A great TV draws its viewers into the action, making other worlds feel real through the magic of lifelike images and sounds. The trick is wading through all the tech jargon and marketing to choose one that’s right for you and your family—hopefully without signing away your first-born child in the process.
Our easy-to-use TV buying guide breaks down the technology—from 4K UHD and Dolby Vision to QLED and OLED—in simple terms. Plus, it helps you choose based on screen size and use. It’s an easy way to shop for some of the best TVs currently available.
What kind of TV are you looking for?
Best TV Overall
Balancing size, quality and affordability, this 65-inch 4K UHD TV from Samsung is what you might call a generalist. It’s not best-in-class in any one category, but if you’re shopping for a large and inexpensive TV that does a good job with 4K content—from the latest games to action-packed movies—it’s very hard to beat. It even has striking design to boot. The model is available in 43-inch, 50-inch and 75-inch sizes as well.
- Samsung’s Crystal Processor does wonders with 4K images and even upscales lower resolution content so it will fill your entire screen.
- Its smart TV features include a simple user interface that gives you instant access to all your favourite apps and streaming services.
- An ultra-thin bezel (a.k.a. frame around the screen) and cable-concealing feet help this display blend into any room.
I love that I can mirror my Samsung Galaxy phone to this television.
The only flaw I have found is the apps section. Every once in a while, it is necessary to unplug the TV, wait 10 seconds and plug it back in in order to download new apps.
Best TV for Watching Movies
Made for movie lovers, this stunning LG display is designed to deliver a true cinematic experience. It uses OLED technology—which means each pixel is lit individually—to deliver amazing contrast. Whites are brilliant, blacks are inky and colours are vivid. You’ll pick up details in shadowy streets and bright skies you never knew were there, making it a true showcase for your favourite films. It’s also available in a smaller 55-inch model.
- Dolby Vision boosts the range of colour and contrast in TV shows, games and movies that support HDR (high dynamic range), which enhances the realism of the images.
- LG’s smart TV webOS 5.0 means you can find and stream movies and shows from your favourite apps.
- If you’re not tech savvy, it may take a while to learn to navigate this TV and all its features.
I cannot stress how beautiful the picture is.
I wish there was a way to simply navigate with the arrows, instead of having to use the remote control as a wand for the mouse.
Best 4K TV
The bigger the screen, the more important the resolution. That’s why 4K—meaning a screen with a resolution of 3840 by 2160, or more than 8 million pixels—is vital for displays over 60 inches. It’s especially important if viewers will be sitting close and don’t want to experience the dreaded “screen door” effect (when you’re able to see individual pixels). Large 4K screens are getting more affordable all the time and this 65-inch 4K UHD TV from TCL is proof that you don’t need to go into debt to get in on the 4K fun. It’s also available in 50-inch and 55-inch sizes.
- QLED technology—a type of LED known for its long lifespan and excellent brightness—ensures great viewing for years to come.
- The HDR Pro Pack with Dolby Vision pulls out hidden details in areas with subtle colours and shades.
- TCL’s AiPQ Engine automatically upscales lower-resolution content to 4K with minimal digital artifacts (like screen distortions).
The 4K gaming and streaming is unbelievable. It’s foolishness to not get this.
The highlights (whites) tend to washout (due to more contrast than needed). However, I adjusted the contrast and brightness in the advanced picture settings and everything (darks, mid-tones, highlights) was much better!
Best Big Screen on a Budget
It wasn’t that long ago that the biggest screens cost tens of thousands of dollars, but now you can find enormous 75-inch displays for under a grand—including this 4K UHD TV from budget TV brand Hisense. It comes with all the features you’d expect of any modern TV, including support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 to take advantage of HDR content, and comes ready to stream nearly limitless shows and movies via Roku. It’s available in smaller sizes, including 43 inches and 65 inches.
- More than 17 square feet of picture means everyone in the room has a front-row seat to sports, movies, games and more.
- Popular streaming apps including Netflix, YouTube, Disney+ and Spotify are preloaded, making setup a snap.
- Support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10 ensures you can take advantage of any and all HDR content. Just know that you may experience a small amount of light bleed in the corners.
Absolutely love it. Picture quality is beautiful. Huge TV. Beyond worth the price.
An LG or a Samsung has a better side viewing angle.
Best Budget TV
The perfect TV for cuddling up and watching your favourite show, this very affordable smart TV from RCA may even cost less than your family’s monthly phone bill. It’s packed with plenty of features including preloaded streaming apps, a built-in tuner and even a free mobile app for voice control. It’s full HD rather than 4K, but so long as you sit a metre or more away you’re unlikely to notice the lower resolution.
- Connect your phone or tablet to instantly share photos and videos on a bigger screen.
- The Roku TV platform provides access to hundreds of thousands of TV episodes and movies via popular streaming apps and channels.
- Add an antenna and you can use the built-in TV tuner to access over-the-air HD channels for free.
Great TV! Easy to set up and has a nice picture. If you are looking for a nice TV at a great price look no further.
I don’t like the remote.
Best TV for Gaming
If you think a good gaming TV will cost a small fortune, you’re not alone. But here’s a little secret: it doesn’t have to. Take Samsung’s 65-inch UHD QLED panel, for example. It provides a sprawling 4K HDR canvas on which to play the latest, most graphically demanding games and features a specialized gaming mode designed to keep players competitive. It even boasts wide viewing angles ideal for multiplayer sessions with friends. A 55-inch model is also available.
- Game Enhancer mode reduces lag to give players a competitive advantage by ensuring minimal delay between what the player does and sees onscreen.
- Samsung’s Quantum HDR, Quantum Processor and Dual LED technologies combine to deliver a massive range of lifelike tones and hues.
- Samsung’s Tizen operating system allows you to access smart TV features including popular streaming apps and full voice control. Some reviewers say Tizen can be a little slow.
I bought this TV especially for games but this TV is best for everything.
In Ambient mode, if you apply the auto brightness setting it dims the TV but also makes the colour tone very yellow.
Best Smart TV
When shopping for a smart TV, it helps if you go in with a good idea of the sorts of devices you want to connect and which streaming services you intend to use. If you’re uncertain, you might consider something like TCL’s affordable Class 4-Series 65-inch 4K UHD TV with HDR support. It provides a well-rounded set of features, including access to YouTube, Netflix and other streaming services with half a million movies and TV episodes, live sports and news. The best part is that you can reach all your programs, apps and consoles from a single hub screen, easy-peasy. The 4-Series is also available in 43-inch, 50-inch and 75-inch sizes.
- The streamlined Roku remote with colour-coded buttons is easy to use.
- Support for the Roku wireless app provides additional ways to search for content, including voice commands.
- It doesn’t come with surround sound and isn’t compatible with Bluetooth speakers or sound bars, so it isn’t the best choice for a totally immersive sound experience.
Very easy to set up the Roku. Love the sound and picture. Great TV for the price.
After trying to pair a Bluetooth sound bar for 30 minutes, I learned that this TV isn’t compatible with wireless speakers other than Roku.
Best Small TV
Weighing just under nine pounds, this wee Sanyo smart TV is great for small spaces and can be easily moved around the house as needed. It lacks the resolution and some of the picture quality technology found in larger and more expensive TVs, but its 720p panel (1280 by 720 pixels) is still fine for watching most TV shows and movies, which can be accessed through various streaming apps and the Roku platform.
- A pair of HDMI ports and an optical audio jack let you plug in everything from game consoles to speakers.
- Standard smart TV features provide quick and easy access to Netflix, ESPN, Crave and other popular streaming services.
- Its lightness and small size make it an easy TV to move around or adhere to the wall using a TV mount.
Super easy set up. Great for my bedroom. Definitely thinking about buying another one!
There are not any buttons on the actual TV. If you buy it, download the Roku app so if you lose the remote you can still turn it on.
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Your Questions, Answered
Choosing a TV Size
What size TV is best?
- 55 inches: Generally, if you’re sitting between five and nine feet away from your TV, a 55-inch screen is ideal, so it won’t overpower the space or appear too large for your living room.
- 60 to 65 inches: A 60- to 65-inch TV will work well for rooms where you’ll be sitting at least 10 feet away from the screen.
How do you measure a TV?
TV screen sizes are measured diagonally, from corner to corner, excluding the bezel (a.k.a. the frame). That means that a 32-inch TV has a screen that measures 32 inches from the bottom-left corner to the top-right corner. You may want to keep other dimensions in mind, including depth, width and height when picking a TV for your space, but the screen size is always measured diagonally.
Wondering what TV size to get? See our guide for choosing the perfect TV screen size.
Understanding TV Resolution
What is 1080p?
TV resolution is the overall picture quality and how many pixels appear on the screen. The resolution is measured in rows and lines. Specifically, 1080p means there are 1,920 pixels horizontally and 1,080 pixels vertically—which equals just over two million pixels. This resolution is considered high definition or full HD.
What does 4K mean?
4K or Ultra HD is any TV resolution that is at least 3,840 pixels across by 2,160 pixels tall and offers a clearer picture quality. The overall resolution is around four times the resolution of a 1080p television with eight million pixels.
Are 4K TVs worth it?
With as many as four times as many pixels as HDTVs, 4K TVs offer incredible realism and picture quality. Many of these TVs also offer better contrast, refresh rates and features like HDR that improve the quality of any content you watch on the screen. Overall, the cost will be slightly higher, but the picture quality makes it more like a home-theatre experience.
What is the best resolution for a TV?
In terms of overall quality, 8K TVs offer the absolute best resolution—at a premium price, too. However, it’s important to note that the quality of your content is what matters most. While 8K TVs can upscale lower-quality content, a 4K Blu-ray will look excellent on a 4K TV, and most 4K TVs can also upscale DVDs and older content.
What is upscaling?
Upscaling is a conversion process that happens on a device to make a smaller image or video resolution display better on a higher resolution screen. For example, a DVD has a resolution of 720 pixels by 576 pixels, but a 4K TV has a resolution of 3,840 pixels by 2,160 pixels. If you were to play a DVD on a 4K TV without upscaling, it would only fill a small corner of the screen.
Upscaling converts the lower quality video resolution to fill your screen while trying to make the content look the best. Pixelation and artifacts (or distortions) can appear, but good upscaling improves the image quality.
LED, OLED and HDR Technology
What is an OLED TV?
OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, is an advanced technology used in some TVs that allows individual pixels on the screen to be completely turned off. By comparison, LED TVs have a light panel behind every pixel, which means even dark spaces will never appear completely black.
Which is better: LED or OLED?
There’s no simple answer to this question, but generally OLED TVs are considered superior.
|OLED Pros||LED Pros|
|Best blacks and dark spaces||Better brightness|
|Lighter and thinner||Can be scaled to larger screen sizes|
|Uses less energy||More affordable|
Find out more in our deep dive comparison of LED and OLED TVs.
What does HDR mean?
High dynamic range, or HDR, is television technology that helps provide a better viewing experience—and it’s most noticeable in movies and gaming.
On a standard TV, a scene that has a lot of bright and dark elements may end up looking uniform, since the TV can’t properly show a range of contrast across complex visuals. A TV with HDR uses the brightness and contrast to better show scenes so that details don’t get lost. It makes complex details look more vivid, and realistic.
What is a smart TV?
A TV is considered smart if:
- It connects to the internet using Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable
- It offers apps for streaming services or other online activities (YouTube, Netflix, Google Play Movies, Roku, Google Assistant, etc.)
- Reference Home Theater. 4K Calculator – Do You Benefit?
How we choose products: Simply put, we don’t recommend any products we wouldn’t buy ourselves. Our writers leverage a number of sources as a starting point, including reputable third-party reviews, Walmart.ca user reviews, and Walmart Canada’s category specialists. theHUB editorial staff has final say for all products included in this guide.
Any product claims noted are provided by the manufacturer, unless otherwise stated.
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