[Image: Jacob Bobo]
By Dan Ackerman
You might have heard there's a pretty big football game coming up. And for tech fans, it's also the best excuse you'll have all year to buy a new TV. The week before (and even the day before) the Super Bowl always sees a lot of last-minute TV purchases as viewers flock to the store to upgrade their home theater setups. And this is definitely a category you want to shop for in-person, in order to see the TVs in action before making a choice.
What to Consider When Buying a TV
As a product reviewer who's been through plenty of Plasma, LCD and OLED TVs over the years, I can say that unboxing and setting up a new big-screen TV is one of the most satisfying tech experiences one can have. Below are some of my personal picks for the best TVs you can buy -- yes, for football, but also for movies, games, and more.
A great deal on a high-quality TV, this is a 65-inch QLED (which is closer to classic LCD TV technology than OLED, but using quantum dots) for under $1,000. It has support for 4K/120Hz input, excellent upscaling, HDR support, and even a solar-powered remote control. But my favorite only-on-Samsung feature is the Samsung Gaming Hub, which brings in Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming -- just hook up a standard gamepad via Bluetooth and you're ready to go.
See the Samsung QN65 at Micro Center
One of the most attractive TVs you can buy, the Frame TV from Samsung is for when you don't want it to look like there's a giant screen hanging on your wall. With a matte finish on its QLED screen and swappable frames (to look like a giant piece of framed art), this set can display high-res photos or classic works of art when not in use. The built-in art store has over 2,000 images to choose from and a motion sensor keeps the screen on when you're around, and off when you're not.
See the Samsung Frame TV at Micro Center
If you don't know where to start when shopping for a big screen TV, this is my default recommendation. If you haven't experienced an OLED screen in person, the blacks are amazingly dark, while the colors are rich and bright. Prices on OLED TVs have come down over the past several years, making this an affordable luxury.
See the LG OLED C3 (65-inch) at Micro Center
While 65-inch screens are still the standard, larger 77-inch models are becoming more popular, and are more affordable than ever, at around $2,300. This is the bigger brother to the 65-inch version above, and seeing the two sizes side-by-side, the difference really jumps out. I've got the 65-inch version, but this bigger model is almost certainly going to be my next TV purchase.
See the LG OLED C3 (77-inch) at Micro Center
Samsung now also makes OLED TVs, giving you another choice in the still-small OLED market. Compared to the comparable LG OLED TV, the Samsung version gets a little brighter, with a wider color gamut, but the LG supports more flavors of HDR. Another point in the Samsung's favor -- the screen refresh rate can go as high as 144Hz vs. 120Hz for the LG.
See the Samsung S90 at Micro Center
A new TV is a big investment -- but right now, you can get 10% off not only a TV purchase, but also anything else you buy at the same time, using the Micro Center Insider card. This deal runs through March 2, and details about it are here.
Micro Center Editor-in-Chief Dan Ackerman is a veteran tech reporter and has served as Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo and Editorial Director at CNET. He's been testing and reviewing laptops and other consumer tech for almost 20 years and is the author of The Tetris Effect, a Cold War history of the world's most influential video game. Contact Dan at [email protected].
I'm very happy with my LG C2, so it's great to see the C3 make the list!
ive been heavily interested in a new tv. this is a good list
glad to see a list that made my next tv purchase easy.
So many good choices nowadays. Love my LG OLED TV personally!
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