Choosing the best smart TV for streaming could mean the difference between clunky menus and a smooth interface with quick voice control to access your favorite streaming content. Our evaluation focused on TV picture quality, resolution, remote control design, and motion sensing.
After more than 12 hours of research, our pick for the best smart TV for streaming goes to the Sony Z950G Smart TV for Streaming. It delivers all-around performance, starting with a striking TRILUMINOS display, 4K HDR Z1 chip for lightning-fast image rendering, and the Android TV Smart OS, which is one of the more intuitive OS system’s we’ve researched for quick access to streaming content. Continue reading to learn more about the Sony Z950G Smart TV for Streaming. If you need more quality products, check out our guide to the best TVs.
Top 10 Best Smart TVs for Streaming
#1 Sony X950H Smart TV for Streaming
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This TV for streaming comes with 4K HDR Super Bit Mapping, a TRILUMINOS display, and Netflix calibrated mode, an excellent choice for Netflix enthusiasts to get the best picture possible.
- Dynamic Range PRO for increased contrast range
- Full-array local dimming and boosting for vivid contrasts
- Netflix Calibrated Mode for a sharper picture
- Could use Quantum Dot technology for more vibrant colors
- Built-in speakers could produce better sound
We love this TV’s laundry list of image optimization features, including Dynamic Range PRO for 6 times the contrast range of LED TVs, full-array local dimming, and a 4K HDR Picture Processor Z1 chip. This chip renders objects in near real-time and converts full HD content to near 4K. It’s an all-around workhorse in every sense of the word. If you’d like more quality televisions like this, then check out our guide to the best portable TV.
This TV runs using the Android TV Smart OS, which is very intuitive with a customizable Quick Menu and default menus clearly laid out in easy block format for super response times. No lag or clunky menu transitions on this one. We also appreciate Netflix Calibrated Mode, a picture preset that automatically adjusts color settings according to the filmmaker’s intent for how the film should appear (as a studio evaluation master) This resolves in an incredibly dynamic picture, albeit with softer, sepia-like hues. It’s truly one of the best HDR TV options on our list.
#2 Samsung QN90B Smart TV for Streaming
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This Samsung QLED TV dazzles with a Direct Full Array 16X technology for pure contrast controls and Quantum Dot technology for a billion+ shades of new color, a great choice as a No. 1 TV in a large household or home theater companion.
- Quantum Dot technology for vivid color contrast
- Built-in Alexa, Apple TV, and Google Assistant for easy menu flipping
- Intuitive OneRemote detects and controls multiple devices
- Edges may show gray uniformity glitches
- Bezel-free design may be off-putting to some people
Our favorite feature of this Samsung Smart TV is its stunning QLED display. it uses Quantum Dot technology which sports a richer and wider color gamut to the tune of 1 billion + shades, presenting even greater attention to detail. This TV also comes with built-in Alexa and Google Assistant to voice command flipping between channels, pulling up Spotify songs, or controlling Google Home devices.
Kudos to Samsung’s OneRemote, a highly simplified remote controller that automatically detects and controls compatible devices such as Blu-ray players and radio to limit the number of controllers lying around. Even Apple AirPlay 2 with Apple TV allows content to be streamed from your iPhone, IPad, and Mac with virtually no lag. You might also like to check out our best curved TV buying guide if you’ll also be using this tv for gaming.
#3 Sony A9G Smart TV for Streaming
Award: BEST FOR DARK ROOMS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This OLED TV for streaming comes with a Pixel Contrast Booster and Picture Processor X1 technology, which works to improve contrasts with pure blacks – a great choice for people who frequently watch at night or in dark rooms.
- Picture Processor X1 for improved black contrasts
- Android TV platform is easy to navigate
- MotionFlow XR for smooth high-speed motion
- Some menu UI may be clunky
- Pre-installed Sony dedicated apps a bit laggy
This OLED TV is a real stunner. In addition to Pixel Contraste Booster and its X1 Ultimate Processor, which controls 8 million individual pixels for a wider color palette. It also runs MotionFlow XR, which ensures a 120Hz native refresh rate for a smoother picture, making high-motion screens like Star Wars laser battles and MMA matches look good.
We also appreciate its slew of built-in services. It uses an intuitive Android TV platform for built-in Alexa and Google Assistant to control smart camera feeds, flip channels, access weather reports, and more with a simple voice command. In addition to Android TV, this streaming TV also comes with Apple TV Airplay 2 support to stream music and movies directly from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Consider this one of the best smart TV brands. Need something for a brighter room? Our best tv for bright rooms buying guide has some great options.
#4 Vizio M Series Quantum Smart TV for Streaming
Award: BEST FREE CONTENT
WHY WE LIKE IT: This TV for streaming features WatchFree’s 100+ free channels and Vizio’s SmartCast operating system, a great choice for people who want to replace their cable boxes.
- Easy to navigate SmartCast operating system
- 100+ free channels with WatchFree
- Sharp 4K resolution; HDR10 and Dolby Vision support
- Does not support FreeSync
- Remote controller could be more intuitive
We really like this streaming TV’s 4K UHD display, comprising quantum-dot technology sporting 1 billion+ new shades for improved contrasts. Full array local dimming, which uses a series of back-mounted LEDs for improved brightness (647 nits), combined with HDR10 and Dolby Vision support to create a pretty formidable TV set. Our only knock is that this TV has a 60Hz native refresh rate, with occasional lag with high motion scenes not as smooth as a 120Hz model.
This streaming TV checks off all the dots when it comes to streaming access. SmartCast 3.0 is Vizio’s smart YTVB platform and comes pre-loaded with more than 20 apps, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, It also comes with WatchFree, a free content service provider with over-the-air channel quality channels that is good enough on its own to replace the cable. With so many preloaded options, it’s a good option if you’re also looking for the best tv for seniors.
#5 Vizio P Series Quantum Smart TV for Streaming
Award: BEST COLOR
WHY WE LIKE IT: This streaming TV comes with Quantum Color technology (up to 165% more color than standard 4K UHD TVs) and UltraBright 2700, making it an excellent choice for watching in bright rooms.
- Quantum technology for ultra-sharp picture
- Rapid response with third-party apps using VIZIO’s Smart Cast 3.0
- High brightness rating with full-array backlighting
- Not all viewing angles considered equal
- Feet sit too wide, needing a wider table
In addition to Vizio’s Quantum Color technology and UltraBright 2700, full-array backlighting optimizes contrast across 480 local dimming zones, resulting in improved black levels and a greater dynamic between different shades of black. An anti-reflective layer also produces great reflection handling, important for movie watching in bright rooms.
This TV’s operating platform, Vizio’s SmartCast 3.0, is a real winner, featuring built-in Chromecast and Apple Airplay 2 support to stream music and movies (including Apple TV) from your devices with no lag or cuts. Built-in Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant also allow for voice control support, making flipping channels or checking for weather updates a breeze. Kudos to WatchFree, Vizio’s free service offering 100 free live channels, great for cord-cutters. It’s a great option if you’re looking for the best outdoor TV, due to its ability to function well in bright spaces.
#6 Sony X900H Smart TV for Streaming
Award: BEST FOR PLAYSTATION AND XBOX
WHY WE LIKE IT: This streaming TV features a stunning TRILUMINOS display for outstanding color range and a dedicated Game Mode, which optimizes your TV settings for an optimized gaming experience – a great choice for hardcore gamers.
- Ultra-clear TRILUMINOS display for captivating picture
- Improved brightness with full array with local dimming
- Dedicated Game Mode for awesome refresh rates
- Narrowing viewing angles; not ideal for larger living rooms
- Wide sitting feet; not designed for narrow stands
Our favorite feature with this streaming Android TV is its TRILUMINOS display, which focuses on reducing the most accurate reproducing reds, greens, and blues possible for a more natural and ‘real-world’ viewing experience. Full array with local dimming also optimizes brightness through a series of backlighting, making pictures truly pop. For hardcore Playstation and Xbox fans, a dedicated Game Mode with a 120Hz native refresh rate ensures no blur, high-speed motion, and no loss in brightness with lightning-quick transitions.
This TV is supposed by the Android TV platform, which beautifully presents the menu interface in block format and minimalist design. Kudos for built-in Alexa and Google Assistant, which allows for voice control of smart home devices, channel flipping, and accessing your favorite Youtube channel in less than 3 seconds. Due to its narrow viewing angles, we think this is the best tv for your bedroom on this list.
#7 TCL 40S325 Smart TV for Streaming
Award: BEST VALUE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This value-friendly and serviceable streaming TV offers 1080p Full HD Resolution and Amazon Alexa /Google Assistant voice controls, working as a good No. 2 or No. 3 TV option for a larger household.
- Easy to navigate interface
- Easy to navigate RokuOKU TV app converts phone to a TV remote
- Built-in Amazon Alexa, Apple TV, and Google Assistant for voice control
- 1080p Full HD for middle-of-the-pack video quality
- Refresh rate could be higher (60Hz instead of 120Hz)
This streaming TV offers 1080p Full HD, which is a shade below 4K’s and OLED/QLED, quadrupling the pixel count. Black-level performance doesn’t pop as much with this one. Although a Direct-lit LED with 60Hz native refresh rates offers middle-of-the-pack picture quality and motion handling, it makes up for it with the Roku TV interface.
ROKU’s TV interface is pretty neat, allowing access to 500,000 movies and episodes. An accompanying mobile app even converts your phone into a TV remote. We love this streaming TV’s built-in Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, which allows for voice control.
#8 LG OLED E9 Smart TV for Streaming
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This OLED TV for streaming features NVIDIA G-Sync integration for outstanding PC picture quality and LG ThinQ AI technology, a great choice for heavy gamers and smart home device users.
- ThinQ AI technology for super-sharp picture
- Airplay 2 for direct streaming from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac
- Intuitive and highly responsive LG ThinQ AI technology
- Poor speaker placement behind the screen
- Erratic Bluetooth connectivity from time to time
This best TV for streaming features a 4K UHD Smart OLED, which really pops, with a high color depth range up to 4 times the resolution of standard HDTVs. It also features built-in Alexa, Google Assistant, and Airplay 2 to stream shows and movies directly from a streaming app using your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to your TV.
Our favorite feature with this best TV for streaming is its LG ThinQ AI technology, which allows users to control smart home televisions directly from the TV. Shout a voice command to change temperature controls, adjust volume, or turn on your bar lights, and responsiveness occurs in seconds. Consider this a must for your favorite TV show. For higher sound quality, you can take a look at our review of the best sounding TV. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
#9 Vizio V505 Smart TV for Streaming
Award: BEST FOR GOOGLE USERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This TV for streaming is pretty well-rounded, featuring 4K HDR resolution and the Vizio SmartCast with Chromecast, making it an excellent choice for heavy Google users.
- Supports HLG and Dolby Vision formats
- Generous 100 free channels with WatchFree
- Very responsive, built-in Google Chromecast support
- Remote control is a bit clunky to use; no backlit buttons
- Delicate and sensitive screen
Although this streaming TV does not have the high pixel count/resolution as OLEDs and QLEDs, it does support HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision HDR formats with a full-array LED TV backlight for deep black contrast optimization and brightness.
Our favorite feature with this TV is the SmartCast operating system, which intuitively lays out all of the popular content apps such as Hulu, Netflix, and Youtube, along with WatchFreem, Vizio’s proprietary service with more than 100 free channels, which is a nice alternative overpaid cable and subscription-based paid channel services. Built-in Chromecast shines, allowing for easy streaming of Google content onto your TV. It’s a good choice for anyone seeking the best 1080p TV.
#10 LG 4K UHD Smart TV for Streaming
Award: BEST INTERFACE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This streaming TV features a stunning 4K Nanocell display for 8.3+ million pixels and a Magic Remote, which uses a cursor like a pointer to navigate menus- a great choice for hardcore menu scrollers.
- Intuitive OneRemote uses cursor to navigate
- Gen 3 Processor 4K for super responsive picture
- TruMotion 240 for no blur fast-motion scenes
- No Bluetooth for headphones
- Only three HDMI ports
- Built-in speakers could be louder at full volume
This streaming TV ups the antes with its 4K NanoCell display and α7 GEN processor, which works to render color accuracy in stunning detail. Dolby Vision IQ even optimizes picture sew things based on background lighting to render the most accurate image possible.
One of our favorite features of this streaming TV is its interface. Based on LG’s webOS platform, every menu is intuitively laid out with quick voice and motion control access to music, games, weather reports, and all of the popular streaming services. Like Vizio’s WatchFree service, this best smart TV platform promotes LG Channels powered by Xumo, a collection of free linear channels and on-demand movies. You might also like our best TV for sports buying guide for additional options.
How We Decided
4K (Ultra HD) televisions from Samsung, LG, and others are strongly preferred over traditional 1080p HD televisions due to a high pixel count and deeper f contrasts between blacks and whites, allowing for a more vivid and complete picture. At a minimum, it should also have upscaling technology that helps convert 1080P to 4K by adding pixels. Our recommended TVs have local dimming, which enhances contrast/black levels even further, especially with matte screens for anti-glare reduction.
For the holy grail, look to 8K resolution, which delivers 33,177,600 total pixels. This technology offers 16 times more pixels than 19080p and doubles 4K’s horizontal and vertical resolution for a truly immersive TV watching experience. Any TV that is part of the best TV brands list should carry one.
TV remote controls should also be highly intuitive. Connecting to streaming services may take several steps with clumsy menus on inferior televisions. At a minimum, ensure your remotes have dedicated buttons to access Netflix, Hulu, Android TV, and Youtube with one touch. Be sure to check out one of our great comparisons, like smart TV vs Android TV, to see what type of smart device is right for you. Additionally, if this is your first smart TV, follow our guide on how to update a smart TV to ensure it is always up to date.
Best Smart TV for Streaming Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- TV Picture Quality
Picture quality is the name of the game when it comes to the best smart TVs.
- At a minimum, do not opt for an LED TV and go for 4K (Ultra HD) televisions, which offer a more impressive pixel count and deeper blacks/whites than traditional 1080p HD televisions by up to four times.
- Remember, 4K TVs run 3,840 by 2,160, pixels, which is four times the pixel count of 1080p TVs. Also, screen size is important (especially with a home theater), but not a key consideration with quality. Unless you’re going to use it with gaming consoles, then you’ll want a larger screen.
- If you’re still thinking to yourself, “What is a smart TV?”, we have an additional guide explaining what one is.
- Alternatively, read our guide to Smart TV vs streaming devices to discover which one will be better for you.
- Remote Control
Using smart TVs for streaming requires a highly intuitive and simplified remote that feels like too many buttons or unnecessary functions. You’ll also need the remote to figure out how to connect a TV to a receiver.
- Our preferred TV remotes have dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Android, and other popular streaming devices. At a minimum, it should also have voice command controls.
- This helps avoid having to toggle through different sets of TV show menus, which is especially important with services like Apple TV, Sling TV, or Tizen.
- For those interested in how does streaming TV work, we have a guide for you.
- Motion Sensing
Opt for a minimum native refresh rate of 120Hz, which results in no noticeable blur during high action and motion scenes like galactic war battles or your standard New York Jets. vs San Francisco 49er football scrimmage on Sling TV, Apple TV, or Tizen. Combine it with a solid sound system, and you’re golden.If you want more features with your smart TV, check out our list of the leading 55-inch smart TVs, as well as our mashup of SmartCast vs Smart TVs.
- And, if you want to learn how to set up a TV without cable, you’ll save tons of money with the streaming channels of your choice.