Simplemost is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best HD TV

Last updated on October 14, 2019

We looked at the top 12 HD TVs and dug through the reviews from 62 of the most popular review sites including CNET, Wired, Digital Trends, PC Magazine, New York Times Wirecutter, RTINGS.com and more. The result is a ranking of the best HD TVs.

Best HD TV

Why Trust The Simplemost Score?

Simplemost is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.

Look for the Simplemost seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top HD TVs

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best All-Purpose

Vizio

43" 1080p Smart LED TV

Overall Take

Lots of FeaturesThe Vizio 43" 1080p Smart LED TV is affordable, yet comes with all the bells and whistles you could want.

  Best for Large Rooms

LG

65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV

Overall Take

Good from All AnglesThe LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV doesn't disappoint, no matter where you're sitting in the living room.

  Best Bang for Your Buck

Toshiba

32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV

Overall Take

Affordable ModelThe Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV is an incredibly affordable television with tons of built-in smart TV features.

  Best for Sports

Samsung

32-Inch 720p LED TV

Overall Take

Great Refresh RateThe Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV is great for kicking back and watching movies or sports.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hd tvs available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

62

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

35,831

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Vizio, Target, QVC and 3 others.

The Best Overall

VIZIO 43-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV

Our Expert Score
7.9
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
452 user reviews
Our Take

The Vizio 43" 1080p Smart LED offers viewers a high contrast ratio and good black uniformity. The TV doesn’t require any calibration and has an excellent motion rate.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV

Expert Summarized Score
6.7
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.7
1,963 user reviews
Our Take

The Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV has a good refresh rate, making this TV ideal for watching movies or sports. Plus, the picture quality remains the same when watching the TV from different angles in the room. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have Smart TV capabilities.

Our Findings

VIZIO 43-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV

Best All-Purpose

VIZIO D43-D1 43-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV (2016 Model) (Electronics)


List Price:
New From: 0 Out of Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: The Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED offers viewers a high contrast ratio and good black uniformity. The TV doesn’t require any calibration and has an excellent motion rate.

LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV

Best for Large Rooms

LG Electronics OLED65E7P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2017 Model) (Electronics)


List Price:
New From: $2,099.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $2,099.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV has the best off-axis viewing angles, so you can enjoy the picture quality from anywhere in the room. It also has a great motion-sensing technology remote control. However, the TV has some issues with brightness and revealing details that are in shadow.

Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV

Best Bang for Your Buck

Toshiba 32LF221U19 32-inch 720p HD Smart LED TV - Fire TV Edition (Electronics)


List Price: $180.00 USD
New From: $129.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: The Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV comes with built-in Smart technology, so viewers can watch thousands of channels and access many apps. It also makes for a more affordable option, compared to competitors. However, the image quality could use improvement, and the black levels are poor.

Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV

What We Liked: The Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV has a good refresh rate, making this TV ideal for watching movies or sports. Plus, the picture quality remains the same when watching the TV from different angles in the room. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have Smart TV capabilities.

Our Expert Consultant

Patrick Ward 
Editor-in-chief of High Speed Experts

Patrick Ward is the editor-in-chief of High Speed Experts, a broadband connectivity-, search engine- and IT-industry education blog that empowers consumers by open-sourcing information about tech services. He earned his bachelor’s degree in commerce with an emphasis on communications at the University of Sydney. His expertise spans the digital, emerging tech and telecommunications fields.

Our HD TV Buying Guide

There is nothing quite like curling up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and a large bowl of popcorn and watching your favorite shows or movies on the television. You can control what you watch, when you watch and how you watch it. And you don’t even need to get up to change the channel like in the old days.

Luckily, TVs have come a long way. In the 1940s and 1950s, the latest television technology looked absurd from today’s point of view. Most televisions had a bulky wooden case with a curved porthole screen – not to mention a tall antenna. To change the channel, you had to walk all the way across the room to the TV itself. Compared to the HD TVs of today, those old TVs looked almost alien.

The HD TVs that are so commonplace now emerged in the late 1990s. What is “HD” anyway, and how it is different from everything that came before it? HD stands for “high definition,” which refers to the high number of pixels that are displayed on the screen.

The way an image appears on a TV screen is quite interesting. It’s actually not a single image at all. In fact, every image you see on the screen is made up of many small dots, which are called pixels. When you have more pixels on a screen, as an HD TV does, the image appears much more detailed and sharper, as compared to an image that doesn’t have as many pixels in it.

A standard definition television, also called an SD TV, uses 480 rows of pixels, with 640 columns. Now compare that to an HD TV, which typically uses 720 or 1080 rows of pixels. When you have around double the number of pixels, the visual on the screen is much clearer or high definition. This is the main advantage of having an HD TV.

However, the image itself isn’t the only bonus of having an HD TV. The shape of the TVs themselves is actually improved on a high definition one. They are more rectangular, rather than square, which means they are a similar shape to a movie theater screen. This makes watching movies on your TV much more enjoyable because the picture doesn’t need to be compressed to fit on the screen.

One of the major issues people have with HD TVs is the different systems and standards your TV may need to deal with. Your TV doesn’t only get signals from a cable transmitter. You can also use DVD players, Blu-Ray players, laptops or video game consoles to feed in a picture to your HD TV. While your TV may be 720p or 1080p, the image you see on the screen will only be as good as the quality of the signal. An old TV program may be in standard definition format, so it will not look high definition on your HD TV. It’s important to get an HD TV that can switch between different inputs, but keep in mind that what you watch needs to be in HD format for it to look high definition on an HD TV.

The evolution of TVs didn’t stop with HD TVs, of course. Today, 4K or Ultra HD TVs tend to dominate conversations because of their better resolution, especially at large sizes. Yet despite the 4K TV’s emerging status, HD TV’s remain popular.

“If you don’t want to fork out for a 4K TV, regular HD TVs are some of the most affordable on the market,” says our resident technology expert Patrick Ward, editor-in-chief of High Speed Experts, a search engine and IT industry education platform. “HD TVs make sense for smaller screens (generally 32 inches or less) because the picture quality difference between a 4K TV and an HD TV is virtually indistinguishable.”

While families may wish to invest in a 4K TV as their main viewing screen, HD TVs are great for extra rooms, such as guest rooms and kids’ rooms, since they can be purchased these days for $100 and up.

If you’re looking for one, make sure your TV has the right number of HDMI ports that you need for Roku, gaming consoles, soundbars and other devices — four is a safe bet, according to Ward.

And don’t worry about longevity, given how technology keeps marching on and how so many of our electronics seem less useful after just a couple of years. TVs are considered good until their brightness is reduced by half.

“HD TVs, like many modern TVs, have a very long lifespan,” Ward says. “You could run a TV 14 hours a day and you’d still be looking at 10 years before your screen diminished in brightness.”

Simplemost Fun Fact

While HD TVs are now common in many households in the United States, that wasn’t always the case. In 2008, only 23% of U.S. households had at least one HD TV. That number skyrocketed to 75 percent in 2013 and is likely much higher today.

HD TV has been a long time in the making. While it became widely available in the United States in the 1990s, the journey began much earlier in the 1970s in Japan. Panasonic created a television prototype that was able to display 1,125 lines of pixels back in 1974 — compared to the 480 lines of pixels that standard definition can display. It was a huge improvement in picture quality, though it was not widely available for consumers just yet.

Creating the HD TV we have today was not only a technological marvel, it was also a geopolitical competition. A number of companies formed a consortium called the Grand Alliance, whose goal it was to establish an HD TV standard for companies to build upon in the United States. A committee made up of different companies, such as General Instruments, Zenith, Philips and AT&T, are responsible for building the first HD TV prototype in the United States. The first consumer HD TVs didn’t enter the market until 1998 and were from Panasonic and Sony.

If you wanted to buy an HD TV when it first came out, you had to have a lot of disposable income. However, the problem at the time was that there was not much high definition programming available. Even if you had an HD TV, you couldn’t necessarily watch any HD shows just yet. Now, there are thankfully plenty of options to keep you entertained.

The HD TV Tips and Advice

  • One of the most important factors to consider when deciding to buy an HD TV is the size. The size of the TV should work with the dimensions of the room you plan to put the TV in. If the TV is too big for the room, you may have trouble viewing the whole screen and have to turn your head to watch it. However, if the TV is too small for the room, you may not be able to see the picture as well – defeating the entire purpose of getting an HD TV. Vizio’s 43″ 1080p Smart LED TV is smaller compared to the LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV; however, it’s bigger than the Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV and the Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV.
  • The number of pixels affects the resolution of the image you see on the screen. The higher the number of pixels, the better the picture. The Vizio and LG options have a higher resolution than the Toshiba and Samsung ones, which are both 720p.
  • Price is a purchasing factor for many people, and HD TVs can range widely depending on the brand and technology available.
  • Take a look at the HD TVs refresh rate before you buy. The refresh rate is the number of times per second that the image is refreshed on the screen. This is what creates the illusion of motion. This is kind of like a flipbook where you draw a figure that is slightly different on each page, and when you flip the pages, it appears your picture is moving. If the refresh rate says 120 hertz, then it means that the image is refreshed 120 times in every second. A high refresh rate means that the motion will seem more realistic and smooth, instead of choppy and clumsy. The refresh rate on the Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED TV is 120, while it’s only 60 on the Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV and Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV. In most cases, a refresh rate of 120 hertz is ideal.
  • HDMI ports are important on a TV if you will be plugging things into it. Many people plug in a sound bar, a game console and a streaming media adapter. Having extra HDMI ports is especially critical if you don’t want to have to constantly switch which items are plugged into the TV. The Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED TV and Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV both come with three HDMI ports while the LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV has four HDMI ports. The Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV has two HDMI ports.
  • The picture quality of your HD TV will also depend on the display type. Most commonly, TVs are LCD LED, which means they use light-emitting diodes to light up the screen. When watching the TV, you’ll be able to see light and dark areas on the screen for better contrast and picture quality. Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED, Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV and Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV are all LCD LED display types. On the other hand, the LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV uses a different kind of technology called OLED. It controls the light at the pixel level to achieve far higher contrast levels.
  • Having Smart functionality on your HD TV can make it much easier to browse and watch whatever you like. Having built-in Wi-Fi means you can connect to the internet to access services like Netflix or other steaming platforms. Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED, LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV and Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV all have built-in Wi-Fi, while Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV does not.
  • The weight of the TV itself may affect whether you buy it. If you need to be able to move the HD TV on your own, you may not wish to purchase a heavy one. You also need to consider the weight if you want to mount the TV on the wall. The Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED weighs just over 18 lbs, while the Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV is just over 10 lbs, as is the Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV.

About The Author

Avatar
Anam Ahmed 

Anam Ahmed is a professional copywriter and essayist based in Toronto. She has been writing on technology, travel, parenting, and business for over 10 years, and works with a number of high-profile organizations. As a gadget junkie, she values finding the best products to make people's lives easier. Anam earned a master's degree from the University of Toronto and a bachelor's degree from Queen's University.