Best TV 2024: flagship OLEDs and affordable flatscreens tried and tested

It's new TV time! Crikey, that's exciting. It's also a bit daunting though, isn't it? What with all of the brands, models, technologies, specs and features to get your head around.

Well, be daunted no longer, because we are here to help. Our team of expert reviewers has decades of combined TV-testing experience, and we use that experience along with our state-of-the-art testing facilities and warehouse of benchmark models to comprehensively and comparatively test every new TV. You can read more about our TV testing process at the bottom of the page.

We're looking for a TV that provides as-the-director-intended picture quality, exciting but clear sound, a user-friendly operating system that features all of the major streaming services, plus support for the latest gaming features – and all at an accessible price. The sets in this list are those that get closest to that vision of televisual perfection.

Of course, things in TV land never stand still, and new, 2024 TVs have now started appearing in shops. The new LG C4 and Samsung QN900D have already made it into this list, while the Samsung S95D has just missed the cut on account of its high launch price.

Expect reviews of more models from those brands plus Sony, Panasonic, Philips, TCL, Hisense and more in the coming weeks – though do be aware that our performance-per-pound (bang-for-buck) mantra means that some of last year's sets could remain on here even after their successors have arrived.

The quick list

You can see a quick breakdown of all the TVs in this list with a short summary of what they’re best at and why we think they’re worth your money in the table below. If you want more detail you can click the photo of a TV to go to the in-depth entry, where we offer a more comprehensive breakdown of the specs, features and real-world performance.

Recent updates

23rd May 2024: Added the LG C4 as the best 2024 TV and replaced the Samsung S95C with the S95D in the also consider section

Written by
Tom Parsons
Written by
Tom Parsons

I'm What Hi-Fi?'s TV and AV Editor, and I've been testing TVs and home cinema products (as well as hi-fi kit and headphones) for over 16 years. I've always been a massive TV nerd and got into reviewing so I could find the best TVs and recommend them to others. I firmly believe that great quality shouldn't cost a fortune, so I get just as excited about great-value sets as I do the flagship models. Overall, I'm looking for a picture performance that delivers movies and TV shows as intended, a great gaming experience, an app-packed and intuitive operating system, and good sound – though I also believe that any great TV should be combined with a great, dedicated sound system.

The best TVs in 2024

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.

Below, you can see our picks of the best TVs currently available. Every set has been tested by our team of product experts to ensure it delivers great performance and value, so you can trust our buying advice.

Best TV overall

The best performance-per-pound TV you can currently buy

Specifications

Screen size: 55 inches (also available in 65in, 77in)
Type: OLED
Backlight: N/a
Resolution : 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Google TV
HDMI inputs: 4 (2 x 48Gbps HDMI 2.1)
Gaming features: 4K/120Hz, VRR, ALLM
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output? : Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 71 x 123 x 5.3cm (28" x 48" x 2.1")

Reasons to buy

+
Beautifully sharp, detailed and dynamic…
+
…yet also subtle and authentic
+
Impressively atmospheric sound

Reasons to avoid

-
Sound could be bassier
-
Slight lack of shadow detail in SDR

The Sony A80L was the TV surprise of the last year. It's based on 'traditional' OLED technology (i.e. it's not a QD-OLED or MLA model) so we broadly thought we knew what to expect, but it stunned us during our extensive test by offering a picture performance with a near-perfect balance of the spectacular and the subtle. It sounds good by TV standards, too, and the feature set will be strong enough for all but the most hardcore of gamers.

The A80L looks very similar to the A80K it replaced, which is fine but the design is starting to look a little bland. It's a little thicker than rivals such as the LG C3/C4, but partly that's down to its actuator-based sound system, which vibrates the whole screen in order to generate sound.

Around the back are four HDMI sockets, two of which are HDMI 2.1-spec and support 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM. One of these is also the eARC port, and if you use that to connect a soundbar or AVR you'll have just one left for a games console or gaming PC. The TV also lacks support for Dolby Vision gaming, despite Dolby Vision being present for movies and TV shows.

The seemingly effortless way that the A80L combines the spectacular with the subtle is quite extraordinary. The neon lights and holographic billboards of Blade Runner 2049’s downtown LA pop from the overall gloom of the city in brilliant fashion, but skin tones are handled with realism-boosting nuance and the seemingly hundreds of slightly different shades of grey that make up the bark of the tree at Sapper Morton’s farm are made clear to see.

The TV’s ability to subtly recreate different shades doesn’t come at the expense of dynamism, and contrast extremes such as the intro text at the start of the film emerge brightly from the pure black background. There’s a rare purity to highlights, too, such as Love’s white jacket and the light panels above her head in the records room of the Wallace Corporation.

All of these qualities combine to make an image that’s brilliantly solid and has a lovely three-dimensional feel. Detail is outstanding, too, with skin and clothing textures and complex patterns all reproduced in crisp fashion but without artificial sharpening or exposure.

Through our extensive suite of tests, our only complaint is that a bit of dark detail is missing when watching SDR content.

In terms of sound, the A80L is a bit bass-light, but that does mean that it stays composed even through our Blade Runner 2049 stress test. And while we would of course prefer deeper and weightier bass, the A80L sounds very good by the standards of TVs – particularly those at this level. Put it in the Cinema sound mode and the spaciousness of the delivery is very impressive, yet this spaciousness combines with the sort of focus that can really only come from having the sound literally coming from the screen.

The relatively high quality of the A80L's sound should be a serious consideration for anyone who is looking at spending this sort of money and is determined to not add a dedicated sound system (which, for what it's worth, is very much what we recommend).

The Sony A80L is a little long in the tooth now, but heavy discounting has kept it at the top of this list. Once the LG C4 drops further in price, it will likely take this spot – assuming that the A80L's own replacement, the Bravia 8, doesn't manage that feat.

Read the full Sony A80L review

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Sony XR-55A80L scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureA brilliant performance that combines the spectacular with the natural★★★★★
SoundReally good sound for a TV but deeper bass would be nice★★★★☆
FeaturesGenerally good, but only having two HDMI 2.1 ports is disappointing★★★★☆

Best cheap TV

A budget TV with rare all-round ability

Specifications

Screen size: 50 inches (also available in 43in, 55in, 65in, 75in)
Type: QLED
Backlight: Full-Array LED
Resolution : 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Fire OS
HDMI inputs: 4
Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, Dolby Vision game mode
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output? : Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 66 x 112 x 8.4cm (26" x 44" x 3.3")

Reasons to buy

+
Balanced, consistent picture quality
+
App-packed, user-friendly OS
+
Surprisingly decent gaming specs

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly smeary motion
-
Lacks the brightness of higher-end TVs

It’s fair to say that the standard of budget TVs has dropped significantly in recent years. Salvation is at hand, though, and from a slightly unlikely source – Amazon.

We first reviewed the 65-inch version of its Omni QLED range and discovered a TV with a surprisingly sophisticated performance to go with its surprisingly comprehensive feature set. It just missed out on five stars, but knowing how much variation there can be between different-sized versions of the ‘same’ TV, we decided to take a separate look at this 50-inch model – and we're glad we did.

This is a TV that's very good value at its full price of £650 / $530, but even so, you shouldn’t pay that much for it. That’s because it's frequently discounted by large amounts. We have seen it go as low as £400 / $350, but find it for anything under £500 / $500 and you've unearthed a bargain.

What makes the Omni QLED appear to be such a bargain is its specification, which includes a QLED panel with full-array local dimming, support for every current HDR format, gaming features such as VRR, ALLM and even Dolby Vision gaming, and the app-packed and user-friendly Fire OS operating system (which can be fully operated via Alexa, of course).

But what's most impressive about the Omni QLED is the considered and consistent nature of its performance. Too many budget TVs attempt to dazzle you despite not having the requisite ability and they end up looking awful as a result. The Omni QLED, on the other hand, works within its limitations: it's not going to knock your socks off but it gets all of the basics right and delivers a picture that's true to what the creator intended. It’s natural in a way that means you don’t question the delivery and instead focus purely on what you are watching, and that’s a more impressive feat than you might imagine, particularly at this level.

On the sound front, the Omni QLED is a simple stereo affair, and all the better for it. Instead of attempting fancy processing, it simply provides a clean, clear and direct audio performance that's ideal for general TV content. You're advised to add a soundbar for movies, though.

Read the full Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review

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Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureIt's not up there with a flagship OLED, but for the money the picture is very impressive★★★★★
SoundNo fancy processing but the sound is clean, clear and direct★★★★☆
FeaturesQLED panel tech, numerous gaming features and an app-packed operating system★★★★☆
TOP TIP
Tom Parsons
TOP TIP
Tom Parsons

Whatever you do, don't buy the 43-inch version of the Amazon Omni QLED. Unlike the larger versions, the 43-inch model lacks local dimming, and Amazon doesn't appear to have tuned the picture to account for that. The result is a bright but pale picture with smeary motion.

Best 2024 TV

A big improvement on the C3, the C4 is the best TV of 2024 so far

Specifications

Screen size: 65 inches (also available in 42in, 48in, 55in, 77in, 83in)
Type: OLED
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Operating system : webOS 24
HDMI inputs : x4, all 2.1 48Gbps
Gaming features: 4K/120Hz, 4K/144Hz, VRR, ALLM, Dolby Vision game mode, HGiG
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output?: Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 83 x 144 x 4.5cm / 32.5" x 56.7" x 1.8"

Reasons to buy

+
Punchy, sharp, rich and vibrant, yet still natural
+
Much improved sound quality
+
Excellent UI and flawless gaming specs

Reasons to avoid

-
Minor lack of shadow detail in SDR
-
MLA tech would have been nice

Our performance-per-pound (bang-for-buck) mantra means we usually recommend an older, heavily discounted TV over one that's just been released. And, indeed, that is why last year's Sony A80L is still our top overall TV pick.

That said, we appreciate that many people want an absolutely brand-new model and don't mind paying full whack to get it. If that's you, the LG C4 is the best 2024 TV we've tested so far – and it helps that it has already been discounted a little bit.

On paper, the C4 (which we reviewed in its 65-inch size) is very similar indeed to the C3 it replaced, but it was clear right at the start of our exhaustive testing process that LG has hidden some big upgrades behind the familiar tech specs.

For starters, despite the lack of MLA technology, the C4 is noticeably brighter and sharper than the C3, and when you combine those qualities you get a picture that's significantly more dynamic, more solid and more three-dimensional. The extra brightness also makes the C4 a very viable option for daytime viewing in a well-lit room.

Colours are another highlight. The C4 has a warm and rich overall tone that ensures excellent movie accuracy, and its colours are punchy and vibrant, yet also subtle and balanced. There's excellent colour consistency, too, from the brightest to the darkest parts of the image.

Other than a slight lack of shadow detail when watching SDR content, we have no complaints about the C4's picture quality, and sound quality has been hugely improved, too. Last year's LG OLEDs produced infamously dull audio, but the C4 is pretty punchy and dynamic by general TV standards. It's fairly weighty, too, and other than a minor hint of distortion with very deep bass, is pretty controlled.

The rest of the package is a treat. The latest version of webOS features some small refinements that make it even quicker to get to the content you love, and every streaming app you could need is present and properly optimised. Gaming specs are flawless, too, with all four HDMI 2.1 sockets able to handle 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM. There's even now a 4K/144Hz mode, though only owners of mega gaming PCs will be able to take advantage of that.

All told, this is an exceptional TV and, assuming its price continues to drop, it will likely be our best overall TV recommendation in fairly short order.

Read our LG C4 review

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LG C4 scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureBrighter, punchier and sharper than the C3, this is the new mid-range OLED benchmark★★★★★
SoundWhile not perfect, this is a big step up for LG and good overall sound by TV standards★★★★☆
FeaturesFlawless gaming specs and an intuitive, app-packed smart platform★★★★★

Best gaming TV / best 42-inch TV

The best gaming TV as well as the best all-round 42-inch TV

Specifications

Screen size: 42 inches (also available in 48in, 55in, 65in, 77in, 83in)
Type: OLED
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Operating system: webOS 23
HDMI inputs: x4, all 2.1 48Gbps
Gaming features: 4K/120, VRR, ALLM, HGiG, Dolby Vision gaming
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output: Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 54 x 93 x 4.1cm (21" x 37" x 1.6")

Reasons to buy

+
Sharp, solid and detailed without exaggeration
+
Amazing contrast
+
Exceptional gaming specs

Reasons to avoid

-
Minor upgrade on C2
-
Weak sound
-
Slight lack of shadow detail

LG's C-series OLED TVs are always the company's most popular, and the 42-inch C3 is the baby of last year's range. It's got a slightly less bright panel than the larger C3 models and it doesn't feature MLA or QD-OLED tech (which hasn't yet made it down to this sort of size), but it does boast the same exceptional feature set – including that vast array of gaming features – as well as the best overall picture quality available at this size. It's cheaper than its rivals, too, especially now that discounts are huge.

The 42-inch C3 has a different design to its larger siblings that makes it look more like a monitor or bedroom TV. The biggest design difference is that it has two blade-like feet rather than a pedestal.

Outside of that, it retains the same core features we love about the C3 range as a whole. Specifically, it features the same Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor as every other C3 (and G3) and identical connectivity, including four HDMI 2.1 ports that support 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM. It can also handle Dolby Vision gaming (right up to 120Hz, in fact) and it has a superb HGiG mode that makes it a doddle to achieve better results with many HDR games. This awesome feature set combines with the set's terrifically low input lag of 12.9ms with 60Hz signals (that figure will be roughly halved for 120Hz gaming), compact size and excellent picture quality to make it the best gaming TV you can buy as well as the best  42-inch TV overall.

The OLED42C3 features the same panel as other 42-inch OLED TVs such as the Sony XR-42A90K. This panel is less bright than the one used for the best and brightest larger OLED TVs, and that's before you even consider the new MLA and QD-OLED technologies.

That said, it's still more than bright enough for almost all scenarios, and the perfect blacks and pixel-level contrast control make the image exceptionally dynamic. What's more, there is an inherent advantage that 'small' 4K TVs have over their larger brethren – pixel density. Because the pixels are more tightly packed, sharpness is increased, and the crispness of the OLED42C3’s delivery actually makes its 65-inch sibling look a bit soft.

Even against other 42-inch OLEDs that have the same inherent picture traits, the C3 comes out on top. This is a bold, impactful TV that delivers images with superb solidity and dynamism, but it's also very consistent and never makes you aware of the picture processing in play.

Unfortunately, it's not the same story on the audio front. Like its larger siblings, the 42-inch C3 still suffers from a rather dull delivery. It's perfectly fine for everyday TV, but it doesn’t have the punch, weight or dynamic range to satisfyingly deliver a movie soundtrack. A soundbar is a must.

While the C3 is still a top-notch OLED, the new C4 is now in shops and is excellent in the 65-inch size we have tested. Once we've tested the 42-inch version, it could appear in this spot. That said, it's a much more expensive proposition right now.

Read the full LG OLED42C3 review

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LG OLED42C3 scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureIt's by far the best budget OLED around★★★★★
SoundYou'll want to pair it with a soundbar★★★☆☆
FeaturesFour HDMI 2.1 sockets with support for every gaming feature worth having★★★★★
TOP TIP
Tom Parsons
TOP TIP
Tom Parsons

If you're a keen gamer, the LG C3 should be right at the top of your list. Not only do its general picture qualities lend themselves very well to gaming, it also supports every advanced gaming feature you could ask for across all four of its HDMI sockets. I know from experience that this 42-inch version makes a great gaming monitor – as long as your desk is deep enough.

Best 48-inch TV

Sound aside, there’s no better 48-inch TV

Specifications

Screen size: 48 inches (also available in 42in, 55in, 65in, 77in, 83in)
Type: OLED
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Operating system: webOS 23
HDMI inputs: x4, all 2.1 48Gbps
Gaming features: 4K/120, VRR, ALLM, HGiG, Dolby Vision gaming
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output: Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 62 x 107 x 4.7cm (24" x 42" x 1.9")

Reasons to buy

+
Crisp, contrasty yet balanced picture
+
Superb gaming specs
+
Very user-friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Dull sound
-
Only slightly better than the C2

LG’s C-series has been a near-perfect intersection of performance, features and price for years, and not just compared with other LG OLEDs, but with TVs in general.

The 48-inch C3 looks different to both the 42-inch and 65-inch models that we have also tested. While the 42-inch model has desktop-friendly feet, this 48-inch version has the same compact pedestal stand as its larger siblings. That makes it less fussy about placement but does also make it a little harder to find space for a soundbar.

And while the 65-inch model boasts an astonishingly lightweight and minimalist chassis, much more of this 48-inch version's rear is covered by the plastic enclosure that contains the set's processing hardware, connections and speakers. That said, the 48-inch C3 is still only 4.7cm thick at its chunkiest, which is pretty slim by modern TV standards.

Moving on to features, you simply won't find a better-specified TV at this size. While neither MLA nor QD-OLED technology have made it below 55 inches yet, the C3 uses the best 48-inch OLED panel currently available from sister company LG Display. This panel can't be pushed as bright as that of the larger models (apparently because of how tightly packed the OLEDs are) and the 48-inch C3 goes plenty bright enough.

All four of its HDMI sockets are 48Gbps 2.1-spec affairs that support 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM, and it supports Dolby Vision gaming and has a really well-implemented HGiG setting that makes it a doddle to get more accurate HDR with many modern games.

In action, the 48-inch C3 delivers precisely the sort of bold and brassy picture presentation we’ve come to expect from the C3 range. Brilliantly bright and punchy one second, subtle and considered the next, this is a TV that delivers precisely what's required at all times.

It produces an image that’s really solid and has a three-dimensional feel, too. In fact, the increased pixel density of having a 4K resolution squeezed into a 48-inch space means this smaller C3 looks significantly sharper than its 65-inch sibling (though also slightly less sharp than the 42-inch model). The C3 boasts superb contrast, too, which further contributes to the solidity of the image, and the inky blacks of OLED plus the C3’s particularly bold approach make for an image that’s packed with punch.

This 48-inch C3 actually sounds a little more upfront and engaging than its siblings did when we reviewed them, with a little more punch to effects and a degree of dynamic range. However, it's all too easy to provoke the set into bassy distortion that's horribly distracting, and the presentation is often cluttered and uncultured. LG just can't seem to get the sound right with its TVs.

There are very few TVs that sound good, though, so we almost always recommend adding a soundbar. Follow that advice and the 48-inch C3 is comfortably the best TV at its size.

As is the case with the 42-inch model, the 48-inch C3 has been succeeded by the C4, which is expected to be a fair bit brighter and will feature a new processor. The C3 should stick around for the best part of a year, however, and likely at a discounted price, so it could remain in this list for a while yet.

Read the full LG OLED48C3 review

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LG OLED48C3 scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureExcellent balance of dynamism and subtlety★★★★★
SoundFine for everyday TV but sadly lacking for movies★★★☆☆
FeaturesFour HDMI 2.1 sockets with every significant spec flawlessly implemented★★★★★

Best premium TV

Sony's second-generation QD-OLED is a very special TV indeed

Specifications

Screen size: 65 inches (also available in 55in, 77in)
Type: QD-OLED
Backlight: N/a
Resolution : 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Google TV
HDMI inputs: 4 (2 x 48Gbps HDMI 2.1)
Gaming features: 4K/120Hz, VRR, ALLM
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output? : Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 83 x 144 x 3.4cm (33" x 57" x 1.4")

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning brightness, contrast and colours
+
But even-handed and authentic, too
+
Crisp, direct and spacious sound

Reasons to avoid

-
Still only two HDMI 2.1 sockets

The A95L is the successor to the A95K, arguably the best TV of last year if you don't take price into account. One of the two first QD-OLED TVs launched, it trumped its Samsung S95B rival by deploying its brightness-boosting, vibrancy-adding Quantum Dots in a more considered and authentic fashion – and by offering a far superior sound system to boot.

The promise of second-generation QD-OLED panels is an even brighter and more efficient performance, but we were just as excited to find out how the team at Sony could refine the performance further with an extra year of experience with the new panel technology. Having now put the Sony A95L up against pretty much every other TV you might be considering, we can safely say that it is, with very little doubt, the very best TV you can currently buy.

Playing the super-bright Pan 4K Blu-ray, the A95L's additional brightness and colour vibrancy over the step-down Sony A80L and even the MLA-boosted Panasonic MZ2000 are immediately clear in the first scene's streetlamps and headlights, which are reproduced with a more intense and accurate yellow glow. The A95L also reproduces the moon over London with greater brightness and some subtle pink shading and texture detail that its rivals miss.

There's no loss of black depth, though, with the grimy streets of Victorian London being both oppressively dark and packed with shadow detail. What's more, the A95L also reproduces colours expertly in these darkest parts of the picture so that skin tones remain accurate and lifelike where other TVs allow them to go a bit pale.

The brighter highlights combine with OLED's perfect, inky blacks to increase contrast, which helps to reinforce edges and textures, in turn increasing the solidity and three-dimensionality of the picture. Thankfully, this is also combined with supreme subtlety, so the lights shining on a tiled wall reveal all sorts of subtle shades on the A95L, and as Peter peers into a bottle in Mother Barnabus's office, the little ship inside is resolved with fabulous fine detail and excellent solidity.

What's perhaps most impressive is the way that the A95L achieves all of its pop and dynamism without eroding subtlety or authenticity in the way that Samsung's S95C QD-OLED is occasionally guilty of.

While less-bright HDR movies and SDR content don't show off the A95L's advantages quite as strongly, it's still a cut above its rivals with everything we watch during testing, particularly in terms of colour vibrancy and accuracy.

For sound, the A95L uses a very slightly tweaked version of the 2.2-channel actuator-based sound system of the A95K. Two actuators vibrate the whole screen in order to produce sound, backed up by two regular woofers that add bass. This results in a level of directness that other TVs can't match, with dialogue that literally comes from the screen.

What's surprising is the way this sound system also extends the sonic presentation far to the sides and above the set, creating a very impressive pseudo-Atmos effect. On top of that, the sound is crisp, clear and detailed. Some extra bass weight and depth would be nice, but this is still very good sound by TV standards.

At launch, the A95L was lacking the UK catch-up apps and Dolby Vision gaming, but these issues have since been sorted through software updates. So, really, the only flaw of note remaining is that there are still only two HDMI 2.1 sockets, one of which inconveniently doubles as the eARC port.

Otherwise, the Sony A95L is an absolutely stunning performer that should be right at the top of the list for those lucky enough to have a very large budget for their next TV.

Read the full Sony A95L review

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Sony A95L scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureStunning brightness and vibrancy but with excellent subtlety and authenticity★★★★★
SoundCrisp, clear and direct, but with impressive spaciousness, too★★★★★
FeaturesGood overall but let down slightly by having just two HDMI 2.1 sockets and no UK catch-up apps★★★★☆

Best budget large TV UK & AU

Hands down the year’s biggest TV bargain

Specifications

Screen size: 65 inches (also available in 55in, 75in and 85in)
Type: QLED
Backlight: Mini LED
Resolution : 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Google TV
HDMI inputs: 4 (2 x 48Gbps HDMI 2.1)
Gaming features: 4K/120Hz, VRR, ALLM, Dolby Vision game mode
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output? : Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 83 x 145 x 8.5cm

Reasons to buy

+
Stunningly bright, contrast-rich and colourful
+
Comprehensive gaming features
+
Incredible value

Reasons to avoid

-
Picture needs careful set up
-
Minor clouding with some HDR images
-
Occasional subwoofer buzzing

While most brands these days have OLED models (in one form or another) at the top of their TV ranges, others maintain that Mini LED is the flagship TV technology of now and the near future. One of these Mini LED proponents is TCL, and the C845K is its current flagship model for the UK and Australia (US buyers, check out this alternative).

The C845K's backlight features (in the case of the 65-inch model tested) 576 individual dimming zones and a 2000-nit claimed peak brightness figure. These figures are huge for a TV in this price range and significantly higher than those of many backlit models costing significantly more. That backlight shines through Quantum Dots rather than LCDs, too.

Of course, eye-catching specs don't necessarily equate to an eye-catching performance (which is why we spend days testing each TV in our dedicated test rooms), but the C845K broadly delivers on its promise.

For starters, movies and TV shows leap off the screen with an intensity that no TV at anything like the same price can match. In fact, the C845K makes many much more expensive TVs and even some flagship models – particularly OLEDs – look a bit dull by comparison.

Combining all of that brightness with Quantum Dots makes for a spectacularly vibrant picture performance, but TCL's processing also delivers surprising subtlety when required.

By and large, the TCL controls its backlight very well, but a slightly cloudy look does occasionally creep into shots and scenes that contain a particularly stark combination of very bright and very dark content. Broadly speaking, though, the C845K's blacks are excellent for a TV at this level, combining impressive depth and plenty of shadow detail. It's also an exceptionally sharp and clear performer with 4K content, and while its handling of 24p motion isn't quite as refined as that of more premium models, it's generally natural and free from nasty side effects.

The C845K's combination of awesome brightness and brilliantly vibrant colours works really well with games, and two of its HDMI ports support VRR, ALLM and 4K/120Hz. All told, you won't get a better gaming TV at this price unless you are prepared to go much smaller.

The sound isn't quite as impressive as the picture, but the TCL still sounds much better than you would expect for the money – and better than many much more premium TVs. It's loud, spacious and weighty, but with good clarity, so ticks most boxes, though it obviously can't compete with a good entry-level soundbar, which we heartily recommend that you also budget for.

Read the full TCL C845L review

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TCL C845K scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureIncredibly bright and vibrant, but also subtle when required★★★★★
SoundThe C845K sounds excellent by the standards of TVs at its price★★★★★
FeaturesQLED, Mini LED, great gaming specs and the Google TV platform★★★★★

Best budget large TV US

The Omni QLED impresses with an authentic and consistent picture for the money

Specifications

Screen size: 65-inches (also available in 43, 50, 55, 75)
Type: QLED
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Fire OS
HDMI inputs : x4
HDMI 2.1: No
Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, Dolby Vision game mode
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output?: Yes
Dimensions (hwd without stand): 85 x 145 x 8.7cm (33" x 57" x 3.2”)

Reasons to buy

+
Consistent, balanced picture performance
+
Strong features for the money
+
Clear sound

Reasons to avoid

-
Slight lack of detail, particularly in shadows
-
Occasionally smeary motion

Unfortunately, the TCL C845K isn't available in the US, but the 65-inch version of Amazon's Omni QLED is a decent alternative.

You won't be surprised to learn that while this is a flagship product for Amazon, it’s still very much a value-oriented proposition. What might surprise you is how much of an all-rounder it is, delivering a very solid picture and sound performance and a very good feature set for the money.

This isn’t a performance in the same league as that offered by flagship sets from the big boys, of course – but the quality and balance that have been achieved at this level is very impressive.

Colours are vibrant and punchy when they need to be but subtle and pale when that is what’s called for. Skin tones at times look just a little richer than is perhaps entirely true to life, but only marginally so, and they certainly don’t look unnatural when viewing the TV in isolation.

A common problem with affordable TVs is that they attempt to dazzle you without having the hardware or processing quality to back it up, and that often actually highlights the limitations of the set. That's not the case with the Omni QLED, which takes a more considered approach across the board, resulting in an overall performance that's less striking than some but much more natural and consistent than most. This balanced approach means you're rarely if ever distracted by what the TV is doing and so can remain fully engrossed in what you're watching.

Inevitably, Amazon’s Omni QLED isn’t perfect. It doesn’t have the pure peak brightness to provide a dazzling rendition of the latest and greatest HDR movies, but that’s understandable at this level. However, while detail levels are decent, they could be better, particularly in darker images, even at this price.

Motion is a slight issue, too. If you avoid the heavier active processing options (which you should), there's no soap opera effect or unpleasant fizziness, but motion is a bit smeary. This is a common issue with affordable non-OLED TVs and the Omni QLED is better than most in this regard, but it's a shame that it is present at all.

Amazon has kept things simple on the audio front, avoiding the temptation to attempt fancy Dolby Atmos processing and the like, and once again we feel that is a wise decision. Yes, the sound is narrow and small in scale compared with that offered by more premium TVs – and there is no attempt to push sound outwards to the sides or up from the television’s chassis – but it is also direct and clear.

On the features front, you're getting a 4K QLED display with the app-packed and user-friendly Fire OS operating system with baked-in Alexa control (you can turn the TV's mics off entirely if you prefer). Somewhat surprisingly, VRR and ALLM are also supported, though 4K 120Hz is off the menu.

All told, by getting the basics right in terms of picture and sound quality while providing an impressive feature set for the price, the Omni QLED makes itself an easy TV to recommend to US buyers on a tight budget.

Read our full Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureYou don't get OLEDs deep blacks, but great for the price★★★★☆
SoundA soundbar is recommended, but it's fine for TV★★★★☆
FeaturesGreat connectivity and an app rich operating system★★★★☆

Best 8K TV

Samsung’s new flagship proves 8K TVs can have value even in a 4K world

Specifications

Screen size: 75-inches (also available in 65, 85)
Type: QLED w/ Mini LED backlight
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+
Operating system: Tizen
HDMI inputs: x4, all 2.1 48Gbps
Gaming features: 4K/120Hz, VRR, ALLM, HGiG
ARC/eARC: eARC
Optical output?: Yes
Dimensions (hwd without stand): 94 x 165 x 1.3cm (37" x 65" x 0.5”)

Reasons to buy

+
Groundbreaking 8K upscaling
+
Exceptionally bright and colourful
+
Stunning futuristic design

Reasons to avoid

-
Average sound quality
-
No real 8K content
-
Backlight issues in some presets

The wait for actual, real, worthwhile 8K content continues, but the QN900D proves that there is value in buying an 8K TV even now. That's because it uses next-level AI-enhanced upscaling to make everything you watch now look better than before.

During our extensive testing, all of the 4K content we watched looked sharper and more detailed through the QN900D than with any TV we've previously tested. This isn't 'real' detail, per se, because the TV is adding the extra picture information, but it does it in such a way that's entirely convincing and never looks unnatural. On the contrary, it's often the organic elements of a picture – trees and grass, for example – that benefit most readily from the QN900D's enhancements, coming across as more solid and more three-dimensional.

The QN900D is extremely capable in other ways, too. Its Mini LED backlight is one of the best we've seen, for starters, and as long as you stick to the excellent 'Movie' preset it delivers near-OLED blacks, hugely bright highlights and superb overall contrast. Its Quantum Dots enable stunning colour vibrancy, too, but Samsung has also been careful to tune the QN900D for naturalism and cinematic accuracy.

This combination of picture traits helps to make the QN900D an exceptional gaming TV, and its input lag is a super-low 11ms even with all of that clever upscaling in play. The set also has four HDMI 2.1 sockets, all of which support 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM.

Those HDMIs, along with the TV's other connections (including the power socket), are housed in a dedicated One Connect box that can be nestled into the stand behind the TV or placed away from it, with a single, very thin cable then connecting box to screen. This makes for an exceptionally neat set-up, particularly if wall-mounting. It also allows the TV itself to be supremely thin – a uniform 1.3cm (0.5 inches).

The downside to this super-thin design is that it likely hinders the sound, which lacks volume, impact, forward projection and bass control. A TV such as this really must be combined with a dedicated sound system.

Other issues of note are some distracting behaviour from the backlight when in the 'Standard' picture preset, a lack of Dolby Vision support, some unintuitive elements to the Tizen operating system and, of course, that lack of native 8K content. It's also a very expensive set at launch, though we do expect the price to fall quite quickly and significantly.

Ultimately, while we think buying a great 4K TV is still the best way to go for the vast majority of people, for those with deep pockets and a desire to both glimpse the 8K future and potentially be ready for it once it arrives wholesale, the QN900D has to be considered.

Read our full Samsung QN900D review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Samsung QN900D scores in depth
AttributesNotesRating
PictureA stunning delivery that makes everything look sharper, more detailed and punchier than ever before★★★★★
SoundSpacious but lacking volume, forward-projection and bass control. A dedicated sound system is essential★★★☆☆
FeaturesThe lack of Dolby Vision is a shame, but otherwise the QN900D is very well appointed, and all connections are housed in the super-neat One Connect box★★★★★

Also consider

LG Z3: while we don't recommend buying an 8K TV at this stage (primarily because there's essentially no native 8K content to watch), if you simply must have 8K and you want an OLED, the LG Z3 is your best (and only) option.

Samsung S95D: Samsung's third-generation QD-OLED TV is an absolutely stunning performer that combines the pop and vibrancy we've come to expect from the brand with a welcome dose of restraint. Its very premium launch price is the only thing holding the S95D back from a place in the main list.

Philips OLED808: this Philips isn't quite as accomplished as the Sony A80L in the picture quality department, but it's close, and it has one thing that no non-Philips TV has – Ambilight. This unique tech sees the on-screen action extended onto the wall around the TV in the form of coloured light.

Hisense 43A6KTUK: if your budget is very limited or you're simply looking for a cheap TV for a second room, this Hisense could be for you. While it won't blow you away, it offers a surprisingly balanced and satisfying performance for very little money.

How to choose a TV

There’s no single TV that’s perfect for everyone, but your ideal TV is almost certainly on this page. You just need to figure out your budget, how big you can / are able to go, and what technologies are important to you.

Only you know your budget and space (although you will find a handy guide to choosing the right size of TV further down this page), but we can help on the technology side.

The biggest thing to consider is the panel technology. OLED now rules the roost at the premium end of things and is hugely popular thanks to its perfect blacks and pixel-level contrast control. LCD is still a huge deal too, though, particularly at the budget end of the market that OLED currently can’t touch. There are plenty of premium LCD-based TVs that are great, too, most notably Samsung’s top QLEDs, which combine Quantum Dots with Mini LED backlights to deliver the brightest, most vibrant pictures possible.

You also need to consider whether the TV you’re looking at has all of the streaming apps you want. While some apps, such as Netflix and Prime Video, are now commonplace, there may be an app that you love that’s less common. The Crunchyroll anime app is a good example. It’s also sadly the case that some streaming apps don’t work as they should on certain TVs. For example, many Google/Android TVs support Disney+, but not with Dolby Atmos. That’s why we manually check not only that every major app is present, but that it’s working at its best.

Serious gamers also need to check that their prospective new TV supports all of the latest gaming features. The most technically advanced and therefore rarest of these is 4K/120Hz, but VRR and ALLM are also worth looking out for. There are a number of TVs on this list that support all of these features, but we have a dedicated best gaming TVs guide for those to whom gaming is the primary concern.

Finally, you need to really consider sound, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider a TV that doesn’t sound good. Confused? That’s understandable, but the disappointing truth is that even the best-sounding TV is far behind a decent soundbar for audio quality, so we always recommend focusing on picture quality when buying a TV and budgeting for a dedicated sound system to go with it. We do know that’s not an option for everyone, though, so we do of course test a TV’s speakers as thoroughly as its screen. If the audio quality matters a lot to you, you’ll find all of the necessary info below. There’s also a TV in this list that’s serious about Dolby Atmos sound.

How we test TVs

A modern TV is a complex, all-singing, all-dancing bit of kit, so we take days to thoroughly test each model.

The bulk of our testing involves feeding various movies and TV shows into the TV on test and its closest rivals (we have a stockroom full of reference models) simultaneously, using a 4K Blu-ray player such as the Pioneer UDP-LX500 and an HDMI splitter. Here, we're testing all aspects of picture quality using DVDs, 1080p Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays, in both HDR and SDR.

We don't simply accept a TV's out-of-the-box settings, of course. We don't go down the route of professionally calibrating the TVs we test (you shouldn't have to have your TV professionally calibrated in order to see it at its best), but we do spend hours testing and adjusting the picture settings and processing modes – using a mix of test patterns and real-world content – until we're confident that we're getting the best performance possible.

We of course test streaming as well, both in terms of how the TV handles streamed content, which is lower in bit-rate than content from discs, but also in terms of the streaming apps that the TV supports. We manually check that every major app – from Netflix to All 4, Prime Video to Spotify – is not only present, but also outputting in the video and sound formats that it should. Just because a specific app is present doesn't mean it's delivering in all of the formats (Dolby Vision and/or Atmos, for example) that it should. In fact, experience tells us that it often isn't.

For gaming, we connect both a PS5 and Xbox Series X so we can see how the TV's qualities translate to games and check which advanced gaming features it supports and on which HDMI inputs. 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 almost always recommend combining any new TV with a dedicated sound system – at least a soundbar but preferably an AV amplifier and speaker package – but we appreciate that for many people that simply won't do, so we do of course test and rate the built-in sound system for clarity, tonal balance, spaciousness, detail, dynamics and plenty more besides.

All of this testing is conducted by our expert reviewers, who have decades of combined TV reviewing experience, in our state-of-the-art testing facilities in London. This gives us complete control over the testing process, and because all reviews are conducted by a team rather than an individual reviewer, we ensure consistency and fairness.

TV FAQ

What size TV should you buy?

While it might be tempting to think that bigger is better, the size of set that’s right for you is closely dependent on how close to the screen you’ll be sitting, and the resolution of the source material you’re watching.

Luckily, an organisation called SMPTE (which stands for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) has published detailed guidelines on exactly how far you should sit in order to optimise the performance of your TV.

If you’re sitting the correct distance from your TV, you’ll see lots of detail, good edge definition and smooth, clean motion, but if you’re sitting too close to the screen, then you’re going to see more picture noise and artefacts.

On the other hand, sit too far away from the TV and you’ll struggle to pick up all the picture detail your TV has to offer.

The following distances are a good place to start:

42-inch TV – 1.28m (4.2ft)

43-inch TV – 1.32m (4.3ft)

48-inch TV – 1.46m (4.8ft)

50-inch TV – 1.52m (5ft)

55-inch TV – 1.68m (5.5ft)

65-inch TV – 1.98m (6.5ft)

75-inch TV – 2.29m (7.5ft)

85-inch TV – 2.59m (8.5ft)

Here's a full guide on how to calculate the right viewing distance for your TV.

Should you buy a 4K or Full HD TV?

This question is pretty much moot now, as the vast majority of TVs are now 4K. It's actually rather hard to find Full HD (1080p) models, even at relatively small sizes.

If you're buying a TV below 32 inches and can save a lot of money on a Full HD model, by all means go for it (4K won't be a huge benefit at that sort of size anyway), but otherwise 4K is both worthwhile and, in all likelihood, your only option. Here's how 4K vs 1080p resolutions differ.

Should you buy an 8K TV?

You can now buy 8K TVs from a number of brands, including Samsung, LG and Sony.

It's important to note, though, that almost no native 8K content is available. If you buy an 8K TV and want to show off its ridiculously high resolution, you'll have to do so using nature, scenery and space footage from YouTube. At this stage, no streaming services have even hinted at launching 8K content, and it seems unlikely that an 8K disc format will ever materialise.

For those reasons, it's hard to recommend that most people pay the extra for an 8K TV at this stage. That said, if you've got deep pockets and want to be as ready as possible for the potential 8K content of the future, there's no real harm in going for an 8K TV now, particularly as models such as the Samsung QN900B make current 4K content look better than ever.

Should you buy an HDR TV?

High Dynamic Range is without a doubt a much bigger deal than 8K, and certainly something you should consider before buying your next TV.

Essentially, the higher the dynamic range (brightness and colours), the more lifelike the picture. HDR offers greater subtlety and depth of gradations of colours, plus stronger contrast.

There are various types of HDR out there, and with different TV brands backing different variants, it can be a minefield trying to find the best option. Allow us to explain.

First up is HDR10, which is essentially the core HDR format that every HDR TV should support.

HDR10 is a static HDR format that applies the HDR values on a scene-by-scene basis (i.e. whenever the camera cuts to a new scene). Dolby Vision, on the other hand, applies this image information (called metadata) on a frame-by-frame basis. This dynamic form of HDR, when implemented properly, has the potential to improve upon the standard HDR10 presentation.

HDR10+ is a rival format to Dolby Vision. Created by Samsung, it also uses dynamic metadata but, whereas Dolby Vision is licensed, HDR10+ is a free, open format that any company can deploy as it sees fit.

Of these two 'dynamic' HDR formats, Dolby Vision is by far the most prevalent, both in terms of TVs and content, and if you have to choose between one and the other, that's the one we'd recommend. That said, you can now buy TVs from the likes of Philips and Panasonic that support both Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

Finally in our rundown of HDR formats is HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), which was developed specifically for broadcasting by the BBC and Japan's NHK. It's used to deliver all of the HDR content offered by the BBC and Sky, so can be considered very important. Luckily, it's now almost as common as standard HDR10 in TV spec lists, so you should have little problem finding a model that supports it.

What inputs and outputs does your TV need?

These days, it's all about HDMI, which is used to connect everything from set-top boxes to video streamers, Blu-ray players to games consoles. Thanks to ARC/eARC (Audio Return Channel / Enhanced Audio Return Channel), a single HDMI connection can even be used to output sound to an AV receiver or soundbar at the same time as it receives a video signal.

Currently, three HDMI connections is standard on budget TVs, while four is the norm for mid-range and premium models.

The specification of the HDMI connections tends to differ depending on the price of the TV, too, with premium models now commonly getting at least one or two HDMI 2.1 sockets. These have greater bandwidth than their HDMI 2.0 counterparts and can support advanced formats such as 4K@120Hz and 8K@60Hz. Fancy gaming features such as Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate are often supported via HDMI 2.1 (and some HDMI 2.0) sockets, too, though not always. It's sensible to check the specs thoroughly if there are particular features you're after.

After HDMIs, USB ports are the most abundant on modern TVs. You can use these to keep devices charged (often particularly useful for stick- or dongle-style streamers), and some TVs allow the connection of flash drives and hard drives for the recording of live TV content.

On the subject of live TV, you can expect practically every TV to have an aerial socket via which it can receive Freeview broadcasts, but many also have a satellite connection. Be warned, though; the presence of a satellite connection doesn't guarantee that there's a Freesat tuner on board. Without one, you'll receive only a patchy and disorganised selection of satellite TV channels.

Other useful connections include optical and stereo outputs, which can be used in lieu of HDMI ARC to connect legacy audio equipment. Headphone outputs are still fairly common, too, though Bluetooth is also supported by most TVs now and some models now feature the latter but not the former.

Lastly, while some TVs feature composite inputs (often via an adapter), most – even at the budget end – have phased out legacy connections such as SCART. So those clinging on to old video cassette recorders, for example, should be aware of that.

Which TV smart features and streaming apps do you need?

As with 4K, it's now hard to buy a TV that doesn't have a smart platform packed with streaming apps. Almost every TV will have Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on board, and Disney+ is fast approaching a similar level of ubiquity. Apple TV (which is great for pay-as-you-go movies as well as the Apple TV+ subscription service) is becoming increasingly common, too.

You'd have thought that BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and My5 would be present on every TV available in the UK, but there always seems to be one brand that's lacking (it was LG in 2020, Sony in 2021, Sony again and Philips in 2023) so do check before you buy if any of those are important to you.

Other apps that are less common but potentially worth looking out for include BT Sport, Now, Britbox, and music apps such as Spotify and Tidal.

What is the best smart TV platform?

There are numerous TV operating systems out there, and which one your TV uses has a massive bearing on what it will be like to use and live with, so which is best?

While there's not necessarily a simple answer to this and each platform has its pros and cons, on balance, LG's webOS is probably the best TV operating system right now. Its selection of streaming services is more or less flawless, and every app has been optimised to work at its best. It's quick and intuitive, too.

Samsung's Tizen platform used to be the best but it's become increasingly convoluted and unintuitive in recent years. Hisense's VIDAA operating system, on the other hand, is getting better all the time and should now be seen as a positive feature.

Unlike the above, Google TV (and the older Android TV) is built into TVs from various brands, including Sony, Philips and TCL. It's broadly good and always getting better, but recent Google TVs have lacked UK catch-up apps and there's often a slightly disjointed overall user experience, with the Google TV OS feeling as if it's been slapped rather unceremoniously on top of the TV's own menu system.

Amazon's Fire OS platform, which many will have experienced via a Fire Stick streamer, is also now on various TVs, mostly at the cheaper end but soon also Panasonic's flagship OLED model. It pushes Amazon's own content a bit, but every third-party app you could want is there and the whole platform is very user-friendly.

Should you buy an OLED, QLED or LCD TV?

LCD TVs, which require a backlight usually made up of white LEDs to show a picture on the LCD panel, are available in a wide variety of screen sizes and, thanks in part to the technology's low cost of production, at affordable prices.

OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is a panel technology that uses self-emissive particles – so there's no need for a backlight. This allows OLED TVs to be unbelievably slim, while also offering convincing pitch-dark blacks, strong contrast and superb viewing angles. LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips and now Samsung are the big brands with OLED TVs in their line-ups and, broadly speaking, they're excellent.

QLED (Quantum-dot Light-Emitting Diode), meanwhile, is Samsung’s rival technology to OLED. A QLED TV is an LCD TV but with a quantum dot coating over the backlight. However, the quantum dots (tiny semiconductor particles) in current QLEDs do not emit their own light. So QLED TVs, like conventional LCDs, rely on a backlight. The advantages of a QLED TV? You tend to get brilliantly vibrant colours, plus bright, sharp and crisply detailed images. Samsung's QLEDs have got better and better over the years, existing as a fine alternative to OLEDs TVs. Interestingly, though, Samsung has now launched its own range of OLED (QD-OLED) TVs.

Recent updates

23rd May 2024: Added the LG C4 as the best 2024 TV and replaced the Samsung S95C with the S95D in the also consider section

4th April 2024: Added the Samsung QN900D as the best 8K TV

1st March 2024: 'Also Consider' and 'Recent Updates' sections added and 'How We Test' section rewritten with additional detail

1st February 2024: New author information and 'what is the best TV?' FAQ added

12th January 2024: Information of new models announced at CES added to intro

3rd November 2023: Added Sony A95L

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