Updated Nov. 17, 2023 3:01 p.m. PT

Written by 
David Katzmaier

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

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David Katzmaier Editorial Director — Personal Tech

David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.

Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials

  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.

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If you’re looking for the best price on a new big screen, now’s the time to look more seriously. Black Friday is still a week away, but stores both online and in person are already starting to discount their TVs. Meanwhile, TV makers themselves, including Samsung, LG and TCL, have dropped the prices on some of their best TVs for 2023. You might be wondering, however, which TV is the best?

Are early Black Friday sales a good time to buy?

Many retailers start “Black Friday” sales as early as Halloween, or even earlier. The quality of deals can vary early on, but as November progresses, many of the deals are as good as the deep discounts you’ll see during Thanksgiving weekend. See the best Black Friday deals we’ve found, and keep up with all the latest deals with our full Black Friday live blog coverage.

At CNET, I review TVs side by side in a state-of-the-art testing lab, taking hundreds of measurements with specialized equipment, comparing gaming, home theater and bright-room image quality. My 20 years of experience as a TV reviewer helps me determine not just the best TV overall but also the best TV in your price range.

Read more: How We Test TVs

What is the best TV right now?

After testing a handful of the best TVs for the money this year, I’m ready to declare a new winner. The TCL QM8 series (2023) has replaced the TCL 6-Series at the top of the list for a number of reasons. The QM8 offers superb picture quality overall, all the features you need in a modern television — including 4K/120Hz input and variable refresh rate that can get the most out of consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X — and an affordable price tag. When a friend asks me what TV to buy from 65 to 98 inches, I tell them the TCL QM8 series.

There are plenty of other excellent choices out there, however, especially if you want a TV smaller than 65 inches. So even though the QM8 is my current favorite for most people, it might not be right for your preferences or budget.

Best TVs in 2023

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TCL has topped our list of the best TVs for the last few years but the QM8 is something different, and even better than before. In my comparison tests it stood out with superior brightness and impact while still maintaining excellent contrast — a combination no other TV could match at this price. The key is mini-LED tech and well-implemented full-array local dimming. It also has a sleek design with a center-mount stand. The operating system is Google TV, which I don’t like as much as Roku TV, but it’s still a solid smart TV. This model replaces the TCL 6-Series Roku TV from last year.

The main downside of the TCL QM8 is that it’s only available in large sizes (65 inches and up). If you’re looking for a 55-inch TV, I recommend the Hisense U8K instead. Note that prices shown here are for the 65-inch size in the QM8 series.

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If you’re looking for the best TV for the money and the TCL QM8 is just too big, the Hisense U8K should be your go-to. I compared the two 2023 TVs side-by-side, and while I liked the QM8 just a bit better, the U8K has one medium-size advantage: a 55-inch screen option. So if 65 is too large for your room, your budget or your tastes, the choice between the two is simple: Get the 55-inch Hisense UK8.

Both offer excellent image quality and affordable prices thanks to mini-LED backlights and full-array local dimming, as well as similar gaming features and the Google TV operating system. And both cost hundreds less than you’d have to pay to get similar image quality from a better-known brand.

Note that while I tested the 65-inch size in the U8K series, prices shown here are for the 55-inch size.

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The C3 represents better picture quality than any non-OLED TV on this list at a price that’s definitely higher, but still not stratospheric. Its perfect black levels, unbeatable contrast and superb off-angle viewing kept it a notch above the mini-LED models in my comparison tests, and while its overall brightness isn’t quite as impressive, it’s still an incredible performer in all kinds of room lighting. The C3 is also one of the lightest TVs we’ve ever reviewed thanks to carbon-fiber construction; the 65-inch version weighs just 37 pounds with its stand.

The prices shown here are for the 65-inch size of the LG C3 series.

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The picture quality of the TCL 4-Series Roku TV was a step behind the Vizio V-Series in our budget TV test, but the differences between the two are slight enough that you’d really have to have them set up side by side to notice anything at all. The 4-Series lacks the Dolby Vision, Bluetooth connectivity and AMD FreeSync with a variable refresh rate, all of which the Vizio offers. 


  • Affordable
  • Excellent smart TV system


  • Image quality and features lag some entry-level TVs

The 4-Series’ advantage over the Vizio is that it comes with the excellent Roku Smart TV system built in. That makes it a great choice for those looking for a one-stop smart TV solution, without having to add an external streaming device.

Note that TCL has been selling the 4-Series for the last few years with little to no change in image quality or features in our tests, although it has recently added some larger screen sizes, including an 85-inch option.

The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.

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The LG OLED G3 delivers the best image quality I’ve ever tested in my 20-plus years of doing TV reviews. It’s brighter than any other OLED TV and has a superior antireflective screen, for incredible performance in both bright and dark rooms. Compared directly to the Samsung S95C those traits helped it overcome a slight color deficit to the Samsung and propel it into best-ever territory. 

Of course, both it and the S95C cost hundreds more than less-expensive OLED TVs like the LG C3, and for most people the difference isn’t worth it.


  • Best picture quality we’ve ever tested
  • Superb contrast and off-angle image
  • Best-in-class bright room performance
  • Slim, wall-friendly design


  • Expensive
  • Samsung S95C has superior color

The G3 replaces the G2 from last year and has an improved screen technology called MLA (for Micro Lens Array) that LG says is responsible for the G3’s superior brightness. The G3 series comes in four sizes (55-, 65-, 77- and 83-inch) but the largest 83-inch size lacks MLA, so I don’t expect it to perform as well as the others.

The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

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I compared this TV side by side with the LG G3, and while I liked the G3 better overall, the Samsung S95C looked nearly as impressive. Its biggest advantage was color, thanks to Samsung’s quantum dot-infused take on OLED technology, aka QD-OLED. The S95C’s flowers, sunsets and other colorful objects looked a bit more natural and impressive than on the G3 or, frankly, any other OLED TV I’ve tested. The G3 showed excellent color, too, and looked brighter and better overall, but it was very close. 

I also preferred Samsung’s design, with its unique external One Connect input box, if that’s a factor for you. Instead of inputs on the back panel, this TV houses them in a separate box that connects to the TV via a single cable, easing installation. The panel itself is also thinner than that of the G3.


  • Superb image quality with best-in-class color
  • Superb contrast and off-angle image
  • Excellent gaming features
  • Ultrathin panel with external input box


  • Expensive
  • Competing LG G3 has superior overall picture

The S95C replaces the S95B from last year and is one of two QD-OLED series Samsung is making in 2023. The other, the S90C, isn’t as bright, according to Samsung, and costs less and has standard inputs on the back panel. 

 The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

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Looking for a high-end TV with spectacular image quality, but don’t want an OLED? The Samsung QN90B is your best bet. This TV uses QLED TV tech augmented by mini-LED for a brighter image than any OLED TV. The spectacular contrast of OLED still won out in our side-by-side tests, but the QN90B QLED screen comes closer than ever. 


  • Best non-OLED picture quality we’ve ever tested
  • Incredible brightness with minimal blooming
  • Stylish design, packed with features


  • Expensive
  • Slightly worse contrast, off-angle and uniformity than OLED

Samsung produces a number of QLED TVs, but the QN90B is among the highest end, aside from versions with 8K resolution. This is a 2022 model, but the 2023 version, the QN90C, looks very similar in terms of features and while we haven’t reviewed it, we expect it to deliver similar image quality.

The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

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Competition among TVs in the middle pricing band is heating up, and the Plus Series is the latest entrant in 2023. Unlike the TCL Roku TVs higher on this list, this one is all Roku, with no other brands on board. It adds a couple of step-up extras, including QLED and full-array local dimming, which help deliver a better picture than the TCL 4-Series, for example. It’s not as impressive as the Vizio MQX, though, since it lacks 120Hz for gaming and worse picture quality overall. If you value those extras, then the Vizio is worth saving for, but if not the Roku Plus Series is a very good value.


  • Affordable
  • Good picture quality thanks to local dimming
  • Great smart TV system


  • Lacks 120Hz refresh rate and other gaming extras
  • Not as bright as some similarly priced TVs

This is the first TV Roku has produced under its own brand, as opposed to partnering with a brand like TCL, Sharp, Pioneer or Hisense. The company also released a version with fewer features and no local dimming, called the Roku Select Series.

The price shown below is for the 65-inch size.

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When we compared the best budget TVs side by side, the picture quality of Vizio’s V-Series clearly emerged as the leader of the pack. The Vizio offered the most balanced and accurate picture during our comparisons, and it comes with some useful extras such as Dolby Vision support, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth compatibility and variable refresh rate for potentially smoother gaming. The biggest downside of the Vizio is its smart TV platform, Vizio SmartCast. It’s crowded, slow and littered with ads for platforms such as Tubi and Kidoodle TV. Even when you factor in the cost of adding a new streaming device, however, the V-Series remains the best overall entry-level TV that we tested. 


  • Solid image quality for en entry-level TV
  • Lots of features including VRR and Wi-Fi 6E


  • Poor built-in smart TV system

Vizio hasn’t announced a 2023 version of the V-Series yet.

The prices shown below are for the 50-inch size.

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LG C2 series OLED TV: As we mentioned above, the C2 from 2022 and C3 from 2023 were basically identical in our tests. That means that if you see a better price on the older C2, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get it. Read our LG C2 OLED TV review.

Sony KD-X80K series: Sony is a prominent brand and its higher-end TVs like the X90J do well in reviews, but the entry-level TV in its 2022 lineup, the X80K, didn’t make the list. It costs around the same as the TCL 6-Series and Samsung Q60 TVs, and had a worse picture than both, with lighter black levels and contrast. It’s definitely not a bad TV, and we liked its Google smart TV system, color accuracy and connectivity, but you can definitely do better for the money. Read our Sony KD-X80K series review.

Amazon Fire TV 4-Series: One of many Fire TVs available for sale, this one is typical of the breed: so-so image quality and a smart TV system that lags behind Roku and Google TV. If you’re a big fan of Alexa voice, or see this TV at a really low price, it might be worthwhile, but otherwise go for the TCL 4-Series. Read our best budget TVs roundup.

Our TV reviews follow a rigorous, unbiased evaluation process honed over nearly two decades of TV reviews. Our primary TV test lab has specialized equipment for measuring light and color, including a Konica Minolta CS-2000 spectroradiometer, a Murideo Sig-G 4K HDR signal generator and an AVPro Connect 8×8 4K HDR distribution matrix. We use Portrait Displays CalMan Ultimate software to evaluate every TV we review. In every CNET TV review, three or more similar TVs are compared side by side in various lighting conditions playing different media, including movies, TV shows and games, across a variety of test categories, from color to video processing to gaming to HDR. Our reviews also account for design, features, smart TV performance, HDMI input and gaming compatibility, and other factors.

One important aspect of image quality we test is overall brightness. Here’s how it compares in nits across select TVs listed above.

Light output in nits


TV Brightest mode (HDR) Accurate mode (HDR) Brightest mode (SDR) Accurate mode (SDR)
Samsung QN65Q90B 3,316 1,981 2,625 974
TCL 65QM850G 1,975 1,975 1,739 1,448
Hisense 65U8K 1,966 1,966 1,720 1,240
LG OLED65G3 1,378 1,378 725 724
Samsung QN65S95C 1,348 1,326 238 648
LG OLED65C3 861 817 501 464
Vizio M65QXM-K03 939 742 958 608
Roku TV Plus 514 455 579 404

Check out How We Test TVs for more details.

With all of the TVs available today, and all of the technical terms and jargon associated with television technology, it can be tough to figure out what’s important. Here’s a quick guide to help cut through the confusion.

Price: TVs range in price from $100 to more than $2,000. Smaller screens are cheaper, well-known brands are more expensive and spending more money can also get you better image quality. Most entry-level TVs have a good enough picture for most people, but TVs last a long time, so it might be worth spending more to get a better picture. It’s also best to shop for a TV in the fall, when prices are lower.

Screen size: Bigger is better in our book. We recommend a size of at least 43 inches for a bedroom TV and at least 55 inches for a living room or main TV — and 65 inches or larger is best. More than any other “feature,” stepping up in TV screen size is the best use of your money. One of the most common post-TV-purchase complaints we’ve heard is from people who didn’t go big enough. And we almost never hear people complain that their TV is too large.

Capability: Among entry-level TVs the most important feature is what kind of smart TV system the TV uses. Among midrange models, look for a feature including full-array local dimming, mini-LED and 120Hz refresh rate, which (unlike some other extras) do help improve the picture in our experience. And among high-end TVs, OLED technology is your best bet.

For more TV buying advice check out How to Buy a TV.

We’ll post the answers to commonly asked TV questions below. If you have any others, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@dkatzmaier), or by clicking the little envelope icon on my CNET profile page. Doing so will let you send a message straight to my inbox.

How much should I spend on a TV?

Prices vary widely by size and features, from less than $100 for basic 24-inch TVs to more than $2,000 for big OLED models. TVs last a long time, however, so we think it’s worthwhile to spend a little extra beyond the bare minimum to get a bigger screen, better picture quality or better features. With that in mind, here’s some ballpark prices that will get you a very good TV in 2023.

  • 55-inch: $700
  • 65-inch: $1,000
  • 75-inch: $1,300

You could pay (much) more or less. The fact is just about any TV will produce a picture decent enough to satisfy most viewers. Most complaints you read in user reviews aren’t about picture quality. Instead they’re about ease of use, smart TV menus or sound (or a broken TV).

What size TV should I buy?

Which is better, OLED or LED?

In our reviews, OLED TVs, which use organic light-emitting diode technology, have always had better picture quality than LED TVs, which are basically LCD TVs that use LED backlights. The main reason is that OLED TVs can produce a perfectly dark shade of black with no stray illumination of blooming, which leads to better contrast and pop. LED TVs can get brighter, however, and usually cost less than OLED TVs. 

What is the best smart TV system for streaming?

At CNET our favorite is Roku for its simplicity, but different systems like Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung and LG have different strengths, in particular for voice commands. In any case, we don’t consider the built-in smart TV system that important because you can always connect a streaming device to any TV.

How do I get the best TV sound?

Most TVs sound terrible, because their thin cabinets don’t have room for decent-size speakers or bass. If you want to get good sound you should buy an external audio system. Even an inexpensive soundbar will deliver much better audio quality than a TV’s built-in speakers.

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