Ever wondered what the best gaming TV brands are? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Today, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the right brand for your next gaming TV, and give you plenty of gaming-centric TV buying advice while I’m at it. By the end of this article, you should have a solid idea of what to look for in a gaming TV, know what the best brands are, and most importantly, know which one is right for your needs!
So let’s not waste any more time, and sink our teeth deep into this one. You can skip around with the Table of Contents if you want, of course.
Table of Contents
What I Look For In Gaming TV Brands
Strong TV Industry Track Record
When buying a gaming TV— or really, any expensive piece of consumer technology— it’s important to treat it like the long-term investment it actually is. The expectation of any consumer buying a TV is that it will last a long time, potentially a decade or more until something actually damages the screen. Gaming TVs are no different in this regard, especially if you’re a gamer on a tight budget.
For the sake of this article, I’ve limited my selection to only the brands with the best track record for providing great TVs for gamers. I’ll discuss more specifics about how long each brand has been established and what they specialize later on in the article, but rest assured that I’m not doing any shoo-in picks here— each of the six brands listed below has earned its place here.
Good Quality Control and Warranty Policies
Other things to look for when it comes to gaming TV brands include fair warranty policies and a reputation for good quality control. I’ve looked out for these things while assembling this article, but I’ll discuss more specific warranty information on a per-manufacturer basis below. Your specific TV may also have its own warranty policy— be sure to check specifics like this before buying if you can, since warranty is one of the few measures in place to protect you from manufacturer defects or unexpected hardware failure.
What You Need In a Gaming TV
Correct Size and Resolution Combination For Your Gaming Setup
Depending on the size of your gaming setup and the resulting viewing distance, your maximum TV size should scale accordingly. Above, I’ve embedded a screenshot from a helpful RTINGS Size to Distance tool that calculates this based on screen size. The ideal viewing distance for a 55-inch screen is over 7 feet! I’ve used one at less distance, though, and many people like a TV experience that can capture as much of their FOV as possible. Just be sure that your TV fits within the space of your gaming setup and your budget!
High Refresh Rate and/or Variable Refresh Rate Support
Another nice-to-have with modern gaming setups is support for High Refresh Rate, Variable Refresh Rate, or both. These days, consoles and PC alike support these technologies, though there are some caveats to this on the console side of things.
For modern consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X, it’s best to target a TV with support for 120 Hz. Higher refresh than that will work, but to maintain the best possible input lag, it’s typically better to run a panel at native refresh rate— and the consoles are running at 120 Hz, not 144 Hz. 144 Hz displays will work, but the best 120 Hz latency will be on a native 120 Hz display.
That said, 120 Hz and the games that support up to 120 FPS are truly spectacular to behold. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t seen it in motion, but it’s so much smoother than 60 FPS that it starts making 30 FPS look positively dreadful if you get too used to it. Not many titles actually support 120 Hz on consoles yet, but there’s definitely potential for that to improve. Hackers already have certain PS4 titles running at up to 120 FPS on PS5!
120FPS in PS4 games on hacked PS5 is now possible! pic.twitter.com/LZHPdmq6qD
— illusion (@illusion0002) September 9, 2023
On PC, you can pretty much use whatever refresh rate you want, but 120+ Hz has the same benefits on PC as it does on console. Actually, it has far more benefit, since most games on PC are actually made to support uncapped framerates and even user-capped framerates to target high refresh displays.
Meanwhile, Variable Refresh Rate refers to a functionality achieved through AMD FreeSync, Nvidia G-Sync, or HDMI 2.1 (consoles only). Basically, VRR allows the GPU or console to determine how the screen refreshes, dictating lower Hz whenever there are framerate drops to prevent screen tearing or a noticeable dip in fluidity.
On a TV, you’ll most likely be achieving VRR through an HDMI 2.1 cable or (on rare occasions) a DisplayPort cable. Make sure your TV and your console or PC both support HDMI 2.1 or DisplayPort before trying to enable Variable Refresh Rate in console, PC, or display settings.
Another thing you should definitely be looking for in a gaming TV is HDR support, since a TV is actually the best-case scenario for any HDR configuration. In particular, OLED TVs and even VA TVs can provide very strong HDR experiences thanks to their support for per-pixel dimming. It’s even better on an OLED, where your response time is near-instant and your color gamut and accuracy are greatly improved over VA and even IPS. (Depending on the display, of course. Not every TV is necessarily going to be well-calibrated out of the box.)
Note: The above embedded video is in HDR, so an HDR display will be required to see the difference in the comparison.
Additionally, HDR support in games has only improved over the years. Most modern games natively support HDR on PC, and for the ones that don’t, Auto HDR in Windows 11 can add it to quite a few of them. HDR support on PlayStation and Xbox consoles has also been strong for not only this generation, but the past PlayStation 4/Xbox One generation as well.
A Panel With Wide Viewing Angles
Since you’re looking out for a gaming TV, you most likely want to stick with a TV that has a panel type suited to wide viewing angles, like the ones you would get from the sides of a couch.
For gaming TV purposes, I recommend the following TV panel types:
- OLED — An Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) Panel might be the best modern gaming panel there is. With industry-leading color reproduction, HDR support, viewing angles, and even near-instant pixel response times, OLEDs are very well-suited to gaming. They are the most expensive, however, and should always be turned off whenever not in use to prevent screen burn-in.
- IPS — An In-Plane Switching (IPS) Panel is another great panel type. IPS panels also offer superb color reproduction, color accuracy, and viewing angles. The only major downside of IPS (besides pricing compared to cheaper panel types like TN and VA) is its lack of support for per-pixel dimming, which also cripples HDR in dark or high-contrast scenes.
- VA — A Vertical Alignment (VA) Panel has some inherent compromises, but is an incredibly well-balanced choice for a gaming TV with some respect for your budget. While VA doesn’t have as vibrant colors as IPS/OLED, its support for per-pixel dimming does help elevate its HDR implementation. It’s also considerably cheaper than IPS or OLED while still having fairly comparable viewing angles.
- CRT (No Longer Manufactured) — I would be remiss to go through an article talking about gaming TVs without mentioning CRTs. Yes, CRTs— Cathode Ray Tube TVs. Most CRTs run at an interlaced Standard Definition resolution, but a few rare collector’s picks actually support HD signals. CRTs are actually considered among the best displays for gaming because they guarantee near-instant input response. Some also argue that depth perception is better on CRTs, similar to how people endorse curved monitors today.
Due to its horrendous viewing angles, I cannot recommend TN panels for a TV whatsoever. However, TN panels can be a good choice for a monitor (centered viewing), especially if you’re a competitively-oriented gamer who wants a high-refresh monitor at a lower price than is possible with other panels.
Game Mode, PC Mode, or Similar Feature
Unfortunately, a downside of the overwhelming majority of modern TVs is the addition of way too much image processing. This causes a tangible increase in input lag, which we want to avoid whenever possible.
Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of modern TVs also support some kind of Game Mode to disable this image processing! It’s been something of a necessary standard in TVs since we made the big switch from CRTs— you’d be surprised at just how awful the input lag on early flat panel TVs were.
Also be sure to disable any kind of feature on your TV that tries to interpolate a low framerate to a higher one. Not only does this result in the “soap opera effect”, it can cause noticeable artifacting and ghosting when used in games, especially titles running at 30 FPS.
Low Input Lag
So, one of the most obvious things you need in a gaming TV is low input lag. While a “Game Mode” can help reduce the usual input lag issues that come with TVs, the existence of a Game Mode by itself does not necessarily mean the TV can be run with low input lag, just low-er input lag.
To make the problem worse, there are no straightforward consumer-facing specifications that actually measure input lag.
“Response time” is often confused for input lag, but actually refers to the speed at which pixels can change color. Lower response time is faster and more responsive, yes, but only serves to reduce “ghosting” artifacts in motion to keep the image smear-free— it has no direct bearing on your input lag.
In order to find accurate input lag measurements for a given TV, you will unfortunately be forced to rely on benchmarks from external sources. I recommend RTINGS’ TV Benchmark Database as a good starting point for finding accurate input lag benchmarks for your TV.
The Best Gaming TV Brands
Image Credit: All brand logos and imagery below belong to their respective brands. Product imagery is taken from the manufacturer’s site unless stated otherwise.
1. LG Electronics
- Founded: 1947
- Brand Strengths: OLED TVs, IPS TVs, High-End TVs
First up on my list of the best gaming TV brands is LG Electronics. LG is a long-established PC hardware and display manufacturer, and arguably offers some of the best OLED TVs on the market. If you’re gunning for a truly high-end gaming experience with your TV, an LG OLED is easily one of the best choices available to you, though it will also cost a fairly pretty penny.
According to LG’s Warranty page, LG TVs are supported for two years on parts and labor. This is pretty good for a TV, since any defects will almost certainly emerge within that timeframe and after that, maintaining your TV is just a matter of preventing physical damage to it and keeping the screen clean.
Besides great OLEDs, LG is also known for providing great IPS TVs as well. They don’t dabble in VA often, but some VA LG TVs do exist, especially at larger screen sizes.
- Founded: 1938
- Brand Strengths: VA TVs, OLED TVs, IPS TVs, Mid-Range and High-End TVs
Another strong contender in the gaming TV space is Samsung, for both their VA and OLED TVs. Samsung’s VA TVs tend to target the mid-range of pricing, using the savings of VA to push a strong 4K experience at a competitive-for-the-price screen size. Samsung VA TVs are a superb choice in the mid-range for this reason.
Samsung’s higher-end OLED TVs can also be quite the star, but their pricing can actually get a little out of hand compared to other high-end TV manufacturers. Be mindful that while Samsung can provide some of the best displays on the market, they won’t hesitate to charge some of the highest prices, either.
Samsung TVs all come with a universal one year warranty, though you may also get an extended warranty of up to five years if you don’t mind paying extra for the privilege.
- Founded: 1981
- Brand Strengths: Budget TVs, VA TVs
TCL is the most overtly “budget” of the gaming TV brands being listed here, but this actually makes them the most gaming-friendly of the TV brands. Gamers tend to like saving money as long as doing so doesn’t overly compromise their experience, and TCL’s takeover of the budget 4K TV space over the years has made them a favorite choice among gamers with more limited finances.
TCL focuses mostly on VA panels, but still tend to provide a fairly good gaming experience with them. The pricing of TCL’s TVs is really hard to overlook, too. Since when could you get a 4K gaming TV for under $300? Since TCL entered the scene, that’s when.
TCL also offers a one year warranty on their TVs, which is pretty much industry-standard.
I don’t really have much else to say about TCL. While you aren’t going to get OLED or industry-leading image quality from them, that’s not what you’re going to TCL for to begin with. If you just want a TV that works, is feature-complete, and is affordable, though, TCL is a very hard manufacturer to beat.
- Founded: 1946
- Brand Strengths: IPS TVs, VA TVs, OLED TVs, High-End TVs
Sony is another of the primarily high-end TV brands on this list, though they do also dabble in Mid-Range from time to time.
Sony TVs are most well-known for their great picture quality, out-of-box color accuracy, upscaling, and motion handling, making them fairly suitable choices for most people. The main caveat to Sony compared to other manufacturers is that their TVs tend to be more expensive, in general, than even their other high-end competition. Additionally, their OLED panels generally aren’t as good as LG and Samsung TVs often have better gaming performance.
The right Sony TV at the right price can still be a fairly compelling choice, though. Sony TV warranties can vary depending on the series of the TV, but Sony Bravia offers a 3 year warranty while other TVs are reported to have up to five years with an extended warranty. I can’t find a universal TV warranty policy from Sony, but the lowest numbers I’ve found are from 1-2 years.
Overall, I’d say Sony has a strong TV warranty policy, which helps justify the price increase a little. The 3 year warranty on the Bravia TVs is quite nice compared to the 1 or 2 year warranties on high-end models from the competition.
- Founded: 2002
- Brand Strengths: VA TVs, Budget TVs, Mid-Range TVs,
Vizio are most well-known for providing TVs with excellent, competitive pricing. Their sets span from low-end to high-end but most commonly trend mid-range. Fortunately, even cheaper Vizio TVs will often support VRR and other gaming-centric features, making them another great choice for gamers on a budget.
In terms of features for the price, Vizio is one of the best competitors on the market and focuses primarily on VA panels in turn. And while they aren’t manufacturing OLEDs frequently enough to be seen as a prominent High-End manufacturer, their last OLED was actually pretty good, too.
Vizio’s TV warranty policy seems to vary from 1 year to 3 years, and may include a Zero Bright Pixel Defect Guarantee depending on your specific model. This is overall pretty solid, especially if you land on the higher end of the spectrum with 3 years warranty and the ZBPD Guarantee intact.
- Founded: 1969
- Brand Strengths: Budget TVs, Mid-Range TVs, VA TVs, IPS TVs
HiSense is another firmly budget-oriented TV brand, and their support for gaming features has been improving since they began supporting HDMI 2.1 in 2021. In general, their pricing offers a good value, and their higher-end VA and IPS TVs actually can turn around a nice picture.
Unfortunately, HiSense TVs use VA panels with worse viewing angles than Samsung’s and aren’t generally known for excelling at anything compared to other options. The only real reason to go with HiSense is if they’re providing a TV with the features you want at a price that beats your other choices— this is a budget brand, through-and-through, even if it’s one of the best gaming TV brands.
As is industry-standard, HiSense TV warranties will generally last for one year…if the model is under 50 inches. For models larger than 50 inches, warranty will instead last for a span of two years. You also have an option to pay for an Extended Service Plan, which extends your warranty period. Overall, not much to complain about here.
Which Gaming TV Brand Is Best For You?
In conclusion…which gaming TV brand is the best for you?
It’s hard to say. Depending on what you prioritize when you’re shopping for a gaming TV, any of these manufacturers could be the right choice for you. I will say that TCL, Vizio, and HiSense seem to have the best pricing while LG, Sony, and Samsung seem to have the best picture quality and feature support, though. And even the pricing-first brands like TCL seem to be intent on making nice-looking, feature-complete displays.
Personally, my next gaming TV is most likely going to be an LG OLED. Since I have a nice IPS monitor as my main work and gaming display, OLED makes the most sense to me as a TV choice, since going with a cheaper panel might end up feeling like a downgrade from my monitor. Plus, OLEDs are way better at HDR, and HDR support really does help a game’s lighting come to life.
But I could see how you could go with any of these brands. Feel free to @GamersDirector on Twitter if you need help picking a monitor, or share this article if you liked it!