These are the best 4k TVs for gaming, movies in 2019

You can spend thousands of pounds on a new TV, but still not necessarily get a good one. In this WIRED Recommends guide, we’ve picked out the best TVs currently on the market. We also explain some of the jargon and give you a heads-up on what’s new in TVs in 2019.

Is now a good time to buy a new TV?
Yes and no. On the plus side, the new TVs we saw in 2018 delivered big improvements in picture quality compared with anything we’ve seen before. Especially now the twin joys of 4K/Ultra HD resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) technologies have taken picture quality up a level.

On the downside, picking between the various technologies on offer seems to be getting more rather than less difficult. Also, the tough demands HDR technology place on TV screens have made it harder than ever before to buy a really good TV without spending a lot of money.

Most importantly, there's also now the impending release of all the new TVs from CES 2019 within a matter of months. You may want to look at your options now then hold off until March or April to get more for your money.

What's new in TVs this year?
Looking ahead to 2019, the main trends from the big TV makers at this year's CES were 8K, AI, HDMI 2.1, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ and Micro LED.

When TV manufacturers talk about AI, they're talking about learning algorithms, which lead to sophisticated picture processing, improved sound quality plus helpful voice interactions and TV/movie recommendations.

In terms of HDR performance, expect to see references to the two main (competing) formats, Dolby Vision and HDR10+, this year. And HDMI 2.1 is one of the technologies driving 8K - it has the speed and bandwidth to support the higher resolution as well as features such as Variable Refresh Rate.

Further ahead, one of the most exciting developments is Micro LED. It's designed to offer the best of both OLED and LCD panels so you don't need to choose between deep blacks and bright, saturated colours. Samsung is the one to watch here but Sony and LG are also developing Micro LED TVs.

What about 8K TVs?
All of these technologies are arriving alongside a shift in focus (if not yet sales) from 4K to 8K TVs. These are TVs with four times as many pixels as 4K TVs and 16 times more than Full HD TVs. They're extremely sharp, even when viewed up close.

But don't let this new tech put you off buying a new 4K TV. It's still early days for the technology. There is no 8K content to watch (outside of 8K broadcasting in Japan), no way to deliver it and the first 8K TVs are huge, with even the smallest using a 65-inch panel.

At CES, Samsung, LG, Sony, TCL and Hisense all announced new 8K models, sizes and concepts. If you do fancy going 8K, initial pricing has been better than expected, with 8K TVs benefitting from cheaper production processes and economies of scale. As a result, 8K TVs have avoided the huge price premiums associated with 4K in its early days.

You can read our what is 8K TV guide for more info, but rest assured you don't need to worry if you’ve just bought a 4K TV.

WIRED Recommends is your definitive guide to the best technology. Read our list of the best gadgets for our favourite gadgets in every category.

WIRED Recommends: Samsung QE65Q900

Pros: Spectacular upscaling and the best HDR performance to date
Cons: No 8K content any time soon

Samsung’s Q900 is a remarkable technological statement of intent that not only uses an 8K panel, but boasts state-of-the-art image processing with AI, and HDR specifications that are off the charts. The 85-inch model will set you back a hefty £14,999, but the 65- and 75-inch versions are surprisingly competitive, without the premium you might expect given the 8K resolution.

The design is minimalist, but the build quality is excellent and it includes all the features you’d expect on a Samsung flagship TV. There’s the clever One Connect box, a single fibre optic cable that connects the panel, a universal remote and a superb Smart TV system with every available major video streaming service. The input lag is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 15ms, and the Q900 supports VRR, both of which are sure to please gamers.

While the 8K panel makes this TV unique, in the absence of any actual content it’s the Quantum 8K Processor that gives you a reason to buy it, other than bragging rights with your mates. This sophisticated image processor actually uses learning algorithms to improve the performance over time, and the upscaling is truly impressive. Improved local dimming, and wider viewing angles also play their part, resulting in some seriously impressive images.

Samsung has also stepped-up the HDR performance, and delivered the first TV that can not only cover 100% of DCI-P3 but also hit a peak brightness of 4000 nits. That means you can watch HDR just as the content creators intended, without having to compromise. The Samsung Q900 is the best LCD TV ever made, and the best HDR TV you can buy right now. It scored a perfect ten in our review, so is it any wonder that it's currently our most recommended TV?

65-inch: £4,799 | Check price on John Lewis
85-inch: £14,999 | Check price on Currys

Simply the best TV you can buy right now
Price: From £4,799 | Check price on John Lewis
4K TV UNDER £1,000: SAMSUNG UE55NU8000
A winning combination of performance and price
Price: £729 | Check price on
Picture perfect and well-engineered
Price: From £1,799 | Check price on
WebOS is still the best smart TV system
Price: From £1,699 | Check price on
Huge screen perfect for sports viewing
Price: £2,498 | Check price on
Designed for running, but discreet enough for everyday
Price: £2,999 | Check price on
Unusually good Full HD picture
Price: £320 | Check price on
A sound system with a TV attached
Price: £7,495 | Check price on Peter Tyson
Best 4K TV under £1,000 and best 4K TV for gaming: Samsung UE55NU8000

Pros: Excellent SDR performance; superb smart platform; very low input lag
Cons: The HDR performance could be better and there’s no support for Dolby Vision

This is yet another cracking mid-range 4K TV from Samsung that delivers a winning combination of performance and price. The NU8000 sits just below Samsung’s flagship QLED line-up, but still includes plenty of the same features and functions.

It’s an ultra-slim model, thanks to edge LED backlighting, and while it doesn’t have the One Connect box, it does at least sport a full complement of connections. The TV is made to a price point, but it looks attractive and includes a well-designed remote control. It also has Samsung’s full Smart TV system, which is slick, responsive and comprehensive.

The sound quality is surprisingly good for a TV this thin, and the 18ms input lag is great news for gamers, as is the support for VRR (variable refresh rate). The good news doesn’t stop there, with an excellent SDR picture thanks to some decent processing, natural colours, and a solid contrast performance.

Unlike much of the competition, the NU8000 has plenty of brightness but also delivers a wide colour gamut and accurate tone mapping to ensure that HDR pictures don’t look short of detail in their darkest or brightest areas – one of the most common issues with HDR on affordable TVs.

The use of edge LED lighting rather than the more precise direct alternative does result in some blooming, and blacks can sometimes look a little grey. However that seems like a small price to pay, for a set that performs so much more convincingly with today’s cutting edge picture technologies – especially HDR – than any similarly priced rival.

Price: £729 | Check price on

Best OLED TV: Panasonic TX-65FZ952

Pros: Picture perfection, just as the director intended; Technics soundbar
Cons: No Dolby Vision support

Panasonic has always prided itself on the accuracy of the images produced by its TVs. In fact, over the years the manufacturer has built a close relationship with Hollywood filmmakers, ensuring that a Panasonic TV retains as much of the director’s original intention as possible. The FZ952 OLED 4K TV is the culmination of that partnership, with a perfect picture thanks to the Studio Colour HCX processor.

The TV itself has a fairly minimalist design, but it’s well-engineered, and even sounds good thanks to a built-in soundbar that’s been tuned by Technics. There’s a big, old-school remote, all the connections you’ll need and a basic but genuinely effective Smart TV platform. This set is primarily aimed at cinephiles, but Panasonic hasn’t forgotten gamers, with a 22ms input lag that’s sure to please even those with the fastest reactions.

However, if you’re a film fan this is the TV for you, with processing that delivers a staggering level of image accuracy. There’s no need to worry about a professional calibration with this set, the pictures are already spot-on, whether the content is SDR or HDR. There are beautifully defined colours and plenty of details in the shadows, while the addition of the Dynamic Scene Optimiser feature helps boost the HDR performance.

The Panasonic FZ952 is hard to fault, with the lack of Dolby Vision support being our only real complaint. If you love watching movies and want to see exactly what you’re supposed to see, this is the TV for you, and the good news is it won’t break the bank. The better news is that if you don’t need the soundbar, the FZ802 has an identical picture and is even cheaper.

55-inch: £1,799 | Check price on Currys
65-inch: £2,899 | Check price on Currys

Best Smart TV: LG OLED65C8

Pros: Spectacular high-contrast picture quality; state-of-the-art smart features
Cons: Best LCD screens can be significantly brighter

While LG didn't make significant changes to the core hardware of its 2018 OLED 4K TVs, it did deliver a substantial upgrade to the processing that drives that hardware. The brand’s Alpha 9 chip delivers improvements to colour, contrast, sharpness, set-up flexibility, and even brightness. The net result of all these improvements is a big step up in picture quality – which is saying something when you consider that the C7 OLED series was once our most highly recommended TV.

The new processing essentially takes all the good stuff OLED has always been renowned for – gorgeously deep black colours, phenomenally rich colours, wide viewing angles – and refines it. So black levels seem a little deeper while the brightest parts of HDR pictures seem brighter. Colours appear both a little punchier, especially in bright scenes, while also looking more refined and less prone to noise. Details levels with both 4K and upscaled high definition sources look higher, too.

On top of all this, the OLED65C8 still benefits from LG’s fantastically easy to use webOS smart TV engine. It’s responsive, robust, and carries a comprehensive set of video streaming apps. There’s all the UK TV catch-up services, including 4K and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) on the BBC iPlayer, as well as the Now TV, YouTube, Amazon, and Netflix video streaming services. The latter three support 4K and HDR, with Amazon and Netflix apps also supporting Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. Six years after its launch, webOS remains the best smart TV system available, and the one to which all others aspire.

55-inch: £1,699 | Check price on
65-inch: £2,399 | Check price on

4K refers to a resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 pixels. That’s four times the resolution of HD, which is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. At 4K resolution you get 8.3 million pixels. This is the resolution used by cinemas and films.
It’s almost exactly the same, which is where some TV marketing can become confusing. Ultra HD (UHD) actually refers to a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, slightly less than "cinema 4K", which is what you get on a widescreen, 16:9 ratio TV. So 4K is technically incorrect. But the distinction is pretty unimportant, which is why they're used interchangeably.
Best TV for Sport: Sony KD-75XF9005

Pros: Huge screen makes sporting events feel life-sized; bright, sharp, colourful pictures; class-leading motion processing
Cons: Android TV smart system is a chore; viewing angles are limited

Most TVs find displaying sport quite a challenge. So much so that really only one 2018 TV, Sony’s KD-75XF9005, stood out as having what it takes to provide the ‘being there’ thrill sports fans seek.

For starters, this TV’s 75-inch screen is big enough to make the action you’re watching seem more life-like and immersive. Also, the screen’s combination of a direct LED lighting system and local dimming (where different parts of the backlight can deliver different amounts of light at any given moment) helps it deliver ferociously bright pictures perfectly suited to the high dynamic range technology that’s going to be used to enhance more and more sport broadcasts in the coming months.

The 75XF9005’s ‘Triluminos’ processing also delivers incredibly rich, bright but also well-defined colours perfectly suited to showing bold but fine colour details such as international football strips.

Perhaps best of all for sport, though, is the TV’s exemplary motion processing, which can remove sporting nasties like judder and blur while throwing up remarkably few unwanted processing side effects. You won’t have to worry about seeing multiple footballs or having the ball disappear as you do with rival processing engines, and you’ll never be in doubt about which English player just missed a penalty.

The 75XF9005 can lose contrast and colour saturation if viewed from a wide angle, which slightly limits its potential as the centrepiece for ‘big match’ parties if your room layout means people might have to sit way off to the TV’s side. Aside from this, though, the 75XF9005 is pure sporting heaven.

Price: £2,498 | Check price on Currys

Best 4K TV for HDR: Samsung QE65Q9FN

Pros: Spectacularly bright and colourful pictures; unique screen filter is a great solution for bright rooms
Cons: Some detail and intensity can be lost in very dark scenes; effective viewing angles are a little limited

Samsung’s Q9FN allies its QLED technology to direct lighting with a local dimming system for the first time. And the results are truly spectacular. For starters, the QE65Q9FN can achieve peak brightness levels of around 2000 nits – more than just about any other 4K HDR TV. This helps it deliver images that other TVs just can’t, giving you an eye-catching display of the full capabilities of HDR.

Even better, Samsung’s new direct lighting system can display such fearsomely bright highlights right alongside the deepest, richest black colours the LCD world has ever seen. The extreme brightness the QE65Q9FN can reach also produces an incredibly wide range of colours, enabling it to unlock more of the new wide colour spectrum technology that’s applied to HDR pictures.

The QE65Q9FN has one other killer trick up its sleeve, too, in the shape of its unique anti-reflection screen filter. This makes its pictures much easier to watch and enjoy in bright rooms than those of any other TV.

The QE65Q9FN’s clever backlight controls do fail it slightly with really dark scenes, where it can lose some of the subtlest shadow details. Colours can also fade if you watch the TV from too wide an angle. Nonetheless, if you want to see HDR at its most gloriously explosive, or you mostly watch TV in a bright room, the Samsung QE65Q9FN is the best show in town.

Price: £2,999 | Check price on

This is a measurement of the ‘peak brightness’ a TV can reach. The higher the number, the brighter the picture. This also impacts how rich colours are. A high value, such as 2,000 nits, is considered good for viewing High Dynamic Range (HDR) video.
HDR refers to video content, and compatible TVs, optimised to be richer, brighter and more detailed than normal. Most TV content, including live TV, isn't HDR compatible, but content that supports HDR appears more realistic and vibrant. Read our in-depth guide to HDR TVs for more info.
QLED is a type of TV marketed by Samsung. It’s based on the same LCD/LED technology found in the majority of TVs, but uses ‘Quantum Dot’ technology to increase brightness and produce richer colours. Rival manufacturers have similar technologies, such as LG’s Nano Cell, that claim similar or superior results. Read our guide on QLED vs OLED for more.
Best 32-inch TV: Samsung UE32M5500

Pros: Unusually good pictures for a 32in TV
Cons: Not cheap by 32in standards

While 32in TVs are still big sellers, they tend to be pretty basic as manufacturers generally focus on building them to a price rather than working too hard on their performance or features. The UE32M5600, however, ducks out of the race to the bottom in some style.

As soon as you look at it you know you’re in the presence of something above the norm, thanks to its gleaming silver frame and metallic finish. Switch it on and things just get better, as you discover that it’s also got a fully featured smart TV system, complete with apps to give you easy access to all manner of video streaming and catch-up services no matter what room you’re in. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection.

Best of all, the UE32M5600 produces startlingly good Full HD pictures, much richer in contrast and colour and much sharper than those of the vast majority of its 32in rivals.

Price: £320 | Check price on

Best TV for sound: B&O Eclipse

Pros: Unbelievably good and exceptionally flexible sound
Cons: You’ll need deep pockets

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to describe B&O’s remarkable Eclipse TV as a sound system with a screen attached.

By far the most stand-out feature of its unique layered design is the huge soundbar that protrudes beyond both the front and sides of the set’s screen. Packed inside that speaker is a mammoth 450W of power, delivered across three channels by an array of ultra-high-quality drive units. The result is simply the most powerful, rich, detailed sound we’ve ever heard from a TV.

But that’s just the start, for the Eclipse also carries built-in 7.1-channel decoding that can be used to drive a full surround sound system - wirelessly - if you add extra B&O speakers. What’s more, to top it all off the Eclipse can also become the hub of a fully featured multi-room audio system.

It’s important to stress finally, too, that the Eclipse’s audio heroics are partnered with a beautifully high performance 4K OLED screen.

Price: From £7,495 | Check price on Peter Tyson

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