Depending on your priorities, the best gaming TV may have a different meaning from one person to the next. For some, it’s crucial to have only the most primo features across the board. A 3840 x 2160 resolution is a must-have for gamers at this point. But then tack on HDR, ultra thin bezels and OLED panel technology, and you’ve got yourself the best of the best gaming TV 2018 has to offer. The goal is to achieve a crisp, vibrant picture with no room for intrusive distractions. That said, not everyone has an offshore bank account with limitless funds at our disposal. Some of us have lower budgets than others. For those that do, it’s preferable to take advantage of a discounted TV like the Samsung NU6900 Series, which is now 25% off at Walmart. It’s a 75-inch 4K HDR monster priced at $1,179.99, down from $1,479.99.
Today it’s rare for a 4K TV to dip below 40 inches. When you’re gaming on a TV, whether with your PS4 Pro, Xbox One X or the best gaming PC you can buy/build, pixel density can be undermined by a small screen size. If you have to sit just inches away from your TV to notice the difference between 1080p and 4K, you should probably invest in a larger display. Aside from its dimensions, another factor we consider while determining the best gaming TVs is refresh rate. The 60Hz standard means that most TVs are capable of outputting a 60 images every second. Some TVs promise a 120Hz refresh rate, however, thereby doubling that frequency.
As you peruse our picks of the best gaming TVs, you’ll also want to think about curvature – do you want a flat screen TV or a curved one? For curved, you may be looking at a higher price point due to the relative newness of the technology. And lastly, for better or for worse, pretty much all TVs boast smart capabilities now, thus no matter what you choose, you’ll be able to download and install apps without ever booting up a console. Should none of these options land in your price range, take a peek at our roundup of Black Friday TV deals. ‘Tis the season after all.
Best gaming TVs - US
LG OLED55E8PUA - 55" OLED 4K TV
The best gaming TV you can buy
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1226(w) x 777(h) x 50(d)mm
Those lucky enough to have a hefty bank balance should really consider treating themselves to this wonderful OLED. While the signature W8 and its ‘wallpaper-thin’ design feels gimmicky, and has more or less been designed exclusively for wall-hanging, the E8 is one of the most beautiful ‘traditional’ looking sets we’ve ever seen. It's clear, ultra skinny stand has been designed in such a way that it appears the picture is floating in mid-air, making it even easier to become immersed in gorgeous games like Forza 7 or God Of War.
LG’s 8 series also benefits from an impressive new Alpha 9 processor, helping make the TV’s HDR pictures brighter than previous OLEDs from the South Korean firm. In HDR10 mode, compatible games appear more dynamic, as long as you have Dynamic Tone Mapping switched on. Additionally, and unlike 7 series models, the E8 no longer dims the picture when set to HDR game mode, helping the likes of Assassin’s Creed Origins and its lovely high dynamic range setting look even more alluring. Throw in predictably peerless blacks, and responsive input lag of just 21.4 ms, and this incredible OLED performs as well as it looks.
Here's our full guide to the best LG TVs for gaming, including advice on OLED tech.
A brilliant QLED TV that's finally getting cheaper
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | 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. 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.
LG 49-SK8000 - 49" 4K TV
LG delivers a fabulously fast budget set
Screen size: 49 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1236(w) x 774(h) x 248(d)mm
If money is an issue – let’s be honest, for most of us it is – you should definitely check out this Samsung. While the SK8000’s black levels aren't as good as the $2000+ sets, its budget price point and excellent motion handling make it a brilliant 4K option for gamers on a budget. Though the set’s edge-lit dimming isn’t great, this won’t matter if you’re playing games in a reasonably well-lit room. Colour accuracy and grey uniformity are both far better than you’d expect from a sub-$1K television, too.
With excellent motion-handling features, the SK8000 is ideal for fast-paced games, like 2106’s Doom reboot. Indeed, input lag is about the lowest we’ve ever seen from a TV, let alone one at such a low price – 14.2 ms is insanely quick. If you want an edge in online shooters and aren’t overly concerned about your TV delivering deep black levels, the SK8000 is a great little set.
TCL 55R617 - 55" 4K TV
The best value 4K TV
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1231(w) x 777(h) x 271(d)mm
TCL’s latest 55-inch LED is ridiculously good value. If you love a bargain, best prepare to wipe those sweaty beads of excitement from your brow. At less than $650, there’s no other TV in this price bracket that offers such a brilliant balance between price and performance. Thanks to this set’s deep blacks, punchy overall brightness, and winning contrast performance, it easily outguns a number of more expensive rivals from Samsung and Sony.
Considering how cheap TCL is selling this display for, it’s super impressive the set boasts full array local dimming, rather than inferior edge-lit backlighting. This system gives the R617’s convincing blacks, which stand out even more thanks to the TV’s wide colour gamut, brought about by what the manufacturer refers to as ‘Nano Band Phosphor’ tech. The panel becomes even more impressive when you consider its input lag measures in at a supremely speedy 17.9 ms when game mode is enabled, while the inclusion HDR10 and Dolby Vision is borderline ridiculous for a TV at this price range. Looking for a new 4K television, and on a budget? Then you’d be a fool to overlook the R617. TCL55R617 - should you buy it?
Best gaming TVs - UK
LG OLED55B7V - 55 inch OLED TV
The best gaming TV in the UK right now
Screen size: 55 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | 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 this year's model, but right now it's only £1300, 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.
Samsung UE55MU8000 - 55 inch 4K TV
One of the most well-balanced mid-range TVs around
Screen size: 55 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | 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 MU8000 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 MU8000’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 MU7000 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.
Panasonic TX-55FZ802B - 55 inch 4K TV
Arguably the best OLED in existence
Screen size: 55 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | 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 won’t find a better gaming TV.
Philips 43PUS6262 - 43 inch 4K TV
The best budget 4K TV
Screen size: 43 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | 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 6262, 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-£500 4K TV? Your search is over.
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