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Best cheap TVs 2024: Five great value TVs

Not everyone can afford flagship TV models, so what’s the best alternative? If it’s value you’re looking for, then we’ve got a choice of the best cheap TVs on the market.

All the TVs can be had for less than £1000. While we try to review a range of sizes, we currently have options from 50- to 65-inches to suit your needs.

And how do we make sure that the TVs on this list are the best? We watch (and listen) to films and TV series to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the picture, using Spears and Munsil’s high regarded Ultra HD Benchmark disc to test for brightness, colours, and viewing angles.

We’ll examine the user interface, taking into account which smart features they support and which apps they cover. For gamers we use Leo Bodnar 4K input lag tester to meaure gaming latency, and we pay attention to the audio too. Sometimes the performance is ok but would benefit from a soundbar to give it a boost.

If you wan to keep to a budget when it comes to headphones and soundbars, be sure to check out our best cheap headphones list, best cheap earbuds as well as our best cheap soundbar.

Best cheap TVs at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test televisions

Every TV we review is put through the same set of tests to gauge its picture performance, usability, and smart features.

Tests are carried out over several days and are done by eye but supported with technical measurements. Testing by eye involves an expert watching a wide range of material to understand and determine a TV’s performance in fields such as brightness, contrast, motion processing, colour handling and screen uniformity.

We’ll consider the design of the TV in terms of build quality, study the spec sheets and see if the TV’s connections are up to spec, as well as playing video and audio content to ensure that the set handles playback as it claims. We also take note whether a product’s compatible formats and features are in line with industry trends or not to gauge whether it’s relevant for you.

Comparison to other related and similarly priced products is also important, to see if it’s missing any vital features and whether it impresses as a whole. After all this, we’ll come to a judgement on how the TV performs as a whole.

If you want to learn more, please visit our detailed page about how we test televisions.

TCL 55RC630K Roku TV

Best budget TV
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Pros

  • Quick to assemble
  • Excellent smart interface
  • Quick input lag for gaming
  • Impactful sound system
  • Multi-HDR support

Cons

  • Limited brightness with HDR
  • HDR10+ performance doesn’t have the greatest impact

The TCL 55RC630K Roku TV is only available in the UK, but it’s one of the best cheap TVs we’ve reviewed in the recent past.

The design that’s easy to assemble with its attachable feet, to the smart interface that puts the emphasis on simplicity. The Roku interface is a highlight because of its accessibility. It’s fast to scroll through and easy to navigate than interfaces on more expensive TVs. The Roku mobile app is even better, and also features a few more advanced picture settings. Plus the TV supports AirPlay 2 casting and Apple HomeKit, for folding the TV into a smart home set-up.

All the big SVOD apps are available with the likes Disney+, Apple TV+, and Netflix, and the UK catch-up apps are covered through Freeview Play.

For gamers the TCL 55RC630K only supports ALLM for putting the TV into its game mode mode. We measured latency at 11.5ms, which is quick for any telly.

Boasting a QLED screen, the TCL 55RC630K puts in a decent HDR performance (with support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision) with a peak brightness that we measured at 386 nits on a 10% window. That’s far from the best HDR performance you’ll find, but we found the QLED screen presents good-looking colours and accomplished looking skin-tones with HDR content.

If you can spend more, you’ll get a better sense of contrast. Upscaling is an improvement over the older 55RP620K with more colour and vibrancy to images, as well as a better sharpness and clarity.

The audio system features surprisingly punchy bass, there’s fine levels of detail and clarity, and vocal clarity is good. There’s also a Dialogue Enhancer to help boost what people are saying, and we found it worked effectively.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: TCL 55RC630K Roku TV

Sony KD-55X85L

Best affordable gaming TV
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Pros

  • Colourful, expressive picture
  • Excellent processing
  • Competitive smarts and features for the money
  • Dolby and DTS audio

Cons

  • Suffers with dark scenes
  • Tepid bass performance
  • Some clipping with HDR content

It’s not often we see a TV with a Full Array Local Dimming panel fall below £1000 until late into its product life cycle, but the Sony X85L has been available for just over a year and you can now get it for a pound under the £1000 mark.

A Full Array Local Dimming backlight offers more precision in terms of black levels and brightness, but what really appeals with this Sony TV is its colour performance. It’s able to describe with a wide range of colours; although it’s not the brightest out of the box, reaching 738 nits in its Standard HDR mode. Nevertheless that still makes it the brightest HDR TV on this list.

Upscaling is an area we found this TV to be solid with SD and HD content, and although there is noise visible in the image, the Sony appears to keep it under control. HD content looks nice and clear, and its motion processing is very good to the point where we didn’t even notice that it was on.

Sound quality is merely ok with tis set. While it produces a crisp tone with voices it lacks bass, and we’d suggest getting a soundbar to go with the X85L.

Gamers looking for a premium experience can count on ALLM, VRR, and HFR, while we measured input lag at 14.5ms. This is a set that plays nicely with the PS5.

For smarts, Google TV delivers all the streaming apps you’ll, and we find the interface to be quick, responsive, and informative. The design is very accomodating with the stand able to be put together in two ways, either to allow for a soundbar or if you want to place it on a small surface.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Sony KD-55X85L

Hisense R50A7200GTUK Roku TV

Best budget 50-inch TV
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Pros

  • Good-quality, colourful picture performance
  • Wide streaming capabilities
  • Easy to set-up and use
  • Speedy gaming performance

Cons

  • Iffy sound
  • Inconsistent upscaling of SD sources
  • Limited HDR performance

The R50A7200GTUK model repeats the same trick as its R50B7120UK predecessor in packing in even more value at a similar price.

The number of smarts featured in the Hisense R50A7200GTUK Roku TV is only behind the likes of Samsung models such as the QN90A and AU7100. There is Freeview Play (which Samsung lacks), and that brings the catch-up apps into play like iPlayer and ITV Hub. There’s also a wide range of streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+ among others, and the Roku OS has been updated to support AirPlay 2 for iPhone screen mirroring and Apple HomeKit, with Alexa and Google assistant also available.

Build quality is fine, the slimness of the rear panel means the Hisense Roku doesn’t jut out much when wall-mounted, and with most of the connections side-facing it’s easier to plug sources in. Assembling the TV is simply a case of slotting in the feet, tightening the screws and turning the TV on.

Picture quality is similar to the B7120UK. We observed it lacked the contrast and brightness to produce a dynamic HDR performance with its peak brightness of around 300 nits. But its native 4K performance was full of detail and colours naturally portrayed – we don’t think many will be disappointed by what it serves up.

Sound quality, however, was a disappointment, struggling to convey the action scenes in a film like Tenet with dynamism or excitement, and proving to be messy when playing music through its speakers. As is the case with many of the best cheap TVs on this list, a soundbar would help.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Hisense R50A7200GTUK Roku TV

Sharp 65EQ3EA

Best budget 65-inch TV
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Pros

  • QLED TV with Dolby Vision support
  • Big, spacious Harman Kardon sound system
  • Android TV offers plenty of apps
  • Affordable for a 65-inch TV

Cons

  • Below average gaming skills
  • Red push to complexions in Dolby Vision
  • Black levels can look washed out

The 65EQ3EA features smarts are provided by Android TV, ensuring you’re not left wanting when it comes to films, TV and music. Though we found Android interface easy enough to navigate, in terms of curating content, we felt the results could have been more personal.

You also get Chromecast and Google Assistant to both cast content to the screen and for voice control operation. If you’re a gamer, we wouldn’t recommend getting this screen as we measured lag at 50ms at 1080p resolution. That’s slow if you’re into first person shooters or any type of game that requires a quick response time. A TV like the Samsung BU8000 is quicker, but that model suffers from a sluggish interface and inferior picture quality.

Unlike Samsung’s cheaper QLED TVs, the Sharp 65EQ3EA is kitted out with Dolby Vision, and it results in a colourful image with shows such as Stranger Things and Wednesday on Netflix. We did note that there was a orange push to complexions in Dolby Vision, but found it a minor issue. With HDR content, black levels aren’t as firm as we’d like, and this affects contrast. Nevertheless, this is still a more vibrant performance the the Samsung BU8000.

The audio from its Harman Kardon sound system is much better than we anticipated, producing a big spacious soundstage with dialogue that’s always clear and mostly free from sibilance. Bass won’t rival a soundbar but it’s a punchy performance that provides some excitement. It’s also compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, though you have to switch between the two in the settings to get the best performance.

All-in-all, this is a solid 65-inch 4K TV for the outlay, and well worth considering if you’re after good smarts, picture and sound in one affordable package.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Sharp 65EQ3EA

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED

Best budget QLED TV
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Pros

  • Colourful performance (in the right mode)
  • Slick Alexa integration
  • Well stocked for apps
  • Fire TV Ambient Experience

Cons

  • Feet not the most accommodating for placement
  • HDR performance could use more finesse
  • Rough upscaling with 480p content
  • Competition is cheaper

The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED is part of Amazon’s own brand of TVs, and while it’s not perfect, it puts in a generally enjoyable performance across the board.

We’re not fans of the feet placement for the 65-inch version. They’re set at the edges which means you’ll need a wide surface to position the TV on.

The Fire TV platform presents plenty of apps is excellent, but the content is weighted too much towards Amazon’s own Prime Video and Freevee. If you subscribe to other streaming services, it’s not as easy to find what else is available in our experience.

Alexa voice control is reliable, and you can choose to call up Alexa with the Voice Remote or hands-free (which you can switch off if you don’t want Alexa always listening). The Fire TV Ambient Experience turns the TV into an Alexa-powered smart display where you can keep track of the weather, play audio, and change the background so you’re not confronted by a big black screen when the TV is ‘off’. We liked it as it makes the TV more living room friendly.

The Fire TV Omni QLED features supports Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive, two HDR supports we don’t often see at this price. The image quality could be more consistent as HDR10/HDR10+ performance is not the most colourful; while its Dolby Vision IQ performance is better, it suffers from raised blacks. It’s also not the brightest for HDR content as we measured it a peak of 529 nits. That is better than the 65-inch Sharp EQ3 on this list.

The built-in sound system provides a good sense of space to films and TV shows, though it is crisp in tone to a fault. Some sound modes fair better than others, but a soundbar will remedy that.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED

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FAQs

What’s the best TV under £500?

If you’re after a decent-sized set then the TCL RC630K Roku TV would suit the bill. Picture quality is very good with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support, Roku interface has a wide range of streaming apps and its input lag is very good. For such an affordable TV, it’s sound quality is better than expected.

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