Few televisions have the technical characteristics necessary to take advantage of all the prowess promised by the PS5 and the Xbox Series X and S. The aim of this guide is to tell you which features to focus on to get the best possible experience with your console. next gen on TV.
November 2020 was marked by the release of Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S. A success on the one hand and on the other with the best launch in the history of the PlayStation as well as a sales record for Xbox. So all next gen console models are out of stock. But if you’ve managed to get one, or want to invest in a TV now for a future purchase of a PS5 or Xbox Series X or S, then it’s best to have all the information on hand to choose the right one. model that suits you and that will make the most of the technical characteristics of the new generation of consoles. So here are the things you need to consider before buying a television.
Should you buy an 8K or 4K TV?
In theory, both PS5 and Xbox Series X are capable of 8K resolution. But for now, and probably for a few more years, no game is natively compatible with such image quality. Ditto for video streaming services or TV channels, such content is currently non-existent. Upscaling does exist, of course, and allows you to enjoy artificial 8K on 4K content, but the quality is not the same as native 8K.
In addition, even if at the end of the generation we finally see the arrival of games that natively support 8K, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will be limited to 30 frames per second in this mode. Most players will prefer it anyway play in 4K and 60 fps (even 120 fps), the real promise of the new consoles, rather than 8K and 30 fps.
Finally, 8K TVs are extremely expensive. Over the years, their price will drop while their quality will increase. It will be many years before they become a standard like 4K televisions are today, which have only very gradually replaced Full HD 1080p. In other words: unless you have very substantial financial means, go for a 4K television, you will be quiet for 6-8 years.
What is the ideal screen size for a TV?
With the democratization of 4K, large diagonal TVs are increasingly used in our living rooms. The formats 55 and 65 inches are very popular and are gradually replacing the traditional 32 and 40 inch. But there is no easy answer to what are the best dimensions for a TV, it depends on your situation. Three major criteria must be taken into account: the size of the show, the distance between the spectators and the screen and the definition. In accordance with the previous point, we will assume that you are interested in 4K TV.
The bigger the TV, the more immersive the experience. But if you’re close to the slab when you play, it’s best to limit yourself. We can recommend that you start on a 50-inch model if you are seated less than 2 meters from the TV, to favor a 55-inch between 2 and 2.5 meters and a minimum of 65 inches from 3 meters away for good. enjoy the action.
Of course, environmental constraints are the most important : size of the living room or of the room that will host the TV, layout of the sofa and seating around the TV, choice of a VESA mount or a TV cabinet … Take your measurements well before you start so as not to realize too late that you don’t have enough room. If your TV stand is small, the center leg system may be interesting rather than the double leg on the sides. If you want to add a soundbar, also make sure that the two devices can coexist.
Field of vision, distance, format … we discuss this in more detail in our report “Which TV screen size to choose?”.
Which screen technology to choose for a TV?
Screen quality is essential, and a multitude of parameters must be taken into account to make an informed choice. We will quickly come back to some important points that should not be overlooked. To learn more, we refer you to our comparison on the differences between screen technologies.
OLED vs LCD
We are dealing here with two completely different types of slab. On the one hand, OLED is made up of organic LEDs that are capable of producing their own light. LCD panels, that is to say all other types of screens that are not OLED on the mainstream market today, are also based on an LED principle, but these act as a filter and the light comes from a backlight panel located behind. By their own identity, LCD panels suffer from a lack of contrast, because a pixel is never really off, whereas it is possible on OLED.
OLED is the most expensive technology, and prices have struggled to come down in recent years as production capacities are low. LG alone designs the OLED panels for televisions, which power its own models as well as those of other brands such as Sony and Philips. The OLED has almost no flaws : color rendering, responsiveness, viewing angles, contrast are excellent craftsmanship. The peak brightness, however, may be lower than that of the best LCDs, a parameter that is taken into account if you are used to playing in a very sunny living room. But generally speaking, this is not a problem.
|Color rendering||Contrast||Reactivity||Brightness||Viewing angles|
If you can afford it, OLED is clearly the go-to option for gamers. There are also some top-notch LCD TVs, but reading their true capabilities is often difficult.
Backlighting: Edge LED, Direct LED (Full LED, Full Array), Local Dimming
OLED is exceptional, but it is also very expensive. This is why many consumers stay on LCD. But depending on the backlighting technique used, the quality of the rendered image has nothing to do with it. So let’s explain these terms that you must have already seen if you go through TV datasheets.
- TheEdge LED is to install the LED diodes all along the contours of the panel, so there are none at the heart of it. These are then reflectors that scatter the light across the screen. An imprecise solution that offers basic quality backlighting, but which has the merit of taking up little space and allowing the development of fine TVs.
- Televisions Direct LED, also called Full LED or Full Array offer a more homogeneous backlighting and greater brightness, because the LEDs are positioned over the entire surface of the panel and no longer on the edges only.
- With the Local Dimming, each LED is part of a zone, each zone being independent. The switching on and off of the zones is thus dynamic, allowing a more precise and faithful rendering. Blacks also get much deeper with this technology.
For a high-end gaming experience, the Full Array Local Dimming (FALD), combination of the two techniques mentioned above, is more and more popular. It is this feature that you are most looking for on LCDs if you have the budget. Each FALD television then has its own particularities. The higher the number of zones, the better the quality. On a 2020 Samsung Q80T 55 inches, for example, there are 48 dimming zones. We are on the entry level for Full Array Local Dimming. For the same diagonal, the 2019 Q90R goes up to 240 dimming zones.
VA vs IPS
The type of tile is also of course important. For gamers, we recommend you rather orient towards a VA screen, which will offer better contrast than an IPS display, with very deep blacks, crisp whites and more detail in dark areas. The IPS, on the other hand, will perform better on viewing angles. For playing video games, or even for watching video content, the quality of the contrast will generally be more important. Better viewing angles can be useful, however, depending on the layout of your living room, the number of users, and where you sit around the TV.
Samsung and HiSense particularly like VA technology, while LG leans more towards IPS. LG Display supplying many other brands, its IPS panels abound everywhere, as at Xiaomi for example, but also on Philips models. Check each model if it is VA or IPS, some manufacturers use both technologies and vary by model.
QLED, ULED, SLED, Nanocell, Triluminos
You thought you were done with the different denominations of LCD TVs? Nay! Manufacturers compete in ingenuity, playing on the backlighting and LEDs, to improve the performance of their TVs and get closer to what OLED offers. And the latest big innovation to hit the market is the use of Quantum Dots. The result is ranges of televisions benefiting from a more precise and fairer colorimetry, of very high quality. Each manufacturer has its own recipe and its own name:
- QLED at Samsung and TCL
- The Nanocell at LG
- The Triluminos at Sony
- ULED at HiSense
- SLED at Realme
To sum up, here is the winning trio when it comes to screens for an exceptional gaming TV: Full Array Local Dimming + VA + Quantum Dots. Be careful, with such a combination, you also risk dangerously exploding your budget and approaching OLED prices.
HDR10 + and Dolby Vision
If you’ve followed our previous tips, chances are, the TV model (s) you are eyeing with now are HDR10 + or Dolby Vision compatible. These two technologies allow you to enjoy sharper contrast, higher brightness and more vivid colors. In either case, we take advantage of a 10-bit color depth (1.07 billion colors) with dynamic processing, that is, display data is calculated for each frame, providing superior and more immersive rendering. The standard HDR10 is static and much less interesting. So look for a TV that supports HDR10 + or Dolby Vision, the differences between the two are not important for gaming use.
What frequency of refreshment for his TV?
The refresh rate of a screen is expressed in hertz. This value lets you know what is the maximum images per second that the panel can manage to display. The higher it is, the better the fluidity and the less significant the motion blur effects. The standard on televisions is 50/60 Hz. And while on other devices like monitors, smartphones, or even increasingly gaming laptops, the entry price for a higher refresh rate is relatively low, it’s hard to find a more expensive TV. 60 Hz at a reasonable price. We must necessarily turn to the premium segment, or the top of the mid-range basket.
For the Xbox Series S, which is limited to 4K at 60 frames per second, no problem. But to unlock the potential of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, capable of processing up to 120 frames per second, you have to invest in a television with at least 120 Hz. The refresh rate is usually indicated on the device’s technical sheet. Otherwise, another way to know if a television is capable of displaying 120 frames per second is to check if it has a HDMI 2.1 port, the only HDMI standard currently compatible with 4K at 120 frames per second.
Why is HDMI 2.1 important for playing on your TV?
But HDMI 2.1 is far from being just a combination of definition and frames per second. It also induces the presence of technologies aimed at providing superior image quality, audio quality and experience. Here are the main ones:
- The Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), or variable refresh rate in the language of Molière, avoids tearing (the effects of tearing) for a sharper and more fluid image. This feature actually improves the synchronization of the display frequency between the console and the TV. This is the same principle as G-Sync and FreeSync technologies on computers.
- TheAuto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) is another flagship feature of next gen consoles, but which can only be enjoyed if they are connected via HDMI 2.1 with a compatible television. It helps reduce input lag, thus reducing the latency between when a player performs an action and when that action appears on the screen. Useful in all circumstances, and especially in multiplayer and competitive games.
- The eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) is an improvement of the ARC standard which allows higher bandwidth and data rates. The digital audio signal is thus more detailed, rich and dynamic and you can make the most of advanced audio formats like DTS: X or Dolby Atmos.
It is therefore imperative to invest in a television equipped with at least one HDMI 2.1 port to play with a PS5 or Xbox Series X in the best conditions. If you need more than one HDMI 2.1 socket, be sure to check how many such ports the TV you are interested in has. Some manufacturers, at Samsung for example, offer models with 4 HDMI ports in total, but only one meets HDMI 2.1 standards. To learn more, check out our article on HDMI standards.
PS5: Ready for PlayStation 5
To help the general public understand which televisions are particularly suitable for using a PS5, Sony has established a label “Ready for PlayStation 5”. This guarantees the support of 4K at 120 images per second as well as the presence of a whole series of features already supported by the stamped products. “Perfect for PlayStation” : lower latency, automatic switching on of the TV on the appropriate source when switching on the console or control of the console via the remote control, a very practical option for navigation in the interface of the PlayStation.
The “Ready for PlayStation 5” certification is only distributed to Sony televisions. It’s of course possible to get 4K at 120 fps on other brands of TVs, but some smart features might be missing on these models.
Our selection of TVs to play on PS5 and Xbox Series X and S
You now have all the keys in hand to choose the television model that will accompany your next-generation console and be sure to benefit from a superb gaming experience. To guide you a little more, we present below some references that caught our eye, trying to cover a wide spectrum of budgets. But obviously the entry price remains high for the time being, as HDMI 2.1 is still scarce.
LG OLED CX
Let’s start this selection with OLED. LG will not be mentioned later with its LCD televisions, even Nanocell, because we believe that there are better options for playing than IPS. More affordable than the GX series TVs, the CXs are still excellent options for gaming with its four HDMI 2.1 compatible ports. Via a partnership with Microsoft, they are also officially recommended by the Redmond firm to play on Xbox Series X or S. We find all the qualities of OLED for exceptional contrast and rendering both in game and for watching movies or series. CXs are available in 48 ″, 55 ″, 65 ″ and 77 ″ diagonals.
Samsung QLED Q95T
The top of the range from Samsung with its famous QLED technology. The Q95T TVs enjoy incredible color rendering and deep blacks, without reaching the level of an OLED of course. It stands out for its very high brightness which the LG CXs cannot achieve. Its anti-glare filter also works wonders, so it’s clearly the best option if you regularly play in a bright room. Too bad that Samsung was content to only integrate an HDMI 2.1 socket, it is not possible to connect both a PS5 and an Xbox Series if you want to enjoy 4K at 120 fps on both. The screen size starts at 55 inches and goes up to 85 inches, going through 65 and 75 inches as well.
Certified “Ready for PlayStation 5”, it brings enhanced features to the user experience on PS5 in addition to 4K at 120 frames per second. This is of course a very good option for new generation Xboxes as well. As with Samsung, we regret the presence of a single HDMI 2.1 port. The backlit VA Triluminos panel with Full Array Local Dimming offers a spectacular image. Dolby Vision compatible, it obviously manages the functions of Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode. 55, 65, 75 or 85 inches, the choice is yours.
Samsung QLED Q80T
To lower the bill somewhat, Samsung’s Q80T model is a good alternative. It is almost as efficient as the Q95T for video games, it is especially those who wish to combine cinema and gaming who must turn to the most premium option. It automatically activates the Real Game Enhancer function when launching a game to optimize display and sound as well as reduce lag and distortion. Beware of the trap, if there are Q80Ts in 49 and 50 inches, they do not have an HDMI 2.1 port or a 100/120 Hz panel. These options are reserved for models of the series from 55 inches.