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The 3 Best TVs Under $500 - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best TVs Under $500

If you wanted to buy a decent LCD TV a few years ago, chances were that you couldn't find any good models for under $500. Although the best models are still priced higher, you can find cheap models that will serve you well in this price category, depending on your use. Finding the best 4k TV under $500 depends on your usage and space limitations. Cheaper TVs tend to be smaller, so if you want a bigger TV in this price range, you'll have to sacrifice a bit in performance.

We've bought and tested more than 425 TVs, and below are our recommendations for the best TVs you can buy for under $500. You may also want to check out our picks for the best budget TVs, the best 4k TVs under $1,000, or the best TVs under $300 if you want something cheaper, or vote on which ones you want us to buy and test. To learn more about the 2023 models, check out our 2023 TV lineup page.

  1. Best 55-Inch TV Under $500

    The best TV under $500 we've tested is the Hisense 55U7K or Hisense U7K, although its 55-inch size sits just a tad above that amount when not on sale. It is easily the best TV at that price point, with its amazing selection of extra features. It has a good local dimming solution, making it a great choice for watching movies or shows at night in a dark room, as it gives it an excellent contrast ratio. It also gets very bright, allowing it to showcase its very wide color gamut, creating a vibrant HDR viewing experience. It supports Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+ formats, as well as advanced DTS audio formats, so you can take full advantage of whatever content you're watching. Its reflection handling is fantastic, so it handles bright glare with ease. Unfortunately, it has a narrow viewing angle, but this is true of every TV on this list.

    It runs the Google TV smart interface, which has a great selection of streaming channels, including many free streaming services. It's a fantastic TV for gamers with its fast response time, leading to minimal blur in fast action. It supports every VRR technology for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. It has two HDMI 2.1 bandwidth ports, each capable of up to 4k @ 144Hz, so it can take full advantage of a recent PC graphics card or gaming console. It's also a fantastic option for a home theater setup, as its image processing is very good overall, so content looks good no matter its source. Ultimately, the Hisense U7K is one of the best bang-for-the-buck TVs on the market.

    See our review

  2. Best 65-Inch TV Under $500

    If you want a bigger TV while sticking to your budget, the step-down Hisense 65U6K, or Hisense U6/U6K, is the best TV under $500 in a 65-inch size, as you can still find that model for around $500. It's not nearly as good as the Hisense U7K, but it still delivers surprisingly decent performance for the price. It looks amazing in a dark room thanks to its excellent contrast ratio, and it has a full-array local dimming feature to improve the picture quality in dark scenes, although there's blooming around bright objects. If you want to use it in a bright room, it has good peak brightness in SDR and okay peak brightness in HDR with decent reflection handling, so glare isn't an issue even if you have some lights around. Like the more expensive Hisense, it supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR, although it doesn't support advanced DTS audio formats.

    Unfortunately, its image processing is significantly worse than on the higher-tier model, so there's visible digital noise when watching low-bitrate content from streaming platforms. Nevertheless, it runs the same great Google TV smart interface, which is fast and smooth even on this cheaper model. It's a great TV for gaming, as it has superb low input lag and VRR support for a responsive, nearly tear-free gaming experience. However, it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, meaning you can't take full advantage of current-gen gaming consoles, but it's hard to find low-cost TVs with a 120Hz refresh rate, so you'll have to spend more for the U7K if that matters to you.

    See our review

  3. Best Cheap TV Under $500

    Look into the Best Buy exclusive Roku Select Series if you want something cheaper or bigger. It's a step down from the Hisense U6/U6K, but you can get it in many more sizes, down to a small 24-inch size. It's the best 50-inch TV under $500, but its 55 and 65-inch sizes are also under that, and its 75-inch model is right around $500 when not on sale. It's a decent entry-level TV, delivering surprisingly good picture quality in a dark room thanks to its okay contrast ratio and great black uniformity. It has decent reflection handling, so even though it doesn't get very bright in HDR, it's certainly good enough for a moderately lit room. The TV supports HDR10+, but it isn't nearly bright enough for it to matter. Unlike the more expensive TVs on the list, it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further improve its contrast, but that's the cost of going with a cheaper model.

    It's even good as a PC monitor or for gamers, as it's very color-accurate and can do proper chroma 4:4:4 with low input lag. Unlike the Hisense U7K, it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, so motion isn't as smooth, and this model doesn't have VRR like the U7K or U6K. Its Roku TV platform is user-friendly and easy to learn, which is great if you don't want to spend extra on a streaming device. The small 24 and 32-inch models are 720p TVs, while the 40-inch size is 1080p. The bigger sizes are all 4k TVs. If you're a Costco member, you'll instead want to get the slightly better and more colorful Hisense A6/A65K for about the same price.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung CU7000/CU7000D: The Samsung CU7000/CU7000D is a well-priced Samsung TV, but it's outperformed by the Hisense U6/U6K and outpriced by the Roku Select Series. See our review
  • TCL Q5/Q550G QLED: The TCL Q5/Q550G QLED is a good TV and competes with the Hisense U6/U6K. You can find its 65-inch model for just above $500, but it's a bit worse than the Hisense for most people. However, the TCL is better for gamers, as it offers more gaming features. See our review
  • Amazon Fire TV Omni Series: The Amazon Fire TV Omni Series is a great value TV from Amazon; however, it's outperformed and outpriced by the Hisense U6/U6K. See our review
  • TCL Q7/Q750G QLED: The TCL Q7/Q750G QLED is a good lower mid-range option, and its 55-inch model can be found for just a bit above $500. However, the much better Hisense U7K outmatches it, and the Hisense is even a bit cheaper. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 09, 2024: The Roku Select Series replaced the TCL S4/S450G as the 'Best Cheap TV Under $500'. As the Roku is available in very small sizes, including 32 inches, its inclusion led to us removing the 'Best 32-Inch TV Under $500' category.

  2. Oct 27, 2023: Due to availability issues, the TCL 5 Series/S555 2022 QLED has been replaced by the better Hisense U7K and the Hisense A6/A65K with the Hisense U6/U6K. The TCL S4/450G is now our 'Best Cheap TV For Under $500'.

  3. Sep 01, 2023: Refreshed the text for accuracy and consistency.

  4. Jun 21, 2023: Moved the Sony KD-43X80K to the Notable Mentions and replaced our 'Best 43-Inch TV Under $500' with the Samsung UN43CU7000FXZA. Finally, added a mention of the Samsung CU8000 under the 'Best 43-Inch TV Under $500' category and refreshed the text for accuracy and consistency.

  5. Mar 27, 2023: Verified our picks for accuracy and consistency and refreshed the text. Added the Hisense U7H as a Notable Mention.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs for under $500 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 TV reviews, sorted by price from low to high. 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.