Before anything else, watching movies in a dark room require deep and uniform blacks while viewing directly in front of the TV. Some LCD TVs have a local dimming feature that helps, but that's generally reserved for more expensive top of the line models.
Best TV for Watching Movies
The best TVs are expensive, but you can get the best picture available without splurging on the priciest models.
The best TV we've tested for watching movies in a dark room is the LG C7 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 C7 offers the same picture quality as more expensive models 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.
If you're looking for a very large TV for a home theater and don't want to break the bank with the incredibly expensive larger sized OLEDs, go for the Sony X940E 4k LED TV. It has the best local dimming feature we've seen, bringing it near OLED for picture quality, but it comes a bit short for versatility because of its lesser handling of motion and viewing angle.
Best Budget TV for Watching Movies
Budget TVs have gotten quite capable this year, narrowing the gap between them and high-end models. They won't be as bright or versatile, but you can still find some great picture quality on a smaller budget.
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. Unlike most TVs in this price range, the M Series features a decent local dimming feature which enhances its contrast for a better picture quality.
In a dark room, this is especially useful for keeping the black bars on screen perfectly black and out of the way. It's not quite as powerful as OLED, but it's to be expected of a TV significantly less expensive. The Vizio M Series 2017 offers an all-around better than average picture quality making it a great choice for watching movies on a smaller budget.
For an even cheaper alternative, the Vizio E Series 2017 still offers good picture quality in a dark room but with less powerful local dimming features and very limited HDR capability compared to the more expensive M Series.
- 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 not much cheaper than OLED. See our review
- Sony X900E. Great TV for movies, but the X940E offers better HDR performance. See our review
- Sony Z9D. Excellent LED TV for movies, but overpriced compared to the LG C7 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
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.