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The 5 Best 4k TVs under $1,000 - December 2018
Reviews

Best TVs under $1,000
206 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

There is a wide selection of TVs you can find below $1000. Generally, there are two big categories: the TVs with the best possible picture quality for the money, or larger budget TVs with the biggest screen that you can get for the buck.

We've tested 206 TVs and below are our recommendations for the best TVs under $1,000 to purchase in 2018. Check our recommendations for the best cheap TVs and the best TVs under $1,500 for more options.

Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the end of the year and especially after Black Friday.

  1. Best TV under $1,000: Vizio P55-F1

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    8.2
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    8.5
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.7
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.8
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.9
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    8.4
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.6
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.4
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    The Vizio P Series 2018 P55-F1 is the best TV under $1,000 we've tested. It has a very good picture quality with deep blacks that look great in a dark room due to the excellent contrast ratio and full-array local dimming support. The Vizio P Series 2018 has a very fast pixel response time and only a small blur trail is seen in fast-moving content. The TV has an optional black frame insertion feature that can help make the image even crisper. It has a low input lag that makes it very responsive for gaming.

    Unfortunately, the gray uniformity might disappoint sports fans, and the image quality degrades when viewed at an angle, so it is not suitable for wide seating arrangements. Also, this TV may be hard to find in stock.

    Overall, it is the best 55 inch under $1,000 you can get and a great mixed-use TV that will keep most people happy.

    See our review

  2. Alternative for gaming: Samsung UN55NU8000

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you want a TV with great gaming features, check out the Samsung UN55NU8000 instead of the Vizio P Series 2018. The NU8000 supports new gaming technologies, including a variable refresh rate to reduce tearing, and automatic game mode to make sure you are always getting the lowest input lag possible. It doesn't have the full-array backlight of the P55-F1, so dark room performance isn't quite as good, and motion has a bit more blur due to the slower response time, but overall it is an excellent TV for gaming.

    See our review

  3. Better but smaller size alternative: Sony XBR49X900F

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you want the best 4k TV under $1,000 regardless of size, then get the Sony XBR49X900F. It is not as large as the Vizio P Series 2018 P55-F1 and has a higher input lag. However, it is a great TV that performs slightly better than the Vizio in bright rooms thanks to the better anti-reflective coating. It can get very bright so as to overcome glare and it performs very well in almost all uses. So if you are ok with the smaller size, the Sony X900F is the best TV in this category.

    See our review

  4. Best 65 inch TV under $1,000: Vizio M65-F0

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.8
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    7.6
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.4
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.6
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.5
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    7.7
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.3
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.1
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you are looking for the best 65 inch TV under $1,000, get the Vizio M series 2018 M65-F0. It is a very good TV for a wide range of usages. The picture quality is good with blacks that look deep in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio and local dimming support. The M65-F0 can get bright enough to fight the glare of a bright room and it has a very low input lag that will please most gamers and those who will use it as a PC monitor for presentations. There is only a little motion blur trailing fast-moving content as the response time is very fast and its excellent BFI feature gives you the option to make the image even crisper.

    Unfortunately, the TV lacks a motion interpolation feature to please the soap opera effect fans, and the viewing angles are bad so it is not a good choice for rooms with wide seating arrangements.

    Overall the Vizio M65-F0 is will perform very well in most uses.

    See our review

  5. Cheaper Alternative: TCL 65S517

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you find the Vizio M series 2018 expensive, then get the TCL 5 Series (S515/S517) 65S517. You will not have the local dimming support or the brightness levels found on the Vizio. On the upside, the S517 is a 65" 4K TV with decent picture quality, a wide color gamut and deep blacks due to the very high native contrast ratio. It has a low input lag that makes it very responsive so you can use it for playing video games or as a PC monitor. 

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG 55SK8000. Versatile TV with good smart features, but it is worth upgrading to the Vizio P Series 2018. See our review
  • Samsung UN55NU8500. Good mid-range 4k TV, but the slightly more expensive Vizio P Series 2018 offers better value. See our review
  • Samsung UN55MU6300. Decent TV overall, but a bit overpriced. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs under $1,000 to buy for most people. 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 are less than $1,000. 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. 

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