In recent years TVs have started to take gamers seriously. Input lag keeps dropping and is now in the range where its unnoticeable to casual gamers and more than acceptable to more competitive players. What’s more, today’s best 4K TVs under $1000 offer incredible picture quality for the money, thanks to HDR technology that provides rich colors and high contrast.
Another advance in consumer TVs that translates well for gamers is the increased availability of models that support 120Hz at 1080p, or in the case of Samsung, 1440p as well. And the latest Samsung QLEDs even offer variable refresh rate using AMD Freesync, and can even use the feature with an Xbox One X.
So here’s a not-so-shocking revelation… low input lag is key to gaming, so among all the specs I considered for inclusion, none was considered with greater gravity than latency.
With that in mind, here’s a fresh list containing some of the best 4K TVs for under $1000 that are best for gamers.
1. Our Pick: Samsung 55″ Q6F QLED
The Samsung Q6F is the most affordable point of entry to Samsung’s QLED TV lineup with the 55 inch model priced at just under $1000. Samsung has aimed squarely at gamers and the features they seek with its QLED lineup by offering variable refresh rate using AMD Freesync technology.
The Samsung Q6F QLED was reviewed and measured by rtings.com, which gave it an 8.7/10 rating for video games, and 8.4/10 rating for HDR gaming, and an 8.2/10 rating for use as a PC monitor. These are very high scores for these categories, and indeed are the areas where the Q9F scored the highest.
The quantum dot LED-LCD display tech used in this TV is impervious to burn-in, a boon for dedicated gamers who always play the same game. Motion rendering on this TV is good and input lag is incredibly minimal. Indeed, this TV can achieve an incredible 6.6 ms lag time in 1080p with variable refresh rate, according to rtings.com. 4K 60Hz lag is 15.3 ms, which is also great.
These two TVs are at the top of the list because for the money, you can’t buy a more gamer-friendly TV than a Samsung Q6F.
These two models (55R617 and 65R617) from TCL offer a big screen with great picture quality and a ton of features such as Roku built in and Dolby Vision support. They are bang for the buck champions that get a 8.6/10 rating for video games from rtings.com. which is almost as good as the Q6F QLEDs above.
This TV presents no risk of burn-in and handles motion reasonably well. What you give up, versus the Samsung, is 120 Hz support and variable refresh rate support. This TV only accepts signals up to 60Hz. Input lag is good, staying under 20 ms when in game mode for 1080p and 4K content, HDR or no HDR.
These are great all-around TVs that certainly make a good choice for console gamers, but would perhaps be disappointing for PC gamers looking for 120Hz support. This model TCL TV does support 4:4:4 chroma, so if you want to use it as a PC monitor it’s up to the task.
TCL’s 65″ 6 series is just about the most TV you can get for your money and an excellent screen for playing console games.
Here’s the Vizio 55″ P Series TV. It rates highly for video games on rtings.com
A Vizio 55″ P Series TV is a great choice if you want a display that’s great for gaming and also looks fantastic when you are watching movies. This TV scores a super high 8.9/10 on rtings.com for video games, plus 8.6/10 for HDR gaming.
Vizio is known for having a good local dimming (FALD) implementation, which helps avoid any visible artifacts, especially with HDR content. Gamers will appreciate good motion handling, an imperviousness to burn-in, 120Hz support (at 1080p) and really low input lag times for SDR 4K/60p (15.3 ms) and 1080p 120Hz (10.5 ms).
This TV has a Computer Mode that displays 4:4:4 chroma, so if you are a PC user looking for an amazing 55″ monitor, this TV is up to the task.
Finding an LG for under a grand that’s good for gaming proved to be the greatest challenge of compiling this list. Of course, there are no OLED options, which is a fact of that technology still commanding a sizeable price premium. So instead I looked at a 2017 model, the 55SJ8500, which is an Amazon’s Choice selection and rated an 8.2/10 for video games on rtings.com.
This TV uses LG’s IPS LED-LCD “Nano Cell” technology to offer considerably wider viewing angles than most similar displays. IPS is also used in PC monitors. This is a premium TV with high quality craftsmanship and a slick appearance.
Contrast and a lack of local dimming are the weak points here; this TV is fine for games and TV viewing but it’s not going to be the best for doing double duty as a movie watching machine.
What this TV offers gamers, more than anything, is super low input lag in any 1080p or 4K game mode. The numbers are all right around 15 ms, which is great! This TV also supports 4K/60p 4:4:4 chroma, so it’s fine to use as a giant monitor.
This Hisense H9E Plus makes the list even though it is not as strong a performer in gaming-specific categories as other models here. Rtings.com gave it an 8.0/10 for video games, which is still very good.
The main appeal here is you get a 65″ TV for $900 that includes a highly accurate factory calibration. This alone buys a lot of goodwill from me, color accuracy adds to the gaming experience. This was the most recent TV I reviewed and overall picture quality is great.
When it comes to gaming, the main caveat with this Hisense TV is the input lag. Simply put, it’s not in the same league as the other TVs listed here. The best you can do is around 34 ms. Another catch is there’s no way to get 4K 4:4:4 chroma with this TV, so using it as a PC monitor is not nearly as optimal as with other TVs in this list.
But a console gamer looking for an all-around great TV at an unbeatable price that comes loaded with Android TV and has Dolby Vision, and just wants to casually (or semi-seriously) play console games on a gorgeous-looking screen, will find this Hisense delivers.
If you are looking to get a Samsung TV for gaming, but the price of the Q6F QLED is a little bit too high, the NU8000 is the series to consider. This series rates really high for video games on rtings.com, with a score of 8.6/10.
This edgelit TV has good native contrast but the local dimming is not very effective (since it’s edgelit). However, what gamers are going to love is that this TV offers Freesync variable refresh rate, just like the QLEDs. And with 1080p input that variable refresh rate input can go up to 120 Hz with 10.6 ms input lag. That’s exceptional! And in general, input lag on this TV stays under 20 ms in game mode for HDR, 4K, etc.
And it can even do 1440p at 120 Hz with a 9.7 ms input lag. That’s… a legit competitive gaming display and among the best 4K TVs under $1000 for gamers. Support for 4K/60p 4:4:4 seals the deal.
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