The 5 Best 4k TVs for Watching Movies
- Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
- Retest after major updates
- Easily comparable results
- No ads; unbiased reviews
To provide the best experience while watching movies in a dark room, a TV needs to produce deep and uniform blacks when you're sitting directly in front. While this is where high-end TVs tend to specialize, even cheaper TVs can provide the good contrast, local dimming and uniform blacks that are essential for a home theater TV.
We've reviewed 49 TVs and below are our recommendations for the best TVs currently available for watching movies in a dark room.
Best Budget TV for Watching Movies: Vizio M Series 2017
The best budget TV for watching movies is the Vizio M Series 2017 LED TV. It is available in a wide variety of sizes from 50" to 75" at very reasonable prices.
The M Series has a similar excellent native contrast ratio to the Sony X900E and has excellent black uniformity, but its local dimming feature isn't as effective at dimming zones. It is very well suited for dark room movie watching. It has a slightly higher response time than the X900E, so fast-paced movies don't look as good, but it has an excellent black frame insertion feature, which is great for low frame rate content and is relatively stutter-free.
Cheaper Alternative: Vizio E Series 2017
If you just want a basic TV for occasional viewing or just want basic picture quality, the Vizio E Series 2017 is a cheaper alternative to the M Series 2017. It is available in a wide variety of sizes from 43" up to 80", and has excellent native contrast and black uniformity. It doesn't get as bright as the M Series 2017, so it is definitely better suited for dark room viewing.
If you are looking for a cheaper option for bright room viewing, the 55" model has an IPS panel which will have a wider viewing angle, but a worse contrast ratio.
Best Mid-range TV for Watching Movies: Sony X900E
Our best mid-range TV for watching movies is the Sony X900E. Mid-range TVs like the X900E still provide excellent movie watching experience at more reasonable prices and have some of the more advanced features typically found on more expensive models.
The X900E is one of the most widely recommended TVs currently on the market due to its versatility. It doesn't have the true blacks of the LG B7A, but it has an excellent native contrast ratio and the local dimming system is effective at dimming dark zones on a screen without losing detail. It is also brighter than the B7A, although it doesn't have the excellent wide viewing angle of the OLED.
The X900E has been replaced by the X900F, and while the 2018 model has better input lag and is a bit brighter, it won't be worth upgrading until the price comes down in a few months.
Best TV for Watching Movies: LG B7A
The best TV we've reviewed for watching movies is the LG B7A OLED TV. Like all OLEDs, the B7A is able to turn individual pixels entirely off, creating perfect blacks with an infinite contrast ratio. The B7A is particularly well suited for dark room viewing, but bright room viewing is still very good.
The B7A produce an immersive viewing experience. Dark scenes typically found in Sci-Fi or horror movies look very impressive. This also means that black bars are completely black with no clouding, great for fans of classic movies presented in letterbox format. Unlike an LCD, an OLED panel is able to create those perfect blacks without dimming surrounding areas, so there is no loss of detail. It's like having a TV with 8.3 million local dimming zones.
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 watching movies.
Brighter Alternative: Sony X940E
If you watch a lot of movies during the day, the Sony X940E is a better choice than the LG B7A. It doesn't have the infinite contrast ratio or true blacks, but it is significantly brighter with a similar picture quality. It doesn't have the same wide viewing angle, but it is wide enough for most rooms and better than most VA TVs.
- Samsung MU9000. Movies look good on this TV, but the M Series matches its picture quality for less money. See our review
- LG SK9000. Good TV, but not very good for movies due to its poor contrast ratio and ineffective local dimming. 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 Q9FN. Great TV, but the B7A outperforms it for much cheaper 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.
Questions & Answers
Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.