Hello There! Let Me Help You Find The 5 Best TVs Under $1200

Buying a new television can feel pretty overwhelming with how far display technology has come in just the past few years. You‘re not alone in wondering just what the difference is between OLED and QLED or why HDMI 2.1 matters.

But fear not! As a home theater enthusiast, it‘s my mission to cut through the confusing jargon and help regular folks like yourself find the perfect TV without breaking the bank.

In this guide catered to you, I‘ll introduce the 5 best options under $1200 for movie buffs, gamers, and sports fans alike. You‘ll know exactly what to look for based on your needs.

Sound good? Then let‘s dive right in!

Overview – What Actually Matters in a TV Under $1200?

Here‘s a quick but important recap of the must-have features and specs to prioritize in 2023 when buying a television at this price point:

Display Technology – Both LED/LCD and OLED TVs provide stellar 4K picture quality today with high dynamic range support. OLED remains the gold standard thanks to per-pixel local dimming for exceptional contrast and viewing angles. But modern quantum-dot LED TVs with full array local dimming (FALD) close the gap remarkably well for less money.

Refresh Rate – A 120Hz refresh rate guarantees smooth fast motion clarity for sports, gaming, and action movies. It really makes a difference once you see it!

Low Lag + Quick Response – Serious console or PC gamers will want HDMI 2.1 inputs and new Auto Low Latency Mode features that reduce display delay and input lag. This allows instant on-screen feedback for competitive online multiplayer.

Smart Interface – All 4K televisions connect directly to the internet for built-in apps. Newer models are shifting to friendlier interfaces like Google TV. Voice control support for finding content quicker is also becoming standard.

Future-Proofing Inputs – At minimum, having 3-4 HDMI ports ensures you can hook up the latest 4K Blu-Ray players, streaming sticks, and game systems. But next-gen gaming requires new HDMI 2.1 inputs, so at least one is recommended.

Okay, now that you know the essentials, let‘s check out this year‘s top-rated contenders!

1. LG C1 OLED 4K TV – Best Overall Picture Quality

Ratings: 4.7/5 Stars (Reviewers), 93% Score (Critics)

Offering the pinnacle of self-emissive OLED technology paired with new a9 Gen4 AI 4K upscaling, the 48-inch LG C1 delivers cinema-quality images with stunning contrast and perfect blacks. Dolby Vision HDR content looks especially incredible thanks to OLED‘s per-pixel dimming rather than common edge-lit LED designs.

Millions of independent OLED pixels emit their own light and turn off completely. This gives images a sense of realism that needs to be seen firsthand when watching your favorite movies and shows.

Resolution4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)
Refresh Rate120Hz Native
HDMI 2.1 Ports4
HDR FormatsDolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Response Time1ms
Screen Sizes42" to 83"

Key Pros

  • Infinite contrast ratio and absolute black levels
  • Vibrant, accurate colors with wide viewing angles
  • Extremely low input lag for responsive gaming
  • Built-in Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple AirPlay

Potential Cons

  • Higher risk of permanent burn-in over time
  • Peak brightness lags behind premium LED/LCD
  • Prone to slight image retention with static elements

Thanks to OLED technology‘s self-illuminating pixels, the LG C1 continues to be the unanimous choice for videophiles wanting the best 4K picture money can buy. Movies, shows, games – no matter the content, this TV makes them truly come alive.

Buy the Award-Winning LG C1 48-Inch OLED 4K TV on Amazon

2. Sony Bravia XR X95K – Top Performing LED 4K TV

Ratings: 4.6/5 Stars (Reviewers), 94% Score (Critics)

As Sony‘s 2022 flagship LED television, the X95K raises the bar with its powerful Cognitive Processor XR. Leveraging advanced AI intelligence, it can analyze and optimize every pixel for lifelike realism with incredible depth and textures.

Backing the processing is Sony‘s XR Backlight Master Drive with precise local dimming across zones. This brings the LCD LED panel extremely close to OLED performance in black levels and contrast for such an affordable price.

Resolution4K Ultra HD (3840×2160)
Refresh Rate120Hz Native
HDMI 2.1 Ports2
HDR FormatsDolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Response Time4-8ms
Screen Sizes65" and 75"

Key Pros

  • Class-leading LED image processing
  • Local dimming distributes backlight intelligently
  • Wide viewing angle retention technology
  • Acoustic multi-audio immersive sound

Potential Cons

  • No ATSC 3.0 tuner included
  • Slight blooming around bright objects
  • Google TV ads may frustrate some

Featuring some of the most advanced LED backlighting and processing abilities available, the Sony X95K 4K Smart Google TV delivers spectacular real-world performance rivaling even the quality of early OLED panels not long ago.

Buy the Stunning Sony X95K Led 4K TV on Amazon

3. Samsung QN90B Neo QLED – Best 4K TV for Gaming

Ratings: 4.7/5 Stars (Reviewers), 90% Score (Critics)

As Samsung‘s 2022 flagship 4K television, the QN90B Neo QLED brings together bold brightness, colors, and contrast powered by new Mini LED backlight technology paired with quantum dots.

The big headline though is its gaming credentials: With four HDMI inputs, you get low lag of 8.7ms and innovative Auto HDR Remastering thanks to a strong Quantum Matrix Pro processor. Variable refresh rate (VRR) and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro allow for smooth tearing-free gameplay.

Resolution4K Ultra HD (3840×2160)
Refresh Rate120Hz Native
HDMI 2.1 Ports4
HDR FormatsHDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Response Time6-8ms
Screen Sizes55" to 85"

Key Pros

  • Flagship-level gaming performance
  • Quantum HDR 24X with dynamic tone mapping
  • Anti-glare layer reduces ambient light reflections
  • Impressive tone mapping across various formats

Potential Cons

  • No support for Dolby Vision
  • Occasional DSE wagon wheel effect
  • Black clipping in dark room settings

For multimedia usage from movies to gaming, Samsung‘s Neo QLED lineup continues to break new ground with Mini LED powered performance at accessible costs. Packed with enhancements tailored specifically for console/PC players, the QN90B should be high on any gamer‘s list under $1200.

Buy the Samsung QN90B Neo QLED 4K Gaming TV on Amazon

4. Hisense U7H Quantum Dot QLED TV – Best Cost Effective Performance

Ratings: 4.6/5 Stars (Reviewers)

As one of the fastest growing TV brands in North America, Hisense continues to win over buyers by offering premium technologies like quantum dot wide color gamuts and full array local dimming at budget-friendly price points.

Case in point – the U7H comes packed with high-end touches including a bright 600 nit panel and IMAX Enhanced certification. Support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG means all HDR formats are covered. With Roku software built-in featuring thousands of streaming apps too, it‘s easy to see why the U7H is adored as an affordable home theater option.

Resolution4K Ultra HD (3840×2160)
Refresh Rate120Hz Native
HDMI 2.1 Ports4
HDR FormatsDolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Response Time8ms
Screen Sizes55", 65", 75"

Key Pros

  • Excellent picture and gaming performance for the cost
  • Dolby Atmos 3D audio support
  • Roku TV offers thousands of streaming apps
  • Far-field voice mic for hands-free control

Potential Cons

  • Mediocre off-angle viewing quality
  • Occasional backlight blooming
  • Pedestal stand limits aftermarket stand options

As an affordable mid-range alternative with many high-end frills like quantum dot Wide color gamut paired with full array local dimming zone backlights, the feature-packed 2023 Hisense U7H QLED TVs prove you no longer need to break the bank for superior 4K quality.

Buy the Hisense U7H Quantum Dot QLED 4K TV on Amazon

5. TCL 6-Series Roku TV – Best Budget 4K TV Under $1200

Ratings: 4.7/5 Stars (Reviewers)

Most buyers want lots of screen real estate without emptying their wallets. That‘s where trusted budget leaders like TCL deliver exactly what mainstream consumers need through their famously popular 6-Series Roku televisions.

For 2023, the latest 75-inch TCL 6-Series model continues to hit that sweet spot mixing performance, features, and value. Contrast and brightness see a nice bump over last year‘s models thanks to better full array local dimming algorithms. Gamers benefit from THX Certified Game Mode, 1440p 120Hz playback, and variable refresh rates.

Resolution4K Ultra HD (3840×2160)
Refresh Rate120Hz Native
HDMI 2.1 Ports1
HDR FormatsDolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Response Time~15ms
Screen Sizes55", 65", 75"

Key Pros

  • Excellent picture for mixed everyday usage
  • Great streaming platform with thousands of apps
  • Low input lag with THX certified game mode
  • Handy Roku mobile app for device control

Potential Cons

  • Mediocre black levels without FALD
  • Occasional video processing artifacts
  • Pedestal stand limits aftermarket stand options

While sacrificing some of the peak performance only found in absolute flagship televisions, TCL‘s 6-Series delivers great real-world quality with the added convenience of Roku TV built right in. For shoppers wanting undisputed bang-for-buck, this remains the tested budget favorite.

Buy the TCL 6-Series 75-Inch Roku 4K TV on Amazon

Let‘s Summarize the Key Takeaways…

I hope this detailed rundown gives you new insight and confidence around the advancements happening across modern 4K televisions in 2023.

The great news is that even with a max budget of $1200, you have fantastic options like:

  • OLED – Stunning per-pixel local dimming powered contrast and picture quality
  • QLED – Vibrant, wider color gamuts thanks to quantum dots
  • FALD LED – Bright high dynamic range made affordable through full array local dimming

And exciting new specs cater especially to gamers and home theater enthusiasts, like:

  • HDMI 2.1 – Higher bandwidth ports for 4K/120Hz new-gen gaming
  • VRR – Smooths gameplay and reduces tearing through variable refresh rate
  • ALLM – Auto low latency engagement when consoles switch to gaming mode

Plus with integrated smart platforms across the board making streaming easier than ever through apps like:

  • Netflix
  • Disney+
  • Apple TV
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Prime Video
  • YouTube

I‘m confident you can now make the television choice under $1200 matching your viewing needs and room setup. But please feel free to ask me any last questions coming to mind! I‘m always happy to guide and discuss home theater.

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