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Home theater magazine led tv reviews

The Best TVs for dark media rooms and home theaters:

If you have the ability to control the light in your viewing room, then you'll want a television that has the deepest black level you can get. If you've read all of the above, you'll already know that that's an OLED. And the overall best out there right now is the CX series from LG.

It looks the same as last year's excellent C9 series, but LG has added a 48-inch size to their 55-, 65-, and 75-inch offerings, so you'll be able to find the right size for your room. The CX comes with the new Filmmaker Mode, developed by the UHD Alliance, which disables post-processing on the TV and displays the movie or TV show as intended by the creator. All CX models also have HDMI 2.1, a native 120Hz panel, and support 4K/120, which should also make them appealing to gamers.

If you're not dead-set on buying a new TV immediately, you should also keep an eye out for the new Vizio OLED coming soon. Pricing is a couple hundred dollars less than the CX series (comparable to LG's BX series), and Vizio's OLED may very well stand up to LG in terms of performance.

Best TVs for brighter rooms:

If your room has a lot of ambient light, or if you aren't able to suitably control the light level, then you'll need something bright to combat it. For such rooms, we really love the Hisense H9G (review coming soon). It has significant light output that will overcome ambient light and glare, making it a great choice for daytime viewing. Viewing angle performance leaves a bit to be desired (it is a VA panel, after all), and out-of-the-box color accuracy isn't the greatest, so for top performance you'll want to get it calibrated. But it's also just under $1,000 for a 65-inch TV, making it a great value.

If you want something with better color accuracy out of the box (much better, actually), look to Vizio. Its P-Series Quantum X from last year (reviewed here) is an absolute light cannon, and I have every expectation that this year's update will be, as well. The 65-inch model is also listed at $1,500, a cool $700 less than the version Andrew Robinson reviewed last year.

The Best TVs for gaming:

This might sound familiar. The LG CX series is an excellent choice for gaming. It has HDMI 2.1, a native 120Hz panel, enough bandwidth to support 4K/120 from next-gen consoles, as well as VRR support, Auto Low-Latency Mode, and exceedingly low input lag in game mode. Add to that top-notch black levels, contrasts, and color, and your games will look incredible.

But if you aren't up for spending $2,300 for a 65-inch LG CX, you could spend about half that for a 65-inch Sony X900H. It touts many of the same gaming features as the LG CX, or at least it will with an expected firmware update later this year (hopefully in time for next-gen console release).

A great 4K HDR TV for budget shoppers or first-time 4K buyers:

If you're just looking for a solid, all-purpose UHD/HDR TV and the aforementioned prices are daunting, the TCL 5-series offers decent performance for a bargain price. The $629.99 65-inch TCL 65S535 is a QLED set (so it has quantum dot technology for better brightness and color gamut coverage), and has some features you'll find on higher-end sets, like ALLM for gaming, eARC, Dolby Vision support, and full-array local dimming. It also uses the Roku smart TV platform, which has been a favorite around these parts for a while now. Of course, you won't be getting the performance of displays costing two, three, or four times as much, but if you're upgrading from HD for the first time, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the picture from this little overperformer.

The best TVs for big families (or watch-parties with your friends):

When it's less risky to have big groups of people over again, it's going to be important to have a television that gives good performance no matter where you sit. As mentioned above, one of the drawbacks of LCD TVs (especially those with VA panels) is mediocre viewing angles. Colors get screwy and the image gets more washed out as brightness suffers. So, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, look for an OLED if you expect to have your media room full of viewers. The LG CX will accommodate a group sitting all around the room and still give excellent performance for all. If you want to trim a couple hundred bucks off the price, the BX series gives similar performance, although with somewhat lower peak-brightness levels.

Our favorite TV overall:

You probably could have guessed this from reading all of the above, but my all-around favorite TV (so far, at least) is the LG CX. There are some pricier OLEDs, such as LG's ZX series or Sony's MASTER Series, and these do offer a bit of a performance bump compared with the CX, but I don't think it's commensurate with the price increase. The CX series is also available in a wide range of sizes, from 48 inches up to 77 inches, making it easy to find the right display for your room and your preferred seating distance. Simply put, the CX has everything you could reasonably ask for in a TV right now, except for eye-reactive brightness levels. So, unless you watch movies and TV in a brightly lit room, it's the TV to beat for now.

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