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 of them 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 70 TVs in the last 2 years, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best flat screen TVs available for purchase. See also our recommendations for the best TVs, the best 4k TVs, and the best smart TVs.
The best flat screen TV we've tested is the LG B9 OLED. Just like all OLEDs, it delivers an outstanding picture quality with perfect blacks in a dark room thanks to its emissive technology. It has a wide color gamut and displays HDR content with vivid color and bright highlights. Sports fans will love the excellent gray uniformity and the fact that the image remains accurate for wide viewing angles, allowing them to enjoy the big game with a group of friends. It has a nearly instantaneous response time that leaves almost no blur, but unfortunately causes stutter in movies. Gamers will enjoy a very low input lag, and thanks to the support for the HDMI Forum variable refresh rate technology they can enjoy nearly tear-free gaming with Xbox One. This TV has four HDMI 2.1 ports that currently don't add much, but make the TV more future-proof.
Overall, this is an excellent TV that'll keep those who buy it happy.
If you find that the risk of burn-in on OLED TVs like the LG B9 OLED is a concern, then get the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED; this is the best QLED TV we've tested. This TV can't display perfect blacks like the LG, and doesn't have the same excellent wide viewing angles. On the upside, this is a remarkable TV with impressive picture quality, suitable for any room, as it can get very bright. Its dark room performance is excellent as well, thanks to the effective local dimming and high native contrast ratio. It's loaded with gaming goodies, a low input lag, and an extremely fast response time that makes the TV an excellent choice for gamers.
Overall, if you're concerned about the possibility of burn-in, get the Samsung; otherwise, the LG is the best choice.
If you find the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED expensive and are looking for something cheaper with only a few compromises in performance, get 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 can get very bright and is suitable for any room.
If you want the absolute best flat screen TV, get the LG. However, if you want to save some cash, the Vizio is a great alternative with excellent overall performance.
If you care about color accuracy, the flatscreen TV with the best pre-calibration color accuracy is the Sony X950G. It's an impressive TV that delivers great picture quality. You won't have the perfect blacks of the OLEDs but the TV can display deep blacks in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio and the good local dimming support. It's a TV with excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, which might save you the calibration cost other TVs might require. You can easily place it in any room as it can get very bright and will fight glare with ease. Motion looks great on the Sony thanks to the fast response time that only leaves a small blur trail behind fast-moving content.
Unfortunately, on the smaller variants, the image degrades at an angle, just like with most VA panel TVs. The larger variants incorporate the 'X-Wide Angle' layer that improves viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio. Finally, the input lag is low enough to please most gamers but the most competitive ones might want something even lower.
Overall, however, this is an impressive TV with excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy that will please most people.
If you want a TV for gaming that performs almost as well as the Sony X950G, then get the Samsung Q70R/Q70 QLED. You won't get the Sony's excellent reflection handling or brightness levels, but this is a great TV that can deliver a very good picture quality with deep blacks in a dark room. It has a very low input lag, supports FreeSync for nearly tear-free gaming, and supports low input lag with motion interpolation. It also supports an Auto Low Latency Mode, so you don't have to switch to 'Game' mode every time you want to play a game.
Overall, if gaming is important, get the Samsung; however, if color accuracy is more important, the Sony is the way to go.
The Hisense H9F is the best budget flat screen TV we've tested so far. It has an excellent contrast ratio and a decent local dimming feature for great dark room performance. It can get very bright and can handle reflections well, so glare shouldn't be a worry in a brighter room.
This TV is also very good for gaming, thanks to its outstanding low input lag and excellent response time. The TV's smart features are great, as it runs the latest Android TV smart interface, and gives you access to the Google Play Store, which has a very large selection of smart apps.
Unfortunately, this TV has poor viewing angles and some noticeable uniformity issues. The dirty screen effect won't please the most demanding sports fans. Overall, though, it's a great TV for almost any use and should make those who choose it happy.
If you want something cheaper than the Hisense H9F without much compromise in quality, then check out the Hisense H8F. This TV can't get as bright and doesn't have as fast a response time as the H9F, which results in a longer blur trail which can be bad for gaming. On the upside, it has a great picture quality, better black uniformity, and less blooming around bright objects in dark scenes than the other Hisense.
Overall, if you want the best flat screen TV in the budget category, the H9F is the way to go; otherwise, the H8F will save you some cash without much compromise in quality.
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.
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. Made changes to text for clarity.