Vizio M65-C1
Vizio M65-C1

Best TV

Reviewers are stunned by the near perfect blend of performance and value offered by the 2015 line of Vizio M-Series TVs, including the 65-inch Vizio M65-C1. This is a 4K set with terrific black level performance that stands up well when compared to TVs that cost considerably more. There are some technical bobbles that you won't see on some other TVs, but most are of the type that will show up on test benches rather in viewer's living rooms, yielding picture quality that will please all but the terminally obsessive.

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Vizio E50-C1
Vizio E50-C1

Best cheap TV

The Vizio E50-C1 is a truly rare find among high-definition LED TVs: A set that delivers both excellent picture quality and a rock-bottom price. Black levels are incredibly deep for a TV in this price range -- and even better than seen on some sets costing considerably more. Most other aspects of picture performance are very good or excellent as well. There are quite a few screen sizes available -- from 23-inches to 70-inches -- and specifications and performance can vary by size, but nearly all stand up well to expert and owner scrutiny.

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TCL 40FS3800
TCL 40FS3800

Best smart TV

Make no mistake, no one should buy the 40-inch TCL 40FS3800 TV for its picture quality, though that's actually pretty good for its price class. However, cord cutters and others interested in the very best experience in streaming content should give this set serious consideration. It offers full Roku platform built in, and that functionality simply outperforms even the best smart TV offerings in other sets. That's easily more than enough for most reviewers to overlook this set's picture shortcomings and heartily recommend the TV.

Samsung UN28H4000
Samsung UN28H4000

Best small TV

The 28-inch Samsung UN28H4000 is an excellent small-screen TV, perfect for those situations where a big screen TV is too big, too expensive, or both -- for example as a secondary TV for your kitchen, bedroom or elsewhere. The specifications don't impress, but what's seen on the screen looks pretty darn good, especially when compared to other sets in the same size/price class. Expert and user reviews are strong, and a smaller-still 24-inch version is also offered.

Samsung UN28H4000 28-Inch 720p 60Hz LED TV (2014 Model)
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LG 65EG9600
LG 65EG9600

TV with the best picture quality

If picture quality matters more than anything else -- including price -- the 65-inch LG 65EG9600 4K OLED TV belongs at the top of your list. Yes, it's expensive, yes, it uses a still-emerging technology, and yes, some aspects of the image are a little wobbly in some tests. But, yes, it just blows away competing sets in those picture-quality measures that matter most. Black levels that make even the best sets ever made look cloudy are a highlight. A 55-inch version is also available.

Est. $5,000
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See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

Finding the perfect TV

If you're in the market for a new TV you're in for a treat as prices for HDTVs have dropped dramatically and performance has improved just as much. Prices for sets with cutting edge technology -- including 4k (also called Ultra High Definition, or UHD) and OLED (organic LED) -- have started to tumble as well. Smart sets -- including bargain-priced TVs with Roku and other robust streaming platforms built in -- are also available with lower-than-ever price tags. But, and here's the rub, finding the perfect TV for you and your family can be a bit of a juggling act.

Most TV sets are LED TVs -- that is LCD TVs with LED backlights. Plasma sets are dead and gone. OLED TVs have taken their place as the object of desire for those that are obsessed with absolute best picture quality. Most OLED sets carry stratospheric price tags, but at least one "reasonably" priced -- at least compared to competing flagship LED TVs -- model is available, and is well reviewed. See more in our discussion of TVs with the best picture quality.

What makes a TV "perfect" for you?

In an attempt to get consumers to buy a new set, TV makers have been adding lots of high-tech goodies to their offerings. There's 3D, of course, and "Smart" features that let you access content directly from the Internet or from your personal computer. Things we never had to consider before, such as refresh rate, are now front and center on the features list and in advertisements.

On the other hand, maybe you just want a TV with a great, or simply a good, picture at a price that's easy on your wallet. Image quality is defined by a few different factors, including how deep a level of black a set can obtain, how accurate and saturated colors appear, how uniform the picture looks across the screen, how well it handles fast motion, and how free the picture is of image-processing bobbles like curved lines that are slightly jagged rather than perfectly smooth.

How much do you need to spend on a TV? If you're a perfectionist, be prepared to dig deep as cutting edge TVs can cost $4,000 or more -- and sometimes much more depending on the technology and screen size. Others can find TVs with images that look perfectly fine -- in fact, pretty darn outstanding -- at $500 or even less. Splitting the difference are a spate of TVs with price tags that, while certainly not budget, offer performance and features that were previously unheard of even in sets that cost substantially more.

How we found the best TVs

This report discusses the features and specifications that matter when selecting your next TV. We examine professional and user reviews to identify the sets that shine in terms of image quality, features, design and value, and name those our Best Reviewed choices. We also look at some TVs that don't fall too far behind and can be excellent options in their own right. Experts we consult include CNET,,, and many others. User feedback is drawn from popular retail sites such as and

Elsewhere in this Report:

Important TV Features | Best Value TVs | Best Cheap TVs | TVs with the Best Picture Quality | Buying Guide | Our Sources

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