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The best TVs of 2024: Expert tested

If you're looking to upgrade your TV before the big game, ZDNET has researched and tested the best TVs from Samsung, Sony, TCL, Hisense, and more.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer and  Rebecca Isaacs, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
Samsung QN90C | Best TV overall
365499141-252264697622883-3897139225705278962-n
Samsung QN90C
Best TV overall
View now View at Samsung
Samsung CU8000 | Best budget TV
A Samsung CU8000 TV on a grey background
Samsung CU8000
Best budget TV
View now View at Samsung
Sony A95L | Best OLED TV
Sony A95L 65-inch Google smart TV
Sony A95L
Best OLED TV
View now View at Best Buy
Hisense U8K | Best TV for gaming
A Hisense U8K TV showing a nightime city landscape
Hisense U8K
Best TV for gaming
View now View at Best Buy
TCL QM8 | Best big-screen TV
A TCL QM8 TV showing the start screen for the game Hades
TCL QM8
Best big-screen TV
View now View at Best Buy

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it's a great time to buy a TV (and take advantage of all of the TV deals available). The best TVs you can buy right now offer a great balance between features, screen size, connectivity, and, of course, price. Big brands like Samsung and Sony offer premium models with features like object tracking sound, OLED panels, and cloud gaming support. And smaller brands like Hisense and TCL offer more mid-range and budget-friendly options that still provide core features like 4K resolution and HDR support to give them great value for the money. 

Also: How to watch the Super Bowl

ZDNET staff did hands-on testing of many of the best TVs on the market right now. Our choice for the best TV overall is the Samsung QN90C for its object tracking sound, cloud gaming support, and bright QLED panel. You can keep reading below to find out more about the Samsung QN90C as well as my other top picks for the best TVs you can buy. 

The best TVs of 2024

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Object tracking sound
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 2,000 nits peak brightness
  • Lots of screen sizes
Cons
  • Pricey at larger sizes
  • No Dolby Vision support
More Details

Samsung QN90C specs: Screen size: 43 - 98 inches | Panel type: Neo QLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Neo Quantum HDR+ | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound+ | Voice controls: Alexa, Bixby, Hey Google

The Samsung QN90C is one of the best TVs to hit the market. It's available in a wide range of screen sizes from as small as 43 inches to an impressive 98-inch panel. It's features an updated Neo QLED panel which creates over 1 billion colors, along with a brighter picture and deeper contrast. The integrated speakers work with both Dolby Atmos and Samsung's Object Tracking Sound+ technology to create room-filling virtual surround sound as well as audio that follows the on-screen action for a more immersive cinematic experience. 

ZDNET's own Artie Beaty got to do some hands-on testing with the Samsung QN90C, and he not only praised the bright screen and great audio, but also the TV's gaming features. It supports 120Hz refresh rates at 4K resolution as well as 6 different gaming picture modes to get the most out of your favorite titles.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great price point
  • Tons of screen size options
  • Object tracking sound
  • Solar-powered remote
Cons
  • Only 60Hz refresh rate
  • No Dolby Atmos or Dolby Vision support
  • No VRR support
More Details

Samsung CU8000 specs: Screen size: 43-85 inches | Panel type: Crystal UHD | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: HDR10+ | Audio: Dolby Digital Plus, Object Tracking Sound Lite | Voice controls: Alexa, Bixby, Hey Google

If you're working with a modest budget while shopping for a new TV, the Samsung CU8000 is a great option. It's available in screen sizes from as small as 43 inches to an impressive 85-inch model, and it has a price point at each size class that's much more affordable than many other models. And just because it's more budget-friendly, that doesn't mean that the Samsung CU8000 skimps on cool features.

Along with HDR10+ support for enhanced contrast and detailing, the TV also uses Samsung's Object Tracking Sound Lite technology to create audio that follows the on-screen action. You'll also get access to voice controls via Alexa, Bixby, or Hey Google as well as a solar-powered remote to help make your home a bit more eco-friendly.

Sony A95L 65-inch Google smart TV
Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • IMAX Enhanced mode
  • Updated QD-OLED panel
  • Object tracking sound
  • AirPlay support
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No G-Sync or FreeSync support for console gaming
More Details

Sony A95L specs: Screen size: 55-85 inches | Panel type: QD-OLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Acoustic Surface Audio+ | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google

While OLED TVs are already considered the crown jewel of any home theater, the Sony A95L manages to stand out even more. It's built with an all-new, QD-OLED panel to produce a brighter picture than previous models as well as a wider range of colors for more lifelike images. The integrated speakers work with both Dolby Atmos and Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology to turn your entire screen into a speaker that creates sound which follows the on-screen action. The Sony A95L also supports Apple AirPlay, letting you share media from your Mac or iOS devices right to your TV. And with the IMAX Enhanced mode, movie buffs can watch new blockbusters and old Hollywood classics as their creators intended. ZDNET's Rebecca Isaacs got to see the Sony A95L in-person, calling it "Sony's new crown jewel" for its incredible picture quality.

A Hisense U8K TV showing a nightime city landscape
Taylor Clemons/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Up to 144Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 1500 nits of brightness
  • Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos support
  • AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support
Cons
  • No Nvidia G-Sync support
  • Not all HDMI inputs support 144Hz refresh rate
  • No cloud gaming support
More Details

Hisense U8K specs: Screen size: 55-100 inches | Panel type: Mini-LED | Refresh rate: Up to 144Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision IQ | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google

The Hisense U8K is one of the brand's latest flagship models, and it has been tailor-made for console gaming. It features 4 HDMI inputs for connecting multiple consoles at once, and two of those inputs support refresh rates up to 144Hz at 4K resolution. Which means you'll get incredibly smooth playback as well as great detailing and color volume, even in fast-paced games. The mini-LED display has a peak brightness of 1500 nits, making it great for brightly lit rooms, or spaces that catch direct sunlight.

The integrated speakers also produce some impressive audio for the price point, working with Dolby Atmos to create virtual surround sound as well as rich, detailed sound for music and dialogue. I got to test out the Hisense U8K myself, and the quick setup time and intuitive game mode menu made it easy to configure for use with both my Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5. The higher refresh rate and improved input latency helped out with rhythm games where video and audio syncing is critical. The mini-LED panel also makes everything from highly stylized games like Persona 5 to gritty realism in titles like Call of Duty look the best it can.

A TCL QM8 TV showing the start screen for the game Hades
SuperGiant Games/TCL/Taylor Clemons/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great picture quality
  • Up to 98-inch screen size
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Decent audio quality
Cons
  • Expensive, especially at larger screen sizes
  • No VRR support for gaming
  • A bit heavy and cumbersome to set up
More Details

TCL QM8 specs: Screen size: 65-98 inches | Panel type: QLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google

If you're looking for a quality big-screen TV for everything from watching local news to streaming new movies and console gaming, the TCL QM8 is a great option. It's available in screen sizes up to an impressive 98 inches, which means you can get a truly cinematic experience right in your own home. The updated QLED panel is capable of producing bold, bright colors, deep contrast, and sharp detailing that makes everything from old cartoons to the latest triple-A video games look amazing.

Along with a great picture, you'll also get a 120Hz native refresh rate for smoother playback of fast-paced scenes. And Dolby Atmos helps to boost dialogue and create more immersive audio for streaming movies and shows as well as when playing video games. I got to test the TCL QM8 myself, and I absolutely loved how well the upscaling worked for older TV shows like Teen Titans as well as the high refresh rate for playing games like Hades.

What is the best TV?

My choice for the best TV you can buy is the Samsung QN90C for its updated Neo QLED panel, object tracking sound and Dolby Atmos support, and cloud gaming support. It's available in screen sizes from as small as 43 inches to a truly impressive (and wallet-squeezing) 98 inches. And with its ultra-thin and sleek design, you'll have more space for setting up home audio equipment or for creating a more organized home theater.

Best TV

Price

HDR/Audio

Screen size

Samsung QN90C

$1298

Neo Quantum HDR+, Dolby Atmos/Object Tracking Sound+

43-98 inches

Samsung CU8000

$480

HDR10+, Dolby Digital Plus

43-75 inches

Sony A95L

$2,800

Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos/Acoustic Surface Audio+

55-77 inches

Hisense U8K

$900

Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos

55-100 inches

TCL QM8

$900

Dolby Vision IQ, DTS Virtual: X

65-98 inches

*MSRP at time of writing. Please note that actual prices may vary on retailer, screen size, and available promotions or discounts.

What is the right TV for you?

After determining your budget, it's important to ensure that your new TV will fit comfortably in your space. Start by measuring the distance (in inches) between your couch and where the TV will be wall-mounted or placed on a stand. Divide that number in half to find the ideal TV size for your room. For example, if your couch is 120 inches (10 feet) away from your TV, the recommended TV size for your room would be about 60 inches.

Additionally, it's a good idea to consider accessibility features such as voice controls, screen readers, and closed captioning to ensure that everyone can enjoy the entertainment. These features can provide an enhanced viewing experience for those who are hearing or visually impaired, and they can be especially helpful for households with young children or elderly family members.

Buy this best TV...

If you need...

Samsung QN90C

A well-rounded TV. The Samsung QN90C features object tracking sound, a dedicated gaming hub with cloud gaming support, and a solar-powered remote control.

Samsung CU8000

A budget-friendly TV. The Samsung CU8000 is a stripped-back model, offering core features like 4K resolution and streaming support at great prices.

Sony A95L

An OLED TV. The Sony A95L is the newest OLED model from the brand, offering an updated OLED panel, an anti-reflection screen coating, and Acoustic Surface Audio+.

Hisense U8K

A TV for gaming. The Hisense U8K has 2 HDMI ports that support 144Hz refresh rates, and it also offers several dedicated gaming picture modes.

TCL QM8

A big screen TV. The TCL QM8 features a bright screen that is great in almost any lighting environment, and it produces bold, bright colors for great picture quality.

How did we choose these TVs?

While testing and researching each TV featured on this list, I and other ZDNET experts kept these criteria in mind:

  • Price: Not all budgets are created equal. And if you're working with a limited budget, that shouldn't mean you have to settle for a sub-par TV. Each TV model on this list has been chosen across a variety of price points to help accommodate different needs.
  • Screen size: The most important factor to consider, after price, when shopping for a new TV is whether or not it will fit into your space. Each best TV on this list was chosen because they are available in a wide variety of sizes to suit different rooms.
  • Picture and audio quality: A new TV doesn't mean much, even if it costs an arm and a leg, if it doesn't provide a great picture and clear audio. Each TV on this list has been ensured to support various HDR codecs, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision as well as enhanced audio software like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, and object tracking sound.

When is the Super Bowl?

The 49ers and Chiefs face off in Super Bowl LVIII on February 11, 2024. Coverage starts at 6:30pm Eastern time.

What is the best TV for gaming?

If you want a TV that feels like it was tailor-made for console gaming, check out the Hisense U8K. With 4 HDMI inputs, you can connect several consoles at once. And two of those ports support up to 144Hz refresh rates for smoother playback and to prevent screen tearing and stuttering. The mini-LED panel also produces bright, bold colors, deep contrast, and sharp detailing. And the integrated speakers give you crystal clear dialogue, music, and audio cues.

Which is better: Roku or Android TVs?

IT depends on your personal preference. Both platforms have pros and cons. Roku TVs tend to be some of the most affordable on the market while still providing a great streaming experience via a suite of preloaded, popular apps. Roku TVs also have a simplified home menu with your most-used apps and HDMI-connected devices in one easy-to-navigate hub, so you never have to scroll through confusing menus or memorize input locations. The downside? They often don't have native voice control or support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. 

Android-based televisions are a bit more expensive, but you get more features, like built-in voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity, support for variable refresh rate technology, as well as Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound processing. 

When comparing Roku and Android-based TVs, consider your must-have features so you can choose the model that best fits your needs and budget.

What size TV do I need?

The best way to find your ideal TV screen size is to measure the distance (in inches) between your couch and where the TV will be wall-mounted or placed on a dedicated stand. Next, divide that distance by two. So if your couch is 120 inches (10 feet) from where the TV will be, the ideal size would be 60 inches. 

You can always go a bit bigger or smaller depending on your budget and what's available, but you don't want to go wild and get a huge screen if you don't need to. Not only do you run the risk of having your new, expensive TV not fit your space, but a screen that's too big can overwhelm a room and even cause motion sickness. On the other end of the spectrum, while smaller screens tend to be more affordable, a TV that's too small for a room can make the space feel cavernous and force everyone to crowd around in order to see.

Is it worth buying an 8K TV?

As of right now, we're inclined to say no. Not only are 8K televisions very expensive, but there isn't any 8K content available over broadcast, streaming, or gaming outlets to justify buying one. A conservative estimate would say that 8K streaming and gaming will be available within the next five years or so -- and it will require a very fast internet connection to handle the bandwidth needed to consistently stream in ultra-high definition. 

If you've always been an early adopter of tech, want to get a jump on future-proofing your home theater, and have extra cash to spend, you might get more value out of an 8K television than someone who just wants to watch Succession on HBO Max.

If you're looking for an 8K panel, I personally recommend checking out the Samsung QN900C. I had a chance to check it out, and during my initial testing, I really, truly enjoyed the display.

What's the difference between OLED and QLED?

OLED and QLED panel types use the same basic component to create images on screen: a power source, a light source, and a color source. The key differences are exactly how these panels get power, light, and color. 

A QLED screen, mostly seen in Samsung, TCL, and Hisense models, uses a modified LED panel and a "quantum dot" screen to create images. The "quantum" in QLED seems to be more of a catchy marketing term than an allusion to actual quantum tech, but it does give you enhanced color and detailing over a regular LED display. 

An OLED panel, found in LG, Sony, and Vizio TVs, uses an array of mini LED lamps that are individually lit along with organic substrates for color. The individual LEDs allow for true blacks to create stunning contrast and make colors pop. It's an expensive technology to produce, so OLED TVs are pretty pricey. But if picture quality is your top priority, it's a worthwhile investment. 

What is the best TV for a living room?

The best TV for a living room can vary depending on the size of the room and your budget. However, some of the best options available include the Samsung QN90B, the LG C2, and the Sony X80K. These TVs provide excellent picture and sound quality, a range of features, and a variety of screen sizes to suit different room types.

Do I need a soundbar or can I rely on the TV's built-in speakers?

It really depends on your preferences and the TV model you choose. Some TVs have excellent built-in speakers that provide ample sound quality for most viewers, while others may benefit from a separate soundbar or audio system for a more immersive audio experience. If you're a movie or gaming enthusiast, you may want to consider investing in a soundbar or dedicated audio system to complement your TV.

Also: The best soundbars

Are there alternative TVs worth considering?

There are about as many TVs on the market as there are customers shopping for them. No matter what your priorities are (surround sound, picture quality, or smart networking), there's a TV model out there to suit your needs. Here's a short list of other models that are great choices:

View at AmazonView at AmazonView at AmazonView at Best Buy
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