While it doesn't have as much selection as larger sizes like 55 or 65 inches, you can still find great 49 or 50 inch TVs nowadays. Popular budget models with good smart features are aplenty, but also higher-end TVs with excellent picture quality and great HDR.
So far, in 2017, we've tested 18 TVs available in a 48-49-50 inch size. We're already seeing a lot of great deals on TVs for Black Friday and below are our recommendations for the best TVs to buy this fall.
The best TV we've tested available in a 49 inch size is the Sony XBR49X900E 4k LED TV. It's a versatile smart TV with great motion and HDR capabilities.
Its blacks, thanks to its local dimming feature, are deep and uniform. That allows it to offer excellent picture quality in a dark room and an image that has a lot of depth. Highlights can get as bright as 546 cd/m2. Combined with its wide color gamut and 10 bits of color depth, the X900E provides a great HDR experience. It doesn't fall short with gaming either; its input lag is decently low, so button presses don't appear delayed on-screen.
Picture quality degrades at an angle, but that's a fairly minor disadvantage compared to the rest of the TV's capability. If it fits your budget, the Sony XBR49X900E is the best 49 inch TV available today.
If you can't quite afford the Sony X900E, get the Vizio M50-E1. It offers great picture quality in a dark room and better than average HDR performance for the money. It isn't quite to the level of performance or as versatile as our top pick, but it's a good alternative if you find the Sony a little too expensive.
The best budget 49 inch TV is the TCL 49S405 4k LED TV. It comes with the powerful and easy to use Roku smart platform, making it a great all-in-one solution.
Thanks to its good contrast ratio, it has a decent picture quality. It also fits well as a gaming TV since it produces little motion blur and has low input lag. People with brighter viewing environments might have some issues with its lower than average brightness, but it's hard to find a better TV this cheap.
If you're looking for something even cheaper, the TCL S305 is essentially a 1080p variant of the TCL S405. It doesn't have as good motion or input lag, but it's still a great choice for those looking for a simple and inexpensive smart TV to use for Netflix or other streaming services.
LG 49UJ7700. Decent TV with a wide viewing angle, but overpriced. See our review
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 48-50 inch televisions to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs that have a 48-49-50 inch size. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.
Questions & Answers
47 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
What if I want a non-smart TV?
Now, you pretty much have to get a smart TV if you want a good picture quality. Only the cheap low end models with sub-par picture quality aren't equipped with smart features. You can just ignore these software features if you don't care about them.
After allot of research I ended up buying the
Samsung UN48H6350 48-Inch 1080p 120Hz Smart LED TV
All I can say is, I'm glad I found this site. It provided me with a wealth of honest info and I'm very pleased with my TV. Picture quality was better than I expected. No complaints at all. Bought it on sale for $597. Can't beat that - high-end quality for a budget price.
I watch Blu-ray movies (a lot) and play video games (PS3). I like to watch 3D movies, but it is not a priority. My room is low light, and I always sit in front of the TV I want a 50 or 55 inch TV. I am looking to replace a Sony KDL-46EX720.
The Samsung UN49KS8000, if it is within your budget.
Update: Changed the recommendations to current models.
I'm looking for a 50" set and I've narrowed it down to these. Which of these three would you choose and why?
1. VIZIO E50-C1
2. Samsung J6200
3. LG Electronics 49LF5500.
I would mostly use it for streaming TV/movies and the occasional gaming. Or do you have another suggestion completely? My budget is closer to $500, but I can raise that if the upgrade is justifiable.
For your needs, the Samsung J6200 is the best choice of the three. It has great contrast, uniformity, and motion handling, and while its input lag is only average, games will still be playable.
Looking for a 50" smart TV to replace an older 40" Sony Bravia, which is attached to a new Sony XT-1 soundbar. I watch a lot of Netflix movies and Sunday football. Would like another Sony in the $600 range, but don't know which model to get.
I also heard Sony doesn't make its own TVs anymore. If true, should this be a concern? I would be open to a Samsung if it is compatible with a soundbar. Please advise. Thanks.
Get the Sony KDL50W800C. It's the best Sony TV at that size, and while it's slightly over your budget, it's also the cheapest option for that brand. Its picture quality for sports, movies, and TV is very good, so you'll be all set.
Sony doesn't make its own panels anymore, but it's nothing to worry about.
I just picked up the Vizio M50-C1 for the great low price of $750. I thought, "Wow, what a great deal for a 4k TV! If I buy this, I'll have the newest technology and won't have to replace it for years." Then came a night of tossing and turning, wondering if I got what I paid for.
I decided to plug my Xbox into the HDMI 5 port. I noticed juddering, screen tearing, and millisecond freezing. I turned the TV off and back on, and it ran smoothly. I then decided to try a Blu-ray. I noticed jaggedness in fast-moving scenes, and the occasional choppy face.
Now I'm considering the Samsung J6300, a non-4k TV. I have no idea what to do. The Vizio really isn't a bad TV and I know I'm picking it apart to find a reason to go spend more money, but Id rather not.
Would I see a more solid screen presentation if I bought an Xbox One to use on the Vizio, or should I just go buy a 55" J6300 and say screw the 4k? Thanks in advance. I love this website.
We doubt that switching to the J6300 would help for the issues you're describing. You would see some improvement to the look of games if you used a newer game console like the XB1, but you can also get improved picture by using our recommended settings.
I spend about two weeks researching for a TV, and after reading through all the reviews, I decided to get the Samsung UN50J6300. Later on, I found out that there is something called the panel lottery, and it looks like my TV uses an AUO panel, and not one from Samsung.
I also learned that the Sony KDL50W800C use a panel from AUO, and that it's the same throughout their W800C model line, and the display looks great to me at Best Buy.
I believe that though both Samsung and Sony use the panel from AUO for 50" TV, the panel should be different, since the W800C offers 3D. I also looked into LG TVs, but none of them on rtings.com have a rating higher than the Sony W800C, except their Smart TV platform.
So here is my question: I got my Samsung UN50J6300 for $700, and now Sony also offers their KDL50W800C for the same price. Did I get a really good deal on Samsung, even it is not a Samsung panel, or I will get more value with the Sony for the same price?
I understand that you've said you can't really tell the difference between different panel manufacturers, but I would rather just add more money and get the 55" TV, which is a Samsung panel. Also, is it true that none of the LG TVs can compete with Samsung or Sony?
For your information, I use my TV with average room lighting and mainly for TV, Movies, Gaming (I'm just a mid-level gamer), and for a PC monitor via HDMI. Thanks in advance.
We wouldn't bother trading, since the difference between the panels really isn't that noticeable. If you're really concerned, then upsizing to the 55" and getting the Samsung panel would be the best move.
None of LGs LED TVs have impressed us much this year, so yes, it's true that they aren't as good of a buy. For your needs, you'll be happiest with a Sony or a Samsung.
Hello, we recently decided to upgrade from our Panasonic 42" L42U22. The picture seemed to be dimming, plus we wanted a bigger TV. The biggest size TV we can go with is unfortunately 50", as we are constrained by the built-in TV/fireplace setup in our home. We sit about 10 feet from our TV, though that may change to bring us closer.
We are trying to keep our purchase under $1,000. Primary usage is streamed movies and TV, plus some PC gaming, though we are interested in using a TV as a PC monitor as well.
We recently purchased a Samsung UN50JU6500, and are very disappointed to it. For movies, we can get the settings set so brighter scenes look great, but then shadowy scenes look washed out. We can get shadowy scenes to look great, but then brighter scenes look muddy. It's exasperating! It also seems to just not have a high degree of luminosity, which is something we love, and images seem cloudy, colors somewhat washed-out.
So, we plan to take it back, and are trying to decide what would be a better replacement. Torn between the Vizio M50-C1 and the Samsung UN50J6300. And we are also considering the Samsung JU7100 despite the fact that it is about $300 more expensive.
Most important to us is a TV that is excellent for movies. PC gaming is also important - primarily RPGs and MMOs. And though at this point we sit 10ft from our TV, that may well change.
Lastly, we would enjoy being able to use our TV as a PC monitor, primarily for gaming on Steam, web surfing, and email. Very interested in finding a TV that can do all this well, plus be more future-proof in regards to changes in content availability and our physical setup, as we plan to keep our TV for at least 5 years, and preferably even longer.
Long story short, do you think it is worth it to go beyond our budget and spend $1300 on the JU7100 in order to get a TV that will do it all well, and be more future-proof to us? And if not, would you recommend the Vizio M50-C1 or the Samsung J6300 based on our needs and our (possibly changing) setup? At this time, the Vizio costs $50 less ($750) than the J6300 ($800) Thanks!!
For your current setup, saving money and getting the Samsung J6300 would make the most sense, since you're a bit too far away for 4k resolution to make much difference. The picture is very good for everything you want to do, the input lag isn't too high, and you get chroma 4:4:4 @ 60 hz capability, which is great.
The M-series is also decent, but it has more blur than ideal when displaying games, and it can't do chroma 4:4:4.
For whichever TV you get, using the settings we recommend (there are links at the top of our reviews) will get you great picture quality, without those issues you were experiencing with the JU6500.
Wanting to buy a 50" TV and quite lost as to all options and terminology. I watch lots of movies on DVD and Netflix, listen to Pandora, and my sons gave me a PS3. Budget up to $1,500. What do you recommend?
Get the Samsung UN50JU7100. It has really good picture quality, includes Pandora in its smart features, and is great for gaming.
Hello, thanks for the great reviews! I'm interested in getting a 50" (4K or 1080p) TV, mainly for PC gaming and movies. I need it to run 1080 p @120Hz refresh rate for games. I personally prefer the picture quality of Samsung, but I'm not sure if the J6300 can do 120 hz at 1080p. If not, what about the Sony W800c? If only 4K TVs fit my case, what Samsung 4K TV do you recommend?
We list our picks for the best TVs that can do 1080p @ 120 hz here. Only a few 4k TVs are able to do it, and no Samsung TVs can. Our top choice for most people is the Sony X850C.
I've been looking at the Vizio E50-C1. I'll be using it STRICTLY for gaming on my PS4. The Samsung UN50J6200 scored better in the 2015 best budget category. In your opinion, is it worth paying more for the Samsung? I'll be using headphones, so audio isn't relevant. Thanks!
The Samsung UN50J6200 is better yes, but both TVs are good for gaming, so if it would be a stretch of a budget, stick to the cheaper Vizio.
I have an LG 42" that is a few years old. The picture turns on and off every few minutes, but the sound still works. Any idea of what the problem would be? I am looking to get a 50" to replace it for a brightly-lit living room. What's your best recommendation for under $600? Many thanks.
No, it could be a few different things. We recommend speaking to LG support if you want to get it fixed. For a replacement, we recommend the Vizio E50-C1. It has good overall picture quality and it's well within your budget.
My boyfriend and i are looking for a UHD TV as a Christmas present for us, but we are on a budget. Any recommendations? We watch a lot of movies, play video games, and watch a lot of sports.
The only budget UHD model available at 50" is the Vizio M50-C1. Its picture quality is very good for most everything, but it does have a bit more blur than ideal on some movement in video games. If you can stretch to spend around $300 more, the Sony XBR55X810C is great across the board, and would be a perfect fit for everything you want to do.
I'm looking to replace a 42" Samsung Plasma. I've been researching for about a week and I'm torn between the Vizio M49-C1 that I found on sale for $499 and the LG 49UF7600 I found for $599. They seem pretty comparable to me. It will mostly be used for watching tv and movies for the kids, occasional gaming and sport watching for me. Normal viewing is 8-10'. Any thoughts on which way to go?
Our review of the Vizio M is for the 60" version of this TV. That size doesn't have an IPS panel like the 49". For the 49", expect worse blacks and contrast and maybe some judder in movies. With the fact that the Vizio M isn't the best with lower resolutions, then between the two TVs the LG 49UF7600 will be better overall. If you can afford to increase the screen size some more (even just to 50"), than the Vizio M will become the better pick because of a better panel inside.
Hi, I'm looking for a 4K SmartLED TV for everyday viewing, watching DVDs and Blu Ray and a lot of sports. A 50" would do just fine in our living room, but I can probably do 55". I'm tossed between Vizio M50-C1 and Samsung JS7000, but not limited to these two sets. Thank you for your time and help.
If you go for a 50", the Samsung JS7000 will be the better pick because of how well it handles fast motion (sports) compared to the Vizio M. The 55" JS7000 have a different kind of panel (IPS) that have worse picture quality so for that specific size, the Vizio M is better. If you can afford the difference, the Sony x810c is our favorite 55" pick and would be a nice step up from the Vizio particularly for low resolution content (DVD and cable TV) and fast motion content (sports).
I am looking for a 4K TV with HDR for our bedroom in the 48"-50" range. We view mainly straight on so viewing angle isn't a big concern. We have a bright room during the day when we will watch occasionally, but most of our viewing will be at night when it's dark. We mainly watch television programming but will be streaming programs from Netflix/Amazon. We will not be hooking up a soundbar so the best possible audio we can get is one of our priorities. We've narrowed it down to:
Vizio P Series
Any recommendations on one of these particular models?
Amazon video doesn't work on the Vizio P Series, and so you would require a separate streaming box. It also lacks a tuner. We plan to review the X800D and the UH6500 in the coming months, but until then can't comment on their suitability. The Samsung UN49KS8000 is a great choice though. It is a great all-round TV and performs well in a bright or dark room, with excellent picture quality. It also has fairly good sound for a TV.
I have a Visio 50 inch smart tv, that I've bought a year ago. Recently I've been have a problem with it not being able to turn on, with or without the remote. What can I do to have this problem fixed? Thank you
Unplug the TV from the electrical outlet and let it unplugged for about an hour. Unplug any devices that are connected to it including any USB devices. Then try to connect it to a different outlet and turn it on. If that still doesn't work, contact Vizio's customer service.
Which of these two TVs would you recommend? Last year's Samsung H6400 or the 2015 Sony W800C? I am looking to buy a 50 inch model and will use it for some PS4 gaming and watch Blu-rays. Thanks!
They have similar picture quality but the Samsung H6400 has slightly better contrast, motion and can get a good deal brighter than the w800c. For it's versatility, the H6400 has the edge. Both TVs have relatively close input lag. One thing that can be mention for the Sony w800c is that it has the 'MotionFlow' setting that can clear motion further at the cost of less overall brightness. Some gamers like the effect and some don't. You can take a look at our review notes on the w800c page to get an idea of what it can do and if that may be something worth it for you.
I am looking for a new TV for my master bedroom in the 49"-50" range. I will mainly use it for watching network TV shows, streaming movies, and watching DVDs. I have been looking at Samsung 49KS8000 (little above price point), Samsung 49KU7000, Sony X810C, Sony X830C, and Sony X850C (all right at price point). Which TV would you recommend? Or do you have an entirely different recommendation?
We haven't reviewed the KU7000, and the X810C and the X850C don't come in that size. For a bedroom TV, the X830C isn't a great pick due to the type on panel (IPS) which doesn't have as high contrast, and so dark scenes in movies and TV shows do not appear well. If you don't mind a different brand, go with the Vizio P50-C1. It has great picture quality, and should be around your price point. If you don't mind spending more then the KS8000 is the best fit for your usage.
I'm interested in a good value 50" HD or UHD TV priced at $1,000 or less. As of Nov 2014, there is a - VIZIO P502ui-B1E 50" 4K Ultra HD 120Hz Full-Array LED Smart TV for $998.00 available online and in discount stores. Since my budget in in the $1000 range, this meets my requirement. My concerns are motion blur and angle viewing. I don't anticipate glare being a problem, since my room is pretty dark and I can shut shades to make it darker. My bottom line question is, since the prices of (50") 4k TVs are dropping to $1000, is buying a 4K now a 'no brainer'?
I watch TV from across the room, about 10-12' away. I also hate motion blur - which I fear will be more present in all non-plasma TVs (based on your site). I still have a CRT TV and am now ready to take a plunge. I use Netflix and DVDs. I fear going down the Plasma path may be taking a step backward, since 4k TVs are about same price now.
My overall conclusion is that with prices dropping for 4K, your recommendation to stay clear of 4k is becoming less of a concern as the gap narrows. Are my conclusions correct with the new technology/pricing out for Black Friday?
No, buying a 4k TV is not necessarily a no-brainer, because some 1080p TVs have better picture quality for the same price as some 4k TVs. Resolution is only one element of picture quality. It is one of the easiest to understand and to list in a spec, but that doesn't mean it plays the biggest role in the overall picture quality. If you compare two equivalent TVs (same brand, same feature set), but one is 4k and one 1080p, and the price difference is small, of course you should go for it. But comparing across brands/models is a bit trickier.
We have a room full of windows and now have a Mitsubishi projection TV. I want to update with a 50" TV, but the glare is awful on anything we tried. What is my best option? We are retired. We watch a lot of sports and movies. Grandkids play a game or two, very little. Looking for around $500. Glare is the real issue!
At that size and price, your only good option is the Vizio E48-C2. It doesn't reflect too much, and it can get fairly bright. It's likely that it will still have some glare, but only some of the priciest TVs wouldn't in that environment.
Between Vizio and Samsung 50" HD, which offers the best blur-free view of the ball in flight while viewing baseball or American football?
Most TVs from both brands should do fine for that, though some are better than others. Just be sure to turn off Auto Motion Plus (Samsung) and Reduce Motion Blur/Reduce Judder (Vizio), as those features often make the ball disappear when in motion.
I am installing a 48" to 50" TV on a boat in the cabin. It will be watched during the day. It needs to have these three factors covered: very little reflection, very bright screen, and an analog composite sources will look the best they can. Do you have a few recommendations? Thank you.
We don't test for analog capability, so we can't comment on that, but there are several TVs that get very bright and don't reflect much light. The Samsung JU7100 and JU7500 (as well as the pricier Samsung JS* line), Vizio M-series, and Sharp UB30U are all good options for that.
Our 2009 Sony has died and we're looking for a replacement. What do you think about the LG 50LF6090? We want to keep our costs down.
It should be about identical to the LG LF6100, so it has pretty good picture for movies (deep, uniform blacks), but a bit more blur than ideal when it comes to displaying fast movement (video games, sports), and input lag that is on the higher end of average. It's an okay choice for an inexpensive TV, but most will prefer the Vizio E-series, since it's inexpensive and doesn't share those downsides.
We are planning to buy a Television for the first time, wanted to ask for some suggestions regarding 50 or 55 inch would be better (6-7ft distance from the TV to watch) in the long run, also is it wise to get the 4k TV now or may be wait for couple of years as 4K is used only with 4k channels? Planning for either Sony/Samsung and will be using mainly to use for Netflix/news and rarely some gaming? This website is very useful. Thank you. Budget is around 500-600 during thanks giving time.
4k TVs are more expensive and contents aren't wide spread as it is. So for now, it is mostly to future-proof viewing habits. The Samsung J6200 fits in your budget and offer a great picture quality. It is a 1080p TV and although it may not be the best with 720p resolution, it will perform greatly with Netflix and gaming.
We have a Sony Bravia 50" LCD TV. (Model KDL-50EX645) less than 3 years old.
We started having problems with one then two horizontal white lines emanating from the right side of the screen not quite to the far left of the screen.
Then our LCD TV began to look like an LSD TV - any movement on screen left a trail.
Now it does that for about 5 minutes and then goes blank.
So now we listen to the news at night and in the morning.
Is it repairable?
And if not, why should I trust Sony again?
You can contact Sony to see if they will repair it, however it is almost never worth the cost. TVs from all brands experience failures, so there is no reason to stay away from Sony.
We have one of the original HDTV's, a big and heavy 43" Hitachi TV purchased circa 1997. It is finally starting to lose picture clarity so we are ready to purchase a new TV after all these years. Your website has been so helpful in our plan to purchase a 50 to 55 inch TV. One question...I have some concern about the TV base or legs. The TV's with tiny legs on each side look as though they could topple over with one touch. Are they any more or less stable than the TV's with a base at the center? Should this be a consideration in choice of brands or TV's?
It is definitely a consideration to make if you have young children who may knock the TV. A good option if you are worried is to use the VESA mount at the rear to secure the TV, eg. to a wall. Generally though, the TVs with legs spaced further apart are more stable. The TV size also makes a difference, the larger TVs feel less secure. For 50"-55" this is usually not a problem.
Any chance you could review the LG 50UH5500? It appears to be making headwind as, a budget 4k/HDR HDTV priced at $500. I've seen it mentioned multiple times in gaming blogs and websites like Slickdeals.
The review is scheduled for this fall. Since we don't have it yet in our lab, we cannot really comment on the spec yet.
I just ordered a Samsung KS8500 for PC use due to great reviews but now am reading that Samsung TVs are bad for PWM. I sometimes get tired eyes when using a monitor all day and I'm now concerned about my purchase. Is the PWM particularly bad on the KS8500 and if so what should I buy instead in the 48"-49" range?
You can see the flicker in the image of the backlight here. If you find that you have an issue with the TV, the 49" Sony X700D is a good option for PC monitor use without backlight flicker.
I own two older Vizio TVs and am looking to buy a new 48 inch Vizio D Series 1080p 120 Hz refresh rate from Walmart. Looking at the TV in the store the color seems a lot darker than other TVs displayed next to it and doesn't seem to have the vibrant colors as other sets. Is this just how these TVs are or can that be changed in the settings?
Generally in the stores the TVs are changed to a much more vibrant picture mode, and should be toned down for a more accurate picture at home. If you like a vibrant picture you can turn the backlight up, and set the picture mode to 'Vivid'. All of the TVs around this price range show about the same range of colors. Note that the Vizio D Series 1080p is actually a 60Hz TV, and the 120Hz 'Effective Refresh Rate' is a marketing term.
How should brand reliability factor into choosing between two TVs, especially if you want the TV to last for some time (through a 6-7 year PhD program in my case)? I mainly watch movies through DLNA (generally 1080p) or BluRay, some TV shows through streaming services, and some Sunday football in the fall and early winter months. I also might buy a Nintendo Switch sometime down the line, mostly for social Mario games (no intense gaming). For example, I'm trying to decide between the Sony XBR49X700D and the Vizio M50-D1 for the same price ($650). Based on the reviews, which focus on picture/performance, it seems clear that the Vizio would be the better choice for me. However, I'm not sure about how the track record and reliability of the Vizio stacks up against Sony long term. How do you think these brand reliability concerns should factor in a decision? Can you speak to the question of the general reliability of different brands?
Brand reliability is only important for ultra budget models from relatively unknown brands. All the major brands have good reliability and customer support.
The Vizio M50-D1 is better in a dim room when viewed from straight on, because of its great local dimming but poor peak brightness and viewing angle. The Sony 49X700D is better in a bright room or when you're sitting to the side of the TV and viewing it on an angle, because of its high peak brightness, great viewing angle but poor contrast ratio.
Is it sometimes better to go with a 2014 model over a 2015 model in the same price range? For instance, a Sony KDL48W600B vs a Vizio E48-C2.
Yes, overall picture quality, as a whole, isn't much different this year than it was last year. Sometimes a 2014 TV is better.
In your example, the Sony 48W600B is a better choice for people who watch lots of TV, because it's better at upscaling. For people who play video games, the Vizio E's better motion handling is more worth it. Both are about equally good for movies.
I have a Vizio that's not working, and I really liked the guide schedule that it provided. Can you tell me other TVs that have the same feature? We do not have cable, so it is important to us. I believe we will be looking at a 50". Thank you.
Almost all the TVs from the major brands (Samsung, Sony, LG) have that same feature, so you have plenty of options.
I have sent you a question about my disappointment with the Samsung HN50JU6500, and I've had a thought as to why the picture seems so bad to me as compared to my old Panasonic L42U22. The Panasonic has an IPS panel, whereas the Samsung has a VA.
Now, when it came to viewing angle, I've been considering it a non-issue in my case, as I sit dead center in front of the TV. BUT, I also sit somewhat UNDER the TV, as my TV goes into a built-in cubby above the fireplace in my family room; there is a vertical viewing angle of approx. 40 degrees. Doh!
Would I be better served in purchasing a TV with an IPS panel? Are there any such TVs with a really good picture for movies? Or would it be better to find a different location for my TV that is closer to eye level? Thanks so much!
Not really. IPS TVs don't have dark blacks, which is one of the main things most movie lovers want out of their TV.
Your overall best choice would be to move your current TV, as that will get you the best picture quality. If you decide against that option, switching for an IPS TV would improve on what you currently have.