For TV shows, you should purchase a TV that has excellent reflection handling, good brightness levels, and wide viewing angles to accommodate for multiple viewing positions. It should be able to properly display 1080p and 720p resolutions, at which most shows are produced.
We've tested 80 TVs and below are our recommendations for the best ones you can buy in March 2019.
Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the beginning of the year as last year's models are gradually replaced by newer ones.
The best TV for watching TV shows we've tested so far is the LG OLED B8. It has excellent reflection handling and good brightness levels to overcome the glare of an average bright room. It also has wide viewing angles, to accommodate for a wide seating arrangement or allow you to move around while watching your favorite show without losing picture quality. It has good upscaling capabilities, so 1080p and 720p content will look good. It has good gray uniformity and is equipped with motion enhancement features like motion interpolation and black frame insertion. It runs LG's smart platform with many pre-installed apps, and you can always download more at LG's content store.
Unfortunately, the LG B8 is an OLED TV and has the risk of temporary image retention and permanent burn-in if you display static images over a prolonged period. However, we expect that most people will not experience that with normal use.
Overall, the LG B8 is an excellent TV that performs very well.
If you want a cheaper and brighter TV than the LG B8, then get the Samsung Q7FN (the Samsung Q8FN and the Samsung Q9FN are even better, but are not worth the extra cash just for watching TV shows). The Q7FN (or the Q7CN, which is identical to it but with a curve profile) does not have the perfect blacks or the wide viewing angles of the LG B8. On the upside, it is a very good TV for watching TV shows. It has good upscaling and you can place in a bright room where it will easily fight glare and handle reflections in an excellent manner. Overall, it will perform well in any use, and certainly in displaying TV shows.
If you are looking for a cheaper LED LCD TV, the Sony X900F is the best mid-range TV for watching TV shows that we've tested so far. It has excellent reflection handling and outstanding peak brightness, great for watching TV during the day in a bright living room.
The X900F has supports most of the common streaming services, ensuring you can watch your shows however you choose to access them. It also offers a finer control over the upscaling process, great if watching a lot of older content that isn't necessarily high definition. The X900F can also interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz, which is great if you're a fan of the soap opera effect.
Unfortunately, the image on the X900F degrades when viewed at an angle, which isn't ideal if you like to move around with the TV on. Overall, though, the X900F is an outstanding TV that should please most people.
If you like to move around while watching TV, the LG SK9000 has better viewing angles than the X900F, making it a better alternative. Like the X900F, the SK9000 has excellent reflection handling, but isn't quite as bright, although you still shouldn't have any issues in a brighter room. The SK9000 also supports motion interpolation, great for lower frame rate content, but it doesn't offer as many options to control the upscaling.
If you find the Sony X900F too expensive, the best budget TV for watching TV shows is the LG UK7700. It does not have the great picture quality of the Sony.
However, the UK7700 has an IPS panel with decent picture quality and can get bright enough for brighter rooms. It has excellent reflection handling (better than more expensive models, like the Sony X930E), decent viewing angles, and can be placed in a room where you can watch it from multiple viewing positions without issue. It has a very low input lag to keep gamers happy and can interpolate content up to 60Hz for those who are fans of the soap opera effect.
Overall, it is a very good TV for brighter rooms and will perform well when watching TV shows.
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the LG UK7700, get the TCL S series (S405 or the newer S425, which only has cosmetic improvements). The TCL 405/425 has a VA panel and thus it does not have the good viewing angles of the LG. It can’t get as bright, but it is much cheaper and it will perform decently. The TCL S405 and S425 have deeper blacks than the LG, which is good for dark rooms, and come equipped with a very low input lag to please gamers.
If you are looking for a cheaper TV than the LG UK7700, get the Sony X720E. It doesn't have the excellent reflection handling or the local dimming found on the LG. On the other hand, the Sony is cheaper, can get brighter than the LG, is flicker-free, and has better viewing angles. This makes it a good choice if you wish to place it in a bright room and watch from multiple positions.
The Sony X730E is becoming hard to find.
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.