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Best TV for gaming 2021: These 4K HDR TVs will get the best from your PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4 Pro or Xbox One X

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Enjoy a true next-gen experience with the best gaming TVs of 2021

Whether you have a PS4 or PS5, Xbox One X or Xbox Series X, or even a gaming PC, you’ll want to play on the best TV for gaming possible to make the most of your console.

Each of these gaming machines is capable of outputting 4K and HDR content, which means pictures appear brighter, more detailed and more colourful when displayed on a 4K HDR TV compared to a standard FHD set.

But there’s plenty more to consider: the best TVs for gaming must have good motion clarity, strong contrast and bold colour handling, too. And you can’t forget about issues such as response time, refresh rate and burn-in, either.

Here at Expert Reviews, we test every TV that’s worth knowing about and in this article we’ve rounded up the models that are best suited to next-gen gaming. If you know your ALLM from your VRR, then you can jump straight into our list of the best gaming TVs. Got a few questions first? The buying guide below is here to help.

READ NEXT: Check out our favourite gaming headsets

Save up to £500 on the Hisense A9G ahead of Black Friday

In the lead up to Black Friday, multiple retailers are offering sweeping discounts on a range of products, including both the 55 and 65in models of Hisense's A9G TV. The former is discount by £500 to £999, while the latter is now just £1,499 instead of £1,899.
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Save up to £500

Best gaming TVs: At a glance


How to choose the best TV for gaming for you

Why is input lag so important?

Input lag is the delay between executing an action (such as pressing a button) and the actual result manifesting itself on the TV screen. In terms of numbers, the higher the input lag, the more sluggish the game will feel. This obviously affects gameplay, especially for fast-paced games such as racing and first-person shooter titles.

Modern smart TVs come with complicated picture-processing algorithms that can increase input lag significantly, with everything from motion enhancement to deinterlacing having some impact. As a result, a lot of TV manufacturers now include a specific Game mode that minimises input lag.

READ NEXT: What TV size is best for your home?

What are VRR, ALLM and 4K at 120Hz?

In recent years, we’ve begun to see mid-range and premium televisions adding support for a number of exciting “next-gen” gaming features, and they’re well worth knowing about if you want to get the best out of your new console or high-end PC.

VRR: Unlike films and TV shows, gaming frame rates fluctuate depending on the amount of processing required by the GPU. That’s where variable refresh rate (VRR) comes in: it allows the TV to adjust its refresh rate to match that of the game’s, thus minimising judder, lag and frame-tearing for smoother, more fluid gameplay. AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync are two well-known forms of VRR.

ALLM: TVs supporting auto low-latency mode (ALLM) will automatically switch to a low-latency Game mode when compatible consoles are connected, helping the TV to deliver the fastest possible response times. Picture quality will take a small hit in low-latency modes because the TV has to dial back its picture processing to speed up response times.

4K at 120Hz: The PS5 and Xbox Series X are able to output games on a 4K signal at up to 120fps – double the frames that last-gen consoles could generate. Most TVs today are still 60Hz, however, meaning they can’t display games at anything above 60fps. Frustratingly, buying a new 120Hz TV doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to see your games in 4K at 120fps; unless your 120Hz TV is HDMI 2.1-compliant, it will be limited to a 4K 60Hz input.

Are OLED TVs really the best?

TVs with organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels use an organic material that emits light when a current is passed through it. Each pixel acts as its own light source, and pixels can also turn off completely to achieve perfect black. This means that OLEDs can achieve amazing levels of contrast compared to their LCD counterparts.

However, OLEDs do tend to be more expensive and they also run the risk of incurring permanent burn-in, or image retention.

What is screen burn-in?

When certain LEDs in a display are used more regularly than others, they can become dimmer faster and this results in a "ghost image" that persists no matter what you're watching. This is what's known as screen burn or burn-in.

Certain parts of an image - such as the HUD in a video game - remain faintly visible onscreen, negatively impacting the viewing experience.

It's an issue specific to OLED displays due to the organic nature of the LEDs used but only occurs when an image stays on the same part of the screen for long periods of time - we're talking many hundreds of hours.

In normal use, burn-in shouldn’t be a concern, and most OLEDs come with years of warranty, but if you don't want to take the risk, you're better off with one of the panel types detailed below.

READ NEXT: PS5 vs Xbox Series X

Should I buy an LCD instead?

Liquid-crystal display (LCD) TVs are bulkier than OLEDs counterparts because they use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to backlight the panel’s liquid crystals. Cheaper LCD TVs often have only a few LED strips, whereas a premium LCD model can have hundreds of independently controlled LED zones behind the panel.

LCDs carry absolutely no risk of burn-in, and they can also reach much higher levels of peak brightness, which is a bonus for well-lit living rooms. With that said, OLEDs offer superior viewing angles over LCDs; if your furniture doesn’t face the TV directly then an OLED would be preferable so you don’t miss out on image contrast, brightness and colour vibrancy.

What about QLED TVs?

QLEDs are LCD LED TVs with a layer of microscopic quantum dots that emit colour in reaction to light, enabling the panel to reach higher levels of peak brightness. While QLED is not a proprietary technology, most QLED TVs today are made by Samsung. LG also has its own TV panel technology called NanoCell. Something of a rival to QLED, NanoCell LCD panels have a particle film that boosts the TV’s colour vibrancy.

In 2021, Samsung and LG both began incorporating Mini LED technology into some of their TVs. Samsung's Mini LED TVs are referred to as Neo QLED, while LG's fall under the QNED banner.

As the name suggests, Mini LED technology uses smaller LEDs (about one-fortieth the size of regular LEDs) than traditional QLED TVs, enabling more to be squeezed into a panel of the same size.

The increased number of LEDs allowed for greater control over local dimming, which in turn results in better black levels, contrast and peak brightness. The smaller size of Mini LEDs also facilitates the production of thinner QLED TV panels akin to svelte OLED models.

READ NEXT: Get comfy in front of your new TV with the best gaming chairs


The best gaming TVs to buy in 2021

1. Hisense Roku TV 50in (R50A7200UK): The best budget 4K gaming TV

Price: £379 (43in model) | Buy now from Argos

If you’ve yet to make the leap to 4K because the high prices put you off, Hisense’s 2021 Roku TV could be the perfect opportunity for you to finally get on board. Pretty much unrivalled for its balance of features and affordability, the Roku’s VA-type LCD panel using direct LED lighting is able to deliver brighter pictures and higher colour accuracy than its modest price tag would suggest.

As well as serviceable 4K SDR playback, the Roku comes equipped with one of the best TV operating systems on the market. Packed with a full roster of streaming services – including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus and Now (formerly NowTV) – and compatible with media players such as Plex, Roku OS is versatile and extremely easy to use. As an added bonus, Roku’s own streaming app, the Roku Channel, has an ever-growing list of content that is completely free to watch, albeit with adverts.

While the unremarkable HDR and relatively low refresh rate won’t make this the ultimate gaming experience, at this price point the heights reached here are still noteworthy. If higher specifications are important to you (or you want additional features such as HDR10+, VRR or ALLM), you’re better off browsing the rest of this list – but be prepared to up your budget. If you’re looking for 4K playback that won’t break the bank, the Roku is the one for you.

Hisense Roku TV (2021) | Read our full review
Display type: VA LCD LED direct-litRefresh rate: 60Hz
Screen sizes: 43in, 50in (reviewed), 55in, 65inInput lag: <50ms
Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160)VRR: No
HDR formats: HDR10, HLGALLM: No
HDMI inputs: 3 x HDMI 2.0OS: Roku OS

Buy now from Argos


2. Samsung AU9000: The best gaming TV under £500

Price when reviewed: £469 (43in model) | Buy now from Amazon

The Samsung AU9000 is our favourite 4K TV under £500 and has a number of features that make it an attractive choice for gamers. There's support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) in the form of FreeSync and the Auto Low Latency Mode kicks into effect as soon as a console is detected. Input lag is extremely low at under 9ms but, unlike the QN90 below, the panel is limited to 60Hz, which is a blow for next-gen gamers seeking 4K resolution at 120Hz.

If you don't mind playing in 1080p, Samsung's Motion Xcelerator Turbo feature can simulate a faster refresh rate of 120Hz, but perhaps the most appealing feature on offer is the company's new Game Bar. This displays all the key gaming information via one handy interface and allows you to switch between the various aspect ratios, which include 21:9 and 32:9.

Though not the brightest TV around, the AU9000 delivers impressive HDR performance for an affordable set, with detailed, natural-looking images and smooth motion that's free of artefacts. The Tizen OS offers a great range of streaming services for when you're not gaming and Samsung's "AirSlim" design elevates the AU9000 above other TVs in its price bracket when it comes to looks as well as gaming features.

Samsung AU9000 | Read our full review
Display type: VA LCD LEDRefresh rate: 60Hz
Screen sizes: 43in (reviewed), 50in, 55in, 65in, 75inInput lag: <9ms
Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160)VRR: Yes
HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLGALLM: Yes
HDMI inputs: 3 x HDMI 2.0OS: Tizen OS

3. Samsung QN90: An attractive, affordable QLED TV for gaming

Price: £999 (50in model) | Buy now from Argos

Samsung's QN90 ticks all the right boxes as a TV for next-gen gaming. First and foremost, it has an all-important HDMI 2.1 port that facilitates 4K resolution at 120Hz, along with VRR and ALLM, while input lag is very low in Game Mode.

Image quality is excellent and benefits enormously from the additional local dimming zones made possible by the panel's use of Mini LED technology. The QN90 was the first TV we tested incorporating the tech and it didn't disappoint, delivering deep black level response and bright highlights blooming or the loss of details in the shadows. It also has one big advantage over OLED sets - there's no danger of screen burn.

New for 2021 is Samsung's Game Bar, which lets you view HDR, frame rate and VRR status in one handy location as well as letting you make key gaming picture adjustments. Other gaming options include Game Motion Plus, which smooths motion without increasing the lag and 21:9 and 32:9 aspect ratios for those that prefer a wider screen view when gaming.

It's a shame there's only one HDMI 2.1 port (more expensive entries in Samsung's Neo QLED range come with a One Connect box offering four HDMI 2.1 inputs) but unless you own both a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X that won't be an issue. Most gamers will only have one or the other and if you fall into that category, the QN90 is a great pairing for your next-gen console.

Samsung QN90 | Read our full review
Display type: VA LCD LED (Neo QLED)Refresh rate: 120Hz
Screen sizes: 50in (reviewed), 55in, 65in, 75inInput lag: 9.8ms (4K@120z)
Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160)VRR: Yes
HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLGALLM: Yes
HDMI inputs: 3 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x HDMI 2.1OS: Tizen OS 6

4. LG C1 55in (OLED55C16LA): The best OLED for next-gen consoles

Price: £1,099 (48in model) | Buy now from Argos

When it comes to next-gen gaming TVs, the LG C1 has cornered the market. With its 120Hz OLED display, Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor and four HDMI 2.1 inputs, it’s ready for everything that the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 can throw at it. On the LG C1, you’ll find every gaming-centric HDMI 2.1 feature you need: VRR (including G-Sync and FreeSync) for fluid, tear-free play; ALLM to boot the TV into a low input lag Game mode; eARC for lossless audio passthrough; and 4K gaming at 120Hz.

When Game mode is activated, the C1 is capable of astonishing response times. On a 4K/120Hz signal, we recorded an input lag of only 6ms. That’s the fastest response time of any TV we’ve tested to date. Although the Alpha 9 Gen 4 chipset has to tune down its picture processing to reduce input lag in Game mode, overall image quality remains superb.

Speaking of image quality, the C1 has one of the most impressive, colour-accurate displays on the market. And with its pixel-level control, it can achieve perfect black, resulting in a stunning level of contrast for games and films. Viewing angles are excellent on the C1, and it does a great job of reducing diffusion from external light sources, too. Add in Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Atmos, and the LG C1 is clearly the best all-around OLED for gamers and movie buffs alike.

LG C1 | Read our full review
Display type: OLEDRefresh rate: 120Hz
Screen sizes: 48in, 55in (reviewed), 65in, 77in, 83inInput lag: 6ms (4K@120Hz)
Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160)VRR: Yes (Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync)
HDR formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLGALLM: Yes
HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1OS: WebOS

5. Hisense A9G 55in (55A9G): Decent audio and visual features at a competitive price

Price: £999 (55in model) | Buy now from Currys

While it’s not the most optimised TV for next-gen gaming – a relatively high input lag, no 4K at 120Hz and VRR limited to 48-60Hz – Hisense’s A9G is still a solid, more affordable OLED option for viewers who are less concerned about cutting-edge gaming performance as they are about image fidelity.

With those drawbacks out of the way, let’s get into all the things this TV does right. First of all, it’s packed with flagship features, including Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos, HDR10+ and even IMAX Enhanced. With these, any 4K HDR content you load up from the TV’s slick and customisable smart platform will be optimised instantly to deliver exceptionally high impact visuals and (if you have a surround-sound setup) immersive, cinema-worthy audio.

There’s also still plenty to love here for gamers, especially if you don’t plan on picking up a next-gen console any time soon. Our reviewer, for instance, played Horizon: Zero Dawn on his PS4 during testing and found the gameplay to be enjoyably responsive, with smooth motion, detailed images and well-defined highlights.

Hisense 55A9G | Read our full review
Display type: OLEDRefresh rate: 120Hz
Screen sizes: 55in (reviewed), 65inInput lag: 26.8ms
Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160)VRR: Yes (48-60Hz only)
HDR formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLGALLM: Yes
HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0OS: VIDAA U 5.0

Buy now from Currys


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