When choosing a TV for movie watching, you should first consider the lighting conditions of the TV room. You will generally have a better experience if you watch movies in a dark room. You should be looking for a TV that can deliver deep blacks, has rich colors, and has bright highlights, especially in HDR content.
We've tested 95 TVs and below are our recommendations for the best TVs for home theater and movies you can buy in 2019.
Note: Since new TVs tend to launch at very high prices, it's unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until the latter half of the year. Because of this, many of the 2018 models remain as picks in our recommendations.
The Sony A8F is the best TV for watching movies we've tested so far. It's an OLED TV with an amazing picture quality that can display true blacks thanks to its emissive technology. Watching movies on this TV is a remarkable experience. It offers the same image accuracy to those who sit straight in front and those who watch from the side, thanks to the excellent viewing angles. Motion handling is excellent thanks to almost instantaneous response time, and the many advanced features, like motion interpolation, that can further improve motion. Although it's not primarily for gaming, it will not let down those casual gamers as it has a low input lag and feels very responsive.
Unfortunately, just like all OLED TVs, it runs the risk of temporary image retention or permanent burn-in. We do not expect most people to experience this with normal, varied content. At the same time, the nearly instantaneous response time can create some stutter, which you can easily fix with the help of motion interpolation.
Overall, this is a remarkable TV that will keep most movie enthusiasts happy.
If the Sony A8F is too expensive for you, check out the LG B8 instead. Like the Sony, this is an OLED TV with perfect blacks, outstanding motion handling, and excellent wide viewing angles. It has much lower input lag, and it natively supports 1080p @ 120Hz, which is great for Xbox One S/X gamers. It can't get quite as bright in some scenes in HDR, but this shouldn't be noticeable. Overall, there is little difference between the two.
If you find that the Sony A8F or the LG B8 are not bright enough for your bright room, then get the Samsung Q9FN. It does not have the perfect blacks of the OLEDs, but it can get very bright. This TV can deliver an excellent movie watching experience both in bright and in dark rooms, due to the effective local dimming that allows it to display deep blacks. It has excellent reflection handling, can easily fight bright room glare, and has many picture-enhancing features like 24p judder removal and motion interpolation.
If you're looking for something cheaper than the Sony A8F, the Sony X900F is the best TV for home theater in the mid-range category that we've tested so far. It has an excellent native contrast ratio that delivers nearly perfect blacks and a decent local dimming system, so small, bright highlights in some scenes in HDR really stand out.
This TV has excellent motion handling, thanks to a nearly instantaneous response time that delivers clear motion, with very little blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It also supports motion interpolation as high as 120Hz, which is great for people that enjoy the soap opera effect.
Unfortunately, we've received some reports of distracting blooming when watching HDR movies with subtitles on this TV, and the best image is reserved for those sitting directly in front due to the poor viewing angles. Overall, though, this is a great 4k TV that should please most people.
If you want something less expensive than the Sony X900F, then check out the Vizio P Series 2018. You won't get the excellent reflection handling of the Sony, and you might experience some judder when watching movies from 60Hz sources like a cable box. On the upside, this is an impressive TV with excellent dark room performance and deep blacks, thanks to its high native contrast ratio and great local dimming support. It also has excellent motion handling and a very low input lag for those who love sports or want to play video games. Watching movies on this TV is a remarkable experience.
If you find that the Sony X900F is still expensive, the best budget TV for watching movies is the TCL 6 Series R617. You will not get the viewing angles of the Sony A8F or the excellent reflection handling of the Sony X900F.
On the upside, watching movies on this TV is a very pleasant experience. It has nice, deep blacks due to the high contrast ratio and local dimming support that make the picture look very good. This TV can get very bright (brighter than the more expensive LG SK9500) in both SDR and HDR content, and its wide color gamut displays vivid colors with highlights that pop. It also has an excellent low input lag, which is great for gaming.
Overall, this is a very good TV for most uses, and it will perform very well when you decide to watch your favorite movie.
If you find that the TCL R617 is still too pricey and want to get a cheaper budget TV, then get the TCL S Series S405. This TV might become hard to find, as it's being gradually replaced by the TCL 4 Series S425, which is very similar. This TV cannot get as bright as the R617. However, it has a great contrast with deep blacks which looks good in dark rooms, and a low motion blur that keeps fast content clear. It's also equipped with a very low input lag which will keep gamers happy. Overall, it's a decent TV for watching movies, considering the price.
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.