Welcome to the sweet spot for big-screen TV size. Nearly every mainstream TV series on the market includes a 65-inch iteration, and at CNET I prefer to use 65-inch models in my side-by-side comparisons. They’re big enough to show off all the glory of today’sand , but not too gigantic to line up next to one another.
Better yet, since they’re an increasingly common size, 65-inchers are cheaper than ever. You can get a, and sets with excellent image quality cost just a few hundred more than that.
I’ve been reviewing TVs since the days of and , and I try to keep it simple. I concentrate on one concept: picture quality for the money.
The list below represents the best TVs I’ve reviewed in CNET’s test lab, where I compare them side-by-side to see which ones are most worth buying. Here are my latest recommendations, with the following notes to keep in mind.
Best high-end TV for the money
LG OLEDB8P series
OLED TVs are the picture-quality kings, but they’re not cheap. The TVs’ OLED displays use organic light-emitting diode technology to deliver brightness and contrast and viewing angles that no LCD TV (or QLED) can match. Even in mid-2019, this OLED TV from 2018 is still the one to buy. With image quality very close to the 2019 C9 (below) and a price that’s hundreds less, the B8 has aged beautifully. That said, we expect the 2019 B9 (also below) to fall in price soon, so the B8’s place at the top of this list won’t last forever.
Best TV for the money, period
TCL 6-Series 2019
No TV I’ve ever tested offers this much picture quality for this little cash. The latest version of the TCL 6-Series has even better image quality than its predecessor, thanks to improved color, and its well-implemented full-array local dimming helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. As if that’s not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite.
Sizes: 55-, 65-inch.
The picture quality king, by a nose
LG OLEDC9P series
What’s that you say? You just want the best, money no object? Here you go. In my side-by-side tests the C9 is the best TV I’ve ever reviewed, barely beating the 2018 models like the B8 (above), but the B8 is a superior value — almost as good and much less expensive. This 2019 OLED TV also has all the HDMI 2.1 future-proofing that some high-end buyers, particularly gamers, desire.
Second-best TV for the money
Vizio M8-Series Quantum
Aside from the TCL 6-Series above, no TV offers this much picture for this little cash. In my comparisons, the TCL won slightly in a couple of important areas, in particular HDR brightness and black level. I’d also recommend the TCL to streaming-centric viewers because of its superior Roku smart TV system. All of that said, the Vizio is still an excellent choice and sometimes available for less than the TCL — just make sure you’re getting the M8, not the M7. And stay tuned for upcoming reviews of Vizio’s other 2019 models.
Sizes: 55-, 65-inch.
Best value in a premium-brand TV
Samsung Q70R series
Samsung’s QLED TVs are basically fancy LCDs — don’t confuse them with OLEDs. The Q70R has an excellent picture and plenty of Samsung design and features for a price that’s relatively affordable, albeit not exactly budget. If you’re not interested in a TCL or Vizio and don’t want to splurge for an OLED, the Q70 is an excellent choice.
Sizes: 49-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 82-inch.
Best 2019 OLED TV value
LG OLEDB9P series
Although it’s the third OLED TV on this list, the B9 could be the best TV of the year — as soon as its price drops this holiday season or the B8 from 2018 finally sells out. The B9 improves on the B8 with more extras including HDMI 2.1 features and support for Amazon Alexa and Apple AirPlay 2. It fell just a bit short of the C9 in image quality in our tests, but the differences are minuscule and since it’s a couple of hundred dollars less expensive than the C9, it’s a better value.
Sizes: 55-, 65-inch.
Read LG OLEDB9P series review
Roku is our favorite platform for streaming apps like Netflix, and it’s even better baked into the TV. Image quality on this TCL can’t beat any of the models above — its 4K resolution and HDR compatibility don’t do anything to help the picture — but it’s perfectly fine for most people, especially at this price.
(Note that the price shown below is for the 43-inch size.)
Other stuff to know about buying a new TV
I’m pretty sure you’d be happy with any one of the TVs above, but a new set can be a big investment, so maybe you’re looking for a bit more information. Here’s a quick and dirty list.
- Prices for 2019 TVs will start hitting their lowest points around late November (Black Friday) and into the holiday season. Until then, many of the 2018 TVs will be better values.
- In my opinion, bigger is better. Big TVs are cheaper than ever, and your money is best spent on larger screen size rather than a slight upgrade in image quality.
- If you don’t like the built-in smart TV system, you can always add a media streamer. They’re cheap and easy to use, and receive updates more frequently than most smart TVs. See the best media streamers here.
- Most TVs sound terrible, so it’s worthwhile to pair your new set with a sound bar or other speaker system. Good ones start at around $100. See the best sound bars here.
Looking for even more info? Here’s everything to know (and more) about.
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