TV shows are usually not the most difficult type of content. People that will mostly watch food channels and news and other variety TV don't necessarily need the best picture quality available as much as you want a TV that is capable in a variety of environments. It needs to have little reflections and get bright enough to be clear and enjoyable to use in a bright living room.
Best high-end TVs for watching TV shows.
The LG B6 OLED TV has the best picture quality this year, bar none. This makes it the best TV for watching TV shows.
An advantage OLED technology has is the excellent viewing angles, better than any LCD TV (see our article about OLED vs LED). Contrast is quite literally infinite, and there is no motion blur as response time is instant. Blacks are perfectly uniform, and grays are better than any LED TV.
While OLED has some flaws, for watching live TV, nothing beats The B6, and it's the best choice if you can afford it. Fortunately, it's far less expensive now than it was at launch.
If you can’t take the yoke of an OLED TV, or if you’d prefer to spare the expense, the KS8000 is the only reasonable choice for a high-end LED TV. It has excellent picture quality and gets quite bright, so it’s good for well-lit environments.
It doesn’t have that great of a viewing angle, though, so it might be problematic for those looking for a TV to use in a wide living room. If this is an issue, go for our lower end pick, the X700D. It performs much better in this aspect.
Best mid-range TVs for watching TV shows.
It scores incredibly close to our high-end picks, and it’s at an affordable price. For most people wanting to watch TV in a wide living room, the Sony X700D is the TV to beat.
It has wide viewing angles, gets brighter than competing TVs in the same price range and has excellent handling of motion. This makes the X700D good for a variety of content and environments, but it will excel specifically when watching TV shows or sports in a bright living room.
For something a bit bigger, the Sony X750D is almost the same TV as the X700D but in a larger 65-inch size.
It has the same reasonable price and excellent wide viewing angles, and since a recent software update, it also matches the latter in brightness. This makes it an equally easy choice in this category and very tough to beat.
Best budget TVs for watching TV shows.
If you can’t afford the Sony X700D, you should look for the LG UH6100. It’s a definite drop in picture quality compared to the rest of our recommendations, but it’s still a pretty good 4k LED TV if you plan to mostly watch TV shows on it.
It doesn’t lose a lot of detail at an angle, and lower resolution content like cable TV is sharp. Like the high-end LG TVs, it also has WebOS 3.0, our favorite smart platform. Unfortunately, like most low-end LG TVs, it uses the RGBW pixel structure which results in less overall sharpness. Uniformity is also quite poor in general.
If you were looking for a more versatile TV that would do better in a dark room, buy the Samsung KU6300.
While it doesn't score as well as the LG in our TV rating, it is a far more versatile TV that will be much better suited for other usages. That doesn't make it bad for live television, though. It doesn't have the wide viewing angles but it does great at upscaling, and picture quality and uniformity are quite good.
So, if you plan on doing some gaming or watching movies in a dark room, in addition to watching TV, pick the KU6300 instead.
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).
A few examples of TVs that didn't make the cut:
- Sony X850D. Great for TV shows, but the X700D does all of it for cheaper. See our review
- Samsung KS9000. Great TV in general, but the cheaper Samsung KS8000 is almost just as good. See our review
- LG UH8500. Good option if you want to watch it at an angle, but a bit priced too high. See our review
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.