65-inch TVs are increasingly becoming a popular choice for most households, and now they’re more affordable than ever. Sale prices for budget models routinely dip below $500, and you can get a truly exceptional 65-inch TV — with smart features and other desirable attributes — for less than $1,000. Because nearly every mainstream TV maker offers this size, I prefer using 65-inch screens when I make side-by-side comparisons of TVs here at CNET. They’re not too big that they take over most living rooms, but they’re large enough to showcase HDR-quality video and 4K resolution while you watch your favorite movies and TV shows.
The list below represents the best 65 inch TV options I’ve reviewed in CNET’s test lab (for 2021, that’s my basement), where I compare smart LED TV, QLED TV, 4K HDR TV, Ultra HD TV and other 65-inch TV options and list them side by side to see which ones are the most worthy of buying. I considered factors like refresh rate, smart TV features, gaming features, contrast ratio, peak brightness, whether it has an HDMI port (preferably several) and more. Below are my latest recommendations, with the following notes to keep in mind.
- Looking for another screen size? Check out: 32-inch TVs, 43-inch TVs, 55-inch TVs and 75-inch TVs.
- Most of the TVs here came out in 2020. 2021 models started becoming available in the spring and where applicable, I’ve included a “2021 outlook” section with everything I know (so far) about these TVs’ replacements.
- This list is updated periodically.
Read more: What size of TV do I need?
No TV I’ve ever tested offers this much picture quality for this little cash. The 2020 TCL 6 Series has even better image quality than its predecessor, thanks to mini-LED tech and well-implemented full-array local dimming that helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. It’s also a solid choice for gamers with a new THX mode that combines low input lag and high contrast. As if that’s not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite.
2021 outlook: TCL says this TV will remain on sale through most of 2021. I don’t expect it to be replaced until at least the fall, and it might stick around the entire year. TCL will also sell an 8K version of the 6-Series, but I don’t think it will be worth the money.
Read our TCL 6-Series (2020 Roku TV) review.
What’s that you say? You just want the best 65-inch TV and can afford whatever you want? Here you go. In my side-by-side tests, the LG G1 OLED TV is the best TV I’ve ever reviewed, with world-beating contrast, perfect wide viewing angle and excellent uniformity. It beat the picture of the LG CX below, barely, and offers a slimmer, more wall-friendly design. If you can afford it, this is the 65-inch TV to get.
Note that as of June the G1 can be difficult to find, with low stock or no availability at most merchants.
Read our LG OLEDG1 series review.
Currently available for hundreds less than the G1 above, and with picture quality that’s almost as good, the CX from 2020 is a better choice overall for people who want a really nice TV but don’t have money to burn. The G1 was slightly brighter in my measurements and has slightly better video processing, but it was hard to tell the difference. The only real advantage to the G1 is that slim styling, but the CX is pretty slim itself.
2021 outlook: The new model, designated C1, is currently available for a few hundred more than the CX. I haven’t reviewed it yet. It adds some minor new features and improved processing but I expect image quality to be largely the same as the CX.
Read our LG OLEDCX series review.
Looking for a high-end 65-inch TV with spectacular image quality, but don’t want an OLED? The Samsung QN90A is your best bet. This TV uses QLED tech augmented by mini-LED, for a brighter image than any OLED TV. The spectacular contrast of OLED still won out in my side-by-side tests, but the QN90A comes closer than ever. It’s also a bit cheaper than 2021 OLED TVs, but not cheaper than the 2020 CX.
Read our Samsung QN90A series (2021) review.
Roku is our favorite platform for streaming apps like Netflix, and it’s even better baked into this 4K TV. Picture quality on this TCL 65-inch television set can’t beat any of the models above — its 4K resolution and HDR compatibility don’t do anything to help the picture — but it’s perfectly fine for most people, especially at this price.
Read our TCL 4-series Roku TV (2021) review.
Aside from the TCL 6-Series above, this is the best 65-inch TV for the money we’ve reviewed. The TCL has a better picture and better smart HDTV system so it’s a superior TV overall, but it’s also more expensive. If you can’t afford the 6-Series, this Vizio is a very good choice
2021 outlook: The successor to this TV is the MQ7-J series. It looks very similar on paper — the major difference is a new voice remote and a larger selection of sizes. It started shipping in July and initial list pricing is significantly higher than the 2020 version, ranging from $200 to $300 more depending on size.
Read our Vizio M7-Series Quantum (2020) review.
Vizio’s V-series is our favorite budget alternative to the TCL 4-Series Roku TV at this size. We liked Roku’s smart TV system better (sound familiar?), but the V-series has some advantages, including a better remote with voice and more advanced picture settings. Picture quality between the two was basically the same, so if you don’t have a preference, it makes sense to get the cheapest one.
Read our Vizio V655-J review.
Samsung is the TV brand that sells more TVs than anyone and one of its most popular is the Q60A series. Its sleek design stands out compared to the other TVs on this list — although the ultrathin OLED models are even sleeker — it offers better features and image quality than budget models like the TCL 4-Series, and it comes in a vast array of sizes. The TVs above are all superior values, but if you want a Samsung TV and can’t afford the QN90A, this is a great choice.
Read our Samsung Q60A series (2021) review.
Other stuff to know about buying a new 65-inch TV
I’m pretty sure you’d be happy with any one of the TV screens above, but a new set can be a big investment, so maybe you’re looking for a bit more information. Here’s a quick-and-dirty list.
- In my opinion, bigger is better. Big TVs are cheaper than ever, and your money is best spent on a larger screen size rather than a slight upgrade in image quality.
- If you don’t like the built-in smart TV system with smart features, you can always add a media streamer. They’re cheap and easy to use, and receive updates more frequently than most top rated smart TVs. See the best media streamers here.
- Most TVs sound terrible, so it’s worthwhile to pair your new set with a sound bar or other speaker system. Good ones start at around $100. See the best soundbars here.
Looking for even more info? Here’s everything to know (and more) about buying a new TV and getting the best viewing experience.