- JVC has seen its market share dwindle and has reduced its retail presence in the US.
- RCA has turned to manufacturing budget-friendly TV models but often faces technical issues.
- Westinghouse has turned to offering models for reasonable prices but only offers 13 total television models.
- Insignia offers a variety of affordable TV models with the Fire TV interface from Amazon.
- Toshiba focuses on the mid-range market with competitive pricing and offers HDMI 2.1 across its more premium C-series lineup.
Finding a suitable TV isn’t as easy as picking out your next meal. With some great brands on the market, even without brand loyalty, a lot goes into choosing which TV brand is right for you. What makes this process even more difficult is that choosing a TV is more difficult than ever.
Well, instead of trying to figure all of this out today, let’s instead take television buying to true macro levels and start by figuring out which brands you should start shopping around for first.
This list will help navigate the world of televisions and walk you through the best TV brands ranked from worst to best.
Yet another once globally respected television manufacturer, JVC has seen its market share continue to dwindle from a more dominant position some two decades ago.
Having reduced its retail presence in the United States, JVC has turned its attention to other areas of the globe and is unlikely to return to the U.S. in any hopes of gaining a dominant position ever again. Retailers like Best Buy and Target have long stopped selling JVC models, which has helped open the door for the likes of Insignia and TCL.
Even a quick visit to the JVC USA website shows no televisions available. Still, you can find a few models left standing on Amazon, which is how the company manages to show up on a list like this one. Only a handful of models are available and those that are are surprisingly available with 4K panels and a Roku interface.
As a company, RCA has been around for over 100 years after being founded in 1919. Once a dominant force in the electronics and TV market, RCA has lost quite a bit of its luster and has turned to manufacturing more budget-friendly television models. Unfortunately, even these more budget-friendly models are often plagued by technical issues and rarely offer a competitive feature set or picture.
To that point, RCA has also all but given up on the larger television market with most of their models fitting firmly in the 30 to 55-inch territory. They also limit their televisions to right around a 60Hz refresh rate, which helps keep overall costs down but also reduces the possibility of a truly competitive option for consumers looking for something better.
Like RCA, Westinghouse has surrendered its marketing to the higher-end TV market and has instead turned its focus to offering models for reasonable prices. Founded in 1886, Westinghouse has been a staple of the electronics industry for a long time but has since been sold to Toshiba and then again to a Chinese state-owned company.
As it stands today, in August 2023, Westinghouse only offers 13 total television models, of which many of these are the same model available in different sizes. The company has turned to Roku as its operating system to help promote a smart TV experience, but only 6 of its models offer a 4K UHD panel. While you can still purchase models at various retailers like Target or Walmart, it’s unlikely Westinghouse will ever make a play for the higher-end TV market again.
#10: Insignia (Best Buy)
Best known as Best Buy’s in-house electronics brand, Insignia makes a variety of products including televisions, mini refrigerators, and television cables. As of this writing, Best Buy sells roughly 21 different Insignia television models, which range from 32 to 75 inches in size. Even with a heavier emphasis on 4K, Insignia does offer a few different models that offer both a 720p and 1080p resolution.
Where Insignia creates some interest is that it offers its entire lineup under $750, even for its most premium 4K models. It has also helped drive sales for Best Buy by adding the Fire TV interface from Amazon, which offers thousands of different apps for download resulting in over 1 million different shows and movies for streaming. Unfortunately, Insignia is held back by its 60Hz refresh rate limit and lack of support for gaming features like HDMI 2.1 ports.
This television manufacturer has since lost a lot of its luster but Toshiba is still a well-known brand. Today, Toshiba TVs are sold under the original name but the company was purchased by Hisense in November 2017. Even with a highly-diversified product catalog, Toshiba has been unable to compete in the TV market against bigger brands. While it fares better than the likes of Westinghouse and RCA, it still falls short on picture quality and overall hardware reliability, but it does differentiate itself by offering HDMI 2.1 across its more premium C-series lineup.
Even with this benefit, Toshiba just can’t compete with larger rivals and instead focuses more on the mid-range where its competitive pricing is attractive to budget-friendly shoppers. Add in Amazon’s Fire TV interface and there is a small argument to be made that Toshiba is still a competitor, even if it doesn’t fare well against Sony or LG.
Like many other brands on this list, Philips is a once giant electronics manufacturer that held a dominant place in the TV market many years ago. Today, Philips has seen itself surrender its market share to its larger rivals like Samsung and LG.
What’s more, Philips has also pulled back on its marketing to the U.S. audience by only offering a handful of available televisions. Retailers like Best Buy no longer offer Philips in their TV lineup and Target only offers 1-2 models at any given time.
Even with its limited presence, Philips still looks to remain relevant with OLED panels and an array of gaming features. There is also support for Dolby Vision, which its similarly priced rivals like Toshiba tend to leave out in order to keep costs down. In addition, Philips TVs bounce between Roku and Google TV interfaces leaving two options for customers across its 24 to 75-inch television models.
#7: Amazon Fire
When you want a smart TV that is competitively priced with support for just about every streaming service under the sun, the Amazon Fire TV lineup is for you. One of Amazon’s in-house brands, it has made huge strides over the last few years in picking up both mind and market share.
Often available on sale, the inclusion of both the Fire TV interface as well as support for Amazon Alexa, Dolby Vision IQ, HDR, HDR10+, and a voice assistant remote has helped Amazon sell loads of televisions to the public.
While you’re unlikely to find panels similar to the panel quality of OLED rivals, Amazon’s premium QLED models are nothing to ignore. Amazon also has the honor of being one of the lowest-price televisions to offer HDMI 2.1 input connectivity, which is ideal for running consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X at their highest possible refresh rate.
Founded in 2002, Vizio is one of the larger brands to compete in the television space and offers models that cross the pricing spectrum. As of 2020, Vizio became the second-largest seller of flat-screen televisions in the United States and sold more than 80 million TVs in the same year. Today, Vizio continues to have a large presence in retail with dozens of models all the way up to 90 inches in size.
Vizio’s premier series, its P-Series Quantum TVs are its flagship models offering everything from 4K panels with brightness up to 3,000 nits as well as its own proprietary operating system. With the P-Series, it’s not uncommon for Vizio’s lineup to surpass $3,000 in pricing in the 75-inch size. At this price point, you get a lot of extra perks like built-in Apple AirPlay and Chromecast.
Even with these price points, Vizio remains a brand that is best known for its more budget-friendly models that offer great value in the 4K space. Should Vizio ever choose to adopt a more popular interface like Roku or Google TV, there is a good chance it would better rival the next best TV brand.
Over the last few years, TCL has solidified its place in the TV market as one of the best value manufacturers around. Its 6-Series TV is widely regarded as the best television value available today with excellent picture quality, gaming features, and support for both Roku and Google TV.
While it’s unlikely TCL will ever dethrone Sony, Samsung, or LG, it really doesn’t appear that is the company’s goal either. Instead, TCL seems very focused on gaining market share in the mid-range space and the lowest end of the premium market.
By reworking its TV strategy and introducing Roku as the main operating system a few years ago, TCL has seen explosive growth over the last few years with more than 13% of the U.S. market and over 8% of the global market. This is a brand that has really begun to check all of the boxes for making smart TVs customers of all budgets can afford and in a variety of sizes good enough for any size room.
The largest TV manufacturer in China since 2004, Hisense has been solely focused on its TV lineup since 1978. With its best television, the Hisense U8H, the company has finally been able to jump into the ranks of the best television brands around.
Between support for gaming with HDMI 2.1 at 120Hz, Gaming Mode Pro, and mini-LED technology, the U8H has been the catalyst Hisense has needed to enter the conversation as one of the top TV brands in the world.
With the rest of its lineup, Hisense continues to track more toward the mid-range market offering TV models that feature a myriad of smart TV options. Between Roku and Google TV, Hisense has begun adding even more features to its TVs like Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, plus voice assistance capability with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Long a threat for the top spot as the best TV brand in the world, Sony continues to release televisions that consumers are quickly interested in purchasing. For its part, Sony has long been considered the manufacturer of the most color-accurate TVs available on the market and that still remains true. Add in its switch to the Google TV interface across all of its new models and Sony has done the necessary required to maintain a dominant global TV position.
Another feather in its cap, Sony has a lineup that includes OLED panels (from LG) but also utilizes both mini-LED and QD-OLED for a varying range of products. Regardless of the panel type, Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR chip, which is found in its flagship Bravia televisions offers vastly improved sound, low latency, and improved contrast, and it moves smoothly through the Google TV interface.
Sony also does a terrific job of manufacturing its TVs to run the best with its PlayStation console lineup, which speaks to the low latency and wide availability of HDMI 2.1 at 120Hz.
Bouncing back and forth in the top spot, LG is arguably one of the top two TV brands in the world for all the right reasons. LG’s dominant position in the market is aided by its OLED panel manufacturing, which makes the best OLED panels on the market today. Many of its competitors, including Sony, purchase its OLED panels directly from LG under various partnership agreements.
Having the ability to control panel manufacturing has allowed LG to add near-infinite contrast, outstanding brightness, and some of the deepest blacks on any television available.
LG models like the LG C2 have been dominant over the past few years winning almost every “best of” list for the best TV available. LG’s 2023 lineup has continued to drive forward with excellence including already well-reviewed models like the LG C3 and LG G3 that have taken everything good about their predecessors and improved them in almost every way.
It should come as no surprise for Samsung to make the top spot as the best TV brand in the world. Also the most dominant brand with over 28% of the global TV market, Samsung has televisions to fit every need and every budget and then some. Finally entering into the OLED panel market in 2022, the Samsung S95B model has quickly become one of the most recommended televisions in the world.
Now, in 2023, Samsung has introduced QD-OLED models after years of reliance on QLED and these refreshed models have helped Samsung hold off LG for the spot as the top TV brand.
Even with its excellent picture quality, Samsung also offers a world-class gaming experience of 4K quality with numerous models offering HDMI 2.1, Game Mode, plus Xbox Game Pass built-in. Similarly, Object Tracking Sound is the best audio experience available on any TV today as you hear sounds directly on the part of the screen where the action occurs.
As long as Samsung continues to be an innovation leader, it should be able to hold off LG and Sony for years to come.
TV Brand Summary: From Best to Worst
|#7||Amazon Fire TV|
With so many different TV manufacturers on the market, it’s inevitable there are going to be brands that provide excellent products and manufacturers that need improvement.
It should come as no surprise that Samsung, LG, and Sony all jockey for the top position while brands like TCL, Hisense, and Vizio are vying for the best mid-range market.
Outside of these names, it’s a wide-open TV space, and while a new competitor isn’t immediately likely, brands like Philips, Amazon Fire, and Insignia have their work cut out to climb this list in 2024.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©M-Production/Shutterstock.com.