When it comes to buying a brand new TV you want to make sure you’re buying the best television for you.
But how do you know which one to go for when there are so many different technologies, with strange acronyms, and a host of different screen sizes to deal with too? There are also many different manufactueres, with a vast array of televisions rocking different panel technologies, operating systems, tuners, backlights and features.
Do you want a Ultra HD 4K screen, do you need high dynamic range support, is 3D finally dead? Which of the myriad TV operating systems do you want to throw your lot in with? Just how do you find out what the best TV is for you?
Well, you come to the experts.
We’ve figured out the best TVs in a variety of different categories, from Ultra HD to super-sized 75-inch screen, right down to the li’l 32-inchers for that second screen for the bedroom.
But it’s not always about the outright best – after all, those can represent some of the most expensive televisual tech you can buy – sometimes you just want the absolute best value screen. And we’ve got those covered in each category too.
If you want to know what to look out for when buying a new TV check out the second page to arm yourself with all the information you could possibly need.
But first, here’s our pick of the best TVs of 2016 – there are some absolute stunners.
Best Ultra HD 4K TV
“Produces the best all-round picture quality I’ve ever seen.”
Screen size: 65-inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Custom Panasonic | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 1,448 x 913 x 311 mm
Best picture quality ever
Tackles previous OLED issues
You can’t afford it
Doesn’t carry Firefox OS
Panasonic has set out to make a statement with the 65CZ952. With an eye-watering price tag of nearly £8,000 it’s clearly not a TV the brand expects to sell in large quantities. Yet its combination of OLED tech, Panasonic’s latest and greatest video processing and input from Hollywood give it the potential to set new picture quality standards.
While we will probably never be able to own one, the 65CZ952 still represents a key moment in the history of television for the way it harnesses Panasonic’s processing power and picture quality know-how to take the performance potential of OLED TV to a previously unimagined level.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-65CZ952
Best value Ultra HD 4K TV:
Best 60, 65 or 75-inch TV
“If there’s one thing the Sony 75X9405C is not, it’s shy.”
Screen size: 75-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD and FreeSat HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1041 x 1929 x 322mm
Sensational picture quality
Equally sensational sound quality
Space-consuming chassis design
Upscaling can cause noise
The 75X9405C’s pictures boast gorgeous colours and one of the best contrast performances in the LCD TV world. Its sound quality is equally stellar, and some aspects of its smart TV features are well thought through.
Aside from its headline Android TV smart platform failing to convince everyone it’s the future of smart television, the 75X9405C is an unmitigated success. Its picture quality is even better than anything Sony managed to produce with the highlight models from its 2014 4K TV range, and its incredibly powerful and dynamic audio is literally music to your ears.
Read the full review: Sony KD-75X9405C
Best value 60, 65 or 75-inch TV:
Best 50 or 55-inch TV
“If you’re not yet lusting after OLED, you’ve got it all wrong.”
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD and FreeSat HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: webOS | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 760 x 1226 x 213mm
Best black levels ever
Is this is the best TV on the planet? Judged purely on picture quality, this 4K OLED has a jaw-dropping combination of total black, cracking colour, judder-free video, a reflection-free curve and an innate ability to make standard-def sources ripple with realism.
Self-lighting pixels are the future, as proved by the 55EG960V’s spotless colours, awesome blacks, bright, pure whites and all-round utterly gorgeous images. 4K detail is mesmerising while even standard definition sources look clean and crisp. Self-lighting they may be, but it’s when those pixels completely switch off that this OLED TV really stands out next to an LED TV.
Read the full review: LG 55EG960V
Best value 50 or 55-inch TV:
Best 46, 47 or 48-inch TV
“An excellent, if slightly small, UHD TV.”
Screen size: 48-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED |Smart TV: Tizen | Curved: No | Dimensions: 683 x 1087 x 278 mm
Affordable for high end UHD
Needs careful setup otherwise…
…there’s significant motion blur
The UE48JU7000T delivers an impressive set of specifications for its money, including a native UHD resolution, Samsung’s wide colour gamut PurColor technology, direct LED lighting with local dimming, and Samsung’s new Tizen smart TV system.
You’ll have to get your hands dirty in the system settings to nail a quality image, though. Its pictures are badly blighted using its initial settings by some pretty heavy duty and unexpected motion blur, but fortunately – so long as you follow the advice given during our test – these motion issues can be worked round.
That then leaves you with an excellent – if slightly small – UHD TV.
Read the full review: Samsung UE48JU7000T
Best value 46, 47 or 48-inch TV:
Best 40 or 42-inch TV
“The TX-40CX680B could turn out to be one of the bargains of year”
Screen size: 40-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED |Smart TV: Firefox OS | Curved: No | Dimensions: 560 x 904 x 202 mm
Customisable Firefox OS
Soft standard def
Only 3 HDMI
Is the TX-40CX680B too small to show-off its 4K panel at just 40-inches? Though the 4K resolution is the headline-grabber, the emphasis from Panasonic on this 40-incher is on better pixels rather than more pixels. This highly talented and great value TV swerves that elephant in the room with some pin-sharp pictures to add to its impressive smart TV OS.
With Firefox OS it really makes use of its eight million pixels by boosting black levels, colour and upscaling prowess to make everything save for standard definition look sumptuous. With Freeview Play incoming, it’s an early front-runner for the best value 4K screen around.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-40CX680B
Best value 40 or 42-inch TV:
Best 32-inch TV
“Samsung has created the finest 32-inch TV at a canter.”
Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Smart Hub | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 730 x 428 x 79mm
4 HDMI inputs
Sharp HD images
Plasticky build quality
Slow to navigate
What are curved TVs for, exactly? They might be ‘curved like your eyes’, but lend a bend to a flat-panel TV and a more immersive image isn’t the result. In fact, it actually makes very little difference.
Stylistically though this feature-packed 32-incher just about gets away with it, but a plasticky build quality detracts from an otherwise thoroughly polished performance. Add awesome Full HD pictures and unexpectedly excellent audio though and the UE32J6300 is quite a package for a bedroom or second room.
Read the full review: Samsung UE32J6300