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
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.
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.
Best Mid-range TV for Watching Movies
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.
Best Budget TV for Watching Movies
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.
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.
- 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
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.