In 2017, finding a TV that doesn't support some form of HDR is almost impossible. But while it isn't very complicated to support HDR, not every TV can take full advantage of it. Indeed, only higher-end TVs will see the benefit of HDR. To find out more about the differences with HDR, check out our HDR vs SDR article.
Fortunately, finding content to enjoy these high-end TVs is becoming a non-issue as almost every new release is in HDR. Services such as Amazon Prime video, Netflix, and Youtube all provide a compelling HDR lineup that is continually expanding. Games are also starting to support it (see our HDR gaming TVs recommendations) and soon enough, every content will be HDR, including broadcast television. With that said, here are the best HDR TVs available this summer.
Best HDR TV
High-end TVs offer the best HDR performance available. They get brighter, have better local dimming and can display a wider range of colors, giving a better HDR effect.
The best HDR TV we've reviewed is the LG C7 OLED TV. When it comes to HDR performance and even picture quality in general, nothing beats OLEDs, and the C7 is both the cheapest available this year and the best one available today, making it a no-brainer.
OLED TVs have the best local dimming possible since individual pixels can be completely shut off and produce perfect blacks. This allows the LG C7 to have a depth to its image unmatched by competing LED TVs. The C7 can also reproduce more saturated colors than almost every other TVs currently available. We've only found the much less versatile Samsung Q7F and Q9F to be better in this aspect.
The LG C7 isn't the brightest TVs, but it is not dim either. Small highlights can get as bright as 600 cd/m2, which is much better than average. Overall, the LG C7 will offer the best HDR experience available today.
If you're more interested in the bright highlights that HDR offers, go for the Sony X930E. It's one of the brightest TVs we've tested, capable of getting small highlights as bright as 1400 cd/m2. It also features a powerful local dimming feature, which helps produce deep contrasts.
Best Mid-Range HDR TV
HDR is a lot more accessible nowadays, so even mid-range models offer a good HDR effect. They usually won't be as bright as premium models, but they'll still have great picture quality.
For a mid-range TV, we recommend the Sony X900E. Mid-range TVs usually tend to have a noticeable drop in picture quality compared to more high-end models, but our tests show that the Sony X900E punches well above its weight when it comes to picture quality and HDR performance.
Compared to the competing Samsung MU9000, the X900E can light up highlights brighter and we've found its local dimming feature to perform much better than the Samsung. It can cover a wider range of colors as well, making vibrant HDR movies pop. Overall, unless you plan on watching your TV in a bright living room and from the sides, the X900E is the TV to get in this price range.
Best Budget HDR TV
Even budget models are quite capable for HDR today. Their build quality is quite a bit worse than more expensive models, and they can't get as bright, but they can still display a wider range of colors than SDR TVs.
The best budget TV for HDR we've tested is the TCL P607 4k Roku TV. Its feature set is comparable to TVs multiple times its price thanks to its local dimming, color gamut and high brightness unmatched by other budget-oriented choices.
The P-Series' brightness is only really beaten by much more expensive high-end models such as the Sony X930E and Samsung Q9F. Its local dimming feature, while not as powerful as what's found on the mid-range X900E, still helps produce deeper blacks and better contrast. Overall, there isn't a better entry-level TV for HDR available today.
For a larger set of sizes, look for the Vizio M Series 2017. It's not as versatile a TV as the TCL P-Series, but it offers similar performance with HDR movies in a dark room.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best HDR TVs to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
A few examples of HDR TVs that didn't make the cut:
- Sony X940E. Excellent LED TV for HDR, but only available in the expensive 75" size. See our review
- Sony Z9D. One of the best HDR TVs available, but tough to justify the price over the X930E. See our review
- Sony A1E. Exceptional HDR TV, but the LG C7 offers the same HDR performance for cheaper. See our review
- Samsung Q9F. Very good HDR performance, but the X930E and C7 even better for less money. See our review
- Samsung Q7F. The Q7F performs very well with HDR movies, but the similarly priced Sony X930E offers better value. See our review
- LG SJ8500. Good HDR TV, but unless you need a wide viewing angle, it is handily beat by the Sony X900E. See our review
- Samsung MU6300. Decent entry level 4k TV, but the cheaper TCL P607 offers much better HDR capability. See our review
- Samsung MU9000. Good HDR TV with great handling of reflections, but budget models offer much better value for money. See our review
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of 4k TVs that support HDR. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.