An 85 inch TV is no joke. Upgrading to a screen this big is by no means simple — it takes serious investment and a lot of space. However, the investment in terms of money and space is quite satisfying when you consider the enhanced viewing experience offered by the best 85-inch TVs.
It dramatically transforms a room, adding a cinematic feel and immersion that only the largest TVs can provide – you can really take advantage of what the best TVs have to offer. And this is the size where buying one of the best 8K TVs can really come in handy, because with all that space, the extra pixels are more visible. If you’re looking for a home theater experience, bigger is better, and 85-inch TVs are definitely bigger.
But there are a few important factors to consider before shelling out on one of these behemoths—especially now that you can get them at record-low prices. What would you give up if you got a cheaper screen? What type of screen technology is best? And should you go for a higher resolution?
We’ll answer the big questions here, so if you watch a huge TV you can decide what works for you.
1. It is worth considering 8K
At smaller sizes, we don’t tend to push people towards 8K TVs, but at this size, it’s definitely something to consider if you’re going for a premium. Yes, there is still a lack of 8K content available in the market today, but we are interested in upgrading it from 4K.
You’ll get four times the resolution offered by a 4K screen, and the huge difference in pixel count will be really noticeable at that size. QN900B from Samsung (Opens in a new tab) It’s the best option to consider if you want a high-end monitor, though the less expensive Samsung QN800B is also a solid choice. It delivers superb picture quality, stunning contrast, and exceptional brightness.
However, that doesn’t mean that an 85-inch 4K screen will make for a poor viewing experience — in fact, if you were to sit too far back, you wouldn’t be able to make out the extra details anyway. And if you want a huge TV without spending a ton of money, you’ll want to go with 4K anyway.
2. Mini QLED LED is much cheaper than OLED
As usual, OLED remains the most premium option but also the most expensive one. It is known for its excellent contrast levels with the blackest blacks and whites. If you’re a movie buff with a good deal of cash to spare and looking to build a serious home theater setup, OLED is your best bet.
Modern OLED panels have improved the brightness of the technology, making them more suitable for use in brighter family rooms as well. The 83-inch LG C2 is about 20% brighter than the previous model, while the 83-inch LG G2 is much brighter. But both are very expensive – depending on the region, the LG C2 can cost 30% more than the high-end Samsung QN90B mini LED TV. It’s a significant price premium.
The mini-LED Neo QLED technology in Samsung’s high-end TVs is great despite being much cheaper. It offers excellent picture quality, well-saturated colors, and bright visuals. It includes a small LED backlight to provide contrast close to the depth of OLED. Using LEDs that are 40 times smaller than regular LEDs, Mini LED displays pack thousands of tiny LEDs into their panel. This results in more accurate dimming to black in dark areas, but overall HDR brightness is amazing — far beyond what OLED can achieve. While mini LED screens can’t quite match OLED’s performance in terms of contrast, they’re a great, cheaper alternative that offers impressive brightness.
Take one step down and you can get a QLED TV or (or equivalent) for 30% less. The Samsung Q80B and Sony X90K are two amazing TVs with 85-inch models available. They use direct LED backlighting, which means better contrast and brightness than budget TVs, with some local dimming, but not the advanced light-and-dark handling you get from smaller LED TVs.
A simple LCD/LED combination remains the least expensive option, and this will again reduce contrast and depth of blacks, and most budget TVs come with less advanced image processing as well – which can be seen in an 85-inch TV. We rate the Samsung BU8500 (or BU8000 depending on the region) as one of the most powerful options in this size.
3. Dolby Vision Aim
HDR, or high dynamic range, is a feature that improves the brightness, contrast, and vibrancy of your content, giving it a more realistic feel. HDR10 and HLG are the two most popular HDR formats supported on TVs – almost every model supports both.
HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are the two more advanced options, and many big name TVs will only support one or the other. For example: Sony and LG feature Dolby Vision; Samsung has the advantage of HDR10 +. Dolby Vision is the second most popular format used by streaming services, and it’s probably the best in the game. HDR10+ gives Dolby Vision strong competition by being just as good in terms of performance, but less widely used.
We suggest looking for a TV with Dolby Vision because it’s widely supported, but it’s not necessary — if you don’t have it, Dolby Vision converts to HDR10 content when you watch it, which all HDR TVs support.
4. Don’t underestimate the importance of ports
On a screen this size, the ports are a big deal. It fills up quickly so you should be looking for four ports on your new monitor. You don’t buy a TV of this size because you’re an ordinary viewer, right?
The specification is also crucial. Make sure at least two of these ports feature HDMI 2.1 and the ability to handle up to 48Gbps of data. HDMI 2.1 supports a refresh rate of 120Hz at 4K and 60Hz at 8K which is ideal for next-gen gamers to enjoy a stutter-free experience. It also facilitates VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). These two features help in providing a lag-free gaming experience without screen tearing or flickering. Ideally, you’ll have all four ports that support this technology, but that’s unlikely with mid-range models.
ARC or eARC support is also important. ARC is a feature that allows your TV to communicate with one The best speakers or The best AV receivers With a single HDMI cable, eARC is an improvement over ARC by offering faster data speeds for higher quality audio. And since modern TVs rarely sound good enough on their own (it’s a risk they’re too thin), you’ll likely want to invest in a soundbar. So make sure you have HDMI ARC support.
5. Audio features
As mentioned above, it is important to invest in soundbar if your television features underwhelming sound. For an 85-inch screen, you really want to make sure that your audio matches your video quality for the best overall experience. And in an ideal world, you’d also want to make sure your monitor supports Dolby Atmos encoding. Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology that provides a more appropriate immersive sound experience using 3D mapping technology – the best Dolby Atmos soundbar is an excellent (simple) upgrade for a home theater.
There are also two monitors that make impressive sound on their own. Sony A80K is one example. It uses its entire screen as a speaker, and with the help of two audio drivers, it produces a fairly full and rich sound. Samsung QN85B It is another TV that has good enough sound and may not require you to buy a soundbar. It has a 60W sound system and while the results aren’t what you’d expect from a dedicated speaker setup, they’re pretty decent for a TV.
Buying an 85-inch TV is a big deal. Literally. The upgrade in physical size and price hike requires careful consideration. We hope this guide gave you some clarity on important features to look at, and the product recommendations provided some helpful context. For more, don’t miss our guide to The best 85 inch TVs available today.