A television set is considered a major appliance purchase in line with others like a washing machine or a refrigerator. While smartphones are upgraded or replaced every 2 or 3 years while a computer or laptop every 5 or 6, a TV can last more than a decade. Naturally, compared to any gadget we have at home, a TV has the biggest screen usually occupying the living room, and they’re very much needed to watch any regular TV or cable broadcast, playing video games, or watching movies.
But these reasons are not sufficient enough to spend a fortune on any TV. Not at all. And even if you can spend a fortune, there are a lot of good sets out there that are only around 1/6 the cost of, say a $3,000 LG model. Of course while a cheaper TV may not be as good as the expensive ones, do you really need an expensive model just to see all the warts, moles, pimples, and other details on the actor’s face or all the sweat details from NBA players? These four choices are solid and good enough just for general viewing and playing videos for affordable prices under $500.
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Vizio 43-Inch SmartCast 4K LED Smart TV and Home Theater Accessory Bundle ($419)
This TV has a feature that sets it apart from any other TV on the market. Instead of relying on built-in apps to make it smart, and a standard remote for navigation, each Vizio SmartCast TV can be controlled through any smartphone or tablet using Vizio’s SmartCast app. The TV still comes with a standard remote for basic navigation, but can rely on streaming content from a device you already have. This TV has four HDMI inputs instead of five, but that’s to accommodate an additional USB port, which you can use to play content directly. Its focus is on delivering great pictures and giving you the ability to stream your content from your smart devices. The recommended bundle comes with a power strip, cleaning kit, and two HDMI cables.
TCL 50-inch 1080p 50FS3800 Roku Smart LED TV, 2015 ($470)
In truth this display is unlikely to wow you with a premium picture, but as we mentioned earlier, do you need to see all the gory details on someone’s face? It has a 50-inch screen with Roku baked in, all for a price below the magic $500 watermark, making this TV an enticing choice. In addition, this TV sports full-array backlighting should help it achieve better contrast, and more uniform black levels, even in LED at 60 Hz.
Sharp 48-inch AQUOS HD Series LC-48LE653U LED Smart TV, 2015 ($480)
This Sharp’s model isn’t packed with the kind of features that will knock you out, especially when it comes to the smart apps, which are fairly limited. However, one thing Sharp has always done well is create “Sharp,” clear, and accurate color. This TV also gets high marks for its above-average contrast and solid black levels. Those who are already set up with a quality streaming device will find a lot of value here for the money.
Sony 40-inch Bravia W600B KDL40W600B LED Full HD TV, 2014 ($480)
This sweet little bargain is fully loaded, including a smart platform, 4 HDMI inputs, and that incomparable Sony brand name. While Sony has shifted its focus almost entirely to premium displays, the 600B is proof it still has some great deals at the lower tier. With a well-designed exterior, high marks across the board for performance, and a lowered price to just $400, the W600B is a very good choice.
While these 4 are what we consider as top of the line, you can check out even more affordable ones here.