What every best TVs has:
- Great or at least very good performance.
- Useful and usable features.
- Function over form.
ConsumerReports.org reviews more TVs than just about any other source -- a whopping 239 of them at last look, though not all are current models. It's also one of the few sources to review small screen TVs (29 inches and below). Though other reviewers offer more detail, ConsumerReports.org now offers good discussion about what makes a given TV great -- or not. If there's a flaw here it's that still too many (over 100) TVs are judged good enough to be recommended, though fewer rise a step further to become Best Buys.
CNET continually updates its TV reviews with the latest models. Testing can get a little technical, but it's also very thorough and the findings are typically well-explained. List of best choices include best overall, best for picture quality and best in different sized screens.
Reviewed.com provides lots of helpful reviews of current TVs. The site offers a good, plain-English synopsis of what makes a TV great, or not so great. A tab labeled "Test Results" provides the numbers behind the commentary. Editors are tough critics, and no TVs -- even top-rated ones -- escape without at least some flaws exposed. A ranking of the top TVs is provided and Editors' Choice and Best of the Year award winners are named.
PCMag.com looks at TVs in single-product reviews. Write-ups are shorter than at some other sites and can be technically dense, but conclusions are clearly spelled out and ratings are provided. The very best TVs get Editors' Choice designations.
Rtings.com is a good destination for TV reviews. Reviews can be searched by size and brand, but also by test results. That last section does a great job of explaining what the various tests reveal about a set, lets you see the test results side by side, and provides a photo that illustrates what the results mean in terms of the picture you see on the screen.
Here, Mark Henninger, associate editor at AVSForum.com reports on the 2016 Value Electronics Flat Panel Shootout, which pits the top LED and OLED TVs against each other. Held this year at the CE Week trade show in NY, judging was done by both experts (TV reviewers and calibrators) and conference attendees, and the TVs are rated on key measures of picture quality. There are also pages of comments and questions from members of AVSForum.com, a busy online community of audio-video enthusiasts.
This site may not be very slick, but reviews appear to be objective and competently done. Lots of TVs are evaluated, and testing is extensive and well documented, but discussion could be clearer. A nice plus is the inclusion of picture settings based on calibration tests. Ratings are provided, and this helpful comparison chart with links to the full reviews separates current LED TVs from older models.
Amazon.com invites users to share their experiences with products they own, and many of the TVs sold here get enough ratings -- sometimes numbering into the hundreds or even thousands -- to help shoppers determine which ones are best. Both the ratings and number of reviews each TV gets are visible on main navigation pages. Many TV sets rate similarly, so it's easy to spot if one set gets above or below average feedback.
BestBuy.com also allows users to comment on products they own and navigation is easy. The overall rating and number of reviews reside on the main navigation page, and only currently available TVs are listed, although some of last year's models remain for sale. One nice feature is a top-line summation of how many owners would recommend the reviewed TV to a friend. Again, many models get hundreds of reviews, and some get well over a thousand.
This site only evaluates a handful of current TVs -- all very high-end models -- but editors do conduct in-depth testing and produce detailed reports. Star ratings are provided for factors such as performance and features, but TVs aren't rated or ranked overall. The best TVs get a Top Pick designation.
Although the level of detail might qualify as overkill for some, this Danish site provides comprehensive reviews that include lots of comparisons. Many tested HDTVs are similar to models sold in the U.S. and important differences are clearly spelled out in most cases. The best TVs get a Highly Recommended award, but TVs aren't otherwise rated or ranked.
This site provides news and opinion related to the world of HD television, and evaluates TVs themselves on occasion. Reviews can be hard to find on this blog-style site, which is a shame because the experts here are highly knowledgeable. Commentary can get a little heavy for non-videophiles, but conclusions are clearly stated.
Chris Heinonen, a respected reviewer of all things home-theater related and a certified ISF calibrator, reviews TVs here for TheWirecutter.com. TVs are selected for inclusion based on reader surveys and testing by other experts. Those that qualify are brought in for a round of well-documented testing by Heinonen himself, and top choices and runners up are named.
Tom's Guide tests lots of TVs, ranging from flagship sets to budget friendly Smart TVs. Reviews are clearly hands on and testing based. They are also fairly technical in spots, but not so much so as to turn off more casual TV shoppers and overall conclusions are clearly stated.
DigitalTrends.com reviews a handful of TVs, and several impress enough to earn an Editors' Choice award. Write-ups are heavy on the discussion of features, but both formal and viewing testing is done in most cases and ratings are provided.
Walmart.com is a good source for user feedback on budget-friendly options. Some posters include discussion while others leave only ratings. Many TVs get a lot of feedback -- hundreds and sometimes thousands of reviews and ratings -- but many more get just a handful of comments.