Even if your bracket is busted, there are still plenty of March Madness storylines to follow. Oral Roberts is only the second 15 seed to make it to the round of 16, and there are three other double-digit seeds hoping to continue their Cinderella runs to the Final Four: 11 seeds UCLA and Syracuse and 12 seed Oregon State. Plus, Sister Jean’s school, 8 seed Loyola Chicago, is still dancing after knocking off top-seeded Illinois in the last round.
This year’s tournament is taking place not in packed gyms across the country but in a handful of sites in Indiana, with capacity capped at 25%. That means you’re more likely than ever to be watching the games on TV instead of in person. Now is a good time to make a TV upgrade, not only to improve your college basketball viewing experience, but also because some of the best TVs we’ve reviewed are on sale right now at Best Buy and Amazon, from budget models to the best TV that CNET TV guru David Katzmaier has ever reviewed.
Katzmaier has not encountered a TV that offers as much picture quality for the money as the TCL 6-Series. It boasts a bright, punchy image that’s superior to other TVs at this price, thanks in large part to full-array local dimming. And it uses Roku TV, which is our favorite TV operating system for navigating all of your streaming subscriptions. The 55-inch model from TCL is selling for $700 at Amazon, which is only $50 from its lowest price ever. Want to go bigger? The 65-inch model offers nearly the same discount and is priced at a reasonable $900.
If the TCL 6-Series is the gold-medal winner for providing the biggest image-quality bang for the buck, then Vizios’s M-Series Quantum takes the silver. It can’t quite match the picture quality of the TCL 6-Series and lacks Roku TV, but it costs a lot less. It’s one of the least expensive TVs with local dimming. The 70-inch model is marked down at Best Buy to $680, which is $20 less than the 55-inch sale model from the TCL 6 Series above.
This TV is a prime candidate if you can’t afford OLED. Vizio’s P-Series Quantum offers a supremely bright image with hugely effective full-array local dimming for deep black levels. Katzmaier hasn’t reviewed it yet, but based on his experience with the previous version its image quality is likely similar, if not slightly better, than the TCL 6-Series overall, with better connectivity for gaming with Xbox Series X and PS5. The 65-inch Vizio PQ is $200 off and you can add another $20 to the discount if you sign up for the free My Best Buy membership program.
Go ahead, try to find a 50-inch, 4K TV for less than $300. You’ll get the same image quality with the TCL S435 series as the preceding S425 series, which we found to be good enough for most people. The draw here is the extremely approachable price and the fact that it uses Roku TV, which is the easiest-to-use and most-responsive smart TV interface.
Want to blow it out and spend more for the best picture quality? You’ve come to the right place. Quite simply, the LG OLEDCX delivers the picture against which all other TVs are measured. Yeah, it’s the best TV that Katzmaier has ever reviewed. (And he’s seen a few TVs over the years.) If you are ready to spring for an OLED TV, this is the one to get. The 65-inch model is discounted by $200 at Amazon, and you can take an additional $47 off when you add it to your cart.
Vizio makes an OLED TV too, and it’s on sale at Best Buy for hundreds less than the LG at both the 55-inch size here and the 65-inch version ($1,500). Katzmaier hasn’t reviewed it yet and for a TV this expensive, he’d lean toward the sure thing (in other words, the LG), But if you want the image quality of OLED for the lowest price, it’s Vizio right now.
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