Best TV: Our pick of the 8 top HD TV and 4K TVs to buy today

Which HDTV, 3D, 4K or Smart TV should you buy?

Buying a TV is something of a horrifying experience. You can spend £300 on a 50-inch TV or £4000 on a 55-inch TV. So what's going on?

Well the answer is simple - TVs are very diverse these days and there's a lot of options. A basic TV can certainly be bought for a few hundred quid, but don't expect the sort of performance you really want in your living room. These TVs are aimed at people who don't care. You're reading this, so you plainly do care.

It's far more important to look for something that suits your needs. For example, for many people 4K is kind of pointless. Sure, there will be services along this year to help you make the most of your TV - Netflix already does - but for most your cash would get you a really great 1080p TV that will impress just as much.

So let's run through the list, and while we're doing it there will be some explanation about technologies included and why they matter.

1. John Lewis 55JL9000

John Lewis quality at Argos prices

Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1080p | Panel technology: LCD| Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 709 x 1227 x 347mm

Gorgeous metallic design
Innovative sound bar integration
Requires care with setup
High input lag

This is the TV that sort of proves the point we made above. It's 1080p, so no 4K here, but what you do get are ample inputs, 3D support with passive glasses - they're much more comfortable than active - along with a built in soundbar which is also the TVs stand. For less than £700, this is a total bargain and what's more it's a rebranded version of LG's amazing smart TVs.

Read the full review: John Lewis 55JL9000

2. Samsung UE55H8000

Proving that 1080p TVs are still capable of amazing picture quality

Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview/Freesat HD | Resolution: 1080p | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 759 x 1233 x 237mm

Attractive curved-screen design
Excellent picture quality
Curved screen exaggerates reflections
Picture presets not helpful

The H8000 is something a bit different in that it offers a curved display. It has to be said that curves don't really add a huge amount to TV image quality, and in some cases can make a problem for larger rooms. Even so this is a great 1080p TV and it offers amazing image quality and one of the best smart TV platforms around. Because it's "only" 1080p, it also comes in a decent price.

Read the full review: Samsung UE55H8000

3. Panasonic TX-50AX802

A smaller-screen 4K for those who want the best resolution

Screen size: 50-inch | Tuner: Freeview/Freesat HD | Resolution: 4K | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1131 x 420 x 673 mm

Stunning native 4K performance
Deep blacks and wide colour range
Awkward Bluetooth touch pad controller
Incompatible with Netflix 4K

If you want to have the luxury of 4K TV but don't have room for a bigger screen, then check out the Panasonic AX802. It's still got that amazing 4K picture quality, but it keeps the size down, and proves that there is still a reason to go 4K on smaller screens. You get active shutter 3D too, which is reasonable enough but this format hasn't been interesting for a long time really, it's a sideshow.

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-50AX802

4 . Samsung UE65JS9000

One of the best TVs ever

Screen size: 65-inches | Tuner: Freeview/Freesat HD | Resolution: 4K | Panel technology: LCD (Quantum dot) | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 836 x 1464 x 107mm

Tizen OS mostly impresses
Upgradable connections and OS
Backlight clouding issues
Distorted on-screen reflections

What makes Samsung UE65JS9000 so amazing is that it packs in just about every new technology you can imagine. But let's focus on the important stuff here, the image quality things. Samsung uses what it calls a SUHD screen, which uses quantum pixels to generate very pure light. This improves contrast and colour reproduction enormously, and opens the door to HDR images too, which give amazing detail in both bright and dark regions on-screen.

Read the full review: Samsung UE65JS9000

5. LG 55EG960V

One of the best TVs ever

Screen size: 65-inches | Tuner: Freeview/Freesat HD | Resolution: 4K | Panel technology: LCD (Quantum dot) | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 836 x 1464 x 107mm

Incredible realism
Pure, bright whites
Plasticky stand
Confusing WebOS

At nearly four grand this TV is mind-breakingly expensive, but please rest assured that it has earnt its place on this list. It's a 4K OLED TV, and that's a big deal. For one thing OLED is still causing problems for Panasonic, Sony and Samsung, so if you want one it's LG or nothing. But the company has done an amazing job. Image quality is stunning and black reproduction and colour will make you cry with joy which will help to dilute the tears of pain from the price. OLED is one of the technologies that will be big over the coming years, but for now it's super-expensive.

Read the full review: LG 55EG960V

6. Sony KD-75X9405C

Okay, time to go nuts with a 75-inch TV

Screen size: 75-inches | Tuner: Freeview/Freesat HD | Resolution: 4K | Panel technology: LCD (Quantum dot) | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1041 x 1929 x 322mm

Sensational picture quality
Equally sensational sound quality
Android doesn't convince
Upscaling can cause noise

It's more than £7000, but what can we say, these are the best TVs, not just the chepest. This is, if you have the money, the TV to buy. Its looks can divide opinion, but we think it's pretty amazing in terms of design. The picture quality is out-of-this-world and because it has those front-facing speakers, it sounds amazing too.

Read the full review: Sony KD-75X9405C

7. Panasonic TX-55AX902

Panasonic's high-end TV offers some great features, and 4K picture

Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview/Freesat HD | Resolution: 4K | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No| Dimensions:

Excellent fine detail
Solid smart portal
Poor motion handling
Generally unsatisfying image presets

The other Panasonic on this list is slightly smaller and misses one important feature - Netflix in 4K. TVs need a special decoder to understand 4K from streaming TV or broadcast and while this TV has it, the 802 above does not. Ultimately this might not be the most important feature for you, but the full-LED backlight also offers a better quality option.

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-55AX902

8. Panasonic TX-40CX680B

A relatively small 4K TV, but one with intriguing features

Screen size: 40-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 4K | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 202 x 904 x 56 mm

Customisable Firefox OS
Freeview Play incoming
Firefox OS lacks content
Three HDMI

It's lovely including 4K TVs that cost thousands, but what can you get for a bit more than £600? Well, from Panasonic at least, quite a bit. For one thing this TV features the new Firefox OS smart TV system which uses an operating system from the same people who build the web browser of the same name. There are apps - although not as many as on some platforms - and the whole package is impressive for the price. This TV also lacks 3D, which might annoy some, but actually doesn't worry us at all.

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-40CX680B

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