The 6 Best TVs For Watching Movies – Spring 2024: Reviews – RTINGS.com

If you're looking for a new TV for your home theater setup, there are a few things that you should pay attention to to get the best movie-watching experience possible. Four main criteria are considered when evaluating how good a TV is for watching movies.
Contrast Ratio
The contrast ratio is the ratio between the luminance of the brightest white and darkest black that a TV can produce. A higher contrast ratio means that the TV can display deeper blacks, improving the overall picture quality, especially when watching content in dark rooms. If your TV has a low contrast ratio, blacks will look grey when viewed in a dark room, breaking immersion when watching movies in a dark, home theater setting. Furthermore, TVs with great contrast ratios are better at emphasizing bright highlights in HDR, which is why OLEDs, which have a near-infinite contrast ratio due to their perfect blacks, typically offer the best overall HDR impact even though their HDR brightness is comparatively lower than LED TVs. LED TVs with local dimming naturally have better contrast ratios than LED TVs that don't, as they can dim dark sections of the screen while separately boosting bright sections.
You can also read our in-depth article on contrast ratio and QLED vs OLED vs LED TVs.
HDR Peak Brightness
In recent years, one of the biggest advances in TV technology has been the development of High Dynamic Range (HDR) video formats. HDR enhances the picture quality in movies and shows by displaying a wider range of colors with brighter highlights than Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) content. Peak brightness is probably one of the most important aspects of HDR. This is where high-end TVs have the biggest advantage, as HDR content uses their higher brightness capabilities to show lifelike highlights. If a TV has limited HDR peak brightness, it can't properly display all the highlights the content is supposed to show. As stated earlier, having a high contrast ratio and a good local dimming feature is also important for delivering a good HDR experience because the TV can show bright and dark highlights without losing details.
If you'd like to know more, we have in-depth articles on HDR peak brightness and HDR vs SDR.
Image Processing
When looking at processing, three main factors are important: sharpness processing when upscaling a low-resolution signal, low-quality content smoothing, and HDR native gradient handling. A TV's upscaling and sharpness processing is especially important if you're watching low-resolution content from a physical player that doesn't have its own upscaling features, like a cable box or an older DVD player. Good upscaling will accurately scale lower resolutions to the higher-resolution pixel count of the screen, maintaining fine details and delivering a sharp, clear image with no noticeable defects. Poor upscaling and sharpness processing will do a bad job of translating this detail, rendering the image blurry or overly sharp.
Low-quality content smoothing looks at how well a TV can process an image to smooth out rough areas of the content and reduce banding and macro-blocking caused by a low-bitrate signal. Although many believe streaming services are generally high-quality, they usually aren't. Even if you have the highest tier available with your streaming platform, and even if it's still sending a 4k signal, streaming services use compression algorithms to reduce the amount of bandwidth used. This results in noticeable compression artifacts, like black blocks in near-black scenes. A TV with better low-quality content smoothing will smooth out these artifacts, resulting in a cleaner image overall while preserving fine details.
Finally, good gradient handling is important for producing fine details, particularly in scenes with many different shades of similar color, like in HDR. Since detailed color is meant to be one of the benefits of HDR video, the test results are important for people interested in that kind of media. You can easily notice poor gradient handling as it takes the form of bands of color in shades of similar color when, normally, these shades should blend in and transition from one another perfectly. Banding can be caused by a few reasons, like a low-bitrate signal or a low bit depth, but a TV's processing can also introduce banding.
You can check out our articles on upscaling sharpness processing and color gradients if you want to know more.
Color Accuracy
Having a color-accurate image matters when watching any content. Still, you'll only notice minor inaccuracies if you're a movie aficionado, as scenes that are supposed to be a certain tint might have a completely different one: blue-ish scenes looking green, or vice versa, is a common example. Problems with skin tone accuracy are another example. Most TVs have accurate enough colors out of the box that most people won't see any difference. If you care about accurate color reproduction, you'll want a TV with excellent out-of-the-box accuracy so you don't have to spend too much time calibrating it. Since most TVs have near-perfect accuracy after calibration, it's important to look at the pre-calibration results.
Look up our article on color accuracy for more information on this topic.
We've bought and tested more than 440 TVs, and below are our recommendations for the best TVs for movies you can buy. See our picks for the best OLED TVsbest smart TVs, and best 4k TVs, or vote on which ones you want us to buy and test. You could also consider one of the best home theater projectors instead of a TV. To learn more about the 2024 TV models, check out our 2024 TV lineup page.
The best TV for movies we've tested is the Sony A95L OLED. Its nearly infinite contrast ratio makes it a fantastic TV for watching movies in a dark room. This results in deep, inky blacks and bright highlights, with no distracting blooming around bright areas of the scene. Sony TVs are well respected for their accurate picture quality, and this TV is no exception. Its excellent processing capabilities deliver a true movie experience that respects the content creator's intent, with very little banding in areas of similar color.
HDR movies look incredible on this TV thanks to its high peak brightness in HDR, near-infinite contrast ratio, and wide color gamut. Colors look vivid and lifelike, and bright specular highlights stand out. It also supports features like Dolby Vision and DTS:X audio, ensuring you get the best movie experience possible. It's compatible with Sony's BRAVIA CORE streaming service, which offers a wide selection of movies to stream at a much higher bit rate than most streaming services, ensuring your movies look the best they possibly can.
See our review
The Sony BRAVIA 9 QLED is the best TV for watching movies in a bright room. It easily overcomes glare due to its superb SDR brightness and reflection handling, so you don't have to deal with distracting reflections. If you watch movies with the lights off, the TV looks spectacular in a dark room due to its exceptional local dimming feature, with contrast that provides deep blacks that are approaching OLED territory with very little blooming. On top of that, its exceptional HDR brightness provides highlights that pop out in HDR content. It's also a standout option for watching movies due to its support for Dolby Vision HDR and DTS audio formats, fantastic image processing, and accuracy in both SDR and HDR. No matter how you watch your movies, the TV truly delivers. The TV even has good speakers built-in, so if you don't have a soundbar or are saving up for a proper surround sound system, they do the trick. Unfortunately, it's not a great choice for watching movies with a large group of friends due to its narrow viewing angle, as anyone watching from the sides of the screen sees a degraded image.
The TV only comes in a 65-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch model, so it's not suitable for those looking for a smaller TV for a bedroom or small living room. If you want a large screen but the 85-inch BRAVIA 9 is too pricey, look at last year's Sony X95L, which you can find on sale. It has Sony's fantastic accuracy and image processing, and although its contrast and brightness aren't as good as the BRAVIA 9, they're still exceptional. You still get very deep blacks in a dark room, and the TV is still bright enough for use in a well-lit room.
See our review
If you like the deep, inky blacks that only an OLED can produce but find the Sony A95L OLED too expensive, the best upper mid-range TV for watching movies is the LG C3 OLED. Like the Sony OLED, it displays perfect blacks in dark rooms without blooming, offering a fantastic movie-watching experience. Even though the Sony has brighter and more vibrant colors than the LG and also has slightly better picture processing, the LG's very good HDR peak brightness is certainly enough to make smaller highlights stand out. The LG is a better value and is available in many more sizes than the Sony, but it's a step down when it comes purely to movie watching.
The LG removes 24p judder from any source, which helps with the appearance of motion, and it can interpolate low-frame-rate content up to 120 fps. It supports Dolby Atmos audio passthrough and DTS audio formats, which many Blu-rays use. You could also opt for the very bright and sleek-looking LG G3 OLED. Although the Sony has better overall color vibrancy, it's brighter than the C3 and even the A95L. The G3 is much more expensive than the C-Series LG but less so than the Sony OLED. Still, while it's a bit better than the Sony if you want a TV for other uses than just watching movies, the Sony has it beat for a pure home theater setup.
The 2024 LG C4 OLED is also now available. It has some very minor upgrades for watching movies, like slightly better HDR accuracy and HDR brightness. Unfortunately, the TV is at its most expensive near release. Since the upgrades it has are small enough that they will be unnoticeable by most people when watching movies, you're better off buying the cheaper C3 while it's still available and on sale. 
See our review
If you'd like an OLED but don't need four HDMI 2.1 ports or high HDR peak brightness while still wanting stellar image processing, the Sony A75L OLED is a great mid-range TV and can serve as an excellent entry point into the OLED market. The TV has all the features of the much more expensive Sony A95L OLED but is much dimmer and less vibrant due to it having a WOLED panel versus the QD-OLED in the more expensive model. The A75L still delivers outstanding picture quality, especially in a dark room, with its near-infinite contrast ratio delivering deep, inky blacks with no distracting blooming. The TV is available in a narrower range of sizes than the more expensive Sony A95L, with the only options being the 55-inch and 65-inch models.
Still, this TV has a wide color gamut and is relatively accurate without any calibration, so movies look mostly like the content creator intended. It has Dolby Vision HDR, supports DTS advanced audio formats, and has very good image processing, making it a fantastic mid-range home theater OLED. If you're disappointed in this TV's narrow choice of sizes, consider the extremely similar but slightly more expensive Sony A80L/A80CL OLED, which also comes in a 77-inch and 83-inch model. It's built slightly better than the A75L but is otherwise almost identical.
See our review
If you want high-end performance but don't want to spend high-end prices, or if you watch movies in mostly bright rooms, check out the Hisense U7K. It's cheaper than anything recommended up to this point but still delivers excellent overall picture quality. It has a great Mini LED backlight, letting it simultaneously provide incredibly bright highlights and deep blacks, with barely any blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. HDR content looks great, and it supports both Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+ for the best HDR experience possible, as well as advanced audio formats, like DTS:X over eARC, for the best sound when watching content on physical media. Even better, the U7K has very good image processing overall, making it a cheaper option for a home theater setup than the more expensive models from LG and Sony.
Unfortunately, its viewing angle is sub-par, making it a bad choice for a wide seating arrangement. It runs the Google TV interface, which is fast and easy to use, and it has a great selection of streaming features, so you're sure to find your favorite shows. It's available in four sizes: 55, 65, 75, and 85 inches. If you want a brighter TV, go for the higher-tier Hisense U8K. The U8K is incredibly bright but has the same features as the U7K.
The 2024 Hisense U7N is also now available. It's brighter overall and has better contrast than its predecessor, but it's also at its most expensive near release. Since the U7K already provides fantastic contrast and brightness, most people are better saving money and going with the U7K while it's still available and on sale. If you want that extra brightness and better contrast, you can pick up the Hisense U8/U8K for less than the U7N.
See our review
The best budget TV for watching movies we've tested is the Hisense U6/U6K. It's a great TV for the price, with excellent contrast resulting in deep blacks in a dark room, although there's noticeable blooming around bright objects due to the TV's functional but sub-par local dimming feature. It's also very good for watching movies in HDR, as it has a wide color gamut and decent color volume, so HDR content looks vivid and lifelike. It has just okay peak brightness in HDR, so bright highlights don't stand out as well as on more expensive TVs like the Hisense U7K, but it's good enough for a great dark or moderately lit room movie experience. Like the more expensive Hisense, this TV supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR, although it doesn't support advanced DTS audio formats.
Unfortunately, its image processing is significantly worse than that of the U7K, so there's visible digital noise when watching low-bitrate content from streaming platforms. However, its upscaling is satisfactory, so low-resolution content is decently sharp, and the TV preserves fine details well. The built-in Google TV interface has a huge selection of apps and an easy-to-use interface, so you won't have to buy an external streaming box. The TV removes judder from most sources automatically, without the need for any additional motion settings. If you're a Costco member, consider getting the much cheaper Hisense A6/A65K. It doesn't get as bright as the U6K, and its contrast isn't as good due to the lack of a local dimming feature, but its feature set is very similar overall.
There's also the newly released Hisense U6N. It's supposed to have incremental upgrades like better contrast and brightness, but it's also quite expensive near its release. Since its upgrades are minor, you're better off spending your money on the cheaper U6K while it's still available and on sale.
See our review
Jun 17, 2024: We replaced the Sony X93L/X93CL with the Sony BRAVIA 9 QLED as our pick for the ‘Best Bright Room TV For Watching Movies.’ We also moved the Sony X93L/X93CL to the Notable Mentions section, removed the TCL QM8/QM850G QLED from that section, and refreshed some text for accuracy.
May 23, 2024: Added information about the 2024 Hisense U6N and the Hisense U7N in the ‘Best Budget TV For Watching Movies’ and the ‘Best Lower Mid-Range TV For Watching Movies’ categories. We also refreshed some text throughout for accuracy.
Mar 27, 2024: Mentioned the newly available LG C4 OLED in the ‘Best Upper Mid-Range TV For Watching Movies’ category.
Feb 01, 2024: Confirmed that all picks are accurate and available to purchase, and updated text for clarity.
Dec 05, 2023: We’ve expanded this article’s introduction to give more information about which criteria to consider when shopping for a home theater TV. Plus, the Sony A75L OLED replaced the Hisense U8K as our ‘Best Mid-Range TV For Watching Movies’ pick due to being a bit better overall, and the newer Sony A95L OLED replaced the outgoing Sony A95K OLED as ‘Best TV For Watching Movies’.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs for movies for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our TV reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

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