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If you're looking for the best TV to buy right now, and it's been a very long time since you made such a purchase, you may be new to all of the current smart TV jargon, like Ultra HD, smart LED, 4K8KOLEDQLEDHDR120Hz and HDMI 2.1. I've reviewed TVs since the days of plasma and rear projection, so I know to keep it simple by focusing on finding the best picture quality for the money, whether you're watching on an Ultra HD TV or something a little less flashy. The list below represents the best TVs I've reviewed in CNET's test lab, where I compare their smart TV features and the viewing experience side by side to see which ones are most worth buying. Some of the areas that warranted consideration included viewing angle, local dimming, contrast ratio and refresh rate, as well as how well the television supported streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and offered decent performance for gaming. Here are my latest recommendations, with the following notes to keep in mind. Unless noted otherwise, all of the prices you'll see are for 65-inch models.Looking for a specific screen size? Check out: lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed, lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed, lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_edlg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed and lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed.Don't see what you're looking for below? Here are lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed, with more coming soon.

Best high-end TV for the money

LG OLEDB9P series


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ED I T O R S ' C H O I C E Dec 2019

OLED TVs are the picture quality kings, but they're not cheap. The TVs' lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed to deliver a contrast ratio, viewing angle, and a wide color gamut that no LCD TV (or lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_edlg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed). As the least expensive OLED TV, the B9 is our favorite premium TV overall for high-end shoppers. It fell just a bit short of the C9 in image quality in our tests, but the differences are minuscule – and since it's less expensive than the C9, it's a better value.

Sizes: 55-, 65-, 77-inch.

Read our LG OLEDB9P series review.

$1,645 at Amazon

$1,900 at Best Buy

Best TV for the money, period

TCL 6-Series


Sarah Tew/CNET

ED I T O R S ' C H O I C E Oct 2019

No TV I've ever tested offers this much picture quality for this little cash. The latest version of the TCL 6-Series has even better image quality than its predecessor, thanks to improved color, and its well-implemented lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. As if that's not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite.

Sizes: 55-, 65-inch.

Read our TCL 6-Series (2019 Roku TV) review.

$700 at Amazon

$750 at Best Buy

$1,300 at QVC

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Read more: Best 65-inch TVs for 2020

The picture quality king, by a nose

LG OLEDC9P series


Sarah Tew/CNET

What's that you say? You just want the best TV, money no object? Here you go. In my side-by-side tests the C9 is the best TV I've ever reviewed, barely beating the B9 (above), although the B9 is a superior value – almost as good and much less expensive. But if that „barely“ matters to you, the C9 might be worth the extra cash.

Sizes: 55-, 65-, 77-inch.

Read our LG OLEDC9P series review.

$2,200 at Best Buy

$2,900 at QVC

Best alternative to OLED

Vizio P-Series Quantum X


Sarah Tew/CNET

Can't afford an OLED TV? Still willing to pay extra – but not that much extra – for good color and outstanding image quality? The Vizio PX is our pick for you, with superb light output no OLED can match, top-notch local dimming and all the high-contrast, high dynamic range joy that comes with it. Its closest competitor is the TCL below – but this Vizio is the superior value.

Sizes: 65-, 75-inch.

Read our Vizio P-Series Quantum X review.

$1,100 at B&H Photo-Video

Best budget TV

TCL 4-Series


Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku is our favorite platform for a live TV streaming service like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, and it's even better baked into the TV. This TCL 4-Series can't beat any of the models above on image quality – its 4K resolution and HDR compatibility don't do anything to help the picture – but it's perfectly fine for most people, especially at this price. 

Sizes: 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-inch. (The price shown below is for the 43-inch size.)

Read our TCL S425 series (Roku TV) review.

$367 at Amazon

$270 at Best Buy

$400 at QVC

Best picture quality in a non-OLED

TCL 8-Series


Sarah Tew/CNET

Speaking of top-of-the-line, this TCL features lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_edlg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed.

Sizes: 65-, 75-inch.

Read our TCL 8-Series (2019 Roku TV) review.

$2,000 at Best Buy

Best value in a premium-brand TV

Samsung Q70R series


Sarah Tew/CNET

lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed is basically a fancy, smart LCD TV – don't confuse it with OLEDs. The Q70R has an excellent picture and plenty of Samsung TV design and features goodies for a price that's relatively affordable, albeit not exactly „budget.“ If you're not interested in a TCL or Vizio and don't want to splurge for an OLED, the Q70 is an excellent choice.

Sizes: 49-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 82-inch.

Read our Samsung Q70 series (2019) review.

$1,400 at Best Buy

Second-best TV for the money

Vizio M8-Series Quantum


Sarah Tew/CNET

Aside from the TCL 6-Series above, this is the runner-up for best TV for the money; no TV offers this much picture for this little cash. In my comparisons, the TCL won slightly in a couple of important areas, in particular HDR brightness and contrast and black levels. I'd also recommend the TCL to streaming-centric viewers because of its superior Roku smart HDTV system. It's great for watching Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, and more. And its color accuracy – with quantum dot colors – is superb. All of that said, the Vizio is still an excellent choice and sometimes available for less than the TCL – just make sure you're getting the M8, not the M7. 

Sizes: 55-, 65-inch.

Read our Vizio M-Series Quantum M8 series (2019) review.

$650 at Best Buy

Best smaller budget smart TV

TCL 3-Series


Sarah Tew/CNET

For sizes smaller than 55 inches, and for people who value smarts over image quality, these non-4K Roku TVs make the most sense. The picture is „good enough“ and the built-in smarts are superb – just enough to watch the final season of „The Office“ or „Friends“ content. And the price is perfect for a kids' room or secondary room where you don't need a massive screen.

Sizes: 28-, 32-, 40-, 43-, 49-inch. (The price shown below is for the 40-inch size.)

Read our TCL S325 series (Roku TV) review.

$128 at Amazon

$130 at Best Buy

$200 at QVC

Other stuff to know about buying a new TV 

I'm pretty sure you'd be happy with any one of the TVs above, but a new set can be a big investment, so maybe you're looking for a bit more information. Here's a quick and dirty list. Prices for 2019 TVs started hitting their lowest points around late November (for Black Friday) and continue to remain on sale.New TV models are generally available now but since TVs are generally a mature technology, they won't include major upgrades over the 2019 versions for the most part.In my opinion, bigger is better. Big TVs are cheaper than ever, and your money is best spent on large screen sizes rather than a slight upgrade in image quality.If you don't like the built-in smart TV system, you can always add a media streamer. They're cheap and easy to use, and receive updates more frequently than most smart TVs. See our picks of lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed.The sound quality of most built-in speakers is terrible, so it's worthwhile to pair your new set with a sound bar or other speaker system. Good ones start at around $100. lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed.Looking for even more info? Buying a new TV in 2020Best TV antennas for cord cutters, starting at just $10Dolby Atmos: Why it's cool, how it works and how to get itBest Sonos speakers starting at $100How Samsung QLED technology and LG's OLED compare in 2020HDR formats like Dolby Vision, HDR10, Technicolor and HLG explainedBest TVs for gaming with low input lagBest 75-inch TVs for 2020 lg_tcl_and_mo_e_compa_ed

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Originally published last year. Updated periodically with new recommendations. 



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