Top Smart TVs for next-generation gaming (LCD and Plasma)

Even if you’re not particularly excited about the launch of the 8th generation of video gaming consoles, having a fairly large Smart TV on hand is always admirable.  For instance, maybe you’re using it in tandem with your 7th gen. system or as fixture in your living room for watching shows, news and movies?  Regardless of the reason, it’s fairly safe to say that nearly everyone likes the idea of HD visuals, particularly gamers who tend to seethe and foam at the mouth at the notion of extremely detailed graphics.

Today’s average Smart TV isn’t just a static machine that can only act as a receiver; no, when you buy one of these units you’re getting what amounts to an entire entertainment package.  For example, your typical Smart TV will be able t access specific apps like Youtube, Netflix or certain digital TV channels that you’re interested in.  It’s also extremely handy to be able to quickly add a USB storage device or dongle to a TV as well, making quick connections a breeze.  Moreover, some of the more current models even feature cloud streaming services which you can sign up for, which makes those particular models quite useful to say the least.  Likewise, today’s emerging video game consoles are like entertainment hubs in and of themselves, containing virtually everything you need including TV, movies, music, and other forms of streaming content.

Of course if you ARE interested in picking up a PS4 or Xbox ONE in the very near future, you’re going to want to plug it up to a viewing screen that is able to really deliver the goods, so to speak.  The following list of TV’s are perhaps some of the more well-known and widely sought-after models in terms of functionality and overall quality, the fact that they might also make excellent gaming monitors is yet another perk to keep in mind.

Philips 42PFL6008

You’d expect some nice features from a £1000 smart TV, and this Philips brand model certainly provides them.  Aside from its sleek look and rather large size at 42”, the 42PFL6008 is definitely packed with enough features to merit such a price tag.  For instance, it has a throng of connections on its backside, including no less than 3 USB ports, an Ethernet jack, 4 HDMI sockets and various other inputs and outputs.  Needless to say, the addition of those HDMI connections is really great for gamers in particular, especially those who crave the absolute best graphics possible via their console(s).  However, even if you don’t plan on gaming that much (or even using the built-in browsers for the PS4 or Xbox ONE to access the net), the 42PFL6008 includes a handy remote with a QWERTY keyboard built into its back.  As far as the SmartTV interface of the 42PFL6008 is concerned, things could have been a bit more updated, but you can easily access social media, BBC apps…all the crucial bits.

Philips 42PFL6008

Sony Bravia KDL-55W905A

If you’re looking for something larger and perhaps more angled toward 3D-based applications, then Sony’s Bravia KDL-55W905A might be the Smart TV for you.  This particular model excels in terms of its picture, sound, design and features, making it perhaps one of the more sought-after units by gamers and tech enthusiasts.  The regular picture is absolutely fantastic, extremely clear and lucid, exactly what you want in a TV for gaming.  Likewise, the 3D is good as well, especially for a 55” model.  This particular model utilizes Sony’s new Triluminos technology, which is able to add even more colors to the palette and apply certain filters directly to the LED’s.  There’s also the database system the TV uses called X-Reality Pro, which directly affects the speed and quality of video processing (for the better).  In short, it analyzes pixilated patterns looking for matches in order to automatically set up and enhance the picture for specific sources.  Moreover, the interface is also great and features an uncluttered design, which is a step up from their previous builds.  Additionally, the unit provides access to all the most popular apps and services which other Smart TV’s are able to tap into.

Sony Bravia KDL-55W905A

Samsung UE55F8000

Samsung’s UE55F8000 more or less presents you with a total package in a Smart TV.  First off, it has a great design, amazing picture quality (in terms of both 2D and 3D), and the interface is elegantly designed.  Moreover, this 55” flagship model also incorporates USB, LAN or Wi-fi-based multimedia support as well as support for voice/gesture controls.   Gamers in particular might be happy to note that the various ports are located on the side of the TV, making them much easier to access in certain situations.  Like many other Smart models, this one also features 3 USB ports as well, which makes it possible to connect or charge various devices as needed.  Perhaps one of the more intriguing additions though is the fact that Samsung has included 5 different types of home screens for the UI, which was a nice afterthought.  Likewise, the “smart platform” actually tracks what you watch and do so that movie/media recommendations can be made; all in all it’s great for discovering new things.

Samsung UE55F8000

LG 55LA740V

This 55” Smart TV essentially provides you with all the basic features you need to start gaming in HD (or enjoying your favorite movies and programs).  As expected, the screen quality is good (as is the 3D), which isn’t really surprise given this unit’s base cost.  The passive 3D design makes it possible for two gamers to experience the full screen, which might be considered a necessity if local multiplayer gaming is something that you and your friends regularly do.  The TV’s interface is also a breeze to navigate and rather charming in its own right – offering simple “cards” to scroll across, meaning you can easily add or remove certain apps and services at your whim.  Moreover, the LG 55LA740V is also able to connect to other smart devices via a NFC element that’s built in.  This essentially means that you can use a smartphone to access what’s on the big screen (sharing has never been more fun).

LG 55LA740V

Panasonic TX-P60ZT65

Not only is the TX-P60ZT65 a mammoth 60” plasma capable of delivering the sort of visuals that you will simply fawn over, it’s also very flexible in its applications and features a rather direct and easy-to-use UI as well.  In short, it would seem that true graphics snobs might want to think about getting their hands on a TX-P60ZT65, perhaps because its color and contrast accuracy is truly amazing.  Of course at a price of around £4,000, it’s no wonder that this amazing TV is able to deliver unparalleled picture quality.  In fact, Panasonic had to adopt a specialized manufacturing process to enhance the bonding process which removes a critical “air gap”, accounting for the better visuals.  Additionally, this is actually a limited edition model, so you know you’re dealing with something truly special.  The end result of course is crisper colors and deeper, more accurate blacks, which is fairly important these days with most games.  In terms of its other features, the TX-P60ZT65 is jam-packed with everything you could possibly want, including a UI that’s very elegant and refined.

Panasonic TX-P60ZT65

Toshiba 46TL968B

As a 46” TV that’s equipped with Wi-fi, the 46TL968B is one of those units that is able to incorporate high-end features at what one might call introductory prices (£749).  Not only can this TV deliver a great 3D experience, it also delivers great HD resolutions that are well-suited for gaming.  Armed with no less than 4 HDMI inputs, as well as 2 USB slots, the 46TL968B is ready to be connected to your other hardware.  Moreover, the unit has a “clear scan” feature which is supposed to greatly enhance the realism of Blu-ray movies (a definite for 8th generation console owners).  While this TV won’t break the bank as they say, it certainly looks and behaves as if it might, which is a good thing no matter how you look at it.

Toshiba 46TL968B

In Conclusion

The various smart TV’s listed above are perhaps among the more desirable for gamers, although there are still many others to choose from as well.  Anyone who can afford to splurge on a more expensive model will certainly get their money’s worth, but there’s also something to be said about thinking economically (especially considering that this might allow you to purchase more games this season).  At any rate, before you buy, be sure to visit a showroom somewhere to see a tech demo if at all possible.  Likewise, be sure that the unit’s inputs and outputs are going to be sufficient enough to handle all of your gaming gear and other consoles as well.

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