These TVs have huge, sharp-looking screens, but they're less than three inches thick
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The move from CRT (old box TVs) to LCDs (flat screens) is one of the most significant consumer technology improvements of the past decade.
But TV makers have refined their display technology even further, and today’s flat screens are significantly thinner than they were even a few years ago, despite having better quality and smart features.
If you’re thinking about replacing your older HDTV with a 4K model, and want it to take up as little space as possible, we’ve found the best TVs for the job. If you really want to save space, you should consider wall-mounting your set, which will show off your TV’s thin and light design, while helping you maximize the space in your room.
What Are the Best Flat Screen TVs?
The best flat screen TVs almost look like art on your walls and combine high-resolution visuals as well as a speedy processor. We’ve found three from LG, Insignia and TCL, to help you decide.
Best Overall: LG OLED55G2PUA
Best Budget: Insignia NS-43F301NA22
Best QLED: TCL 55R655TV
1. LG OLED55G2PUA
LG’s OLED55G2PUA is premium, OLED TV that’s just about an inch thick. If it’s wall mounted, the TV will look more like a painting than a piece of tech.
We’re recommending the 65-inch version, but there are 55-inch, 77-inch, 83-inch and 97-inch models as well. What makes LG’s OLED especially impressive is the amount of technology it fits inside its ultra-thin set. The OLED55G2PUA runs on a custom processor that optimizes its image and audio quality on the fly.
The TV runs on WebOS22, an advanced operating system that gives you quick access to popular streaming services, including Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock. If you plan on getting a next-generation console, LG’s OLED55G2PUA should also be toward the top of your list because it supports Nvidia’s G-Sync and FreeSync technologies, which means it’ll be able to keep up with fast-paced games without any slowdown.
The OLED55G2PUA has four HDMI ports, three USB ports, an optical audio output, headphone jack, antenna input, and AV (composite) input. You shouldn’t have any issues connecting all of your home theater components to this TV without an HDMI splitter, or any other adapters.
You won’t find a thinner — or more technically impressive — TV than LG’s OLED55G2PUA, and if you don’t mind paying the price for a premium set, it’s the one to get.
Buy LG OLED55G2PUA $1,996.99
2. TCL 55R655TV
TCL’s Class 6-Series is a QLED 4K TV that’s 2.7 inches thick. We’ve previously recommended their 2021 model after testing it, and we anticipate the 2022 model to be just as good, and a great flat screen TV for those on a budget.
We’re recommending the 55-inch model, but there are 65-inch and 75-inch versions available if you’d like a larger screen. It may be thicker than an OLED TV — again, this is because of the lighting system, not a design choice from TCL, but this TV is thin for LED-based flat screen TV of this size.
The 55R655’s biggest strength is its excellent picture quality. It’s performed well whether we played video games, watched 4K videos on YouTube, or streamed HD video on Netflix. The set supports Dolby Vision HDR, the latest advancement in video technology, which allows it to show more details when displaying colors and shadows.
TCL decided to make the 55R655 a Roku, which is another reason we can recommend this TV so highly. Roku’s interface is really easy to navigate, and you’ll have access to popular streaming services right out of the box. I’ve tried all of the major 4K media streamers, and Roku’s gear always tops the list because of its simplicity and speed. This is a smart flat screen TV designed for everybody.
In terms of inputs, the 55R655 covers all the right bases, it has: four HDMI ports, a coaxial (cable) input, one USB port, an Ethernet port, an A/V input, optical video input, and headphone jack. You shouldn’t have any issues using this TV as the centerpiece of your home theater system.
Buy TCL 6-Series (2022) $649.99
3. Insignia NS-43F301NA22
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly flat screen TV for a mid-sized living room or bedroom, Insignia’s NS-43F301NA22 is the right choice.
The 43-inch TV is 3.2 inches thick, and it’s available in 50-inch, 55-inch, 58-inch, 65-inch, and 70-inch screen sizes if you need a bigger set. This is a Fire Edition TV, which means it has an Amazon Fire TV stick built inside, so you don’t have to worry about plugging one in to access streaming services.
The NS-43F301NA22 supports 4K Ultra HD, so colors and shadows will look more life-like, and its stereo speaker system uses DTS Studio Sound for improved performance. Insignia outfitted this flat screen TV with three HDMI ports, a coaxial input, A/V inputs, an optical audio output, one USB port, an Ethernet port, and a headphone jack.
If you’re upgrading from a TV that’s a few years old, or don’t have the space or desire for a massive 4K set, Insignia’s NS-43F301NA22 is the one to get.
Buy Insignia NS-43F301NA22 $209.99
How to Choose a Flat Screen TV
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best flat screen TV for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Depth: Our primary metric for choosing the TVs in this guide was their depth (thinness). The sets we’ve chosen are between .8-inches and 3.2-inches deep.
OLED vs LED: The biggest contributor to a TV’s thickness is its lighting system. LED TVs have lights behind the display, which illuminate the screen when necessary. This is the lighting system a majority of TVs use today, and those backlights take up a fair amount of space.
OLED TVs are a lot thinner because they don’t have those LEDs, and light up the pixels on their screen by running an electric current through them. The downside is that OLED technology is pretty new, so TVs with this tech are a lot more expensive.
Screen Resolution: All of the TVs in this guide are 4K, which means they’ll display a crisp, detailed image whether you’re streaming a movie or playing video games.
Screen Size: 4K TVs are available in a wide range of sizes, and our guide features sets between 43 and 65 inches. Our largest TV recommendation is also available in a 77-inch size, which is great if you’re setting up a professional home theater system.
Inputs: A TV’s inputs (commonly called ports), are used to connect gadgets like game consoles, Blu Ray players, or media streamers to your set. All of the flat screen TVs in our guide have at least two HDMI ports, which is the most universally used input available right now.
Smart Features: Some of the TVs in our guide have a smart assistant, like Amazon’s Alexa, built into the set itself. Others run an operating system developed by Roku or Amazon, which makes it easier to get to streaming services like Hulu without a media streamer.