best budget 4k tv canada

How do you get the best budget 4k tv canada, and still get something great? While the bigger sales events throughout the calendar year help, it is possible to grab a total bargain on the ever-so-slightly-older last year’s models outside of these events and at all the usual retailers. While tech in 4K TVs moved fast when 4K was new, it’s now more about refinements and additional features, like voice control and app integration. So, 2018 and 2019’s best TVs are still almost as good as the ones of recent months. As/if/when 8K becomes more of a thing, this will only serve to drive down, too. 

However, picking out a great 4K TV from last year will save you loads of money, and will get you a panel that still performs exceptionally well. Generally speaking (and using a bit of a broad brush) new TVs come out around springtime every year so you’ll often get a double whammy in the January sales as the ‘current’ ones start to go out of favor and get discounted due to the time of year. This means you can pick up an awesome TV that’s very recent, for less, and that’s why we’ve rounded up the best cheap 4k tv below.

best budget 4k tv canada

1. Samsung UE55TU8000

Not the very cheapest but one of the very best

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: LED | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10, HLG | HDMI inputs: 3 | Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 78.3 x 123 x 25cm (with stand)

Reasons to Buy

Brilliant HDR pictureBags of tonal detailPunchy colours

Reasons to Avoid

Not particularly brightUninspiring soundToday’s Best DealsUS$497.99VIEW AT DELL

US$549.99View at Amazon

US$619.99View at AmazonSee all prices (8 found)

Samsung’s 8-series has traditionally been positioned just below the company’s glamorous range-topping QLEDs. In the past, it has proven to be the sweet spot where picture quality and price intersect to maximum effect. And the Samsung UE55TU8000 delivers on that promise.

This Samsung has three HDMI inputs, which should be plenty considering the TV offers all the smart TV streaming apps you’d expect (Netflix, Amazon, Now TV, Disney, and plenty more), so there’s no need to add a streaming stick. There’s a decent interface for browsing all that content and voice control if you want to get clever.

Crucially, the picture is involving, exciting and way beyond anything else you’ll find at this price. There’s impressive detail, punchy colours and solid, deep black levels. And it performs impressively across 4K, HD and even SD pictures. The sound is pretty standard for a relatively affordable TV but add a simple soundbar and this makes for a compelling home entertainment system.

This could well be the biggest TV bargain of 2020.

Read the full Samsung UE55TU8000 review

The Best 4K TV on a Budget for 2020 | Reviews by Wirecutter
best 50 inch TV
(Image credit: Future / Future Man, Amazon Prime Video)

2. Hisense 50R7E

This smart 4K TV is an absolute bargain.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: LCD with direct LED backlight | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10, HLG | HDMI inputs: 3 | Dimensions: 72 x 112.7 x 25.6cm

Reasons to Buy

Strong upscalingClean, dynamic imageIntuitive, app-packed Roku platform

Reasons to Avoid

Not terribly sharpLacks some dark detailToday’s Best Deals

US$713.97VIEW AT AMAZONSee all prices (2 found)

This is the best cheap 50 inch TV you can buy. The Hisense R50B7120UK is a direct LED-backlit TV, with a 4K resolution, HDR support and all of the apps you could possibly need, thanks to the excellent Roku TV platform (it’s the first Roku TV to land in the UK). And all at a staggeringly low price. 

It may not look much but in terms of features and connectivity, it surely offers everything you need, from HDMI, optical, USB and headphone connections, to Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Freeview Play, Apple TV, Disney Plus, Spotify, and plenty more). The universal search could be better but the content is certainly there.

The picture itself is good straight out of the box, too, though tinkering a little with the contrast, brightness and colour settings will yield even better results. Motion is handled confidently, colours are bright and dynamic but never artificial, and while absolute detail in dark scenes can be bettered by more expensive TVs, any flaws here never distract from what is a watchable picture. We can’t help but give a hearty recommendation for this budget 50-inch 4K TV.

Read the full Hisense R50B7120UK review

Best cheap 4K TVs 2020: the best budget TVs
(Image credit: Future / Expanse, Amazon Prime )

3. Samsung UE43RU7020

Samsung’s most affordable TV range is worthy of your money.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: LED | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG | HDMI inputs: 3 | Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 97 x 61 x 21 cm

Reasons to Buy

Good HDR handlingExcellent smart platformStrong detail and scalingCompetitive price

Reasons to Avoid

Unimpressive audioSlight colour inconsistencyToday’s Best DealsNo price informationCHECK AMAZONSee all prices (1 found)

The Samsung UE43RU7020 is the smallest size of the lowest range of Samsung’s 2019 TV range. And if you want an affordable but still recent Samsung TV, then this might be the one. 

It is a couple of rungs down the ladder compared to the TV above, so you do lose some features. There’s no One Remote or Bixby, but potentially more significant to performance, it also loses Samsung’s Dynamic Crystal Control colour technology, which is replaced by the technically less advanced PurColor. You do however still have all the main streaming video apps, presented in a usable interface, and with plenty of HDR video support alongside the 4K resolution.

In terms of performance, this TV delivers excellent, deep black levels, thanks to an impressively uniform backlight considering the price. 4K detail is good, too, though it doesn’t quite match the model above for contrast or colour performance, and viewing angles aren’t as strong.

This is still a fine ‘small’ TV – and if you see a deal, it’s well worth snapping up.

Read the full review: Samsung UE43RU7020

Best cheap 4K TVs 2020: the best budget TVs

4. Philips 50PUS6703

Corking across-the-board performance and a nice slice of Ambilight action.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: LCD | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10, HLG | HDMI inputs: 3 | Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 70 x 113 x 23cm

Reasons to Buy

Great handling of detailGood range of streaming and catch-up appsAmbilight

Reasons to Avoid

Dull user interfaceUninspired remoteDifficult to set upToday’s Best DealsNo price informationCHECK AMAZONSee all prices (1 found)

This Philips 50-inch 4K HDR TV has the company’s eye-catching Ambilight picture technology, all that screen, and all the smart TV apps you need. What’s more, it delivers a picture performance that’s genuinely brilliant for the price. It can be a little bit fussy to use but there’s no arguing with the deal on offer here. 

Play some 4K content and this Philips offers striking but nuanced colours, with natural skin tones. There’s texture to background details and impressive close-up insight, even when dropping down to HD video. Black levels don’t always reveal every dark detail but you do get rich, inky dark scenes, so it’s a reasonable compromise.

For its price, even the sound quality is acceptable – it is a very slim TV after all – and the improved interface is OK if not as intuitive as some rivals. A fine value 4K TV, and definitely one to check out if you’re on a budget.

Read the full Philips 50PUS6703 review

Best cheap 4K TVs 2020: the best budget TVs

5. Samsung UE40MU6400U

This Award-winning set delivers a very good 4K picture at an extremely tempting price.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: LCD | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10 | HDMI inputs: 3 | Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 57 x 90 x 30cm

Reasons to Buy

All the streaming apps you needImpressive detail and definitionGreat value

Reasons to Avoid

You can better HDR performanceToday’s Best DealsNo price informationCHECK AMAZONSee all prices (1 found)

Looking for a 4K TV in a sensible size and at an extremely reasonable price? You’ve found it. A few years old now, this is still available at a very tempting price and while this Samsung MU range TV may not have all the bells and whistles of Samsung’s top-of-the-range sets, it does come with an impressively good picture performance for the money, as well as just enough apps and features. 

Amazon Video and Netflix are here, as is HDR support and a smattering of HDMI inputs. It’s simple to get started and one of the easier TVs we’ve reviewed when it comes to getting the picture looking spot-on.

While it’s fair to say that the impact of 4K is more keenly felt at larger screen sizes, there’s no denying the improvements to sharpness and detail seen even on a 40in display. You get a crisp, detailed picture, with solid contrast and colour reproduction. The upscaler is very good, too, so you get great results from 4K, HD and SD.

Read the full review: Samsung UE40MU6400U

Best cheap 4K TVs 2020: the best budget TVs
(Image credit: Future / Modern Love, Amazon Prime)

6. Panasonic TX-40GX800

Panasonic’s edge-lit LED TV proves punchy and vibrant.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: LCD | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG | HDMI inputs: 3 | Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 51.7 x 90 x 6.3cm (w/o stand)

Reasons to Buy

Vibrant, punchy pictureSuperb colour credentialsComprehensive HDR supportClear, balanced audio

Reasons to Avoid

Image lacks nuanceSDR detail can driftBasic audio performanceToday’s Best Deals£599VIEW AT EBAYNo price informationCheck AmazonSee all prices (2 found)

The Panasonic TX-40GX800 is an edge-lit LED TV, which makes for a nice, slim design that will happily be the focal point of any small lounge or bedroom. Borrowing processing tech from the company’s class-leading OLED TVs, it’s no slouch on the picture front.

For a 40-inch TV at this price point, we would expect a good-looking 4K set with as much HDR codec support as possible and we might also hope that Dolby Atmos featured. Thankfully, the Panasonic TX-40GX800 does all of this – it’s perhaps just a little bit more expensive than we might like given the size and overall performance. But it’s still a fine 40-inch TV. 

Read the full Panasonic TX-40GX800 review

Best cheap 4K TVs 2020: the best budget TVs
(Image credit: Hisense / The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Amazon Prime)

7. Hisense H55O8BUK

One of the most affordable OLED TVs you can buy.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG | HDMI inputs: 4 | Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 70.7 x 122.6 x 5.9cm

Reasons to Buy

Smart stylingSimple operating systemMost major appsRich, sharp and detailed picture

Reasons to Avoid

Weak motion processingComparative lack of dark detailColours could be more nuancedToday’s Best DealsNo price informationCHECK AMAZONSee all prices (1 found)

A 55-inch set, this is a big, cheap OLED TV. And with this Hisense O8B using an LG panel, it’s tempting to assume that you’ll get a similar performance for significantly less money. And that’s almost true. It’s well connected, has all the inputs, outputs and features you would expect, including support for the latest HDR video formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG.

You have to do some tweaking but once set up, you’re treated to an image that’s rich without being noticeably unnatural, sharp without obvious over-processing, and bright without looking blown out. 

It also features most of the big-name apps you would expect, and has a simple operating system that’s a doddle to navigate.

Downsides? Motion processing could be better, and colours more nuanced. That means it can’t quite match the performance of the LG C9, which is now not a lot more money. But it remains a good TV in its own right.

Read the full review: Hisense H55O8BUK

Best cheap 4K TVs 2020: the best budget TVs
(Image credit: Future)

best cheap 4k tv

TV Buying Guide

How to choose a set you’ll love watching for years

Whether you’re shopping for your first TV or your twentieth, we have some tips to help you choose a set you’ll love watching for years. Trying to narrow the choices down to a single best TV is difficult because “best” means different things to different people. These days it’s just about impossible to find a bad TV, but we’ll help you find the best TV for you.

Start with you…and your room

What do you like to watch? Movies? Sports? Are you a gamer?

How big is your room? How far will you be sitting from the TV? Are the room’s furnishings and layout “non-negotiable” or could you do some rearranging?

What’s the lighting situation like? Do you generally watch at night or during the day?

Answering these questions will get you closer to a great TV than trying to decipher all the hype, jargon and techspeak.FPO

Today’s bigger, sharper TV screens encourage get-togethers to watch sports or movies with friends and family.

Screen size: How big is big enough?

When it comes to TV screen size the most common recommendation is “bigger is better” — and that’s good advice.

Nothing will add more to your viewing enjoyment than a big screen. We sometimes hear from customers who wish they’d bought a larger TV, but we’re still waiting to hear from any folks who wish they’d chosen a smaller one.

Get the biggest screen your room, viewing distance, and budget will accommodate.

Your viewing distance is really important, too

We field hundreds of questions every day from TV shoppers.The most frequently-asked question — right after screen size — is how far away from the screen to sit.

Our general recommendation for screen size is “go bigger,” and our advice for viewing distance is “sit closer.” Doing one or both will make viewing much more engaging.

For screen size/viewing distance recommendations for HDTVs and Ultra HD TVs, plus other helpful tips on room considerations, see our article on choosing screen size and placing your TV.

Shop by TV size

Here are shortcuts to the TVs we offer in the different size ranges:

If you’re considering an 80″ or larger screen, you may be a candidate for a home theater projector. See our article on how to choose a projector.

Important picture quality factors

When you’re shopping for a TV it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the techspeak, marketing jargon, and endless specs. There are only a handful of picture quality factors you really need to keep in mind.

Screen resolution: 1080p HD or 4K Ultra HD

Numbers like 1080p and 4K refer to a TV’s screen resolution — the more pixels a screen has the more picture detail it can show.

1080p TV screen is 1920 pixels across by 1080 pixels down, and when you multiply those numbers you get the total number of pixels, which is 2,073,600.

Ultra HD is usually referred to as “4K” because it’s roughly 4000 pixels across. To be precise, a 4K TV screen is 3840 pixels across by 2160 down, for an impressive 8,294,400 total pixels — 4 times the resolution of 1080p.

1080p graphic
4K graphic

The pixels of a 4K Ultra HD TV are much smaller than those of a 1080p HDTV, letting you see much finer picture detail.

Choosing between an HD or Ultra HD model was more difficult a couple of years ago, when 4K TVs cost way more than comparable HDTVs, and there wasn’t much 4K content to watch. Now that name-brand 4K models start under $400, and Netflix® and Amazon stream most of their original series in 4K, there’s not much reason to consider an HD model, at least for your main TV. The next big thing, potentially, is 8K TV. To learn more, read our article about 8K TV.

Roman Colosseum
Roman Colosseum

HDR allows a TV to display wider contrast and color range, for a better picture when you watch HDR-encoded programs.

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

HDR is an enhanced picture quality technology found on virtually all current 4K TVs. Watching HDR-encoded video sources on an HDR-capable TV can provide a much wider range of picture contrast — the difference between the deepest blacks and the brightest whites. This can also help colors appear more vivid and accurate.

HDR’s picture improvements can be dramatic, and much more noticeable than the added detail of 4K. But although all 4K TVs can recognize the special HDR picture data, many can’t deliver the full impact.

Great HDR performance requires two things from a TV screen: the ability to get very bright, and the ability to display deep blacks. Inexpensive 4K LED-LCD TVs that lack local dimming struggle in both areas. Mid- to upper-range LED-LCD TVs and OLED models excel at demonstrating HDR’s advantages.

As you compare 4K TVs, you’ll find four different HDR formats: HDR10Dolby Vision™, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), and Advanced HDR by Technicolor®. The two most important ones are HDR10 and Dolby Vision. HDR10 is the most common HDR format, and is mandatory for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Dolby Vision is available on streamed content from Netflix and Amazon, and on select Ultra HD Blu-ray titles.

Shop our 4K/HDR TV selection, and see our in-depth article explaining HDR.FPO

An LCD TV (left) is a complicated design with a backlight, glass filters, diffusors, and polarizers. An OLED TV (right) doesn’t need a backlight because its pixels are self-lighting.

LED-LCD or OLED?

Most shoppers look first at LED-LCD TVs, because there are tons of models to choose from covering a wide range of screen sizes and prices. As long as you stick to top-tier brands, you should have no trouble finding a TV that suits your needs.

If picture quality is your top priority, and you’re comparing higher-end LED-LCD TVs, you owe it to yourself to check out the latest OLED TVs, too. Their picture quality is amazing and their prices have plummeted recently.

OLED viewing angle illustration
LCD viewing angle illustration

Compared to LED-LCD TVs, OLED offers superior off-axis viewing. Picture contrast and colors remain vivid even for viewers sitting or standing off to the sides.

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display technology has many advantages, combining the best qualities of LCD and plasma (plasma TVs are no longer being made). Like plasma and unlike LCD, OLED is self-illuminating and needs no backlight. Picture contrast, black levels, and off-axis viewing match or exceed the capabilities of even the best LCD and plasma TVs.

When you see OLED in person you can’t help but be wowed by both the ultra-thin panel — we’re talking less than 1/4″ — and the simply gorgeous picture quality.

OLED TVs still cost more than LED-LCD TVs, but only the very top LED-LCD models come close to matching the picture quality of OLED.

For an in-depth comparison see our OLED vs LED TV article.

Screen refresh rates

LCD TVs, and to a lesser extent, OLED TVs, sometimes suffer from motion blur. It’s just what it sounds like — a blurring of on-screen objects, especially noticeable watching fast-action sports or movie scenes where the camera pans from side to side.

Both LCD and OLED TVs — unlike CRT- or plasma-based TVs — draw a complete image, then hold that image onscreen until the next frame comes along. Our eyes can actually respond faster than the images are presented, so we see some blur. Some people are more sensitive to motion blur than others.

Increasing a TV’s screen refresh rate reduces motion blur. The normal frame rate for video in the US is 60 frames per second, usually written as 60Hz. By doubling the screen refresh rate to 120Hz, an additional video frame is created for each original frame, and each frame appears for only half the original time. Our eyes perceive this faster frame rate as clear, seamless motion.

Higher refresh rate graphic
Lower refresh rate - motion blur graphic

TVs with 120Hz screen refresh rate are less prone to motion blur on fast-action content.

In addition to 120Hz refresh rate, TV makers include motion interpolation technology to further smooth out the picture. Each company calls their motion smoothing feature something different. Samsung uses Motion Rate, LG has TruMotion, and Sony uses Motionflow™. And sometimes you’ll see numbers that seem impossibly high, like “Motionflow XR 960.”

The true screen refresh rate maxes out at 120Hz for current 4K TVs. TV makers sometimes use higher numbers to describe the effective refresh rate: a made-up figure that’s supposed to represent the motion blur improvement of the refresh rate combined with other technologies like a blinking backlight. So, Samsung’s Motion Rate 120 is actually 60Hz, and Motion Rate 240 is 120Hz; Sony’s Motionflow XR 960 is 120Hz.

While things like blinking backlights and other types of video processing can reduce motion blur, we make an effort to track down the native refresh rate for every TV we carry so that you can more easily make apples-to-apples comparisons.

OLED TVs have some motion blur, but because OLED panels generally operate at 120Hz, and OLED pixels switch on and off much faster than LCD pixels, motion blur is less noticeable.

New TVs often come with their motion smoothing features engaged by default, and this processing can cause something known as the soap opera effect, where movies or shows that were shot on film appear to have been shot on video. It’s a flat, artificial look that most viewers don’t care for.

You can usually get rid of the soap opera effect by adjusting the TV’s motion processing controls. These controls will be labeled “blur” and “judder,” or something similar. Often it’s the judder control that is most effective at reducing or eliminating the soap opera effect.Smart_TV_image

Smart TVs can act as a hub for monitoring and controlling compatible smart home devices.

Smart TV features

If the term “smart TV” makes you roll your eyes, you need to check out the latest models, because TV makers have really improved the TV/web experience. They’ve beefed up the on-board processing power, cleaned up the on-screen interfaces, and added a bunch more apps for streaming services.

A wealth of web streaming options — movies, TV shows, music, and more

It’s hard to think of anything that’s changed the TV watching experience more than the ability to instantly stream movies and TV shows via online services like Netflix®, Hulu™, and Amazon Instant Video. And streaming services are often the first source to deliver content with the latest picture quality enhancements, such as 4K and HDR.

In fact, the selection and convenience of web streaming is contributing to the rise of “cord cutters” — people who are cutting back or eliminating their cable or satellite TV service. Lots of folks are able to get all the programming they want through a combination of an antenna for over-the-air broadcasts, plus web streaming.

If your TV lacks internet capability, or doesn’t support your favorite streaming service(s), don’t worry. It’s easy (and inexpensive) to add internet capability via devices like an Apple TV® or Roku streamer, a networked Blu-ray player, game console, etc.

Built-in Wi-Fi® is now standard equipment

Virtually every current internet-ready TV includes built-in Wi-Fi. It has many advantages, most importantly, simplifying connections and placement of your TV. With Wi-Fi, you don’t have to worry about running an Ethernet cable to the TV. As long as you’re within the coverage area of your home network, you should have no trouble streaming programs wirelessly to your TV.

Wi-Fi also opens the door to some cool control options. Most TVs from major brands offer free downloadable smartphone apps for compatible Apple® and/or Android™ devices. You can then use your smartphone to operate the TV in place of the TV’s remote. You’ll have one less remote to keep track of, and because the commands are sent via Wi-Fi, you don’t have to aim your phone precisely to get results, the way you do with a typical TV remote.

Having a fast internet connection can make a big difference in the picture quality of streamed video — especially high-definition and 4K content. And if you’re using Wi-Fi, you may want to upgrade your Wi-Fi router if you plan to watch services like Netflix and Amazon. The latest version of Wi-Fi is called 802.11ac, or sometimes just “ac.” It can operate on two bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Most 2015 and newer 4K TVs feature dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

See our wireless router buying guide.

The remote control plays a bigger role

A lot of basic TVs — even entry-level smart TVs — still come with the conventional-style button-based “clicker” that we’ve all loved (and lost). Higher-end TVs usually include more advanced remotes that feature some degree of voice and/or gesture control. These new remotes operate more like a trackpad or wireless mouse you’d use with a laptop. Samsung and LG are leading the way with these smart remotes.Samsung OneRemote

The latest TV remotes, like Samsung’s OneRemote, can control the TV as well as compatible smart home devices. The OneRemote also has Samsung’s Bixby intelligent voice assistant.

Remotes with voice control feature a built-in microphone that lets you speak into the remote to use the internet apps, web browser, and social networking. LG’s Magic Remote also includes gesture control, which lets you search and select web entertainment just by pointing and clicking — it’s a lot like using a wireless videogame controller.

Even the best of these remotes can still be tedious to use if you’re entering lots of text, like searching for a title. You have to tap out one letter at a time on the on-screen keyboard. For any text-heavy application, you might consider picking up a wireless keyboard. These keyboards operate via Bluetooth®, and most TV makers offer one that’s compatible with their own models.

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