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A lot of us love the idea of getting a jumbo TV, but we’re not as enamored of the often equally outsized prices. Here’s the good news: While the very top big-screen TVs in Consumer Reports’ ratings (available to members) may cost $2,000 or more, you can pay less than $1,000 for a 65-inch set and still get a great viewing experience.
The models listed below prove that point. Right now, they include a nice mix of 2022 and 2021 sets. Don’t worry about buying a leftover model. You won’t be missing out on many new features if you choose one of these TVs.
One advantage to buying at this time of year is that the 2021 models are now at their lowest prices ever. So you can save a bundle compared with just a few months ago. (It’s always a good idea to ask for a price-match guarantee from a retailer in case prices suddenly fall after you buy.) Want to save even more money? You can often spend a bit less by getting a smaller version of a TV; the model names will be almost identical.
We’ve made a few noteworthy changes to our TV ratings in the past couple of years. While overall picture quality still remains critically important, we’ve added data privacy and security scores for all the TVs we test, because we think these are important concerns for consumers. We evaluate the various ways TV brands collect, use, and share consumer 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 also adjust the settings yourself, but we’ve found that consumers can find them tricky to locate and use.)
Check out our top picks below. We will be updating this list throughout the year, so keep checking back. Some models may no longer be available, so we’ll replace them with 2022 TVs.
The LG 65NANO90UPA, at the top of LG’s midline NanoCell LCD/LED lineup for 2021, offers satisfying picture quality and solid HDR performance. It also has a wider-than-average viewing angle for an LCD set and better-than-average sound. Like other LG models, it uses the company’s own webOS smart TV platform, with support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
This 4K Android TV from Hisense, a ULED model just below the company’s flagship TV series for 2021, delivers impressive performance for the price. Like other ULED models, the Hisense 65U8G uses quantum dots for a wider range of colors, and it has a good collection of features, including a full-array LED backlight with local dimming, which can help improve contrast and black levels. More important, it delivers satisfying overall picture quality, plus top-notch HDR, something only the TCL set listed below can match. It also has better-than-average sound.
This 4K smart TV from Samsung, in a midline series of regular QLED TVs for 2021 sold mainly via warehouse clubs, offers both satisfying overall picture quality, plus an effective HDR experience. (Samsung sets support the HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG HDR formats.) But the sound is only decent, and the TV lacks the wider viewing angle we’re seeing with some of Samsung’s top-tier QLED sets.
This 4K LCD/LED Roku TV from TCL, a 4K 6-series model, delivers very satisfying overall picture quality, plus a top-notch HDR experience matched only by the Hisense on this list. It also has very good sound. One unique feature at this price is the use of Mini LEDs in the full-array LED backlight, which can help improve black levels and contrast. We’ve seen other TVs adopt this technology, but they’re generally a good deal more expensive. Thanks to the Roku TV smart TV platform, the set has access to a lot of streaming services, and it supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
This Samsung QLED set, among the manufacturer’s most affordable models featuring quantum dots for a wider range of colors, does very well for overall picture quality, though its HDR performance is below that of the sets above. Like other Samsung TVs, this one uses the company’s own smart TV system and has Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, plus Samsung’s own Bixby voice-enabled digital assistant.
This Sony set, in a lower-priced 4K series for 2022, performs similarly to the Samsung set above in that it delivers very good overall picture quality but HDR performance is below the top sets on this list. All Sony TVs this year use the Google TV smart TV system, with built-in Chromecast and Google Assistant. This year they also include ATSC 3.0 tuners for receiving Next-Gen TV over-the-air signals when they become available.
This 4K TV from Hisense, which has full-array LED backlight with local dimming, delivers top-notch picture quality, among the best on this list. But like the Samsung and Sony models above, HDR performance isn’t quite as good as that of the models higher on this list. This set uses the Android TV smart TV platform with built-in Google Assistant, which supports Amazon Alexa devices.
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