When the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in just a matter of weeks(!), they’re promising a big jump forward in what games can do, from fancy new graphics tech such as Ray Tracing, to the way ultra-fast load times can give games new structures that weren’t possible before, to the first 120 frames-per-second games on console, which will play more smoothly and respond faster than anything that’s come before.
- PS5 pre-orders – where to look if you didn't yours already
But to take advantage of everything the new consoles have to offer, you need one of the best gamings TVs to match up to all these features… and not all do, even when it comes to new TVs released in 2020.
As it stands, the best TV to buy to use with the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X is the LG CX.
• Read our full five-star LG CX review
LG’s OLED TV gets the nod for three reasons: not only is it generally a fantastic TV – riding high in our lists of the best TVs overall, as well as our rankings of the best OLED TVs – but it’s also equipped with every technical feature you need to take full advantage of what the new consoles can do. And reason three is that it’s also a good price – while still more at the premium end, it offers better value than almost any other TV.
In our review, we said "The LG CX’s combination of exquisite pictures at a lower price make it LG’s most all-round irresistible OLED TV yet."
"It's just about unmatched for its delicate and realistic images in movies, and it also manages to be a dream for those looking at the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X."
It’s available in 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch sizes – it’s the first 4K OLED TV available at under 50 inches, meaning it’s easier to get the perfect size for your room than some of its rivals.
With HDMI 2.1 support on all four of its HDMI sockets, it’s flexible for connectivity as TVs get. HDMI 2.1 is the latest and greatest standard, and includes support for all of the new features that TVs can take advantage of.
What are the next-gen gaming features?
The main features of PS5 and Xbox Series X to look out for in any TV (but all are supported by the CX) are:
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): ALLM enables the console to tell the TV that it’s a gaming device, so that the TV can auto-switch to its Game Mode, which tweaks the processing to reduce the lag between when the TV receives a frame of video from the connection and when it gets shown on-screen. Lots of newer TVs have this, even if they don’t support HDMI 2.1.
4K 120Hz: The ability to run games at 120fps is a flashy feature of the new consoles. Previous consoles run games at a maximum of 60fps. Doubling the number of frames shown each second has two big benefits: the first is that the console is able to show you anything that happens (the results of your own actions, or someone else’s) twice as fast, giving you a split-second extra to respond. This is great in twitchy action games, or racing games where you’re responding to changing conditions at speed. Second is that it makes everything look more realistic than ever, because it’s basically impossible for the eye to distinguish that many images per second from real life, so animation looks essentially perfect.
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): To keep games looking as clean as possible on your TV, they’re usually locked to run at exactly 30fps or 60fps. If a console drops to another frame rate when your TV is trying to display at 60fps, you can end up looking at half-built frames, because the console is part-way through generating one when the TV wants to display one, making things look torn and jerky. VRR adds a way for the console and TV to stay in sync even if the console needs to change its frame rate when something really large complicated happens, for example, so what you see stays smooth and clear even when the frame rate drops.
Now, the LG CX isn’t the only TV to support all of these features, but for our money, it’s the best balance of image quality (because you want the TV to be one of the best looking on market as well as supporting everything else fancy), new features, a good range of sizes, and providing value for money.
It even pleases us with little touches, such as have all four ports supporting these features, which not all other TVs will, giving you a headache if you get both next-gen consoles down the line.
You can go cheaper to get all these features, while still sticking with OLED. The LG BX is the little brother of the CX, and has just been released. It costs less than the CX, but still supports every PS5/Xbox Series X feature. It's slightly less strong for image quality, though still superb – think excellent quality instead of flagship quality.
• LG CX vs LG BX: how LG's OLED TVs compare, and which is right for you
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