Just about any TV will work with the PS5 , Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S if it has an HDMI port , which is a common feature.However, just the port won’t help you take advantage of the latest next-gen graphics and features found in these new game consoles.Most TVs these days have Ultra HD 4K resolution , but only newer TVs have extras like 120 frame-per-second input and variable refresh rate, which increase smoothness and reduce choppiness and tearing.Also, you don’t have to spend a fortune on an 88-inch 8K behemoth to get gaming console-friendly features.In fact, as far as screen size goes, you can find most of the features necessary for an excellent gaming experience in 65-inch TVs that are priced below $1,000.At the end of the article you’ll find two charts with all of the TVs we know on sale now that support advanced gaming features.We’ve included compatible TVs from the past two years, and you may still be able to find 2020 models on sale.Before those charts, however, here’s a list of our current favorite gaming TV options.
LG’s C1 offers some of the best TV image quality we’ve tested, comes in a variety of sizes and includes the full range of gaming features on every input.We also like this 4K TV’s specialized Game Optimizer settings suite.It’s a great choice for gamers who want excellent picture but with a smaller hit to the wallet.1080p input lag: 13.1ms 4K HDR input lag: 13.1ms Sizes: 48-, 55-, 65-, 77-, 83-inch.
Read our LG C1 review .If OLED isn’t your thing, Samsung’s QN90A offers the best non-OLED picture quality we’ve ever seen.Image quality is incredibly bright, with minimal blooming from the local dimming backlight.This gaming TV option also has the lowest input lag we’ve ever measured on a TV.
1080p input lag: 10ms 4K HDR input lag: 10ms Sizes: 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inch.Read our Samsung QN90A review .The Hisense U8G offers tremendous brightness for gamers who want to play during the day and don’t have light control in their chosen gaming space.While there are a couple of TVs that are brighter, all are a lot more expensive.Contrast and color is good too, though HDR is a step behind the competition and this 4K resolution TV’s games mode isn’t as sophisticated as Samsung or LG.
1080p input lag: 15ms 4K HDR input lag: 15ms Sizes: 55-, 65-inch.Read our Hisense U8G series review .With a price generally lower than any of the TVs above, this Vizio’s image quality and gaming features aren’t quite as good, but it’s still a solid step above budget gaming TVs.
Local dimming achieves solid contrast and while it lacks 4K/120Hz input capability, this smart TV does offer variable refresh rate — a rarity at this price.1080p input lag: 16.07ms 4K HDR input lag: 13.73ms Sizes: 50-, 55-, 58-, 65-, 70-, 75-inch.Read our Vizio M-7 Series Quantum (2021) review .Below you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions about the best gaming TVs, followed by the charts that show which features are available on which TVs.
All the advanced gaming features we’ve mentioned– 120Hz input and VRR, as well as the more common Auto Low Latency Mode, aka Auto Game Mode, and eARC — are roughly grouped under the HDMI 2.1 standard, but not all of the TVs in the charts below include every feature, nor deliver the full video and audio bandwidth that’s possible with HDMI 2.1.Even more confusing, input capability can vary on the same TV.Behind the physical connection where you plug an HDMI cable is a subsection of the TV’s processing, namely a chip.These chips cost money, like everything else.
In order to keep costs down, not every input on the TV is fully capable of all the latest features and frame rates.To put it another way, every road on Earth could be capable of highway speeds, but building them all that way would be expensive and rather pointless.For example, one HDMI input might be capable of eARC, but not be able to handle 4K at 120Hz.Just something to keep in mind as you peruse the charts below.
Also, there are some important brand and model specifics that didn’t fit in the chart; please check the bullet points below for details.Finally, the consoles themselves are in a transition period, too.The hardware of the PS5 console can technically support VRR, but unlike the Xbox Series X and Series S, it’s not enabled yet.Sony’s PlayStation 5 FAQ says VRR will be added via a future software update.
Despite TVs being capable of 120Hz refresh for well over a decade, the ability to input 120Hz is a far more recent development.This is largely due to the fact that other than a fairly beefy gaming PC, there just haven’t been any 120Hz sources.That all changes with the PS5 and Series X.Some of the TVs on our list can accept 4K at 120Hz on all HDMI inputs.
Others can only do so on select inputs and one, the TCL 6-Series, can only accept 120Hz at lower-than-4K resolution (1440p).The Xbox Series S can also output 4K at 120Hz, but internally the game is rendered at a lower resolution (1440p) and upscaled before it’s sent to your TV .For more info, check out the truth about 4K TV refresh rates — and beware fake 120Hz refresh rates on 4K TVs.VRR, or variable refresh rate , is a new TV feature that you’d probably be surprised wasn’t already a thing.All modern TVs have a fixed refresh rate.
A 60Hz TV is going to refresh, or create, a new image 60 times a second.The problem is a new console might not be ready to send a new image.Let’s say you’re in the middle of a huge boss battle, with lots of enemies and explosions.
The console struggles to render everything in the allotted time.The TV still needs something so the console might send a duplicate of the previous image, creating juddering on screen, or it might send a partially new image, resulting in the image looking like someone tore a page off the top and revealed the new page below.VRR gives the TV some flexibility to wait for the new frame from the console.This will result in better gaming performance with smoother action and less tearing.
Game mode turns off most of the image-enhancing features of the TV, reducing input lag.We’ll discuss input lag below, but the specific feature to look for is called either Auto Low Latency Mode or Auto Game Mode.Different manufacturers call it one or the other, but the basic idea is the same.Sensing a signal from the console, the TV switches on game mode automatically.
This means you don’t need to find your TV’s remote to enable game mode.Not a huge deal, but convenient.All the TVs listed above have, or will have, one or the other.Input lag describes how long in milliseconds it takes for the TV to create an image.If this is too high, there’s a delay between when you press a button on the controller and when that action appears on screen.
In many games, like shooters or platformers, timing is crucial and a TV with high input lag could hurt your performance.As a longtime console gamer myself, I can easily notice the difference between high (greater than 100ms) and low input lag (sub-30ms).The good news is, most modern TVs have input lag that’s low enough that most people won’t notice it.
Largely gone are the days of 100-plus-millisecond input lags… at least when you enable game mode.So as long as the TV has a game mode, you’re probably fine, though it’s worth checking CNET’s reviews for the exact numbers to see if it has low input lag.
Lower, in this case, is always better.While not a console feature, eARC is a next-gen TV feature to keep in mind.
It’s the evolution of ARC, or Audio Return Channel.This sends audio from a TV’s internal apps (such as Netflix or Vudu), back down the HDMI cable to a receiver or soundbar.With eARC, newer formats like Dolby Atmos can be transmitted as well.The issue is in many cases, eARC often precludes higher resolutions or frame rates on the same input.So if you’ve connected your PS5 to your receiver and the receiver to the TV, you can have eARC audio back from the TV or 4K120, but usually not both.This is only important if you plan on using the internal apps in a TV (as in, not a Roku or Amazon streaming stick ) and you want to use the new audio formats via eARC.
*Available via a firmware update at a later date (just like Sony’s 2020 models).You might still be able to find some of last year’s TVs on sale.Many had 120 Hz inputs, eARC and more, though not quite to the extent of the newer models.Here’s a look at the TVs from 2020 and what they could do.Get CNET’s comprehensive coverage of home entertainment tech delivered to your inbox.As well as covering TV and other display tech, Geoff does photo tours of cool museums and locations around the world , including nuclear submarines , massive aircraft carriers , medieval castles , airplane graveyards and more.
You can follow his exploits on Instagram and YouTube , and on his travel blog, BaldNomad .He also wrote a bestselling sci-fi novel about city-size submarines, along with a sequel ..