Best TVs for your home theatre in 2021

What are the best TVs for your home theatre? Home-viewing technology has come on leaps and bounds over the last decade, and setting up a home cinema system has become more affordable than ever. Whether you like to be on the bleeding edge of visual fidelity, or just want somewhere nice to play some videogames and stream some movies, you can find a television that suits your needs at a price-point that works.

Between 4K, 8K, OLED, HDR, and beyond, there’s a lot of lingo to be aware of. It’s not always easy to understand exactly what you’re getting with your smart TV, and that can be frustrating given some of the prices attached. That’s where we come in, and using this guide, we’ll show you the best products from the best manufacturers to give your living room setup the screen it deserves.

You’ll be settling in for your first 4K Blu-Ray, trying to decide on something to stream, or hooking up your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S for a good play session in no time at all.

What are the best TVs for your home theater?

  • Best Overall – Sony XR-55X90J
  • Best 8K – Samsung QN900A
  • Best Budget 8K – LG SM9970
  • Best 4K – LG C1 OLED
  • Best Budget 4K – TCL 6-Series
  • Best Upmarket – LG Signature Z9
  • Best Big Screen – Sony X950H
  • Best OLED – Sony Master Series A90J
  • Best For Games Consoles – Samsung Q80T
  • Best For Games Consoles On A Budget – LG UM7300PUA
Buy now

Best TV – Sony XR-55X90J

The best TV you can pick up for all-round value is the Sony X90J, part of the company’s 2021 range that incorporates XR technology, and provides a wealth of options. The Cognitive Processor XR is constantly scanning and updating the image on-screen based on colour, contrast, and more, working to provide you with the clearest, most fluid version of what you’re watching.

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The processor works similarly for the audio, which also has Acoustic Multi-Audio, to bring the music, effects, and ambiance of what’s going on in the visuals to every corner of the room. You have all the typical adjustments, like brightness, colour tone, motion blur, and so on, and you can fiddle with them manually, or set them to custom. Netflix has its own specific calibration tool, and the Google TV software is smooth and intuitive. It uses 4K resolution, now the industry standard, has several HDMI slots for connectivity, and Sony’s HDR capabilities remain top-of-the-line. At its price, it’s the television to beat in 2021.

Product Image 1
$1,499.99
$1,298.00
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What we like

  • Cutting edge image processing
  • Incredible audio
  • Easy, responsive interface
Sony XR-55X90J
Screen size 50”, 55”, 65”, 75”
Resolution 4K
Dolby Atmos Support Yes
Inputs HDMI x4, USB x2
Operating System Google TV
Dimensions (H x W x D) 28” x 48.5” x 2.8” (55”)
Buy now

Best 8K TV – Samsung QN900A

Since 4K has only just been normalised, we’re still a ways off from 8K being widespread. That said, if you want to get on the train early, this Samsung television is the one to go for. The Neo QLED display uses Samsung’s Pro Quantum Array to deliver a considerably deeper palette than the 4K QN90A, up to a billion colours. An in-built SpaceFit Sound sensor analyses whatever room it’s placed in, and mixes the audio accordingly, including following the action for a cinematic feel.

The range of angles the TV can be viewed from is much wider, thanks to the extremely small gap between the outer-most pixels and the frame. All of this is powered by the Neo Quantum Processor 8K, Samsung’s most powerful processor yet. It’s expensive, and there’s not a huge amount that pushes these features at present, but you’ll be ahead of the curve, that’s for sure.

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$6,999.99
$5,797.99
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What we like

  • Stunning colours
  • Immersive sound
  • Tech is future-secure
Samsung QN900A
Screen size 65”, 75”, 85”
Resolution 8K
Dolby Atmos Support No
Inputs HDMI x4, USB x3
Operating System Samsung’s Tizen TV
Dimensions (H x W x D) 56.4″ x 35.1″ x 11.8″ (w/ stand)
Buy now

Best Budget 8K TV – LG SM9970

If you’d like to enter the world of 8K but don’t necessarily have the cash for the latest models, this 2019 TV will do the trick. The SM9970 provides sturdy conversion of 1080p and 4K footage to 8K, giving you a bright, consistent viewing experience that isn’t noticeably touched up. Between the four HDMI ports, and three USB ports, you have plenty of space for making this TV the centrepiece of your home media headquarters for years to come.

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Alexa comes built-in, and LG’s WebOS gives you HDR on Netflix and YouTube, and plenty of options for streaming besides. Variable refresh rate is available, alongside a viewing mode for videogames, to reduce input lag on consoles and PCs, making this suitable for all needs.

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$3,948.00
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What we like

  • More affordable
  • Good connectivity
  • Options for many needs
LG SM9970
Screen size 75”
Resolution 8K
Dolby Atmos Support Yes
Inputs HDMI x4, USB x3
Operating System WebOS
Dimensions (H x W x D) 66” x 40.8” x 15.1” (w/ stand)
Buy now

Best 4K TV – LG C1 OLED

Speaking of LG, part of its 2021 range is this evolution of the CX that carries on that line’s high quality. A built-in light sensor for whatever room the TV is in manages brightness and contrast, keeping imagery as crisp as possible throughout the day. Upscaling and HDR seamlessly converts shows and movies across all the major streaming platforms, all of which are accessible through LG’s ever-efficient WebOS.

Despite being left out of LG’s OLED evo screen, the C1 is no worse off, and a bevvy of options let you tinker with what you’re seeing to make it look how you prefer. The frame is barely visible when watching head-on, making this a contemporary TV in options and style, all for a decent price.

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$1,799.99
$1,596.99
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WHAT WE LIKE

  • Real-time image scaling
  • Aesthetically sleek
  • Good price for the package
LG C1 OLED
Screen size 48”, 55”, 65”, 77”
Resolution 4K
Dolby Atmos Support Yes
Inputs HDMI x4, USB x3
Operating System WebOS
Dimensions (H x W x D) 27.8” x 48.3” x 9.9” (65” w/ stand)
Buy now

Best Budget 4K TV – TCL 6-Series

If you’re not too fussy about how your TV looks on an aesthetic level, the TCL 6-Series is hard to argue with. Mini-LED backlighting makes this Chinese brand formidable to its competitors, giving you 4K visuals at a level that’s often comparable to the higher-end brands. Occasionally it can overcompensate on brightness in upscaling, and you’ll need to go in and dial it in manually.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of support for 4K at 120 frames-per-second, you won’t be getting the most out of your PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with this. But at a third of the price of the LG C1, there’s no contest for a cost-effective TV right now.

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$949.99
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WHAT WE LIKE

  • Low cost
  • Decent upscaling
  • Good sound
TCL 6-Series
Screen size 55”, 65”, 75”
Resolution 4K
Dolby Atmos Support Yes
Inputs HDMI x4, USB x1
Operating System RokuOS
Dimensions (H x W x D) 35.7″x 56.9″ x 13.7″ (65” w/ stand)
Buy now

Best Upmarket TV – LG Signature Z9

From one end of the spectrum to the other, we have a TV for anyone for whom money, and living space, is not an issue. At 88”, the LG Signature Z9 is the world’s biggest 8K television, and it’ll cost you $30,000 for those bragging rights. Looking like something out of Star Trek, the massive screen comes on its own custom stand, and it’s recommended you’ve a decent amount of room to sit away from it for the best experience.

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LG outfitted this thing with its Gen 2 Intelligent Processor 8K, giving it the greatest upscaling power the brand has to offer. As you’d expect, everything upgraded in this manner is an eyesore, stretched out to observe every minuscule detail. While native 8K footage isn’t something readily available for home releases, anything 4K or below will look more beautiful than ever. The TV comes with an 8K box that LG promises to keep updating for relevant file types, making sure you can watch every second of 8K that arises.

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$29,996.99
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WHAT WE LIKE

  • Looks awesome
  • Cutting edge processing
  • Feels like a glimpse at the future of home TV technology
LG Signature Z9
Screen size 88”
Resolution 8K
Dolby Atmos Support Yes
Inputs HDMI x4, USB x3
Operating System WebOS
Dimensions (H x W x D)  57.3″ x 77.2” x 11″ (w/ stand)
Buy now

Best Big Screen TV – Sony X950H

For an 85” screen that you don’t need a loan for, Sony has you covered. Featuring many of the components that make the XR-55X90J a great investment, like best-in-class upscaling, and market-leading sound quality out of the box, this is truly the same but more.

Sony’s improvements in automatic contrasting, particularly with regards to its X-Wide Angle feature – improving the screen fidelity for awkward angles – mean most movies produced this century will look gorgeous. Having the option to get the larger screen if you’ve the space is very appealing, though you might need to save for a bit to get it.

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WHAT WE LIKE

  • More reasonably priced
  • Wide range of sizes available
  • Viewing improvements make it great for home viewing with a crowd
Sony X950H
Screen size 49”, 55”, 62”, 75”, 85”
Resolution 4K
Dolby Atmos Support Yes
Inputs HDMI x4, USB x2
Operating System Android TV
Dimensions (H x W x D) 46.4” x 75.2” x 16.2″ (85” w/ stand)
Buy now

Best OLED TV – Sony Master Series A90J

Truth be told we’re having our cake and eating it too here, given this has quite a bit in common with Sony’s X90J. We just wouldn’t feel right doing this list without acknowledging the A90J, though, and the standard it represents for Sony’s OLED televisions.

The Triluminos display has been enhanced, with improved contrast tech that brings what Sony considers its “brightest-ever OLED picture”, all underpinned by the Cognitive Processor XR. Images produced by this TV are deeper, and more lifelike than any of the others in this line, bolstered by sound that uses the upgraded Acoustic Surface Audio to follow activity onscreen, for immersive audio to go with that picture quality.

Add in the ease of Google TV as an interface, and solid compatibility with the latest consoles, and the A90J is worth every penny.

Product Image 1
$2,798.00
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WHAT WE LIKE

  • Top-of-the-line upscaling
  • Dynamic surround sound
  • Many options made approachable by OS
Sony A90J
Screen size 55”, 65”, 83”
Resolution 4K
Dolby Atmos Support Yes
Inputs HDMI x4, USB x3
Operating System Android TV
Dimensions (H x W x D) 32.9” x 56.9” x 1.6” (65”)
Buy now

Best TV For Games Consoles – Samsung Q80T

The best TV for games consoles is the Samsung Q80T.

Since the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S can run native 4K, it’s not only plausible, but convenient for them to be part of your home cinema setup. Samsung knows this, and has made a television for the people who are as likely to spend an evening playing Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed as they are watching an action film.

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One of the four HDMI slots has 4K/120Hz, with Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode, and what makes this a great TV for videogames is the remarkably low input lag. On top of the standard Game mode that prefixes all settings for when you’re playing instead of watching, Game Motion Plus helps further smooth the framerate without causing a latency spike. Throw in AMD FreeSync to reduce screen-tearing on PC games, and it’s a no-brainer.

Product Image 1
$2,697.99
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WHAT WE LIKE

  • Supremely low amounts of latency
  • Works as well for PC and new consoles
  • Layers of options to customise for personal preference
Samsung Q80T
Screen size 55”, 65”, 83”
Resolution 4K
Dolby Atmos Support No
Inputs HDMI x4, USB x2
Operating System Android TV
Dimensions (H x W x D) 27.8” x 48.3” x 11.3” (55”)
Buy now

Best TV For Games Consoles On A Budget – LG UM7300PUA

Similar to the Samsung Q80T, this television boasts minimal latency, making it ideal for playing on consoles or PC. If you have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, the TV can automatically switch to presets that suit their visual needs when they’ve been hooked up, and three HDMI slots give you some room for multiple devices.

It’s elsewhere that you’ll see the compromise. The HDR support isn’t as strong as other 4K sets, and there aren’t as many bells and whistles to make an image the clearest it can be. This gives you the rudimentary 4K experience, and if that’s all you want, you should be satisfied.

Product Image 1
$699.99
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WHAT WE LIKE

  • Auto-switching settings for different inputs
  • Adequate 4K when not playing games
  • Smaller size option means could be used in tighter setups
LG UM7300PUA
Screen size 43”, 49”, 50”, 55”, 65”
Resolution 4K
Dolby Atmos Support No
Inputs HDMI x3, USB x2
Operating System WebOS
Dimensions (H x W x D) 30.9″ x 49″ x 9.1″ (55” w/ stand)

Those are our picks for the best televisions. Quite the selection, don’t you think? Once you’ve got your brand spanking new screen all set up, why not test it out watching the best movies of all time? Happy viewing!

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Anthony McGlynn

Staff writer

Updated: Jun 04, 2021


Smart home
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