If you're planning on buying a new TV in the near future, chances are it's a flat screen. Modern flat screens have gotten thinner and bigger, and many are designed to look like pieces of art when wall-mounted. There are still some curved TVs available, but they are slowly disappearing from the markets.
We've reviewed more than 80 TVs in the last two years, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best flat screen TVs available for purchase. Make sure to check out our recommendations for the best TVs, the best 4k TVs, and the best smart TVs.
The LG B9 OLED is the best flat screen TV we've tested so far. This is an excellent TV that delivers stunning picture quality and an outstanding choice for those who like to watch in the dark.
It can achieve perfect blacks without any uniformity issues like backlight bleeding or clouding, which can be rather distracting. It's suitable for any type of room configuration thanks to its wide viewing angles, and it has a decent peak brightness and exceptional reflection handling for viewing in bright rooms. Response time on this TV is near-instantaneous, resulting in a clear image with almost no motion blur. It performs remarkably well for gaming with its 120Hz refresh rate and low input lag, and it even supports variable refresh rate technology for a nearly tear-free gaming experience.
Unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, there is a risk of permanent burn-in, as it can happen with static content, such as the user interface of a video game or a channel logo displayed in the same place for an extended period. That said, it shouldn't be a problem for most people who watch varied content. On the upside, there's support for HDR10 as well as Dolby Vision, and it supports eARC so you can enjoy high-quality, uncompressed audio like Dolby Atmos via TrueHD with a simple HDMI connection. All in all, this is a feature-packed TV that performs well for any use.
If you worry about the risks of permanent burn-in on the LG B9 OLED, check out the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED. This TV uses a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio, and it has a full-array local dimming, resulting in deep and inky blacks for an exceptional dark room viewing experience. It has an excellent peak brightness in HDR mode to make highlights pop, and its motion handling is great, with very little blur trail behind fast-moving objects. Gamers should be happy with its 120Hz refresh rate and FreeSync support, and its 'Automatic Low Latency Mode' makes it easy to jump into a game on a compatible console like the Xbox One, without having to change the picture mode each time.
For the best picture quality, the LG is a better choice, but if the possibility of burn-in concerns you, then look into the Samsung.
If you still want an LED TV and find the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED expensive, consider something cheaper with only a few compromises in performance with the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019. It doesn't have the LG B9 OLED's great smart interface, and the Vizio doesn't have any of the Samsung's gaming features. On the upside, it's an excellent TV that delivers great picture quality and performs very well in most uses. It has one of the best native contrast we've seen so far, it displays an extremely wide color gamut, it can get very bright, and it's suitable for any room.
If you want the absolute best flat screen TV, consider the LG. However, if you want to save some cash, the Vizio is a great alternative with excellent overall performance.
The best flat screen TV for color accuracy we've tested so far is the Sony X950G. It has the best out-of-the-box color accuracy we've seen so far, so you don't need to pay extra to get it calibrated. It's an upper-mid-range TV packed with features that deliver stunning picture quality.
This TV has great dark room performance thanks to its VA panel that's able to produce deep blacks, and it has a local dimming feature that slightly improves its contrast ratio. It gets incredibly bright, enough to combat glare, and combined with its wide color gamut, HDR content looks great, and highlights pop the way they should. It upscales lower resolution content, such as from DVDs and cable boxes well, it removes judder from any sources, plus there's a motion interpolation feature to interpolate motion up to 120Hz. If you also want to game with this TV, it has a low enough input lag for casual gamers, and it has a quick response time, resulting in smooth motion.
Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor, which is expected of a VA panel, but the 75 and 85-inch models have the 'X-Wide Angle' technology added to improve viewing angles. On the upside, it has great reflection handling if you want to place it in a bright room. Overall, the Sony is the best flat screen TV for color accuracy we've seen so far.
If you're looking for a flat screen TV with better gaming features, the Samsung Q80T QLED is a great choice. However, its contrast isn't as good as the Sony X950G due to the Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer used to improve viewing angles at the cost of its contrast. Luckily, it has a full-array local dimming feature that deepens any blacks. For gamers, it has a 120Hz refresh rate with FreeSync support to help reduce screen tearing, it has a very low input lag, and excellent response time with minimal motion blur behind fast-moving objects. Its out-of-the-box color accuracy is excellent, its reflection handling is outstanding, and it gets bright enough to combat glare. Unfortunately, it also has some uniformity issues, but this could vary from unit to unit.
If you want the best flat screen TV for color accuracy, you can't go wrong with the Sony, but if you're also going to game on your TV, consider the Samsung.
The best flat screen TV in the budget category that we've tested so far is the Hisense H8G. It's a higher-end TV in Hisense's lineup and it offers very good performance for a low price. It competes with some higher-end TVs in terms of picture quality but it has a limited HDR experience.
With a VA panel, this TV displays deep blacks and it has decent black uniformity. If you watch movies in dark rooms, you should be happy to know it has an okay-performing full-array dimming feature that helps deepen any blacks. If you watch TV in bright rooms, it gets bright enough to combat glare and it has decent reflection handling. It's also a great choice for gaming as even though it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, it has a quick response time and a very low input lag, ideal for any type of gamer. It upscales lower-resolution content well and it removes judder from 24p sources like native apps or Blu-ray players.
Unfortunately, even though it displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, it doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights, so HDR content doesn't look all that different from SDR content. It also has narrow viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel. On the upside, it uses Android TV as its smart OS, which has a ton of apps available, but it isn't the easiest to use at times. Overall, it's a good TV for its price.
If you're looking for a TV with built-in Roku instead of Android TV, then the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019 is a good choice. Its response time is far worse than the Hisense H8G, but the built-in Roku system is easier to use, and there's still a large selection of apps available. This is another TV that performs well for its price as it delivers deep blacks, gets really bright, and displays a very wide color gamut for HDR content. Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, and the out-of-the-box color accuracy is disappointing. Still, it upscales lower resolution content well, and it's able to remove judder from all sources.
If you're on a budget, the Hisense provides great value for its price, but if you prefer using Roku's smart platform, check out the TCL.
06/25/2020: Replaced the Hisense H9F withe Hisense H8G.
06/16/2020: Replaced the Samsung Q70R with the Q80T; replaced the Hisense H8F with the TCL 6 Series; updated notable mentions.
04/17/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
12/20/2019: Replaced the Vizio P Series Quantum 2018 with the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019 and made small changes to text for clarity.
10/24/2019: Replaced the LG C9 OLED with the LG B9 and the TCL R617 with the Hisense H8F.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best flat screen TVs available to buy for most people in each price range.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our TV reviews. 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.