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If you’re looking to push your next-generation video game system or GPU to its limits, you’ll need a gaming TV that can make the most of its capabilities. Ideally, the display you choose will offer fast frame rates with variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to prevent graphical stutter or tears. Buttery smooth motion is only one half of the equation, as a sharp 4K resolution is needed to help bring in-game details like textures to life. This level of fidelity is the difference between seeing intricate visuals like blades of grass in an open field versus a blurry patch of land. Below are some of the best gaming TVs of 2022 to help you kick both the new year and console generation off on the right foot. And for those who haven’t been able to snag a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X console just yet, you can find helpful tips to getting your hands on one for retail price in our console buying guide.
Best TVs for Gaming
Best Overall: LG C1 OLED
Best Contrast: Sony A90J
Best QLED: TCL 65R648 Roku TV
Best on a Budget: Hisense 55H9G
Best for Small Spaces: Vizio M7 Quantum
What to Consider
Size One of the most crucial things to consider when choosing a TV for gaming is its size. While less can be more, particularly in a tiny space like a dorm or office, 4K gaming monitors that offer all the latest gaming features can cost more than similarly specced 55-inch TVs. Sure, a TV won’t match the ergonomics or view afforded by a monitor. However, to make use of a 4K gaming system, you’re going to want to make sure the TV is big enough for your space, as a small screen at a farther distance offers diminishing returns from a 1080p resolution. For this reason, we recommend a TV with at least a 55-inch screen. Assuming you’re sitting about seven feet from your television—the average distance in most home setups—the difference between 1080p and 4K is almost indistinguishable.
Display The next thing you want to look into when choosing a gaming TV is its display. Today’s tech is advanced enough that you can get a pretty decent—albeit basic—TV for less than $400. But if you are after a truly stunning display, look for at least a 4K resolution LED/LCD display with backlighting technology such as mini LED. This advanced lighting system uses thousands of lights to create contrast zones and brightness. For a superior picture, OLED TVs produce top-of-the-line color contrast and HDR performance. This is because they allow individual pixels to be turned on or off entirely, allowing the black parts of an image to be completely black. That said, OLED TVs are costly, especially at larger sizes.
Features Finally, look at the TV’s input lag time and refresh rates, both of which will directly affect your gaming experience. Lag time is the amount of time that it takes for the image on the screen to react to a pressed button from a gaming controller. Typically, for a smoother gaming experience, you want the lag time to be under 30 milliseconds, with lower times being even better. As for HDMI (high-definition media input) ports, the HDMI 2.1 spec offers the smoothest gaming experience and fastest refresh rates thanks to the higher bandwidth which can output signals of 4K at 120 FPS and 8K at 60 FPS.
How We Selected and Rated Them
We researched expert sources such as CNET, PC Magazine, and TechRadar, and relied on consumer reviews and feedback, to select the top five gaming TVs of the year. Beyond gaming-centric features like lag time and refresh rate, we focused our selections on image quality in regards to resolution, brightness, and color reproduction. These are the TVs we recommend for the ultimate gaming experience.
LG C1 OLED
Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: OLED | Sizes: 48, 55, 65, 77, and 83 in.
LG’s C1 OLED is a high-performance 4K TV that ticks all the boxes for features and image quality any hard-core gamer could require. All four HDMI ports are equipped with the latest 2.1 spec so that your current consoles can easily reach up to 4K120. Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) shifts the TV into a lower input lag profile on the fly that eliminates lag from your games. There’s even a Game Optimizer for tailoring advanced sound and display settings to suit your genre of gameplay. But it’s the crisp OLED panel that takes the C1 a step above LCD TVs, even with the latest advancements in QLED color technology. While all OLEDs are known for their particularly stunning color, this one provides the visual flair to match along with all the tools you need for a pleasant gaming experience. Featuring a sub-1ms input lag, the C1 is incredibly responsive. If you’re concerned about image retention of static HUD elements, like a health bar or ammo counter, burning into the panel, fear not. LG thought this through and armed the C1 with screen-shift technology, which helps to slightly move on-screen pictures so elements don’t have the time to settle in. Even the longest of marathon Call of Duty or League of Legends sessions won’t leave a mark on your picture quality. As far as OLED panels go, the C1 is arguably the overall best TV for gaming at a great price. If you’re a hard-core gamer looking for a well-rounded set that you can use for years to come, the LG C1 is a purchase worth serious consideration.
Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: OLED | Sizes: 55, 65, and 83 in.
If you want some of the best OLED performance money can buy, consider the A90J, whose top-tier display pushes image quality to its peak. While it will cost you some serious cash, it’s brighter than the CX above, with a slightly better HDR processing performance, which makes things like god rays and colors pop in the latest titles. Experts at TechRadar were impressed by the contrast, stating “the black tones it creates are deep and lustrous in the classic OLED manner.” When watching the film All The Money In The World, they noted that the pattern of a hunting tweed that the character wears remained vivid and sharp even while in motion. The TV itself is sleek and attractive thanks to lean bezels and a thin stand—which means narrow mantels aren’t off limits. It features a total of four HDMI ports (two of which support HDMI 2.1). As far as using the Android TV operating system goes, the latest XR processor allows for snappy navigation and seamless media screencasting from both iOS and Android devices. While VRR is set to arrive in a future firmware update, the input lag is nearly instantaneous at 3.1ms, according to RTings tests. Smooth motion in action titles and an unbeatable picture make up for the temporary lack of VRR, solidifying the A90J as the best gaming TV you can splurge on if money is no object.
TCL 65R648 8K Roku TV
Resolution: 8K | Panel Type: LED | Sizes: 55, 65, and 75 in.
TCL’s latest 6-Series 8K television is one of the best-looking TVs on the market with the added benefit of bearing future-proofed specs. It’s able to display native 8K content and upscale 4K games without any artifact distortions. Meanwhile, it offers VRR support, 120 hertz refresh rates, and high peak HDR brightness for a performance that keeps up with 8K televisions that cost twice as much. The 65-inch model can often be found on sale for just under $2,000, which is an incredible value for a TV likely to last you for the next decade. Our tech editor swears by the mini LED backlighting array, which offers impressive contrast levels, the vibrant QLED color accuracy, and brightness across SDR and HDR media. Virtual worlds spring to life with the highest level of visual information—be it small details like patterns in Geralt’s armor in The Witcher 3 to the gritty neon environments of Cyberpunk 2077. There are 4 HDMI ports, two of which are HDMI 2.1 compliant (capable of reaching 8K60), and a THX-certified gaming mode with under 5ms of lag time. And when you aren’t in a gaming session, Roku TV makes it easy to pull up your favorite streaming apps. While you can use the Roku remote app for private listening on a set of headphones from your phone, this feature is no match for a true gaming headset.
—BEST ON A BUDGET—
Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: LED | Sizes: 55 and 65 in.
If you are looking for a TV that both fits neatly into your budget and can still perform well under pressure, the Hisense 55H9G delivers in spades. While the 55-inch model retails at under $550, it performs well above its price point, providing a stunning 4K 120 hertz display. And despite the 55H9G not having an OLED screen, its colors are exceptional for the price thanks to HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR. The TV features a game mode that allows you to keep your input lag down to around 8ms, which is crucial in fast-paced and competitive games. Google’s TV operating system offers a scarily accurate recommendation algorithm, can be sideloaded with emulators for retro gaming, and is more customizable than other operating systems. This means you can easily hop between watching livestreams on Twitch and playing the latest multiplayer release with friends, then wind back with some old-school SEGA Genesis games in a click. Google TV can also access Google Stadia, which offers the latest games streamed directly to your TV over the cloud without the need for the latest hardware.
—BEST FOR SMALL SPACES—
Vizio M7 Quantum
Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: LED | Sizes: 50, 55, 58, 65, 70, and 75 in.
If you don’t have room for a 65-inch behemoth, that doesn’t mean that a great gaming TV is entirely out of the question. The Vizio M7 is a great choice for small spaces and small budgets, coming in at under $500 for 43 inches of screen real estate. It features an impressively low input lag (only 16ms) and motion-handling technology to make your gameplay extra smooth. With a price that low, however, there are some concessions to be made, like a lack of VRR and a lower refresh rate that is capped to 60 hertz—paling in comparison to some of the other more expensive options. But considering the cost, this Vizio is a decent little T—with capable local dimming, a wide viewing angle thanks to the IPS panel, and an unbelievably wide color gamut—that will more than serve the needs of a hobby gamer
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