The 7 Best TVs For 2020

The television is a cornerstone of the modern home. The room in which it’s placed is often the room where we spend most of our time, and lots of events, from live sports to movie nights, take place around the TV. It’s completely understandable to want the best of the best for your home, but knowing exactly which television is the best for your circumstances can be really tough.

The biggest reason for this is that there are simply so many choices, and television technology is advancing all the time. This makes it’s hard to keep up with all the latest developments and know if what you’re buying is necessary or merely a gimmick designed to get you to spend more money.

To help make it easier for you to find the TV that’s right for you, we’ve put together a list of the seven best available in 2020. Also, we’ve outlined all the different things to look for in a TV so you can be an informed consumer capable of comparing the many options and selecting the one that is right for your needs and budget.

Read on to learn more about the seven best TVs of 2020.

What to Look for In a TV

To make a smart decision when shopping for a TV, it’s essential to have a working knowledge of the technology that is out there so that you can accurately compare and contrast different options and more precisely determine what you need and want.

For those who want to get technical, there are countless specifications you can use when looking at different TVs. But getting bogged down in jargon isn’t going to help anyone, so we recommend you focus on the following things:

LED LCD vs. OLED

One of the first decisions you need to make when looking at televisions is which type of screen you want: LCD or OLED.

Light Emitting Diode Liquid Crystal Display (LED LCD) screens are some of the most common found in today’s TV market. They work using a backlight, illuminating the crystals to produce the picture you see on the screen. Because of this, LED LCD screens tend to be the brightest on the market, which is what helps them deliver such a high-quality picture.

However, LED LCD screens are at their best when viewed straight on and not at an angle, which can be a problem for some people. Contrast has traditionally been less with LCD screens. Still, the introduction of quantum dot technology, which allows TVs to control each pixel’s brightness, has helped counteract this and keep LCD TVs at the top of the TV world.

Perhaps the best thing about LED LCD screens is their price. They tend to be relatively cheap since it’s a technology that has been around for quite a while. The vast majority of the televisions in today’s market will have this type of screen.

Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens are the other significant screen type on the market, and they are very much the future of television. These screens use pixels that light up on their own, meaning they can also be shut off entirely, producing a true black and much more vivid contrast. The picture on an OLED screen does not degrade when viewed at an angle since the pixels are not illuminated using a backlight.

The main downside to OLED screens is that they are still very expensive. They have not yet made it into the mainstream, and prices reflect this. However, if you’re looking for a TV that can keep up with advances moving forward, then an OLED screen may be the way to go.

Resolution

Resolution is the number of pixels on the screen, and the higher this number, the better the picture. (It’s not quite this simple as brightness and contrast play an important role, but it’s certainly a rule of thumb).

When looking at and comparing different models, know that resolution is often written shorthand as 720p, 1080p, 4K, 8K, etc.

The industry standard in 2020 is 4K. More and more content is being produced for these televisions, and we have definitely arrived at a moment where anything less than 4K is considered outdated. As a result, make sure whatever TV you buy has at least 4K resolution.

While shopping, you may come across some models offering 8K resolution, which means the screen has twice the number of pixels as the 4K model. This technology is still quite new (and, therefore, quite expensive), and so we don’t recommend investing in this just yet; however, if you have the cash and want to be ready for the future, this would be the way to go.

Contrast

Probably the most important thing for producing a quality picture is contrast. Without it, we wouldn’t get that vividness and detail that we expect from top-of-the-line TVs. As a result, going with a TV with the sharpest contrast is the best way to ensure exceptional picture quality.

Contrast is expressed as a determined ratio by dividing the brightness of the whitest white by that of the darkest black. As a result, the bigger the ratio, the better the contrast, and, in theory, the better the picture.

OLED screens have an infinite contrast ratio because the blackest black has a brightness value of zero (and any number divided by 0 is undefined), which is why everyone loves OLED screens; their contrast ratio allows for stunning images that LCD screens simply can’t beat. However, as mentioned, a lot has been done to LCD tech over the years to improve contrast and create some pretty stunning pictures. Be sure to look out for these numbers as you are shopping for your TV.

Brightness

Brighter TVs are better because they produce a greater difference between lights and darks (once again, contrast is everything). For our purposes, know that television brightness is measured in nits and that a good LCD TV should be able to produce a peak brightness of more than 1,000 nits for it to display the top-quality images we’re used to seeing from today’s TVs.

OLED TVs are not nearly as bright because they do not have a backlight, but they can produce the same image quality because of their sharp contrast. To give you an idea, an LCD TV needs more than 1,000 nits to produce HDR images (more on this in a bit), but an OLED TV can procure the same thing using just 540 nits.

Overall, if you’re not buying an OLED TV, then know that brighter is almost always better.

HDR

When shopping for TVs, you will see HDR frequently mentioned, which stands for high-dynamic range. Without getting too technical, just know that it’s a way of storing data that gives TVs access to more information, which leads to more colors, more accurate images, and sharper contrasts.

Overall, HDR, which is now usually referred to as HDR 10, is still fairly new, but it’s definitely the future. If you’re buying a TV in 2020, it should be HDR-ready; otherwise, you’re wasting your money.

However, while HDR is a giant step forward, many companies are taking it further, but there is no consensus for what will come next. One contender is Dolby Vision, and the other is HDR 10+, a Samsung technology available only on the devices made by this company.

Not unlike the race between Blu-Ray and HD DVD (which took place some ten years ago), these two technologies are competing for the future of TV, and it’s unclear who will win. HDR 10+ is only available on Samsung TVs, but the company has secured licensing agreements with several major studios to make more content available in the format. Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision IQ are available on many more televisions, but it’s unclear if it will be adapted as the industry standard.

Because all of this is still so new (you likely won’t even find a lot of content designed for these formats), it’s tough to know which one is better. All of the high-end TVs on the market will come equipped to handle one or the other, so remember that you are very much helping to shape the future of the TV world when you make your purchase. Mid-range and budget options might only come equipped with HDR 10, so keep this in mind if this is the route you want to take.

Some TVs offer HLG capability, which is essentially HDR for live TV. This is still a new technology and will only be found on the most advanced models.

Smart Capability

Almost all the TVs on the market today have some sort of smart capability. Many, such as TVs from Samsung, have their own digital assistants that allow you to control the TV using just your voice. Others can connect to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, etc.

Take some time to make sure your TV will be compatible with the smart tech you want to connect it to, as this will significantly improve your overall experience with the television.

Size and Cost

Lastly, size and cost are important things to keep in mind. When considering size, make sure to choose something that makes sense for the room where the TV will be. Don’t put an 85-inch TV on a wall about the same size, or in a room where no one will be more than a few feet from the screen. This will completely negate such a large TV’s benefits and make you feel as though you’ve wasted your money.

Speaking of money, it’s also essential to set a realistic budget. The best TVs on the market will cost around $2,000 (for 55″ models; larger ones can cost up to $4,500). A good middle range is between $1,000 and $2,000, but plenty of great TVs can be had for as little as $500.

Considering you will likely have your TV for some time and that it’s such an important part of your home, we recommend spending a bit more to get something of quality, but everyone’s budget needs are different. Our list reflects this variance and should make it easier to find something that works for you.

The Seven Best TVs of 2020

Now that you have a complete understanding of all the considerations when buying a TV, it’s time to reveal which 2020 models have made it onto our list of the best TVs you can buy.

To make things easier, we’ve broken up our list into three categories determined mainly by price.

The first group is the industry leaders. They are the best of the best, but their price tags reflect their status. Expect to pay $2,000 or more for one of these TVs.

The second group is the mid-range TVs, and they offer above-average performance at prices that are easier to handle than those of the industry leader group; these TVs cost between $1,000-$2,000.

The final group comprises budget options, a term that should not be interpreted as “cheap.” These are great TVs, but they lack some of the most modern features and bells and whistles, which translates to savings without sacrificing too much quality. These TVs cost less than $1,000.

You can read about the TVs we’ve identified as the best in 2020 and see which one is right for you in the sections below.

The Industry Leaders

Three TVs made it into this group – one from LG, one from Samsung, and one from Sony. Here’s everything you need to know about each one:

7 Best TVs of 2020 Industry Leaders

LG CX Series OLED TV

The successor to LG’s C9 Series, one of the top televisions on the market in 2019, the LG CX Series is one of the best televisions you can buy in 2020.

The first thing that stands out with this TV is the picture quality, which cannot accurately be described using words. The OLED technology in the screen produces vivid contrasts that no other TV can match, leading to stunning images that will suck you in for hours if you’re not careful.

Also, LG made a few key upgrades over last year’s model that have played a significant role in helping this model stay on top of the high-end television market. Mainly the implementation of HDMI 2.1 and its a9 Gen 3 processor, which allows for smoother images and more streamlined viewing experience.

This TV also includes LG’s webOS and ThinQ AI software, both of which have been explicitly designed for ease of use and convenience. The home screen is a simple presentation of icons, and there is practically no learning curve involved in using the smart system; clicking on one will take you to your desired content source (Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, etc.).

The LG CX Series supports 4K Ultra HD and HDR, as well as Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision IQ, though it does not allow for HDR 10+. The improved processor reduces lag time and ensures that images remain fluid even while there is fast motion on the screen.

Overall, this television is top of the line and won’t disappoint anyone who decides to buy it. But be warned that great picture quality and state-of-the-art features come with a hefty price tag – the 65″ model comes in at around $2,400, depending on where you look.

However, LG is soon to release a 48″ model that will retail at about $1,800, which is quite a bargain for such a high-quality TV. As of writing, this model is not yet in stores due to production problems likely caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

In sum, here are all the important specifications relating to the LG CX Series OLED TV:

  • Screen type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels)
  • Contrast: Infinite
  • Brightness: 500-800 nits
  • HDR: HDR 10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Vision IQ, HLG
  • Ports: 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 Ethernet, 1 composite In, and 1 cable/satellite jack
  • Capabilities: Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Smart: webOS and ThinkQ
  • Sizes: 55″, 65″, and 77″ (48″ to be released soon)
  • Price: $1,699, $2,400, and $4,500 (75″)

Sony A9G Master Series

A long-time leader and standard-setter in the world of electronics, Sony is at it again with its newest television: the A9G Master Series. It’s the 2020 version of the A9F Series, one of the best TVs available in 2019.

Perhaps the first thing you will notice when looking at this TV is its sleek, slender design. This is a device that will look great in any home, but don’t buy a TV just because it looks cool. Buy one that delivers a great television experience, and if that happens to be the Sony A9G Master series, it will not disappoint.

As an OLED TV, the contrast on this TV is impeccable and paired with HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos capabilities, you can expect industry-leading picture quality and sound from this device. Brightness is lower than on LED models, but the A9G Master Series makes up for this with vivid colors and seamless motion, creating a truly mesmerizing image.

It does not support HDR 10+, but its performance in other formats (such as HD, HDR, and Dolby Vision) makes up for this and does not sacrifice overall performance.

One other thing we like about this TV is that it has an excellent built-in sound system. If you’re going to go all the way and buy a TV of this quality, you’ll likely want to invest in a surround sound system, but we like that the TV comes with something more than serviceable.

The A9F Master Series uses AndroidTV as its smart TV software, which is easy to use and constantly updated for security and functionality.

Of course, as is the case with these TVs, be ready to pay for such quality. The cheapest model – which is 55″ – starts at $2,300. Yet for those who can afford it, this TV truly is one of the best money can buy.

Here is a rundown of all this A9G Master Series’ specifications:

  • Screen type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels)
  • Contrast: Infinite
  • Brightness: 780 nits
  • HDR: HDR 10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HLG
  • Ports: 4 HDMI, 2 USB, 1 Ethernet, 1 composite In, and 1 cable/satellite jack
  • Capabilities: Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Smart: Android TV
  • Sizes: 55″, 65″, and 77″ (48″ to be released soon)
  • Price: $2,229, $3,229, and $4,449 (75″)

Samsung Q90T QLED TV

The last TV in the “high-end” category is the Samsung Q90T QLED TV, the 2020 update to the Q90S, one of the best TVs in 2019.

Interestingly, the QLED is not an OLED TV, although the name is undoubtedly meant to encourage that connection. Just because it doesn’t make use of OLED technology does not mean this television does not deserve to be on this list. This is, quite simply, one of the best TVs out there due to Samsung’s QLED technology, which stands for Quantum Light Emitting Diode. Without going too far into the specifics, Samsung has added a “quantum” layer to the TV screen, allowing the device to control colors similarly to how an OLED TV does, improving contrast and overall picture quality. But the QLED still can’t completely turn pixels off, which means contrast is always going to be slightly worse than in a true OLED TV.

One thing that makes this TV great is its wide viewing angles. LED TVs tend to distort when viewed from the side, but this is not the case for the Q90T, meaning everyone in the room will get a great picture no matter where they are standing.

The TV also has a Quantum Image Processor, one of the most advanced on the market, which contributes to the TV’s overall stellar picture quality.

Samsung has also included Bixby (the company’s virtual assistant) as well as Samsung SmartThings in the TV, both of which make this TV very intelligent and very easy to use. It also works with other virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

For some, the fact this TV isn’t technically an OLED model might be a reason to shy away, but we want to discourage this type of thinking as the Samsung Q90TR QLED TV is one of the best options on the market.

However, like all the other high-end models we’ve looked at, this quality comes at a price. In 2020, Samsung has added a smaller 55″ model that is slightly more affordable than its larger TVs, and all of the Q90T models are cheaper in 2020 than they were in 2019, but still expect to pay a pretty penny for what is one of the best TVs on the market today.

Here are the most important specifications for the Q90T:

Screen type: LED with Samsung’s proprietary Quantum dot technology.

  • Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels)
  • Contrast: 4401:1
  • Brightness: 1,400 nits (notice the difference from the OLED models)
  • HDR: HDR 10+, Dolby Atmos
  • Ports: 4 HDMI ports, 2 USB, 1 RF In for cable and 1 for satellite
  • Capabilities: WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Smart: Yes (Bixby voice control, Google Assistant, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa)
  • Sizes: 55″, 65″, 75″, and 82″
  • Price: $1,600, $2,200, $3,400 and $5,000

Mid-Range: Great Quality at a Better Price

If you want a TV that will wow you every time you turn it on, but that doesn’t cost $2,000 or more, know that there are some options out there for you. Below we’ve identified two, one from Vizio and one from LG.

7 Best TVs of 2020 Mid Range

Vizio P-Series Quantum

The Vizio brand is built around making quality but affordable TVs. However, over the past few years, the company has been working hard to change its image and demonstrate its ability to make genuinely top-of-the-line televisions, which it has done quite successfully, with the P-Series Quantum line.

The most exciting part of the P-Series Quantum television is its contrast, which is slightly better than that of the Samsung Q90T, making for an even sharper, more beautiful image. The P-Series is also very bright – brighter than almost all the high-end models we’ve reviewed, which helps make for a stunning image.

However, while the P-Series image is top class, it does degrade when you view it from an angle, something you don’t get at all from OLED TVs, and that was given special attention by Samsung when it made the Q90T. As a result, to get the most out of this TV, you will need to place it somewhere that allows viewers to sit as head-on as possible.

Also, the P-Series’ internal sound system is lacking compared to other models If you’re upgrading to a TV in this category, you’ll probably also want to look at a special audio system to help you get the full experience.

This TV also has multiple HDMI 2.1 ports, and IQ Ultra Processor Vizio describes as “revolutionary,” both of which make this TV an excellent option for gamers who need a high-performance TV to meet their needs.

Overall, the P-Series is a much better than average TV that uses the most modern technology to provide you with top-notch picture quality for slightly less money than the top-of-the-line televisions on today’s market. However, if you do choose the P-Series, expect to still pay around $1,000 for the base model, which is 65 inches.

Here are the full specs for the Vizio P-Series

  • Screen type: LED LCD
  • Resolution: 4k (3,840 x 2,160 pixels)
  • Contrast: 6,084:1 (native) and 15,329:1 (with local dimming)
  • Brightness: 1100 nits
  • HDR: HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and HLG
  • Ports: 5 HDMI, 1 USB, 1 Ethernet, 1 composite In, and 1 cable/satellite jack
  • Capabilities: Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Smart: Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatible. No voice controls.
  • Sizes: 65″ and 75″
  • Price: $1,499 (65″) and $1,649 (75″)

LG B9 OLED

As the original designers of OLED technology, LG has some of the best TVs of this type that money can buy. However, as we already saw with our reviews of Sony and LG’s newest OLED models, these TVs are not cheap. There are lots of alternatives, but OLED is the best in the industry. If you want to go this route but don’t want to spend the $2,000+ to get it, there are options, mainly the LG B9 OLED series.

Just because this TV costs slightly less money, don’t think this means it lacks in terms of its quality. Being an OLED TV, the picture quality is fantastic, and the B9 TVs outperformed the CX series in a few areas, such as brightness and low-quality image correction.

Part of the reason this TV is such a steal is that it was technically a 2019 model. The 2020 version is the LG BX Series. However, save for a slightly faster processor and a few other cosmetic changes, these TVs are the same, and the savings you get by going with a slightly older model is well worth the small sacrifice you will need to make in terms of features.

If you want the latest, know that the BX starts at around $2,200, which is cheaper than other models, but if you’re going to spend this kind of money, we recommend you go with the CX or one of the other top-end options we’ve reviewed.

The latest version of the B9 series comes equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports and compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Apple AirPlay (in addition to Google Assistant). The processor on the B9 is slightly slower, which can produce some lag at times, although this is rare and does not affect the television’s overall quality.

Overall, this is a great television for those who want to buy an OLED television but who don’t want to spend the money on the newest, most advanced models. This TV will still be more expensive than most TVs on the market given that it has an OLED screen; expect to pay around $1,300 for the basic model, which is roughly $1,000 less than the same TV from the CX series.

Other important specs for the LG B9 series include:

  • Screen type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels)
  • Contrast: Infinite; comes with Object Depth Enhancer and Ultra Luminance Pro
  • Brightness: 1100 nits maximum brightness
  • HDR: HDR. Dolby Vision. Dolby Atmos. No HLG
  • Ports: 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 Composite, 1 Cable/Satellite jack. 1 Ethernet.
  • Capabilities: WiFi and BlueTooth
  • Smart: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa. Built-in voice recognition
  • Sizes: 55″ and 65″
  • Price: $1,299 and $1,899

Budget: Best TVs for the Money

As you can see, it’s quite easy to spend more than $1,000 or even $2,000 on a television. However, for many people, shelling out this kind of cash for a TV isn’t practical. Below are some great options for under $1,000.

7 Best TVs of 2020 Budget TVs

TCL 6 Series

If you sat in front of a TCL 6 series TV, you’d probably be pretty confused about why it doesn’t cost more. For most people – especially budget-conscious shoppers – this TV will more than meet your needs.

It’s an excellent device, but it’s lagging behind the industry leaders in some areas; hence it’s a cheaper option. The contrast on the 6 Series, while still excellent, doesn’t come close to what you would get with an OLED TV or a higher-end LCD model. Despite this weakness, the TCL 6 Series is very bright, making up for some of its deficiencies in contrast and producing an excellent HDR experience.

The 6 Series is an excellent option for gamers as it has incredibly low lag and refresh rates and comes equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports.

The 6 Series also comes with Roku TV already installed, which makes for a streamlined user experience that makes it very easy for you to switch between the many different content platforms you use, e.g., Netflix or Disney+.

The 6 Series has some issues with color uniformity, meaning that some shots designed to be one color will appear to be shaded and off-color. There is also pretty significant picture degradation when viewing from an angle. These issues do not come into play with higher-end TVs, but for most people, they will not significantly worsen the viewing experience.

It’s not equipped for Dolby Vision, which, at this moment, isn’t a huge deal, but it might be a concern in a few years as more and more content becomes available in this format.

However, despite these issues, the TCL 6 Series is still going to be more than enough TV for most consumers, and with its base model starting at $599, it’s tough to beat the value you get from this television.

All in all, this is an excellent TV, and it’s one that won’t break the bank. Here are the rest of the specs:

  • Screen type: LCD LED
  • Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels)
  • Contrast: 5182:1 (native) and 6052:1 (with local dimming)
  • Brightness: 1100 nits maximum brightness
  • HDR: HDR and Dolby Vision. No HLG
  • Ports: 3 HDMI, 1 USB, 1 Composite In (adapter required but included), 1 Cable/Satellite jack. 1 Ethernet.
  • Capabilities: WiFi and BlueTooth
  • Smart: Roku TV, Google Home, Amazon Alexa. No built-in voice control.
  • Sizes: 55″, 65″, and 75″
  • Price: $599, $899, and $1,399

 

Vizio M Series Quantum

Those familiar with the TV industry should not be surprised to find an option from Vizio on this list of best budget TVs – the brand has been synonymous with value since it emerged on the market. However, while the company looks to make waves in the premium TV market, it has not abandoned its original identity. The M-Series is a phenomenal television that costs less than $1,000.

In terms of performance and features, the M Series offers 4K resolution, excellent contrast, and HDR capability, giving you more or less the same performance we expect from a high-end TV. The only difference is that the M-Series delivers slightly less in these areas than other Vizio models and competitors such as Sony or LG.

Our biggest concern with the M-Series is brightness, which peaks at about 700 nits, which is considerably lower than other TVs of this caliber. But this is still plenty bright enough to deliver an excellent HDR experience, so we’re not going to punish it too much. Viewing angle is also an issue, as is often the case with TVs in this range. So, if you go with the M-Series, make sure you place it in a room where you can put most of the seating right in front of it.

However, contrast is excellent on this television, and it can be made even better with local dimming.

Of course, there are cheaper TVs out there, but it’s tough to beat the M-Series when it comes to value. The base models start around $600; larger versions cost close to $1,000. Considering what you get in terms of performance, it’s pretty hard to turn away from this TV.

Here are the rest of the specs for the Vizio M-Series:

  • Screen type: LED LCD with Quantum Dots
  • Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels)
  • Contrast: 4268:1 (native) 9253:1 (with local dimming)
  • Brightness: 700 nits maximum brightness
  • HDR: HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and HLG.
  • Ports: 5 HDMI. 1 Component In. 1 Composite In. 1 Cable/Satellite Jack. 1 Ethernet
  • Capabilities: WiFi and Bluetooth.
  • Smart: Google Home and Amazon Alexa compatible
  • Sizes: 50″, 55″, and 65″ models
  • Price: $529-$999

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many things to consider when buying a TV, and there are also a huge number of options and models to choose from. We aimed to arm you with the information you need to make the right choice for your home while also providing you with some solid options to use as launching points for your search. Of course, TV technology is always advancing and changing, but not everyone needs the newest and most sophisticated model. So, take some time to consider your needs, check out some of these models for yourself, and then decide what is right for you and your wallet. Then, sit back and enjoy the show!