If you're looking for the best gaming TV you can afford in 2019, there's a whole world of choice out there. 4K TVs have never been more affordable for the UK, there are a greater range of sizes and panel types than ever before, and even some of the more budget manufacturers are making great 4K TVs for gaming. The sheer mass of choice, however, can make things a little confusing, so we're here to help you choose the best gaming TV for you, with an eye on next-gen consoles like the Sony PS5, which will undoubtedly put huge demands on the panel in your living room.
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When you're searching for the best gaming TV you need to watch out for a handful of things. The first is tech - not all 4K TVs are created equal, and there are now two types of screen to watch out for: LED and OLED. Most 4K TVs are LED, but the more expensive tend to be OLED (or QLED, if you buy Samsung). OLEDs tend to offer deeper blacks and richer colors, while the QLEDs bring more vibrant colors and brighter pictures. You can pick up QLED for less than £1000 now, which is great value. Most TVs have either HDR 10+ as standard, or Dolby Atmos, but make sure whatever you're buying has one of the two.
Elsewhere, you need to consider the refresh speed of a TV, for fast-paced games like COD (and, if you consider that PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlett will likely run at 60fps as standard, this becomes crucial), and you need to do quite basic checks like whether or not your TV has enough HDMI sockets to accommodate all your devices, how easy the UI is to use, and whether it actually fits your space. We'll guide you through all this and more in the best gaming TV options below. And if you're yet to go 4K, here are the best PS4 Pro deals and best Xbox One X deals out there right now.
Best gaming TVs for 2019
The best gaming TV in the UK right now
Screen size: 55 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1226(w) x 710(h) x 54(d)mm
Now THIS is the gaming TV you want in your home. It's LG's 2017 OLED model, which means it isn't quite as fancy as last year's model, but right now it's only £1100, which is an amazing price for such a great set. Because it's OLED the black levels are stunning, creating an intensely rich picture that holds up in just about any lighting set-up. You really notice the quality when you're, for example, playing through Red Dead 2 at night and you see the stars shining against the deep black sky.
You're looking at a decent response time for gaming, of 21ms, which is actually above average for many OLED TVs, which do struggle in this area. It comes with best in class HDR, and thanks to Dolby Atmos the sound is very good for a set of this size too. The downside is that colours aren't as vibrant as QLED, and the remote isn't that sexy. You still get 4x HDMI ports, and 3x USB (although only one of them is USB3), and LG's user interface is really easy and quick to use. At the current price you get WAY more TV for your money than you'd reasonably expect. And if you want the 2018 model, that's only £1194 at Amazon now. We'd recommend either, as there isn't much difference between the two, but the saving on the 2017 model just pips it for us at the moment.
The best value QLED TV, and it's currently under £1000
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Panel technology: QLED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1226(w) x 777(h) x 50(d)mm
If you want QLED without breaking the bank, you can now pick up this Samsung set for less than £1000. If you go 43", it drops below £900. For what you get that's an incredible deal, because this panel offers way brighter colors than standard LED sets (it manages about 1,500 nits), even if its blacks can't quite match those you find in LG's OLED TVs (which are about 2-3 times more expensive). There are more advanced models in the Q series but, given how excellent the tech in this TV is, that's no real disadvantage (if you want to pay plenty more, then the Q7 and Q8 models are slightly better, but not as good value for money).
It has a 21ms response rate, which is first-class for gaming, its images are sharper than most OLEDs, and it features all Samsung's excellent picture tweaking features (that are accessed by a pleasingly fast UI). The downside? Sound isn't as good as more expensive TVs - this is all about the picture - although it's by no means poor. This TV comes with 4x HDMI ports, 2x USB ports, and a composite connection, so you can easily get most of your devices plugged in safely.
Here's our guide to the best Samsung TVs for gaming, including advice on QLED tech.
One of the most well-balanced mid-range TVs around
Screen size: 55 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1226(w) x 710(h) x 54(d)mm
Unless you’ve recently robbed a bank, there’s a good chance you may not be able to afford Samsung’s premium QLED TVs. But fear not! This reasonably priced LED is a cracking mid-range performer. The NU8000 sports the sort of good looks that belie its aggressively set price point, while the 19ms input lag when hooked to a 4K source like a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X makes this Sammy more suitable for competitive gamers than many displays that cost twice as much. You get a lot of great TV for your money here.
Are there compromises? Of course. An edge-lit backlight means black levels can’t compete with OLED screens, though in the NU8000’s defence, general screen uniformity is very good, with few signs of clouding or the dreaded smudginess of dirty screen effect. Though it’s not quite a standout HDR performer, the fact this display supports HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid-Log Gamma) should be commended. HDR pictures never get bright enough to knock your socks off – peak brightness only measures in at around 560cd/m² – but luckily, the NU8000 is truly excellent in SDR mode. If you’re not overly fussed about class-leading HDR performance, and want a brilliant, fairly priced TV, this Samsung will delight.
Not for you? Here are the best Samsung TVs for gaming.
One of the most customisable OLEDs you can buy
Screen size: 55 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 100 Hz | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1230(w) x 777(h) x 300(d)mm
If you’re a night owl with deep pockets and a fondness for 4am sessions on Destiny 2, this Panny is the TV you’ve been having moist dreams about. Though LG has traditionally ruled the OLED roost since the technology’s inception, the Z802B is arguably better than any TV the South Korean giant has produced. Not only is this panel strikingly thin and admirably quick – input lag is a mere 21 ms – but Panasonic’s latest OLED produces the most detailed blacks you can buy.
Panny’s new ‘HCX’ processing system lends oodles of shadow detail to dark games, such as Resident Evil 7. The Z802B was built for night time gaming in a dark room, and the panel’s flawless blacks produces wonderfully contrast-rich images. If you’re fortunate enough to have the requisite funds, you'll struggle to find a better gaming TV.
The best budget 4K TV
Screen size: 43 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 971(w) x 575(h) x 67(d)mm
Are you hard pressed for space? Are you looking to spend as little as possible to go 4K, but don't want to compromise on quality? Let us introduce you to this 43-inch budget hero. Considering it’s going for under £400, the pictures this Philips can produce are a minor miracle. Note that ‘can’ is the operative word. To get the most out of the 6753/12, you must first turn off the default, horribly dim Eco mode. Doing so brings the set’s punchy contrast performance to life, with the display’s naturally warm colours lending HDR games and movies a welcomingly inviting tone.
Considering Phillips is selling this brilliant budget TV for less than the price of an Xbox One X, the fact it delivers input lag of 27 ms is hugely respectable. Looking for an awesome sub-£400 4K TV? Your search is over.
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