Best TVs to buy in 2015
Find the best TV to buy this year from our list of Full HD and 4K sets
Buying a new TV isn't like buying a new phone. This is a piece of home cinema equipment you're going to be using for years to come, so finding the right one for you and your budget is crucial. To make it easy for you, we've listed our top picks from this year's sets, including Full HD and 4K TVs from Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and LG.
While new TVs get announced every January at CES, the range of 2014 TVs we've seen this year are some of the best yet. There will be some great savings to be had over the next few months, too, as shops prepare for this year's intake of new models. If you're looking to buy a new TV, now has never been a better time to do so.
Each TV we've reviewed here is a specific size, but each model is available in a variety of screen sizes which we've detailed below. All sizes have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage and we're confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.
LG 47LB730V - superb picture quality and a super slick interface
Our Expert Opinion LG's LB730V is the best TV we've seen this year. Available in a variety of screen sizes from 42in right up to massive 60in and 65in models, the LB730V range has excellent picture quality, superb smart services and an intuitive interface that makes it a pleasure to use.
The TV's IPS panel produced bright, vibrant colours straight out of the box and nearly every picture mode covered at least 95% of the sRGB colour gamut. This is the highest we've seen from any Full HD TV we've tested this year, so you don't need to spend ages tweaking the picture to get the best image. The TV's passive 3D was equally brilliant, and there's a wide range of controls to help you adjust it to your liking.
We're also big fans of LG's webOS interface, which uses a series of colourful cards to display its wide range of smart services along the bottom of the TV screen. Along with Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, BBC iPlayer and Demand 5, you also get Now TV, BlinkBox and Plex (although the latter will cost your £3 from LG's app store). The LB730V is a little more expensive than other TVs in this list, but we think its superior picture quality is worth the extra expense.
Price when reviewed: £749 for the 47in model. For the latest prices, see our full LG 47LB730V review.
|Video inputs||3x HDMI, SCART, component, composite|
Samsung UE40H6400 - excellent smart TV apps and a great picture
Our Expert Opinion If your budget doesn't stretch to the LG LB730V, Samsung's H6400 series is the next best thing. Available in 32in screen sizes right up to 75in, this TV has some of the best and most wide-ranging smart services we've seen this year. As well as the full range of TV catch-up services from BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand 5, you also get Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Wuaki.tv, Digital Theatre and BFI Player.
The TV's picture quality is good, too. Its default settings aren't quite as good as LG's, covering just 87.5% of the sRGB colour gamut, but we were still pleased with the vibrancy of its colours. We were also impressed with its high contrast levels, although its lack of local backlight dimming means it won't be able to take full advantage of it. It also comes with two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses.
Price when reviewed: £549 for the 40in model. For the latest prices, see our full Samsung UE40H6400 review.
|Video inputs||4x HDMI, 1x SCART, Component|
Sony Bravia KDL-50W829B - ultra thin with excellent black levels
Our Expert Opinion The E829B series may not be Sony's flagship model for 2014, but this excellent TV has every feature we've come to expect from one. You can buy it in either 42in or 50in screen sizes, and its incredibly thin chassis and minimal design looks stunning, particularly when mounted to a wall.
The picture looks great, too, and we were particularly impressed with its low blacks levels and minimal levels of light bleed. The main downside is its slightly underwhelming active 3D. While there was very little flicker onscreen, the depth of field felt very shallow. There's a great range of smart TV services, though, including BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
Price when reviewed: £900. For the latest prices, see our full Sony Bravia KDL-50W829B review.
|Video inputs||4x HDMI, SCART, component, composite|
Finlux 42FME242S-T - a great value budget TV
Our Expert Opinion Finlux may not be a household name like Samsung or LG in the UK, but its parent company Vestel is one of the biggest TV manufacturers in Europe. The company's particularly well known for producing great value budget sets, and the 42FME242S-T certainly falls into that category. At just £330, it's by far one of the best TVs we've seen at this end of the price bracket.
Picture quality is superb, as we managed to calibrate the TV to show a near-perfect 99.8% of the sRGB colour gamut. Contrast was also excellent and it even comes with a couple of smart TV apps such as BBC iPlayer. The remote isn't great, but this is still a fantastic budget TV.
Price when reviewed: £330. For the latest prices, see our full Finlux 42FME242S-T review
|Video inputs||3x HDMI, SCART, VGA, composite|
Toshiba 47L6453DB -
Our Expert Opinion If you're looking for something a little larger than Finlux's 42FME242S-T but still don't want to spend much more than £500, Toshiba's 47L6453DB is a great choice. The plastic stand isn't hugely stylish, but the TV's picture quality was impressive, as it was already displaying 96.9% of the sRGB colour gamut straight out of the box and we managed to increase this to 100% once we'd calibrated it.
The TV does have a few shortcomings, namely its lack of 3D support, small range of smart TV apps and slightly clunky interface, but it's still great value and its larger size makes it a great budget alternative to Finlux's smaller 42in set.
Price when reviewed: £499. For the latest prices, see our full Toshiba 47L6453DB review
|Video inputs||4x HDMI, SCART, VGA, component, composite|
Panasonic TX-50AX802B - the best 4K TV you can buy today
Our Expert Opinion 4K still has a long way to come in our opinion - for starters, there's not a lot out there that will play in 4K apart from a couple of shows on Netflix - but if you want to buy a TV that will be future-proof for years to come, then the Panasonic TX-50AX802B is the best 4K TV you can buy today.
Originally, the TV's built-in HEVC decoder chip didn't support 4K Netflix, but Panasonic has just issued a firmware update to fix this problem, addressing one of the main concerns we had with the TV when we had it in for testing. It's also a lot cheaper than its 4K rivals, making it one of the best value 4K TVs currently available.
The picture quality is excellent. On its default settings, it covered a near-perfect 99.4% of the sRGB colour gamut, so you can just turn it on and start watching without having to worry about adjusting the picture. Black levels were also incredibly deep and the TV's high contrast levels were just behind Samsung's curved HU8500 4K TV (which is supposed to produce better contrast than flat TVs because of its curved screen).
We were impressed with the TV's upscaling technology as well, so HD TV channels and Blu-ray discs will still look great despite TV's huge resolution. Another bonus is that you get both Freeview HD and Freetime built-in, letting you scroll back through the TV Guide without the need for a satellite.
Price when reviewed: £1,799. For the latest prices, see our full Panasonic TX-50AX802B review.
|Video inputs||4x HDMI, SCART, component, composite, DisplayPort|
|Tuner||Freeview HD, Freesat HD|