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Tune in to the best TVs to buy in 2021

As the nights draw in, an evening in front of the telly suddenly looks much more appealing. We’ve compiled our pick of the best TVs to buy right now.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Oct 19, 2021

family watching tv

For many people, the TV is the beating heart of the family home. The shared experience of viewing the latest must-watch Netflix series or a crucial football match brings people together and strengthens family bonds. As long as you support the same team, of course.

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But buying a TV often means wading through a tonne of technical jargon and head-scratching acronyms. To help you make the best choice for your family, we’ve extensively researched the best TVs, as recommended by tech experts and Mumsnet users.

Here are the eight best TVs to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall TV: LG OLED-C1 55 Inch 4K Smart TV

LG OLED-C1 TV displaying a purple lit up tree on the screen

Price: £1,299 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have a LG TV. I've had it for years, it never loses apps and it never lets me down. I love it.” eatsleepread

Great for movies, gaming, sport and so much more, the LG OLED-C1 55 Inch 4K Smart TV is a great all-rounder.

The picture quality and colour contrast on the LG OLED-C1 is superb and the surround sound effect makes watching films a truly immersive experience. This great picture and sound quality is maintained during gaming, as the LG’s Game Optimiser automatically adjusts the graphics to best suit whatever game you’re playing.

Controlled by voice command and with access to a wide range of apps, including Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, this is our pick for the best family TV.

Pros

  • Excellent sound and picture quality
  • Low blue light and flicker free to avoid eye strain

Cons

  • User interface can be hard to navigate

Key specs

  • Screen size: 55 inches
  • Display type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K 
  • HDR formats: HLG10

2. Best budget TV: Panasonic 43 Inch HX580BZ 4K LED HDR Smart TV

Panasonic 43 Inch TV with screen showing an image of a blue car driving through a city at night

Price: From £429.21 | Buy now from Amazon

Whether you’re catching up on Corrie on Freeview Play or binge-watching the latest Netflix hit, the Panasonic 43 Inch HX580BZ 4K LED HDR Smart TV will present your favourite shows with stunning picture quality.

For under £500, the Panasonic features catch-up TV, YouTube and video streaming, and its media player will let you play your music and enjoy your holiday photos on the big screen.

And best of all, last month Disney+ was finally introduced to Panasonic TVs, so there’s definitely no excuse not to get one now.

Pros 

  • Affordable
  • Now with Disney+

Cons 

  • Comes without wall mounting - can be purchased together as a bundle

Key specs

  • Screen size: 43 inches
  • Display type: LED
  • Resolution: 4K 
  • HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision

3. Best TV for movies: Sony Bravia XR65A90JU 65-Inch Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR OLED TV

Sony Bravia 65" TV screen

Price: £3,499 | Buy now from Currys

“We have a Sony and we like it.” allvinoandbrie

If you love settling down for a family film as the rain pours down outside, then the Sony Bravia XR65A90JU 65-Inch Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR OLED TV is a great choice.

The latest image technology minimises any blurs for a smooth and crystal clear picture, while XR sound puts you in the centre of the action. 

If you can’t decide what to watch, there’s a huge selection of films on Bravia Core. And with some hands-free help from Google TV and Google Assistant, you don’t even need to haul yourself up off that sofa. Unless you run out of snacks.

If you have the space and the cash to splash, you could upgrade to the 83-inch version, which retails at £6,499.

Pros

  • Superior picture and sound
  • Controlled by Google Assistant or remote

Cons

  • BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5 are not currently available

Key specs

  • Screen size: 65 inches
  • Display type: QLED
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD 
  • HDR formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10, Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)

4. Best smart TV: Panasonic TX-65JZ2000B OLED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

Panasonic TX-65JZ2000B screen with nature scene on the screen

Price: £2,999 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

It may not be the cheapest TV on our list, but the Panasonic TX-65JZ2000B ticks all the boxes in terms of home entertainment.

Outstanding picture and sound quality make it the perfect choice for watching films, live sports and gaming, while a customisable Smart Platform brings a plethora of online apps, including streaming services. And once again, Google Assistant comes built in, meaning you don’t have to worry about losing the remote.

Pros

  • Superior picture and sound quality 
  • Compatible with Alexa smart speakers and devices
  • Comes with catch-up TV

Cons

  • Expensive

Key specs 

  • Screen size: 65 inches
  • Display type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR formats: Supports all HDR formats

5. Best hidden TV: Samsung The Frame 55-Inch QLED Art Mode TV

Samsung The Frame TV screen displaying a piece of artwork

Price: £1,099| Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

“I’ve never owned a TV and [recently] bought my first one, which I love. It’s the Samsung The Frame 55 Inch… It’s so easy to use and has all the apps you’d need and easy to download others.” Milomonster

If you’re looking for a stylish TV that blends in with your living room, then the super slim Samsung’s The Frame is the ideal choice.

You can choose to fix the TV to the wall with its slim-fit wall mount and near-invisible optical cable or, if you prefer, a height-adjustable stand is also included.

But the best bit about this TV is that it transforms to a picture frame when not in use, so you can brighten up your front room with some fancy artwork downloaded from the subscription-only Samsung Art Store.

This screen has four times the number of pixels than full HD TVs, so you can also display your favourite family snaps in all their glory.

The TV also comes with a huge collection of 4k content and family-favourite apps, including Netflix and Disney+.

Pros

  • Discreet screen
  • Single solar-powered remote
  • Compatible with various voice assistants 

Cons

  • You’ll need a compatible smartphone and apps to access some features

Key specs 

  • Screen size: 55 inches
  • Display type: QLED technology with dual LED
  • Resolution: 4K UHD
  • HDR formats: HDR10+

6. Best TV for university: LG 32LM637BPLA 32-Inch HD HDR Smart LED TV

LG TV screen displaying an orange autumn leaf

Price: £219 | Buy now from Amazon

This smaller LG smart TV is perfect for life in halls of residence. The menus are easy to navigate, it’s easy to set up and, with an internet connection, you can have instant access to catch-up TV and a multitude of streaming services, including Netflix.

With great picture clarity and sound quality, this is one of the best TVs for under £400. Alternatively, if you want this LG TV for the kitchen or bedroom in your family home, it also works with Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices for hands-free control. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Can be used with Alexa

Cons 

  • Complicated remote
  • Small screen size

Key specs 

  • Screen size: 32 inches
  • Display type: LED
  • Resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • HDR formats: HDR10, Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)

7. Best 4K TV: Sony Bravia XR LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart Google TV

Sony Bravia XR TV with screen displaying a red autumn leaf

Price: £1,499 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

Why bother going out to the cinema when you can bring the cinema straight to your living room? 

The Sony Bravia XR combines a rich, enhanced picture and immersive sound to put you in the heart of the action, so it feels just like being in the front row at the movies. 

Google TV gives easy access to your favourite content, and with 6,000 apps available, that’s a lot of programming to get through. Time to break open the popcorn.

Pros 

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Voice remote
  • Includes family favourites such as Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Apple TV and NOW TV
  • Can display artwork, photos, screensaver or clock when not in use

Cons

  • Doesn’t currently feature the YouView catch-up TV service (including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and My5)

Key specs

  • Screen size: 65 inches
  • Display type: LED
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR formats: Multiple HDR formats including Dolby Vision

8. Best TV for gaming: Samsung QE50QN90A Neo QLED HDR 1500 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

Samsung Neo TV with multicoloured patterns on the screen

Price: £989 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

“We have a Samsung and our apps work well.” StoneColdBitch

For the gamers in your family, the Samsung Neo promises fast and immersive gaming with a range of features such as (deep breath) Motion Xcelerator Turbo Plus, FreeSync Premium Pro, Dynamic Black Equalizer, as well as Super Ultrawide GameView with compatible games.

Meanwhile the rest of us can just sit back and enjoy the truly astonishing collection of content and catch-up TV apps. The Samsung Neo is also quick and easy to set up using a smartphone.

Pros

  • Costs less than £1,000
  • Enhanced gaming experience
  • Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant all come built in

Cons 

  • You’ll need a compatible smartphone and apps to access some features

Key specs

  • Screen size: 50 inches
  • Display type: QLED
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR formats: HDR10+

How to choose the best TV 

First of all, you should consider what you actually want the TV for, for example gaming, watching live sports or keeping young kids entertained. Then you need to consider the following:

  • Does it have the streaming/catch-up TV/apps I want? Sony TVs don’t currently feature the YouView catch-up TV service, which includes BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and My5. So if you’re looking to catch up on this week’s action at Albert Square, then this may not be the TV for you. However this service is expected to be introduced in a future update. It’s worth remembering that Disney+ only became available on Panasonic TVs in September. So check carefully that the TV can fulfil your basic needs.
  • Do I need all the technical stuff? If you’re after a TV that will give you the full cinematic experience when watching films, then it’s worth paying out more for top notch sound and picture quality. If you’re just after a smaller set for the kitchen, bedroom or playroom, then you probably won’t want the same assault on the senses.
  • Where’s it going? Is the TV going to be wall-mounted, or put on a stand or cabinet? Be sure to take into account the room you may need for a TV stand.
  • Extras: Do you need to purchase any extras, such as a sound bar or gaming headphones? It’s worth considering paying out for accidental damage cover, particularly if you have an expensive TV. You should consider the cost of these extras when planning your budget.
  • Budget: The cost of TVs vary wildly. Set a budget before you start shopping and don’t forget to factor in any extras if required.

What size TV should I buy?

This really depends on the size of your viewing space. Ideally your viewing distance should be roughly 1.5 times your screen size. Sitting too close means you won’t enjoy the best picture quality, plus you’ll end up with a headache.

Remember that screen size is measured diagonally, not horizontally, so there won’t be any nasty surprises when you take delivery of your shiny new TV, only to realise that it doesn’t fit in your alcove.

What’s better - 4K or OLED?

Both offer great viewing experiences. OLED produces a richer, deeper and more even colour, but 4K LED TV’s perform better when it comes to screen brightness.

Do smart TVs have built-in wifi?

Most new smart TVs come with built-in wifi. It’s simple to set up and there are no trailing wires. But for the best result, the TV really needs to be in the same room as the router.

What is the best TV to buy? 

Mumsnet’s top pick for the best TV to buy is the LG OLED-C1 55-Inch 4K Smart TV thanks to excellent picture quality as well as immersive surround sound and access to apps such as Disney+ and Netflix. A great all-rounder that is built to last.

How we chose our recommendations

We scoured Mumsnet forums to find out which TVs our users rate highly - and which ones they weren’t impressed by.

We also consulted consumer watchdogs and took note of what they looked for in TVs and which brands they were recommending to their readers.

Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews to see which TVs had received the best recommendations.

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Why you should trust us

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