If you’re going to buy a TV right now, there’s virtually no reason not to go with a 4K TV. Almost all TV manufacturers are putting their best efforts into 4K TVs, and you can now find them at nearly any size and price point. A good many 4K TVs are also strong options when it comes to gaming. Beyond the incredibly sharp images that are the hallmark feature of 4K TVs, many support faster refresh rates, have low-latency game modes, and can deliver stunning imagery through their HDR modes.
Sony and Microsoft have consoles geared toward 4K, and the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X are going to be all about 4K. Gaming PCs are also becoming increasingly capable when it comes to rendering games at higher resolutions. Even if the hardware you have right now can’t game easily at 4K, getting a 4K TV for gaming will just set you up for the future, plus you’ll get to enjoy plenty of streaming content in the meantime – and click here to see them in the UK.
TL;DR – These are the Best 4K TVs for Gaming:
1. Vizio 65″ Class P-Series Quantum
Best 4K TV for Gaming
The 65-inch Vizio P-Series Quantum (read our review) is truly something. At $1,200 it’s not the cheapest you’ll find, but it’s providing a lot to justify the price, especially when you consider that it’s starting at 65 inches and not 55 like many other models. At its size, the extra resolution of 4K will really come in handy. With all that screen space, Vizio was able to pack in full-array backlighting with a total of 200 local dimming zones. That’ll help provide improved contrast to the already colorful display on hand with a QLED panel. Between those features and the support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+, you’re going to get some stellar visuals out of this TV.
When it comes to gaming, the Vizio P-Series Quantum continues to hold strong. The TV offers a 120Hz refresh rate, and you can enjoy that high speed right alongside your uncompressed 4K picture in games thanks to the HDMI 2.1 ports on board. You won’t have to worry about screen tearing either, as Vizio backs up the picture quality with VRR (variable refresh rate) and FreeSync technology.
2. TCL 55″ Class 6-Series Mini-LED QLED 4K UHD Smart Google TV
Best Budget 4K TV for Gaming
At $1,000, the TCL 55R646 6-Series TV isn’t as cheap a gaming TV as you can find, but the technology its packing at the price makes it a shockingly impressive budget option. TCL has fitted this 55-inch model with a Mini-LED QLED display. That new backlighting technology combined with the vibrant colors of QLED make this a high-quality HDR display that’ll beat a lot of the competition you’d find in the same price ballpark.
Those Mini-LED backlights are extra small, allowing for precise local dimming to improve the contrast ratios this display can achieve. And, when it comes to gaming, TCL has you covered. The display not only is capable of hitting 120Hz for extra smooth gaming visuals but also comes with support for VRR (variable refresh rates) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) to keep input lag, screen tearing, and stutter all to a minimum. With two HDMI 2.1 ports supporting 4K/120Hz and these gaming features, you can keep two platforms connected and ready for this next level in gaming.
3. Hisense 55″ Class H8G Android Smart ULED 4K TV
Ultra Cheap 4K Gaming TV
The Hisense 55H8G is pretty much the most affordable 4K HDR TV for gaming you can buy and it comes at one helluva bargain at just $600 for a 55-inch. While you might assume it’ll only be able to achieve the bare minimum specs for HDR, it actually gets fairly bright at 700-nits. What’s more, it features 70 local dimming zones to keep your picture looking contrasty with inky blacks.
Combined with Quantum Dot technology, the Hisense H8G is designed to support a variety of HDR standards including Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG. Gamers will also appreciate this TV comes with a low input lag gaming mode, and you get a clean version of Android OS, so you can download any of your favorite streaming apps and even a few games.
4. LG 55″ Class C1 Series Smart OLED 4K TV
Best High-End OLED 4K TV
LG’s OLEDs got a big upgrade last year with CX models bringing forth plenty of great gaming features, and the latest LG C1 OLED TVs keep it coming. The 55-inch C1 OLED is as affordable as a lot of quality QLED displays, but it comes with the inherently superb contrast ratio achieved by OLED panels. It might not get as bright, but as long as you can control the lighting in your room, you won’t miss out.
The TV offers brilliant 4K visuals backed by a handful of HDR formats. And, since the OLEDs handle all the brightness themselves, you can game on the display without having to switch off any fancy local dimming features that would improve HDR on other TVs at the cost of input lag. LG even tops things off with support for FreeSync and G-Sync, ensuring your visuals are never compromised.
5. Samsung 65″ Class QN90A Smart QLED 4K TV
Best QLED 4K TV for Gaming
Samsung was already delivering an exceptional picture on its QLED displays with contrast ratios that could nearly rival OLEDs but peak brightness levels that blew them out of the water. And now, Samsung is taking its displays another step forward with Neo QLED technology in the Samsung QN90A. This display technology features Quantum Mini LED backlights that are extra small yet still incredibly bright, and it has allowed Samsung to squeeze in 792 local dimming zones on this display for fine control of the picture with dazzling highlights and deep shadows.
That picture will look stunning in games, and the Samsung QN90A’s 4K display can run at up to 120Hz for incredibly smooth game visuals. Samsung has also included support for variable refresh rates and offers an Auto Low Latency Mode. And, if you want to go for a more cinematic look for your games, Samsung’s UItrawide GameView will let you switch to a 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratio.
6. Sony 65″ Class X90J Smart LED 4K TV
The more affordable LED option
If you don’t think you need or will notice the move advanced display technologies like Neo QLED or OLED, then you can make a large, 65-inch TV much easier to obtain. Sony’s 65-inch X90J is just $1800, making it close in price to plenty of competing 55-inch models. But, don’t worry about missing out on quality, as the X90J packs in plenty of high-end features to warrant the price.
With the Sony X90J, you’ll get a bright picture with full-array backlighting and Triluminos Display for excellent colors and contrast. And, it comes with Sony’s powerful new Cognitive Processor XR built-in to help it control the visuals as well as audio for a more life-like presentation. The display can also run at 4K/120Hz for smooth visuals in games, and it supports Auto Low Latency Mode with additional support for variable refresh rates coming in an update.
7. Samsung 65″ Class RU9000 Series Smart LED 4K TV
Best 4K TV for Gaming with Freesync Support
If you want to game on the big screen with FreeSync, the Samsung RU9000 Series has your back. This model starts out at 65 inches, so you’ll be able to make the most of the sharp 4K resolution offered by this series. This display may not have the highest peak brightness levels, but it does offer a 10-bit color depth for rich color detail. That makes its support for HDR10 and HDR10+ that much more valuable.
When it comes to gaming, the display will give you some options. You can run this display at 4K and 60Hz without any chroma subsampling, letting you enjoy a clear picture and benefit from VRR between 48Hz and 60Hz. But, if you’re after speed, the display also supports 1440p at 120Hz and a much wider VRR range. So, you can enjoy the best of both worlds between high-resolution for casual titles with impressive graphics and high-refresh for fast-paced titles where every millisecond counts.
8. Vizio 55″ Class OLED 4K UHD SmartCast TV
Best Budget OLED 4K TV for Gaming
LG and Sony might have the market on high-end OLED TVs cornered, but Vizio has just come in with a more budget-friendly option with the Vizio OLED55-H1 (read our review). With this TV, you can get the perfect black levels of OLED to make the 4K picture that much more detailed, and the 55-inch model only costs $1,300 – a fair bit cheaper than the comparable LG model.
Vizio doesn’t miss out on any opportunities to make this a gaming-grade TV either. It features two HDMI 2.1 ports to support 4K/120Hz, variable refresh rates, and auto-low latency mode. The low latency paired with OLED’s naturally fast response rate will make for the highly responsive gaming experience you should expect from a gaming TV.
9. Vizio 75″ Class P-Series Quantum X HDR Smart 4K TV
Best 4K HDR Gaming TV
Vizio makes going big more affordable than a lot of its competition, but you won’t miss out on premium perks. That means you can combine a 75-inch panel with all the razzle and dazzle of serious HDR performance. The 75-inch Vizio P Quantum X 4K TV offers a massive QLED display, meaning you’ll get a vibrant picture to let the details in your game really pop.
Making that image all the better is the 480 local dimming zones. These will provide you with an extra level of contrast to help make highly dynamic scenes in movies and games maintain deep shadows for a more cinematic experience. The flip side of that is that the backlights can actually get incredibly bright, allowing the Vizio P Quantum X to shine at a monumental 2,700 nits. When you see fire, lightning, or muzzle flare in your games while playing in HDR, getting ready for them to stun you. Best of all, the Vizio P Quantum X combines all those features in a gaming-ready package that includes HDMI 2.1 ports, so you can enjoy the experience while gaming at 4K and 120Hz.
Where to Get the Best 4K Gaming TV in the UK
Since next-gen systems are right around the corner, everyone is looking to take full advantage of the incredible new visuals on offer. There are plenty of brilliant options for 4K gaming TVs in the UK, and we’ve managed to find the majority from this list as well.
What to Look for in a 4K TV for Gaming
There are many qualities to consider in choosing the best 4K TV for gaming: Color accuracy, contrast, color gamut, viewing angles, power utilization, screen reflections, smart TV features, and more.
However, since we’re all primarily concerned about gaming here, a built-in “gaming mode” with low input latency (ideally, 35ms or less) is crucial here. Without it, you’re guaranteed to have your head in your hands wondering why you can’t pull off Scorpion’s spear move in Mortal Kombat 11 or track targets in Apex Legends.
Input lag is a critical spec to pay attention to when considering a 4K TV for gaming, and RTings has a very detailed chart showing the results of its input lag testing on all the best 4K TVs in various modes.
OLED vs LED (or QLED)
In your search for the best 4K TV for gaming, you’ll come across two primary types of TVs: OLED and LED. While they might be very similar in name, they are worlds apart as separate panel technologies.
OLED TVs are categorized as an emissive screen technology, which means the pixels generate their own light by using an electric current to excite its compounds. As the pixels on an OLED TV generate both the picture and produce their own light, they can achieve true black simply by running zero current through them. No energy, no light.
In contrast, LCD/LED displays have separate image generating and backlight layers that produce the final picture you see. In this relationship, the backlight (LED) illuminates the pixels (LCD), which generate the actual images you see. To achieve the same level of true black with LED/LCD sets, TV manufacturers have implemented fully array backlighting systems, which split the backlighting layer into zones known as “local dimming zones.” When you run across this specification, know that the more local dimming zones a TV has the better it is.
Samsung brands its TVs with the company’s proprietary QLED (or quantum dot LED TV) technology. These QLED TVs essentially contain an extra layer of quantum dots that enhances the brightness and color spectrum of traditional LED panels.
In this way, quantum dots essentially act as an enhancement filter to produce brighter and purer light than LEDs can. This is exactly why Samsung TVs can hit peak brightnesses that are often a thousand or several thousand nits brighter thank OLED panels.
Ultimately you get a largely identical image from either display, but there are some unique drawbacks and advantages to each panel type.
LCDs can produce much higher peak brightness levels, but they can suffer from narrower viewing angles and muddier blacks as the display can’t fully turn off its backlight like an OLED pixel can just go to black.
OLED displays, on the other hand, are often dimmer than LCDs and can suffer from potential image retention (also called burn-in) problems. This issue occurs when static elements, such as a network logo or health bar, on the screen become temporarily or permanently imprinted onto the screen.
The good news is television manufacturers are constantly improving their respective display technologies. LEDs are getting smaller and smaller, and that’s allowing many more of them to be packed behind a display, giving LCD panels more dimming zones and thus a better control of the image.
You can already find this in some TVs with Mini LEDs, like Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs. And that’s just a start. Micro LEDs go even smaller, offering granular enough lighting control that they could become a serious threat for OLEDs because they, too, would have the ability to turn completely off but they wouldn’t have the same burn-in risk OLED has been known for and they can shine much brighter.
Making sense of HDR
High-Dynamic-Range is a technology that greatly increases the range of brightness levels your TV can display, making a bigger difference between the brightest bright areas and darkest dark areas than non-HDR technology. It’s a huge upgrade in visual quality, and one of the best things about 4K TV sets. But it’s also a little complicated.
There are two major HDR standards supported by TVs today: HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Most 4K TVs that support HDR have support for HDR10, with a select few of the higher-end sets supporting Dolby Vision. When it comes to gaming, HDR10 is all you need, as that is what is output by the PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X.
A TV that supports Dolby Vision would only be useful if you have a standalone 4K Blu-Ray player or a streaming media box with Dolby Vision support; it will not give you HDR gaming with your console.
Except for a couple of hard to find Sony TVs, all HDR-capable HDTVs are 4K TVs. For all practical purposes, there are no 1080p HDR TVs. So if you want to buy an HDR-capable TV set to play PC, PS4 or Xbox One games at 1080p, you’ll be buying a 4K TV.
Hey, it’s good to be future-proof anyway, right?
It’s also important that the peak brightness of an HDR TV will be quite high in order to produce a big difference between dark and light areas in HDR mode. If a TV supports HDR but isn’t very bright, you won’t really see much of an improvement in image quality. For my own suggestions, I’ve ensured that every 4K TV in this guide supports HDR10, and has a sufficiently high peak brightness to make it look good.
Adaptive Sync and You
Adaptive sync used to be one of those features you could only exclusively on a gaming PC and gaming monitor, but all of that’s changing now.
For the uninitiated adaptive sync or variable refresh rate (VRR) are both technologies that enable a display to synchronize their refresh rate to the output of your device. Nvidia and AMD first debuted their respective G-Sync and FreeSync forms of VRR on the PC.
However, in the latter half of 2019 we saw adaptive sync technology trickle down to consoles with as LG and Samsung introduced G-Sync and FreeSync on its respective 2019 TVs. In 2020, everyone started jumping in on the fun. Vizio, TCL, Sony, Hisense, and pretty much every major TV maker you can think of will be adding FreeSync support to their mid-range to high-end sets, which makes them the perfect screens to play the Xbox Series X and PS5 on.
Not to be passed up, LG newest lineup of OLED TVs (including the CX, BX, GX, and ZX series) will support both G-Sync and FreeSync, making them the best all-around TVs for gaming no matter which platform(s) you own.
Getting the most out of your 4K TV
Outside of playing games on 4K capable gaming PCs and consoles (the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X), 4K and HDR content lives primarily on these services below.
- Cable and Satellite: Providers are slowly rolling out more 4K and HDR content using HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) HDR as opposed to HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, or Advanced HDR. Some newer TVs have HLG support and some older can support it after a firmware update (be sure to check your specific model).
- Netflix: Most new Netflix original series and movies, (outside of animation and kids stuff) are in 4K, some with HDR as well.
- Amazon Prime: Many Amazon Prime Originals are also in 4K, again with HDR in some cases.
- YouTube: The biggest repository of cat videos also has a surprisingly large amount of 4K content, too.
- Mixer: Microsoft’s game streaming service Mixer can stream in 4K, too.
Streaming in 4K requires a pretty good internet connection and one of the best routers. For example, Netflix recommends users should be able to support at least 25Mbps of throughput on their home network. If all that is a bit confusing, I’ve posted a summary of them all right here for you.
To take advantage of 4K content you need a streaming box or console capable of streaming in 4K, or you can use the integrated smart TV app. The Xbox One S and Xbox One X support 4K streaming apps, as does the PS4 Pro, but the last time I checked the YouTube app on the Xbox platform still needs an update to enable it.
You can also use streaming boxes like the Roku (Roku Premiere only does 4K but not HDR, while Premiere+ and Ultra do both), a 4K-capable Android TV box (like the Nvidia Shield TV), the Apple TV 4K, or the Chromecast Ultra.
Of course, if you don’t want to stream, you can buy 4K UHD Blu-ray discs. This is the costliest option, but it provides the best picture and sound quality. The Xbox One S and Xbox One X support the format, while the PS4 Pro does not.
A quick note on HDMI: To take advantage of the latest features, you’ll need HDMI 2.1 compatible ports (on your console, receiver/switch, and TV). These ports offer 48Gbps of bandwidth, giving you the room you need to send 4K 120fps or 8K 60fps video with HDR.
If you’re in the market for something more affordable, check out our guide to the best cheap TVs for gaming. We also have guides to help your PC get into shape for the new era of 4K gaming, including the best 4K gaming monitors and the best graphics cards.
You may see cables labeled as “4K certified” or something like that, but you won’t know whether your cable is truly up to spec unless it clearly indicates HDMI 2.1 or “Ultra High Speed”, and you don’t want a simple cable to be the thing holding you back. That said, you can still go for a simple cable. You don’t have to go for a fancy cable with impressive branding. As long as the cable is listing its HDMI 2.1 or “Ultra High Speed” specification, you should be able to count on it delivering your signal perfectly well.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark
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