LG’s 8K OLED TVs are amazing for gaming, but come at a hefty price
TVs built for gaming aren’t a new phenomenon. Where they have always offered excellent picture quality and exciting display technologies at the cutting edge of screen advancements, gaming TVs haven’t always been comparable to gaming monitors when it comes to speed. The best gaming TVs of 2020, however, tick all the boxes, with great looking panels that are blazing fast too.
2020’s best options include great OLED and LCD panels, with high brightness for HDR, high resolutions for excellent game detail, and crucially fast response time and refresh rates for smooth, low input lag gaming. No longer do console gamers have to feel like they fall behind their PC counterparts because of the screen they’ve playing on. Modern gaming TVs are a competitive way to play.
Not all gaming TVs are created equally, though. Shoppers with the deepest of pockets can take advantage of 4K, or even 8K resolution, 120Hz refresh rates, near zero input lag, great viewing angles, and the sharpest of colors. Those who don’t need every single bell and whistle can save hundreds or even thousands by opting for something a little more modest, or a little smaller.
Whatever size TV you want, whatever your budget requirements, whether you want to play on a living room PC setup or enjoy the high fidelity of next-generation consoles, there’s a gaming TV for you on our list.
Best Gaming TV Overall
LG 65-inch CXPUA OLED
Refresh rate: 120Hz
OLED TVs might have a reputation for burn-in (and with good reason) but they also hold some exciting advantages for gamers. Alongside the deepest blacks and excellent colors the organic LED technology affords anything you watch or play on them, they also have almost zero input lag. Combine that with the 120Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time and it’s no wonder the LG CXPUA OLED TV tops this list of the best gaming TVs. It’s blazingly fast and gorgeous to look at.
Available at 48, 55, 65, and 77-inches, the 65-inch model offers some of the best value at a great size that lets you take full advantage of the 4K resolution in medium size rooms. All of them have fantastic picture quality, though, with plenty of customizable options to make it look just how you like it. With built in HDMI 2.1 ports, this TV is fully ready to enjoy next-generation console gaming with either the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. Or you can connect it to a gaming PC using Nvidia’s new RTX 3000-series GPUs. You’ll need all that power if you want to approach gaming at 120 frames per second at 4K resolution.
For those times that you can’t game at 4K because your graphics card isn’t quite up to the task, or if you want to play with a console which supports 1440p (like the Xbox Series S) or 1080p, then you can take full advantage of the excellent upscaling offered by the LG TV. Alternatively, Nvidia’s DLSS is superior in that regard if you have an RTX 2000 or 3000 series GPU.
On top of everything else, this TV ticks all the boxes on your must-have spec list, including support for various HDR standards, including Dolby Vision, as well as both Freesync and G-Sync adaptive sync technologies. That guarantees you won’t see any screen tearing on your gorgeous new OLED TV, no matter what you play and at whatever frame rate your system can manage.
Best LED gaming TV
Refresh rate: 120Hz
Not everyone wants or needs an OLED TV. They’re not only more expensive for their size, but don’t work so well in brightly lit rooms. They’re also susceptible to burn in damage, which can be a real concern if the games you like to play have a lot of static HUD elements. Not everyone wants to stop gaming after a couple of hours to make sure they don’t damage their TV.
That’s where a great LED, or in this case, QLED, TV comes in. Samsung’s Q80T is almost as good looking as the best OLED gaming TVs and can do a few things those sets can’t, all at a price that’s much more attractive than its high-end OLED counterparts.
Contrast and colors are excellent out of the box, making this one of the few TVs where heavy user calibration is not really required. Buyers who love to dig into the nitty gritty of settings will find some options worth tweaking for improved color accuracy, but this TV looks great from the first time you turn it on, making it a great option for those who don’t want the hassle of figuring out how to make their TV look good themselves.
Gamers can enjoy full native 4K resolution, as well as support for a 120Hz refresh rate — perfect for next-generation consoles and PCs that can keep up with the demand. It also enjoys low input lag, which makes it great for competitive players who don’t want to feel like their display is holding them back from their next win.
Best 8K Gaming TV
LG ZXPUA Signature Gallery 77-inch
LG SIGNATURE Gallery ZXPUA 77″ Class HDR 8K UHD Smart OLED TV
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Refresh rate: 120Hz
If budget is no object and you already have the kind of gaming graphics card that can handle 8K gaming — the RTX 3090 is the only one to even approach the power needed for 8K — then this LG ZXPUA Signature TV is the one for you. With native 8K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate supports, its gorgeously contrast-heavy OLED panel, makes this the gaming TV of your dreams.
At 77-inches, you can truly enjoy the near life-like image an 8K TV affords, though if you have an extra $10,000 handy, you can go bigger. The 88-inch model is a sight to behold.
So are all models of this TV, however, especially if you’re gaming. The OLEDs make for the inkiest of blacks and fantastic colors, especially in darker rooms. With full support for all the latest HDR standards, including Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG, as well as Freesync and G-Sync, there’s nothing you’ll be missing with this TV if you stump up for its hefty price tag.
You will need a super powered PC to game at 8K, specifically leveraging the power of NVidia’s latest flagship graphics card to make it possible. 4K gaming at higher frame rates is also possible, and likely to be something you do more often, even with the most powerful graphics card in the world. Upscaling can help close that resolution gap, though, making this the ultimate gaming TV for those that need it.
Best Budget Gaming TV
Hisense H8G 55-inch 4K
Hisense – 55-inch Class H8G Quantum Series LED 4K UHD Smart Android TV
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Refresh rate: 60Hz
If you want a great looking TV that’s also good for gaming, rather than a TV that was built for gaming from the ground up, the Hisense H8G is an excellent option — it’s also a fraction of the price of many of its contemporaries. It still supports 4K resolution, as well as HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby vision, and though its refresh rate is only 60Hz, it has excellently low input lag. That makes it fantastic for high-speed gaming, especially if you’re playing on older consoles that don’t support high refresh rates, or on PCs that are better suited to AAA gaming at higher detail settings, rather than frame rates.
The H8G doesn’t support syncing technologies, so PC gamers will want to make sure their GPU is powerful enough for consistent frame rates (whatever resolution they play at) to avoid stuttering and screen tearing. Screen brightness is good, though, especially when compared with gaming monitors, making this TV as good for HDR gaming as it is for HDR movies.
At 55-inches, this particular model isn’t as domineering as others, making it great for big screen bedroom gaming, as well as taking center stage in medium sized living rooms. At its discounted price, it becomes an even more attractive buy considering the features on offer.
If your budget can stretch a little further, the TCL Class 6 Series is just that bit better. Its picture quality is improved with darker blacks and better viewing angles, and with a 120Hz refresh rate, it can better take advantage of higher frame rates for a smoother gaming experience. Its price tag starts to nudge it out of the budget category, though.
Best Gaming TV for a PC Monitor Replacement
LG CXPUB 48-inch OLED
Refresh rate: 120Hz
PC monitors tend to only get so big before they get inordinately expensive, but gaming TVs can give you that monster screen feel at a competitive price and in a more traditional form factor. Where some may opt for ultrawide monitors when going for a huge PC monitor, the 48-inch LG CXPUB gaming TV makes it possible to have a traditionally formatted display that’s absolutely huge and breathtakingly gorgeous.
Despite its monstrous size, this gaming TV has a broad stand that makes it easier to fit on a traditional PC desk. It has trim bezels and a great collection of HDMI ports. There’s no DispayPort, though, and the USB hub is limited to USB-A 2.0, so if you want to take advantage of both 4K resolution and the 120Hz refresh rate at the same time, you’ll need a graphics card with HDMI 2.1 support, like Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 and 3090 (if you can find one).
Those HDMI 2.1 ports also makes it a great choice for next-generation console gaming as well, so if you’re a PC gamer who wants to enjoy console gaming on the same display, this gaming TV is a perfect solution.
Its low input lag, excellent contrast ratio, support for both Freesync and G-Sync make this an all round package for the discerning PC gamer who wants a massive gaming monitor at a TV’s price. Just be sure to install the latest firmware update, as it adds the Freesync support and improves 4K 120Hz support. You’ll need an HDMI 2.1 cable too.
Do you need a 120Hz gaming TV?
Most TVs of years gone by, even those marketed as gaming TVs, didn’t feature refresh rates higher than 60Hz. That was partially because games consoles couldn’t take advantage of it, and partly because HDMI cabling couldn’t handle higher resolutions and frame rates at the same time.
Today, that’s very different and almost all high-end gaming TVs support at least 120Hz. That can make your gameplay smoother making games look and feel better. It also improves your input lag, making you a more competitive gamer by reducing the reaction time between you pressing a button and it having an impact in game.
With slower paced games, non-competitive games, or when you don’t expect your console or PC to be able to handle frame rates above 60, there’s much less of an improvement from high refresh rate gaming TVs. If that sounds like the gaming experience you’ll be having in the future, you can skip a high refresh rate on your must have feature list.
But you’ll be hard pressed to find great gaming TVs that have anything less than 120Hz in 2020, unless you’re looking at more budget models.
What graphics cards and consoles do you need for 4K TV gaming?
The PlayStation 4 Pro was the first games console to officially support 4K gaming, with the Xbox One X bringing its own enhanced resolution gaming a year later, in 2017. Both consoles let you play a number of games at 4K resolution, though limited to 30 frames per second due to the demand it places on the console’s GPU.
Next-generation Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles will be able to play games at 4K and up to 120Hz, though frame rate will very much depend on how detailed the games are and what settings gamers pick.
For PC gamers there are a number of graphics cards that can handle 4K gaming. If you limit yourself to 30FPS, older cards like the RX 5700 XT, GTX 1080, and 1080 Ti can handle 4K resolution. For higher frame rates, the RTX 2080 Super and 2080 Ti deliver much improved performance. For the ultimate 4K gaming PC experience on PC, whether you use a monitor or gaming TV, you’ll need Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 or 3090 graphics cards. AMD’s RDNA2 GPUs will be excellent 4K gaming cards too.
How big should a gaming TV be?
Just like watching movies, the size of your gaming TV should be dependent on your budget, the size of your room, and how far from the TV you’ll sit. The bigger you go, the further back you can be before losing some of the effect, but the larger your TV, the larger the pixels too. 4K TVs look great up to 70-inches and beyond, but if you want the biggest of TVs that approach 100-inches, or like to sit closer to your TV when you game, 8K TVs give you even greater detail at the largest sizes.
You will need the absolute fastest gaming PC in the world to take advantage of it, though, as even next-generation games consoles aren’t fast enough for 8K gaming.