Best TV 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

TVs are one of the hardest home appliances to buy, as there is such a mind-boggling array of TVs to choose from.

It can be hard to keep up with the latest technologies, what they do and which is best – never mind the differences in price.

We have touched on the best TVs to buy for gaming, movies, watching sports and experiencing 4K, as well as our favourite pick for under £500.

A good TV can vary wildly in price depending on size and technology, so it’s important to invest in the features that are a priority for you.

The Best TV’s – Our Top Picks

Best Overall: LG 4K Ultra HD Smart TV 55″
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LG 4K Ultra HD Smart TV 55″
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  • Screen size: 55"
  • Dimensions without stand: H70.8 x W122.9 x D5.9cm
  • 4 x HDMI slots, 3 x USB
Best Gaming TV: Philips 55PUS6262
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Philips 55PUS6262
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  • Screen size: 55”
  • Dimensions: H73 x W124.4 x D7.8 cm
  • HDMI x 3, USB x 2, Scart x 0
  • HDR: Yes
Best Budget TV Under £500: Sony Bravia 32WE613
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Sony Bravia 32WE613
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  • Screen size: 32
  • Dimensions: 49 x 73.1 x 18.7 cm
  • HDR: Yes
  • Energy Rating: A

Best 4K Ultra HD TV's

Samsung UE65NU7500

The curved screen of this Samsung model wraps perfectly to your eye-line for a fully immersive experience, so you don’t miss a thing.

In response to screens getting bigger and curved, Samsung has upped their pixilation quality. This model has 4x more pixels than standard 1080p Full HD TV’s, and the UHD technology improves the quality of most non-4K pictures.

HDR10+ and Dynamic Crystal Colour technology will also vastly boost the colours and contrast of your picture, expanding light and dark and giving a glow which makes the image stunningly feel like real life, from over a billion different hues.

Auto Motion Plus and the Quad Core processor allow you to experience fast, powerful movement without any glitches or loss of picture, making it a perfect choice if you like your action movies or live sports.

If the multiple wires that often come from connecting extra devices to your TV annoy you, then the Clean Cable solution will allow you to run all of these cables down the leg of the stand. Perfect for anyone who is after a clean, minimalistic look.

One Remote technology also allows you to control all compatible devices from one single remote, so there is no more hunting for the long-lost DVD player remote that you haven’t used in quite a while. Voice Assistant Integration via the Smart Remote is also available.

It may seem like an expensive option, but as it boasts all the latest technology and features, you can see it as a real investment piece which will be ahead of time for quite a few years.

We like

  • Innovative colour and display properties
  • Samsung TV Plus built in
  • HDR Upscaling

We disike

  • No Scart socket

Final Verdict

If you want the latest ahead-of-the-game technology with the benefits of a curved TV, this Samsung model is your best bet

+ Specifications

  • Screen size: 65”
  • Dimensions: H83.81 x W145.27 x D12.08cm
  • Freeview HD and Play
  • HDMI x 3, USB x 2, Scart x 0

+ Downloads

Samsung UE65NU7500 user manual

Download

Toshiba 65U6763DB

For its huge 65” size, the Toshiba 65U6763DB has a crystal-clear picture no matter what you are watching.

It is Smart TV enabled so that you can watch all of your favourite apps and catch-up services with the press of a button or two; perfect for those evenings when there is nothing on live TV or when you want to binge-watch the latest boxset.

You can even check and update your social media accounts while watching TV, which is ideal if you like to live tweet your favourite live programmes but find managing multiple devices a bit distracting. There is also screen share, meaning you can display photos from your smartphone straight to your TV.

The four HDMI connections are more than enough to allow you to connect any extra gaming boxes or DVD players you may have, and there is also a Scart socket in case you have any older but still reliable devices to connect.

Don’t worry about losing any of the picture quality from these gadgets either – the upscaling technology means that even the most standard of pictures can be boosted up to HD quality at the very least.

The double core processor also reduces the lag time from these devices, so you don’t have to worry about the picture having to catch up with the play time of your extra gadgets.

Sports, Game and Film picture mode will enhance your viewing and sound capabilities no matter what it is you’re watching, and there is also parental control available for anybody concerned about what the kids are up to when they are in control if you are out of the room.

We like

  • Great price for the size
  • Very easy to set up

We disike

  • Sound quality is not quite cinema-quality as claimed

Final Verdict

For the price, this is a great television with all of the extra features and connections you could want

+ Specifications

  • Screen size: 65”
  • Dimensions: D25.5 x W145.9 x H86.9 cm
  • Freeview HD and Play
  • HDMI x 4, USB x 3, Scart x 1

+ Downloads

Toshiba 65U6763DB user manual

Download

LG 4K Ultra HD Smart TV 55″

The new generation of 4K viewing has hit the ground running and this LG TV has provided us with a clear picture with ultra HD. When looking to review a smart TV it’s important to take a number of elements into account, the colours, sharpness, power, compatibility and sound. This TV has ticked the boxes for all and seems to be perfect for films and especially for gaming with all its bright colours and entrancing 4K pictures.

This full-circle technology will provide you with the full home cinema experience with its built-in, immersive sound bar that makes this TV stand out from others, usually there’s a weak-link somewhere, but this entertainment product seems to have it all.

It’s the kind of product you buy when looking for the best around – it has top features and is a high-end bit of entertainment innovation for those that truly appreciate a flawless picture and cinema-style designs.

Features

  • Top of the range television with multiple features
  • Smart TV with built-in Wi-Fi, this includes Netflix and YouTube
  • Tuner: Freeview Play, Freeview HD

 

We like

  • Smart TV
  • Built–in Wi-Fi
  • It’s ultra HD with 4k viewing
  • Built-in soundbar

We disike

  • Expensive

Final Verdict

Best overall 4k Ultra HD smart television, perfect for families and those who love streaming Netflix and films.

+ Specifications

  • Screen size: 55"
  • Dimensions without stand: H70.8 x W122.9 x D5.9cm
  • 4 x HDMI slots, 3 x USB

+ Downloads

LG 55SJ850V user manual

Download

LG OLED55B7V HDR 4K 55″

This is an entertainment product that’s high up the spectrum and is one that has attention to detail. Those that aren’t as fussed about their television needs might miss some of the finer features on this item but those film buffs that advocate a perfect picture will see just how immersive this home cinema can be. The LG OLED is another ultra HDR 4K with all the mods and cons. 

This colourful display is enough to captivate your attention and when you add that to it’s 4K crisp picture, web platform, magic remote and dynamic sound, you’re onto a winner. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that this television is rather expensive but those keen to acquire the very best for their living room will be well aware of the fine science that’s behind this ultra HD beauty. 

There’s plenty of depth to this product with it aiming for more than just streaming you dull pictures and TV shows, you can enjoy it’s Smart TV streaming, the internet and more. The devil is in the detail and one thing brandished by LG that really caught the eye is the remote, it has a scroll reel that enables you to browse seamlessly through the web. You can also use voice control and finger gestures for quick and effortless results. 

This isn’t the best choice for everybody, as it appeals for those who are serious about their home entertainment. It’s a digital cinema that you can enjoy from home with a 55-inch screen and a slim line style. If you want the best there is, then it is worth checking this product out and purchasing for your home. 

We like

  • Truly amazing pictures
  • Great size
  • Magic remote control

We disike

  • Expensive

Final Verdict

A top of the range television that’s perfect for boxset fanatics.

+ Specifications

  • Ultra HDR
  • 4K Picture
  • Built-in soundbar courtesy of Dolby
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Dimensions without stand: H70.8 x W122.9 x D4.86cm

+ Downloads

LG OLED55B7V user manual

Download

Samsung UE55MU6100 55”

Despite being one of their high-tech ultra televisions it’s a lot of TV for your money. It’s a huge 55-inch, 4K television that’s perfect to watch all your favourite TV shows and films on. You’ll soon be fixated on the stunning colours of this display with its perfect contrast and dynamic picture, plus it’s got all the smart contraptions that we love.

Not only does it deliver on quality at a great price but it also has built-in Wi-Fi, a 4K Ultra HD picture and an LED screen. The new era of technology ensures that we have everything at our fingertips and the great thing about that is the fact we can enjoy streaming our favourite shows directly from the television. Use the Smart TV feature to stream boxsets and films in Ultra HD 4K. Alternatively you can plug it into your Blu-ray Player, box or console using the 3 HDMI sockets and 2 USB ports.

It’s not quite a budget television but what you will find it that these qualities are hard to come by at a cheaper price and when you add into the mix that it’s a Samsung product, it adds more weight to this purchase. Those who are meticulous for good sound and picture when watching films will truly appreciate the full-scale of this magnificence.

We like

  • 4K viewing with colourful display
  • Easy to use
  • Great value

We disike

  • Sound is good, but doesn’t match quality of other features

Final Verdict

One of the best value TV’s from Samsung.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: (H) 71.9 x (W) 124.3 x (D) 6.4
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 2 USB input
  • 3 HDMI ports
  • Ultra 4K HD

+ Downloads

Samsung UE55MU6100 user manual

Download

Sony KD49XE7073SU Ultra HD 4K

This is a great value Smart TV that is Ultra HD, has 4K viewing and all of the other features you’d ever need. With it being a 49-inch screen it makes it a little cheaper, but by no means is that a small screen size.

Upon our assessment of this product we noticed that it’s the perfect addition for Android users with it syncing and using the platform to stream. With that said, other phone and software users can easily use this TV to its potential with other streaming options.  

Comes equipped with Freeview, Catch-up TV and Android. The future is here and it comes in the form of LED televisions. The gripping picture quality will ensure that you can never go back to basics. Although there are some TVs on the market with superior qualities, they’re only slightly better and far more expensive. This is by far a great pick for all of your shows, movies and gaming – but most of all, the perfect TV to watch your favourite sports team battle!

We like

  • Great value
  • Ultra HD with 4K picture
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

We disike

  • Hasn’t got the best sound quality

Final Verdict

If you want all of the most innovative features without having to overspend, then this is your ideal choice.

+ Specifications

  • 49” Screen
  • A Energy Efficiency
  • Wi-Fi
  • 3 USB & 4 HDMI ports
  • Android TV Platform

+ Downloads

Sony KD49XE7073SU user manual

Download

Best Budget TV's

Toshiba 55U6663DB

If you are after a larger 55” television without the loss of picture quality, then you can’t get much better than this. And it is a bit of a bargain, too.

The 4K Ultra HD gives you an amazing, lifelike picture quality, perfect for streaming the latest films and boxsets straight to your living room. The upscaling feature makes any picture look great, even if it isn’t in HD (such as a standard DVD). It also upgrades any Full HD picture into near 4K quality, making your viewing even more enjoyable.

With four HDMI connections (which is more than most televisions offer), you can connect all of your extra appliances at the same time, such as any further set-top boxes or DVD players. No need to worry about disconnecting any so you can plug another in.

Freeview HD and Play allow you to catch up on the past 7 days of television, and you can get up to 70 live channels – without the need for any extra boxes or wires. Simply plug in your external aerial, and you’re good to go.

For any gamers, there is also Game Picture Mode, which reduces the amount of lag time for the television to process the video input from your gaming system.

There is also Sports and Films modes, so the picture is fully compatible with whatever you are using the television for – get ready for a fully immersive viewing experience.

We like

  • Great price for the size
  • Different viewing modes
  • Looks great in any room

We disike

  • Not wireless soundbar compatible
  • Settings need a lot of work to get just right

Final Verdict

A fantastic television for the price, suitable for any viewing needs

+ Specifications

  • Screen size: 55”
  • Dimensions: H72.9 x W123.8 x D9.3 cm
  • Freeview HD and Play
  • HDMI x 4, USB x 1, Scart x 1

+ Downloads

Toshiba 55U6663DB user manual

Download

TOSHIBA 32W3753DB

This HD ready 720p television is Smart TV ready, meaning you can catch up on all the TV you’ve missed over the past week as well as streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube straight to your room without any extra gadgets plugged in. All for under £500.

There is also built-in Wi-Fi capability, so if you are after a small TV for a bedroom or conservatory but are concerned about wires, there is no need to worry.

Built-in Bluetooth allows you to connect wireless speakers for a fully immersive cinema experience, and the USB drive will enable you to record any programme with ease to keep forever.

There are also three HDMI drives so that you can connect all of your extra gadgets with ease. Don’t worry if you have any older appliances with a Scart cable either, as there is an outlet available.

It also comes with Freeview Play, so you are ready to go as soon as you are connected to your aerial without the need for extra boxes and wires, keeping your setup clean and basic.

We like

  • Easy to set up and install
  • Good crisp picture
  • Great affordable price

We disike

  • Sound could be a lot better
  • Instructions are basic

Final Verdict

A great compact television for an excellent price, which is ideal if you are after a simple TV for the bedroom or kitchen

+ Specifications

  • Screen size: 32”
  • Dimensions: H43.7 x W73.5 x D9 cm
  • Freeview HD and Play
  • HDMI x 3, USB x 1, Scart x 1

+ Downloads

TOSHIBA 32W3753DB user manual

Download

Sony Bravia 32WE613

We love this Sony Bravia LED HDR Smart TV. The modern design will give a touch of class to any room in the house and with a crystal clear HD image, it’s hard not to fall in love with this model. Not only that, but this smart TV allows you to download and use apps such as YouTube to enhance your experience.

Using Motionflow, this TV has a higher refresh rate than other models, making for a seamlessly smooth viewing experience and with the HDR providing amazingly heightened colour range, you’ll find your favourite shows and films coming to life in your room.

 

We like

  • Crystal clear image
  • Smooth with higher refresh rate than normal
  • HD Ready
  • Wifi Built in

We disike

  • HDMI leads not included

Final Verdict

A fantastic budget option for those who want stunning imagery coupled with smart TV technology

+ Specifications

  • Screen size: 32
  • Dimensions: 49 x 73.1 x 18.7 cm
  • HDR: Yes
  • Energy Rating: A

+ Downloads

Sony Bravia 32WE613 user manual

Download

Best Gaming TV

Philips 55PUS6262

Not only does this television have Ultra 4K HD technology and upscaling, but there is also High Dynamic Range technology. Simply put, HDR enhances your picture even further, with improved contrast and a bigger range of colours – meaning brighter whites and darker blacks.

Innovative Ambilight technology emits a soft light glow around your appliance, which means the drama is not only on your television screen but experienced in your living room too. There is no better way to feel like you are in the heart of the action, especially when you are gaming.

There is also 20 Watt of audio power, which is great for a flat screen TV as they commonly lack the sound supremacy of bulkier appliances without extra sound bars and cinema systems. Film and Music modes mean you get the right sound for whatever you are up to.

With three HDMI connections at the back of the television, you can connect all of your additional appliances with ease and don’t have to constantly pull the TV in and out and choose one over the other to plug in.

There is also a Smartphone/tablet app available, so you can control your TV and share content from your device without having to go hunting for the lost remote down the side of the sofa.

We like

  • Advanced Ambilight technology
  • Philips app available
  • Freeview HD and Play

We disike

  • No Scart socket for any older devices (such as classic gaming consoles)

Final Verdict

A brilliant television for anybody who wants the best picture that money can buy, without denting your bank balance too much

+ Specifications

  • Screen size: 55”
  • Dimensions: H73 x W124.4 x D7.8 cm
  • HDMI x 3, USB x 2, Scart x 0
  • HDR: Yes

+ Downloads

Philips 55PUS6262 user manual

Download

Help and Resources

TV Buying Guide

Screen Size

Believe it or not, size isn’t everything. It’s common to think that the bigger your TV the better, but actually you should aim to choose your screen size based on how far away you will sit from the screen. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Less than 1.5 m = up to 32 inches
  • 1.5-2m = 32-39 inches
  • 2-2.5m = 40-45 inches
  • 2.5-3m = 46-55 inches
  • Over 3m = Over 56 inches

Screen size is measured diagonally from top to bottom. This doesn’t include the bezel – only the screen itself. Bezels are actually far smaller and narrower now than they used to be, so a 46 inch TV today would actually be much more compact than the same size a few years ago. You may be able to go up a size if you’re upgrading.

For the average family, it will be quite unlikely that any of you will be sitting within 2 metres of your screen. If nothing else, it’s bad for your eyes! A good bet for a standard-sized living room would be a TV of between 46 and 56 inches – the largest that will fit comfortably in the space and not feel overpowering.

Picture Quality

In simple terms, screen resolution refers to the number of pixels that your TV screen is made up of. The higher the number, the better the resolution. The most common screen resolution that people go for nowadays is 1080p, which is Full HD. This is pretty much standard for a new TV; you definitely shouldn’t go lower than this. Don’t be tempted by a cheap 720p set, because it simply won’t be as good – even for a small TV.

However, with 1080p as the standard, if you want to get more from your investment then you should consider 4K, aka Ultra HD. 4k TVs have four times the resolution of an HD TV, so images appear richer and sharper.

Refresh Rate

Your TV’s refresh rate, also known as the processing rate, refers to how quickly your TV can process screen changes. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the overall picture, which is important for activities like gaming and watching sports or movies. As a general guide, don’t go for anything with a refresh rate lower than 120 Hz. A lot of TVs are much higher than this. But watch out for the phrase ‘effective refresh rate’, which actually means half the stated rate.

HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and is a common feature of some of the new 4k Ultra HD TVs. Its benefits are that it offers brighter, more vivid colours and improved contrast. Don’t base your purchase decision purely on HDR, as the standard has not been settled yet – and frankly it can all get a little confusing.

If HDR is important to you, aim for a TV set with Dolby Vision, which is a stricter and more regulated version of the feature. There is also the term ‘Ultra HD Premium’, which essentially also means HDR compatible.

Sadly there is not a lot of HDR programming available right now, so you might not get the full experience – at least not straight away. Look to Blu-ray movies and streaming services, as they will be the first to make the shift.

HDMI and Connections

This may be something you hadn’t thought of – all new TVs will have HDMI ports won’t they? Likely yes, but depending on what you end up using it for it may not have enough, especially if you are a gamer with lots of consoles and devices to connect. Four HDMI ports is a good number to aim for, and if you’re buying 4k you should also check whether the ports support HDMI 2.0 – this will be important for the future as technology continues to develop.

Screen Types

There are essentially two kinds of TV screen to choose from: LED LCD and OLED. Most modern TVs are LED LCD and they are far more popular purchases as they are considerably more affordable and still offer great picture quality. By contrast, OLED screens are very expensive – but they are thinner, use less energy, and have incredible picture quality with very rich colours and contrast from all angles.

LG is currently the primary company offering OLED TVs in the larger sizes, but it will soon be followed by Panasonic and Philips. Current prices are in the range of £1600 to £4000, depending on size.

Smart-TVs

Don’t be fooled by advertisers making out that smart-TVs are some kind of big deal. Almost all new TVs are ‘smart’ nowadays – it simply means that they connect to your Wi-Fi, so you can browse applications, connect to your other devices and use streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. Just make sure that the model you buy will support all of the services that you want to use.

Audio

You may have noticed that screens are getting thinner and thinner. It’s great for aesthetics and picture, but it’s not great for sound. Most standard TV speakers are actually not that good in terms of sound quality, so if you’ve invested in a nice TV then you should probably also consider getting a soundbar to complete the home cinema experience. Soundbars can be bought for relatively little – maybe around £200 – and they make a significant improvement to the sound while being compact and easy to use and install.

FAQS

What are the best soundbars?

One of the top soundbars you can buy for great sound is this Monitor Audio ASB-2 AirStream SoundBar. It’s a single-unit system from a respected manufacturer that offers clear, precise sound quality and a good balance for TV and music. Another is this Canton DM 9 Flat Wall Mounted TV Soundbar, which has a surround sound function for movies and works well with wall-mounted TVs.

What are the best TVs to use as computer monitors?

TVs such as this Samsung UE40KU6000 Smart-TV works great as a computer monitor, as it has Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution, a 1300 Picture Quality Index and 40″ LED display, which make it an excellent TV for both movies and gaming.

What are the best small TVs?

If you’re looking for a smaller TV around the 25-35” mark, you could do a lot worse than the

Samsung UE32K5500 Full HD Smart-TV or Vizio D28h-D1 Full Array LED Smart-TV: both of which are good quality, HD Smart-TVs that can be bought at a reasonable price from Amazon.

Who makes the best TVs?

There are several reputable manufacturers of excellent TVs, but the top five are undoubtedly (in no particular order): Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, LG and Toshiba.

Which TV stands out for you and why? What features do you think are most important? Let us know in the comments.