Best Gaming TV 2020: the 5 best 4K TVs for gaming on Xbox One and PS4

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While we don’t have every detail surrounding the PS5 and Xbox Series X, what we can say for sure is that they’re going to look better on one of the best gaming TVs than a first-gen HD flatscreen – due to their native 4K support.

Why should you be on the hunt for the best TVs for gaming? And what makes a TV better for gaming than, say, watching a movie? It all comes down to 4K resolution, High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, and lower input lag thanks to new Auto Low-Latency Modes and support for video sync technology like AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. If you plan on hooking up your PC to your TV, you’ll want one or both of these technologies.

If this is your first time buying a TV, we’ll help walk you through all the key specs you need to know about and we’ll recommend a few of our favorite TVs that we use at home as our primary screens for the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.  

Best TVs for gaming at a glance

  1. Samsung Q70R QLED TV
  2. LG B9 OLED
  3. Sony Bravia X950G / XG95
  4. Samsung RU8000 Series
  5. LG UM7300 Series

Even more reasons to upgrade your gaming TV

If you’re looking for one of the best TVs for gaming, it’s important to find out what a TV actually needs to be able to do to unlock its full gaming potential. For starters, the most basic requirement is 4K.

Resolution revolution: The Xbox One S outputs all of its games in 4K, which is achieved via surprisingly good built-in upscaling. 

The PS4 Pro outputs games in 4K too, using a mix of upscaling and in-game enhancement. 

The Xbox One X, meanwhile, has been designed with enough power to drive more games than ever before with native, game engine-integrated 4K support. Yes, you can still get non-4K Xbox One and PS4 consoles, and the Nintendo Switch isn’t interested in 4K either. And yes, non-4K games will have to be upscaled by a 4K TV, so won’t be totally ‘pure’. 

However, upscaling is remarkably good on the best 4K TVs now, and can be done without adding significant delay to the time it takes a TV to render pictures.

4K resolution can be transformative, especially on big screens. And basically 4K is just the way everything is going now (both in the gaming and video worlds), so not being set up for it with your new TV just doesn’t make sense.

Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)

Change your range: Sitting right alongside 4K in today’s video world is high dynamic range (HDR) technology. This delivers pictures with a much wider light range than the standard dynamic range pictures we’ve been living with for decades in a bid to get the pictures we’re seeing on our screens looking closer to the way our eyes see the real world.

The Xbox One S supports HDR on some of its games, and via some of its streaming apps. The same situation applies for both the PS4 and PS4 Pro, and naturally the Xbox One X will deliver HDR too. Most people would say that HDR done well delivers more impact than 4K, especially on small screens. 

The only problem is that HDR puts a lot of pressure on a TV, since it demands both much more brightness than SDR, and better contrast so that the extra brightness and deeper blacks can potentially share the screen simultaneously. In fact, HDR done badly can look worse than SDR done decently well; something to think about if you’re considering buying a very cheap TV.

Let there be light! One of the most important elements of a good HDR performance is brightness. Many movies and games target 1000 nits or so for their brightest elements, so if you have a TV less bright than that it won’t unlock HDR’s full potential. Especially in a video game environment, where graphics can be more stark in contrast terms than ‘real life’ tends to be.

It’s perfectly possible for TVs to deliver great HDR pictures without reaching 1000 nits and more of brightness. This is particularly true with OLED screens, for instance. But the darker a screen, the harder its processing is going to have to work to try and figure out how to resolve picture information in HDR areas above its capabilities.

Call of Duty Black Ops III

Lag? Lame! If you’re a really serious gamer – especially when it comes to reaction-based online games – you need to care about input lag: The time it takes for a particular TV to render image data received at its inputs. Obviously you’re looking for low numbers if you don’t want to be shot in the face by an opponent your TV hasn’t even shown yet!

Again, manufacturers don’t tend to provide input lag figures in their provided specifications. However, we generally measure input lag on the TVs we test. Also, I’ve provided the input lag measurements for all of our recommended TVs.

Roger that – over and out: Sound design has always played an integral part in a great gaming experience. It’s getting taken to another level these days, though, with the arrival of surround sound gaming. In fact, the Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles even support Dolby Atmos: Dolby’s most advanced sound system yet, which introduces a height channel and ‘object based’ precision to the soundstage.

With impressively good timing, LG is about to roll out support for Dolby Atmos over HDMI to its 2017 OLED TVs (some of which ship with integrated sound bars) any moment now. Also, while integrated Atmos support isn’t found elsewhere yet, this year has seen a surge in TVs featuring really powerful sound systems. So unless you’re thinking of investing in an external sound system, it will certainly pay you to have sound as well as picture quality in mind when you buy your gaming TV.

Things to pay attention to are whether speakers are facing forwards (as this will almost always give you a more direct, clean sound); rated power output; whether there’s a dedicated bass speaker (often found on a TV’s rear); built-in soundbars; and the number of individual speakers used.

  • More interested in TV specs than gaming? Check out the best TVs 2020: the 8 best flatscreen televisions from the past year

The best gaming TVs of 2020

OK, now that the essential buying advice done and you’re an AV expert, let’s now pick out our selection of the best gaming TVs you can currently buy, taking in a combination of price and sheer quality.

Samsung Q70R QLED TV Series

Image Credit: Samsung

Image Credit: Samsung (Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung Q70R QLED TV Series

Samsung’s affordable QLED TV offers the best price-to-performance ratio

Spectacular HDR picture quality

Powerful, well-rounded sound 

Cutting-edge gaming features

Limited viewing angles 

While we’d really love to recommend Samsung’s higher-end Q90R flagship QLED TV as the best gaming TV – it’s really not a practical purchase for most gamers on a tighter budget. What we’d recommend instead is the Samsung Q70R QLED TV that has many of the Q90R’s best features at a price more in line with what a gamer would be willing to pay for a new TV. 

That said, despite sitting lower down in the QLED line-up, the Q70R includes the same comprehensive smart platform, extensive connections, and cutting-edge features found further up the range. This isn’t the flashiest-looking TV that Samsung has ever made, but if your funds are limited the Q70 is a bright, bold and beautiful 4K QLED screen that’s worth checking out. 

Read the review: Samsung Q70R QLED TV

Samsung QN55Q70RAFXZA Flat…

LG B9 OLED

Image Credit: LG

Image Credit: LG (Image credit: LG)

2. LG B9 OLED

If you want the best black levels, however, you’ll need an OLED

Sony Bravia X950G Series

Sony Bravia X950G Series

Image Credit: Sony (Image credit: Sony)

3. Sony Bravia X950G Series

Gamers won’t be disappointed by Sony’s mid-range marvel

Samsung RU8000 Series

Samsung RU8000 Series (Samsung UN49RU8000)

Image Credit: Samsung (Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung RU8000 Series (Samsung UN49RU8000)

A great budget pick, the RU8000 looks great and makes your games look good, too

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