It’s no secret that all TVs aren’t created equal, especially when it comes to gaming. While anyTVwith anHDMI portwill be compatible with aPS5,Xbox Series XandXbox Series Sconsole, if your TV isn’t up to snuff it may be unable to take advantage of these new consoles’ best features.
The best 4K TVs these days are equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports, which have the power to let you play at 4K with HDR and reach frame rates as high as 120 frames per second. On top of all that, the gameplay stays butter-smooth, with the consoles and TV playing nice via variable refresh rate, which reduces choppy movement and screen tearing.
Also, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on an 88-inch 8K behemoth to get these 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.
Best TVs for PS5 and Xbox
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.
Sarah Tew/CNET Sizes
48-, 55-, 65-, 77-, 83-inch
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.
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David Katzmaier/CNET 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.
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David Katzmaier/CNET Sizes
LED with local dimming
Yes (Android TV)
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.
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David Katzmaier/CNET Sizes
50-, 55-, 58-, 65-, 70-, 75-inch
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.
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Gaming TV FAQs
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.
What TVs support HDMI 2.1 features?
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 Earthcouldbe 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’sPlayStation 5 FAQsays VRR will be added via a future software update.
Despite TVs being capable of 120Hz refresh for well over a decade, the ability toinput120Hz 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 tosenda 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 needssomethingso 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.
What is ALLM or Game mode?
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 eitherAuto Low Latency Modeor 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 checkingCNET’s reviewsfor the exact numbers to see if it has low input lag. Lower, in this case, is always better.
While not a console feature,eARCis 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 likeDolby Atmoscan 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 TVor4K120, but usually not both. This is only important if you plan on using the internal apps in a TV (as in, not aRokuorAmazon streaming stick)andyou want to use the new audio formats via eARC.
Best TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X, Series S in TVs for PS5 and Xbox
Brand Model 65-inch price 4K 120Hz Input VRR ALLM/AUTO eARC LG G1 $2,500 HDMI 1-4 Yes Yes HDMI 2 Nano 90 $1,300 HDMI 3, 4 Yes Yes HDMI 3 QNED 90 $2,000 HDMI 3, 4 Yes Yes HDMI 3 C1 $2,100 HDMI 1-4 Yes Yes HDMI 2 A1 $1,800 No No No HDMI 3 Nano 75 $900 No No Yes HDMI 2 70 series $700 (70 in) No No Yes HDMI 2 Samsung QN900A $4,000 Yes Yes Yes Yes QN800A $3,000 Yes Yes Yes Yes QN90A $2,100 Yes (55 in and up) Yes (not 43 in) Yes Yes QN85A $1,900 Yes Yes Yes Yes Frame $1,700 Yes Yes (55 in and up) Yes Yes Q80A $1,400 Yes (55 in and up) Yes (not 50 in) Yes Yes Q60A $1,000 No No Yes Yes Sony A90J $3,800 Yes Yes* Yes Yes X80J $1,000 No No No Yes A80J $2,200 Yes Yes* Yes Yes X95J $2,000 Yes Yes* Yes Yes X90J $1,350 Yes Yes* Yes Yes X85J $1,100 Yes Yes* Yes Yes TCL 8 $2,000 No No No No 6 8K $2,200 HDMI 1,2 Yes Yes HDMI 4 6 4K $950 Yes (x2) Yes Yes Yes Vizio OLED 1900 HDMI 2, 3 Yes Yes HDMI 1 P series 1300 HDMI 3, 4 Yes Yes HDMI 1 M series 900 No Yes Yes HDMI 1 Hisense U9 $3500 (75″) No No No No U8 $1,250 HDMI 3, 4 VRR No HDMI 3 U7 $1,000 No Freesync No Yes *Available via a firmware update at a later date (just like Sony’s 2020 models).
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You might still be able to find some of 2020’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. TVs for PS5 and Xbox
Brand Model 65-inch price Max input Hz VRR ALLM/AUTO eARC LG UN85 $ Hz (HDMI 3,4) Yes Yes HDMI 3 Nano85 $1, Hz (HDMI 3,4) Yes Yes HDMI 3 Nano90 $1, Hz (HDMI 3,4) Yes Yes HDMI 3 Nano91 $1, Hz (HDMI 3,4) Yes Yes HDMI 3 CX $2, Hz (All) Yes Yes HDMI 2 GX $2, Hz (All) Yes Yes HDMI 2 BX $2, Hz (HDMI 3,4) Yes Yes HDMI 3 Samsung Q70T $1, Hz Yes Yes Yes Q80T $1, Hz (HDMI 4) Yes Yes HDMI 3 Q90T $2, Hz Yes Yes Yes Q800T (8K) $2, Hz Yes Yes Yes Sony X900H $1, Hz (HDMI 3,4) Yes Yes HDMI 3 TCL 6-Series $950 4K60/1440p120 Yes Yes HDMI 4 Vizio OLED $1, Hz (HDMI 2,3) Yes Yes HDMI 1 P $ Hz (HDMI 3,4) Yes Yes HDMI 1 PX $1, Hz (HDMI 3,4) Yes Yes HDMI 1 M-Series $600 60Hz Yes Yes HDMI 1 Notes and specifics
* Prices are current as of press time but may fluctuate.
* There are some TVs that fit the criteria but weren’t included because they’re so expensive, namely 8K TVs like LG’s ZX series and Samsung’s Q950TS and Q900TS series.
* The PS5 and Series X can also output 8K resolution to compatible TVs, but we consider 4K/120Hz, VRR and other enhancements like ray tracing and even HDR more important than 8K for gaming.
* Samsungdoesn’t specify which inputs can handle 4K120 or eARC. It is unlikely that all do, but when we asked, the company didn’t clarify. We did review the Q80T, however, and can confirm that Input 3 is compatible with eARC and Input 4 with 4K120.
* Sony says the software update(s) that enables VRR and ALLM on the X900H is coming “at a later date.” It’s been saying that for over a year now.
* TheVizio2020 M-Series is only 60Hz but has VRR.
* TheTCL Series can only accept 4K at 60Hz, but can accept 1440p at 120Hz.
As well as covering TV and other display tech, Geoff does photo tours ofcool museums and locations around the world, includingnuclear submarines,massive aircraft carriers,medieval castles,airplane graveyardsand more.