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Can Your TV Handle the New Consoles? Here's How to Tell

What you need in a set to get the most out of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

next gen consoles tv
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The next-generation consoles by Microsoft and Sony — the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5, specifically — are all available for purchase and if you're thinking about buying one, the first question you should ask is: Do I need to upgrade my TV first?

What makes these next-generation consoles special is their power, speed and the improved graphics they're able to deliver. And while you can hook theses new consoles to your older TV and you'll see some improvements, they won't be the drastic gains — especially in the graphics — that really make upgrading to these next-generation consoles worth it in the first place.

So what should you look for?

4K is the bare minimum.

4K TVs are everywhere these days and you can get a great one for pretty cheap; most 50-inch 4K TV will probably run you between $500 and $600 (Vizio's M-Series Quantum is one of our favorites). The reason why you should get a 4K TV is that they have four times as many pixels as standard HD TVs, meaning they can produce a much better picture. And the next-generation consoles take advantage of every one.

4K at 120Hz is ideal.

Refresh rate is one of the most important specs to look out for when buying a 4K that's fit for the new consoles. The refresh rate is the rate in how frequently a TV is able to refresh its image. Most older TVs (and smartphones) have a max refresh rate of 60Hz, but a lot of new TVs have a max refresh rate of 120Hz, which is idea for the new consoles because it allows to adjust graphics quicker and just make the gameplay look and run much more smoothly. That said, you want to make sure that the TV can run 4K at 120Hz – a lot of TVs say that they have a max refresh of 120Hz, but they downgrade to a lesser resolution to get there, so check the specs to make sure you're getting 4K at 120hz specifically.

To get the most, you'll probably need to upgrade.

The reason why you want to buy a new TV that was made in 2020 is that there's a good chance that it will support the newest technologies that these next-generation consoles can exploit. These technologies include high dynamic range technologies like Dolby Vision and HDR+, as well immersive audio technologies like Dolby Vision. They also are likely to have the latest HDMI technology that support these audio and video formats.

Go for OLED to get the best results.

If you're upgrading to the best possible console, it makes it possible to upgrade to the best possible TV (within reason). And that means making the jump to an OLED TV like the LG CX. OLED TVs aren't terribly expensive anymore — the 55-inch LG CX will run you just under $1,400 — but they're the ideal partner for the next-generation consoles. OLED TVs deliver a far superior picture than a standard LCD TVs because they control each individual pixel. The result is a picture with significantly more detail and contrast.

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