LED TVs are lowering prices, dropping pounds and slimming profiles to fit into any room in your home. Bedrooms, guest rooms, bathrooms – you can put a TV almost anywhere now. Whether you want a 24-inch LED screen in your kitchen so you can watch TV while you cook or a 32-inch TV to put on a nightstand so you can watch a late night show before bed, smaller LED TVs are perfect. Some are sleek enough to complement a living room décor, and every TV in our lineup boasts HD resolution and brilliant picture quality. As an added bonus, most high-end LED TVs have built-in Wi-Fi so you can access your favorite shows on Netflix or Hulu Plus.
Some of the best LED TVs – like the Samsung F8000 series, Panasonic AS Series and Sony W Series – are full of features and include a vibrant display. For more information, check out our articles on LED TVs.
With the widespread availability of HD content, you'll want to find a TV that boasts 1080p resolution and excellent color accuracy. Specs like refresh rate and even processor speed also come into play, but the most important factor is personal taste. Look at a variety of TV displays and choose the one that speaks to you. Also consider the following elements before you make your final choice:
Picture quality is arguably the most important factor for choosing a TV. Since most LED TVs in our comparison boast 1080p HD picture, we dug a little deeper than screen resolution. We subjectively measured TVs on color accuracy and black levels. Our color accuracy score grades how bright and true colors appear. Low-end TVs tend to have more faded looking pictures. Black levels describe how deep the darkest blacks can get. Darker blacks create a better contrast and show the video as it was meant to be seen.
We give very little value to the manufacturer’s contrast ratio spec. There is no industry standard to test contrast ratio so two manufacturers that, in reality, have nearly identical picture quality could report vastly different contrast ratios.
We put more stock into specs like refresh rate, which measures how often a screen refreshes its picture. A faster refresh rate minimizes motion blurring. You might have noticed that when on-screen action moves too fast, objects can become out of focus and blurry – this is likely due to a slow refresh rate. The standard for low-end LED TVs is 60Hz. Twice as fast, a 120Hz rate is what many high definition videos require, and it's a common spec in new TVs. The very best we found in high definition LED TVs is 240Hz, even though currently not all content is displayed at 240Hz. You may only see a difference between 240Hz and 120Hz in video games and some live sports. Both function well with high definition video.
Physical design can be just as important as the video quality. A TV should stand out in your room, but not because it is an eye sore. TVs with slim bezels – the outer frame of the TV – will blend in better with the feel of a room. Instead of a thick edge, you will notice the crystal clear video picture.
Features are what turn a good LED TV into a fantastic LED TV. Many top-of-the-line LEDs sport friendly features for you. Theater-like 3D quality picture on a small living room TV or bedroom is much more accessible with the newest LED TVs. Surfing the internet is easier as well with integrated web browsers. Whether your TV has built-in Wi-Fi or simply allows peripherals to connect to the web, you can access online streaming apps like Netflix or Hulu Plus to stream TV shows and movies.
You will most likely need to connect devices like Blu-ray or DVD players to your TV. If you want to get a TV signal from a cable or satellite provider, you will need to connect a TV box as well. So it is important that your TV has enough connection ports for these devices. Most if not all LED TVs have older composite and component connections. These are ideal for non-HD devices. However, to get a high definition signal you’ll need to connect an HD device with an HDMI cable to your TV. The more HDMI ports your TV has, the more devices you can receive an HD signal from.
Help & Support
Big-ticket items can be a tad scary to buy. Thus you want to make sure you get a reliable product. Most companies offer a standard one-year warranty to cover parts and labor to combat the risk of buying a lemon. Sometimes you will have technical questions and the best TV brands will have options like a toll-free number, email support or a live chat operator for your convenience. If you like to explore for answers yourself, many manufacturers make online manuals available as well as a FAQs section.
Whether you’re in the market for a large LED TV for your living room or a more moderate sized TV for a secondary room, picking one out isn’t always easy. Look for a TV with the features you want, whether it's simply great picture quality or more advanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity and web apps. LED TVs can be used for much more than channel surfing. With a smart TV connected to the internet, you can find and watch shows on demand, view 3D content and immensely improve your home entertainment experience.