Best TV 2018: The best TVs to buy from 40in to 100in

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There's nothing quite like sitting down at home to watch a film or TV show on a big-screen TV. And now that 4K and HDR (High Dynamic Range) is commonplace, upgrading your TV will mean that movies, sports and games look crisper, brighter and better than ever before. However, when there are so many different models, sizes and resolutions to pick from, finding the best TV for your living room – and your budget – isn't always easy.

On this page, you'll find all of our recommended models, as well as links to each individual review for more in-depth analysis. Scroll down and you'll find our buying guide, which takes you through everything you need to know about finding the right TV for you, starting from which size TV is right for your room, and detailing all the features you need to look out for. If you're not quite sure where to start, this guide is an invaluable primer. 

If you've not upgraded your TV for a few years, then you're likely to be pleasantly surprised: a new TV can do much more than just tune into BBC One HD. As well as the outstanding picture quality you can expect from modern 4K sets, most modern TVs have built-in Wi-Fi that brings Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Now TV and Amazon Instant Video direct to your lounge without the faff and fuss of cables and external streaming boxes. Now you can watch films in 4K, HDR, and catch up on the HD television broadcasts you’ve missed without having to reach for a PC, Blu-ray player or set-top box.

Looking to upgrade an old TV? Then these are the best Freeview boxes to buy, from as little as £35

The best deals this month

Get 35% off Philips’s stunning 55-inch OLED TV (Was £1,999, now £1,299) | Buy now from Amazon

Philips’ 55POS9002 might not have the most memorable name, but its image quality is hard to forget. With a simply stunning 55-inch OLED panel, this TV serves up jaw-dropping image quality with both SDR and HDR content, and the motion handling is absolutely top notch – which is great news for sports fans. We gave this TV 5 Stars and a Recommended award when we reviewed in November – at this price it’s got to be the biggest OLED bargain of the year.

Buy now from Amazon

Get 35% off LG's award-winning 55-inch OLED TV (Was £1,999, now £1,299) | Buy now from Currys

If you're thinking of buying the Philips above, then the LG OLED55B7V is also well worth considering. It cost an eye-watering £2,999 back in May of last year, but the prices have started to tumble downwards since the newer 8th generation panels have come out - and now it's down to only £1,299. It's still a great TV though, and while it might not quite match the Philips for motion handling, its wider HDR format support, lower input lag and superb all round image quality meant that we had to give it a 5 star review and Best Buy award. 

Buy now from Currys

Looking for something a little different? Then read on.

How to buy the right TV for you

If you've been perusing our list of the best TVs and have found that the best-reviewed models are too big for your room, or for your budget, then a word to the wise: most TV models come in several different sizes. If you look below each of our recommended TVs, you'll find a table listing which sizes each model is available in. If you like the look of one of the 65in models here, but really want a 55in TV, then simply take your pick. Barring those screen size differences, each model has identical specifications so you can be confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range. This means you can use our reviews to make a buying decision for any TV in the range, not just the exact model we’ve reviewed. 

What size TV should I buy?

The size of the TV you buy will be dictated not necessarily by the size of your room, but rather how far away you intend to sit. If you want to get the full benefit from a 4K HDR set, then you need to sit near enough to allow your eyes to see the increased picture clarity on offer. Buying a 4K TV that's too small for your room may mean that it won't look much better than a much cheaper 1080p TV. 

If you're not sure what size you need, then measure the distance between your usual seating position and your current TV. You may be surprised at how close you need to sit to a 4K TV as compared to an older 1080p set. For a 50in 4K TV, the recommended viewing distance is 5ft or less; for a 65in 4K TV, it's 6.5ft or less. You can, of course, sit further away if you wish, but unless your eyesight is better than 20/20, you may struggle to see the difference between standard Full HD content and bona fide 4K Ultra HD material.

If you want to find the right size for your room, then head on over to our guide where you can find a list of the correct TV sizes to buy

What TV resolution do I need? 

High-definition TVs currently fall into two categories: Full HD, otherwise known as 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) and Ultra HD, which is often referred to as 4K (3,840 x 2,160). In the same way that you could say 1080p is twice the resolution of 720p, 4K is four times the resolution of 1080p. There's also cinematic 4K or DCI 4K (4,096 x 2,160), which is what you see in the cinema, but most of the time a 4K TV refers to the Ultra HD resolution rather than the cinematic one – DCI 4K is something you'll see rarely outside the realms of professional monitors and cinema-quality projectors. These days, though, only the cheapest TVs utilise a Full HD resolution. It's been several years since any manufacturer actively sent us a Full HD TV for review.

There are plenty of ways to watch 4K TV and movies these days. Streaming services Netflix and Amazon Video are adding more and more shows to their 4K lineup every month; an increasing number of movies are now available on 4K Blu-ray discs; and games consoles are increasingly embracing 4K as the definitive standard. If gaming is one of your top priorities, then take a read of our guide where we explain how to pick the best TVs for gaming. When it comes to playing the latest games in 4K and HDR, it pays to make the right choice.

And if you're thinking about streaming 4K content via the internet, bear in mind that you'll need a fairly fast broadband internet connection. Netflix, for instance, can deliver 4K video at a maximum bit rate of 15.6Mbits/sec and frame rates up to 60fps. By way of comparison, 1080p Netflix content is currently delivered at a maximum of 5.8Mbits/sec. However, while most modern 4K TVs come with a built-in Netflix app, only some support Amazon Video, so it's important to check which smart TV apps are available before you buy.

Do I need a 3D TV?

No, 3D is dead. For a time, 3D was the must-have feature for any self-respecting mid- to high-end TV, but it just didn't catch on with consumers. Instead, TV manufacturers have dumped 3D in favour of 4K and HDR support, and sources of 3D content are in short supply.

Should I buy a curved-screen TV? 

If you’re on the hunt for a new TV and have been eyeing up Samsung’s offerings, chances are you’ve come across the curved-screen variety. The problem is, many new TV customers aren’t quite familiar what the benefits of a curved screen. Samsung lists many, but it would, wouldn't it. Nevertheless, not knowing for sure can lead to confusion over what to buy. But thankfully, we’re here to advise you.

The main selling point to buying a TV with a curved screen is that they offer a better sense of immersion, as the image you’re watching seems to ‘wrap around’ you, entering slightly more into your peripheral vision and thus drawing you deeper into whatever you’re watching. Some fans of curved screen TVs also note that there is a better sense of depth involved, with images appearing 3D even though the source is 2D. This is because curving the edges of the image towards the viewer improves the visual perception of depth in what you’re watching. While this all sounds great, there is however a major drawback with curved screen TVs: the issue of reflections.

Many curved-screen TV customers have blasted the technology for picking up and seemingly magnify every glimmer of light in a room, making it difficult to see images if the TV’s environment has many direct light sources. This is definitely worth keeping in mind when buying a TV, especially if you like your living room well lit.

The best TVs to buy in 2018 under £1,000

Hisense H50N6800: The best 4K HDR TV under £500

Price when reviewed: £579

Hisense might not be a big name in the UK, but it's looking to change all that with the H50N6800. This is the first 50in 4K HDR TV that could be truly described as a budget option, and with an RRP of £579 (which has since tumbled down below the £500 mark at several retailers), it offers a tremendously promising feature list for a very sensible sum. 

Looks are a strong point, and in day-to-day usage even discerning viewers are likely to be pleasantly surprised at the quality of the images on offer. The Hisense's upscaling is very respectable for a budget unit, and the HDR performance is actually pretty good with certain 4K HDR Blu-rays.

There are limitations. Viewing angles on the Hisense's VA panel are very narrow, and the basic LED backlighting isn't that potent either, as the Hisense struggles to produce the bombastic HDR imagery you'll get from TVs at two or three times the price.

If you're looking for a big 4K screen at a low price, though, the H50N6800 is your best bet by far. 

Want to know more? Read our Hisense N6800 review

Key specs
Screen size: 50in(tested), 55in, 65in, 75in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x HDMI 1.4 Tuner: Freeview HD

Samsung UE55MU7000: A superb TV for just under £1,000

Price when reviewed: £998

Nudging just beneath the £1,000 mark, the Samsung UE55MU7000 is one of the Korean firm's more affordable MU series of 4K HDR televisions that will be of interest to most consumers. Sporting a premium-looking design that defies its price tag, the Samsung UE55MU7000 boasts a rakishly thin black bezel, smartly attired with a brushed metallic silver side trim, and widens only slightly at the bottom edge to accommodate the LED backlight module.

It guarantees great performance across the board thanks to the Samsung’s 120Hz panel, great SDR image quality, decent HDR performance, and low input lag. We can therefore confidently state that the Samsung UE55MU7000 is one of the best all-round TVs you’re going to find for under £1,000.

Want to know more? Read our full Samsung UE55MU7000 review here

Key specs
Screen size: 49in, 55in(tested), 65in, 75in, 82in  Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 4 x HDMI, Component, Composite Tuner: Freeview HD
Dimensions: 1383 x 819 x 160mm

Panasonic Viera TX-40DX700B: Potentially a 4K budget bargain – if you can find one

Price when reviewed: £800

Panasonic TX-40DX700B angle

It's very long in the tooth and increasingly hard to find, but as far as affordable 4K TVs go, this Panasonic must surely be up there with the best. During testing we were blown away with its 4K image quality and Full HD upscaling abilities. It's an Accurate and natural colours, superb judder reduction and a huge array of image-adjustment options ticked all our boxes as far as image quality goes. 

It also comes with a decent selection of catch-up TV apps, as well as an easy pinning system that lets you pin apps, sources and TV channels to your homescreen for very quick access. You also get Freeview Play, a good EPG system that lets you open programmes in the relevant catch-up TV app without any faff.

Read our full Panasonic Viera TX-40DX700B review for more details 

Key specs
Screen size: 40in(tested), 50in, 58in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 3 x HDMI, Component, Composite Tuner: Freeview HD
Dimensions: 895 x 559 x 203mm

The best TVs to buy in 2018 over £1,000 

Sony KD-55AF8 (A8F OLED): An OLED stunner from Sony

Price when reviewed: £2,499 (55in) | Buy now from Currys

On paper, the specifications of the Sony AF8 are almost identical to last year's critically-acclaimed Sony A1, but the design differences are huge: the AF8 is wonderfully minimalist, with a wafer-thin OLED panel and, thanks to a verticle table-top stand, the lowest profile we've ever seen. 

As you'd expect from a consumer OLED TV, the AF8 delivers perfect blacks, vibrant colours and wide viewing angles. That's then combined with Sony's X1 Extreme chipset, which we’d say is the best in-TV video processor on the market today, and top-notch motion performance with the correct settings.  

One slight weakness is a surprisingly disappointing peak brightness of 600 nits on a 10% window after calibration, but if you want a TV that can work wonders with standard definition TV while providing a great 4K HDR experience, the Sony KD-55AF8 is an excellent choice.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the Sony KD-55AF8 (A8F OLED)

Key specs
Screen size: 55in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0 Tuner: Freeview HD
Dimensions: 1,226 x 712 x 55mm

Samsung Q9FN: Samsung's finest QLED TV yet – and the best TV for gaming

Price when reviewed: £2,999 (55in) | Buy now from Currys

Samsung has been pushing its turbo-charged LED screen technology, QLED, for some time now, and the Q9FN is the pinnacle of its achievements. It's dramatically brighter than rival OLED sets, and its ability to serve up eye-searingly beautiful 4K HDR images even in bright rooms is unmatched. Factor in a bunch of gaming friendly features, super low input lag, and zero risk of burn-in, and you've got the best TV for gaming, too. 

The Q9FN can't compete with rival OLED sets for overall image quality, or match the richness and depth of OLED's perfect blacks, but if you're looking for the finest daytime performance there is, and can't be bothered dimming the lights to see your TV at its best, this TV is a revelation. 

Want to know more? Read our full Samsung Q9FN review

Key specs
Screen size: 55in(tested), 65in, 75in

HDR standards: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+

Native resolution: 3,840 x 2,160

Video inputs: 4 x HDMI (HDMI 2.0b, HDCP 2.2)

Screen type: QLED (VA) Tuner: Freeview HD
Backlighting: FALD (320 zones)

Dimensions: 123.1 x 28.4 x 79cm

LG OLED77C8 (C8 OLED): A world-beating OLED

Price when reviewed: £7,999 (77in)

If you're after stunning picture quality, look no further: the OLED77C8 delivers absolute blacks, supremely realistic colours and excellent brightness uniformity – albeit for a huge price. 

It also differs from other OLEDs on the market with a stand that curves forwards, partly to redirect audio from the solid-sounding down-firing speakers, which makes for a truly immersive experience. 

To add to an already impressive HDR performance, LG has included a Dynamic Tone Mapping function, which kicks into action most in films and games that have been mastered to 4,000 nits. The feature either retains specular highlight detail or brightens the overall Average Picture Level as necessary, depending on the analysis of the levels of the incoming picture.

In short, LG’s world domination continues with this truly spectacular 77in TV.

Want to know more? Read our LG OLED77C8 (C8 OLED) review

Key specs
Screen size: 77in(tested), 65in, 55in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0 Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD, Freeview Play
Dimensions: 1,600 x 970 x 207mm

Sony Bravia KD-65ZD9: Bright, bold and brilliant HDR 

Price when reviewed: £3,999 (65in)

Sony's Bravia ZD9 family doesn't do things by halves. The cheapest model in the range offers a mere 65in of 4K HDR loveliness for a few pennies less than £4,000, but if for some reason you've decided that nothing but a 100in TV will do, you better have a little more cash to hand – around £60,000, to be precise. 

Whichever model you choose, however, the ZD9 is a sight to behold. It's a little chunkier than some of its super-slim rivals, but this is because it employs 650 individual backlights, otherwise known as dimming zones, which allow it to combine eye-searingly bright highlights with the darkest, inkiest blacks. Rivals can pip it at the post for a more balanced all-round performance – and the Android TV front-end is disappointingly clunky, too – but one thing's for sure: right now, Sony's ZD9 serves up the best HDR image quality that you'll see from any TV at any price.

Want to know more? Read our Sony Bravia KD-65ZD9 review

Buy the Sony Bravia KD-65ZD9 from John Lewis

Key specs
Screen size: 65in(tested), 75in, 100in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0 Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD
Dimensions: 1,462 x 920 x 268mm

LG OLED55C7V: No longer the best OLED, but damn good all the same

Price when reviewed: £3,000 (55in)

LG updated its range of OLED TVs in 2017, and the result was stupendous - the recently launched LG C8 family has well and truly stolen their thunder, but these remain great TVs and well worth seeking out if you can find them on a hot deal. HDR movies look stunning – OLED still lags behind LED-backlit LCD for sheer eye-popping brightness, but the gap is narrowing steadily. You're unlikely to care, however, as OLED's perfect blacks and amazing contrast knock the LG's LCD rivals into touch. This is pretty much as good as it gets.

Factor in class-leading input lag for the perfect gaming experience alongside excellent integrated speakers and Dolby Atmos audio, and the LG OLED55C7V is £3,000 well spent. Best of all, as LG's entire OLED TV family all share the same OLED panel and image processing engine, you're guaranteed the same image quality across the board. If you were thinking of splashing £8,000+ on LG's Wallpaper TV range, then you might want to think twice.

Want to know more? Read our LG OLED55C7V review

Buy the LG OLED55C7V from Currys

Key specs
Screen size: 55in(tested), 65in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0 Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD, Cable
Dimensions: 1,230 x 750 x 217mm

Philips 55POS9002: The prices are tumbling on this great TV

Price when reviewed: £1,999 (55in)

Following up on the critically acclaimed Philips 901F, this 55in 4K HDR screen is simply packed with standout features. As ever, Philips's excellent Ambilight integrated bias-lighting technology makes the grade and there’s also Ultra HD Premium certification. Running on the Android Smart TV platform and featuring the new P5 processing chip, the Philips 55POS9002 even improves the picture quality of even less-than-pristine sources.

It is truly a stunning TV and with great motion handling, video processing and Ambilight/Philips Hue integration, it definitely deserves a place on your wish list. And now that the price has started tumbling down nearer the £1,500 mark, it's well worth checking out if you're seeking a great TV for half the price of the current flagship models. 

Want to know more? Read our full Philips 55POS9002 review

Key specs
Screen size: 55in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x HDMI 1.4 Tuner: Freeview HD

Samsung UE65KS9500: Once the best TV you can buy – and still great

Price when reviewed: £2,899 (65in)

It's difficult to overstate quite how good the Samsung UE65KS9500 is. There are few TVs out there which can do justice to 4K HDR content like this TV can – apart, maybe, from the Panasonic which you'll find below in the second spot – and the results have to be seen to be believed. 

The curved screen is partnered with slick design and good looks, and although the KS9500 is a tad chunkier than rival sets around the rear, that's for good reason. The extra girth hides an FALD (full array local dimming) backlight which allows the Samsung to provide super-bright HDR highlights across its 65in panel while delivering astonishing contrast and deep, lustrous blacks. Gaming responsiveness is best in class, too, which is a bonus.

There are a few minor gripes here and there, but none severe enough to knock the Samsung KS9500 off the top spot. This is a TV to die for.

Read our full Samsung UE65KS9500 review for details

Key specs
Screen size: 65in(tested), 78in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0 Tuner: Freeview HD
Dimensions: 1,442 x 915 x 366mm

The best of the previous generations

Samsung UE55KS9000: The best curved 4K TV under £2,000

Price when reviewed: £1,999 (55in) - Stock is running low, grab before it's discontinued 

Samsung's KS9000 is well deserving of its Ultra HD Premium certification – it's a fantastic TV through and through. Samsung has partnered Quantum Dot technology with its latest 10-bit panel, so it's able to display a wider variety of colours, and its HDR support means Ultra HD Blu-rays look fantastic. If you're still not sold on the idea of a curved TV then you might possibly want to direct your cash towards one of its flat-screened competitors such as the Panasonic models here, but we'd recommend you check it out if you can. You might become a convert.

At £1,999, it's certainly not cheap, but it does come with a whole host of smart TV apps, including Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, so you can stream content in 4K as well – provided you have a good enough internet connection, that is. It also works seamlessly with Samsung's UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

Read our full Samsung UE55KS9000 review for details

Key specs
Screen size: 49in, 55in(tested), 65in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0 Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD
Dimensions: 1,745 x 1,113 x 435mm

Samsung UE49KS7000: The best 49in TV under £1,000

Price when reviewed: £1,099 – Stock is running low, grab before it's discontinued 

If Samsung's KS9000 is a little too expensive, then the KS7000 should be your next port of call. It's a lot cheaper than its flagship cousin, with the 49in model I tested coming in at just over a grand, and it's still a fantastic TV for the money. 

For starters, it isn't curved, and its handy metal feet are a lot easier to set up than the stand on the KS9000. It also has an Ultra HD Premium badge, so picture quality is top notch, and you get all the same ports, smart apps and built-in streaming services. 

Read our full Samsung UE49KS7000 review for more details 

Key specs
Screen size: 49in (tested), 55in, 60in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0 Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD
Dimensions: 1,445 x 908 x 295mm

 

Samsung UE65KS8000: The best 65in TV under £2,000

Price when reviewed: £1,999 - Stock is running low, grab before it's discontinued 

If you've found yourself lusting after Samsung and Panasonic's high-end TVs, but simply can't stretch your budget quite far enough, then don't despair – the Samsung UE65KS8000 gives you a taste of that money-no-object image quality in a 65in TV which costs a whisker under £2,000. 

That's a lot of money, granted, but the performance across 4K, HDR and upscaled 1080P content is nigh on immaculate. You don't get support for Dolby Vision, which is a minor moan, though. Nevertheless, the HDR performance is still highly impressive and the ultra-low input lag means that this is a superb choice for big-screen gaming.

Read our Samsung UE65KS8000 review for more details

Key specs
Screen size: 49in, 55in, 65in (tested), 78in Native resolution: 3,840x2,160
Video inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0 Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD
Dimensions: 1,682 x 1071 x 439mm

What else do I need to know before I buy a TV?

What is UHD Premium?

Essentially a certification badge, the UHD Premium specification has been agreed by TV heavyweights including Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony and Sony, industry leaders Dolby and Technicolor, and various huge film studios including Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. Contributors to the specification include TP Vision (Philips), Nvidia, Intel, HiSense, Amazon and Toshiba. The list is a who's who of audiovisual industry players, making UHD Premium a badge you should be able to rely upon.

A set of big players is all well and good, but what does UHD Premium actually mean for the TV you buy? The required specifications for consumer televisions are actually fairly simple:

  • 3,840 x 2,160 resolution with 10-bit colour covering 90% of the DCI P3 colour gamut This is an Ultra HD resolution with more than one billion possible colours. The P3 gamut is a wider colour gamut, meaning you're presented with more realistic colours, with deeper shades now possible. This creates a more visually pleasing image and is also far closer to the way the director intended you to see their creation. Most high-end cinemas use projection systems that cover the DCI P3 colour gamut, so expect to hear about 'cinema-quality' images in the near future.
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) You'll have probably already heard of HDR, and we've already reviewed a couple of TVs that support it. Now the tech has been given an official label and is integrated into UHD Premium. To be UHD Premium certified a TV needs a max brightness of 1,000cd/m2 (otherwise known as nits) and a black level of less than 0.05cd/m2. Alternatively, if your set can only get to 540cd/m2, then your black levels must be less than 0.0005cd/m2. It's not stated in the briefing information, but it's safe to assume that these figures must be possible simultaneously, giving you incredibly immersive and bright images where punchy blacks and bright colours can co-exist. 
  • Content can also be UHD Premium-certified We won't go into it in detail, but content must also be mastered in a way that works with UHD Premium television sets. With the likes of Netflix and Amazon supporting such tech as well as the new UHD Blu-ray standard, expect more UHD Premium-compatible content to start appearing.

What's the difference between LED vs OLED TVs?

Flat-screen TVs use two types of panel technology: LCD and OLED. LCD used to be split into two further categories: those with LED backlight and those with cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlights. However, almost all LCD TVs now use LED backlights, which are less power-hungry and tend to produce a more vibrant, brighter picture. 

With LED TVs, manufacturers improve the contrast ratio of their displays by using a dynamic backlight that dims the screen when displaying dark scenes. This produces a darker picture with more pronounced blacks, but a side effect is that highlights and details are lost. In other words, you can have bright whites and dark blacks, but not both together.

How LED TVs work

Awkwardly, LED TVs can be further separated into two categories: those that are edge-lit and those that are back-lit. Edge-lit models have LEDs at the edge of the screen, while back-lit sets have an array of LEDs spread behind the entire panel (also known as local dimming). Back-lighting lets the TV control picture brightness with greater accuracy.

OLED TVs work differently. Despite sharing a similar name, OLED (or Organic Light Emitting Diode) panels use an organic material which emits light when an electric current is passed through it. This means each pixel can generate its own light source, so it doesn't need to use a bulky backlight to illuminate the screen.

How OLED TVs work

This has several advantages, as it not only creates truly deep blacks, but they're even more energy-efficient than LED TVs and have superior viewing angles. Even when sat at almost 90 degrees, there's rarely any visible colour shift. Equally, OLED panels are thinner, lighter and more flexible than LCD displays, so they can be bent and curved more easily. 

The only problem with OLED is the high manufacturing costs. The number of usable panels from any given production run, otherwise known as a yield, is still incredibly low, although LG is currently optimistic that it will begin mass production of OLED TVs very soon. At the moment, you can only buy curved OLED sets from Samsung and LG here in the UK, but they're still in pretty limited supply. We're pretty sure that OLED will eventually become the new standard for your typical TV, but until they drop significantly in price, it's unlikely we'll be seeing shops full of OLED TVs anytime soon. 

What's the difference between Freeview Play, Freeview HD and Freesat HD?

Every new TV receives Freeview, but the majority now include Freeview HD tuners, too. This is the easiest way to watch high-definition broadcasts, because you can use your existing digital aerial without having to buy any additional equipment. 

Freesat HD is a non-subscription alternative to Freeview HD that’s transmitted by satellites rather than broadcasting towers. If you live in an area with poor broadcast reception and don’t want to pay for Sky TV, this is the best way to get television into your home. You can use an existing Sky satellite dish or pay to have one installed. You’ll also need to run a coaxial cable from the satellite to your television if no access point is available nearby.

Freesat offers the same free-to-air HD channels as Freeview, with the addition of NHK World, but some minor standard definition channels differ between each platform. Also bear in mind that some TVs have dual tuners for both Freeview and Freesat installations. Be wary of TVs that just have a DVB-S2 satellite tuner. Technically these can be manually tuned to receive Freesat channels, but you won't get the EPG, so they're practically useless in this country.

If you want to find out more, check out our article here: Freeview vs Freesat vs YouView – where next for free-to-air TV?

Aside from clearer images, another benefit of digital TV is the electronic programme guide (EPG), which can show you what’s on now or later at a glance. All TVs display now and next information in a small pop-up window, but most models also have a more in-depth full-screen mode that shows seven or more days of scheduling.

What kind of apps do smart TVs have? 

Most new TVs are equipped for wired or wireless networking, so you can connect them to your home network and the wider internet. This lets you stream multimedia content from your home computer and access online smart TV portals.

The quality of these services varies greatly. Some companies have excellent Smart hubs that let you access catch-up services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4, Amazon Video, Now TV, social networking tools and on-demand movies, while others only offer iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube video streaming. Many TVs can also play videos, music and photos directly from a memory card, portable hard disk or USB flash drive. Our reviews tell you what each TV can do, and how well it works.

What ports and connections do I need? 

You’re almost definitely going to have at least one other device you want to connect to your TV, so it’s important to choose a model with an appropriate number of inputs for them. Most modern devices, including games consoles, Blu-ray players and digital set-top boxes use HDMI connections, so these should be your top priority. We suggest a minimum of four HDMI inputs, which should cover all the basics and still leave a spare port in case you want to connect a camcorder or digital camera. Look out for an HDMI input with an Audio Return Channel (ARC). This lets you send sound from the TV back down the HDMI cable to a connected amp, so you can get better sound for TV programmes without introducing more cabling.

For future-proofing, it's well worth avoiding a 4K TV unless it has HDMI 2. The reason for this is simple, HDMI 1.4 only supports frame rates up to 30fps. HDMI 2 adds support for frame rates up to 60fps and also greatly increases the maximum audio throughput.

SCART sockets have almost been completely replaced in favour of HDMI, but older devices, such as some games consoles and VCRs, still need them. You’re unlikely to find an S-Video port on a modern TV, so you may have to connect some older devices through the composite or component interface and put up with the inferior image quality.

USB ports are fairly common on modern TVs. If you have a spare external flash drive, these can be used to record programmes, eliminating the need for a dedicated set-top box. You'll need to format it for your particular TV, though. Alternatively, you can use them to play your own media files from your PC. Some TVs support a wider range of file formats than others, but our reviews tell you which formats each TV supports. If you want to browse the web, USB ports are also useful for connecting a keyboard and mouse.

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