The 2022 edition of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas may have pulled off something extraordinary: Having more TVs in attendance than people.
Whether that’s literally true or not, the fact remains that even a skeletal CES will inevitably feature plenty of eye-popping new televisions that may or may not find their way into living rooms over the next few years. Heavy hitters like Sony, LG, and TCL all show up with their newest wares, and it’s worth your time to take a look at what’s coming down the line from the biggest names in TV manufacturing.
TV with the most futuristic-sounding display feature: Sony’s Quantum Dot OLED
Those dots are so quantum.
OLED (or organic light-emitting diode) displays have been commonplace on CES show floors for years, as the lack of a backlight behind the entire display means OLED TVs can produce more gorgeous images than the LCD screen you probably have in your home. Sony went and combined OLED with quantum dots, adorably tiny light emitters, to theoretically produce even better image quality than a regular OLED display in the new Sony Master Series XR-A95K.
Available in 55 or 65 inches, the quantum dot OLED with a name that is not catchy at all is hoping to be the first of its kind to hit the market. Quantum dots have been part of non-OLED TVs for years (that’s what “QLED” refers to), but they’ve never been paired with an OLED screen before. This 4K/120Hz set with Google TV built in doesn’t have a price or release date yet, but don’t expect it to come cheap whenever it does launch.
Best-looking screen that will fit in a bedroom: 42-inch LG C2 OLED
42 inches of organic light-emitting goodness.
OLED displays are great, but they have two problems that can keep potential customers away: They’re expensive, and rarely smaller than 50 inches or so.
That’s not the case with the new LG C2, a 42-inch OLED that’s smaller than any OLED to come before it. The follow-up to last year’s very well regarded C1 model also comes in sizes ranging from 48 to 83 inches, but that 42-inch model is going to be clutch for those of us who want high-end gaming in a bedroom-friendly size. It’s a 4K set with a 120Hz refresh rate and an HDMI 2.1 port to go along with a better picture than you’re likely to find at that size. Here’s hoping it’s not too expensive.
Most absurdly huge TV that actually has a price tag on it: TCL 98-inch QLED
This image can’t possibly demonstrate how huge a 98-inch TV must be.
Sometimes the only interesting thing about a TV is that it’s really big. There’s nothing wrong with that! Case in point: The TCL 98-inch Class XL set.
Unlike most other TVs on this list and many of them at CES in general, TCL was brave enough to put an actual price point on this 98-inch behemoth. It’ll run you $8,000, which honestly seems low for a QLED 4K set with a 120Hz refresh rate, hands-free voice control, WiFi 6, and four HDMI ports. Again: Just marvel at the size of that thing. Goodness gracious, what a beast. Hats off to you if you can fit that in your living room.
Best gaming features: Panasonic LZ2000
Best with a next-gen console.
Panasonic’s LZ2000 TV comes in 55, 65, and 77 inches, but that’s not what makes it interesting. Nor is it the fact that it has a time of day sensor that can adjust the picture for different ambient room colors, or the speaker system that runs along the entire length of the TV for better sound. What really makes this TV sing is what it can do for gamers.
Panasonic built in handy features like an overlay that shows the current frame rate of what you’re playing, as well as the ability to adjust the dark portions of the screen for better visibility. Of course, it also goes all the way up to 120Hz for games that support it. There’s no price on this bad boy yet, but those who like gaming should keep an eye on it.
Best TV that isn’t a TV: Samsung Freestyle projector
TVs are so last year.
Lastly, something that isn’t really a TV, though it can act like one if you need it to. Samsung’s quirky Freestyle projector costs $899 and can rotate up to 180 degrees, projecting up a 100-inch image on any surface. Samsung even claims it’ll level the image out on an angled surface.
It’s also got access to smart TV apps so you can stream all your favorite shows and movies onto the kitchen ceiling, if that’s useful for whatever reason. It’s only about two pounds and sits on a flat surface, so you can throw it in a bag and take it with you on trips. On top of that, it’s compatible with portable USB-C chargers, making it possibly the most versatile projector out there.
Who needs a TV, anyway?