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Black Friday deals have started. See our list of recommended deals on TVs. Notably the 4k 55" Sony X900E - dropped to $998 on Amazon.
    Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Best TV
    1. Alternative
  3. Mid-range TV
  4. Budget TV
    1. Alternative
  5. All Reviews
  6. Q&A
Updated

Best TVs for watching movies - Black Friday 2017
Reviews

Best TVs for watching movies

Before anything else, watching movies in a dark room require deep and uniform blacks while viewing directly in front of the TV. Aspects like contrast, local dimming, and black uniformity are important things to look out for, and even cheaper TVs can still offer some good picture quality without unnecessary features.

We've reviewed 36 TVs in 2017 and below are our recommendations for the best TVs for watching movies you can buy in the run-up to Black Friday.

Best TV for Watching Movies

Usage Rating - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
9.5Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
55" 65"

The best TV we've tested for watching movies in a dark room is the LG B7 OLED TV. Thanks to its ability to turn individual pixels off completely, it has an infinite contrast ratio. This means that its blacks are perfect and free of distracting clouding, giving the image a depth that cannot be matched by standard LED/LCD TVs.

It's difficult to realize how large the difference is without seeing one in person. When in a pitch black room such as a home theater, blacks will often look gray and uneven. Competing TVs like the Sony Z9D use complex and expensive full-array local dimming features to try and solve this, but they don't have the same granularity of OLEDs in this regard.

Overall, the LG B7A offers the same picture quality as more expensive models like the LG C7 while maintaining a reasonable price for a high-end TV, making it our top pick for a TVs to watch movies in a dark room.

See our review

Larger Alternative

75"

If you're looking into upgrading your home theater with a TV larger than the 65 inches the LG B7 is found at, get the Sony X940E 4k LED TV. It lacks the wide viewing angles of the OLED, but it still offers the best picture quality of any LED TV we've tested thanks to its very good local dimming feature.

See our review

Best Mid-range TV for Watching Movies

Usage Rating - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.5Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
49" 55" 65" 75"

If you want performance close to high-end LED TVs without breaking the bank, the Sony X900E 4k Android TV is the best mid-range LED TV for watching movies in a dark room. Like its big brother the Sony X940E, it has a local dimming feature that darkens areas of the screen to enhance contrast and overall picture quality.

It's not quite as fancy as on more expensive LED TVs, but it still produces a much better picture than average. It does particularly well with the top and bottom letterboxes making them perfectly black and free of distracting clouding. While it isn't perfect, no mid-range LED TV offers the same picture quality while staying this versatile.

See our review

Best Budget TV for Watching Movies

Usage Rating - Version 1.1
Show Help

Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.8Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
50" 55" 65" 70" 75"

For a budget option, we recommend the Vizio M Series 2017 LED TV. It is the best budget TV for watching movies in a dark room. It's significantly more simplistic than what's found on premium LED TVs, but its local dimming feature distinguishes it from other entry-level TVs.

It's a little less precise than the Sony X900E's so it won't have as much impact on the overall picture, but it still does well cleaning up the black bars and keeping them out of the way. It's not as versatile as our mid-range pick, but it does support both Dolby Vision and HDR10. Since it can get decently bright and reproduce a wider gamut of colors than other budget TVs, it can actually take advantage of these HDR technologies.

See our review

Cheaper Alternative

50" 55" 60" 65" 70" 75" 80"

For an even cheaper alternative, the Vizio E Series 2017 still offers good picture quality in a dark room but with essentially no local dimming and limited HDR support compared to the more expensive M Series.

See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung MU9000. Movies look good on this TV, but the M Series matches its picture quality for less money. See our review
  • LG SJ8500. Good TV, but not very good for watching movies, especially in the dark. See our review
  • Sony X930E. Excellent LED TV for movies, but OLED is worth the higher price for movie buffs. See our review
  • Sony Z9D. Excellent LED TV for movies, but overpriced compared to the LG B7 and X940E. See our review
  • Samsung Q9F. Good TV, but local dimming performance is disappointing for the money. See our review
  • TCL P607. Good versatile budget TV for a dark room, but the M Series 2017 does a little better for around the same price. See our review
  • LG C7. Great OLED TV, but almost identical to the cheaper B7. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs to watch movies for most people in each price range. 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).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs. 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. 

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Questions & Answers

8 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
6
How long do ya'll suppose the Sony XBR65X930C will be available?
Until the spring, at least. Sony kept some of last year's models around this year, so it's possible the X930C will be around well into next year.
6
Before Christmas, you'd recommended the J6200 for my limited budget. I just ordered a 50" set for $499 online and think I got a pretty good deal. I am coming from a plasma so I'm wondering what to set the gamma to in order to best simulate the plasma black levels. Anything else I should be aware of as well? Thanks.
If you want things to be a bit darker without negatively impacting picture, use gamma 2.4. If you don't mind a slight loss in detail, enable 'Dynamic Contrast' to darken the blacks. We don't recommend taking any other steps, though, as the picture quality will degrade too much.
5
I'm curious about whether the new UN48JU6400 is equivalent to the UN48JU6500. Thanks.
No, it's a distinct model. We'll be reviewing it sometime in the next couple of months.
5
I am looking for a 40-43 inch HD or 4k tv. LG has released a new 4k tv 43UF6430, for thanksgiving. Hence can you please comment on this new model? I plan to use this TV more for movies and sports than gaming. The other alternative is a Samsung UN40J6200AFXZA. Can you suggest which one would be a better buy here. They are priced on the same lines.
We have the UF6400 in hand and the review is coming soon. Like the UF6800, it is a 'fake' 4k TV in the way that it has missing colored sub-pixels. It also has an IPS panel that produce grayish blacks and low contrast but wide viewing angle. The motion blur isn't that good. The J6200 is a better TV unless you watch it off axis.
2
I'm getting three TVs for a new house. Is it worth ensuring they have the same operating system? Or are they all simple enough that switching between them won't be a problem? I'm planning on getting the LG EC9300 for the living room and cheaper TVs for other places. Should I stick with the LGs that use the pointer, open it to any LG with smart OS, or not worry about compatibility at all? I've just come back from Best Buy. They were unable to demonstrate the different systems.
There's no need to worry about the OS. It's more pleasant to use a pointer remote, but you won't have trouble navigating the various kinds of smart platforms. Base your decision more on picture quality than anything else.
2
Does Sony have a 55inch in the xbr-930c?
No. Only in 65" size.
1
Regarding 24p, What is the difference between 24p and 24p via 60 hz? What type of devices/sources send movies in 24p via 60 hz? Asking related to the Samsung's 6200 and 6300. Thanks.
24p = a 24 hz signal (Blu-ray player, PC outputting 24 hz). 24p via 60 hz means a 24 hz video playing over a 60 hz signal. PCs could send a movie that way, as could some streaming video devices.
0
What is light bleed? Thinking about the Sony xbr65x900c but so many reviews bash this tv because of really bad light bleed issues. Help!
It is a screen uniformity problem that is apparent on black/dark scenes. Check out our article on it here.
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