LG and Microsoft have joined forces to proclaim the former's OLED TVs as the official TVs of the Xbox Series X.
What does that mean? In some ways, not a great deal. This sort of thing is often more about shared marketing opportunities and/or money changing hands than much else. This time, though, whether by coincidence or design, the nail has been hit squarely on the head: LG's OLEDs really are the best TVs for Xbox Series X gaming that you can currently buy.
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The Xbox Series X utilises a number of advanced features and formats that most TVs can't handle. LG's OLEDs, though, support them all.
The big one is 4K@120Hz (sometimes referred to as High Frame Rate, or HFR), which requires a very high-bandwidth HDMI 2.1 connection and massively increases the number of frames being sent from the console each second for much faster and more responsive gameplay. Both the Xbox Series X and PS5 support this feature.
Then there's VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), which smooths the action further by matching the refresh rate of the TV to the frame rate of the console in real time, and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), which automatically switches to your TV's Game Mode when a gaming signal is detected. Currently (and disappointingly), the PS5 doesn't support these two, but the Xbox Series X does.
There are very few TVs currently available that support all of these features (4K@120Hz is the hardest to find), but LG's 2020 BX, CX and GX all do, as do the 2019 B9, C9 and E9.
It's also worth pointing out that the only TV under 55 inches that supports all of these gaming features is the LG OLED48CX.
LG also points to these sets supporting Dolby Vision (which the Series X outputs from apps such as Netflix and will support for certain games in 2021) and Dolby Atmos, and the new HGiG tone mapping profile which, put very simply, can result in better and more consistent contrast.
What about Samsung?
While LG's OLEDs are rare in the thoroughness of their gaming features, they're not alone. Most of Samsung's current QLEDs also support 4K@120Hz, VRR, ALLM and HGiG. They'll do Dolby Atmos when connected to a supporting sound system, too, and while Dolby Vision isn't on board (Samsung is sticking resolutely to its rival HDR10+ format), that's not yet (and may never become) a serious concern for gaming.
There's much to be said for what the extra punch and vibrancy of QLED does for gaming, too, and Samsung builds extra gaming features into its sets that can smooth motion and enhance dark detail.
One thing to bear in mind with Samsung's sets is that only one of their HDMIs has the full bandwidth necessary for 4K@120Hz. That's not a problem if you're just buying an Xbox Series X, but it could become one if you decide to add a PS5 further down the line.
If you want the full set of gaming features and fancy a Samsung instead of an LG, you need to look at the Q70T, Q80T, Q90T, Q95T, Q800T, Q900T or Q950T. Avoid the 49-inch models, though, as they lack support for both 4K@120 and VRR.
If you are in the market for a next-gen gaming TV at this very moment, the Samsung Q80T is currently available with an absolutely huge discount. It's arguably the best performance-per-pound gaming TV you can buy right now.
Samsung QE55Q80T QLED TV
£1599 £899 at Richer Sounds (opens in new tab)
This brand new model for 2020 has already dropped in price by £700! It's one step down from Samsung's flagship 4K TV and represented an excellent mid-range choice at launch. It's astonishingly good value now. In fact, we reckon it's the best TV you can buy for under £1000, particularly if you're a gamer.
Any other gaming TVs to consider?
The only other TV currently available that support 4K@120Hz, VRR and ALLM is the Sony XH90, which is available in 55 inches and bigger. It's an excellent option although, like the Samsungs, it only supports these features via one of its four HDMI sockets.
If you want the full lowdown of all of these options (plus a few more besides), check out our list of the best gaming TVs you can currently buy.
Just shows that there is a huge demand for a 48" TV with next-generation HDMI feature support, and other manufacturers will surely not have missed this!