If you are ready to update to HDMI 2.1, you should know that there are smart TVs out there that already support it.
And while it is not a standard feature yet, it’s a good idea to get a TV that’s compatible with HDMI 2.1 as a way to future-proof your smart TV. That way, you won’t have to switch when it becomes a standard.
So if you’re on the lookout for an HDMI 2.1-compatible smart TV, here are five models to consider.
1. Our Top Pick: LG CX
The LG CX may be labeled as an entry-level smart TV, but the quality of its features makes it one of the best in its class. Check out its pricing on Amazon.
It comes with HDMI 2.1, which you can also link with eARC-compatible devices. Here’s what else you can expect out of the LG CX:
- It can produce exceptional blacks, making it ideal for watching at night.
- It can upscale 1080p content without any issues.
- The CX can remove judder from 24p sources and has an almost instant-response time.
- Viewing angles are great on the CX, which makes it ideal when watching with a group.
- The CX is a beast when it comes to video games. It supports G-Synch and FreeSync VRR and has almost instant response time.
- When it comes to HDR, the CX has a wide color gamut but average peak brightness, which means it won’t give proper highlights on screen.
- HDR gaming is also a joy with the CX as its lag is low. As mentioned, it does only have an average peak brightness level, which may cause a little compromise in the color quality.
- And since this smart TV also has an OLED, it is prone to burn-in, which can be counteracted by not having the same content, such as video game control panels, on the screen for long periods.
The CX comes in 48, 55, 65, and 75-inch models.
2. The Budget Pick: Vizio OLED
The Vizio OLED is the flagship smart TV from Vizio, and while Vizio is known as a budget brand, its performance can match the more premium brands in the industry. Check out its pricing on Amazon.
Out of the box, the Vizio OLED already has HDMI 2.1. Here’s what else you need to know:
- Since it has an OLED display, this smart TV can turn off individual pixels for an infinite contrast ratio and exceptional black uniformity.
- For those who are into HDR, the Vizio OLED has an exceptional color gamut for HDR content but lacks some brightness.
- Gaming is also not a problem for this smart TV. Input lags are low, but while the Vizio OLED has VRR support, it may need a firmware update once you get it.
- Gaming in HDR mode is also okay, but it does not have the best peak brightness. However, the response time in HDR mode is still exceptional.
- The downside to this smart TV is the risk of permanent burn-in, which is common for all OLED screens. But as long as you don’t keep the same image onscreen for long periods of time, burn-ins won’t be an issue.
The Vizio OLED comes in 55 and 65-inch models.
3. Samsung Q900R
If you are getting a smart TV with HDMI 2.1, the Samsung Q900R should be on your list of considerations. Check out its current pricing on Amazon.
The Q900R features HDMI 2.1 and 8k resolution, which are both features that are top of the line and have yet to be adopted as the standard for smart TVs. That means that the Q900R is ahead of the game for when HDMI 2.1 and 8k resolutions become benchmark features.
- The Q900R works well in SDR and HDR modes and has wide viewing angles, despite having only a VA panel.
- While the Q900R has a low native contrast ratio, it can still perform well in dark environments when it uses the local dimming feature.
- HDR content is handled well, and the Q900R can manage reflections onscreen remarkably.
- Since the Q900R uses 8k resolution, it can upscale content without any issues and interpolate older content to 120 fps.
- Gaming is great on the Q900R. It has a fast response time, an optional black frame insertion to compensate for fast-paced scenes, and HDR games have low lag, too.
- The Q900R’s weakness is its propensity for a dirty screen effect, which can be quite obvious. If it weren’t for this, the Q900R could have been the top pick.
The Q900R comes in 55, 65, 75, and 82-inch models.
4. Sony X900H
The Sony X900H is another option to consider for a smart TV with HDMI 2.1. You can check out its current pricing on Amazon.
- It works well with almost all content types and features a VA panel with a brilliant contrast ratio and full-array local dimming.
- The X900H works well in dark and well-lit rooms and can handle glare and reflections without problems.
- Fast-paced scenes are handled with little blur, thanks to the fast response time and Black Frame Insertion.
- For gamers, the input lag is quite low, even when playing at 4k and 10-bit HDR.
- The weakness of the X900H is its viewing angles, which means images can get blurry when watching from the side.
The X900H comes in 55, 65, 75, and 85-inch models.
5. Vizio P Series Quantum 2020
The Vizio P Series is a budget smart TV that is compatible with HDMI 2.1. You can see its current pricing on Amazon.
- It uses a VA panel for deep blacks and provides full-array local dimming to get great black levels.
- The P Series also works well in both dark and well-lit environments, with high peak brightness and good reflection handling.
- Response time is exceptional, and the P Series comes with Black Frame Insertion.
- The P Series can also interpolate low frame rates up to 120 fps.
- The P Series also handles HDR well. The color gamut is wide and can get bright enough to help highlights pop.
- For those into gaming, the P Series does well, thanks to the variable refresh rate that mitigates screen tearing during games.
- The weakness of the P Series is its narrow viewing angles. Those watching from the side are likely to get washed out images.
- Another weakness of this TV is that the dimming can create a blooming effect on bright images.
The P Series comes in 65 and 75-inch models. The Vizio P Series could have been the top budget pick, but it lacks a smaller-sized display, and its OLED counterpart has a minimal cost difference.
How Much Should You Spend on a Smart TV Compatible with HDMI 2.1?
Given that HDMI 2.1 is a new feature that is not yet standard, these smart TVs run in a pricier range than a standard-feature model.
Our Top Pick model, the LG CX, generally costs around $2,200 for a 65-inch screen. Our Budget Pick, the Vizio OLED, is priced at around $1,800 for the 65-inch screen model.
Should you decide to invest in the HDMI 2.1 system, remember that the devices you connect with must also support it.
You won’t get the same benefits if your smart TV is 2.1 compliant and the device you connect with uses the old, standard HDMI.
Also, you need to have a 2.1 compliant cable. A compliant cable is just as important as having a 2.1-compatible jack.