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Console season is upon us. In just a few short days, millions of folks will take receipt of their brand new Xbox Series or PlayStation 5 consoles, with their 4K outputs and variable refresh rates. Some games, like Gears of War 5 on the Xbox, will support 120 FPS (frames per second) on day one. However, unless you have a TV that can support those high resolutions and refresh rates, you might be stuck with 1080p at 60 FPS. If you’re in the market to upgrade, you’ve already seen the issue with “just getting a new TV.” There are so many of them. Every company makes 100 TVs. They all have terrible names like OLED55CXAUA or Bravia Quantum Dotplex SH-1837. It sucks.
I’m going to fix it. This article will contain three (3) TVs at three price points (high, medium, low) that you should consider if you want a brand new TV that will take full advantage of the power of the new consoles. If you want deep analysis about pixels or color gamuts or whatever go to Wirecutter, I don’t know. I’m here (as your friend) to tell you what I (a person who has brain poisoning that results in having knowledge about things like PenTile) would buy if John (my boss) gave me the money (which he will).
Even if you don’t end up buying one of the TVs on this list, here’s what’s important: refresh rate (at least 120Hz), 4K (you don’t need 8K), at least 55″ (it sounds like a big number it’s not actually that big once you get it on the wall).
Here are the best TVs you can buy if you’re upgrading to the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X.
The Expensive One – LG CX OLED
Oh, so you’re really trying to treat your peepers. Really just blast those irises with light emitting diodes. Okay, okay. I got you. If you’re trying to get the absolute best out of your PS5 or Xbox Series X, you should be prepared to plunk down a reasonable amount of change. You should also expect the best features and refresh rates.
That’s why our recommendation for The Expensive One category is the LG CX, in any of its three (55, 65, 77“) sizes. At around $2,000, the LG CX has high marks from Wirecutter, RTings, and Games Twitter™. There are TVs above this one in LG’s lineup that are more expensive but are basically the same in every day use. The CX will do you great. It has all of the stuff you want: 120Hz refresh rates, support for HDR in video playback and games, as well as Dolby’s mastering suite, Atmos and Vision. The CX also supports Nvidia G-Sync and FreeSync, so if you want to plug a computer and game that way, you can.
Let me tell you about dot matrices. There are two main types of TV right now, OLED (organic light emitting diode) and LED/LCD displays. OLED technology allows for infinite contrast ratios, because the screen can create perfect black and only the pixels that need color will turn on. It’s cool as hell. If you want to learn about how OLED works exactly, you can watch this video from CNET. LCDs are cheaper, but do not have the color accuracy or the contrast ratio that you can get from an OLED. They can also get much, much brighter because they use backlights to illuminate the pixels. Another important aspect (for all of these TVs) is refresh rate. A television’s refresh rate is how many times it can change the image on the screen per second. For gaming, you want a high refresh rate to pair with the high frame rates that the consoles can provide. You can run games at 120 FPS on a 60Hz screen, but you will be missing the other 60 frames because your TV can’t change the image fast enough. Most TVs sold in the last few years do support 120Hz, but check with your manufacturer about your specific model.
Anyway, the LG CX is great. People love it. It’s the TV I want. If I wanted to buy a TV right now and money was not a problem, I’d buy the LG CX. It also runs WebOS! Like the Palm Pre! There’s a little bird inside.
The One For Most People – TCL 6 Series
Our pick for most people is the TCL 6 Series. This TV has everything you could possibly want from a TV and it’s under $1000. It looks great from a bunch of angles, has an improved backlighting system that allows for better contrast and better brightness, and has great image quality. It does have a 4K panel, but it won’t do 4K @ 120Hz – it’ll cap out at 1440p @ 120Hz. Which is fine, honestly! Most games won’t even run at 4K @ 120Hz, and the LG CX can’t do 4K @ 120Hz with HDR enabled (it will do it at 1440p, though). People love this thing, it has a 4.5/5 at Jeff’s Big Store.
I own the previous version of this TV, the 55″ TCL 5 Series. It’s a great TV, and I like looking at it. If I were buying a TV and I had to take into account my current place in life, I’d buy this one. You won’t have to get another TV for like, 8 years if you get this one, and $112/year for a thing you’ll use for multiple hours a day seems like a good deal to me.
The One For Everyone Else – The TV You Already Have
I have the inside track on an incredible deal. For $0, you can play the brand new Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 you’re about to buy. All you have to do is walk into the room of your house that has a TV in it, plug the console in, and then turn it on. Boom. You’ve entered the next generation of games, and you didn’t have to buy a TV.
Listen, these are the only two TVs that I would recommend anyone buy right now. Sony makes some that are nice but they’re really expensive. Samsung probably still makes 3D TVs, you can pick up one of those, or if you’re interested in a TV that comes with a refrigerator attached they’ve got you covered there too.
If you like the TV you already have, then keep it! Your TV is probably fine. If you aren’t in a spot to buy one of these new sets, just hang on. New TVs come out every year, and those new ones drive the price of the previous year’s model down. A TV that is $1000 now might be $600 this time next year. Your games will look great and as long as you have a 1080p TV you’ll see and feel the benefits of the enhanced frame rates that the Xbox Series and PS5 will bring. I’m not about to tell you that you need to buy a $1000 or $2000 computer to pair with the $500 video game machine you just got. We’re in a pandemic. Spend your money however you feel comfortable.
Be safe and Happy Gaming™.