Almost all modern TVs have 4K Ultra HD and HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology for improved picture quality with a wider range of tones displayed.
Out of all the recent HDR formats, Dolby Vision has quickly become our favourite thanks to its picture enhancements and wide compatibility across Blu-rays, streaming and even gaming. Much like its audio counterpart, Dolby Atmos, it brings a host of upgrades.
Dolby Vision is a version of HDR that promises a subtler, more sophisticated image than a standard HDR10 picture because it uses dynamic metadata encoded into each frame of a movie for a more accurate picture. HDR10, the most common alternative HDR format, only adds static metadata to each scene.
When it comes to TV manufacturers, the majority support Dolby Vision HDR with LG, Sony, Philips and Panasonic offering the biggest choice of hardware. One notable absentee from the list is Samsung. It has decided to go down its own route with its rival HDR10+ format.
Dolby Vision TVs can vary in price so we've rounded up the best to suit a range of budgets...
- Test your picture and sound with the best movies to watch in Dolby Vision
- Our guide to the best TVs for every budget
How to choose the best TV for you
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.
There's a huge amount to consider when choosing a new TV, but the biggest things are the money and space that you have available.
Size really does matter with TVs. Are you looking for a cinema-like experience in your lounge? Then you need to get the biggest TV you can afford. If your budget is limited, it might even be worth sacrificing a little bit of picture quality and next-gen display tech for a few extra inches of screen real estate.
Alternatively, you might have a specific size of TV in mind and an appetite for the best picture quality available. In that case, you need to prioritise the display technology.
Without a doubt, OLED has become the premium TV technology of choice, thanks to its perfect blacks, extraordinary contrast and exceptional viewing angles. QLED, which combines LED (or Mini LED) backlighting with ultra-vibrant Quantum Dots, is a strong alternative, though, largely thanks to being capable of greater brightness and punchier colours. Standard LCD TVs (often, confusingly, sold as 'LED' TVs on account of their LED backlights) are more variable in overall quality but, if you shop carefully, can offer excellent bang for your buck.
Are you planning to combine your new TV with a dedicated sound system? You probably should, because most TVs sound passable at best, even at the high-end. But if you're determined to keep things neat and rely on the in-built speakers, check our reviews to make sure that they're good – there's no point in a great picture if the accompanying sound is rubbish.
If you're a gamer, it's also worth considering the next-gen gaming features of your prospective new TV. Xbox Series X and PS5 gamers can gain a competitive advantage on certain games if their TV supports 4K 120Hz, while VRR support can result in a smoother gameplay experience. ALLM, meanwhile, simply ensures that you automatically get the best visual experience from both games and movies / TV shows. If you're a more casual gamer or not a gamer at all, you can pretty much disregard these features, and doing so will likely save you a lot of cash.
While there are certainly reasons that you might want to opt for a rival, LG's OLEDs have been the go-to premium TV of choice for most people for years now. That means there is huge anticipation for each year's new models – particularly those in the C-series, which have typically been the sweet spot between performance, features and price.
That said, last year saw a picture quality gap emerge between the C-series and the brighter G-series. There is a gap this year, too; this year’s C2 has the ‘Brightness Booster’ technology of last year’s G1, while the new G2 takes things to ‘Brightness Booster Max’ levels.
Having put both the G2 and C2 through their paces, we are happy to proclaim that while the G2 certainly justifies its position at the top of LG’s 2022 OLED range, the C2 is still the model that most people should buy.
While not as bright as the G2, the new C2 is brighter than all of last year's LG OLEDs. There is noticeably more punch to the whole image, which pops much more effectively, and there is significantly greater contrast and dark detail. Crucially, there’s no down side, either. There is nothing artificial to the image – it’s lifted, but naturally, with no detriment to the colours or black depth.
The C2’s punchier, more attacking delivery is a definite improvement over the C1, too, although there is also a slight rattle from the speaker cabinet when the set is challenged by very deep bass, which is a bit of a shame.
As is now expected of LG's premium OLEDs, the feature set is practically flawless, particularly where next-gen gaming is concerned.
Those with seriously discerning tastes and the budget with which to satisfy them will find it worth levelling up to the G2 or Sony’s A95K, but the C2 is the current performance-per-pound champ of 2022.
Read the full LG OLED65C2 review
The Sony A80L is a really good TV. It’s natural that we’re all drawn to the shiny promise of the super-bright new MLA and QD-OLED panel technologies, but the A80L proves that with impeccable processing, truly exceptional picture quality is still more than possible from a ‘standard’ OLED panel.
This is a TV that combines the spectacular with cinematic subtlety in very rare fashion. It thrills, but not in a way that’s even slightly showy. And it combines that with surprisingly atmospheric and engaging sound, though we would still, as ever, recommend a dedicated sound system if you’re serious about home cinema.
Our only concern for the A80L is its price. It justifies being more expensive than other standard OLED TVs with the quality of its performance – but Sonys are typically discounted far less than their rivals, and if the gap between this model and the likes of the LG C3 expands, it might become hard to justify the extra expense.
That’s a conundrum for another time, though. Right now, the Sony A80L is an all-rounder that’s very hard to resist.
Read our full Sony A80L review
We’ve already covered the larger versions of the LG C2 at the very top of this list, but now it’s the turn of the 42-inch and 48-inch models. By and large, these are the same as their bigger siblings, but they don’t go quite as bright. This is the norm for smaller OLED TVs, which can’t be driven quite as hard on account of how tightly packed their pixels are. The 42-inch model also has a slightly different design that features desktop-friendly feet rather than the sleek stand of the other models.
Otherwise, you’re getting the same features, performance and user experience as that offered by the larger versions of the C2. That slight reduction in brightness really isn’t a big deal unless you regularly use your TV in a very bright room. In normal or ideal viewing conditions the smaller C2s are plenty bright enough and, thanks to OLED’s perfect blacks and pixel-level light control, contrast is truly stunning. While many TVs raise or lower their brightness as the ratio of light to dark ebbs and flows from shot to shot, the C2 exhibits a consistency that means you’re never distracted from the action by the way in which it’s interpreted by the display.
The C2 also strikes a near-perfect balance between black depth and shadow detail, exaggerating neither. You see what you’re supposed to see without there being any sacrifice to the dramatic intensity of the darkest parts of the picture. Colours, while at times just a touch warmer than is truly correct, are a lovely balance of richness and authenticity, and remain consistent across shots and scenes.
The only areas where the smaller C2 models are beaten are motion processing, which is good here but even better on the Sony A90K, and sound, which is lightweight and lacking volume. Those who would prefer an LCD-based premium TV should also check out the Samsung QN90B, which is also good but exhibited some distracting backlight inconsistencies during our extensive review.
Overall, the C2 is quite comfortably the best TV available at the size, particularly if you combine it with a soundbar. But do stay tuned for our review of the 42-inch version of the new C3.
Read the full LG OLED42C2 review
The arrival of a new G-series OLED is always cause for excitement, and the G3 is an even bigger deal than its forebears. That’s because it’s the first OLED TV that features Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology, which is said to increase brightness (long considered by some to be a weakness of OLED) to levels previously only achievable by backlit TVs.
It’s worth noting from the off that the 2000+ nit brightness figures that have been bandied around for the last few months will only be seen by those brave enough to gaze upon the G3’s garish and aggressively processed Vivid mode, but the set’s extra capabilities are still pretty plain to see in the more cinematically accurate presets.
In other words, if you pick up a G3 expecting retina-searing images, you could be disappointed. Those of us with more authentic and, dare we say it, discerning tastes, will find that the G3 is very much like the G2, only even better. Although there are a couple of caveats…
We tend not to kick TVs for not sounding great because, to be frank, almost no TVs sound great. That’s why we recommend adding at least a soundbar to almost every TV we test, and if you do that, how the TV itself sounds doesn’t really matter. Also, while the G3 sounds dull, it doesn’t sound bad, per se, which is why its poor score here doesn’t impact the overall star rating (though it’s absolutely something you should take into consideration if you’re determined to rely on the built-in speakers).
What matters more is the feature set, which is more or less flawless in the case of the G3, and the picture quality which, some low-light paleness aside, is superb. Brighter, more vibrant in most light, more insightful and overall more exciting and impactful, this is one of last year’s very best TVs made better.
Has it done enough to get a recommendation over the non-MLA C3? And will the other MLA and QD-OLED sets that are on the way turn out to be even better? Until we get those TVs in for full testing, we can’t possibly know, but the G3 has certainly set a high benchmark for them to beat.
Read our full LG G3 OLED TV review
While not the new dawn of TV technology that some may have been expecting, the 2022 Sony A95K does suggest that there are some improvements that QD-OLED offers over standard OLED, including increased detail and colour reproduction.
The design is minimalist and the folding stand can be positioned in front of the screen, meaning the TV can be mounted more or less flush against a wall.
Sony uses the Google TV operating system for most of its 2022 TVs, including the A95K. It's a snappy platform with plenty of apps, including the Netflix app complete with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support. The A95K also features Sony Bravia Core, the firm's high-quality streaming service.
Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which in this case combines with two subwoofers, makes for very good sound by TV standards. Xbox Series X and high-end PC gamers will still be better served by an LG G2, but for movies and TV shows, in SDR and HDR and at all resolutions, the Sony A95K is exceptional.
If you want the 'gold standard' of Sony TVs, this is it.
Read our full Sony A95K review
For reasons unknown, Sony didn’t launch a new 48-inch OLED TV last year. Instead, 2020’s A9 (A9S in the US) was tasked with holding the fort against increasingly large ranks of rivals for almost two years.
Thankfully, relief is finally at hand in the form of the Sony XR-48A90K – Sony’s flagship OLED for those who don’t have the space for its new A95K QD-OLED (above), which isn’t available below 55 inches.
Has the A90K been worth the wait? And does it deliver a true flagship performance? It’s a resounding yes to both questions.
The 48-inch Sony A90K OLED is a force to be reckoned with. It might not quite have the flawless gaming feature set of an LG OLED, but it’s close, and a very good gaming TV in its own right, particularly if you’re a PS5 player.
Where the A90K is almost flawless is in its picture quality. We have never before tested a TV this size that’s this good, and while we are yet to test the new 48-inch LG C2, it’s really going to have to go some to beat this Sony on pure picture quality.
Read the full Sony XR-48A90K review
While it probably wouldn’t be fair to say that LG has neglected its C series models this year, it does seem as if the attention lavished on the G3 – the world’s first MLA OLED TV – has left the C3 in the shadows somewhat, with little to no hardware upgrades.
It’s an approach that has already cost the 65-inch C3 quite dearly. Last year’s C2 was a multi Award-winner, but the lack of significant upgrades combined with a higher price and much-improved competition has pegged this year’s model back to a four-star rating.
You might assume that the same fate faces its 42-inch sibling, which we have before us today. However, LG’s 42-inch OLEDs have always been a somewhat different proposition to their larger siblings, and while the 42-inch C3 is certainly very similar to its predecessor, its price is practically the same as before and, even more crucially, it doesn’t have significant new rivals to worry about.
Like the 65-inch version, the 42-inch C3 is very similar to the TV it replaces. That is, of course, disappointing, and we’d love to see some extra development in the small OLED TV segment which, as we’ve mentioned, is somewhat restricted in terms of brightness compared with larger models.
But, unlike the large C3, this small model isn’t priced much higher than its predecessor was at launch and it doesn’t have a barrage of new and enhanced rivals to face down. In that landscape, being just marginally better than before is good enough for the OLED42C3 to be the best 42-inch TV we’ve tested – but you should still buy a discounted C2 while it’s still available.
Read our full LG C3 OLED review
The Philips 65OLED806 is an absolutely superb TV that performs even better than its Award-winning predecessor while throwing in the next-gen HDMI features that would have previously put off some customers.
Of the four HDMI ports on the 65OLED806, two are full-fat HDMI 2.1 48Gbps sockets that support 4K@120Hz, VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) in all of its current forms (G-Sync certification is in progress), and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), making this a very well-specified gaming TV. The very low input lag of around 14ms certainly helps matters, too, as does the HGiG mode, which broadly results in more accurate tone mapping of HDR games.
On the HDR front, the OLED806 has pretty much the full house, with HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision all supported. HDR10+ Adaptive is on board, too, allowing the TV to adjust HDR10+ content to ambient lighting conditions automatically. While Dolby Vision IQ isn’t officially supported, Philips says the combination of standard Dolby Vision and its AI-powered light sensor effectively does the same thing.
It’s very well appointed for apps, too. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Disney+ are all present in their complete 4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos glory (Amazon features HDR10+ content as well); Google Play Movies & TV (soon to be simply ‘Google TV’) has 4K Dolby Vision content, too, while Rakuten is in 4K HDR10; you get BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5 courtesy of the Freeview Play platform; the integrated BT Sport app will be useful for many; Plex and VLC can handle playback of your own media files; and Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music and BBC Sounds are all on board. The only real absence of note is Now, and that won’t be a deal-breaker for many.
To get the best out of the exceptionally sharp and punchy display on the Philips 65OLED806, you’ll need to tweak its default settings, but the effort is more than worth it. There’s not a better TV available at its price.
Read the full review: Philips 65OLED806
While Sony’s OLEDs are highly regarded, it’s hard to justify buying one over its rival LG. Historically, Sony has offered a more authentic picture and better sound but is also a step behind on features and usability – and at least a level or two more expensive.
But with the A90J Sony has produced a TV that fills in some of the features gaps, offering a more satisfying user experience and a unique high-quality movie streaming app, all while raising the bar for picture and sound quality.
In performance terms, the Sony A90J is an absolute stunner. It takes OLED picture performance to new, thrilling levels while maintaining the quality for which Sony is justifiably renowned.
The new Google TV operating system means the user experience is better than that of any pre-2021 Sony TV, gaming features are top-notch and the exclusive Bravia Core streaming service is a genuine value-added feature.
All in all, the X90J is simply the best TV you can buy right now. If you happen to be in the market for a Sony TV, so much the better.
Read the full Sony XR-55A90J review
Read the full Sony XR-65A90J review
How we test TVs
Testing a TV is a long and complex process because a modern TV simply does so much. Not only does it need to handle a variety of content resolutions – standard-def, 1080p, 4K and sometimes 8K – and both standard dynamic range and high dynamic range (the latter in a number of formats), all of which need to be specifically tested, it also has a sound system with various advanced settings and a full smart platform. A TV is an all-in-one device in the best sense, but that also makes it a challenging review proposition.
As part of our testing process, we manually check that every major app – from Netflix to All 4, Prime Video to Spotify – is not only present but also output in the video and sound formats that it should. Just because there's a Disney+ app doesn't necessarily mean it's working in Dolby Vision and/or Dolby Atmos. In fact, in many recent cases, it hasn't been.
We also connect both a PS5 and Xbox Series X in order to establish which advanced gaming features are and aren't supported, and on which of the TV's HDMI ports. Is 4K 120Hz supported? How about VRR? Is there a Dolby Vision game mode? Is there an HGiG preset for more accurate HDR tone mapping? We check all of these things and measure input lag using a Leo Bodnar device.
We then test the TV's picture quality using a huge variety of content, from old DVDs to the latest 4K Blu-rays and plenty of streamed movies and TV shows in between. Every TV is tested against the best model at its price and size – we have a stockroom packed full of Award-winners for this very purpose.
We don't accept the out-of-the-box settings that a TV comes in either. While we intentionally don't go down the route of professional calibration (you shouldn't have to have your TV professionally calibrated in order to get the best out of it), we do spend hours adjusting settings using a mixture of test patterns and real-world content until we're sure we're getting the best out of a TV so that it has the best chance to shine.
While we almost always advise that a new TV is combined with a dedicated sound system such as a soundbar or AV amplifier, many people still prefer to stick with their flatscreen's built-in speakers, so we thoroughly test these too, using a wide variety of movie and music content and with great attention spent to the TV's many processing modes and individual settings.
We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, Bath and Reading, where our team of expert reviewers do all of our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. What's more, all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure consistency and avoid any personal preference.
The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of in reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics.
From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.