Looking for the best TV to buy this year? We’ve got you covered. Although it’s still early days, we’ve gone eyes on with some of the biggest, brightest, and highest-performing televisions of the past 12 months and have assembled the essential guide for potential TV buyers.
Some of our picks below represent the absolute crème de la crème of what’s available today (see: LG CX OLED, the Sony A8H OLED and Samsung Q95T) but we’ve also highlighted a number of TVs that provide incredible value for your money, too. Combined, you’ve got a list of the best TVs at any budget.
That said, we’re always adding more screens to this list, so be sure to check back in a month or two to see the latest additions to this TV hall of fame.
The LG CX OLED is certainly the best OLED TV for 2020, and fully deserves to scrape the top of this list to the best TVs available today.
Iterating on last year’s LG C9 Series, the LG CX might not seem all that different – and it isn’t. But by continuing the same mesmerizing picture quality and standout webOS smart platform, with a few modern-day updates like HDMI 2.1 and an a9 Gen 3 processor, it’s managed to outdo its predecessor.
With a new 48-inch OLED TV size now available too, the CX is an even more flexible proposition for a wider variety of wallets and homes. With a slimline design and support for Dolby Vision and Atmos – along with bellowing built-in audio – it’s a fantastic choice at any size.
LG is really looking to entice gamers with its 2020 range, too, with rock-bottom input lag, support for Nvidia G-Sync, and compatibility with 4K/120HZ gameplay for next-gen consoles.
You won’t get HDR10+ here, sadly, and UK viewers will have to go without all of their fave catch-up apps, but make no mistake – this is the best OLED TV for you in 2020.
Read the full review: LG CX OLED
The Samsung Q950TS represents the latest 8K TV from the manufacturer, combining all the benefits of last year’s Samsung Q900 8K screen with innovations first introduced the 2019 flagship Samsung Q90 4K TV that hit shelves earlier this year.
Combined in one top-notch QLED TV, the new Samsung Q950 offers an 8K panel and AI-enhanced image processing, plus wider viewing angles, an improved black filter and standard-setting HDR performance. If all that wasn’t enough, Samsung’s smart TV platform is the most comprehensive on the market.
So if you’re looking for a state-of-the-art new Samsung TV – and don’t mind paying top-dollar for it – the Q950TS should be at the top of your short list.
Read the full review: Samsung Q950TS 8K QLED
By combining Sony’s premium OLED picture performance with a powerful and direct sound system, the Sony A8H OLED TV manages to be a stunningly compelling TV option for serious home cinema fans.
It carries Sony’s top-line X1 Ultimate processor, Sony’s Pixel Contrast Booster (for more intense image highlights), and a new OLED version of the X-Motion Clarity feature Sony initially developed for its FALD LCD TVs.
On the audio side, meanwhile, Sony’s customary Acoustic Surface Audio system (where the TV’s screen is actually ‘excited’ into producing sound) is joined by a two-subwoofer bass system, and an Acoustic Auto Calibration system that can optimize the TV’s sound to your room with just a couple of quick test pulses.
The results are nothing short of gorgeous.
Read the full review: Sony A8H OLED TV
New for 2020, the Samsung Q80T QLED builds on the successes of previous models for a brilliant HDR TV definitely worth checking out.
The most notable feature is the incredibly low input lag, making the Q80T a great choice for gamers who want responsive gameplay, but the QLED screen will also make general watching a pleasure all around.
The Q80T is the cheapest 2020 Samsung TV to come with a full-array backlight, meaning you’ll get consistent brightness, though not some of the premium qualities of higher-end sets – hence why it lands lower on this list than last year’s Q90 QLED. It also isn’t quite as stylish as the zero-bezel Q950TS, with a thick body compared to other QLEDs in this year’s range.
However, you’ll still get Samsung’s latest Quantum 4K processor, vivid HDR colors, and advanced smart TV features through the Tizen OS.
If you want more of a saving, too, the Q70R QLED is this TV’s predecessor, and will cost you a good few hundred dollars less than the new Q80T model (yes, it’s the some product line, and yes, the naming is confusing).
Read the full review: Samsung Q80T QLED TV
Sony’s X900H Series does everything it sets out to do, and in some style. Its picture quality is quite startling in the right circumstances, its sound is more than adequate by prevailing standards, it’s simple to use and it doesn’t turn its nose up at content of inferior resolution.
The panel itself is a VA-type LCD, which in broad terms has to be considered an upgrade on the IPS edge-lit panel Sony deployed on last year’s equivalent model. The higher brightness, greater color volume and improved screen uniformity promised by a full array VA panel ought to more than make up for the rather more restricted viewing angle when compared to IPS. It’s noting, too, the X900H doesn’t feature the X-Wide viewing angle technology Sony’s flagship X950H range is toting.
In short, there’s more than enough going on here to make you overlook the lack of HDR10+ and forgive Android TV its overconfidence. If you’ve this sort of money to spend on a TV of this sort of size, you absolutely have to audition it.
Read the full review: Sony X900H Series
For those who can afford it, the LG Gallery Series GX OLED is a home cinema lover’s dream come true – an exemplary flatscreen that uses all the latest specs and standards, from Dolby Vision and Atmos to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, from Chromecast Built-in to AirPlay 2.0.
While the outside is a marvel of engineering and industrial design, inside you’ve got the all-new LG Alpha a9 Gen. 3 processor that adds better facial recognition and multi-step noise reduction to LG’s already-great HD-to-4K upscaling and much-improved motion processing technology.
But if you’re looking for pitch-perfect audio, you won’t find it on the LG Gallery Series – the built-in speakers are kind of a soft spot in an otherwise great design. Due to design constraints, the TV only sports thin, low-powered speakers that just don’t match the premium performance of the OLED panel.
That said, chances are if you’re buying a $3,000 TV you’ve got a sound system at home ready to go and outside of a few other nitpicks, this is a fantastic TV.
Read the full review: LG GX Gallery Series OLED
When we discovered that the new TCL 6-Series 2020 QLED (R635) would use MiniLED back at CES, we were shocked. That’s because, just last year, that same technology came to the high-end 8-Series and cost hundreds of dollars more than the ultra-affordable 6-Series.
It’s not the end-all, be-all LED-LCD we were dreaming it would be due to its limited brightness and poor motion handling, but it truly is an exceptional value and one that we’d recommend to nearly everyone.
The 6-Series is brighter than before, more colorful and doesn’t have a single hint of haloing or light bleed. It’s designed in a new way to hide your cables and it’s the first TV to come with THX Certified Game Mode for 1440p/120Hz gaming.
It’s not exactly the TV we’d recommend to next-gen-ready gamers looking for a perfect companion for the Xbox Series X or PS5 that can push 4K at 120 fps, but if you’re buying a TV to binge Netflix, stream Hulu or, well, basically just enjoy your viewing experience, this is the TV that we’d recommend for you.
Read the full review: TCL 6-Series 2020 QLED with MiniLED (R635)
New for 2020, the Hisense H8G Quantum Series is a great choice for those looking to spend little and get a lot.
At just $700 for the 65-inch version of the Hisense H8G, it’s outstanding value. You’re not having to make do with a sub-standard set, though, as the apps are easy to find and use, Google Assistant support is well-implemented, and the technical specs rival much pricier models. Motion is brilliantly smooth, too, with great performance across HD and 4K video despite a drop in brightness compared to competing QLED models.
You won’t get quite the quality experience of many others in this list, and the design of this set isn’t very inspiring. For the price, though, the Hisense H8G Quantum Series certainly delivers.
Read the full review: Hisense H8G Quantum Series
The all-new Samsung Q70T QLED TV boasts much of the feature armory found in Samsung’s more expensive QLED 4K screens, but doesn’t come with such a punishing price tag – making it a great buy for folks who can’t reasonably spend a couple thousand on the flagship Samsung Q95T 8K TV.
The reason it doesn’t score higher on our list is that it’s an edge-lit TV and doesn’t produce the same contrast of comparable full array models, especially in light-controlled rooms like downstairs home cinemas.
Still, Samsung’s Q70T is a darn good 4K TV all the same. Ideal for light room viewing, it offers superb detail and color performance, has a comprehensive connected platform and boasts excellent image interpolation.
For gamers, the Q70T is a formidable proposition. Not only is image lag low, both with and without processing, there’s a 4K 120fps HDMI just waiting for your next games console. It also confounds when it comes to black level performance and screen uniformity… provided you keep the lights on.
Read the full review: Samsung Q70T QLED TV
The Vizio P-Series Quantum X is a home run for Vizio. Sure, the SmartCast interface isn’t all the great, and the speakers are worth bypassing, but the TV is packed with awesome features and backed up by an excellent image quality. We’re looking forward to AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, but even without those features the TV is still one of the best options in its price range.
If you truly have deep pockets and want the best image quality out there, then it’s still worth going for LG’s OLED or Samsung’s QLED TVs – but in the absence of a six-figure salary, the $2,199 Vizio P-Series Quantum X PX-65G1 is clearly an excellent option for those that want quantum dot tech in a smart TV at Vizio-level prices.
Read the full review: Vizio P-Series Quantum (PQ65-F1)
What TV technology is best? Which is the best LCD TV? Which screen size is best for your living room? What’s the difference between LCD and LED TVs?
The answers aren’t always obvious. In fact, buying a new TV can be stressful even for the tech-savvy – as there are so many brands, so many features, so many screen sizes, colors, technologies and flavors to choose from.
So which one is right for you, your family and your living space? In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about buying a new TV.
What types of TV are there out there?
There are a lot of different screen types out there, all working in different ways to produce the same results. Each technology has its own unique strengths and weaknesses so here are some basics to consider:
LED TV: Direct LED
These displays are backlit by an array of LEDs (light emitting diodes) directly behind the screen. This enables localised dimming – meaning immediately adjacent areas of brightness and darkness can be displayed more effectively – and greatly improves contrast. LED TVs are also more power efficient and capable of a wider colour gamut than CCFL sets. Because of the extreme cost of mounting these arrays of LEDs, cheaper TVs usually use Edge-Lit LED screens over Direct or Full-Array LED screens.
LED TV: Edge LED
With these TVs, LEDs of the backlight are mounted along the edges of the panel. This arrangement enables radically slender displays and offers superior contrast levels to CCFL, but can’t achieve the same picture quality as directly lit LED sets. However, they do come in far cheaper which is why most LED TVs out there now use this technology.
The backlighting on OLED (organic light emitting diode) sets is achieved by passing an electric current through an emissive, electroluminescent film. This technique produces far better colours and higher contrast and also enables screens to be extremely thin and flexible. This is the holy grail display technology and LG, Sony, Philips and Panasonic have all adopted it in their flagship sets.
Quantum Dot is Samsung’s big play in the LED TV space. With it, the brand claims that it’s able to produce more colorful pictures than LG and Sony while offering even brighter panels. LG’s Super UHD TVs all use a variation of Quantum Dot called Nano Cell, and Hisense makes a number of Quantum Dot TVs for the US and China.
Some manufacturers are still making TVs that have slightly curved screens. But unlike old CRT TVs, the curve is inwards rather than outwards. The idea is that this makes every pixel equidistant from your eyes, delivering a more satisfying picture. However, there are drawbacks for this type of screen, the main one being that if you sit far enough to one side – more than 40 degrees or so – the curve clearly starts to affect the image’s geometry, foreshortening content near to you and compressing the image’s centre.
What resolution tech should I go for?
HD TVs come in two resolutions. Sets with the HD ready are required to be able to display a minimum 720p picture, and generally has a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Meanwhile, Full HD TVs have a higher resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It’s highly advisable that you don’t go for anything less than full HD in this day and age.
Ultra HD and 4K
The resolution of Ultra HD is exactly four times higher than full HD – 3840 x 2160. It means a far more detailed picture, with content requiring a lot more bandwidth and storage space. 4K TVs tend to be good at upscaling HD video to Ultra HD but there are currently very few options for watching native 4K content. Read more about 4K resolution.
If 4K isn’t enough to impress you, there are now a good number of 8K TVs entering the market. This ultra-ultra-high-definition format packs in four times the number of pixels as 4K, for even sharper, crisper images.
The difficulty is that there’s little 8K content available – nothing on Netflix, for example! That means these sets need highly advanced processing to make upscale HD or 4K content for 8K screens, and while it isn’t yet a must-buy technology, it’s certainly where the TV market is going. Read more about 8K resolution.
Arguably the shift to HDR video could make a more dramatic difference to your viewing experience than moving from HD to 4K. Like still HDR images, the moving version expands the range of both the light and dark ends of spectrum, providing more detail for both.
HDR needs new filming methods though – at the moment there is no way to backfill HDR into existing video. It also needs new TV tech too, with Samsung the only ones to create specific screens, though LG and Sony are going be able to update some of their existing stock to be compatible.
What else should I consider?
Buying a flatscreen television is a major investment and one that you can’t afford to take lightly. Just popping into the closest store and grabbing the first plasma or LCD you see won’t get you the best deal, the screen that suits your needs, or the gear you require to make the most of your new purchase.
People tend to pick the size of their flat TV based on the amount of space they have for it, this isn’t necessarily wise. Flat TVs take up much less space than you might think, so your new TV may end up a foot or two further away from your viewing position, making the picture appear smaller.
Also, with hi-def, you can have a bigger screen and the same viewing distance without worrying about seeing blemishes inherent to the source. A 4K TV’s lack of noise means that the ideal distance to sit from the screen is three to four times the height of the TV.
How many HDMI sockets do I need?
For a living room TV you should be looking for a minimum of 3 HDMI inputs. If you want to attach a set-top box as well as games consoles etc, those HDMI ports will fill up fast.
Do I want to hang my TV on the wall?
First off, you’ll need to consult a construction expert to check that the wall in question is strong enough to support a flatscreen. Then find out if the set you want is designed to be wall-mounted and, if so, ask if the relevant bracket is included in the basic package or as an optional extra.
Will I be connecting it to a home cinema?
If the answer is no, you might want to think more carefully about your set’s audio performance. Look for a screen that can go as loud as you’ll need without distortion or cabinet rattle. Consider how dialogue sounds and how much low-end rumble the bass is capable of.
Conversely, it’s pointless paying out more cash for exceptional built-in speakers if you already have a decent home cinema system.
Other buying guides to check out