The best Home Cinema TVs
2021/11

More and more often, suitable 4K TVs are offered in sizes that are appropriate for Home Cinemas, and in almost all cases they have better picture quality than comparable projectors.

The only question that remains is exactly which TV to choose and what requirements the centerpiece of the Home Cinema must fulfill.

Here you can find our selection of the best Home Cinema TVs, suitable alternatives and answers to frequently asked questions.

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The best TV for your Home Cinema: Sony A90J

In our opinion, the best TV for your own Home Cinema is the Sony OLED A90J because it has an unsurpassed picture quality when it comes to movies or series.

On the one hand, this is because the A90J can get brighter than comparable OLEDs from the competition, and on the other hand, because Sony belongs to the top class when it comes to image processing or the upscaling software. In addition, it is available up to an enormous 83 inches, which is really advantageous in a Home Cinema context.

What should not be missing in a Home Cinema is a good sound that matches the quality of the picture. The A90J offers Dolby Atmos as well as the DTS audio format, but also the Acoustic Surface Audio+ function, which allows it to function as a center speaker. Thus, you have, like in the cinema, sound directly from the center of the picture!

The A90J arrives already well calibrated at home, but it can also easily be calibrated thanks to Calman Ready, so that it is very difficult to distinguish it from a reference monitor.

In summary, it combines all the positive characteristics of an OLED panel, in addition to its high peak brightness, but also the natural image processing that can only be found in this form with Sony!

LG C1 OLED
4K / UHD
120 Hz
4x HDMI 2.1

Even if we choose the A90J as the best Home Cinema TV, there are alternatives that might be the better choice for many. One option that is often cheaper than the A90J, apart from special offers, is the LG OLED C1. While the LG G1 with the OLED evo panel would be a slightly better choice when it comes to the best possible picture quality, it is only available in up to a maximum of 77 inches, while the C1 is also available in Home Cinema-worthy 83 inches. When it comes to Home Cinemas, bigger is usually simply better, even if the picture quality is minimally worse.

The LG OLED C1 unfortunately lacks DTS, but you can also calibrate it quickly and easily with the Calman Ready function. And just briefly for those who want to use the TV for video games in addition to the Home Cinema: with the C1, you get a TV that really offers everything in terms of gaming.

The Best Cheap Home Cinema TV: LG A1 OLED

So far, only OLED TVs have been suggested for your own Home Cinema, and there are good reasons for that!

On the one hand, a Home Cinema should be dimmable to ensure the right atmosphere and the best possible picture quality. And secondly, the biggest disadvantage of an OLED panel can’t arise in the first place – there are no reflections or mirroring.

That’s why we always recommend reaching for an OLED TV, this guarantees a cinema-quality picture in a dark environment.

That’s why the LG OLED A1 is the most viable alternative for us if you’re on a strict budget. It is not as bright as its step-up models, but even here you get an excellent picture quality that leaves nothing to be desired in relation to the price.

Samsung AU8000
4K / UHD
60 Hz
No HDMI 2.1

If you want it to be even cheaper, the cheapest option that still makes sense in the Home Cinema context is the Samsung AU8000.

Of course, you have to do without some features on this model, and the picture quality cannot keep up with the previously mentioned TVs. However, the AU8000 is available in sizes up to 85 inches, so the size is not a problem.

Considering the price, you at least still get a decent contrast with this TV because of the VA panel, even if the viewing angle definitely leaves something to be desired.

We can no longer speak of High Dynamic Range here, but hopefully of a great deal and the first point of contact towards one’s own HDR Home Cinema performance.

The best Home Cinema TVs in comparison

TVModel yearPanelResolutionHDMIHDRRating
Movies & SeriesHDR Picture Quality
Sizes

The best TV for your Home Cinema:

Recommended
Sony A90J
Sony A90J
2021OLED evo4K/UHD
2x HDMI 2.1 ([email protected])
ARC eARC
HDR10 HLG Dolby Vision
Movies & Series
HDR Picture Quality
Alternative
LG C1 OLED
Alternative:
LG C1 OLED
2021OLED4K/UHD
4x HDMI 2.1 ([email protected])
ARC eARC
HDR10 HLG Dolby Vision IQ Dolby Vision
Movies & Series
HDR Picture Quality

The Best Cheap Home Cinema TV:

Recommended
LG A1 OLED
LG A1 OLED
2021OLED4K/UHD
ARC eARC
HDR10 HLG Dolby Vision IQ Dolby Vision
Movies & Series
HDR Picture Quality
Alternative
Samsung AU8000
Alternative:
Samsung AU8000
2021VA4K/UHD
ARC eARC
HDR10 HLG HDR10+
Movies & Series
HDR Picture Quality

Noteworthy LCD alternative:

Sony X85J

If you want it to be a bit more affordable, you will unfortunately have to refrain from buying an OLED.

The Sony X85J is an LCD TV with a VA panel, which gives it a good contrast, but only a limited viewing angle.

Sony’s image processing gets a lot out of the VA panel and the picture is decent, but it lacks a local dimming feature for stunning images, which is reserved for the more expensive models.

It’s also available in 85 inches, but with only a very narrow viewing angle, colors can look slightly washed out at the edges even if you’re sitting straight in front of the TV — at least if you’re sitting comparatively close and have the more imposing sizes in view.

For further calibration with other Home Cinema devices, the Sony X85J offers Dolby Atmos as well as the increasingly rare DTS via HDMI eARC.

What to consider when buying a Home Cinema TV?

Criteria for a Home Cinema TV:

To get a true home theater feeling, it’s all about 3 things: the size of the TV, its picture quality, and the audio requirements. I would like to briefly discuss these points here.

You might not have expected the first point, but we think it should not be ignored. The bigger a TV is, the more cinema feeling can arise. And to a certain extent, size is also more important than the last bit of picture quality, in our opinion. Normally, a viewing angle of about 30° between the right and left edge of the screen is a good orientation, but for Home Cinema it can be more. So even at a distance of just under 3 meters, you can opt for a TV over 80 inches.

The second point is picture quality, or better HDR picture quality for movies or series. Of course, many factors play a role here. One aspect that can be disregarded in Home Cinema is how to deal with reflections, because we assume that you can darken your room. If you sit very close in front of a very large TV, you should also pay attention to the viewing angle. After all, you’re simultaneously looking straight at the center of the TV and somewhat obliquely at the edges.

At a certain point, of course, it’s also about the image processing and / or calibration of the TV. However, since this is a matter of taste, I can only go into this point to a limited extent. Perhaps this much: These points do not appear in our ratings, but we mention them when it is particularly important for the TVs.

The last point is the sound. Most people looking for a TV for their Home Cinema will probably have an external surround system or at least a soundbar. That means the TV should work as well as possible with these. It’s easiest if the TV then supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and can pass on these formats via HDMI eARC.

Frequently asked questions

With Disney’s purchase of Fox last year, the last major movie studio that was still in the competing HDR10+ camp has now also switched to Dolby Vision. Thus, there are more and more movies that are produced in Dolby Vision.

In addition, Dolby Vision can now also be integrated via HLG and thus in linear television transmission. Not that it is done yet, but the possibility is there. So Dolby, like VHS back then, has already won the format battle with a probability bordering on 100%.

No, unfortunately not, because the TVs need a special chip to process Dolby Vision and this costs the TV manufacturer license fees.

An official update or retrofitting is therefore out of the question.

Of course, you can also use a projector in the Home Cinema.

A Home Cinema projector makes sense if you want the screen to be even bigger than a TV is available. That is, over 90 inches.

To save money, it is, in our opinion, the wrong decision. Because with cheaper beamers, you don’t have a good picture, generally speaking.

Most often you can find DTS audio tracks on Blu-Rays and if you have a Blu-Ray player that can split audio and video signal, it’s not a problem anymore.

Unfortunately, no. 3D movies could never establish themselves for Home Cinema on a broad scale.

Therefore, there are unfortunately no current TVs that support 3D.

Slowly there are the first cinema movies that are produced in 8K resolution, at least from a certain production step. However, I’m not yet aware of any way to get them in that resolution at home.

There is upscaling, but the added value of the higher resolution is quite limited.  We advise against opting for 8K at the expense of picture quality. That’s why no 8K TV appeared in this article.

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