The next generation of game consoles comes with incredibly impressive specs, and with specs like that comes the compulsion to upgrade your TV, of course. Both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 offer some impressive features that only newer TVs fully support, so let̵
What to look for with your new TV
These are the features that the next generation of consoles need to look and perform at their best.
- Resolution: One of the biggest advantages of this generation is the promise of a more consistent 4K resolution in games. Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 focus on 4K in most games, so it’s a good idea to have a TV that can take advantage of this. They can also technically support 8K, but it’s extremely limited and not worth it for most people.
- Refresh Rate: Another important setup from the previous generation is higher frame rates, often up to 120 FPS, although sometimes at the expense of lower resolution or graphics settings. The refresh rate (measured in “Hertz”) represents the maximum FPS that a TV can display, so a 120Hz TV will display up to 120 FPS. There are many TVs that mimic high refresh rates with terms like ‘movement speed’, but in this case we’re looking for the real deal.
- HDMI 2.1: This is the latest HDMI format available and makes 4K and 120 Hz possible to use simultaneously – TVs with HDMI 2.0 may require you to choose between 1440p 120 Hz and 4K 60 Hz. On top of that, HDMI 2.1 also has some other neat features such as auto game mode (which is activated when a console is turned on for a lower input delay) and variable refresh rate (which basically just makes the screen look smoother during games). All the TVs on this list, except for the budget pick, the TCL Series 6, have HDMI 2.1 – but we’ll talk about that again later. How many HDMI 2.1 ports each TV has is also important, especially if you want to connect other 4K devices, so we’ll list that in each TV’s section.
- HDR formats: HDR is an important feature for 4K TVs; it’s an important part of why they look so great. But it’s not as easy as just getting a TV with 4K HDR, there are multiple HDR formats that different manufacturers will use. The main two we look forward to are HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Of the two, Dolby Vision is typically considered superior (HDR10 is still very good though), but that doesn’t mean you’re buying a Dolby Vision TV right away. While the Xbox Series X and S support both Dolby Vision and HDR10, the PlayStation 5 supports nothing but supports HDR10. That’s why we’ve added options for both formats and will list in their respective sections which one each TV supports.
- Smart functions: Chances are, you’re not just using this TV for gaming. It is important to be able to watch other media, from standard cable to apps like Netflix and Hulu. And in the price bracket we’re looking at, you can safely expect smart TVs to pop up with their own operating systems (OS) and ways to browse content.
Best Overall: LG NanoCell 90 Series
Regardless of which console you have, LG’s 90 series will live up to its potential. The special “NanoCell” display is a step up from standard LED screens in terms of color accuracy, both Dolby Vision and HDR10 are supported and it has a resolution of 4K and a refresh rate of 120Hz. You can also connect the TV to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit for some smart features, and you can also use webOS for your general media needs. On the side of the TV you will find four HDMI ports, two of which are HDMI 2.1.
Best QLED: SAMSUNG Q70T Series
If you’re a fan of Samsung’s line of QLED TVs, then look no further than the Q70T series. While QLED displays have their pros and cons when it comes to image display – as they are based on standard LED displays – they still provide impressive visuals. In addition, the TV is displayed at 4K and 120Hz, along with support for HDR10. No Dolby Vision, so if you’re on Xbox that’s a downside. You can also use the SmartTV OS for your general media browsing needs. There are four HDMI ports on this TV, but there is only one HDMI 2.1.
A higher option: LG OLED65CXPUA
When it comes to vibrant colors and deep blacks, OLED TVs are hard to beat. With a sleek, modern design, this LG CX OLED TV delivers deep blacks and accurate colors, all at 4K, 120 FPS. But this TV is also designed for gaming; it has the natural benefits of its four HDMI 2.1 ports, such as variable refresh rates, ultra-low input delay, and one ms response time. And you’re covered regardless of your console, as it still supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10.
Smart functions are also well covered with ThinQ AI acting as your voice assistant, along with compatibility for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. webOS is also available for media browsing.
Best Budget Option: TCL 6 Series
While you won’t find a cheap TV with the features we’re looking for, TCL’s 6 Series is at least less expensive. If you’re using a mini LED screen, you still get a good looking display with support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. While the TV is 4K and has a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, it can only do 1440p at 120Hz or 60Hz at 4K – basically you have to choose between high resolution or high frame rate. That’s not a big deal (especially if you’re using an Xbox Series S as it’s typically limited to 1440p in most games) as there are a lot of games that force you to make that decision anyway, but there’s something important to note nonetheless .
It’s a solid screen for the money, and the 55-inch model is a particularly impressive value. It only has HDMI 2.0 (of which it has four ports), but it still delivers some of the benefits of HDMI 2.1, such as variable refresh rates and an automatic game mode for a lower input delay. You also get RokuTV out of the box so you can enjoy it when you’re not playing on your console.
Best budget option
The Overkill: LG NanoCell 99 Series
Both the Series X and the PlayStation 5 are technically capable of displaying 8K – it’s just extremely limited. For most games, it just isn’t possible to run them at such a high resolution, but it’s an option every now and then. And if we happen to get back mid-generation updates similar to the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, 8K will likely be more common at that point. So if you want to be prepared for 8K to become the new standard, LG’s 99 Series is the way to go.
The 99 series sees the return of the NanoCell display for better color accuracy, can display 8K, 120 Hz and supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. This TV will display the highest quality images on this list, but you will pay an equally high price for it. You can also expect ThinQ AI and webOS to be installed for when you’re not gaming, along with four HDMI 2.1 ports.
Bonus Choice: Optoma HD39HDR Projector
To conclude this list, let’s talk a little more about projectors. While these are typically much more limited in terms of resolution and refresh rate than TVs, models like Optoma’s HD39HDR still achieve impressive results. If you want to cover an entire wall with your gameplay from Spiderman: Miles Morales, then this projector can do that at 1080p, 120 FPS.
If you want true 4K, Optoma can deliver with the more expensive Optoma UHD50X projector, which can display native 4K and 60 FPS simultaneously, while HDR10 – 120 FPS is still limited to 1080p.