4 Top Dumb TVs of 2024 Ranked

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Evan Shephard

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True Score Methodology

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735,875

Reviews Analyzed

Updated Mar 20, 2024 12:24 PM

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best dumb tv guide that shows the top best tv model

A whopping 75% of electronic and appliance reviews are untrustworthy. That’s why every reviewer gets a Trust Rating so our True Score System filters out the fake reviews. See how we do it.

If you’re after the best dumb TVs, it’s likely because you crave simplicity in your viewing experience or want to keep your privacy intact, away from the prying eyes of smart TV features. You’re not alone. Many find the complexity of advanced TV operating systems overwhelming and unnecessary, preferring a straightforward, no-frills approach to watching their favorite content.

You value the best TV that delivers picture and sound quality without the hassle of navigating through endless apps or worrying about data collection. We’ve tracked down the select few sets that actually allow you to keep your privacy intact and not make your head spin with the overwhelming options, focusing on delivering the pure essentials of television viewing without compromise.

How Did We Rank the Best Dumb TVs?

To assess how high or low quality a non-smart TV actually is, one must evaluate specific testing criteria against reference industry standards. Using our thorough TV Testing Methodology, we determined there are 6 criteria below (3 required, 3 nice to have) that ensure your content looks as good as the creator intended it.

? Test Criteria

  • SDR Brightness: A luminance level of at least 300 nits, guaranteeing a vivid and easily visible screen even in varying lighting environments.
  • HDR Brightness: A luminance level of 1000 nits or higher, allowing for the revelation of intricate details within high dynamic range content.
  • Color Accuracy: A minimum coverage of 90% of the DCI P3 color gamut, delivering vivid and true-to-life color representation.

? “Nice To Haves”

  • Contrast Ratio: A ratio of 10,000:1 or greater, providing deep blacks and brilliant whites to enhance the viewing experience significantly.
  • EOTF Accuracy: Maintaining a Delta E value of less than or equal to 0.018, ensuring precise brightness and contrast levels across the display.
  • Fast Response Time: A response time of 10ms or less, facilitating smooth transitions and minimizing motion blur for optimal visual performance.

We’ve redefined TV buying guides, setting us apart from any other site on the planet. Our unique approach combines in-house verification with a comprehensive dataset from over 200+ trusted sites, focusing on key testing metrics to rank the top-rated dumb TVs. Testing data and specs include SDR brightness of at least 300 nits, HDR brightness of 1000 nits and above, and color accuracy with a minimum of 90% DCI P3 color gamut. We aggregate and analyze this data from 158+ TVs, ensuring our recommendations meet your specific needs. For the best dumb TV, this means delivering unparalleled resolution, exceptional brightness and color fidelity for an immersive viewing experience. Our commitment to unbiased reviews is powered by our ‘True Score’ system, targeting low quality and fake reviews. Commissions fund this mission. No bias. No BS.

Latest Updates

  • 03/20/2024: Completely and thoroughly overhauled the guide to include the best and latest dumb TVs.
  • 11/30/2023: Republished the list to include TVs based on our True Score system.

Top Best Dumb TVs For 2024

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

See how we test the testers

For a dumb TV to make our list, it must offer impressive picture quality with great collar accuracy over 90% of the DCI P3 color gamut as well as a quick response time. If it falls short here, it’s out!

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Sony A95L OLED TV

    A top-tier choice for those valuing pristine picture quality and simplicity. Its unparalleled color accuracy and high HDR brightness offer an unmatched cinematic experience.

    Sony A95L OLED TV Review →

    True Score

    86
    91
    6

    Experts

    91
    885

    Customers

    $2,798.00
  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Hisense U7K

    Strikes an impressive balance between affordability and quality, with vibrant colors and sufficient brightness for dim to moderate lighting, making it a smart pick for budget-conscious consumers.

    Hisense U7K Review →

    True Score

    81
    85
    9

    Experts

    87
    2k

    Customers

    SAVE $156
    $634.84
    $479.00

    DID YOU KNOW 87% OF TV REVIEWERS ARE UNTRUSTWORTHY?

    Our research found 28 of 210 TV reviewers can be trusted, and shockingly 1 out of 3 on Google Page 1 were fake reviews showing no proof of test claims. See our Expose and Trust List. This is why Gadget Review is committed to calculating the most accurate product scores on the web.

    To do this, we give every TV review site a Trust Rating, which measures how trustworthy the site and their testing claims are. We then leverage AI & a machine learning model to combine and calculate the Trust Rating with data from experts and consumers to deliver the True Score, the web’s most accurate product quality rating.

    735,875

    TV Reviews Analyzed

    156

    Total Products Analyzed

    Read the TV Testing Methodology

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    TCL QM8/QM850G QLED TV

    • Best For Gaming

    Offers great value with exceptional brightness and solid color performance, ideal for brightly lit rooms and casual gaming, all while excelling as a “dumb” TV.

    TCL QM8/QM850G QLED TV Review →

    True Score

    80
    82
    7

    Experts

    87
    931

    Customers

    SAVE $98
    $998.00
    $899.99

    DON’T SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

    Be sure to learn about the best time to buy a TV to ensure you get a great deal on great Android TVs, Hisense TVs, or the top OLED TVs. Alternatively, check out the best TV brands if you are curious what the top manufacturers have to offer. 

    Don’t forget if you are going to use the TV without cable, you need a strong TV antenna to ensure clear reception of your local channels. Moreover, for a multifunctional choice, top-rated TV monitor presents an ideal solution suitable for work and play..

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Hisense U8K TV

    • Best For Bright Room

    Elevates brightness and color accuracy, ensuring clear, vibrant viewing in any lighting. It’s a step up for those seeking enhanced performance in both HDR content and brightly lit environments.

    Hisense U8K TV Review →

    True Score

    79
    81
    6

    Experts

    87
    3k

    Customers

    SAVE $98
    $698.00
    $599.99

Our Approach to Testing Dumb TVs

Evan Shepard/Gadget Review

We’ve redefined TV buying guides, setting us apart from any other site on the planet. Our unique approach uses a comprehensive dataset from trusted sites, focusing on key testing metrics like brightness (SDR and HDR), EOTF, response time, contrast ratio and color gamut.

We gather and analyze data to tailor our recommendations to your unique requirements. In the realm of dumb TVs, our process involves handpicking models that excel in rendering top-notch image quality, especially for content up to dumb resolution, while adeptly enhancing lower-resolution content. Dive into our methodical approach driven by data for pinpoint, dependable TV suggestions.

You may notice some of our graphs contain “Source: RTings”. This is to indicate that the data we’re showing off in a graph has come from a single source – because it’s the only source that actually tested the criteria and had data for it! Normally, our data is an average out of all of the various publications that test and provide data to give you a good idea of how a product is going to perform on average.

Which Criteria Matters for Testing Best Dumb TVs?

By focusing on these criteria (3 required, 3 nice to have), anyone can quickly and easily compare these TVs and how they’ll perform. This helps you make an informed decision and purchase a TV that will fit into your space.

CRITERIARANGEREQUIREDDEFINITION
SDR Brightness300+ nitsYesAssess the luminance of your display when operating in Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) mode.
HDR Brightness1000+ nitsYesDetermine the luminance of your display in High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode.
Color Gamut (DCI P3 xy)>= 90%YesEvaluate the extent to which a TV can reproduce a specified spectrum of colors.
EOTF0.018No (nice to have)Standard that governs how a display interprets and renders brightness and color.
Response Time<=10msNo (nice to have)Time required for a pixel to transition from one color to another and then return to its original color.
Contrast Ratio>= 10,000No (nice to have)The ratio between the brightest white and darkest black that the screen can display.

Our Trusted Data Sources

(Publication category Score is 80%+)

We looked at 210+ TV reviewers and while 24 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating), we only use data from the testers that are “very trusted” which means a Trust Rating above 70%. The three we have listed below are our most trusted for TVs, along with our own in-house TV expert.

  1. Evan Shepard – Gadget Review
  2. Matthew Lopes – RTings, MuckRack
  3. Will Greenwald – PCMag, MuckRack, Twitter
  4. David Katzmaier – CNET, MuckRack, Twitter

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every TV review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Ratings from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Best Dumb TVs Test Data & Results

1. SDR & HDR Brightness TV Test Results

In well-lit rooms, the brightness level of your dumb TV, quantified in nits, is key to a great viewing experience. A TV that doesn’t meet the brightness requirement will struggle against natural and artificial light, resulting in a dim, lackluster image. Essentially, nits measure how well your TV can stand up to light interference, with higher values ensuring a sharper, more vivid display.

For standard viewing on the best dumb TV, you should look for at least 300 nits to strike the right balance between clarity and color quality in standard dynamic range (SDR) content. For high dynamic range (HDR) content, which offers richer colors and greater contrast, a minimum of 1000 nits is ideal to truly appreciate the enhanced visuals. These brightness levels are recommended to ensure your TV performs well in bright settings, allowing you to enjoy your shows and movies without any loss in detail or quality. Aim for these minimums: SDR Brightness >= 300 nits; HDR Brightness >= 1000 nits for the optimal experience.

Discover the top dumb TVs, ranked from brightest to least.

SDR Brightness (in nits, higher is better)

HDR Brightness (in nits, higher is better)

2. Color Gamut (DCI P3 xy) TV Test Results

Color gamut defines the range of colors a dumb TV can reproduce, directly affecting how vibrant and true-to-life the images look. A wide color gamut in a dumb TV brings out richer, more vivid colors – from the lush greens of a garden to the bright colors of animated characters, enhancing your viewing experience to closely mimic real life.

This concept is technically measured against standards like the DCI P3 xy, a benchmark for high-quality visuals. A dumb TV covering a higher percentage of this color space can display colors more accurately and vividly.

For those who prioritize vibrant and immersive visuals, aiming for a dumb TV with a color gamut of 90% or higher on the DCI P3 xy scale is ideal. This ensures that the content you watch is as vibrant and lifelike as possible.

Below are the top dumb TVs, ordered by color gamut, all exceeding our testing criteria.

DCI P3 XY Color Gamut (as a %; high is better)

3. EOTF Test Results

The Electro-Optical Transfer Function (EOTF) plays a critical role in ensuring the content on your TV looks exactly as the creator intended. This technical feature adjusts your screen’s brightness levels, ensuring every scene, from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights, is displayed with true-to-life accuracy.

In rooms flooded with light, a TV that nails EOTF calibration shines by preserving the intended contrast and detail in the picture despite the challenging conditions. It balances the brightness so that images remain vibrant and full of detail, unaffected by the glare of ambient light.

A TV that excels in managing EOTF offers an immersive and authentic viewing experience. It brings creators’ visions to life, accurately rendering every scene with the proper light and dark levels, no matter the lighting in your room. This means you get a consistent, realistic picture that captures the full spectrum of colors and contrasts, from the subtlest hues to the most intense explosions.

Below are all the dumb all TVs on our list, ordered by EOTF.

EOTF (source: rtings.com – 0 = no data exists; lower is better)

4. Response Time TV Test Results

A slow response time on a dumb TV during fast-paced scenes is like trying to watch a thrilling movie with a foggy lens. Imagine settling in for an action-packed sequence, only to have the swift movements turn into a blur, robbing you of the crisp, clear detail you crave. This isn’t just a minor annoyance; it’s a major detriment to your viewing experience, leaving you with a picture marred by motion blur and visual artifacts.

So, what exactly is response time? It measures how quickly a pixel on your TV can change from one color to another. In the context of watching fast-moving content or enjoying dynamic scenes on a dumb TV, a low response time is crucial. A response time of 15 ms or lower is good, but if you plan on gaming on this set, aim for a response time of 10 ms or lower. At these levels, your dumb TV ensures smooth transitions and sharp visuals, making every scene come to life without any distracting blurs or delays.

Below are the top dumb TVs, ordered by response time.

Response Time (in milliseconds; lower is better)

5. Contrast Ratio Test Results

For dumb TV enthusiasts, a solid contrast ratio is crucial for enjoying your favorite TV shows or movies, especially in darker settings. This feature directly impacts how lifelike and dynamic the picture appears on your screen, ensuring that dark scenes are displayed with clear, crisp blacks instead of murky grays and bright scenes retain their detail without appearing washed out.

Put simply, the contrast ratio is all about the range of luminance a TV can produce, from the deepest blacks to the brightest whites. It’s what brings depth to the image, enhancing the realism of every scene. Watching a movie in the dark, for example, the difference between a TV with a poor contrast ratio and one with a high ratio is stark: the former struggles, blending shadows into a flat gray, while the latter delivers true black, making night scenes more immersive and detailed.

Ideally, a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 is what you should aim for in a dumb TV. This level of luminance variance ensures that you’re getting a picture quality that can handle the nuances of lighting in any scene, providing a viewing experience that’s both rich and engaging. Note: OLED TVs have infinite contrast ratio, indicated by “0.”

Below are the top dumb TVs, ordered by contrast ratio, all exceeding our testing criteria.

Contrast Ratio (higher is better)

Best Dumb TVs: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Ignoring Screen Quality: It’s easy to overlook the importance of screen quality when shopping for a TV. Factors such as resolution (e.g., 1080p, 4K), brightness levels, and color accuracy significantly impact your viewing experience. Ignoring these aspects could result in a display that lacks clarity, vibrancy, or adequate visibility in different lighting conditions. As the market evolves, the debate between 4K vs 8K resolution becomes increasingly relevant. While 4K TVs offer impressive picture quality, the best 8K TVs take it a step further with even sharper images and enhanced detail, providing an unparalleled viewing experience for those who prioritize visual fidelity.

  2. Neglecting Connectivity Options: With the increasing number of devices that connect to TVs, such as gaming consoles, streaming devices, and sound systems, having sufficient connectivity options is crucial. Overlooking the availability of HDMI ports, USB slots, and other inputs may limit your ability to connect all your devices simultaneously or could require the purchase of additional adapters. For gamers, having ample connectivity options is especially important when searching for the best gaming TVs, as they often need to connect multiple consoles and peripherals for an immersive gaming experience.
  3. Disregarding Size and Viewing Distance: Selecting the right TV size relative to your viewing distance is essential for a comfortable and immersive viewing experience. A TV that’s too large for the viewing area can overwhelm the senses and strain the eyes, while one that’s too small may not provide an engaging experience. Understanding the optimal viewing distance based on the TV’s size can help you avoid discomfort and maximize enjoyment. When considering the best TVs for bright rooms, opting for a size that balances brightness and glare reduction can enhance viewing comfort, ensuring a clear picture even in well-lit environments. Additionally, for sports enthusiasts, finding the best TV for sports involves a great TV size and considering factors like motion handling and refresh rate to ensure smooth playback of fast-paced action sequences, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

  4. Overlooking Audio Quality: While the focus is often on the visual aspects of a TV, audio quality is equally important for an immersive entertainment experience. Relying solely on the built-in speakers of a TV may result in mediocre sound quality. You can consider the top audio quality TVs or invest in additional audio equipment, such as soundbars or home theater systems, or ensure the TV has features like Dolby Atmos support, which can significantly enhance your viewing pleasure by delivering clear, powerful sound. If you’re wondering how to connect a soundbar, you can easily connect and enjoy enhanced audio without complicated setup procedures.

The Best Dumb TVs Tests Compared

Product
True Score
SDR Brightness
HDR Barightness
Color Gamut
EOTF
Response Time
Contrast Ratio

Sony A95L OLED TV

  • Best for Android

86
  • 309.5 nits

  • 1,262 nits

  • 99.96%

  • 0.0022

  • 9.6 ms

  • 0

$2,798.00

Hisense U7K

  • Best for 4K

81
  • 603 nits

  • 786.5 nits

  • 96.31%

  • 0.0211

  • 11.3 ms

  • 45,000:1

$479.00
$635
$156
80
  • 2,076 nits

  • 2,005 nits

  • 94.59%

  • 0.037

  • 8.9 ms

  • 114,057:1

$899.99
$998
$98

Hisense U8K TV

  • Best for Bright Room

79
  • 1,549 nits

  • 1,792 nits

  • 97.44%

  • 0.0105

  • 13.3 ms

  • 165,360:1

$599.99
$698
$98

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