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Best 4K TV for Gaming: Top 4K and HDR Gaming Televisions (2017)

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If there’s one thing that’s going to push your game playing potential to the next level then that’s a 4K TV. The best 4K TV for gaming can provide the fine detail that gives you the headshot, or the extra frames-per-second that allow you to successfully outfox a sneaky opponent in a brutal hand-to-hand standoff.

Without the help gained from the very best gaming TVs, you might always have to ask yourself if you could have done better. Do you want that question hanging over you? If not, then tips and suggestions for the best 4K TV and the best HDR TV for gaming are just a scroll of your mouse away.

Firstly, though, we’ll have a quick look at what makes the best 4K TV for gaming. And if you happen to find these televisions to be a bit out of your price range then check out our list of budget 4K televisions.


Consoles have improved dramatically in the last few years and with the advent of the PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One S, the full specs of the best gaming TVs can really be appreciated. If you want to feel full immersed into an almost photorealistic world then the time is right to make a purchase.

Colors are more vibrant; the image has more detail and with a HDR TV the scope of what is possible to enjoy is furthered. While the difference between 4K and 1080p will be difficult to see on a small television, with a screen size pushing 50 inches there is only one winner. Add to this that sitting close to the screen still allows a vast jump in detail makes finding hidden snipers that much easier.

Best 4K TV for gaming (Best Value)

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Samsung UN60KS8000 60-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2016 Model)

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At the top of our list for the best 4K TV for gaming is Samsung’s line of affordable 4K televisions that provide absolutely excellent value. This minimalist TV brings bright 4K definition and smart hub controls that allow it to slip seamlessly into your gaming habits.

The Samsung UN60KS8000 4K Ultra HD TV is mid-range in price so not the cheapest, and as an edge-lit LED backlight system, it won’t give you the holy grail of top gaming TV’s – the fully backlight display. But neither will you have to part with a year’s worth of rent money.

But this is a beauty, utilizing Samsung’s patented Quantum Dot Color to make colors jump from the screen. The stunning horizons of open world games shine like silk on this TV, and the quality of the visual is thankfully matched by its low input lag levels, accessed through a well-designed Game Mode.

At 60 inches this set is hardly a wall flower – it will be noticed wherever you choose to put it. Unfortunately that’s not always the case for the image on screen. While its brightness means it can be clearly seen in bright rooms, side angle viewing is not one of the UNKS8000’s strengths. Despite the high-level image quality, it can’t match up to the visual output of an OLED’s.

Samsung’s UNKS8000 is a solid choice for gamer’s who want superb image display without the vast price tag of the very best 4K TVs. It’s a great all-round performer and anyone who buys it will be a happy gamer.

Note: If you buy this television or any other Samsung 4K TV, here’s a handy article that helped us out on how to configure gaming HDR on Samsung 4K TVs.

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Runner-up for best 4k HDR TV for gaming

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LG Electronics OLED55B6P Flat 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2016...

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There’s a reason that the LG B6 is the only OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) on our list. It is simply put the best 4k HDR TV for gaming. It is too, extremely expensive and that is why it is runner-up to the Samsung. Its OLED technology means that other televisions are unable to keep up with the majesty of its color performance or incredible viewing from any angle. A list of only OLED televisions would be pricing most out of the game, but when we are considering the best 4K TV for gaming, the LG B6 really has to be included.

OLED screens are a huge step up from their LED predecessor. Though OLED technology isn’t entirely new, its use in televisions is recent and has really set a performance mark. Its crucial difference over the LED is its smaller size. In both systems, the light emitting diodes have electricity run through them to omit light, but only the OLED has small enough diodes to be used and controlled to light individual pixels.  LG claims this leads to “Infinite Contrast”, meaning that blacks are true black, and the incredible gamut of colors can be effectively created for the first time.

Now these claims are bold, but the LG Electronics OLED55B6P can back them up. The High Dynamic Range is, as you would expect of an OLED television, superb. Blacks are true black (0 cd/m2) and the contrasts between colors are impeccable. The resultant images are beautiful and crisp.

Like all of the best 4K gaming TVs, the LG B6 exhibits incredible levels of detail in its image production that bring scenery and characters from your games to life. The input lag is a sublime (and best in this list) 28ms, ensuring your performance will only ever be limited by your own skills – not those of the television! The 55 inches of screen size is entirely adequate for any gaming scenario and the viewing angles are great wherever you happen to be sitting.

The B6 looks good in any living room or gaming den and comes with a flat base for a sturdy feel. Like other OLED televisions it is incredible thin and comes with a wall mount. All in all, a staggering entrance into the list.

The real draw-back is, of course, its price. It’s a high-end television that calls for high-end prices, and at the moment this doesn’t look likely to change. Though LG’s creation may be a “must have” for gaming fanatics, this isn’t the case for most casuals. And that’s a shame, considering the beauty of its visual output.

One other concern is the recent rash of complaints from gamers, complaining about LG’s firmware updates affecting the television’s visual quality and increasing its lag. Though LG says a fix is imminent, this might be enough to make some gamers think twice before buying this expensive TV.

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Low input lag and advanced tech

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Samsung UN65KS9800 Curved 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2016 Model)

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Big, bold and beautiful, this curved television must be one of the most attractive around. Stunning in its stylishness with specifications to match, Samsung’s creation should be on any list to decide the best HDR TV for gaming.

At 65 inches, this sleek option is on the large side and all the better for it. Equipped with Samsung’s Advanced Technology Quantum Dot system, the colors, depth and texture of what is on screen looks so real that it’s almost lifelike. The South-Korean company claims that their patented Quantum Dots allow a television to recreate color in the way that purely clear water does – accentuating vivid hues and creating a beautiful but accurate image. Photorealistic graphics on this bad boy will be too hot to handle!

A common complaint against 4K TVs from the gaming community is the problem of laggy gameplay. In case you don’t know, input lag is the time difference between a picture being created and the time it takes to appear on the TV. For gamers this is particularly important as only by seeing an action – say an enemy streaking across your screen – can you react to it. But with the UN65KS9800’s brilliant remedy – a picture mode option designed for gaming – this complaint has been banished. Instead, gamers can enjoy lightning fast image production to really bring out their skills.

Not only is performance of the Samsung UN65KS9800 world-class, but it also stands out with the immersive curvature of its screen. For some this might be a problem, potentially leading to reflections being distorted but others will appreciate its ultra-modern look. For some it’ll be an eyesore and for others a work of art.

Another thing that is worth noting is the double-edged nature of its charged-charged performance. While the TV’s brightness and clarity of colors are undeniable, in HDR there can be occasional problems with halos of light

Though this model isn’t straight off the factory line, having first seen the light of day in 2016, it’s still one of the best gaming TVs around. Even with the recent explosion of high-quality competitive designs that have come out since its release, UN65KS9800 the still manages to claim a place in our list.

For this reason and many others, this monster must be considered when choosing the best 4K TV for gaming crown.

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Excellent gaming TV for PS4 Pro

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Sony XBR65Z9D 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2016 Model)

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When you want the best gaming experience currently available, you have to expect to spend big.  All the top televisions come with a hefty price tag and this, perhaps the best HDR TV for gaming, is no exception.

But money is only a number, right? We can’t really quantify enjoyment produced by playing with the sublime performance of this incredible machine. With its HDR Game picture mode Sony has upped the ante to provide a seamless gaming experience even when playing on the most demanding settings. This television really pushes the limits of what is possible for gaming. Its performance output metrics

And the level of detail is so minute that the capabilities of the 4K resolution are clear to see. It’s not for no reason that the Sony XBR-65Z9D was Forbes TV of the year.

One exemplary area of performance is the TV’s visual performance is its use of Sony’s Backlight Master Drive. This technology, says Sony, allows the televisions to dim hundreds of local spots creating very stark contrasts between areas of light and dark and between colors. This backlighting system is exceptional here, producing a real pop from the screen and astounding images.

This model also offers a Game Mode for gamers to enjoy, lowering the input lag to a very decent 32ms. While this is a sound rate, considering the price of the XBR-65Z9D, it wouldn’t be unusual to expect a little more from a flagship set.

One other small bugbear is the issue of the television’s audio. Certainly for most gamers the quality of sound that the XBR-65Z9D emits will be adequate. But when you consider buying the best 4K TV for gaming, is adequate anything good enough? That’s a choice for the potential buyer.

This leads on to the overall downside to this almost perfect Sony creation. There is no denying this television’s expense. It sits near the very top of the best 4K TV price table and simply is not affordable for many pockets. But those who can pay the big bucks will say the quality is worth the price, and all things considered, it’s difficult to disagree.

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Best cheap 4K gaming television

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VIZIO D55u-D1 55" Class 4K Ultra HD 2160p 120Hz LED Smart HDTV...

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Vizio was founded in 2002 and is still a relative new comer to the business world. Yet quality of the Californian company’s output has been so high that in these short years it has been able to mount a serious push into the TV set market.

Vizio’s D55u-D1 television earns the right to be considered the best 4K TV for gaming for a number of reasons. With its affordable price, the D55u-D1 isn’t attempting to enter the high-end, yet there are aspects of this model that are seen in high-end sets.

A major plus is Vizio’s use of full-array backlighting. This brings out colors and contrasts leading to a more impressive overall quality of the image. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 where there are plenty out dramatic outdoor scenes will greatly benefit from this.

The D55u-D1’s input lag is scores very well, with a surprisingly low rating of 42.2ms when using the Game Low Latency options.  This is really reasonable for an entry-level set and should keep gamers happy.

As with any entry-level though, there are a few compromises that have to be made in order to keep the prices low. While the use of backlighting is exceptional, this television can’t be considered as the best HDR TV for gaming for one big reason – it doesn’t have DHR compliance! This is disappointing and something that may turn gamers off.

And as an object to look at, Vizio’s model is a little larger than most. It’s plain appeal aside; at 2.5 inches in depth it is much thicker than its competitors. This makes little difference if you plan to use the TV from a table, but attaching it to a wall becomes a struggle at this size.

 

Conclusion

The best 4K and best HDR TV for gaming changes for each buyer. Those wanting the absolute top in television performance should look to the higher end models like Sony’s BXR-65Z9D television that offers a staggering dynamic visual adventure but that comes with a meaty price.

Other folk who want an affordable choice would do well to search among the better value suggestions to find a balance between performance and buck that better suits your budget.

The range of lag input readings are all within the bounds of good gaming levels and so the gaming ability of the average avid gamer shouldn’t suffer. But for more hardcore gamers only the crème de la crème will suffice and so the money is worthwhile.

Remember that technologies continue a pace all the time, so even if you can’t afford the best right now, the improvements that are only ever over the horizon are likely to offer you more options soon.

 

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Peter A.

Peter A.

Peter is a British journalist working out of Mexico City. He's set on improving his Spanish and delving deeper into consumer tech.
Peter A.
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