installing an amplifier and speakers too scary – this can be a more straightforward solution.

You may be surprised to learn; I have a guide on how to choose the best soundbar for your TV. You’re welcome!

Alternatively, discover how to connect speakers to your TV in my step-by-step guide.

Smart TV Services

Most modern TVs will come with some form of Smart functionality, and this is an interface that allows you to use various apps to play content on your TV.

You can access this by using your remote control.

You will need to connect the TV to the internet to use these services, either via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable.

Just make sure that the TV you buy has the correct type of internet connection for your circumstances.

I always try to connect everything with a cable, as this will give the fastest and most reliable connection. However, as long as you have a strong Wi-Fi signal in the room, this should be enough to stream video.

Be aware, though, 4K video will need to transfer more data than HD or SD. So it is even more vital that you have a quick and reliable connection if you plan on streaming high-resolution video.

Using a remote control to select a smart TV app

Different TV models will have different Smart TV platforms, and the apps you can access will vary.

So if there is a specific app you want to use, you should check the TV you want to buy because not all Smart TV platforms have the same apps.

Popular apps include Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, Hulu, Google Play and a web browser.

Your Smart TV platform may also allow you to stream content stored elsewhere on your home network. This is done via a standard called DLNA – although it may be called something different depending on your model.

Your TV will be the DLNA client, and it will be able to ‘see’ content stored on a server within your network – like a PC or NAS. You can then play this content on your TV.

TV Wall Mount or Cabinet?

This is something that many people don’t consider.

The TV that you buy may even depend on where you will install the TV in your room.

If you wall mount your TV, you may feel a larger screen is more suitable for that space.

The bigger screens seem to work better when wall-mounted, and they never seem to look as prominent in the room as those placed on furniture.

Or is that just me?

Man installing a wall mount to the back of a TV

If you have a smaller space or plan to place the TV on a cabinet, then maybe you might want a slightly smaller model?

There’s no hard and fast rule, and it also depends on your room, the position where you will be watching the TV, and personal taste.

However, these are all things to consider before you buy.

Understand the Different Model Numbers

The range of different TV models can make your head spin.

First, don’t forget that the same model of TV will come in different screen sizes. So, you might see a list of five TVs, but they may simply be the same TV at five different screen sizes.

You just need to pick the best screen size for your room.

You will also get several ranges from the same manufacturer that have slight differences in features – and it can be tricky to see what the differences are between the two models.

It may just be something relatively minor, like different speakers – or an alternative stand.

Some manufacturers have a comparison feature on their websites to compare two different models, making it easier to spot the differences.

You should also be aware that the model number of a TV may be different around the world. I reference the US TV model numbers on this site, but the model number may vary if you are elsewhere.

Some brands do keep the same model number worldwide, which I think is much better.

If this wasn’t confusing enough, some brands release a TV model exclusively for a particular retailer. So, you may see a model in one store that isn’t available anywhere else.

Often, very similar versions of this TV will be available elsewhere with a different model number.

No wonder we get so confused.

Check Out Last Year’s Model

Most brands will release a new model of their product range once a year.

This is why you will see so many different TVs when looking around for the right one to buy.

Some will be the new range, others will be last year’s release – and maybe the year before too!

Now, it may be that the TV for this year has a new feature that you just must have. That the performance is improved so much that it makes no sense to buy the old version.

However, if you look closely, you may also find that last year’s model has all the features you need. Many updates aren’t always going to be a vast improvement on before.

If so, you can usually get the older TV for a bargain price, and you may find that you can save some serious money.

Remember, it was the best you could get in that price range just a few months ago. The older TV hasn’t suddenly become obsolete.

You will find that as time goes on, the stock of the older models will gradually run out. But, if you get in quick, you can get a real bargain that will serve you well for years to come.

The main thing to consider is, are the new TV features something that you will benefit from or not?

Which Are the Best LED & OLED TV Brands?

The answer to this question may well depend on where you are in the world.

A few brands dominate globally, but some areas have manufacturers that only supply their local region.

The three leading TV brands in the US are global names: Sony, LG and Samsung.

They dominate all the TV markets – from small 1080p LED TVs to large cutting-edge 4K and 8K OLED and LED TVs.

They are the place you should start if you are looking for high-quality TVs.

Other popular brands are VIZIO, TCL and Hisense, which provide a wide range of great value TVs.

Some well-known names from the past are still around – such as Sharp, Toshiba, Philips and JVC – although they don’t provide as many models as the leading players.

In the UK, many of the names already mentioned are also present – except for TCL and VIZIO.

However, Panasonic TVs are still prevalent in the UK – whereas they have pulled out of the US market.

Top 5 Flat Screen TVs

Now that we have looked at some of the essential features of flat-screen TVs let’s look at some specific models.

It can be very frustrating when choosing a TV because there are just so many to choose from.

The aim here is to try and give you somewhere to start looking, so I’m going to list a few of my favorite flat-screen TVs.

Any of these will be great for most people, and they are some of the best OLED and LED TVs available today.

The higher-end TVs are nearer the top, and it should be no surprise that these offer the best quality and features – and are more expensive!

However, that doesn’t mean the others aren’t worth considering. We all have different price brackets and reasons for buying a TV.

I’ve tried to select a range of TV types and prices that are the best in their price brackets.

If you want some ideas on how to save money when you buy a new TV, take a look at 25 ways to buy a cheap smart TV and save money.

Although I have highlighted a specific size TV, don’t forget that each model often comes in different sizes.

I’ll list the available sizes in the specification table.

1. LG C1 4K OLED TV

The LG C1 is part of the fantastic range of LG OLED televisions. If you simply want the best picture on a modern flat-screen TV, then this should be high on your list.

Few TVs can compare to the incredible 4K image that this model can deliver.

LG has been at the forefront of OLED technology and continues to push the boundaries of what is possible today.

If you want to find the best OLED TV in 2022, then LG is undoubtedly worth checking out.

The LG C1 comes in the middle of the current LG OLED TV lineup – between the cheaper B1 and the higher-end G1 model.

Best OLED TV
LG C1 4K OLED TV
What Is It: A high-end OLED TV with a stunning picture at a great price. OLED TVs with self-lit pixels give the best picture quality.
Pros:
  • 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)
  • Available in 83, 77, 65, 55 & 48-inch
  • 120 Hz refresh rate
  • 4x HDMI 2.1 inputs
  • ARC and eARC support
  • VRR, FreeSync & G-Sync support
Cons:
  • Not a major upgrade on the older LG CX
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LG C1 Highlights

The LG C1 4K OLED TV produces a picture that must be seen to be believed. With self-lit pixels and no backlight, you can get the deepest of blacks, and this TV can display a stunning image.

Here are the significant changes in the current model:

  • α9 Gen 4 AI Processor 4K: improved object enhancement and stereo upmixing, new auto volume leveling, new scene detection to optimize the picture scene-by-scene
  • LG webOS 6.0: updated interface
  • Game Optimizer: quickly switch certain gaming features on and off
  • Screen Size: new 83-inch screen size
  • Remote Control: redesign of the Magic Remote

The C1 has support for all the leading versions of HDR – HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG. So, you can be safe in the knowledge that you can play most of the HDR content available.

In addition to Dolby Vision, the LG OLED TVs also have Dolby Vision IQ.

This uses a built-in light sensor to adjust the picture for different lighting conditions. So, the picture in a bright room will be different from watching a movie with the lights off.

However, there is no support for HDR10+, so this might not be the TV for you if you think you may need this.

This TV also has the excellent Filmmaker Mode, introduced in last year’s CX model.

When you enable this pre-set, the correct image color settings are automatically selected, and any processing is switched off.

Different settings are also applied for SDR and HDR content, and this is an easy way of making sure that you see a movie as the director intended.

This model comes in 5 sizes. The same four as last year – 48, 55, 65 and 77-inches – plus a bigger 83-inch model.

In the past two years, the C-Series has added a larger screen size, which shows that bigger screens are becoming more and more popular.

The screen has a 4K Ultra HD resolution and is so slim that you won’t believe your eyes.

Of course, a thin screen won’t make much difference when you watch it from the front. But it’s still quite a sight – and it might make installing the screen in your room a little easier in some situations.

Unfortunately, the bottom half is deeper than this at the rear, but they have to install all the electronics somewhere.

This lower area also provides a section with a removable cover for cable management.

There are 4 HDMI inputs for connecting your playback devices – 1 on the rear and 3 on the side. All are HDMI 2.1 and HDCP 2.2 compatible.

HDMI 2.1 support has been available for a couple of years now.

So, with the release of the new game consoles, the HDMI ports on this TV will be great for gamers.

There is support for 4K/120p video resolutions – plus, you can also take advantage of Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM).

Perfect for gamers to get the best possible picture with fast-moving graphics.

Also, for gamers, there is the bonus of Freesync and NVIDIA G-SYNC support.

These are like VRR and synchronize the refresh rate of the TV screen with the output of a computer graphics card, and the result is reduced input lag and a much smoother gaming experience.

NVIDIA G-SYNC is for supported NVIDIA graphics cards – while Freesync works with the Xbox and certain Radeon PC graphics cards.

Of course, all previous HDMI versions will work with these HDMI 2.1 ports, so you don’t have to worry about upgrading any of your old equipment.

There is support for ARC and eARC connections. This is for sending audio to an AV receiver or soundbar and reducing the amount of cabling in your system.

LG C1 Features
Screen Type OLED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 83 / 77 / 65 / 55 / 48
Screen Depth (inch) 2.2 /2.2 / 1.8 / 1.8 / 1.8
Weight (lbs) 71.2 / 58.9 / 52.9 / 41.7 / 32.8
VESA 400 x 400 (83″) / 400 x 200 (77″) / 300 x 200 (65″, 55″, 48″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (HDMI 2.1 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 2)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync Yes / Yes / Yes
Other Inputs 3x USB / 1x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1x Optical / 1x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV WebOS 6.0
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Hey Google

I always recommend installing some form of speaker system to replace the speakers that come with the TV.

However, the speakers on the C1 are reasonable – and support Dolby Atmos – which can give an extra sense of space.

LG’s ThinQ AI technology is another helpful feature of these TVs. This is available across many LG products and allows interactive control via the LG ThinQ app and voice control.

ThinQ allows you to use your TV to control other ThinQ devices around your home, which might include smart plugs, security cameras and thermostats.

There is support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and AirPlay2. So, if you are already invested in these technologies, you can easily use these to control your TV.

If not, you can still use the built-in Intelligent Voice Recognition system for voice commands.

This year’s model has an upgrade to the new WebOS 6.0 smart TV platform. WebOS has always been one of the best around, and version 6.0 doesn’t change this.

Apart from some layout differences, it is still easy to use and offers access to apps from many content providers.

If you want to save some money, then you can consider the LG B1 series.
The BX models are similar to the C1 but have a slightly inferior image processor and a different stand.

The LG C1 series has the new α9 Gen 4 AI Processor 4K, which improves image processing, picture and upscaling quality.

The B1 series has the α7 Gen 4 Processor 4K.

For the casual observer, there will be little difference between the two.
However, if you sweat on the small details, this might be an essential difference.

Apart from that, the two models are very much alike – except the B1 is a bit cheaper.

Thumbs Up

  • Fantastic OLED picture quality
  • Wide viewing angle
  • Perfect blacks
  • Limited reflections in bright rooms
  • Handles motion well
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC and Freesync support
  • 4K/120p, VRR and ALLM support
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Vision IQ and HLG support
  • Excellent Smart TV platform
  • Filmmaker mode for displaying a movie exactly as the director intended

Thumbs Down

  • No significant updates on the previous LG CX model
  • Image retention is a potential problem of OLED screens. This won’t be an issue in most cases, but be careful if you regularly watch content with static regions that rarely change. It’s probably best not to use it regularly as a PC monitor.
  • Not as bright as some LED TVs, so it might not work so well in a very bright room.

2. Samsung QN90A 4K Neo QLED TV

While many TV manufacturers invested heavily in OLED technology, Samsung moved in a different direction.

LG and Sony, in particular, have produced several excellent OLED TVs in recent years, but Samsung decided the best way forward was to push the boundaries of LED TV technology.

This TV is the top model in the high-end Q-Series and sits above the Samsung QN85A. These televisions feature Samsung’s Quantum Dot Technology – or QLED for short.

So, if you feel that an OLED TV isn’t quite right for you – but you still want a TV with jaw-dropping picture quality – then this model offers one of the best pictures you can get in a modern flat-screen TV.

Best LED TV
Samsung QN90A 4K Neo QLED TV
What Is It: A top-of-the-range QLED TV with Mini-LED backlights. If you are looking for the best all round LED TV, this is it.
Pros:
  • 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)
  • Available in 98, 85, 75, 65, 55 & 50-inch
  • 120 Hz refresh rate
  • 1x HDMI 2.1 input
  • ARC and eARC support
  • VRR, FreeSync & G-Sync support
Cons:
  • No support for Dolby Vision
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Samsung QN90A Highlights

The Samsung QN90A is the flagship model in the top-of-the-range Q-Series.

The significant improvements in this years TVs are:

  • The top two flagship models use Mini-LED backlights to improve brightness and provide more control of the backlight
  • A bigger 98-inch model and a smaller 50-inch model

The Samsung QN90A is a QLED TV with a virtually bezel-free design.

It has a full-array backlight which means the LED lighting is placed directly behind the screen in zones.

The advantage of these over edge-lit LED TVs is much more control over the backlight.

Therefore, coupled with the new Quantum Dot LED technology, this TV can produce an image that is extremely close to the quality of OLED TVs.

Many casual observers will be hard-pressed to tell the difference, and you can expect a picture that will knock your socks off.

We can finally say that, in many aspects, top-of-the-range LED TVs can compete with the image quality of OLED screens.

The big difference in this year’s model is the top two models in the Q-series have Mini-LED backlights.

This is a new technology first introduced by TCL, which allows for a brighter screen and more control over the performance of the backlight.

Because of this, the QN90A has an excellent black level and contrast ratio for movie watching.

It can also produce a brighter image than OLED TVs, making it ideal for reproducing HDR pictures with high contrast between dark and light parts of an image.

Samsung calls the models with Mini-LED lights Neo QLED.

Talking of which, HDR support comes in the form of HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG.

Please note that Samsung does not support Dolby Vision – which might be a deal-breaker for some people.

Of course, the bright image also means this screen will work well in a room with plenty of ambient light.

One of the big problems with modern TVs is their glossy screens which easily reflect light from windows and room lighting.

These top-level Samsung screens get on top of this problem with an excellent Anti-Glare layer, which will make it a non-issue in most rooms.

Samsung QN90A Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 98 / 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 / 50
Screen Depth (inch) 1.2 / 1.1 / 1.1 / 1 / 1 / 1.1 /
Weight (lbs) 135.4 / 98.1 / 77.2 / 53.8 / 39 / 30.9 /
VESA 600 x 400 (98″) / 400 x 400 (75″) / 400 x 300 (85″, 65″) / 200 x 200 (55″, 50″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10+ / HDR10 / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4: 1, 2, 3 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2) 4 (HDMI 2.1 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 3)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync Yes / Yes / Yes
Other Inputs 2x USB / 1x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1x Optical
Smart TV Tizen
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Bixby

The other area where OLED screens have always had the edge over LEDs is viewing angles. So, it comes as no surprise that Samsung has tried to fix this too.

With their new Ultra Viewing Angle technology, you can move around your room quite some distance without seeing a significant drop in the picture quality.

This is even more impressive considering that this TV uses a VA screen – which has always had the worst viewing angles.

It’s not as good as an OLED screen, but it’s pretty good.

This screen has four HDMI inputs placed in a recess at the back of the screen. However, only one of these inputs is HDMI 2.1, which may be insufficient if you have multiple game consoles.

Unfortunately, Samsung no longer offers the excellent One Connect Box, which puts the connections in a separate box.

I found this a great idea as it makes installing several devices much more manageable. However, no other TV has this either, so it’s not as if you have a choice in this regard.

If you like using voice control in your home, you will be pleased to know that the QN90A supports a few different platforms.

There is a built-in system called Bixby for anyone who doesn’t already use a voice assistant platform.

But you can also use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant if you already use these platforms in your home.

The smart TV platform is Tizen. This is an excellent system that is easy to use and offers a wide range of apps.

Thumbs Up

  • Bright and vibrant image
  • Mini-LED backlighting in the QN90A and the QN85A
  • Modern design with a virtually bezel-free design
  • Excellent viewing angles with Ultra Viewing Angle
  • No issues with burn-in
  • Automatic device control with OneRemote
  • Handles reflections well
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • 4K/120Hz support for the latest game consoles
  • VRR, Freesync and G-Sync support for gamers

Thumbs Down

  • Quite expensive
  • Only one HDMI 2.1 input
  • No Dolby Vision support

3. Sony A90J 4K OLED TV

While Sony was not the first brand to dive into the field of OLED TVs – they certainly made a splash when they did.

The A90J is another excellent OLED TV from Sony, and this model builds on the success of the previous years.

It sits at the very top of Sony’s OLED product range, above the cheaper A80J.

As with all OLED TVs, it offers a spectacular picture that will make you the envy of your friends and family. It doesn’t get much better than this.

This model also has an inventive variation on the boring speakers you get with most modern televisions.

Top OLED TV
Sony A90J 4K OLED TV
What Is It: A fantastic high-end OLED TV from Sony that offers a picture that is hard to beat.
Pros:
  • 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)
  • Available in 83, 65 & 55-inch
  • 120 Hz refresh rate
  • 2x HDMI 2.1 inputs
  • ARC and eARC support
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision & HLG support
Cons:
  • Quite expensive
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Sony A90J Highlights

The A90J is the flagship OLED model from Sony and raises the bar over previous models.

The main improvements in this years model are:

  • New 83-inch screen size
  • 2x HDMI 2.1 inputs
  • Android TV smart platform replaced by Google TV
  • New XR OLED Contrast Pro technology for better HDR performance

This is a 4K OLED TV that offers a spectacular picture.

With OLED technology, you get perfect black levels and excellent contrast ratios, and when you pair that with 4K HDR images, you get a picture that, at times, has to be seen to be believed.

HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG are supported by this model. However, if you want HDR10+, then you will need to look elsewhere.

One highlight of these Sony OLED TVs is that they upscale 1080p and standard-definition images exceptionally well. The image processing capabilities from Sony are second to none.

A new XR OLED Contrast Pro processor also increases the peak brightness for HDR images and produces a very natural-looking picture.

Just be aware that you won’t get the brightest image available these days. So, this TV might not be suitable for you if you have a particularly sunny room.

In this case, you would want to check out an LED TV.

However, this screen is perfect for watching movies in regular rooms with normal lighting, especially when you turn down the lights.

Another benefit of an OLED screen is its wide viewing angle.

The A90J doesn’t disappoint in this respect. Move around the room, and you will get an excellent picture from all angles with very little color wash-out and reduced picture quality.

Therefore, this TV might be ideal if you have several seating positions around your room.

Like most OLED TVs, you can only buy this screen in larger sizes – but an image as good as this would be wasted on a small screen.

This is a TV built for watching documentaries and movies in all their glory.

Sony A90J Features
Screen Type OLED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 83 / 65 / 55
Screen Depth (inch) 2.13 / 1.62 / 1.61
Weight (lbs) 92.6 / 49.6 / 41
VESA 400 x 400 (83″) / 300 x 300 (65″, 55″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4: 1, 2 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.3) 3 ,4 (HDMI 2.1 / HDCP 2.3)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 3)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync No / No / No (firmware update planned)
Other Inputs 3x USB / 1x Composite (with adapter, not supplied) / 1x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1x Optical / 1x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Google TV
Voice Control Hey Google

Unfortunately, you are limited to just three screen sizes – 55″, 65″ and the new 83-inch model.

This is fewer than some brands, like the LG OLEDs. However, this won’t be an issue unless you have your heart set on a specific size that is not available here.

The Sony A90J has a fast response time which means it is ideal for quick-moving images like sports. Gamers will also love the way it handles all the action in the latest games.

Talking of gamers, Sony has finally added two HDMI 2.1 inputs which allow for 4k/120 support.

Unfortunately, the main downside for gamers is still the lack of support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM).

However, these are due to be added with a future firmware update.

The A90J also comes with Sony’s innovative sound technology – Acoustic Surface Audio+.

Yes, the Sony A90J has a unique way of hiding the TV speakers – it doesn’t have any!

Well, almost.

You might not believe this, but the screen itself is the speaker. With two stereo actuators for the mid-range and high frequencies, the screen vibrates to deliver the sound.

Then, there are two subwoofers at the bottom of the screen to add the low-end sound.

The result is excellent and works well with the sound coming directly from the screen.

This television has been engineered to meet the high standards required for IMAX Enhanced products, and you can be sure it will deliver one of the best pictures around.

A nice touch is the inclusion of a Netflix Calibrated Mode. While most TVs have a range of viewing modes suited to various types of material and room conditions – this model goes a step further.

The Netflix Calibrated Mode has been created by engineers to ensure you get the best picture quality possible while watching Netflix content.

In fact, you might want to use it on all types of content. It uses industry-standard calibration settings that should work well on a range of content.

Just head into the image settings menu and switch it on.

Thumbs Up

  • Wonderful picture
  • Perfect for watching movies
  • Deep blacks
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Excellent upscaling performance
  • Handles reflections well
  • Acoustic Surface sound technology for excellent built-in sound
  • Netflix Calibrated Mode
  • IMAX Enhanced support

Thumbs Down

  • Relatively expensive
  • Only two HDMI 2.1 inputs
  • Limited choice of screen sizes
  • No Alexa support
  • No VRR/Freesync/G-Sync support (although firmware update planned)
  • Potential of burn-in if you regularly watch similar content with static images – in most cases, you won’t have a problem

4. Sony X950H 4K LED TV

This model is the flagship Sony 4K LED TV in its mid-range series of televisions.

You can go higher with Sony’s Masters Series TVs, but you might find this model to be a good balance between quality and price.

If the previous suggestions on this page were above your budget, then you might find this one hits the spot.

However, it’s still not the cheapest LED TV you can buy, so think about your priorities before you make the leap.

The great thing about modern flat-screen TVs is there are so many different price points. There is something there for everybody. The hard part is narrowing down which is right for you.

Sony X950H 4K LED TV
Sony X950H 4K LED TV
Image Credit: Sony

Sony X950H Highlights

The Sony X950H is a full-array 4K LED television with local dimming.

The local dimming zones are important when it comes to watching content with dark areas. The zones around the dark regions can be switched off to give a better contrast ratio and very deep black levels.

A full-array backlight with local dimming offers the best way to get fabulous pictures with an LED TV.

This TV has Sony’s Picture Processor X1™ Ultimate which does a great job of creating a detailed and vibrant image.

This TV performs very well with HDR content – and it also does a great job of displaying SDR images with a reduced resolution.

Therefore, if you regularly watch a mixture of HDR, high-definition and standard-definition content, this model might be a good choice.

For HDR content, the X950H supports HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG. This will be sufficient to work with most HDR content around today.

But, just be aware that there is no HDR10+ support.

The screen is good at handling reflections from bright areas around your room.

So, even though you should always try and avoid direct light from windows and room lighting, you shouldn’t have too many problems if this can’t be avoided.

Sony X950H Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 / 49
Screen Depth (inch) 3 / 2.9 / 2.9 / 2.9 / 2.75
Weight (lbs) 101.4 / 73 / 49.2 / 37.1 / 29.3
VESA 400 x 400 (85″) / 300 x 300 (75″, 65″, 55″) / 200 x 200 (49″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 3)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync No / No / No
Other Inputs 2 x USB / 1 x Composite (requires adapter – not supplied) / 1 x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1 x Optical / 1 x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Android TV
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant

Because this is a VA LED screen, the viewing angles aren’t so good. You will get an excellent image if you are sitting fairly front-on. But anyone sitting away to the sides will experience some loss of color and contrast.

Always think about your room layout – and where people will be sitting – before buying a new TV. It can be a big factor in getting the right TV for your room.

With 4 HDMI inputs, you should have plenty of ports for connecting external devices.

HDMI 3 also supports ARC and eARC. So, if you want to send the TV audio to a soundbar or AV receiver you can use this for a quick and easy solution.

Of course, if ARC isn’t quite right for your system, then you can always send audio out via the optical or 3.5mm analog audio outputs.

The Android smart TV platform isn’t the best that you can get. But it does the job well and allows you to access many apps for watching content via your internet connection.

It even works with Google Assistant so you can easily control your TV using your voice. Amazon Alexa is also supported if you already use Echo devices in your home.

As for sound, this TV uses Sony’s Acoustic Multi-Audio speaker technology. This gives the effect of the sound coming from the center of the screen.

It does this by placing two downward full-range speakers at the bottom of the screen – and two rear tweeters on each side at the top.

It works well and you shouldn’t be disappointed if you are happy to use the built-in speakers. Although, you can’t beat a soundbar or surround sound system to take the audio to another level.

The Acoustic Multi-Audio speaker layout isn’t available on the smallest 49-inch model.

Thumbs Up

  • Excellent colorful and bright image
  • Good black levels
  • Works well with lower resolution content
  • Room reflections aren’t very noticeable
  • A responsive screen that is good for sports and gaming
  • Acoustic Multi-Audio speakers
  • No image retention issues

Thumbs Down

  • Viewing angles aren’t the best
  • No support for Variable Refresh Rate, FreeSync or G-Sync

5. Hisense H9G 4K ULED TV

Although they have been involved in making TVs in China since the 1970s, Hisense has slowly been making inroads into the worldwide television market.

Through the acquisition of brands such as Toshiba and Sharp – Hisense is now a serious contender in the TV market around the world.

Of course, what has really helped is that they have been producing some excellent TVs at very competitive prices. So, if you want a very good TV without paying too much, then Hisense is a brand to check out.

The H9 Series is the top-of-the-range model in the Hisense LED TV range.

Hisense H9G 4K ULED TV
Hisense H9G 4K ULED TV
Image Credit: Hisense

Hisense H9G Highlights

The Hisense H9G is a 4K LED TV based on quantum dot technology.

Therefore, you will get a bright and colorful picture that works well with HDR images.

This TV has full support for all the current versions of HDR – HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG.

It has a full-array backlight with 180 local dimming zones. This works well to provide an excellent contrast ratio and deep blacks.

However, you will only get the best from this TV if you sit straight on. Being a VA panel, the viewing angles aren’t the best when you are watching the screen from the side.

This is something that you should always consider before buying a TV. The way that you will use the TV in your room should have a big impact on the TV that you buy.

If you will be watching this TV in a bright room with plenty of ambient light, then you should have few problems with this screen. The screen is good a reducing glare and the bright picture will also help in this regard.

If you were hoping to get a small TV for your room, then you will need to look elsewhere. The H9G only comes in two screen sizes – 65-inch and 55-inch.

Therefore, it will be a good choice for a home theater screen and as your main TV for watching movies and sports – but not ideal if you just want a TV for casual viewing in the kitchen or bedroom.

Hisense H9G Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 65 / 55
Screen Depth (inch) 4.1 / 3.9
Weight (lbs) 52.7 / 38.1
VESA 400 x 400 (65″) / 400 x 300 (55″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10+ / HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / No (HDMI 1)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync No / No / No
Other Inputs 2 x USB / 1 x Composite / 1 x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1 x Optical / 1 x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Android TV
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant

This TV is very responsive and will therefore be good value for many gamers. The only possible downside here is the lack of support for Variable Refresh Rate, G-Sync and FreeSync.

You can, however, enable a Game Mode which will automatically switch to the best settings for gaming.

You will need to spend a bit more if you want a TV with features like those.

You get a standard set of inputs and outputs on this screen.

There are four HDMI inputs, 2 x USB, 1 x composite and an Ethernet port for your internet connection. Two band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi are also present if you wish to do without a cable.

The smart TV platform on the H9G is the Android TV platform. It’s not my favorite interface for accessing apps and online features – but it is fairly simple to use and does the job.

Voice control is available via the popular Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant platforms.

Thumbs Up

  • Great value TV
  • Bright and colorful picture
  • HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG support
  • Fast response time – good for gaming and fast-moving action

Thumbs Down

  • Not ideal for viewing at an angle
  • No VRR, G-Sync or FreeSync
  • No eARC support

The Next 5 Best Flat Screen TVs

The five TVs we have seen offer an excellent choice for many people. However, there are many more TVs out there to choose from.

This list aims to try and narrow down your options a little and give you somewhere to start at least.

So, let me suggest five more TVs which I think are worth considering. To give you even more choice, I have included some of the best cheaper and smaller TVs.

6. Samsung Q80A 4K QLED TV

A mid-range QLED TV with Alexa and Google Assistant

Samsung Q80A 4K QLED TV
Samsung Q80A 4K QLED TV
Image Credit: Samsung
Samsung Q80A Features
Screen Type Full-array | IPS QLED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 / 50
Screen Depth (inch) 2.2 / 2.2 / 2.2 / 2.2 / 2.1
Weight (lbs) 95.5 / 75.8 / 53.1 / 39.5 / 30.2
VESA 600 x 400 (85″) / 400 x 400 (75″) / 400 x 300 (65″) / 200 x 200 (55″, 50″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10+ / HDR10 / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4: 1, 2, 3 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2) 4 (HDMI 2.1 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 3)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync Yes / Yes / No
Other Inputs 2x USB / 1x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1x Optical
Smart TV Tizen
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Bixby

7. TCL 6-Series R635 4K QLED TV

The TCL 6 Series: the flagship QLED TV with Mini-LED technology

TCL 6-Series R635 4K QLED TV
TCL 6-Series R635 4K QLED TV
Image Credit: TCL
TCL 6-Series R635 Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA QLED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 75 / 65 / 55
Screen Depth (inch) 3.6 / 2.8 / 2.8
Weight (lbs) 79.4 / 63.9 / 41.9
VESA 400 x 300 (75″) / 300 x 300 (65″, 55″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 4)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync Yes / No / No
Other Inputs 1x USB / 1x Composite / 1x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1x Optical / 1x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Roku TV
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Roku Search

8. Hisense U6G 4K ULED TV

The Hisense U6 Series: Mid-range QLED Android Smart TV

Hisense U6G 4K ULED TV
Hisense U6G 4K ULED TV
Image Credit: Hisense
Hisense U6G Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA ULED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 75 / 65 / 55 / 50
Screen Depth (inch) 3.3 / 3.1 / 3.1 / 3.1
Weight (lbs) 63.5 / 44 / 32.4 / 28.2
VESA 600 x 300 (75″) / 300 x 200 (65″, 55″, 50″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 60
HDR HDR10+ / HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / No (HDMI 1)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync No / No / No
Other Inputs 2x USB / 1x Composite / 1x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1x Optical / 1x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Android TV
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant

9. Sony X85J 4K LED TV

A mid-range 4K HDR LED TV with Smart Google TV

Sony X85J 4K LED TV
Sony X85J 4K LED TV
Image Credit: Sony
Sony X85J Features
Screen Type Direct-lit | VA LED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 / 50 / 43
Screen Depth (inch) 2.88 / 2.88 / 2.84 / 2.84 / 2.76 / 2.72
Weight (lbs) 98.1 / 71.9 / 48.7 / 37.1 / 28 / 22.5
VESA 400 x 400 (85″) / 300 x 300 (75″, 65″, 55″) / 200 x 200 (50″, 43″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4: 1, 2 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2) 3 ,4 (HDMI 2.1 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 3)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync No / No / No (firmware update planned)
Other Inputs 2x USB / 1x Composite (with adapter, not supplied) / 1x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1x Optical / 1x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Google TV
Voice Control Hey Google

10. TCL 5-Series S535 4K QLED TV

The TCL 5 Series: a mid-range QLED television with Roku TV

TCL 5-Series S535 4K QLED TV
TCL 5-Series S535 4K QLED TV
Image Credit: TCL
TCL 5-Series S535 Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA QLED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 75 / 65 / 55 / 50
Screen Depth (inch) 3.7 / 3.0 / 3.0 / 3.0
Weight (lbs) 66.6 / 41.4 / 32.6 / 26
VESA 400 x 200 (75″, 65″) / 300 x 200 (55″, 50″)
Refresh Rate (Hz) 60
HDR HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 4)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync No / No / No
Other Inputs 1x USB / 1x Composite / 1x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1x Optical / 1x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Roku TV
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Roku Search

Conclusion

There are no two ways about it; buying a new TV can be a very confusing business.

Not only are there an endless list of different model numbers – but there are also different types, sizes, features and prices.

It can seem impossible to decide on which are the best flat-screen TVs.

You need to decide which size will be the best fit for your room.

Or if you need a 1080p, 4K or 8K screen – and if it has all the right connections for your external devices.

It’s not easy.

However, I hope this guide has made it a little easier to decide which way you need to go – and has explained some of the confusing technical jargon that makes the decision even harder.

Enjoy your new TV!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some quick answers to common questions about buying flat-screen TVs.

Which Type of TV Is Best?

Currently, there are two main TV types – OLED and LED. Generally, an OLED TV offers the best picture quality and viewing angles – so it would often be a better choice for a home theater screen and movie viewing. However, LED TVs work better for more general viewing, have more screen sizes and cheaper options. Ultimately, one isn’t necessarily better than the other, and either might be more suitable depending on your requirements.

Which Are the Best Brands of TV?

It’s difficult to be specific, as TVs come in such a wide range of types, prices, and with different features. As a rough generalization, my opinion is the best OLED TVs are produced by LG and Sony, and the best LED TVs are made by Samsung, Sony, Hisense and TCL. However, there are several excellent brands in all TV categories, which may vary depending on where you are in the world, so you really need to look deeper into your options to find the best brand for you.

Is It Worth Buying a 4K TV?

A 4K TV is currently the most widespread type of television. So, although 4K content is still relatively limited, the chances are that your new TV will be 4K regardless. Lower resolution 1080p Full HD TVs are still available in smaller, budget models, but it’s only worth getting one of these if the lowest price is your only consideration.

Is It Worth Buying an 8K TV?

For most people, it’s probably not worth investing in an 8K TV at present. There is very little native 8K content available, so most things you watch will be upscaled to 8K and will not have any extra detail. Plus, you will need to sit so close to see the additional detail in an 8K picture; most people won’t want to do this anyway. If you have a game console that can display 8K content, you might decide that an 8K screen is worth it, but for movie and TV viewing, the extra cost of an 8K screen is unlikely to be worthwhile at the moment.

What is the Best Way to Clean a TV Screen?

Cleaning a TV screen is a simple process that you should do regularly to maintain the performance and picture quality. In most cases, all you need is a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away dust and fingerprints. You can use distilled water for more stubborn areas, but never use any liquids with chemicals like alcohol or ammonia. For a more detailed guide, learn how to clean a TV screen without streaks.

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About Home Cinema Guide

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has worked as a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.

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