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Best Flat Screen TVs: How to Pick Your New OLED or LED TV

Updated: January 19, 2021

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 of the 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 2021.

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

Top 10 Flat Screen TVs Comparison Table

Image Model Screen Type HDR? Screen Sizes (inch)
LG CX OLED TV LG CX OLED TV OLED 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / Dolby Vision IQ / HLG 77 / 65 / 55 / 48 Check Price
Samsung Q90T 4K QLED TV Samsung Q90T QLED TV Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10+ / HDR10 / HLG 82 / 75 / 65 / 55 Check Price
Sony A8H 4K OLED TV Sony A8H OLED TV OLED 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 65 / 55 Check Price
Sony X950H 4K LED TV Sony X950H LED TV Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 / 49 Check Price
Hisense H9G ULED TV Hisense H9G ULED TV Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10+ / HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 65 / 55 Check Price
Samsung Q70T 4K QLED TV Samsung Q70T QLED TV Edge-lit | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10+ / HDR10 / HLG 85 / 82 / 75 / 65 / 55 Check Price
TCL 6-Series R635 QLED TV TCL 6-Series R635 QLED TV Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 75 / 65 / 55 Check Price
Hisense H8G 4K LED TV Hisense H8G LED TV Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10+ / HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 75 / 65 / 55 / 50 Check Price
Sony X900H 4K LED TV Sony X900H LED TV Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 85 / 75 / 65 / 55 Check Price
TCL 5-Series S535 QLED TV TCL 5-Series S535 QLED TV Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG 75 / 65 / 55 / 50 Check Price

A Brief History of the Flat Screen TV

If you are an old so-and-so like me, you will probably remember your old CRT TV. Up until the mid-2000s, CRT was the TV technology. The problem was, this type of TV was bulky and very heavy.

You couldn't hang one of these 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 televisions that were thin and wall-mountable. 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 2021? 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. 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. 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. It explains more about the differences between edge-lit and direct-lit LED screens.

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.

A VA panel (Vertical Alignment). Or an 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, then you may want to buy an LED TV that has 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

What is a QLED, ULED and NanoCell TV?

Just to add to your level of confusion, at this point, I should mention the QLED TV.

Please don't blame me. It wasn't my idea!

This is a name you might come across when looking at Samsung TVs. 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 technology. 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.

So, Samsung has decided to improve LED technology rather than produce a range of OLED TVs (see below). You will find these at the top end of the Samsung LED TV range.

TCL is another brand that now offers QLED TVs.

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. You need to decide if the improved performance is worth the extra money.

Hisense produces a range of LED TVs using quantum dot technology, which they call ULED TVs.

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

All you need to know is that an LG NanoCell TV is their top-of-the-range LED TV line. With the best picture and features – and the highest price!

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. An OLED TV has an organic layer that emits light with an electric current.

Due to the way this technology works, these TVs can be very thin and light because there is no backlight.

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. This is 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, 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, at the time of writing, not Samsung).

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 Screen Size

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.

If you want an OLED TV, then the screen sizes are currently more limited.

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

But, anything below 55-inch is rare, and so you may not have a choice if you are looking for a smaller screen.

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 an ideal screen size.

There are also a number of 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 what suits your circumstances, space and personal taste.

My article about Understanding TV Viewing Distance investigates this in a bit more detail. It also includes some calculators for working out your ideal viewing distance and TV size.

TV Screen Resolution

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

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

Because each resolution refers to the actual number of pixels, a smaller TV screen is likely to be 720p or 1080p.

This is because it is easier and cheaper to make a small screen with fewer pixels. As the screen size increases, then you will more likely see 1080p or 4K screen resolutions.

For most manufacturers, all their higher-end models will be a 4K resolution. 1080p and 720p models will likely be smaller screen sizes - or budget versions of larger screens.

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

An 8K TV's main advantage is for 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. 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 Resolution3840 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 games consoles like the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro

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. 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: Do You Need a 1080p or 4K TV goes into this in a bit more detail.

TV 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 contrast ratio of the screen, 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 all a bit much for you, you can either go by 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, and 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 made 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. 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

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. Streaming services and some broadcast TV shows are starting to provide some HDR content – e.g., Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube HDR and 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 are using a Smart TV app to stream the video direct 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 their TV resolution, I would say HDR is more important in getting a better picture.

TV 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 small impact on the average user's day-to-day use. 

I don't want to list every technical option that you might see for TVs, as this site aims to keep things simple. I try to narrow things down to the most important features 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. This 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 find new TVs with higher refresh rates. 

Some will have a 120 Hz refresh rate. 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. 

Either that or reduces its refresh rate to match the 60 Hz of the source. This makes no difference to how smooth the image looks.

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. 

If you are in a particularly geeky mood today or just have too much time on your hands, you can see 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 the following video interesting. It looks at the difference between refresh rates and frames per second:

TV 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.

With some TV types, this can be an issue because the picture will lose its quality if you view it at 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, it would be wise to buy a TV where this won’t cause too many problems.

TV Viewing Angles DiagramIdeal 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, then the image will get worse. 

You will find there will 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. If you want an LED TV that works well at an angle, then 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 aims of QLED TV technology is to improve the viewing angle over standard LED TVs. You may well find the viewing angle of these to be improved, 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).

Every TV has a built-in video scaler. This device 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. 

Play some 4K UHD video, and then a 1080p TV will downscale it to 1080p before it is displayed. 

Higher-end TVs will have better quality scalers, and so will perform this process better. 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.

TV Connections

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

The most common connection used these days is HDMI. 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 signals into the TV.

Some TVs will also provide audio outputs - for connecting to a home theater surround sound system. This is important to have if you need to send the audio from the internal tuner, or apps, to a surround sound setup.

However, if your TV supports HDMI ARC, then 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 ConnectionsCommon 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 the output connections your computer has.

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 are planning on using an AV receiver to connect all your devices - as part of a home theater system - then 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.

TV Sound Quality

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

A screen will usually have built-in speakers - although some 'professional' models may not - so it's best to double-check before buying. These speakers will provide a decent, if unspectacular, sound.

The quality of the onboard speakers does vary. So, if you are going to be relying on these speakers completely for the sound, then 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 surround sound speaker system and may not use the onboard speakers at all. 

Installing surround sound systems takes a bit more effort. But, it's not that complicated, and it will be well worth it in the end when you hear the improvement in sound. 

I will 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 simpler solution.

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

Smart TV Services

Most modern TVs will come with some form of Smart functionality. 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. This will either be via WiFi - or by an Ethernet cable.

Make sure that the TV you buy has the right 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 models of TV will have different Smart TV platforms, and the apps that you can access will vary. If there is a specific app you want to use, then you should check that the TV you are going to buy has that app. 

Although they are similar, 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 that is 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, then you may feel a larger screen is more suitable for that space. 

The bigger screens seem to work well when wall mounted. They never seem to look as prominent in the room as those which are 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 are planning on placing the TV on a cabinet, then maybe you might want a slightly smaller model? 

There's no hard and fast rule. And it depends on your room, and from where you will be watching the TV. Personal taste too. 

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 small differences in features. 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 where you can compare two different models. This can make it easier to spot the differences.

You should also be aware that the model number of a TV may be different around the world. On this site, I am referencing the US TV model numbers. If you are somewhere else, then the model number may vary. 

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

In case this wasn't confusing enough, some brands will 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 you are looking around for the right one to buy. 

Some will be the new range, and 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. 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. You may find that you can save some serious money. That older TV hasn’t suddenly become obsolete. Remember, it was the best you could get in that price range just a few months ago.

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 I 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.

These 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, Sceptre and Hisense, which all 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 main players.

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

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

Top 5 Flat Screen TVs Review

Now that we have looked at some of the essential features of flat-screen TVs let's think about some 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. I'm going to list a few of my favorite flat-screen TVs.

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

The higher-end TVs are nearer the top. It should come as 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.

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 CX 4K OLED TV

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

Few TVs can compare to the awesome 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 2021, then LG is certainly worth checking out.

The LG CX comes in the middle of the current LG OLED TV line up – between the cheaper BX and the higher-end GX and WX models.

LG CX 4K OLED TVImage Credit: LG

LG CX Highlights

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

There is support for all the main versions of HDR – HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG. So, you can be safe in the knowledge that you will be able to play most of the HDR content available. 

A new feature is the introduction of 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 when you are watching a movie with the lights off.

Just be aware that HDR10+ isn't currently supported in LG televisions.

Another improvement this year is Filmmaker Mode. When you enable this pre-set then the correct image color settings are automatically selected and any processing is switched off.

Different settings are applied for SDR and HDR content.

This is an easy way of making sure that you see a movie as the director intended.

This model comes in 4 sizes – 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch. 

In previous years you only had the choice of 55 and 65-inch screens. So, it's good to see a larger 77-inch screen size for those who have space.

Plus, this year’s model has a smaller 48-inch size which is great if you want to save some money – or if you think that the other sizes are just too big for your room.

The screen itself has a 4K Ultra HD resolution and is so slim you won't believe your eyes. Of course, a thin screen won’t make much difference when you are watching it from the front. 

But it's still quite a sight. And it might make installing the screen in your room a little easier.

Unfortunately, at the rear, the bottom half is deeper than this. But they have got to install all the electronics somewhere. This lower region 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 at the side. All are HDMI 2.1 and HDCP 2.2 compatible.

HDMI 2.1 support was available in the previous model. Great for futureproofing but, at the time, there was not much that you could use it for. 

However, 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 NVIDIA G-SYNC support. This is like VRR and synchronizes the refresh rate of the TV screen with the output of a computer graphics card.

The result is reduced input lag and a much smoother gaming experience for NVIDIA RTX 20 and GTX 16 graphics cards.

Another new feature for this year is the addition of Freesync support. 

Freesync is another version of VRR that is supported by 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 CX Features
Screen Type OLED 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 77 / 65 / 55 / 48
Screen Depth (inch) 2.2 / 1.8 / 1.8 / 1.8
Weight (lbs) 58.9 / 52.9 / 41.7 / 32.8
VESA 400 x 200 (77") / 300 x 200 (65", 55", 48")
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10 / Dolby Vision / Dolby Vision IQ / 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 3 x USB / 1 x Composite / 1 x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1 x Optical / 1 x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Tizen
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / AirPlay 2 / Intelligent Voice Recognition

I will always recommend installing some form of speaker system to replace the speakers that come with the TV. However, the speakers on the CX are reasonable – and support Dolby Atmos - which can give an extra sense of space.

LG's ThinQ AI technology is another useful feature of these TVs. This is available across a wide range of LG products and allows for interactive control via the LG ThinQ app - as well as for voice control.

The point of this technology is that you can use your TV to control other ThinQ devices around your home. This might include smart plugs, security cameras and thermostats.

You can even control a supported dishwasher or vacuum!

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.

The WebOS 5.0 smart TV platform is one of the best around. It's 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 BX series. 

The BX models are very similar to the CX but have a slightly inferior image processor and a different stand. 

The LG CX series has the new α9 Gen 3 AI Processor 4K which improves image processing, picture and upscaling quality.

The BX series has the α7 Gen 3 Processor 4K. 

For the casual observer, there will be little difference between the two. 

However, if you are someone who sweats on the small details, then this might be an important difference.

Apart from that, the two models are very much alike – except the BX 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

  • Image retention is a potential problem of OLED screens. In most cases, this won’t be an issue - 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 might not work so well in a very bright room.
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2. Samsung Q90T 4K QLED TV

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

LG and Sony, to name but a few, 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 from their top-of-the-range Q Series. 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.

Samsung Q90T 4K QLED TVImage Credit: Samsung

Samsung Q90T Highlights

The Samsung Q90T 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 this over edge-lit LED TVs is that there is much more control over the backlight across the whole of the screen.

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.

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 Q90T has an excellent black level and contrast ratio for movie watching. It can also produce a brighter image than OLED TVs. This makes it ideal for reproducing HDR images with a high contrast between dark and light parts of an image.

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

Please note that Samsung has not provided support for 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 a good Anti-Glare layer. It will make it a non-issue in most rooms.

Samsung Q90T Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 85 / 75 / 65 / 55
Screen Depth (inch) 1.4 / 1.4 / 1.4 / 1.4
Weight (lbs) 111.1 / 85.3 / 58.9 / 44.3
VESA 600 x 400 (85") / 400 x 400 (75") / 400 x 300 (65") / 200 x 200 (55")
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10+ / HDR10 / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (3 x HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2, 1 x HDMI 2.1 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 3)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync: Yes / Yes / No
Other Inputs 2 x USB / 1 x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1 x Optical
Smart TV Tizen
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Bixby

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

And, by and large, they have. With their new Ultra Viewing Angle technology, you can move around your room quite some distance without seeing a big drop in the picture quality.

This is even more impressive when you consider that this TV uses a VA screen – which has always had the worst issues with viewing angles.

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

The main disappointment with this year’s model is that the excellent One Connect Box has been removed.

Previous Q90 TVs had a separate box where all the TV connections were stored. You then just needed a single cable to connect all your devices to the TV itself.

Now, all the TV connections are on the back and side of the screen.

Not a deal-breaker, as most TVs don’t offer something like this anyway. But it was a great selling point that made this model stand out even more.

And, if you didn’t like the One Connect Box feature, you might see this as a good thing!

You do get the Samsung OneRemote with this model. This is a universal remote control that can operate a wide range of devices from a single source.

Any new HDMI devices that you connect to the TV will be automatically detected and available to control via your OneRemote. Now that is very handy.

If you like using voice control in your home, then you will be pleased to know the Q90T supports a few different platforms. 

For anyone who doesn’t already use a voice assistant platform, there is a built-in system called Bixby. 

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
  • 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
  • FreeSync™ (VRR) technology support for gamers

Thumbs Down

  • No Dolby Vision support
  • No One Connect Box
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3. Sony A8H 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 A8H marks the 4th year of Sony OLED televisions and this model builds on the success of the previous years.

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 that you get with most modern televisions these days. 

Sony A8H 4K OLED TVImage Credit: Sony

Sony A8H Highlights

The Sony A8H is a 4K OLED TV that offers a spectacular picture.

With OLED technology you get perfect black levels and amazing contrast ratios. 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. If you want HDR10+, then you will need to look elsewhere.

It also upscales 1080p and standard-definition images very well.

Just be aware that you won't get the brightest image available these days. So, this TV might not be right for you if you have a particularly bright 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 – and especially when you turn down the lights.

This model also has a new Sony feature called Ambient Optimization. There is a built-in light sensor that can automatically optimize the picture depending on the ambient lighting conditions in the room.

So, the brightness is increased when the sun comes out and will be turned down when the room is darker.

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

The A8H doesn't disappoint in this respect. Move around the room and you will get an excellent picture from all angles. Very little color wash-out and drop in the picture quality.

Therefore, this TV might be ideal if you have several seating positions across 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 A8H Features
Screen Type OLED 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 65 / 55
Screen Depth (inch) 2.1 / 2.1
Weight (lbs) 48.1 / 37.1
VESA 300 x 300
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.3)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 3)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync No / No / No
Other Inputs 3 x USB / 1 x Composite (with 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 / AirPlay 2

Unfortunately, with this model, you are limited to just 55-inch and 65-inch screens. There are no larger screens sizes available than this.

The Sony A8H has a fast response time which means it is ideal for fast-moving images like sports. Gamers will also love the way it handles all the action in the latest games.

The main downside for gamers is the lack of support for Variable Refresh Rate and Automatic Low Latency Mode. 

The A8H comes with Sony’s innovative sound technology - Acoustic Surface Audio. 

Yes, the Sony A8H 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 it is rather good with the sound coming directly from the screen.

This television has been engineered to meet the high standards required for IMAX Enhanced products. 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 material.

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

Thumbs Up

  • Wonderful picture
  • Perfect for watching movies
  • Deep blacks
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Ambient Optimization for automatic room configuration
  • Very good upscaling performance
  • Handles reflections well
  • Acoustic Surface sound technology
  • Netflix Calibrated Mode
  • IMAX Enhanced support

Thumbs Down

  • No support for HDMI 2.1, VRR and ALLM
  • Potential of burn-in if you regularly watch similar content with static images. In most cases, you won't have a problem
  • Limited choice of screen sizes
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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 TVImage 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 the 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
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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 TVImage 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
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The Next 5 Best Flat Screen TVs

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

The aim of this list is to try and narrow down your options a little. To 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 tried to include some of the best cheaper and smaller TVs. 


6. Samsung Q70T 4K QLED TV

Part of the Top-of-the-Range Samsung QLED Series

Samsung Q70T 4K QLED TVImage Credit: Samsung
Samsung Q70T Features
Screen Type Edge-lit | VA LED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 85 / 82 / 75 / 65 / 55
Screen Depth (inch) 2.4 / 2.5 / 2.4 / 2.3 / 2.3
Weight (lbs) 104.7 / 96.3 / 79.4 / 49.2 / 35.7
VESA 600 x 400 (85", 82") / 400 x 400 (75") / 400 x 300 (65") / 200 x 200 (55")
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10+ / HDR10 / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (3 x HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2, 1 x HDMI 2.1 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 3)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync Yes / Yes / No
Other Inputs 2 x USB / 1 x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1 x Optical
Smart TV Tizen
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Bixby
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7. TCL 6-Series R635 4K QLED TV

The TCL 6 Series: QLED TV 2020 Model

TCL 6-Series R635 4K QLED TVImage Credit: TCL
TCL 6-Series R635 Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA LED | 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 1 x USB / 1 x Composite / 1 x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1 x Optical / 1 x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Roku TV
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Roku Search
CLICK FOR LATEST PRICE

8. Hisense H8G 4K LED TV

The Hisense H8 Series

Hisense H8G 4K LED TVImage Credit: Hisense
Hisense H8G Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 75 / 65 / 55 / 50
Screen Depth (inch) 3.3 / 3.1 / 3.1 / 3.1
Weight (lbs) 63.5 / 43 / 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 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
CLICK FOR LATEST PRICE

9. Sony X900H 4K LED TV

The Mid-Range X900 Series

Sony X900H 4K LED TVImage Credit: Sony
Sony X900H Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA LED | 4K UHD
Screen Sizes (inch) 85 / 75 / 65 / 55
Screen Depth (inch) 2.9/ 2.9 / 2.9 / 2.9
Weight (lbs) 100.9 / 72.5 / 48.9 / 36.4
VESA 400 x 400 (85") / 300 x 300 (75", 65", 55")
Refresh Rate (Hz) 120
HDR HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG
HDMI Inputs 4 (2 x HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2, 2 x HDMI 2.1 / HDCP 2.2)
ARC / eARC Yes / Yes (HDMI 3)
VRR / FreeSync / G-Sync No / No / No (VRR will be available after firmware update)
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
CLICK FOR LATEST PRICE

10. TCL 5-Series S535 4K QLED TV

The TCL 5 Series: QLED TV 2020 Model

TCL 5-Series S535 4K QLED TVImage Credit: TCL
TCL 5-Series S535 Features
Screen Type Full-array | VA LED | 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 1 x USB / 1 x Composite / 1 x Ethernet
Audio Outputs 1 x Optical / 1 x 3.5mm Analog
Smart TV Roku TV
Voice Control Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Roku Search
CLICK FOR LATEST PRICE

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!

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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.


Image Credit: iStock.com/tunart