There’s never been a better time to buy a TV. The industry has worked most of the bugs out of LCD and OLED TVs, and today’s prices are lower than ever. In fact, high-end 4K models cost about half of what they did last year. We’ll give you our top picks, plus an in-depth guide to the specs and features you’ll encounter. 

You’ll face an alphabet soup of acronyms and phraseology when you go shopping: LED, LCD, HDR, OLED, quantum dots, and more. And manufacturers thicken that broth with their own trademarked nomenclature: Contrast EliteMax, Q Style Elite, X-tended Dynamic Range PRO? Give me a break.

The good news? You can ignore all that ad-speak and focus on just four things: color, contrast (including the quality of blacks), brightness, and realism. Technology changes, but your eyes don’t.

Here are our top recommendations in three categories. If you want a deeper understanding as to why we picked them, there’s an in-depth buyers’ guide further down that you’ll find invaluable when you go shopping. 


It’s a win-win: Samsung’s Q8FN made a better impression than the more upscale Q9F—and it costs less. The two models use slightly different LED backlighting schemes, and we thought the Q8FN’s was more effective. You might prefer the Q9FN if you intend to hang the TV on the wall, because the One Connect breakout box greatly simplifies cable management. 


No manufacturer does image processing better than Sony. If moiré, shimmering in detailed pans, jagged text, and backlighting blockiness drive you up a wall, this is the TV to buy. 


It’s hard to imagine a better TV than LG’s E8PUA OLED. This TV supports every HDR standard on the market, and its picture quality is stunning. LG’s Magic Remote and WebOS operating system make it a joy to use, and cord-cutters tuning into over-the-air broadcasts will dig the excellent program guide. And this being an OLED TV, you have to see the blacks to understand what you’re missing with most LED-backlit LCD TVs.


LG manufactures the OLED panel Sony uses for this TV, but the rest of the technology inside—most importantly, the image processor—is all Sony’s doing. And if you’re looking for a great TV that you don’t need to supplement with a high-quality soundbar, no TV on the market sounds better than this one.

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