Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine our living rooms without LED televisions. Heavy tube and plasma TVs with high power consumption have been replaced by the slim, power-saving sets. These are a further development of LCD TVs and are available in a variety of sizes and price ranges.

Our comprehensive LED TV test 2021 will help you find the best TV for you. We have compared the advantages and disadvantages of LED, QLED and OLED TVs. On the basis of this comparison, you can make the most informed purchase decision possible. We also show you which aspects you should definitely consider before buying.




Summary

  • LED televisions generate the picture with the help of liquid crystal screens and a backlight made of light-emitting diodes.
  • In addition to classic LED TVs, there are also QLED and OLED TVs. Both variants use different technology and can therefore score points in certain aspects.
  • All three variants are available in different sizes and price ranges. Which device is right for you depends on your needs.

The Best LED TV: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for LED televisions

In the following, we will present you with the most important aspects that you should definitely take into consideration when making your decision. The criteria you can use to compare LED TVs include:

In the following paragraphs, we will show you what you should look for in the individual criteria.

Display size

To make your TV experience something special, choosing the right display size is a crucial point when buying a new LED TV. The screen diagonal that is most suitable for you depends largely on your living situation.

To give you a better idea of the screen size, here is a table with some of the most common sizes in both inches and cm.

Screen diagonal in inches Screen diagonal in cm
32 80
43 108
50 126
55 139
65 164
75 189

For example, if you are looking for a TV for the bedroom or for a small living room, a TV with a diameter of 28 to 32 inches may be absolutely sufficient. If you sit too close to a screen that is too big because of a lack of space, the picture can look pixelated or blurry.

On the other hand, the display should not be too small either, so that you can easily see all the content even from a distance. If there is a distance of up to 5 m or more between the TV and the seating area, then a screen diagonal of 50 inches or more should be considered.

In any case, it is a good idea to measure the distance between the location of the TV and where you are sitting and then go to an electronics shop to test which diagonal screen size suits you best at that distance.

Resolution

No less important than the size of the TV is definitely its resolution. How sharp and clear the picture on the LED TV ultimately is depends largely on the resolution. Which resolution is best for you is determined above all by your usage behaviour.

The resolution indicates how many pixels make up the TV picture. The resolution is represented as the number of horizontal pixels x the number of vertical pixels.

If you only watch the programmes of public and private broadcasters or are looking for an LED TV with a small screen diagonal, an HD resolution may be perfectly adequate. With this resolution, the images are displayed using 1280 x 720 pixels.

If, in addition to watching TV, you also use the set for Blu-rays or streaming services such as YouTube or Netflix, then a TV with Full HD resolution is probably right for you. In this case, the picture content is displayed with 1920 x 1080 pixels.

If you want to get the most out of your TV experience and possibly set up your own home cinema, then you should go for an LED TV with 4k resolution. In this case, the picture will be razor sharp with the help of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

Refresh rate

The refresh rate indicates how often the screen displays a new image per second. This frequency is given in Hertz. On the German market, you can choose between LED televisions with 50 or 100 hertz.

If you only want to watch series or TV programmes with your LED TV, 50 hertz is perfectly adequate.

In this case, enough intermediate images are inserted to ensure a smooth and sharp picture.

If, on the other hand, you mainly want to watch sports or play the latest video games, then a TV with 100 hertz is recommended. This ensures that even fast movements can be displayed smoothly and that there is no judder.

Internet capability

Nowadays, an LED TV offers you a much greater variety than just the public TV programme. If you want to watch content on-demand, the device must be connected to the Internet.

So-called smart TVs therefore already have an integrated internet connection. You can then easily connect such an LED TV to your router via lan cable or wi-fi. In this case, you can use streaming services such as Netflix, Youtube or DAZN without buying an additional device.

However, a smart TV is not absolutely necessary to access content from the internet. If you already own a Playstation, Xbox or a streaming stick, for example, you can simply connect the respective device to the TV and thus gain access to the Internet.

Connections

To ensure that you can use all your devices after purchase, you should inform yourself about all the necessary connections on the LED TV before you buy it. The most common are:

  • HDMI
  • USB
  • Antenna
  • CI+ module
  • Component input
  • Scart
  • Network connection / Lan
  • PC / VGA

Practically every TV is now equipped with an HDMI connection. This is used to connect Blu-Ray players, game consoles or even streaming sticks to the device and to transmit both image and sound content.

Almost all current models also have a USB port. You need this to connect storage media such as USB sticks or external hard drives to your LED TV and play content.

You need the antenna connection if you do not want to buy an additional receiver. In this case, you can receive digital and analogue programmes directly on your TV via the antenna cable.

If you want to enjoy private channels or pay TV channels in HD quality, you need an HD+ card.

To avoid the need for an additional receiver, the TV set should be equipped with a CI+ module.

Both component inputs and a Scart connection are no longer standard. If you want to connect an older game console or a video recorder to the TV, you must ask explicitly about these connections.

If you want your TV to be able to connect to the Internet, the set needs either an integrated WLAN module or a LAN connection. These are usually available on all current LED televisions.

If you want to use your new TV as a screen for an older PC, you need a VGA connection. Since most PCs now have an HDMI connection, VGA connections are no longer standard equipment on LED TVs.

Decision: What types of LED TVs are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to get an LED TV, there are three types of products you can choose from:

model advantage disadvantage
LED TV cheapest price worst picture in terms of colour and black levels
QLED TV most realistic colour representation limited viewing angle
OLED TV best representation of black highest price

In the next section, you will learn the differences between the three types of LED TVs.

LED TV

LED TVs

LED televisions owe their name to the light-emitting diodes on which their technology is based. Just like its predecessor, the LCD TV, the actual screen consists of liquid crystals. These open and close to the light from the light-emitting diodes, creating an image.

The advantage that LED TVs have over the older LCD models is the slimmer design. The use of many small lights as backlighting instead of large lamps allows for much slimmer and lighter devices.

Advantages
  • Lowest price
  • lowest power consumption
  • available in most different sizes
Disadvantages
  • no display of pure black
  • not as contrast-rich as QLED and OLED

The biggest advantage of conventional LED TVs over competing technology is their price. Since LED technology has been on the market for several years, prices in this segment have already fallen considerably.

Moreover, an LED TV is not only the cheapest to buy. It also has the lowest power consumption of all three alternatives.

Moreover, with an LED TV you don’t have to worry about a possible burn-in of the picture. This danger does not exist because of the technology used.

QLED TV

QLED TV

Just like classic LED TVs, QLED models work with light-emitting diodes. However, an additional filter is available here, the so-called quantum dots.

The biggest advantage of this technology is that QLED TVs reproduce the colour spectrum most realistically and can thus produce the best images.

Advantages
  • Most realistic representation of colours
  • Greatest brightness
  • No risk of burn-in
Disadvantages
  • Ideal picture only when viewed from the front

QLED TVs also excel at displaying particularly bright picture elements. Moreover, there is no danger of image burn-in.

Compared to OLED TVs, however, there is a loss in the viewing angle. To ensure optimal viewing pleasure, you should sit in front of the QLED TV as much as possible.

OLED TV

OLED TVs

Unlike LCD, LED and QLED TVs, OLED TVs do not rely on backlight technology. In these models, it is the organic light-emitting diodes themselves that emit the light.

Thanks to this technology, OLED TVs can also display the purest black. Since the individual light-emitting diodes can be switched off, darker picture content can be displayed than with LED and QLED TVs.

Advantages
  • Purest black
  • Best response time
  • Widest viewing angle
Disadvantages
  • Highest price
  • risk of image burn-in
  • only available in sizes 55 inches and larger

OLED TVs also score with the best response time. This could be particularly important for you if you also want to use TVs for your PC or game consoles.

Another plus point is the viewing angle. OLED TVs offer an almost consistently good picture regardless of the viewing angle.

One problem with OLED TVs is that they are only available in sizes of 55 inches and up. In addition, the prices are still significantly higher than those of LED and QLED TVs.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about LED TVs answered in detail

The following guide is intended to answer the most important questions about LED televisions. We have selected the questions for you and answered them briefly and precisely. After reading, you should know all the necessary information about LED TVs.

What is an LED TV?

The LED TV is a further development of the LCD TV. Both models use a liquid crystal screen to display the content.

Every LED TV is therefore also an LCD TV. The abbreviation LCD means liquid crystal screen. However, the reverse is not true.

The difference between LCD and LED televisions lies in the lighting. While LCD TVs use a few cold cathode tubes for lighting, LED TVs use many small light-emitting diodes. Translated into German, LED means light-emitting diode.

In which sizes are LED TVs available?

LED televisions are available in almost all sizes. It all depends on your needs, which size is suitable for you. We have listed the most common sizes for you below:

  • 32 inch / 80 cm
  • 40 inch / 100 cm
  • 43 inch / 108 cm
  • 49 inch / 123 cm
  • 50 inch / 126 cm
  • 55 inch / 139 cm
  • 58 inch / 146 cm
  • 65 inch / 164 cm
  • 75 inch / 189 cm

The smallest LED TVs available start at a screen diagonal of 10 inches. However, these are portable TVs.

Somewhat larger are the models that are suitable for camping. These usually have a size of 16 to 22 inches.

As a rule, however, LED TVs are intended for use in the living room and therefore start at a size of 32 inches.

There is almost no upper limit to the screen diagonal. There are also TVs available beyond 85 inches.

What does an LED TV cost?

How much you have to pay for an LED TV depends on your needs. For example, the size, picture quality and additional features play a decisive role in the price. You should therefore think about what is important to you in an LED TV.

Some models of lesser-known brands are available for around 100 euros, even in a standard 32-inch size.

These offer neither Full HD resolution nor can they be connected to the internet.

If you are looking for a very large TV that is internet-capable and has an excellent picture, then high three-digit sums or even over 1000 euros cannot be ruled out.

What alternatives are there to LED TVs?

Currently, there are three possible alternatives to LED TVs. Since both classic LCD and plasma TVs are hardly to be found in stores, we will not present them to you here.

These work exactly like LED televisions with a combination of a liquid crystal screen and light-emitting diodes. However, they also use a filter made of quantum dots. These are more expensive, but offer better picture quality.

OLED televisions are another alternative. Unlike LED and QLED TVs, these do not use backlighting, but the organic light-emitting diodes emit light themselves. OLED TVs are currently the most expensive devices, but convince above all with their fast response time, the purest black and a very wide viewing angle.

LED Fernseher-1

With an OLED TV, you get the same good picture quality regardless of where you sit.
(Image source: Cleyder Duque / pexels)

Beamers are a completely different option. They enable image sizes that can only be achieved with a corresponding LED TV at enormous expense. In addition, the devices and screens are much more space-saving. On the other hand, unlike a TV, the picture quality depends to a large extent on the ambient light and could cause you some problems, especially during the day.

Can I use an LED TV as a PC monitor?

All current PCs and laptops have an HDMI output on their graphics card. So you can easily connect your PC to the HDMI input of your TV via an HDMI cable. Then all you have to do is select the appropriate source on your TV.

In principle, any PC can be connected to any LED TV.
The only question is how to do it.

If both your TV and your PC have a Bluetooth transmitter, you can connect the two devices without any cables.

If your PC or laptop is a little older and does not yet have an HDMI output, then there are two possibilities.

  • Your TV has a VGA connection, so you can connect your PC to it with a VGA cable.
  • Your TV does not have a VGA connection. In this case, you will need a VGA to HDMI adapter to convert the signal.

What distance should I keep from the screen when watching TV?

There is no general answer to how far away you should sit from your television. Rather, the optimal distance for you depends on three aspects:

  • Screen size
  • Resolution
  • Your visual acuity

Regardless of the resolution of your LED TV, one thing is always true: The larger the screen diagonal, the greater the distance you should be from the set. If you sit too close to a very large TV, not only will the picture quality suffer and appear blurred, but in the long run it can even harm your eyes. In the long term, it can even damage your eyes.

You should sit so close that you can see everything well.

However, the resolution plays a decisive role in choosing the optimal distance. The better the resolution of the TV and the content displayed, the closer you need to be.

For example, if you are watching a TV programme in SD on a Full HD TV, the optimal distance can be more than three times as large as for a Blu-Ray on a 4k TV.

It is therefore always advisable to visit an electrical shop before buying a TV and test on site which set is best suited for your visual acuity and your living situation.

How do I transport an LED TV correctly?

In order to transport the TV from one place to the next without damage, the correct packaging is crucial. When buying a new LED TV, always keep the original box.

The following instructions will help you to transport your LED TV without damage:

1. Prepare: Remove all cables and devices from your TV. Also remove the stand.
2. Padding: Wrap the entire TV with bubble wrap. Alternatively, you can use a blanket or soft towels.
3. Packing: Place the TV in a box and secure it with a polystyrene holder or fill the cavities with soft filling material.
4. Tape up: Now close the box and tape all openings tightly shut.
5. Transport: Place the box upright and stationary during transport. If this is not possible, you can also lay the box down. In this case, make sure that nothing is lying on top of the box.

How do I clean an LED TV?

You should not use conventional cleaning agents to clean the TV, as they often contain alcohols or acids.

Before cleaning, you should switch off the TV and disconnect it from the power supply to protect both you and the technology. After switching off, you should also wait about an hour so that the set can cool down completely.

If you only want to remove dust from the screen and frame, a microfibre cloth is suitable. They don't leave any lint and are soft enough that you don't have to worry about scratches.

LED Fernseher-2

To protect your LED TV when cleaning it, you should avoid using chemicals.
(Image source: cottonbro / pexels)

To get the dust out of the many small openings, you should use a soft brush. You should not use a hoover here, especially not on the fan. The strong draught from the hoover can set the fan in motion. This generates electricity and can damage the unit.

To remove fingerprints or smudges from your screen, you should use two microfibre cloths. One should be slightly dampened so you can remove the smudges. The other should be dry to remove residual moisture and prevent streaks.

What do I do if my TV stops working properly?

First of all, you should be aware of what exactly is wrong with your LED TV. If you are unsure, consult a professional and explain your problem.

First of all, you should check whether there is a loose contact.

Remove all cables and then carefully reconnect them. You may also be able to connect the cables to another device to see if the fault is in the cables.

It is possible that the problem lies with one of the connected devices and not with the TV itself. Remove all additional devices such as receivers or game consoles and start the TV on its own.

If there are any picture or pixel errors, you should always consult a specialist. If you open the set to look for possible sources of error, the warranty will be invalidated.

Image source: Valle/ 123rf.com

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