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Updated

The 4 Best 4k TVs for watching TV shows
Reviews

Best TV shows

194 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

A suitable TV for watching the news or TV series is actually quite simple. It needs to have good picture quality, handle reflections well so you can watch it in the daytime, and also have a large viewing angle so it can be enjoyed from multiple regions of a wide living room. Since the requirements are quite simple, even some budget TVs do a very good job with this type of usage. More expensive models might give you some more versatility, but the difference won't be huge.

Best TV for Watching TV Shows: LG B7A

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.6
Mixed Usage
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What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
9.3
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:
8.4
TV Shows
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What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
8.3
Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
8.6
Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
9.1
HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.6
HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.0
PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Type : OLED
Sub-Type
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What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
WRGB
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 55" 65"

The LG B7A 4k OLED TV is the best TV for watching TV shows for most people. It produces excellent image quality and has some excellent features making it suitable for a wide variety of rooms.

The picture quality of the B7A is truly exceptional. It produces perfect blacks and an infinite contrast ratio, making it great for watching Sci-fi shows in a dark room. Although it isn't the brightest TV around, it has a great anti-reflective coating, which is perfect for bright rooms.

The B7A has great motion handling and upscales low-resolution content without any issues. The biggest downside to this OLED TV is the possibility of temporary image retention or burn-in. If you watch a varied content, it shouldn't be an issue. The LG B7A is interchangeable with the LG C7. They provide almost identical picture quality for the same price. Depending on local deals, get whichever is cheaper.

See our review

Best Mid-Range TV for Watching TV Shows: Sony X900E

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.2
Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
8.3
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:
8.2
TV Shows
Show Help
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
8.0
Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
8.3
Video Games
Show Help
What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
8.2
HDR Movies
Show Help
What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.1
HDR Gaming
Show Help
What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.2
PC Monitor
Show Help
What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Type : LED
Sub-Type
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What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 49" 55" 65" 75"

The best mid-range TV for watching shows is the Sony X900E. It produces great picture quality and has some wonderful features for a more budget-friendly price.

It is a bit brighter than the LG B7A with older SDR content and has great reflection handling. It doesn't have the infinite contrast ratio of the OLED B7 but it still provides an enjoyable TV watching experience in a very dark room. It does a good job upscaling older TV shows and has an optional black frame insertion feature that can help clear up motion on low frame rate content.

See our review

Best Budget TV for Watching TV Shows: Sony X720E

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.4
Sports
Show Help
What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Type : LED
Sub-Type
Show Help
What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
IPS
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 43" 49" 55"

The best budget TV for most people is the Sony X720E 4k TV. It has a great wide viewing angle and good SDR brightness, which makes it well suited for daytime viewing in a wide room or while multi-tasking.

While it doesn't have the more advanced smart interface found in more expensive models, most people will find it adequate. It isn't great for dark room viewing, and its HDR capabilities are limited, but it has decent motion handling and great low input lag, making it great for gaming as well.

See our review

Cheaper Alternative: TCL S405

Type : LED
Sub-Type
Show Help
What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 43" 49" 55" 65"

If you want something with more advanced smart features or just want a decent TV without breaking the bank, go for the TCL S405. It has decent picture quality and is well suited for dark room viewing. It runs the great Roku TV smart interface, which has a wide assortment of apps and streaming channels.

See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG C8. Great OLED TV, similar performance to the C7/B7A but much more expensive. See our review
  • Samsung Q8FN. Great LED TV, worse TV show performance than the LG B7A and costs more. See our review
  • Sony X930E. Brighter alternative to the X900E, similar performance but costs a lot more. See our review
  • Samsung MU6290. Worse performance than the Sony X720E for the same price. See our review
  • Samsung NU8000. Slightly more expensive than the Sony X900E but worse picture quality. See our review
  • TCL S517. Decent versatile 4k TV, but more expensive than the S405 for similar performance. See our review

All Reviews

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. 

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