cnet best budget 4k tv

What are the best Cnet Best Budget 4k Tv recommendations? 4K resolution used to be an expensive step-up feature that was only available with a high-end TV. But nowadays, just about every television set with a screen size that’s 32 inches or bigger is available in 4K for prices that are basically equivalent to older, lower-resolution 1080p TVs. And if you’re shopping for a 50-inch screen or bigger, it’s hard to find any model that isn’t 4K.

Cnet Best Budget 4k Tv

The best 4K TV screen could be cheaper than you’d think. The popular TCL 4-Series, which I like a lot as an entry-level option, starts at a budget TV price of $230 for the 43-inch model. The 65-inch version has dropped to under $500

Best 4K TV for the money, periodTCL 6-Series

Sarah Tew/CNETED I T O R S ’ C H O I C EOCT 2019

No TV I’ve ever tested offers this much picture quality for this little cash. The latest version of the TCL 6-Series has even better image quality than its predecessor, thanks to improved color, and its well-implemented full-array local dimming helps make its viewing experience run circles around just about any other TV at this price. As if that’s not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite.

Sizes: 55-, 65-inch. Read our TCL 6-Series (2019 Roku TV) review.$700 AT AMAZON$800 AT BEST BUY$800 AT WALMARTThe picture quality king, by a nose


David Katzmaier/CNET

What’s that, you say? You just want the best TV, money no object? Here you go. In my side-by-side tests, the 2020 LG CX is the best TV I’ve ever reviewed, barely beating the 2019 B9 (above), although the B9 is a superior value — almost as good and much less expensive. But if that “barely” matters to you, the CX might be worth the extra cash.

Sizes: 55-, 65-, 77-inch. Read our LG OLEDCX series review.$2,497 AT CRUTCHFIELD$2,500 AT BEST BUY$2,497 AT ABT ELECTRONICS

Best alternative to OLEDVizio P-Series Quantum X

Sarah Tew/CNET

Can’t afford an OLED TV? Still willing to pay extra — but not that much extra — for a TV experience with good color and outstanding image quality? The Vizio PX is our pick for you, with superb light output no OLED can match, top-notch local dimming and all the high-contrast, high dynamic range joy that comes with it. Its closest competitor is the TCL below — but this Vizio is the superior value.

Sizes: 65-, 75-inch. Read our Vizio P-Series Quantum X review.$3,100 AT HSN$2,078 AT WALMART

Best budget 4K TVTCL 4-Series

Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku is our favorite platform for viewing content with live TV streaming apps like Netflix, and it’s an even better experience when it is baked into the TV. This TCL 4-Series can’t beat any of the models above on image quality — its 4K resolution and HDR compatibility don’t do anything to help the picture — but it’s perfectly fine for most people, especially at this price. 

Sizes: 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-inch. (The price shown below is for the 43-inch size.) Read our TCL S425 series (Roku TV) review.$229 AT AMAZON$230 AT BEST BUY$229 AT WALMART

Best picture quality in a non-OLEDTCL 8-Series

Sarah Tew/CNET

Speaking of top-of-the-line, this TCL features Mini-LED, a technology that isn’t found on any other TV currently available. The result is superb contrast and brightness that outdoes the Vizio PX by a nose, although it doesn’t quite hit OLED levels. We still consider the PX a better OLED alternative, however, because its picture quality is almost as good and it costs a lot less, especially in the 75-inch size.

Sizes: 65-, 75-inch. Read our TCL 8-Series (2019 Roku TV) review.$2,000 AT

Best value in a premium-brand 4K TVSamsung Q70R series

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung’s QLED TVs are basically fancy LCDs — don’t confuse them with OLEDs. The Q70R has an excellent picture and plenty of Samsung design and features goodies for a price that’s relatively affordable, albeit not exactly “budget.” If you’re not interested in a TCL or Vizio and don’t want to splurge for an OLED, the Q70 is an excellent choice.

Sizes: 49-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 82-inch. Read our Samsung Q70 series (2019) review.$1,400 AT BEST BUY

Second-best 4K TV for the moneyVizio M8-Series Quantum

Aside from the TCL 6-Series above, no TV offers this much picture for this little cash. In my comparisons, the TCL won slightly in a couple of important areas, in particular HDR brightness and contrast and black levels. I’d also recommend the TCL to streaming-centric viewers because of its superior Roku smart HDTV system. All of that said, the Vizio is still an excellent choice and sometimes available for less than the TCL — just make sure you’re getting the M8, not the M7. 

Sizes: 55-, 65-inch. Read our Vizio M-Series Quantum M8 series (2019) review.$650 AT BEST BUY

best picture quality budget tv

Hisense 50H8F: The best budget TV

Hisense 50H8F

Type: LED

Sub-Type: VA

Other Sizes: 55-inch, 65-inch

The Hisense H8F is the best budget TV that we’ve tested so far. Despite the budget price, this TV delivers impressive performance that should please most people. It has great picture quality, decent motion handling, and outstanding low input lag. The smart platform is one of the best, so you don’t have to worry about buying a separate streaming device.

This TV has an outstanding contrast ratio and decent local dimming feature, great for dark room viewing. It also has great SDR peak brightness, but when watching HDR content, small highlights aren’t as bright as they should be.

Unfortunately, like most TVs with VA panels, this TV has bad viewing angles, so it isn’t as well-suited for a wide seating area, or if you like to move around with the TV on. Overall, though, it’s a great TV for almost any use, and it even outperforms many far more expensive models.

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LG 49UM7300: The best budget TV for sports fans

LG 49UM7300

Type: LED

Sub-Type: IPS

Other Sizes: 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch

If you like watching the big game with a group of friends, the LG 49UM7300 is the best budget TV for sports fans that we’ve tested so far. It has good viewing angles, so everyone can enjoy the game regardless of where they’re standing, and excellent reflection handling, so glare shouldn’t be an issue in a bright room.

This TV has the same great smart features as the more expensive LG models, but the interface is a bit slower. It has the same great app selection, though, including many of the most popular apps for streaming sports.

Unfortunately, this TV has a low contrast ratio, so it isn’t as well-suited for watching games late at night in a dark room. Overall, though, it’s a good budget TV that should please most people.

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TCL 32S325: The best cheap TV

TCL 32S325

Type: LED

Sub-Type: VA

Other Sizes: 43-inch, 50-inch, 65-inch, 70-inch, 75-inch

If you just want a cheap TV, check out the TCL 32S325. Although it doesn’t deliver very good picture quality, it’s a cheap choice for a bedroom or office, with very low input lag, decent motion handling, and excellent accuracy with our pre-calibration settings.

Despite the budget price, this TV runs the latest version of the Roku smart interface. This easy-to-use smart platform isn’t the fanciest, but it’s fast and has a huge selection of streaming apps. Unfortunately, there are ads, and they can’t be disabled.

Overall, this is a pretty basic TV. It doesn’t support HDR, has a relatively low resolution and delivers mediocre picture quality. There are larger sizes available that have a higher resolution, but we haven’t tested them, so we don’t know exactly how well they perform.

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Vizio E55-F1: The best value for size TV

Vizio E55-F1

If you want a larger TV on a budget, the Vizio E Series E55-F1 offers the best value for size. This is a good TV for most uses, and is a great choice for gaming or for use as a PC monitor. It has good picture quality, decent motion handling, and excellent low input lag.

This TV looks great in a dark room, as it has outstanding contrast and excellent black uniformity, but the local dimming feature isn’t the best. This also improves the appearance of HDR content, but it isn’t bright enough to really show off HDR content.

Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, so it isn’t as good as the LG UM7300 for watching sports with a group of friends. The smart interface is also basic, with a very limited selection of streaming apps, so it might not be a great choice for cord-cutters.

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TCL 55S517: Best value for size TV with better smart features

TCL 55S517

Type: LED

Sub-Type: VA

Other Sizes: 43-inch, 49-inch, 65-inch

If you like the performance of the Vizio E Series 2018 but want something with better smart features, check out the TCL 55S517 instead. This is a good TV for most uses, with low input lag for gaming, a wide color gamut, and an excellent contrast ratio.

The 5 Series TVs, like most U.S. TCL TVs, feature the great Roku smart platform. Although the interface isn’t as polished as some of its competitors, it’s extremely easy to use, fast and has a huge selection of streaming apps, called Channels on Roku. Most paid streaming services have apps available on Roku, and there’s also a great selection of apps with free streaming content.

Unfortunately, like most TVs with VA panels, the image on this TV degrades when viewed at an angle. It also can’t get very bright in HDR, so small, bright highlights in some scenes don’t stand out as much as they should. Overall, though, it’s a great TV that should please most people.

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