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The 5 Best 4k TVs Under $500 - April 2019
Reviews

Best TVs Under $500
211 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.

A few years ago, if you wanted to buy a decent LCD TV, chances are that you would not be able to find any good models under $500. Although the best models are still priced higher, you can find models that can serve you well in that price category.

We've tested 81 TVs and below are our recommendations for the best TVs under $500 you can buy in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best cheap TVs and the best smart TVs.

Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the beginning of the year. Since the beginning of the year, most manufacturers have started releasing replacements for their TV lines. Usually, these TVs tend to launch at very high prices and it is unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until the latter half of the year, thus keeping the 2018 models in our recommendations for a few more months.

  1. Best 4k TV Under $500: Vizio E55-F1

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.7
    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:
    7.1
    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.
    7.3
    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:
    8.1
    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.
    8.2
    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 E Series 2018 E55-F1 is the best TV under $500. It has a decent picture quality, with great dark room performance thanks to the deep uniform blacks that the high contrast ratio delivers. Motion handling is decent and the fast response time only allows for a small blur trail behind fast-moving content. Gamers will enjoy the low input lag that makes the TV very responsive. This is very apparent when you use the TV as a PC monitor.

    Unfortunately, the Vizio, just like most VA panel TVs, has bad viewing angles and is not a good choice if you have a wide seating arrangement. Also, it can't get very bright and is the best choice for those with very bright rooms.

    Overall, the Vizio E Series 2018 is a good TV for the price, and it will keep most of its owners happy.

    See our review

  2. Wide-Angle Alternative: Sony KD43X720E

    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.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 4k

    If your couch is not placed directly across from your TV but rather to the side, check out the Sony XBR43X720E. You will not be getting the large screen size of the Vizio E Series 2018, but rather a smaller 43 inch TV for a similar amount of money. Blacks are not as deep in the dark as the blacks you see on the Vizio. On the upside, the IPS panel of the Sony X720 will deliver a decent picture quality that remains accurate at wider viewing angles to suit your room setup. It has an excellent low input lag and will keep you happy if you are a gamer or use it as a PC monitor.

    See our review

  3. Alternative With Wide Color Gamut: TCL 49S517

    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 that can deliver a wider color gamut than the Vizio E Series 2018, then check out the TCL 5 Series 49S517. The S517 does not have local dimming or a BFI feature like the Vizio does, and reflections might be more distracting. On the upside, the S517 has a decent picture quality with deep blacks and a wide color gamut that can display HDR content full of rich colors but cannot get bright enough for highlights to pop. The S517 supports motion interpolation that will please those soap opera effect fans. Gamers, on the other hand, will appreciate the very low input lag of S517.

    See our review

  4. Best Value For Size Under $500: Insignia NS-55DF710NA19

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    6.9
    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:
    6.3
    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:
    7.2
    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:
    6.9
    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.
    7.3
    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.
    6.4
    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:
    7.0
    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.
    7.4
    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

    If you are looking for the best value for size TV under $500, then check out the Insignia Fire TV NS-55DF710NA19. It is a large 55" basic entry level 4k LED TV with decent picture quality and high native contrast ratio. It supports HDR, but there is not much benefit using it in this mode as it can not display a wide color gamut nor can it get very bright to display bright highlights. It has excellent integration with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, which is one of its strongest points. The Insignia Fire TV performs decently in most usages and it is one of the cheapest 55 inch TVs available currently in the market.

    Overall, it can serve well as a large secondary TV as long as you don't care too much for picture quality and performance.

    See our review

  5. Slightly Better But More Expensive Alternative: Toshiba 55LF621U19

    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 like the excellent integration of the Insignia Fire TV NS-55DF710NA19 with Amazon Alexa but want a slightly better TV, then get the Toshiba Fire TV 55LF621U19. It is slightly pricier than the Insignia, but you will get the same Amazon Alexa integration and more uniform blacks that enhance dark room performance. The Toshiba is also more responsive due to the lower input lag and faster response time. This is great if you play games, or use the TV as a PC monitor.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG 49UK6300: Decent TV, but the TCL S517 is worth the extra cash. See our review
  • Vizio D55-F2: Good, versatile TV, but not easy to find. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 4k TVs 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 reviews of TVs that are less than $500. 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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