When picture quality is most important, LG's OLED TVs are at the top of the list.
OLED display provides top picture quality with true blacks and infinite levels of contrast. Up-mixes audio content to 7.1.2 surround sound. Solid gaming features including both NVIDIA and AMD VRR. Filmmaker mode preserves cinematic feel for movies.
Expensive. Doesn't get as bright as QLED TVs. webOS takes getting used to.
TCL's 6-Series QLED TVs deliver excellent pictures and top features at wallet-friendly prices.
High-quality QLED screen. Supports premium features like multiple types of HDR including Dolby Vision. Top 144Hz variable refresh rate with AMD FreeSync for gaming. Familiar and easy-to-navigate Roku OS interface. More affordable than comparable brands.
Can still be pricey at large screen sizes. Speakers aren't great.
The vivid colors and extra features of Samsung's QLED TVs never fail to impress.
Rich, saturated colors, top maximum brightness, and an anti-glare screen are ideal for brightly lit rooms. Object tracking sound and Dolby Atmos create an immersive virtual audio landscape around you. Comes with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Pricey. OS can be frustrating. Doesn't support Dolby Vision.
Deep Alexa integration makes this TV worthwhile, according to our testing.
Designed by Amazon with its popular Fire interface and Prime streaming service. Also can access other popular streaming services. Vivid 4K picture with Dolby Vision. Provides deep Alexa integration for controls and options.
Picture quality did not impress particularly in testing. The 60Hz refresh rate lags behind competitors.
Samsung’s slim, vivid Frame 4K TVs are designed to hang on your wall and display art.
Mimics framed artwork when not in use. Magnetic bezel takes different frame styles. Offers smart TV features such as streaming apps, app store, and compatibility with Amazon Alexa. QLED display with 120Hz refresh rate boasts vivid color and HDR.
Pricey. Physical connectors are housed in separate unit. OS is not a favorite.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
4K TVs are standard in today’s television market — you can find them in just about any size and price range you wish. They’re so ubiquitous, in fact, that you may not even realize you’ve gotten a 4K TV until you’re watching your favorite streaming show and realize it’s sharper than you remembered. That’s how common 4K TVs have become.
The term 4K, also known as Ultra HD or UHD, refers to screen resolution. TVs with 4K displays have around twice as many individual pixels as the former TV screen standard, 1080p (Full HD). They have four times as many pixels as 720p (HD) TVs. The 4K technology entered the market in 2013, and it’s the top choice if you like streaming services such as Netflix and HBO that release popular shows in 4K.
Since all 4K TVs share the same resolution, picking one that’s right for you depends on other factors. The picture quality of a TV, which refers to its contrast, brightness, color and degree of high dynamic range (HDR) support, is what many consumers list as their top concern. Size is also important; the best TV size for you depends on the dimensions of your room and what kind of viewing experience you want. And because flat-screen TVs generally don’t have the best built-in speakers, it’s good to check whether the one you want supports surround sound and standards such as Dolby Atmos.
Our pick for the best 4K TV is the LG C2 Series OLED Smart TV. We love its superior picture quality and contrast, which comes courtesy of its OLED display. That said, OLED TVs can be pretty expensive, so we have a top budget choice, too. Our best buy is the TCL 6-Series QLED Smart Roku TV. We like it for its great picture, easy streaming and excellent specs. Perhaps best of all, you can pay less than $1,000 for a 65-inch model.
The LG C2 series of smart OLED TVs sits at the top of our list for picture quality. OLED displays are widely held to be the best on the market, with true blacks and infinite contrast no other displays can match. The C2 series also boasts brightness and color enhancements that address some of the few perceived drawbacks of OLEDs.
You can get this awesome LG TV in screen sizes from 42 to 83 inches. The C2 not only upscales non-4K content but also up-mixes stereo audio into 7.1.2 surround sound with Dolby Atmos support. It supports HDR standards including HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, and it has excellent gaming specs, including a fast 120-hertz refresh rate and both NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync VRR.
With this television, you get four HDMI 2.1 ports that afford you feature-rich connections to game consoles and other equipment. And, of course, you get access to all the top streaming services. The C2 series comes with Alexa and Hey Google and also supports Apple AirPlay and HomeKit.
TCL has been making excellent TVs for years. Its 6 Series continues that tradition with great features at lower prices than comparable models of big-name brands.
TCL’s 6 Series TVs feature QLED displays that boast vivid color and brightness. Mini-LED backlights deliver localized and refined contrast to the display, working with support for the best HDR technologies including Dolby Vision to produce excellent contrast for a non-OLED panel.
It runs the Roku platform to deliver a vast library of paid and free streaming content, including the top streaming services. For gaming buffs, it has impressive game features including a 120-hertz refresh rate, auto game mode (ALLM) and AMD FreeSync VRR. Its four HDMI ports include two high-speed ports. Alexa, Hey Google and Apple HomeKit are all supported by this TV.
Saturated color, daytime-ready brightness and a laundry list of other impressive features — that’s what you get with Samsung TVs. In fact, Samsung popularized QLED TVs, and its QN90B series 4K TVs make the most of QLED’s strengths, namely vivid color and top maximum brightness.
As we noted in our buying guide for best 50-inch TVs, the QN90B looks elegantly svelte in cross-section and boasts a smooth 120-hertz refresh rate. It supports HDR32K to enliven its contrast and uses an AI-powered processor for upscaling content.
Sound-wise, it supports Dolby Atmos and 3D object tracking, letting you hear, for example, a car moving from behind your left to in front of you. Samsung’s Tizen OS is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the QN90B supports all the top streaming channels, and it’s Alexa and Hey Google compatible.
The Omni Series is Amazon’s mid-range Fire TV line, and we tested one in our lab. While its LED display can’t quite match an OLED or QLED panel, it does deliver solid picture quality at an affordable price across all size classes.
Amazon’s Fire TVs make the most of its deep Alexa integration, and with the TVs in the Omni Series, you can accomplish a slew of functions and commands using just your voice. If you’ve got an Amazon Prime account and are used to the Alexa ecosystem, we think you’d be highly pleased with the Omni Series.
You can output sound from an Omni Series TV to your Echo speakers wirelessly, and you’re not restricted to Amazon content: The Omni Series supports Apple AirPlay and all the popular streaming services, not just Prime Video.
We’ve loved The Frame ever since Samsung introduced it, and the 2022 LS03B Series remains one of our top picks. As a TV, it’s got all the features of a Samsung QLED model: rich and saturated color, HDR for vivid contrast, a fast 120-hertz refresh rate and access to streaming services.
But The Frame’s killer feature remains its ability, when not in use, to hang on the wall and look like art. It has a matte-finish anti-glare screen, swappable bezels with multiple frame options and even a motion sensor that turns the display off when you’re not around (and back on when you pass by).
With a wealth of downloadable works of art to choose from, The Frame is one of the best TVs-as-wall-art options available.
If you have a PlayStation, you’d be hard-pressed to find more suitable 4K TVs than Sony’s own offerings, including its X90K Series. The X90K has an LED display with what Sony calls full-array backlighting, which makes for darker blacks and improved contrast than you’d expect from typical LED displays.
Gameplay specs are first-rate with a low 8.5 ms input lag to respond quickly to your moves, a refresh rate of 120 hertz at 4K resolution and auto game mode, or ALLM. Paired with the PlayStation 5, you also get automated contrast and picture quality settings.
The X90K uses Google TV to deliver its smart TV offerings which, aside from the usual suite of major streaming services, include free movies from Sony Pictures.
LG doesn’t just make OLED TVs. Its UQ9000 Series 4K smart LED TVs offer a number of higher-end features with the lower cost of an LED panel. The UQ9000 upscales video content to 4K and up-mixes audio to 5.1.2 surround. And it has a cinematic mode that preserves movies’ color and frame rate settings precisely the way the filmmakers intended — without weird smoothing or excessive manipulation.
This TV has a light-sensing function that brightens or dims its display depending on the ambient light of the room. With support for HDR10 Pro, it has solid contrast quality, and its game dashboard puts its game-specific features within easy reach. You can use the remote to access voice control compatible with Alexa or Hey Google. It’s also compatible with Apple HomeKit and AirPlay.
We researched the latest models of 4K TVs to come up with our top seven above and tested the 50-inch class Amazon Fire TV Omni Series in our testing lab to see how it did in the following areas.
OLED, QLED, LED and other acronyms refer to the type of display used by a 4K TV. QLED, LED and variants like QNED and XLED are all branches of the LCD family. LED panels have an LED backlight to illuminate the LCD layer, while QLED displays have both an LED backlight and a layer of “quantum dots” that create color.
OLED is different. OLED displays need no backlight, as each pixel of an OLED display shines on its own. Where other screens need to add dark and black areas in front of their backlight, OLED panels actually turn pixels off. OLEDs are expensive, however, and heat and burn-in issues prevent them from getting as bright as the maximum brightness of QLED displays. You may have an OLED display in a high-end smartphone, such as the iPhone and Galaxy S, or in a premium tablet.
It’s tempting to get the biggest size class of TV you can afford, but it’s nicer and more pleasant to get one that fits the scale of your room. You probably don’t want a TV smaller than 50 inches if you have a great room or a large open living area. And, unless you’re outfitting a dedicated home theater, we generally don’t recommend a TV larger than 65 inches for a small room or apartment.
Note: The way you mount your TV — on a wall mount or stand — can also affect how big it feels in a room.
A standard rule of thumb says the recommended distance to sit from a 4K TV is 1.5 times its vertical screen size (not the diagonal screen size). For example, a 65-inch 4K TV usually has a 32-inch vertical screen size. This comes out as 4 feet of recommended distance from the TV to the viewer.
Another way to think about it is that the screen should occupy about 30 degrees of your field of vision so you can see the whole screen at once with minimal distraction.
HDR is one of our favorite features on 4K TVs because it dramatically improves colors and overall picture quality. With an HDR TV, both contrast and color improve. Roses look redder, violets look bluer and pitch-blacks are much darker. In short, you get all-around superior image quality.
There are several formats of HDR available, most notably HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision is generally accepted as having the best image quality, but not all TVs support it. HDR10 and its relatives are widely supported. All the major streaming services offer HDR content and support Dolby Vision. Most 4K Blu-ray discs also support HDR.
Make sure the 4K TV you buy has enough HDMI ports to handle all of your existing devices. Keep an eye out for HDMI 2.1 ports, as they support higher bandwidth, premium HDR support and more fluid gaming.
A. Expect to pay anywhere from $250 for a 50-inch or smaller TV with an LED panel to almost $4,000 for a top-of-the-line 83-inch OLED display. When it comes to 4K TVs, the size class is the biggest factor in how much you pay, followed by the display type.
The most common 4K TV sizes are 55 to 65 inches, and these may cost between $450 and $2,000 with top OLED and QLED models hovering at the $1,500 level.
A good way to save money is by buying last year's 4K TV. While it may not have the latest TV features and technologies, there are some excellent TV deals available if you are willing to buy a slightly older 4K TV.
A. Gaming TVs should respond as fast as possible to the signals coming from the controller and console, and they should be able to visually keep up with fast-paced action. In 4K TVs, look for a fast refresh rate of 60 hertz or more (120 hertz is common for 65-inch sizes), a low input lag of less than 10 milliseconds and support for variable refresh rate with either NVIDIA’s G-Sync or AMD’s FreeSync protocols.
To take advantage of the top capabilities of the latest gaming consoles, also look for a 4K TV with HDMI 2.1 inputs as well as convenient auto-gaming modes like auto low-latency mode, or ALLM.
A. Yes, you should update your 4K TV’s firmware before you do anything else. Just like laptops and smartphones, TV OSes like Roku OS, webOS, Google TV and Amazon FireOS need to be updated regularly to deliver improvements and security fixes. When you first turn on your 4K TV, connect it to your local Wi-Fi network. Then, use the on-screen settings menus to check for firmware updates. If updates are available, download and install them. Firmware updates typically take about 30 minutes to complete.
A. Smart televisions support a huge collection of streaming apps. Many of them, including Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video host plenty of crystal-clear 4K content. UltraHD Blu-ray discs also offer 4K content.
A. If you’ve bought an HDMI cable in the last few years, it’s likely you won’t have to replace it to watch 4K. To make sure, check if your HDMI cable is labeled Ultra High-Speed HDMI. It’s particularly helpful to have HDMI cables that specifically support the HDMI 2.1 standard to take advantage of advanced features and capabilities.
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