With the release of a new console generation around the corner, you might be wondering if you need to upgrade your TV. The PS5 and Xbox Series X both make some incredible claims regarding their performance, such as being capable of gaming at 4K at a 120 Hz refresh rate.
But is that accurate, and can your TV keep up? Is it worth buying a new TV for the new generation of consoles? I know, the latest TVs can cost a fortune, but you can also think of it as future-proofing your home entertainment system.
Let’s take a closer look.
What TV Will You Need for a PS5 and Xbox Series X?
To future proof your TV for the next generation of consoles, you’ll want a TV that has the following features:
- Support for 4K Resolution with HDR
- Has HDMI 2.1
- Under 10ms Response Time
- Auto Low Latency Mode, G-Sync, or Freesync
- 120 Hz
- 65” Screen Size
Some of these features can be swapped out based on your preferences, the core features I would look for is at least 4K, HDMI 2.1, and under 10ms response time. The others are nice to have but not the most important.
Support for 4K
Undoubtedly the most important feature to look for when buying a new TV for the PS5 or Xbox Series X. While these consoles seem to be capable of running games at 8K, most games aren’t optimized enough to reach that level, and most 8K TVs are also well out of the average consumer’s budget.
In other words, an 8K TV might be overkill. The new consoles claim to support 4K at 120 Hz which still hasn’t been tested but it has been confirmed they can at least support 4K with stable performance.
This is an important one. You want to make sure that your new TV is not only 4K compatible but also supports the HDMI 2.1 standard, with at least one port. HDMI 2.1 is used for almost all the new features that are coming to the next-gen consoles.
Remember, HDMI 2.1 is backwards compatible with previous versions of HDMI, but you won’t be able to use the new features with older versions. For example, HDMI 1.4 can support 4K but only at 24 Hz while 2.1 can support it at 120 Hz.
You might be able to get by with a TV that has HDMI 2.0 (it can support 4K at 60 Hz) but you’ll probably need to upgrade in the near future. In other words, to future proof, your TV look for HDMI 2.1.
Under 10ms Response Time (Low Latency)
When it comes to console games, response time isn’t talked about nearly as much as on PC because console games aren’t usually as competitive. There’s also a small delay between your controller and the console, which can be affected by a number of factors.
Nevertheless, to make the most of a new console, you will want a TV that has a response time of under 10ms. I noticed that anything above 10ms starts to feel a little noticeable and you can also run into visual artefacts like ghosting and whatnot. Better yet, look for a TV that has gaming modes, such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), G-Sync, or Freesync.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the new features of the PS5 and Xbox Series X is the support for 4K at 120 Hz. Look, this subject is a little complicated because even if a TV can support high refresh rates, it doesn’t mean the console can run a game at a stable 120 frames a second, especially at 4K. Some games, especially with all the latest features enabled like RTX Ray Tracing won’t even come near that.
It still remains to be seen if the next-gen consoles can really push that many frames out. Nevertheless, even if your new console can’t reach the 4K at 120hz mark (with stable performance) you can still lower the resolution until it can. I personally would prefer to play games at 1440P or 1080P at 120 Hz with stable frames, instead of trying to push it the max and suffering from frequent frame rate drops.
To summarize, I would look for a TV that supports 120 Hz. It doesn’t necessarily have to support 4K at 120 Hz, but the higher refresh rate is always better because the motion is smoother, and it gives you a competitive edge. The vast majority of TVs are still 60 Hz, and making the jump from 60 Hz to 120 Hz is a huge improvement.
What About TV Speakers?
Some of the latest TVs have decent speakers, but most lack depth and bass. For that reason, I recommend getting a nice soundbar to place under the TV, it will dramatically improve the audio quality of your games.
Can You Keep Using an Old TV with PS5 and Xbox Series X?
The good news is the new consoles will work with almost any TV or monitor. If you’re buying a new console simply for the games and improved performance, then you don’t necessarily have to upgrade your TV. However, to get the absolute best visual experience, and squeeze out all the features a new console has to offer, upgrading your TV is a good idea.
PS5 and Xbox Series X Compatible TVs:
So now that you have a general idea of what to look for when buying a new TV for the new consoles, here are some product suggestions you might like:
1 – LG C9 4K
The LG C9 is a 2019 TV but it has most of the features we’re looking for. To start with, it’s an OLED screen that supports 4K with HDMI 2.1. It seems like some models support 120 Hz too, but you may need to do a firmware update. As for visuals, the OLED screen offers increased contrast, awesome viewing angles, and a much thinner screen.
The LG C9 is a favourite among home entertainment enthusiasts, and it’s perfectly compatible with the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The main downside is the price, especially the larger versions, can be quite expensive.
Here’s another great 4K smart TV that would work well with the next generation of consoles. You can choose from a wide variety of sizes, from 43” all the way to 75”. The build is very slim and lightweight, making it easy to mount on a wall. While it has 4K and the colours are great, the downside is it does not have HDMI 2.1.
The good news, though, is that it’s more budget-friendly than other options. You’ll still get decent performance, for example, 60 Hz at 4K, and at 1080P the refresh rate bumps up to 120 Hz. It’s definitely worth a look.
Got some extra cash to throw around? The latest 2020 TV from Samsung is pretty much all you will need for the next 10 or so years. As for the build, it’s another slim and lightweight model but it seems to only come in large sizes, starting from 65” all the way to 82”. It has HDMI 2.1, and it can support 8K with no problems.
It’s got some great gaming modes too, such low latency mode which keeps the latency under 10ms. Overall, it’s probably the highest-end TV that you can buy on the market as of today, and the price reflects that too. But if you have the money, it’s a sound investment because it will last a long time.
Wrapping it Up:
Before we wrap it up, I would like to say that it might be a good idea to hold on buying a TV right this moment. When the new consoles launch, new TVs should launch too, and you should be able to snag some decent deals on 4K TVs soon.
8K is definitely nice to have, but chances are your console or PC won’t be able to push 8K with decent frames, unless it’s a really old title. I would shoot for the 4K mark.
Buying a TV can be complicated because there are so many factors, features, and specifications to consider. But, for the most part, as long as you look for 4K capabilities with the features you need, it’s not that hard to narrow it down to a handful of great models.