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TVs we love: The screens that ZDNet writers binge-watch on

TVs come in all shapes and sizes but which ones reside in the living rooms of ZDNet's writers and editors? Read on to learn about our love-hate relationships with our TVs, and what we're eyeing for our next upgrades.
Written by David Grober, Contributor
TCL Roku 4K TV | David Gewirtz and Ed Bott
TCL Roku 4K TV
David Gewirtz and Ed Bott
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Sony Bravia TV | Ross Rubin
Sony Bravia TV
Ross Rubin
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Samsung 4K Smart TV | Charlie Osbourne and Marc Wojno
Samsung 4K Smart TV
Charlie Osbourne and Marc Wojno
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LG OLED 77'' 4K TV | Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
LG OLED 77'' 4K TV
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
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SHARP 70'' TV | Jason Perlow
Jason Perlow
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XGIMI Aura | Eileen Brown
XGIMI Aura ultra short throw laser projector review perfect for business – and home theatre gurus zdnet
Eileen Brown
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For some, a TV is the centerpiece of the house, uniting all within through vivid and color-bursting imagery. While for others, it is merely an accessory that fills the void of a blank wall. Whatever the case may be, TVs offer an entertainment experience that you just can't find with today's more portable devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Over the past year, our ZDNet team of writers and editors has enjoyed sharing and discussing with you the tech that we use everyday, from phones to laptops. Now, with the holiday season upon us, the team is back again to shed light on the TVs that we use when off the clock.

If you're here to find out what the best TV on the market is, I can't guarantee that you will get a definitive answer below -- though ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols claims his pick is the one to beat. Instead, read on to learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly of our at-home TVs, and what we're eyeing when the next buying cycle comes along.

David Gewirtz: To keep things simple, my TCL 65'' 4K LED TV is the perfect basic TV. It gets the job done with a large 65'' panel, built-in Roku for streaming -- a benefit unless Roku ends up dumping YouTube and Prime support, and a price that I couldn't pass on a year ago. But, it hasn't been all peaches and roses in TCL land. For starters, the screen has begun to darken in a few areas after the year of use. I also wish it had more HDMI ports, though I understand most TVs only have the three.

Next TV? Putting the two complaints aside, I will likely replace this TV with its current model -- either in the same size or larger -- if need be.

Ed Bott: My household currently has the a 55-inch TCL Roku, which I am extremely happy with. We use Google Fiber and YouTube TV and the only real nuisance is that thanks to a Roku-Google spat, there's no YT TV app; you have to open the Google app, go to the bottom of the sidebar, and open YouTube TV from there. On the bright side, the TV connects via HDMI-CEC to my Denon amp which really makes an impressive home theater. 

Next TV? We will probably move sometime next year from our apartment to a more permanent address and I will almost certainly get a new Samsung The Frame TV (75-inch, this time).

Our latest addition to the house, the 60'' Sony Bravia, came after my son demonstrated the might of a Wii controller's inertia on the previous one. The Sony Bravia series has been my family's TV of choice for some time now due to its ol' reliable display performance. You can always expect crisp, HD footage with the TV, though I'd love to access models with the expanded color dynamics of OLED/QLED panels.

If I purchased a new TV today, it would definitely be a LeEco (just kidding). I'd probably look at a Roku TV like TCL's, in part for the audio integration and support of casting standards.

Charlie Osbourne: I have a 55" Samsung 4K Smart TV in my lounge, purchased around 4/5 years back. It's been reliable and with decent image quality -- although, sometimes, it does have a tantrum and requires a hard reset to reconnect to HDMI-based services. I also wish it had more HDMI ports, but buying a dongle for the back helped. The sound quality was terrible and very flat so I ended up buying a Bose soundbar to go with it.

Next TV?  I'd like to upgrade next year. If money wasn't a factor, I love the look of Samsung's Infinity screen models. However, more realistically, I'd stick to a TV by Samsung and go up to a 65".

Marc Wojno: I have the 65" Samsung QLED 4K. The quality is excellent for programs produced in 4K, such as streaming services, with gorgeous color and sharp detail. As you would expect, it does accentuate the limitations of programming not in 4K or HD. I'm impressed with the TV's upscaling capabilities. My litmus test is its ability to play composite video. I'm happy to say it does this better than I expected (I can actually watch my laserdiscs without being distracted by the limitations of the analog image).

One big issue I have is the slight delay of the dimming zones, especially with white titles on dark/black background. Such titles tend to fade in fast when they should be snapping up (think of the opening and closing titles in 2001: A Space Odyssey)...can't stand that. Overall, I'm pleased with the TV (although I sometimes catch myself missing my Panasonic 1080 plasma).

Next TV? As you would expect, I'm waiting for Samsung to improve its local dimming zone tech so that cuts are cuts, not fast fade-ins. Put that ahead of expanding to 8K. Also, upgrade the speakers and audio features on the TV so I don't need to spend extra on a soundbar.

I recently moved and, along the way, my faithful 2016 Sony XBR-75X850D, as such things do, suffered a fatal screen crack. It was time for something bigger and better. I'd long used smaller LG TVs, but since my new place also included a home theater it was time to think big. So, after much research, I got LG's newest 77" 4K TV: the 2021 LG OLED77C TV. In a word, it's impressive.

Besides being great for 4K movies with HDR, I found the screen to also be great with sports and games. The video response time has to be seen to be believed. The TV also comes with outstanding 2.2 Channel front-facing speakers. To my surprise, the LG's sound is excellent even without an external speaker.

Next TV? I have no problems with this TV at all, but if I had to replace it, I'd get the 83-inch version.

Also: Steven's full review of the LG 77-inch OLED 4K TV

Our main TV is a SHARP 70" that I bought in 2012, when we first moved to Florida. It is 1080 LED. I like it because it's big, has excellent color brightness and very good black-on-black representation from the time we bought it. It was a very expensive set at the time, over $1700. The technology is quite outdated compared to what exists now, but works as intended which is all that matters. I have it wall mounted so getting to the deeply-embed HDMI and other ports can be difficult.

Next TV? If I had to replace it today, I would likely go with a 4K Samsung model, with a 240hz motion rate. I'd prefer a "stupid TV" because I use Apple TV for all the app and streaming functions, but that doesn't appear to be an easy option.

The XGIMI Aura that I recently reviewed is the best home theater projector/TV I've ever seen. It projects up to 150 inches from just a few inches away from the wall and is super bright. It is absolutely stunning - and I am very reluctant to put it back in its box.

Next TV? After using the projector, I'd never buy another TV again.

Also: Eileen Brown's XGIMI Aura full review

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