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Super Bowl LV is still more than a week away and search trends for the best TVs are steadily rising. Whether you’re rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Kansas City Chiefs or are simply looking to elevate your streaming shows otherwise to help you ride out the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, you’re going to come across lots of options. Buying a TV might seem like a straightforward process, most people looking for the biggest size at the best price. In our previous guides to buying TVs, however, technology writer Whitson Gordon noted there are a lot of factors that go into picking the right TV.
“Between different mainstream TV brands and jargon surrounding 4K, HDR, OLED versus QLED, and smart TV capabilities, there’s actually a lot to consider,” Gordon wrote. While price remains a deciding factor, the best TV doesn’t always mean the most affordable. And if you’re looking for a more affordable option, some TVs in your price range might be much stronger than others and not necessarily more expensive. To help give you an idea of the possible options, we’ve compiled a list of highly-rated TVs across brands like Samsung, Toshiba, LG and more, all running you under $500 to help you hone in on an affordable TV this year.
Best affordable TVs
This TCL TV boasts a 4.6-star average rating from more than 2,150 Amazon reviewers. It equips 4K UHD picture clarity combined with Dolby Vision HDR, which is meant to give you the most lifelike picture. Roku and Auto Game Mode are built-in for easy access to all your streaming services and gaming consoles. Pair with your Amazon Echo or Google Home to find movie titles, launch channels and more with voice control.
If you’re looking for a slightly larger size, the same model comes in 55 inches for $448.
This Samsung 7-series has a 4.7-star average rating from more than 2,750 Best Buy reviewers. It also uses a 4K UHD processor and boasts a 2160p resolution. The Smart TV uses built-in Wi-Fi and the integrated apps, so you can stream your favorite movies and shows. If you buy from Best Buy, you can expand your content gallery with a free three-month subscription to Apple TV+ (for new subscribers only).
For a more affordable Samsung option that integrates most all of the same qualities, including the Apple TV+ subscription, check out the Class 6 Series.
This 700 series LG TV has a 4.6-star average rating from more than 1,100 Best Buy reviewers. Along with 4K UHD picture quality, this LG TV also equips a 4K IPS Display, which widens your viewing angle. If you’re a big sports fan, you can set-up Sports Alerts for your favorite teams to get updates on scores and start times and easily switch channels to games. The webOS smart platform includes all the top streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, and is meant to make it simple to find your favorite shows as well as give you personalized content suggestions.
The VIZIO V-Series boasts a 4.6-star average rating from more than 31,100 Walmart reviewers. As with all the TVs on this list, it is designed with 4K UHD picture quality, and additionally uses active pixel tuning for increased picture accuracy and contrast. For gamers, this VIZIO TVs includes a V-Game Engine with low input lag and more responsive gameplay. You can make this TV the center of your smart home by connecting it to your Apple, Google or Amazon smart home devices and check your front door camera or control the lights with a single voice command.
This Toshiba TV earned a 4.4-star average rating from more than 1,450 Amazon reviewers. With 4K UHD and HDR to give you the most lifelike picture. It has Fire TV built in so you can access your favorite streaming services, and the voice remote uses Alexa to help you navigate channels and find the movies and shows you want to watch.
Another option at a lower price point, this Insignia model includes many of the same features as the Toshiba, minus the built-in Fire TV, for $380.