If you were one of the lucky few who opened a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S on Christmas morning, your thoughts might now be turning to a new TV. Here’s what features you should prioritize when buying a new TV this January.
There will be lots of proud new PS5, Xbox Series X/S owners this New Year. But many will still be using their old HDMI TVs to use their new hardware.
We get it, new games consoles cost a lot of money and so does a new TV. So lots of people will have chosen to buy the consoles first and upgrade their TV later.
We covered this topic a while ago, but now the January sales are upon us, let’s look at what’s most important when buying a new TV.
The sales always come around each New Year, so we imagine a lot of you are planning on buying a new TV this January. A time when discounts will be readily available.
While the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S still look fantastic in 1080p, it takes a 4K TV to truly unlock their potential. For this generation, that is where the upgrade lies.
Gaming has now reached a point where it takes a certain standard of TV for games to really improve and look their best. It’s an exciting time, but it’s also an expensive one.
But if you’re committed to buying a new TV this January here’s what you need to know.
Next-Gen Essentials for Those Buying A New TV This January
Some of these features of easily identifiable when shopping for a new TV, but others are not immediately obvious. So, before you commit to buying a new TV this January, make sure it contains them.
Or as many as your budget will allow. We’ll let you know which ones to prioritize, as some put the prices up considerably.
Most modern TVs are 4K in 2021 and are now considered the standard. This means they’re no longer as expensive as they once were.
The majority also feature a frame rate of 50 or 60 frames per second. Frame rate translates to hz on a TV’s specifications, so 60hz means 60fps.
While the PS5 and Xbox Series X can render up to 120fps, most games max out at 60fps (at least for now). This means that any 4K TV is a worthwhile upgrade to new PS5 and Xbox Series X owners.
Basically, anything more from this point is a bonus, but not essential.
Refresh Rate of 120hz
While it may hike the price considerably, more and more games will be capable of 120fps in time. Ideally, they all should be in time.
Therefore, if you can afford a 4K TV that has a refresh rate of 120hz, you should consider it. This way you can truly take advantage of what your PS5, Xbox Series X/S can do.
It’s worth pointing out that some games offer a choice between impeccable 4K resolution (focusing on graphical prowess) and high-frame-rate (prioritizing performance).
Those who want to play a game for 4K graphics may actually not need one that can reach 120fps. But if you’re someone who enjoys playing online first-person games competitively, 120fps may make all the difference.
Take that into account when considering your budget. If you don’t need to spend more money to enjoy the games the way you like, then why bother?
HDMI 2.1 Output
If you are going down the 120hz route, then make sure the TV also features HDMI 2.1. This is an upgrade to HDMI 2.0, which allows it to render at 120fps.
To put it simply, without HDMI 2.1, your TV won’t be able to do it. The good news is that TVs that have a refresh rate of 120hz probably already have HDMI 2.2 because these two features go hand in hand.
It also allows you to render in 8K, but that doesn’t mean all TVs that boast HDMI 2.1 are capable of 8K.
HDMI 2.1 isn’t necessary to enjoy your PS5, Xbox Series X/S in 4K at 60fps. So again, it’s not essential; it just offers more freedom.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Now this is something we do highly recommend. HDR is what allows your TV to render light in realistic and dramatic ways. The PS5 and Xbox Series X/S have been specifically designed to make use of this, so have many games.
For example, check out ray tracing in action in the recent Spider-Man Miles Morales. Most 4K TVs boast HDR, but some don’t – so make sure you get one that does.
Unlike a 120hz frame rate, it won’t make the price soar skywards either – so go for it.
Buying a new TV this January for your PS5 or Xbox Series X can be daunting, but if you stick to the above you can find the right one for you.
We’re particularly impressed with the recent crop of LG OLED models. While Samsung and Sony have made some impressive TVs, we find the LG ones seem to be more reasonably priced.
Not Buying a New TV - Buying a Monitor Instead!
Another option is to use a gaming monitor instead of a TV. These are also cheaper and usually at a higher spec. Here are the best 4K monitors for PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Of course, we know a new TV is the least of many people’s worries regarding this new console generation. Many are still trying to secure a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S.