With the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X this month, many excited gamers are looking to upgrade their TVs to take advantage of the advancements in display technology, as well as the new features promised by the HDMI 2.1 standard. Multiple great television models are now available that offer 4K resolution, 120Hz frame rate support, variable refresh rate support (VRR), low-latency modes, and lush HDR visuals. Not all televisions offer the same experience, though, and spending more money does not always equal a better product. Lucky for you, we have assembled a collection of some of the best 4K TVs on the market, including multiple models that are on big discounts. This 4K TV Holiday Gift Guide will help you snag a display that can transform your gaming and movie nights into something special.
There is a varied selection of televisions on the market that offer features capable of enhancing your gaming experience. While there will always be great options for those with unlimited budgets, gamers on a budget still have the opportunity to score a quality panel from a reputable manufacturer. While it is true that virtually all televisions are solid upgrades from the flat panel options that were available at the previous console generation launch, some models are simply better choices when giving a heavier weight to gaming-centric features. These features include HDMI 2.1 support, 120Hz refresh rate, VRR support, low-latency modes, HDR brightness, and motion clarity.
4K TV Holiday Gift Guide 2020
LG CX Series OLED
Unsurprisingly, LG’s vaunted OLED televisions are an easy pick for next-generation gaming for a number of reasons. Chiefly, they offer outstanding picture quality thanks to their infinite contrast and unmatched response time. Even if the CX lineup of televisions offered no gaming-centric features, they would still qualify for this list on image quality alone. Thankfully, LG has also made sure that these OLED televisions are loaded with the latest features. They come with four HDMI 2.1 ports that allow for 4K 120Hz or 8K 60Hz input signals and all the latest digital sound formats. VRR and auto low latency mode is also supported. The LG OLEDs will automatically detect when you have one of the next-generation consoles connected and will adjust image processing to ensure the lowest possible input lag.
HDR gaming is also a dream on the CX OLEDs thanks to the previously mentioned contrast performance and support for all major HDR formats. Black frame insertion is supported with both 60Hz and 120Hz content for the smoothest possible motion. As an added bonus for PC gamers, the LG CX OLEDs also have G-Sync and FreeSync support is using compatible GPUs. As with any OLED television, burn-in is possible but can be mitigated by software features built into the units as well as considerate use from the owner. OLED panels are also highly-reflective, so they work best in light-controlled rooms. If your room has lots of windows and will always be bright, consider opting for an LED LCD television as an alternative.
A new 48-inch model is now available for desktop use, should PC gamers want to make a jump into the OLED life. The 48 and 55-inch models are regularly available for under $1500 and the 65-inch model has gone on sale in the $2000 range several times this fall. The monster 77-inch model is considerably more expensive, but the biggest and best never comes cheap.
Sony X900H Series
While Sony offers several different models of LCD and OLED televisions at various price points, the X900H models are going to be the best match for the next-generation game consoles. The X900H will be the only 2020 year model Sony television to get HDMI 2.1 support (via a firmware update). With 120Hz refresh rate support, the Sony X900H is capable of smooth gaming operation with very low input lag. It has one of the best-measuring LCD panels for contrast performance and it is further enhanced by some of the best local dimming in the industry. In short, you will get outstanding bright HDR highlights without losing details in darker scenes or in shadows. VRR and auto low latency support are expected to arrive in a firmware update sometime prior to the end of this year, rounding out the major HDMI 2.1 features.
While the X900H has four total HDMI ports, only two of them will offer HDMI 2.1 support (ports 3 & 4). As these televisions use VA panels, viewing angles will be much more narrow than on competing OLED or IPS-type displays, so take this into consideration if you anticipate lots of gaming sessions when sitting at extreme angles. While the local dimming feature works well for enhancing contrast and HDR performance, it is still susceptible to blooming when smaller bright objects are shown on a mostly black background (as is the case with all LCD televisions). That being said, the Sony X900H can be had for much less than LG’s OLED models or Samsung’s Q-series offerings, making it an enticing choice for those with limited budgets. An 85-inch model is available for size queens.
Samsung Q60 QLED Series
While not the top of the line offering in Samsung’s LCD offerings, the Q60 models offer the best bang for your buck if you prefer to roll with Samsung televisions. It does lack high-end features like 120Hz support, VRR, and does not get bright enough for HDR, it is an outstanding TV by every other measure. A high native contrast ratio ensures that movie night will be a treat as details in dark scenes will be easy to pick out and colors will pop off the screen thanks to the QLED coating.
Gamers will be excited to know that Samsung’s Q60 series TVs have some of the lowest input lag measurements of any TV released in 2020, ensuring that when you lose, it will not be your equipment’s fault. It comes in a wide array of sizes to fit any room or budget.
TCL 6 Series QLED
TCL’s 6 Series televisions have been incredibly popular with gamers and movie fans in recent years thanks to outstanding picture quality and unmatched value. If you want to pick up a TV from one of the bigger brands that measure comparably to a TCL 6 Series, you will potentially spend two to three times the asking price. These TVs have excellent contrast and eye-popping HDR highlights thanks to high peak brightness and a solid local dimming solution. While the panels are native 120Hz, they do not support the HDMI 2.1 features found on the new consoles and desktop GPUs, so 4K120Hz operation is out of the cards, though 1080p120Hz is on the menu.
Narrow viewing angles and the chance to receive a unit with uneven screen uniformity are the only real drawbacks to the TCL 6 Series. If acquiring the best possible image quality for the lowest possible price is your goal, this is the TV to look for.
TCL 5 Series QLED
If the TCL 6 Series televisions are just a bit out of your price range, then the 5 Series allows you to pick up a new set for a lesser price with minimal compromise. You still get the same outstanding contrast and QLED coating that provides great color reproduction. Low input lag ensures great times gaming and you get local dimming in the budget price class.
Unlike its bigger brother, the TCL 5 Series does not get as bright, leading to a lesser HDR experience overall. The panels are also only 60Hz, so motion will not be as smooth as the more expensive offerings. Still, these TVs represent an outstanding bang for your buck.
Much like the TCL 6 Series, the Hisense H9G represents the opportunity to pick up flagship quality at mid-tier pricing. These TVs have outstanding contrast and get even brighter and more vibrant than their TCL counterparts. If you are after the best HDR gaming and movie experience without diving into the land of diminishing returns, the Hisense H9G is the model to target. Like the TCL 6 Series, the H9G packs a 120Hz panel and accepts such signals, it can’t actually display them properly, meaning 60Hz gaming is the limit here.
HDMI 2.1 is also not available here, but for the price these TVs sell for, some concessions had to be made. This is the choice for buyers looking for image quality over other considerations. Input lag measurements are incredibly low, so it also makes for an outstanding gaming TV for the new consoles.
The Hisense H8G is another bang for your buck champion. It shares much of the DNA of the H9G televisions while making some cuts to get the price even lower. You get top-of-the-market contrast performance, wide color gamut, and decent peak brightness for an acceptable HDR experience, but it does fall below the H9G in that respect. Those who have bright rooms or are unable to control incoming sunlight from windows will appreciate the H8G’s SDR peak brightness as it doesn’t need a dark room to look great.
A 60Hz panel is all you get here, but it comes with low input lag and solid motion performance. Expect to be impressed with the image quality you get for your money with opting for the Hisense H8G. Unlike the H9G, this one is available in a 75-inch size.
There has never been a better time to score a great deal on a top-notch 4K TV. The 2020 Holiday season is offering outstanding picture quality and reasonable pricing compared to years past. If you need more gear to go with one of these new TVs, make sure you check out our other Holiday 2020 Gift Guides. 2020 has been rough, but you can put it out of your mind with some quality gaming.