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The 6 Best 4K Ultra HD TVs of 2021

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The RundownBest Overall:Samsung Q60T 43-Inch Smart TV at Samsung"It's built around a new 4K UHD lite processor for faster picture rendering and more powerful HDR support."Runner-Up Best Overall:Samsung Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series at Amazon"This model has an updated crystal display that produces crisp, clean 4K UHD resolution."Best Budget:TCL 43S425 43-Inch 4K UHD Roku TV at Amazon"It uses the Roku platform to give you access to preloaded apps like Netflix and the ability to download others like Twitch."Best OLED:LG GX 77-Inch OLED TV at Amazon"The third generation a9 processor uses artificial intelligence to upscale non-4K content for enhanced clarity."Best Splurge:Samsung 75-Inch Q90T at Amazon"This TV features eco sensors that monitor ambient lighting and sound, automatically adjusting screen brightness and volume."Best Curved:Samsung UN55TU8300FXZA at Amazon"If you have a Samsung Galaxy mobile device, you can quickly share content from your smartphone or tablet with just a tap on the TV"in this articleExpandOur PicksAbout our Trusted ExpertsFAQsThe Ultimate 4K Ultra HD TV Buying Guide

In recent years, 4K UHD TVs have become much more mainstream and affordable, meaning that customers with almost any kind of budget can upgrade their home theater to take advantage of the latest streaming entertainment, video games, and broadcast content. Brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony have led the industry since the first 4K UHD TVs were introduced in 2014, but smaller, less-established brands like TCL and Hisense have started to become more popular choices for customers looking to get a reliable 4K TV without emptying their bank accounts. New models from every brand feature updated processors and operating systems that not only produce stunning native 4K resolution, but use artificial intelligence or proprietary technology to upscale 1080p and 720p content so everything from cult classic 80s slasher films to the hottest reality shows look great. Console and PC gamers can take advantage of integrated technologies like Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync which reduce input response times, lag, and screen tearing while boosting contrast and color volume for a better experience; some televisions, like the Samsung TU8300 allow you to wirelessly connect to your Windows or macOS based computer so you can game from the comfort of your couch or turn your living room into a temporary office. 

Many 4K UHD TVs come packaged with voice-enabled remotes or feature integrated microphones which allow you to use virtual assistants like Bixby, Alexa, Google Assistant, and even Siri or Cortana. Others, like TCL, work with companion apps or external smart speakers to give you hands-free control over your new TV and connected devices. Sony has begun to launch their latest 4K UHD TV models with automatic game modes and picture settings that are optimized for both the PlayStation 4 and upcoming PlayStation 5, so you can take full advantage of the latest and next generation of games. If you're looking to cut the cord with your cable or satellite provider, almost all new 4K UHD televisions are Wi-Fi capable and feature preloaded, popular apps so you can start streaming right out of the box; some brands, like Samsung and LG, have live television apps based on Pluto TV so you can watch live news, sports, and entertainment without a cable or satellite contract. So if you're looking to upgrade your current home theater setup or purchase your first 4K UHD TV, check out our top six picks below to see their features and decide which is right for you.

Best Overall:Samsung Q60T 43-Inch Smart TV

Buy on SamsungWhat We Like

Updated Tizen smart TV platform

Dual LED backlighting

Updated 4K processor

What We Don't Like

Pricey at larger sizes

The Q60T smart TV is the latest model from Samsung. It features an updated Tizen platform for enhanced browsing and searching. It's built around a new 4K UHD lite processor for faster picture rendering and more powerful HDR support. The LED panel has both warm and cool colored LEDs so you have more control over the color tone and can experience your favorite shows and movies the way they were meant to be seen. 

With Bixby, Google Assistant, and Alexa voice controls built in, it's easy to choose the right hands-free assistant for your smart home network. With the new multiview feature, you can mirror your smartphone or tablet screen side-by-side with live TV or streaming content. This is perfect for checking stock market info, sports stats, or your fantasy football standings while still enjoying your favorite content. This TV has Bluetooth connectivity, three HDMI inputs, two USB ports, RF, and composite video so you can connect all your media devices, game consoles, and audio equipment without any extra switchers or boxes.

The 7 Best Samsung TVs of 2021

Runner-Up Best Overall:Samsung Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series

Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyWhat We Like

Updated processor

Updated display

Voice controls

What We Don't Like

Pricey at larger sizes

No AirPlay2 or Chromecast support

The TU8000 series is the newest model line from Samsung, and boasts some impressive features. This model has an updated crystal display that produces crisp, clean 4K UHD resolution; and with HDR support, you'll get enhanced contrast and sharpness for an even better picture. The upgraded Crystal Processor gives you faster picture rendering and better upscaling of non-UHD content so you always have a great viewing experience. 

Like with all newer Samsung televisions, this model has Bixby voice controls built-in for hands-free commands; it also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With the new Tizen operating system, you get support for thousands of streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and Spotify. If you're a console gamer, this TV has an automatic game mode that optimizes the refresh rate and picture settings for smooth action and virtually lag-free gameplay. The bezel-free QLED screen comes in sizes ranging from 43 to 85 inches, so you'll be able to find one that perfectly fits your space.

You might need to use your smartphone to activate or change some of the advanced settings or enable new Alexa skills. On the other hand, you typically only need to use your smartphone for Alexa functions if you are away from home, out of vocal range of your home-based Alexa-enabled device, provided you have set the Alexa app with the Amazon Mobile Shopping or Alexa Reverb apps. - Robert Silva, Product Expert

Best Budget:TCL 43S425 43-Inch 4K UHD Roku TV

Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on WalmartWhat We Like

Under $250

HDR support

Preloaded apps

What We Don't Like

Need a smart speaker or app for voice controls

No Bluetooth connectivity

TCL has established itself as a top choice for customers looking to either buy their first smart TV or want to upgrade their current TV while sticking to a budget. The 43S425 model is an excellent option that offers a balance between screen size, price, and features. It retails for under $250, so you won't have to empty your wallet or wait for an incredible sale to snag a dependable smart TV. It uses the Roku platform to give you access to preloaded apps like Netflix and the ability to download others like Twitch so you can keep up with all of your favorite shows, streamers, and web series episodes right out of the box. The simplified remote and easy-to-navigate home menu make opening apps or switching to a game console or over-air antenna a breeze. 

You can also use the Roku app on your smartphone or tablet to use voice search capabilities and create watch lists when you're away from home. If you use a virtual assistant like Alexa, you can connect a smart speaker like the Google home or Amazon Echo Show to access expanded voice controls and integrate your new TV into your smart home or wireless network. The back of the TV has 3 HDMI inputs so you can connect multiple playback devices or game consoles at once as well as a USB port for playing MP3 files or viewing photos from a flash drive. There is even a headphone jack so you can connect a headset or earbuds for private listening when you don't want to disturb roommates or family.

The 6 Best TVs for Under $500 in 2021

Best OLED:LG OLED77GXPUA 77-Inch OLED 4K TV

Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on B&H Photo VideoWhat We Like

AI-assisted processor

Voice controls

Excellent picture quality

What We Don't Like

Expensive

Burn-in possible

For customers who consider picture quality king when it comes to choosing a new TV, the LG GX series offers the best-of-the-best when it comes to color, detailing, and resolution. It is built with cutting-edge OLED technology, meaning each of the 8.3 million pixels is individually lit, allowing the TV to create deep, true blacks and vivid, rich colors on-demand. The third generation a9 processor uses artificial intelligence to upscale non-4K content for enhanced clarity so even old classics are breathtaking. It comes packaged with a voice-enabled remote with both Alexa and Google Assistant built in, but the TV itself also has an integrated microphone so you can use voice controls without the remote. The built-in speakers use Dolby Atmos to produce room-filling, virtual surround sound audio without extra equipment; but with Bluetooth connectivity, you can set up an additional pair of soundbars, speakers, or subwoofers to create a custom audio configuration to suit your home entertainment needs. 

The GX is an internet-enabled TV, meaning that it has a built-in Wi-Fi connection as well as an Ethernet port so you can have a hard-wired internet connection for faster loading times and a more stable connection. Console and PC gamers alike can take advantage of the TV's compatibility with both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync technologies which drastically reduce input response times, boost contrast and color, and prevent lag and screen tearing that can ruin the immersion.

The 9 Best LG TVs of 2020

Best Splurge:Samsung 75-Inch Class Q90T QLED 4K Smart TV

Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on WalmartWhat We Like

Adaptive picture and audio

Multi-view

SmartThings compatible

What We Don't Like

Only one HDMI 2.1 input

No Chromecast support

As one of the most well-established brands of smart TVs, Samsung offers several high-end models that are packed with features. Their new Q90T model is full to bursting with enhanced features like object tracking sound for 3D audio without external speakers, HDR10+ support for enhanced detailing, Dolby Atmos support, and AMD FreeSync support for a more immersive console or PC gaming experience. The voice-enabled remote lets you use the integrated Alexa or Samsung Bixby controls as well as Google Assistant to better integrate your new TV into your smart home network. It's also compatible with the Samsung SmartThings Hub so you can use your TV's voice commands to control other smart devices in your home like lightbulbs, and even appliances. 

With integrated Wi-Fi, not only can you stream movies and shows with apps like Netflix and Prime Video, you can also stream music right from your TV via Spotify, Pandora, or Apple Music. You can also connect your mobile device to your TV to share videos and photos or pull up videos while simultaneously watching broadcast or streamed content via the Multi-View feature. The cherry on top of this TV is that it features built-in eco sensors that monitor ambient lighting and sound, automatically adjusting screen brightness and volume so you get the best viewing angles and never miss a line of dialogue no matter what is happening in your living room.

The 9 Best Smart TVs for Streaming in 2021

Best Curved:Samsung UN55TU8300FXZA 55-Inch Curved 4K TV

Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on B&H Photo VideoWhat We Like

Tap View

Remote computer access

Updated processor and operating system

What We Don't Like

Doesn't support remote access for older macOS versions

Tap View on Galaxy devices only

While curved televisions haven't become as popular as manufacturers had hoped, Samsung still offers a model for customers who prefer a curved screen. The new TU8300 is built using the same processor and Crystal UHD display as its TU8000 cousin, meaning you'll get great 4K resolution and upscaling of 1080p full HD content as well as a ton of smart TV features like preloaded apps, voice controls, and even an automatic game mode that changes picture settings when your console turns on for a better experience. What sets it apart is the ability to remotely access your Windows or Mac computer with the TV, letting you turn your living room into an office or gaming room. 

If you have a Samsung Galaxy mobile device, you can quickly share photos or stream content from your smartphone or tablet with just a tap on the TV; this makes it easier than ever to show off photos you took in the park or share the latest TikTok trends with friends and family. For iOS device users, the TV is compatible with AirPlay 2, so you won't get left out when you have viral videos to share.

The 4 Best Curved TVs of 2021Final Verdict

The Samsung Q60T is the best value for customers looking to either upgrade their current TV or buy their first 4K smart TV. It's new operating system and processor give you improved picture quality over previous models as well as access to cool features like adaptive picture and sound and integrated voice controls. For curved TV holdouts, Samsung's TU8300 model is one of the few curved TVs available on the market. What sets it apart from many of its flat-screen competitors is the ability to remotely access your Windows or Mac computer, allowing you to play PC games on your couch or turn your living room into a remote office.

About our Trusted Experts

Taylor Clemons has been reviewing and writing about consumer electronics for over three years. She has also worked in e-commerce product management, so she has the knowledge of what makes a solid TV for home entertainment.

Robert Silva has been reporting on consumer electronics since 1998. He has experience with consumer electronics and home theater product sales with major retailers like Fry's Electronics and Best Buy.

FAQs

Does Best Buy repair TVs? If you have a TV that's broken or not working right, you can get it repaired at Best Buy. If your TV is smaller and under 42 inches you can take it to a local Best Buy to get it repaired. Best Buy will repair it even if you didn't buy it at Best Buy. For a bigger TV that's 42 inches and larger, you can call their home repair and schedule an appointment if you're a Total Tech Support member or have Geek Squad Protection.

Where can you find the best deals on TVs? If you're looking for good deals on TVs, a good time to buy is right before the Superbowl which tends to have lots of sales. Another good time is during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Those are some of the biggest shopping events of the year, but even if they've passed you may still be able to find a deal on Best Buy which frequently has weekly sales. Be sure to take a look at our roundup of TV deals on Best Buy.

Where to recycle TVs? If you need to recycle a TV don't just throw it in the trash since it's electronic waste. Take a look at our article for the different ways you can recycle and donate an old TV. Your choices include electronics manufacturers recycling management company, environmental health and safety online, 1-800-Got-Junk, CallRecycle, and Recycler's World.

The Ultimate 4K Ultra HD TV Buying Guide

For the ultimate TV viewing experience, you want a TV that can deliver the best picture quality possible, and these days that's a 4K Ultra HD, or UHD, set. With most streaming services now offering 4K UHD quality and all of the latest hit movies available in 4K UHD, there's never been a better time to take the plunge.

Keep in mind as well that 4K UHD is about way more than just raw resolution too. You'll also get far better and richer colours along with brighter whites and deeper blacks thanks to features like Dolby Vision and HDR10, and although not everything you watch will be encoded to take advantage of these features, almost all of the movies available in digital format are, and it's only a matter of time before these become the standard for all video content across the board.

Of course, there are still a lot of other things to consider when buying a 4K UHD TV, especially if you're looking to invest in a good one for the future, so you'll definitely want to think about how you'll be using it and how you may want to expand it going forward. 

LG B6P Series 4K ULtra HD OLED TV.Image provided by LG Electronics

How Big Should It Be?

Bigger is better, right? Well, not necessarily, as the law of diminishing returns applies even when it comes even to 4K UHD TVs, so it's important to buy the right screen size for your space, and that doesn't mean just looking at what fits on the wall of your living room or family room, but also how far away you'll be sitting and how many people will be watching with you.

With 4K UHD TVs, there's a golden ratio of distance to screen size that ranges between 1x–1.5x. In practical terms, this means that in order to buy the right size TV for your viewing space, you'll first need to figure out how far away from it you're going to sit, and then work it out from there. 

For example, a 65-inch 4K UHD screen can be comfortably viewed from a distance of between 65 inches (1x) and around 100 inches (1.5x), making it a good size if you'll be sitting 5–8 feet away from your TV. On the other hand, if you have a small apartment and you'll be sitting closer, then you'll want to go with a smaller screen in order to avoid seeing too much detail.

So the simple rule to figure this out is to measure the distance between your eyeballs and where you plan to put the screen, in inches, and then get a TV that's no larger than that size, and no less than around 65% (1.5x) of it. 

OLED or QLED?

If you want the best quality 4K picture you're going to want to make sure your TV has the screen technology to back it up. While HDR means you can get amazingly deep blacks and rich colours, you won't see these unless your screen offers that kind of contrast ratio and colour reproduction.

The best screen technology you can get right now is OLED, which stands for organic LED, and has superseded the plasma TVs that home theatre enthusiasts swore by a few years ago. OLED screens are still pricey, but they offer even deeper blacks than plasma did, and have insanely high contrast ratios that blow traditional LED screens out of the water. If you have the money to spend and want the best picture quality possible for watching the latest feature films, there's no question that you should go for OLED, and as an added bonus, because it's based on completely different technology, OLED screens are also some of the thinnest and lightest available, making for some very sleek and cool looking TVs.

On the other hand, there's also another technology that's arrived in the past couple of years known as QLED. By contrast to OLED (no pun intend), which is an entirely new and different technology, QLED is simply an evolution of the LED technology developed by Samsung, where the “Q” stands for Quantum dots. 

This means that QLED offers most of the same advantages and disadvantages of traditional LED screens, although it provides better colour reproduction with a wider gamut and higher brightness levels. However, you don't get the same deep blacks, since unlike OLED, where a black section of the screen is actually completely switched off, QLED still relies on LCD pixels, which can only be dimmed, so you'll always have that slightly washed-out grey look when viewing in a dark room. Still, QLED can produce better colours than OLED, especially at higher brightness levels, making it more suitable for use in brighter rooms. 

Samsung Q900 8K Smart HDR QLED TV.Samsung

Get the Best Audio Quality

Let's face it, if you're aiming for a 4K UHD TV, it's because you want the best quality picture, which means you probably also want the best quality sound you can get.

There are a few larger TVs—65 inches and beyond—that provide arguably decent “simulated” surround sound, but don't be fooled by marketing speak. If you're looking for a true home theatre sound experience, you're going to need to add external speakers, and possibly even an audio receiver. 

This means that you'll want to make sure that your 4K UHD TV has the necessary audio outputs to pull this off. As a bare minimum, you'll want a digital optical audio output, although an HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) can be even better if you're looking to hook up an A/V receiver, since you'll need one less cable to handle this. 

This is going to be especially true if you're planning on using the built-in smart TV streaming features on your set, since in this case all of the audio will be handled by the TV itself. On the other hand, if you have a set-top box like a Roku or an Apple TV, or even a cable box or Blu-ray player, then you can just channel your audio through a home theatre receiver, effectively cutting the TV out of the loop entirely. 

Regardless, unless you're only planning on watching fairly basic content, we'd suggest not relying on the built-in speakers in your TV. Budget for a better sound system, and make sure you buy a TV that can handle it. Your ears will thank you. 

Choose the Smart TV Features You Need

If you're buying a 4K UHD TV, chances are that it's a smart TV. Whether or not you need these features will depend on what you plan to do with your TV, and what other devices you already have in your home theatre arsenal, but if you're planning on using streaming services, or integrating with voice assistants or home automation systems, its important to at least consider what each manufacture offers.

Out of the gate, you're going to have a hard time finding a smart TV these days that doesn't support the mainstream services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, but many of the leading brands now go well beyond that into offering either the full slate of Roku features, built right into your TV, or directly supporting a myriad of other streaming services such as Disney+ and Apple TV+ through third-party “apps” for each TV's own smart platform.

There's also more to smart TVs than just streaming services, however, and higher-end sets can also integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit to offer tighter integration into your home automation system and even support for voice commands. Just keep in mind, however, that not all TVs include the actual voice assistant—in many cases features like “Amazon Alexa integration” simply mean that you can control them with voice commands that are issued to an Amazon Echo speaker, in the same way a light bulb or thermostat works.

Be Sure You Have a Fast Enough Internet Plan

If you plan to use any streaming services on your smart TV at all, you're going to need to connect it to the internet, and with most smart TVs, this is going to be done over Wi-Fi. This means that you'll need a wireless router that's up to the task in addition to an internet plan that can handle 4K UHD streaming.

In practical terms, your ISP and your router should be able to offer consistent speeds of at least 25mbps or you won't get the kind of 4K quality from services like Netflix that your TV is actually capable of. You'll also need to watch out for data caps, since 4K UHD streaming can easily burn through more than 10GB of data per hour.

Also keep in mind that you'll need to make sure that your Wi-FI router can deliver a strong enough and fast enough signal to your TV, so if you have a larger home and your TV isn't close enough to your router, that might require you to invest in a longer-range router or mesh Wi-Fi system to get better coverage. Some TVs also offer Ethernet jacks to let you hardwire in, but this is usually more trouble than it's worth unless your router is already in the same room, in which case you should get solid Wi-Fi performance anyway. 

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Picking the Best Brand

If you're looking for a 4K UHD TV for the ultimate home theatre system, you'll probably want to stick to one of the major brands, as they make some of the very best TVs in the larger screen sizes, and from there it's going to come down to your preferred screen technology; if QLED is your thing, then that's Samsung's territory, while LG makes some of the best OLED screens out there if you're willing to pay the premium.

Don't be afraid to go off-brand if you're on a budget, however, as there are some great options from companies like TCL and Insignia, which may not be household names, but still offer solid TVs in the smaller sub-55-inch sizes with a wealth of advanced smart TV and connectivity features.