Best TV: Our pick of the 12 top HD TVs and UHD 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. Panasonic TX-65CZ952

"Produces the best all-round picture quality I've ever seen."

Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Custom Panasonic | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 1,448 x 913 x 311 mm

Best picture quality ever
Tackles previous OLED issues
You can't afford it
Doesn't carry Firefox OS

Panasonic has set out to make a statement with the 65CZ952. With an eye-watering price tag of nearly £8,000 it's clearly not a TV the brand expects to sell in large quantities. Yet its combination of OLED tech, Panasonic's latest and greatest video processing and input from Hollywood have the potential to set new picture quality standards.

While we will probably never be able to own one, though, the 65CZ952 still represents a key moment in the history of television for the way it harnesses Panasonic's processing power and picture quality know-how to take the performance potential of OLED TV to a previously unimagined level.

Read the ful review: Panasonic TX-65CZ952

2. LG 65EF950V

"OLED screen technology is quite simply the future of television."

Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: webOS 2.0 | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1450 x 883 x 236 mm

Extraordinary contrast
webOS is brilliant
Shadowing down the sides
Limited brightness

Despite a couple of strange lighting flaws, there are times - lots of them, in fact - where the 65EF950V's pictures look pretty much perfect. Certainly the amount of contrast and shadow detail on show will be a dream come true to home cinema fans still mourning the death of plasma TVs. The set is gorgeously designed too, and LG's webOS interface is on hand to make sure it's never hard to find something to watch.

The fact that all the 65EF950V's, in some cases unique, attractions are available here in a flat screen at a more affordable price than expected is just the icing on the cake.

Read the full review: LG 65EF950V

3. Sony KD-75X9405C

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

Screen size: 75-inches | Tuner: Freeview/Freesat HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Android TV | 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 £5,000, but what can we say, these are the best-sounding TVs of all. 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

4. Samsung UE65JS9500

"Heady combination of a 4K picture with high dynamic range images."

Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: LED Backlit | Smart TV: Tizen | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 917 x 1450 x 379mm

Uniquely future-proof
Stunningly bright images
Curve won’t suit all
It’s pretty expensive

If Samsung is to be believed, the 65-inch UE65JS9500 represents a whole new category of TV technology; it’s not just a UHD TV, it’s an ‘SUHD’ TV.

While Samsung’s flag-waver for 2015 is seriously demanding on your wallet (though slightly cheaper than the top LG 65EC970V screen) and even occasionally feels almost too far ahead of its time, when all’s said and done it’s currently uniquely qualified to cope with the AV future that’s almost upon us.

Read the full review: Samsung UE65JS9500

5. LG 65EC970V

"Capable of some of the most gorgeous pictures ever seen on a home screen."

Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: WebOS | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 880 x 1447 x 257mm

Dark scenes look incredible
Gorgeous design
Needs careful set up
Can’t be run very bright

For what feels like an eternity now OLED screens have been touted as the next big thing in TV technology. There’s one big problem with OLED screens, though: they’re seriously hard to make.

The 65EC970V’s lack of HDR support means it’s not as future-proof as a few of its latest LCD rivals, but the fact remains that there are times - many of them - when the 65EC970V produces the most gorgeous pictures seen on a TV to date, doing nothing to dent the widely held belief among AV enthusiasts that some day all TVs will be made the OLED way.

Read the full review: LG 65EC970V

6. Philips 55PUT6400

"It catches the eye with its price and size for a 4K UHD TV."

Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 773 x 1239 x 266mm

Native 4K sources look good
Good price for a large 4K TV
Processing can be clumsy
Overbearing Android TV interface

The 55PUT6400 offers more screen inches per monetary pound than any other big brand 4K TV tested so far. It's also capable of delivering excellent pictures when it's set up right - especially with native 4K content.

The 55PUT6400 is a striking debut for Philips' new TV range. It catches the eye with its price and size for a 4K UHD TV, and in many ways its pictures grab your attention too. Certainly it's capable of doing more justice to native 4K content than you might expect for its money.

Read the full review: Philips 55PUT6400

7. Sony KDL-55W805C

"Includes everything the TV needs to produce one of the finest pictures I've seen from an HD TV."

Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1080p | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 753 x 1230 x 210mm

Superlative picture quality
Good auto picture optimisation
Android TV isn't great
Not cheap for HD

It's a sign of how fast the TV world is changing right now that Sony's decision to launch a premium HD TV like the 55W805C in 2015 feels like a brave move.

Thanks to a rich specification list that includes Sony's ever-impressive X-Reality Pro processing, edge LED lighting driven by a local dimming engine, some potent motion handling and a content-rich smart TV system it delivers a truly high-end, big-screen experience.

So long as you don't see yourself being fussed about 4K for the next few years, the 55W805C is a compelling TV. Its engagingly slim form plays host to a long list of features that includes everything the TV needs to produce one of the finest pictures I've seen from an HD TV. It's well connected too, and while Android TV turns out to be a bit of a chore it's still got plenty of smart TV appeal.

Read the full review: Sony KDL-55W805C

8. LG 55EG960V

"One of the best TVs ever."

Screen size: 55-inches | Tuner: Freeview/Freesat HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: WebOS | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 836 x 1464 x 107mm

Incredible realism
Pure, bright whites
Plasticky stand
Confusing WebOS

At nearly three 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

9. Panasonic TX-50CX802B

"Far and away Panasonic's best LCD TV to date."

Screen size: 50-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Firefox OS | Curved: No | Dimensions: 687mm x 1121mm x 211mm

Superbly detailed, natural pictures
Exceptional colour rendition
Slight motion blur
Calibrated pictures lack brightness

While there's room for improvement with its backlight and motion handling, the 50CX802 is far and away Panasonic's best LCD TV to date.

Its pictures benefit from a unique focus on colour and greyscale nuances that give it a genuine USP, and it backs this up with an appealingly friendly new Firefox smart TV interface and - following imminent firmware updates - both HDR and Freeview Play functionality.

All at what is, all things considered, an attractive price.

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-50CX802B

10. Samsung UE48JS8500

"Superb colour, awesome 4K detail and sublime depth make this one special TV."

Screen size: 48-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Tizen | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 689 x 1083 x 308mm

Superb colour
Smooth motion
Black crush
Lacks processing speed

If you're in the market for a Samsung SUHD, the 48-inch model is well worth a long, lingering look. It's considerably cheaper than the step-up UE48JS9000 and UE65JS9500T models and has great image quality to boot.

The UE48JS8500's superb colour, awesome 4K detail and sublime depth make this one special TV, though some black crush does take the edge off. Excellent usability features – from second-screening a TV channel and hosting all UK catch-up TV apps to supporting Netflix/Amazon 4K and playing-back 4K video files – are welcome but slightly under-powered in terms of processing speed.

The UE48JS8500 though still remains a good value way to sample Samsung's impressive SUHD TVs.

Read the full review: Samsung UE48JS8500

11. Panasonic TX-40CX680B

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

Screen size: 40-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Firefox OS | 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

12. Panasonic TX-32CS510

"One of the best connected and best value 32-inchers available."

Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1080p | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: myHomeScreen | Curved: No | Dimensions: 474 x 734 x 148mm

Clean, contrasty images
Freetime
HD-ready resolution
Only two HDMI inputs

Should you buy a 32-inch HD-ready TV for your second room? The 1366 x 768 resolution is an old-school one but isn't as outdated as you might think - Netflix usually comes down the pipe at 480p.

That well-matched resolution is one reason why the 32CS510's images are so clean as well as so technically impressive. It may lack ultimate detail on Blu-ray discs, but that's about it.

Gaming, Freeview HD channels, DVDs and Netflix all get a polished, colourful and contrasty treatment that's retained even at extreme viewing angles. Though the 32CS510 lacks Panasonic's latest Firefox-based smart TV platform, the myHomeScreen platform it does have is thorough and impressive.

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-32CS510