Buying a new TV used to be one of those massive decisions, even comparable to choosing a new car. Especially since the new device came with a hefty price tag that could put a strain on any budget. But thanks to massive advances in technology over the past few years, genuinely high-quality TVs at every price level have become incredibly affordable. Plus, they provide better value for your hard-earned dollar than ever before. We have a few quality picks to keep an eye out for when planning your next purchase.
Looking for a TV? You have a fairly simple checklist to work through first. Price is the major factor – work out how much you’re prepared to spend before you consider anything else. Then, take a look at what’s available in that price bracket. However, you should also check other important factors. Screen size being the obvious one; and bear in mind that the 65” screen that looks modest in the shop is very likely going to dominate your living room when you get it home! Screen type is a thing now, too, thanks to the arrival of reasonably-priced OLED displays. OLED is without a doubt the “next big thing” in TVs, with its unrivalled colour and contrast. But OLED’s still not made its way down to the cheaper TVs (yet). Thankfully, LCD screens are such a mature technology by now that you can get superb quality at almost every price point.
Here’s some suggestions from the current crop of TVs that can fit into any budget – while not compromising on quality.
It’s true – you can find a high-quality TV for under $500. As long as you stick to established brand names, of course. The rapid price drops for LCD technology over the last few years has resulted in ridiculously cheap super-budget offerings. We’ve even seen 32” TVs under $200. But if you’re going to spend a modest amount of cash on something you’ll use frequently, you want to be happy with your buying decision.
At this price point, screen size matters, too. A great compromise between size and price can be had with Teac’s LEV32GD3HD, a 32” LED-backlit TV with a DVD player built right in. The device is available for around $300.
Head up to the $500 mark, though, and you can get a Soniq 50” smart TV with support for Freeview Plus along with USB inputs for playing back your own video, plenty of HDMI inputs and built-in Wi-Fi. It’s undeniably a lot of bang for your buck.
Head on up to the sub-$1000 price bracket and you’ll find a range of well-designed, low-cost TVs from the big brands to pick from For instance, Sony’s W66E, which is available in 32”, 42” and 49” sizes at prices ranging from $599 to $999. Sony’s W85C is another great pick at a shade under $1000 for the 43” model – if you can find one. It’s powered by the superb Android TV operating system, which has the bonus of having all your connected apps built in alongside an integrated Chromecast.
If it’s 4K support you want, though, then Hisense has you covered with its 43N6, a 43” screen available for $999 with all the usual smart TV functionality from Netflix and Stan to Freeview Plus. It’s also got an energy rating of 5.5 stars – almost the top score, which means lower power bills for you despite the generous screen size.
If you’re the sort of person who just wants the best of the best and isn’t afraid to pay whatever it costs, we have the perfect pick for you. We’re talking about one TV to rule them all, by consensus of many, many reviewers along with a bunch of customers so happy they can’t stop talking about the amazing features of their device.
That TV is LG’s C7, a remarkable OLED TV from the company that also happens to currently be the only one manufacturing TV-sized OLED displays. With a 55” version selling for around $3500 and the 65” coming in at a wallet-punishing $6000, it’s a sizeable investment that will be too much TV for many people. But if you love the idea of an eye-popping 4K display with perfect blacks and rich colour, state-of-the-art Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound, then the C7 is very likely the TV you never knew you needed until you get it.
LG also makes a “wallpaper” version of their OLED TV. A television so thin (4mm) you can literally fit it on a wall like a picture. It stores all its tech in a sound bar that sits below the screen. The result? It’s like having an ultra HD window in your living room.. However, this one’s only for those who won’t flinch at the price tag – $13,500.
Not to be outdone, Sony is readying its answer to LG’s current dominance of the OLED market with their A1. A TV that uses an OLED panel made, not surprisingly, by LG. Slim, stylish and powered by Android (still the best TV operating system we’ve seen) it offers a unique feature – the entire screen is the speaker. Sony’s video processing quality is usually the best in the business. Hence, this one could make it worth holding out on the LG for a bit.
No matter your budget, you’re going to be getting a lot of TV for your money these days. As always, the best advice is to decide on a budget and stick to it. Then, head into stores and get a feel for the TVs in your price range. And if you just want the best of the best, what you get for your money today is nothing short of incredible.