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Best TVs for 2020: Reviews and buying advice

Best TVs for 2020: Reviews and buying advice


There’s never been a better time to buy a TV. The industry has worked most of the bugs out of LCD and OLED TVs, and today’s prices are lower than ever. In fact, high-end 4K models cost about half of what they did last year. We’ll give you our top picks, plus an in-depth guide to the specs and features you’ll encounter. 

You’ll face an alphabet soup of acronyms and phraseology when you go shopping: LED, LCD, HDR, OLED, quantum dots, and more. And manufacturers thicken that broth with their own trademarked nomenclature: Contrast EliteMax, Q Style Elite, X-tended Dynamic Range PRO? Give me a break.

The good news? You can ignore all that ad-speak and focus on just four things: color, contrast (including the quality of blacks), brightness, and realism. Technology changes, but your eyes don’t.

Here are our top recommendations in three categories. If you want a deeper understanding as to why we picked them, there’s an in-depth buyers’ guide further down that you’ll find invaluable when you go shopping. Click here if you’d like to jump straight to a list of our most recent reviews.

Updated February 5, 2020 to add our review of TCL’s inexpensive 43-inch 5-Series smart TV. This set boasts Dolby Vision high dynamic range, and it was selling for just $260 as of this writingl.

Best LCD TV

Samsung remains the king of the hill when it comes to LCD TVs—at least for now. The Q90R is an exceptionally good TV, with a bright, crisp picture and very accurate color. And since this model relies on Samsung’s One Connect box to house all of its I/O ports and processing power, the entire set is a remarkable 1.6 inches thick.

Runner-up

No manufacturer does image processing better than Sony. If moiré, shimmering in detailed pans, jagged text, and backlighting blockiness drive you up a wall, this is the TV to buy. 

Best OLED TV

We said of LG 2018 OLED that it was hard to imagine a better TV. Well, we no longer need to imagine, because LG has built it with the-new-for-2019 E9 series (we reviewed the 65-inch model OLED65E9PUA). This TV supports every HDR standard except HDR10+, and its picture quality is magnificent. LG carries over its Magic Remote and WebOS operating system (making a few improvements to the latter), which make this TV a joy to use. As usual, you have to see the blacks and OLED panel produces to understand what you’re missing with most LED-backlit LCD TVs.



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