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  1. Table of Contents
  2. Intro
  3. Best TV
    1. Alternative
  4. Mid-range TV
  5. Budget TV
    1. Alternative
  6. All Reviews
  7. Q&A
Updated

Best TVs for watching movies - Winter 2018
Reviews

Best TVs for watching movies

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.

Of the 42 TVs we've reviewed in 2017, these are the best TVs currently available for watching movies in a dark room.

Best TV for Watching Movies: LG B7A

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
9.5
Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
55" 65"

The best TV we've reviewed for movies in a dark room is the LG B7 OLED TV. As with other OLED TVs, it is able to turn individual pixels entirely off, allowing it to display perfectly deep and uniform blacks.

This gives it an effectively infinite contrast ratio, helping it produce an image with impressive depth. Starry skies look especially impressive as the background can be a perfect blacks with only the stars being precisely illuminated. This also means that its black bars are completely black and perfectly uniform. No LCD TV can have as precise control of the light, as even the best local dimming systems (such as the one in the Sony Z9D) will introduce blooming in more difficult scenes.

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.

See our review

Larger Alternative: Sony X940E

75"

If you want a larger TV for your home theater than what is found with the LG B7 and other similar OLED TVs like the C7, get the Sony X940E 4k LED TV. It doesn't have the same wide viewing angles of the OLED TVs, but it's the next best thing currently available, closely matching the performance of the more expensive Sony Z9D.

See our review

Best Mid-range TV for Watching Movies: Sony X900E

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.5
Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
49" 55" 65" 75"

For those on a tighter budget looking for something more affordable than the high-end models above, look for the Sony X900E 4k Android TV. It's the best mid-range TV right now thanks to its effective local dimming system and picture quality that comes close to models significantly expensive.

It doesn't get as bright or doesn't have quite as fancy a local dimming system as the Sony X940E, but it is available in a much wider array of sizes and at a significantly cheaper price. Otherwise though, the differences aren't that significant. An important feature is its ability to darken the black bars completely, which is great if your TV is in a completely dark room.

See our review

Best Budget TV for Watching Movies: Vizio M Series 2017

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.8
Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
50" 55" 65" 70" 75"

The best budget TV for watching movies in a dark room is the Vizio M Series 2017 LED TV. It's quite affordable, yet it still comes packed with features dedicated for watching movies in a dark room.

What you lose on versatility and build quality when buying the M Series, you gain back on features dedicated to picture quality. High contrast, relatively precise local dimming and decent HDR features makes it a great pick for those looking to upgrade their home-theater. It's also found in a very large set of sizes, up to 75 inches in size.

It's not as well-rounded as the Sony though, with its relatively high input lag, lack of TV tuner and simplistic smart features. However, it does come with support for Dolby Vision which isn't found on the Sony X900E, which some might appreciate.

See our review

Cheaper Alternative: Vizio E Series 2017

43" 50" 55" 60" 65" 70" 75" 80"

If you don't care much for the HDR related features and want just basic picture quality that gives you good value for money, look for the Vizio E Series 2017. It's a more basic TV in Vizio's line of TVs and omits a wide color gamut and high peak brightness, but its high contrast gives it a nice image when used in a pitch black room.

See our review

Notable Mentions

  • 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

All Reviews

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. 

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Questions & Answers

8 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
7
How long do ya'll suppose the Sony XBR65X930C will be available?
Until the spring, at least. Sony kept some of last year's models around this year, so it's possible the X930C will be around well into next year.
7
Before Christmas, you'd recommended the J6200 for my limited budget. I just ordered a 50" set for $499 online and think I got a pretty good deal. I am coming from a plasma so I'm wondering what to set the gamma to in order to best simulate the plasma black levels. Anything else I should be aware of as well? Thanks.
If you want things to be a bit darker without negatively impacting picture, use gamma 2.4. If you don't mind a slight loss in detail, enable 'Dynamic Contrast' to darken the blacks. We don't recommend taking any other steps, though, as the picture quality will degrade too much.
6
I'm curious about whether the new UN48JU6400 is equivalent to the UN48JU6500. Thanks.
No, it's a distinct model. We'll be reviewing it sometime in the next couple of months.
6
I am looking for a 40-43 inch HD or 4k tv. LG has released a new 4k tv 43UF6430, for thanksgiving. Hence can you please comment on this new model? I plan to use this TV more for movies and sports than gaming. The other alternative is a Samsung UN40J6200AFXZA. Can you suggest which one would be a better buy here. They are priced on the same lines.
We have the UF6400 in hand and the review is coming soon. Like the UF6800, it is a 'fake' 4k TV in the way that it has missing colored sub-pixels. It also has an IPS panel that produce grayish blacks and low contrast but wide viewing angle. The motion blur isn't that good. The J6200 is a better TV unless you watch it off axis.
3
I'm getting three TVs for a new house. Is it worth ensuring they have the same operating system? Or are they all simple enough that switching between them won't be a problem? I'm planning on getting the LG EC9300 for the living room and cheaper TVs for other places. Should I stick with the LGs that use the pointer, open it to any LG with smart OS, or not worry about compatibility at all? I've just come back from Best Buy. They were unable to demonstrate the different systems.
There's no need to worry about the OS. It's more pleasant to use a pointer remote, but you won't have trouble navigating the various kinds of smart platforms. Base your decision more on picture quality than anything else.
3
Does Sony have a 55inch in the xbr-930c?
No. Only in 65" size.
2
Regarding 24p, What is the difference between 24p and 24p via 60 hz? What type of devices/sources send movies in 24p via 60 hz? Asking related to the Samsung's 6200 and 6300. Thanks.
24p = a 24 hz signal (Blu-ray player, PC outputting 24 hz). 24p via 60 hz means a 24 hz video playing over a 60 hz signal. PCs could send a movie that way, as could some streaming video devices.
1
What is light bleed? Thinking about the Sony xbr65x900c but so many reviews bash this tv because of really bad light bleed issues. Help!
It is a screen uniformity problem that is apparent on black/dark scenes. Check out our article on it here.
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