Need help to buy the best TV? Here's where we come in. When you're facing lists of thin-bezel flatscreen TVs from LG, Panasonic, Hisense, Samsung and Sony, which all look more or less the same, it may seem as though there's not much to pick between them. But there is.
Here, we reveal our pick of the best TVs you can buy right now, plus take a closer look at the key things you should think about before you buy. From big decisions such as which screen size is best for you, to specific features to look out for and how much to spend, our expert advice will help you find your perfect TV.
Best TVs for 2022
Our tough lab tests mean we can reveal in which TVs have superb picture quality, sound fantastic and are easy to use. Plus our reviews will also tell you the results of our annual TV owners' survey - we uncover which brand's TVs last the longest, and which ones owners would buy again.
We do this so you can avoid the ones that aren't worth your money.
Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access to all of our online reviews - from TVs to soundbars - if you join Which.
If these models aren't quite right for your home and budget, then head to our TV reviewsto see what else we recommend.
Video: how to buy the best TV
Watch our video to see how TVs differ and find out which type is right for you.
What size TV should I buy?
With the TV market continually shifting towards larger screens, there are fewer top-quality sets smaller than 49 inches each year. But bear in mind that with TV bezels (the frame around the screen) shrinking, larger sets might not be as big as you think, especially if you haven't bought a new TV in a few years.
The best 32-inch TVs – you won't find 4K TVs at this size because the screens are too small to show off the increased detail. Smaller TVs should still be smart, though, so look for ones that let you access the internet and download streaming apps.
The best 40 and 43-inch TVs – these are the most popular sizes among our members, but manufacturers favour bigger screens. You'll see HD and 4K sets at these sizes and they should have smart functionality. But there aren't many high-end TVs with the best picture technology and cutting-edge features.
Top five best 48 to 50-inch TVs – these bigger TVs are where manufacturers focus their time and resources. Barring a few older models, all 49 to 55-inch TVs will be 4K and support HDR. Since TVs at these sizes tend to make up the bulk of a manufacturer's range, you'll find high-end models rich with features as well as budget options with less advanced technology.
Top five best 60 and 65-inch TVs – TVs at the top end of the size spectrum follow the same trends as 49 to 55-inch models, so you'll find big TVs at the cheap and pricey ends of each manufacturer's range. They will all be 4K and should have smart functionality.
Read more on the features you need, the connections you want for all your extra devices and which screen type is best.
Resolution -TVs are available as either cheap, HD Ready 720p sets that can show broadcast HD TV, or sharper, higher resolution Full HD 1080p models that can get the best out of Blu-ray films. Sharper still are 4K, or Ultra HD (UHD), TVs that have four times the pixels of Full HD and can give superior picture quality. HD TVs are now less commonly available, you should really opt for a 4K TV if you’re upgrading.
Screen technology - Most new TVs have LCD screens with LED backlights – plasma models are no longer commonly available. At their best, LED TVs are affordable, energy efficient and have bright, detailed pictures. Organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs have self-lighting pixels, meaning they can be ultra-slim and achieve deeper black levels. OLED TVs are getting cheaper, but are still pricey compared to LED TVs. There are QLEDs, too, which work like LCD ones, but have quantum dots to help boost colour.
TV tuner - All TVs have Freeview tuners, meaning you can plug in an aerial and enjoy subscription-free TV and radio channels. A Freeview HD set also gives you free HD channels, such as BBC One HD. Many TVs have satellite tuners that can receive services such as Freesat if you have a dish installed, but not all are licensed by Freesat, meaning experiences can differ (check our TV reviews for licensed sets).
PVR functionality - Many televisions come with recording functionality built in, meaning you can record TV programmes if you connect an external hard drive via a USB port. A disk size of 500GB will store around 100 hours of HD programmes or 250 hours of standard-definition. TVs with twin-tuner PVRs can record one programme while you watch another, or record two programmes simultaneously. See our PVR reviews for more information.
Smart TV functionality adds web services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and YouTube. You can catch up on TV you’ve missed and stream films via your broadband connection.
Freeview Play - you can scroll back through the previous week's TV within its digital programme guide.
3D TV never really took off in the UK, partly because few people like wearing 3D glasses at home, and partly because there isn’t that much 3D content to watch – there aren’t any 3D channels available these days, and you can only watch 3D content via an online service or 3D Blu-ray. Very few new TVs now support 3D, and it’s becoming widely accepted as a failed technology.
Advanced HDR - all 4K TVs now support HDR10 and HLG, so look out for advanced formats, such as Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ that can adjust contrast to suit each scene. Read more about the different formats in our what is HDR guide.
Voice control - change channels, inputs and even search for shows in apps with your voice.
120Hz display - a great feature gamers and, eventually, sports enthusiasts. Having a screen with higher Hz means you see more frames per second, which makes compatible content look smoother.
An optical connection uses fibre-optic cables to transmit digital audio between devices, and is commonly used to connect home cinema systems, sound bars and external speakers to your TV. A preferable connection is now HDMI, which can also handle higher-resolution audio, along with video. It’s more practical and can mean less cable clutter, though optical is still a good backup.
A Scart socket allows you to connect older standard-definition equipment such as VHS players or DVD recorders. With many people now preferring high-definition devices, few TVs come with a Scart socket. If the TV you're interested in doesn't have the socket built-in, don’t worry as you can often buy an adaptor, or use an alternative connector to hook up an SD device.
USB port -USB sockets on a TV have various uses – you can connect a camera accessory for video-calling applications, or plug in a USB stick to view photos or videos on the TV. You can also connect a hard disk drive via USB to use a TV’s recording feature if it has it. Some TVs have just one USB port, but others can have up to three, enabling you to use multiple USB devices at one time.
Wi-fi capability - Most smart TVs have wi-fi capability to get online. Connecting is simple, but it's preferable to have built in wi-fi, as you won't need additional equipment. Some lower-end TVs require a wi-fi ‘dongle’ that often isn't included, meaning you'll have to buy it separately. You can also use an Ethernet cable (LAN) to get online, but you’ll need your TV close to your internet router to do this.
HDMI is used to connect HD equipment to a TV, such as a Sky or Virgin box, or a Blu-ray player. Most people will need at least two HDMI sockets on their TV, but three or four is preferable. Don’t buy pricey HDMI cables – a cheap lead will perform just as well. Most TVs also have an Audio Return Channel (ARC) or eARC HDMI socket, which is useful for connecting a compatible sound bar or home cinema system as it send audio and video to and from the TV, so you don't need to use two cables to achieve the same effect.
The different types of TV explained
TVs may all look pretty similar when they're lining store shelves, but different resolutions, screen types and software means it's more than just the price tag that sets them apart from each other.
Ultimately, the screen is important, but it's not the be all and end all. It doesn't make a bit of difference to the audio or how easy the TV is to use and you shouldn't discount a TV based purely on what screen it has. So be sure to check our reviews before you buy.
LCD TVs are the most common and it's likely that your current TV uses one. Several bulbs, known as a backlight, shine on a layer of liquid crystals to create the images on screen. These TVs are cheaper to produce than OLEDs and QLEDs, which is why they are more common, particularly at smaller sizes.
The screen technology widely considered the best for contrast and motion. OLED TVs start at about £1,000 for a 48-inch or 42-inch screen, but can stretch up to a few thousand.
This type of TV is typically among the most expensive on the market, replacing plasma screens in recent years. They don't use a backlight and instead each bulb in the display is self-emitting, which is why the contrast and motion control is so excellent.
QLED is Samsung's answer to OLED, but QLED TVs have more in common with LCDs. They still use a backlight, but it illuminates a layer of quantum dots rather than liquid crystals. These dots are said to produce more vibrant colours.
There are Neo QLEDs, too, which use a backlight with far smaller bulbs. This means there are more of them and Neo QLEDs have better contrast control as a result.
The low cost of 4K sets means there isn't any reason to choose a Full HD model anymore. Even though there isn't nearly as much 4K content as HD, our research has found that the best 4K sets are better at displaying video at all resolutions.
4K TVs are so common that it's unlikely you'll find an HD TV bigger than 43 inches
4K TVs make up the bulk of what's available from LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, and they start at around £350. These TVs have four times the pixels of HD models, so can display sharper detail and more vibrant images.
The best TVs we've tested have all been 4K; head to our 4K TV reviews to see which impressed us most.
How much do I need to spend on a good TV?
Typically, 32-inch HD TVs cost between £200 and £300. For a similar price you could find slightly larger 40 to 43-inch TVs, some of which have a higher-quality 4K Ultra HD screen. We’ve rarely found Best Buys for less than £400, although there are plenty between £500 and £1,000.
Our research has found that most people won't spend more than £750 on a TV.
Do I need to pay more?
Yes and no.
Yes because TVs from around £800 will have better technology and a sharper design, often with metal finishes and thinner bezels. Better motion processing is a hallmark of premium TVs, which means they will often produce smoother pictures, while cheaper models can sometimes judder.
No because many of the TVs that are out of your budget at launch will drop in price significantly in the months following. So provided you're prepared to wait, you can bag yourself a bargain.
Which TV brands offer the best software and security support policies?
Security and software support is an important consideration when buying a smart TV, since this will dictate how long the brand aims to continue updating the device with new features and security patches, to guard against emerging threats.
We reached out to the biggest brands in TVs, including LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony, to see how long they supported their TVs. Unfortunately, many are falling well short when it comes to support periods.
Hisense - China's biggest TV brand supports its TVs for an impressive eight years from launch.
Sony - along with Hisense, Sony offers the longest support period of eight years.
Panasonic - with a five year support period, Panasonic patches its TVs for longer than LG and Samsung.
LG - despite being one of the leading TV brands, LG only supports its TVs for two years. It did tell us that TVs may get up to five years for critical security vulnerabilities.
Samsung - according to Samsung's website 'most TVs will get updates with new features for about two years'.
Philips, TCL and Toshiba did not provide us with information on minimum update support periods.
We know people keep their TVs for between seven and 10 years – which means only Hisense and Sony get close to supporting sets for what might be considered a typical lifespan. LG and Samsung, as the biggest brands, fall alarmingly short, with Samsung's two years of updates particularly poor.
While you may not be at immediate risk if you're using a device that's unsupported, it's obviously desirable to buy and use a device that you know will receive update support for a good period of time. For more information, read our guide to smart devices and security.
What are the risks of an insecure TV?
Your home network is only as strong as its weakest link and with dozens of items connected to your router there are plenty of areas for a hacker to attack.
If your TV isn't secure it could allow a hacker access to your router and if that's compromised then anything else on your network could be at risk. The TV isn't exactly devoid of personal data though. App and wi-fi login data, as well as card details in some cases if you've rented a film or signed up for an app through your TV, are at risk if your TV is insecure.
Hackers can hijack a TV to display their own content and they can do far worse than force you to watch Keeping up with the Kardashians over and over. They could put up fake versions of app login screens to trick you into entering your card details and steal your information.
When it comes to how much energy your TV uses, it tends to be its size that dictates how much more it will add to your electricity bill. Whichever size you go for though, they don't tend to cost a great deal to run.
40 to 43-inch 4K TVs will add £20.68 to your energy bill each year
48 and 50-inch 4K TVs are the most popular - they cost £23.40 to run
55-inch ones cost £26.07
65-inch one will add £32.02
All of our TV reviews include detailed information on energy use and how much a model will cost you to run per year.
When's the best time to buy a new TV?
New TVs are released every year, usually between April and July.
They are usually expensive at launch, so it's best to wait at least a few months.
TVs from the previous year will still be available for up to six months following the launch of new models.
We've found that TVs tend to hit their cheapest point around eight to 10 months after launch.
You'll find good deals on Black Friday, in the January sales and when their successors are released.
Our TV reviews not only contain the results of our independent lab tests, but also the results of our annual owners' survey. We ask thousands and thousands of TV owners to tell us about their television. This enables us to reveal what owners really think about that brand, including which TV brands are the most reliable.
The most popular brands are the 'big four': Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic.
The biggest TV brand in the world releasing a wide range of model from entry level LCD sets up to high-end QDOLED ones.
Owners tend to be happy with their TV and would recommend Samsung to others.
Issues with picture quality is the most common fault affecting Samsung TVs.
Along from these four TV giants, there are various fringe brands, including Toshiba, Sharp and Philips.
A big chunk of the market is taken up by cheap TVs from supermarkets and own brands, such as JVC (Currys PC World), Technika (Tesco) and Bush (Argos). These TVs are generally cheap, but the models we've tested usually lack quality. You can read more about supermarket-brand TVs in our supermarket TV guide.
Chinese manufacturer Hisense may one day be on par with Samsung and LG in terms of brand recognition, but it's not quite there yet. Despite not being a household name, its TVs undercut rivals while offering similar specs and stylish designs, making them an attractive prospect for anyone looking for a high-end TV without a matching price.
While brand new TVs can cost a small fortune, 4K ones are available for as little as £300 once they've been on sale for a few months – you can get a great TV even if you’re on a tight budget.
Popular online retailers that sell TVs include:
AO.com sells a selection of smart TVs from big-name brands including LG, Samsung and Sony. Prices for 4K TVs start at around £200.
Argos stocks over 100 65-inch TVs – expect to spend at least £400 if you're after a big screen. For more affordable options, note that the retailer has a selection of sub-£200 TVs from Bush, LG and Toshiba.
Currys has a wide range of 4K TVs, along with OLED and QLED models. At the time of writing, the retailer's 4K ultra HD TVs start at around £230. If you opt for an OLED, you'll spend at least £900. Next-day delivery for TVs over 43-inches costs at least £20.
John Lewis names LG, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic among its most popular brands. The Sony XR-55A80J is listed as a best seller, but if you're looking to save, you can grab an alternative 4K Ultra HD set for less than £350.
Richer Sounds has a varied selection of TVs and offers up to 24 months interest-free credit on select models.
To see which retailers are rated highly by Which? members, read our expert guide on the best and worst shops.
Is my TV repairable?
In 2021, new laws were introduced to make sure TVs were more easy to repair by the owner and by third party repairers.
TV manufacturers are now required to make some parts available for seven years after the TV's release. These rules apply whether you're buying a £2,000 OLED or a £200 32-inch Full HD TV.
To everyone for seven years:
external power supply
To professional repairers for a minimum of seven years:
internal power supply
connectors to connect external equipment (including cable, antenna, USB, DVD and Blu-ray)
capacitors above 400 microfarads,
batteries and accumulators
DVD/Blu-ray module if applicable
hard drive or solid state drive (HD/SSD) module if applicable
Popular TVs compared
We test almost all the TVs released by the four leading brands - LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony - up to 65 inches. That means we see the breadth of each manufacturer's ranges, from budget 32 and 40-inch sets up to range-topping TVs.
We've picked some popular models so you can see how they compare.
Display: OLED display for unparalleled black levels and smooth motion.
Features: 4K display, HDR support for improved contrast, voice control, Dolby Atmos-tuned surround sound, streaming and catch-up apps.
This 55-inch is an important TV for LG. It's a top-tier set with the best features and technology LG has created, but it's not stupidly expensive.