The best flat screen TVs

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best flat screen TVs

With an upgraded television, you can truly get the most out of movies, television shows, and gaming. The best flat screen TVs have the display, resolution, and features to fit your needs and budget.

The first thing to consider is display, or how the picture is created and lit. The most common type of television is LCD/LED, which uses LCD panels to produce the picture and LEDs to light it. The brand LG improved on that model with OLED TVs, which have panels that create and light the picture at the same time, making for an option that’s higher quality but more expensive. There are also Samsung QLED and Hisense ULED televisions, which work like LCD/LED televisions, but with some additional proprietary features. In addition to the display type, some models also have HDR, which shows a brighter and darker gamut of colors.

Another important feature is resolution, which refers to the number of pixels (p) the screen has. The more pixels, the clearer the image. High-definition televisions start at 720p, which indicates the number of rows of pixels. There are also 1080p televisions, and 4K (or 2160p) televisions, which have four times more pixels than 1080p. To get the most of your 4K television, you’ll need to watch 4K content, but the unit will also upscale lower resolution content to give you a better picture. And finally, that leaves the highest resolution television: 8K. Unfortunately, there is very little content shot in 8K now, so if you buy one, it’s an investment in the future.

Finally, consider what other features you want in a television. Some models have built-in streaming platforms like Roku or FireTV, and some have game modes that are designed to decrease lag. TVs also come in a huge range of sizes, from 32-inch screens that are great for bedrooms, to giant 85-inch screens for your living room.

If you’re ready to upgrade your home entertainment setup, check out this list of the best flat screen TVs.

1. The best large OLED flat screen

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Display: OLED

If you’re looking for a television with great image, this 65-inch LG smart flat screen is the pick for you. It not only has 4K resolution, but also an OLED screen design, which can produce richer dark tones and colors for the best picture. This flat screen is also a smart TV with LG’s webOS platform, which can be used to access streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon, as well as over 180 free channels. To navigate this platform and other options on the TV, you can use the included magic remote, which has both motion control and voice control, so you can easily operate your TV whichever way is best.

One fan raved: “Decided I needed a 2nd TV so I purchased this to replace my older OLED55B7A (2017 model). I'm once again stunned by just how good OLED looks and the new gaming related features are a welcome addition.”

  • Available sizes: 4

2. The best large LED/LCD flat screen

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Display: LED

If you’re looking for a 4K TV but don’t think OLED is worth the price tag, check out this 4K TCL flat screen. It uses LCD and LED panels, but still creates a great picture with better brightness and a wider color range thanks to the quantum dot technology. It also has built-in Roku, so you can access all your favorite streaming platforms, like Netflix and Hulu, and you can rent movies, watch free channels, and more. If you’re more of a gamer, you’ll appreciate that it also has four HDMI ports and a THX-certified game mode that reduces image smear and lag. But whether you’re playing games or watching movies, sound is always important, which is why this TV is also available as a bundle with a matching sound bar.

One fan raved: “The quality difference between this 4K TV and our older HD TV is amazing. I've watched movies (both broadcast and streaming), sports (football, soccer, and golf), and live broadcast and all are significantly improved... and none of this is native 4K content. Can't wait to try that.”

  • Available sizes: 4

3. The best large budget-friendly flat screen

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Display: LED

This TCL flat screen not only comes at a great price for it’s size, but it’s also a fan favorite on Amazon with over 40,000 five star ratings. It has a 1080p resolution, which is still high-definition, but comes at a better price point than 4K TVs, which is one of the reasons this TV costs under $300. Like the previous TCL flat screen, this one comes with built-in Roku, which lets you access your favorite streaming platforms as well as over 5000 Roku channels. I have this television and have always found the Roku platform to be very useful and easy to use. This TV is also easy to navigate because you can use your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control it, or the included remote.

One fan raved: “This is easily the best choice on the market if you're looking for an affordable smart TV. Amazing picture quality, great contrast and responsive UI.”

  • Available sizes: 4
  • Available options: 7

4. The best smaller flat screen with FireTV

  • Resolution: 720p
  • Display: LED

This smart flat screen is not only more slight in size, measuring 32-inches, but it’s also the least expensive pick on the list, costing under $150. However, it still has great smart functions, thanks to the built-in Fire TV, which has live over-the-air channels, thousands of streaming channels, and over 500,000 movies. The included remote also has built-in Alexa, so you can navigate your TV without having to type everything in manually. This flat screen has a 720p resolution, which is high-definition and good enough for the smaller screen size, and it has three HDMI ports, so you can plug in your favorite devices.

One fan raved: “32" Toshiba was easy to set-up (I'm an old man who is not exactly expert at set-ups). So easy it's like it was made for Amazon Prime and Netflix. The reason I got it is because my son bought one about a year ago and he is still really happy with it. I put the TV in my work from home office with a sound bar hooked up via the TV's optical output. I liked is so much I purchased another for my bed room with some wireless headphones via optical output. Works swimmingly. [...] Could not be more satisfied with these TVs.”

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available options: 2

5. The best flat screen for gaming

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Display: ULED

If you plan to use your flat screen primarily for gaming and don’t want to spring for an OLED, this Hisense ULED TV is an excellent choice. It has two HDMI 2.0 ports and two HDMI 2.1 ports, so it can support all your favorite devices (including the next-gen ones like Playstation 5, which require HDMI 2.1 ports for the higher frame rate). This flat screen also has Ultra Motion and 120Hz native refresh rate for smoother gaming, and PC magazine tested it and found that it has a low input lag rate, so you can play at the top of your game. However, this television isn’t just good for gaming; it also has a 4K design and quantum dot wide color gamut to give you a great picture for watching movies and shows too.

One fan raved: “East to set up with the stand. The TV set up with the android set up was very simple. The picture had me questioning why some spend more on a better brand name. I’ve tested this with hdr gaming. DolbyVision movies, hdr10 movies and surprisingly the Amazon app supplies hdr10+ movies. Each setting blew me away. Couldn’t be happier with my purchase”

  • Available size: 2

6. The best extra-large flat screen

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Display: LED

To get the movie theater experience at home, you need an extra-large flat screen, like this one from TCL that measures a whopping 85-inches. It has a 4K design, so you get a great picture even on the larger screen, and it has HDR to give you brighter and more accurate colors. Like the other TCL picks, this television is integrated with Roku, so you can access streaming channels and more without an additional device. To navigate all through the platform, you can use the included remote or download the Roku mobile app on your phone, which also has a voice control feature.

One fan raved: “This TV is just about as large as you'd think, and it looks great. The TV comes with the standard Roku interface, which includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and the other common streaming services. It's just the same as any other Roku TV that I've owned, but huge! Dimensions that you'll care about: Height, including stand: 3' 11" Horizontal Width: 75" Depth of stand: 17"”

  • Available sizes: 6
  • Available sound options: 6

7. The best outdoor flat screen TV

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Display: LED

Enjoy shows and movies on your porch, by the pool, or in your backyard with this outdoor flat screen. It has an IP54 rating, meaning that it is protected against both dust and splashing water, and it has a sealed media bay in the back to protect the ports. While this TV can withstand the outdoors, it also provides a great picture thanks to the 4K resolution, high brightness, and anti-glare screen design, so it will feel just like when you watch TV inside. If you’re worried about the idea of having a TV outside, you may be comforted to know this one comes with a one-year warranty.

One fan raved: “Installed tv poolside 2 weeks ago to be able to view from hot tub or while in pool. I get full sun from 6-11 am in are and partial sun the remainder of the day. The product fulfilled its promise as a partial sun tv where I had no problems seeing images and no glare in partial sun environment. Unit has take rain multiple times no problems. Seems solidly built. At almost 1/2 price of competitors I think it’s worth a look from consumers. Picture quality is all I need it to be. I have Streamed through fire hd and Apple TV on it so far.”

  • Available sizes: 4

8. The best 8K flat screen TV

  • Resolution: 8K
  • Display: QLED

If you want the best possible picture, you need this Samsung flat screen, which has 8K resolution, giving you four times as many pixels as 4K and 16 times as many as 1080p screens. Even if you’re not watching 8K content, this television has AI upscaling, which will intelligently upgrade lower resolution content to give it 8K detail. It also has HDR 10, which provides deeper colors and more clarity, and it uses quantum dots to provide a more accurate picture. Once you’re done watching, you can turn on this television’s ambient mode, which gives a more enticing visual than just a black screen to help it blend in, even though it’s so large.

One fan raved: “Amazing TV! Looks great at a close viewing distance. I have this as the screen for my home theater and I sit about 6-8 feet away from the screen and it is the best TV picture I have ever seen. I previously had an LG OLED and this blows it away. I don’t know of 8K content but this makes 4K look even better. You also cannot see any pixels even up close looking for them. The power of this TV is in its processor. I use this as a gaming monitor connected to my XIDAX PC and it looks simply stunning. Looks better than my iMac 5K monitor and is extremely responsive”

  • Available sizes: 4

Also great: the TV mount with 50,000 fans on Amazon

Once you decide which flat screen you want, hang it up on your wall with this easy-to-install TV mount. Hugely popular on Amazon, it has over 50,000 five-star reviews, with 95% of all reviews being four stars or higher. It works for most 37-to-70-inch TVs, with a maximum VESA size of 600 by 400 millimeters and a maximum weight of 132 pounds. It can tilt forward 8 degrees to help reduce glare, and it only measures 1.5 inches off the wall for a sleek look. Just be sure to mount your TV on studs because it won’t be secure if you mount it on drywall.

One fan raved: “We had just bought a new 50" TV for our bedroom but were very nervous about mounting it on the wall. As an [amateur] at this sort of thing, you always know that one false move with these new and very delicate TV's could throw your investment right out the window. But the Mounting Dream was easy to install and made hanging the TV quick and simple. I like the straps that allow you to mount and lock in. They remain in place to be used for un locking when removing the unit . You don't see them but you can reach under the bottom of the TV and there they are.”

  • Available sizes: 2