Unlike for movies or sports, all you need for TV shows is some fairly good picture quality and good handling of reflections, as well as a wide viewing angle that can accommodate a variety of seating arrangements. This requires TVs to have a good screen finish and being bright enough to be clear even on very bright afternoons. It can also be good to have a wide viewing angle so you don't have any issues enjoying your shows in a wide living room or when moving about. You can get more versatile TVs with better picture quality in a dark room if you pay more, but in general, the difference between cheap TVs and expensive ones isn't as big for this usage as other types.
So far, we've tested 36 TVs in 2017 and below are our recommendations for the best TVs for watching TV shows in the run-up to Black Friday.
Best TV for Watching TV Shows
The best TV for watching TV shows in a bright room is the LG B7A 4k OLED. It has the great picture quality commonly found on OLED TVs and handles reflections better than almost every other TV we've reviewed.
It's no secret that OLED TVs offer exceptional picture quality. Their contrast advantage is less noticeable in a brighter environment, but the B7 also comes with the widest viewing angle we've tested so you won't lose a lot from watching it from the sides.
It isn't the brightest TV around, but its great screen finish, picture quality, and viewing angle make it the best TV available for watching broadcast, cable or online TV shows.
Best Mid-Range TV for Watching TV Shows
For a mid-range option, we recommend the Samsung MU9000 4k LED TV. It handles reflections very well thanks to its excellent screen finish and high brightness levels.
The MU9000 sits just below Samsung's "QLED" branded TVs in their line of products, and it shares a similar high-end screen finish, making it one of the best TVs currently available for handling reflections. In addition to this, it can maintain high brightness levels to combat glare and produce a clear image at all times of the day.
It doesn't have the picture quality in a dark room or wide viewing angle found on OLED TVs, but it's still a great choice if you don't plan on sitting far off center from the TV.
Best Budget TV for Watching TV Shows
The best budget TV for watching TV shows in a bright room is the Sony X720E 4k LED TV. It has wider viewing angles than any other LED TV we've tested this year making it great for larger living rooms.
Its smart features are a bit basic, but essentials like Youtube and Netflix come pre-installed. Most importantly though, it gets bright enough to accommodate most environments, and won't have many issues with the glare of windows or bright lights. Since its viewing angle is so wide, it's also quite versatile when it comes to placement, so you can still enjoy it while cleaning or doing something else in the room without having to sit directly in front of the TV.
It doesn't have quite as good a picture quality in a dark room as the more expensive picks, but the Sony X720E is still a good TV overall and one of the best small TVs on the market.
If you're looking for something even cheaper than the Sony X720E, the TCL S405 4k Roku TV is a good alternative. It won't have the same wide viewing angles found on the Sony, but it has decent picture quality and great smart features that make it easy to access streaming services like Netflix.
- Sony X800E. Very good TV for watching TV shows, but the X720E is even better for less money. See our review
- Sony X700D. Great budget TV for TV shows, but a bit difficult to find now. See our review
- LG SJ8500. Good option if you want to watch it at an angle, but priced a bit too high. See our review
- LG UJ7700. Decent TV with wide viewing angles, but no better than the cheaper X720E. See our review
- Samsung MU8000. Good TV overall, but it lacks a special screen finish to better handle reflections. See our review
- Samsung Q7F. Does well with TV shows thanks to its great screen finish, but the similarly priced LG B7 is even better. 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 shows 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.