Best Big-Screen TV Bargains

Top-performers aren't cheap, but these models offer a lot for the money

Illustration of a couple watching TV from the comfort of their couch.

There’s nothing like watching a blockbuster movie on a 65-inch TV. But the very best big-screen TVs don’t come cheap. Prices for most of the top 10 models in our TV ratings cost $2,000 to $3,300.

But you don’t have to spend top dollar to get a decent big-screen television.

Despite lower-than-average prices, all the sets described below provide great overall picture quality. And each one features smart TV tech, offering access to online streaming services without the need for an external streaming player. (You may want to adjust the privacy settings.)

Most of the TVs here are LCD models, which make up the overwhelming majority of all TVs sold. But we did pick one pricier OLED TV because sets with that technology have dominated our ratings in recent years, providing rich, deep blacks and unlimited viewing angles.

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All but two of the sets provide a satisfying high dynamic range (HDR) experience, which can boost a TV’s brightness, contrast, and color, making the pictures on the screen look more like real life. Those two exceptions have very low prices for their screen sizes, and for many people that could be a worthwhile trade-off.

This year we’ve made a few noteworthy changes to our TV ratings. While overall picture quality remains critically important, we’ve added data privacy and security scores for all the TVs we test.

Given that most sets these days are smart TVs that connect to the internet, we think that TV data privacy and security have become important concerns for consumers. As a result, we now evaluate the various ways TV brands collect, use, and share that data, how well they protect it, and how transparent they are about their data practices.

We’re also encouraging TV makers to ship their sets to consumers with the optimal privacy settings turned on by default. (Of course, you can adjust the settings yourself, but we’ve found that consumers can find them tricky to locate and use.)

With regard to security, companies are judged by how well they implement various safety features, such as encrypting all user communications by default, enabling automatic security updates, and protecting against known security vulnerabilities.

The list below mainly consists of 65-inch sets, which are increasingly popular. There are also two even larger TVs that offer satisfying picture quality at a price lower than that of many 65-inch TVs. You can typically pay less by choosing any of these models in a smaller screen size.

CR members can also sort through our TV ratings by price and find lower-cost models that could be a better fit for their needs. For example, not-so-good sound will tend to bring down a TV’s Overall Score. But that set might be a terrific choice if you intend to use a sound-bar speaker or home theater system. A set with a narrower viewing angle might not be a problem if you’re able to sit directly in front of the TV at all times.

All the models in our ratings went through a battery of objective measurements and subjective evaluations designed to push a TV to its limits. And like all products rated by Consumer Reports, we bought every set at retail.

The models below are listed in order of their Overall Score. They’re mainly 2020 televisions, but we also included a couple of 2019 models—but don’t worry, you’re not giving up much performance by choosing one of these sets.

Become a member of Consumer Reports to get access to our TV Screen Optimizer, which will help you get the perfect picture on your TV in just minutes. Join today to get started.  

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