As new TVs are released each year, the technology gradually evolves and high-quality products become more and more affordable. Long gone are the days of large box-shaped TV models with antennas on top and a grain-filled image in which all the pixels could be seen individually.
Nowadays, TVs are getting thinner and thinner, highly immersive, and offer the best picture quality you could ever ask for.
There are tons of good and affordable TVs in the market, so there is definitely one that will meet all your criteria. But with so much to choose from, how can you guarantee that the choice you end up making really is the best possible?
That’s where expert reviews and their favorite TV models can help you tremendously. Taking into account the current state of the industry, we consider that any product below the 500$ price tag can be included within the “budget TV” category. The following list presents 4 of the best television models at the best prices you can buy today.
How to buy a TV:
But before we get into that, it is worth talking about the buying process for television since it has a certain degree of complexity. Deciding which television is the best choice for your use is not an easy task and requires a lot of research.
You will most likely have to spend a couple of hours looking for reviews, checking prices, and comparing similar models. There are three main things that you need to decide beforehand: budget, type of content, and size – in this exact order of importance.
Since you are reading this specific article, we can assume that you already have decided on your budget. That’s great and it is one less thing for you to worry about. But what about your favorite content? Are you a sports guy or a cinephile?
Do you like to play videogames on your favorite console or binge-watching every Netflix show? These are the questions that you have to answer yourself. But we can help you decide on the size. You see, not everybody needs a gigantic 82-inch TV — especially if you are on a budget.
The size depends mainly on the available space in your living room and the viewing distance. Here’s a great tool to help you out: TV Size to Distance Calculator. Simply measure the distance between your sofa and the spot where the TV will sit and check what the recommended size is.
1. TCL 6 Series 55R617
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TCL has been gaining considerable market share recently. At this stage, consumers are aware that the TCL brand offers great TV deals in all their products (from low-end up to high-end). This specific model can be often found for less than 500$ and is regarded as the best tv overall at this price point.
This 55-inch4K TV has an impressive HDR performance due to its brightness levels, an outstanding contrast ratio that will make movies look lovely in a dark room, and gamers will be absolutely stunned by its low input lag and little motion blur (make sure you select the Game mode before starting your gaming session).
Its weakest point is in the sports content playback, but it is nevertheless extremely competent. Its fast response time and high peak brightness partly compensate for the grey uniformity issues and poor viewing angles.
So as long as you don’t invite all your friends and family to watch games with you, the viewing experience will be fine. It just won’t be as great as with other types of content.
If you need something a little bit bigger, the TCL 65S525 is a 65-inch alternative that offers great value and is still under the 500$ mark – but don’t expect it to be as good as the 55R617.
2. LG 55UM7300
If for some reason you can’t buy the TCL 55R617 or if you need better viewing angles, the LG 55UM7300 is the way to go. This 55UM7300 model also has an incredibly low input lag and great response time, making it a great option for casual gamers (competitive gamers probably would want a higher refresh rate and FreeSync support).
On the other hand, this TV is far worse than the previous TCL model if you intend to use it mostly for late-night movie sessions. It has noticeable problems in producing deep and uniform blacks and doesn’t support HDR10+ nor Dolby Vision. However, if you often watch TV Series and SDR content in a brightly lit environment, this TV is absolutely great due to its peak brightness and reflection handling.
3. Hisense 55H8F
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Often described as the most advanced TV in its price class, the Hisense 55H8F is powered by Hisense’s ULED technology and Hi-View engine.
Available at large retailers for less than 400$, this TV model has great picture quality, low input lag, a remarkable contrast ratio and black uniformity, good color gamut, and SDR peak brightness.
It is a great choice for most common uses and the only flaws we can point out are the poor viewing angles and slow response time. So if you are one of those sports fans that spend the entire weekend watching your favorite teams playing, you should definitely look somewhere else.
4. Samsung UN55RU7100
The UN55RU7100 is far from being Samsung’s top tv model, but there are several reasons why it is one of its best-selling ones. Like every TV on this list, it has a 4K panel with overall decent picture quality.
The Samsung UN55RU7100 delivers the deepest and most uniform blacks and has an outstanding contrast ratio. Alongside with its fast response time and low input lag, these are precisely as its strongest points.
As far as its shortcomings are concerned, they mainly reside in the lack of a local dimming feature, poor viewing angles, and low peak brightness in HDR.
There are clearly better options for you, but we understand that Samsung is one of the highest-rated brands in the consumer electronics industry and decided to include this product on the list. In the end, it is a fairly good product and reasonably priced.