As happens every year, buying a TV in 2016 is an exercise in frustration, rife with confusing terms and umpteen models and brands. Here are a few of the best values we've found, at a time of year when they're starting to see price cuts.
The outlook: Among TVs we've reviewed this year Vizio's P series delivers the best picture bang for the buck. It outperforms its peers from Samsung, Sony and LG and costs less. If you don't mind buying a Vizio, it's our top pick. At least until we review the...
The outlook: We haven't tested it as of press time, but the M series seems like the best candidate to outdo the P series' value proposition. It has slightly worse specifications on paper, but it's still pretty cutting-edge, and still includes a free tablet. We'll see.
The outlook: Even cheaper than the Vizios is TCL's line of 4K Roku TVs, available with a headphone jack remote (the UP130) or not (the US5800). Streaming apps, and other video, don't look much better in 4K, but the convenience of having Roku built-in, as well as a 65-inch option, make this series a great budget 4K buy. The non-4K version is an even better deal, however.
The outlook: So maybe you don't want a Vizio or a TCL. This Samsung is one of the company's higher-end examples, with very good picture quality and all of the sleek styling and futuristic features you'd expect.
The outlook: Wait, so you don't want a Vizio but you do want something with a better picture than that Samsung? Welcome to the pay-up zone, where those fall price cuts aren't nearly as steep. The X930D is a beautiful, high-performance LCD television, but it costs a mint. But not as as much as...
The outlook: Wait, what? Yes, Sony is selling a TV that's even more expensive than an LG OLED. It claims that the Z9D's superior light output and prodigious local dimming zones allow it to overcome many of LCD's limitations compared to OLED. We haven't reviewed one yet to test those claims, but in any case the Z9D's audience is limited. Especially for the 100-incher pictured here (coming soon for an as-yet undisclosed price #$$$).
The outlook: Looking for the best picture, period? Look no further. LG's 2016 OLED TVs deliver astonishing image quality, and the B6 is the least-expensive example. Of course it still costs an arm and a leg, but isn't that a small price to pay for near-perfection?