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Best 40-42-43 inch TVs - Fall 2017
Reviews

Best 40-42-43 inch TVs

While 40 to 43 inch TVs aren't the best sellers anymore, they've remained some of the most popular sizes sold today since they fit quite well in smaller environments like apartments or bedrooms. Unfortunately, though, no high-end models are available in these sizes anymore, so the best performing TVs will often be mid-range.

So far, we've tested 12 TVs in 2017 available in a 40-40-43" size and below are our recommendations for the best ones you can purchase this fall.

Best 40-42-43 inch TV

There are no high-end 40-43 inch TVs, so the prices aren't too high. Some models get close to more expensive models performance-wise, with minor feature differences.

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.3 Mixed Usage
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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:
6.7 Movies
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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:
7.5 TV Shows
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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:
7.1 Sports
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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.
Score components:
8.2 Video Games
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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.
6.8 HDR Movies
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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.
7.7 HDR Gaming
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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.
7.5 PC Monitor
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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.

The best TV available in a 40-42-43" size we've tested so far is the Samsung UN40MU7000. It features their Tizen-based SmartHub Smart platform and produces better than average picture quality.

TVs of this size tend to not offer much when it comes to HDR, and while the MU7000 isn't the brightest TV around, it can display a wider gamut of color which gives HDR content vibrant colors. Thanks to its high contrast ratio, its blacks are also quite deep and uniform, giving it a very good picture in a dark room.

Its picture quality degrades at an angle and it is more expensive than the average TV in this size, but it's still the best 40 inch TV available today.

See our review

Alternative for Sports Fans

If the Samsung MU7000's narrow viewing angle is an issue and you don't care much for HDR, the Sony KD43X720E is a great alternative that performs even better than the Samsung for watching Sports or TV shows in a bright room. It doesn't have as good a picture quality in a dark room due to its lower contrast ratio, but its wider viewing angle and decent brightness make it a better pick if you often have friends over to watch the game.

See our review

Best Budget 40-42-43 inch TV

Budget TVs still available today in this size are a definite step down in picture quality compared to the more expensive models. They are significantly cheaper, however.

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
Show Help

Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.2 Mixed Usage
Show Help
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:
6.8 Movies
Show Help
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:
6.9 TV Shows
Show Help
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:
6.8 Sports
Show Help
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.
Score components:
8.2 Video Games
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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.
6.7 HDR Movies
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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.
7.6 HDR Gaming
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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.
7.6 PC Monitor
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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.

If you're looking for something less expensive in this price range, we recommend the TCL 43S405 4k Roku TV. It doesn't have the fancy HDR features of the Samsung MU7000, but it's one of the best budget TVs we've tested this year.

It has deep and uniform blacks giving it good picture quality in a dark room, and its Roku smart platform is both powerful and intuitive making it easy to access online content from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Its input lag is low, making it a good budget gaming TV. Unfortunately, it's also a bit dimmer than our top picks, so it won't be the best at handling the reflections of a well-lit living room, but it's difficult to find a better budget choice in this size.

See our review

1080p Alternative

For something even cheaper, look for the TCL 40S305 1080p LED. It's a little smaller, and it doesn't have the 4k resolution of the pricier S405, but it shares the same excellent Roku TV Smart platform. 

See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung UN43MU6300. Good entry level TV, but not much better than the TCL S405 for the money. See our review
  • Sony X800E. Great choice for a TV of this size with a wide viewing angle, but the Samsung MU7000 is better. See our review
  • LG 43UJ6300. Average LED TV with wide viewing angles, but poor value compared to the cheaper TCL S405. See our review
  • Samsung UN43M5300. Passable budget TV, but too expensive compared to other 1080p options. See our review
  • TCL 40D100. Good basic LED TV, essentially the same as the S305 but without smart features. See our review
  • Element Fire TV EL4KAMZ4317. Decent 4k LED TV but doesn't offer much over the TCL S405 for the money. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 40-43 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 40-42-43 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. 

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Questions & Answers

34 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
166
It seems that there are fewer and fewer non-smart TVs. Is there a non-smart TV that you can recommend in the 40-42" class that would perform well for general and gaming use?
Not really. You pretty much need to buy a smart TV now, but you don't need to use the extra features.
121
What's the difference in performance between 60Hz and 120Hz in a 40-42" TV?

Usually none. The refresh rate is not an indication of motion blur for TVs given the same input frame rate. A 120Hz TV just means it can interpolate the frames, which creates the soap opera effect.

For TVs with active 3D there is an advantage of the higher refresh rate, because it gets effectively halved for each eye. A 120 Hz panel allows a 60Hz refresh rate for each eye.

75
When will you evaluate the UHD tvs?
We already tested a couple of them, although not in the 40-42" range. At that size, 4k isn't really useful at a normal viewing distance (10+ feet).

Update: We have now reviewed several 4k TVs, including within this size range.
68
We have a 40" Samsung that is about five-years-old and that takes a long time to power on (20 to 25 min.) Is this common with Samsung TV's?
Yes, it was common in the past. Samsung had a class action lawsuit brought against them for this problem, which is caused by faulty capacitors. Call Samsung to see if your model qualifies for the settlement.
56
When will you do a Vizio review? I heard the 2014 models have the best black levels and local dimming at budget level prices.
In a few months. Keep in mind that even though some of them are full array with local dimming, the 'resolution' of the backlight isn't very high, so the better blacks won't be achieved under normal usage (except for the black bars at the bottom and top of a movie).
Update: We reviewed the E Series and M Series. They are a great value for their price. However, the local dimming feature is indeed not very effective (see our reviews for details).
54
I am looking to buy a 42" smart TV for a Florida living/conservatory area of our home. What would be the most suitable TV?
In a bright room like yours, go for a Samsung LED like the UN40J6200. It has low reflectivity and can get bright. This is assuming you do not need a very wide viewing angle.

Update: Replaced selection with newer model.
42
I just purchased a 43" LG Ultra HD Smart TV for my bedroom. Do I really need a UHD TV that size, or should I just get a good 1080p TV? They of course sold me at the big box store, but I just purchased it yesterday and am considering returning it.
You'll be better off with a good 1080p TV. At that size, it will be really tough to see the difference in detail. Your best options are the Samsung J6300 or, if you'd prefer something priced a little lower, the Vizio E-series. They both have great picture quality.
39
I am looking for a 42" TV for a bright and large room. I love sports! Should I be going Smart or for a regular TV? What would you suggest for either one?
You probably don't need a smart TV, but almost all TVs are smart anyway. Get the Samsung UN40J6200. It doesn't reflect a lot of light and it can get bright, making it suitable for a room with windows.
30
Was pretty sure the Samsung J6300 would become the 2015 Best Picture Quality 40-42-43" 1080P TV, so was surprised to see the Vizio E43-C2 selected instead. Hard to understand, since the only rating where the Vizio surpasses the J6300 is in video games. What other criteria did you use to make this selection?? My primary concern is picture quality, and I watch cable and an occasional DVD.
It doesn't look as though a 40" model of the TV is available. It doesn't appear on Amazon or on Samsung's website. Because of that, we went with the best TV we know is available at that size. We'll change our selection if ever a 40" model becomes available.
Update: The Samsung UN40J6300 is a Best Buy exclusive. It's indeed a better TV overall than the E-series, but since it's not available on Amazon, we aren't listing it here.
21
I'm looking for a 40" 1080p screen with good contrast, motion blur, input lag, and no black level issues at all. Can you help me?
Unfortunately, that TV doesn't exist. Every LED TV has uniformity issues, and we haven't encountered any 1080p TVs this year that we would describe as having high-end picture. You'll need to compromise a bit on what you're looking for.
If you don't mind slightly higher input lag than ideal, the Samsung UN40J6200 would be a good choice for a TV. It has really good contrast, black uniformity, and motion handling. If you want better input lag, the Vizio E40-C2 is the best option, though its black uniformity is a bit worse.
16
I'm buying a 40" Visio E-series TV. Can I use a wireless keyboard with it? I type better than I text. If not, are there any comparable TVs that will allow keyboard use?
Yes, you can use a USB wireless keyboard with it.
16
We are very frustrated. We have generally watched TV (mostly Comcast cable) in our TV room on a 46" Panasonic plasma (which we dearly love) and a older 36" Toshiba CRT, which we just retired. Since the CRT was installed in an armoire type cabinet, the widest left-to-right (not diagonal) replacement TV that can fit in the cabinet is 41.75" (snug). With that in mind, we just installed a Vizio M43-C1, but have found the viewing angle, compared to the CRT and the plasma, to be abysmal. So much so that it's going back to the store. We would have installed a plasma, if we had been paying attention to plasmas being universally discontinued. We are simply stymied, at finding the widest possible viewing angles from a 40-42-43" diagonal LCD-LEDs conversely suffering from any or all of "bad black level", "poor contrast", "poor uniformity", 720P vs. 1080P, etc.... Can you recommend "ANY" 40-42-43" (diagonal) set that provides a wider viewing angle (then the M43's very narrow 19-degrees), without suffering from overall poor picture quality.....even when viewing straight-on? I am simply amazed that the average TV purchaser (myself included) (the folks who don't want to miss two house payments in order to buy a good set) are readily accepting that the state-of-the-art in TVs today allows only one person (the guy in the center) to see a good picture.
There are simply no LED TV on the market that has both great contrast ratio and good viewing angle. Plasma TVs were excellent for these two criteria, but unfortunately they are discontinued. Now, you have to compromise. You can either go with a great contrast like your Vizio M43-C1, or a great viewing angle like found on the Sony X830C. It is indeed very unfortunate... Hopefully the OLED technology will catch on, because it excels at both of these.
16
I'm confused reading the comments. I need a 40 - 43 " TV in a super bright room with lots of windows with a good viewing angle. What do you recommend? I want one with all the better features for my request
Unfortunately, we haven't seen any TVs this year that hit all of those criteria. We recommend going with the Samsung UN40J6200. It can get bright enough to handle most situations, and its overall picture quality is quite good. Its viewing angle is limited, but it will at least be watchable. None of the 40-43" TVs with wide viewing angles that we've seen this year have been great at handling bright lighting.
14
I'm buying Samsung un40h6350. I'm guessing it comes with a browser and that I can use a wireless keyboard with it. Is there any specific keyboard you recommend?
Yes it has a web browser and you can use a keyboard. However, it doesn't have Bluetooth. You will have to buy a wireless USB keyboard instead. This one, for example.
14
I am looking for a TV with good viewing angles, ideally 42" (but 40 to 49" will work), for use in a dark room (basement).
4k not needed, smart features are irrelevant - I just care about picture quality. Logical choice seems to be the LG LF6300 series at 43".
Is the 2015 43" LG still IPS (some Amazon reviews say no)? Any other reason to prefer 2014 vs 2015 6300 model (stand is different, anything else)? Other options? 2014 ViZio M series at 49" looks interesting.
We've also seen some claims that the 43" is not IPS. We'll investigate that the next time we see other sizes in a store. The 49" version is definitely IPS, though. Apart from the potential difference in panel type, there's not much difference between the different years. The 2014 Vizio M 49" is a better option (it reflects less light), so go for that if you can find it.
12
I am definitely considering the Vizio E43-C1 based on your high rating. Do you consider characteristics of reliability, warranty, owner feedback, etc, in your ratings? Two salesman at big box stores pooh-poohed Vizio in favor of higher priced 1080p 40-43" Samsung, LG and Sony models.
We don't currently use reliability data in our reviews, just because it's a very difficult thing to test when we are only able to review one unit per model. While Vizio has a bit of a reputation for being unreliable, the anecdotal feedback that we received doesn't support this claim.
12
What is the best TV to use for the best quality viewing with my cable service? I'm going back and forth right now between the Samsung UN40JU6300 or the VIZIO E40-C2. Comcast is my cable provider.
The J6300 has better upscaling, and it's also better for interlaced content, so it's the better of the two for watching cable.
9
Which TVs support 1080p 120Hz native input from a PC? Please consider adding this (starting with 38-42" :) ) The Samsungs, for example, do 4k @ 60Hz, or 1080p @ 60Hz, but even though the panel is true 120Hz, will not do 1080p @ 120Hz. :/
We list all the TVs that can do 1080p120 here, on our page for the best TVs for PC monitors.
9
Looking to buy a 40 to 43" smart TV, either the Samsung or Vizio. I'm not interested in any apps, but want to run movies from my laptop (new Toshiba Satellite) to view on the TV via a wireless router. Which TV would you recommend for easier wireless connection?
Get the Samsung J6200. It should support more kinds of files, which could be important for what you're looking to do. Note that you'll need to stream the videos via DLNA - network sharing won't work.
8
I am looking at the Vizio E43-C2 and the LG 43LF5900. Which is the better TV, or is there a better smart TV deal?
The Vizio E43-C2 is the best deal. It has great picture quality at a low price, and is our favorite budget model of the year. The LG is better for a wide viewing angle, but has worse overall picture quality. Only get the LG if you want to be able to watch TV from far off to the side.
7
I am looking to get the 2015 VIZIO E50-C1 50-Inch or the VIZIO M43-C1 43-Inch 4K. The size difference is seven inches and there's a price difference of roughly $100.00 to get the smaller M-series TV. The TV will be located in our basement, which has six windows that have blinds, and which has plenty of room for viewing. Can you recommend which one you would prefer?
Seven inches is a pretty big difference, and it's tough to get the full benefit of 4k resolution with TVs 50" and under. The E50-C1 is a better choice.
7
Does anyone make a 40" 1080p LCD television that measures (with stand) no more than about 21 1/4 inches high? 120Hz scan rate would be a plus?
None of the models we tested this year would fit the requirement. The closest we found is the Sharp LC-40LE653U that is still too high at 21.91". You would have to either get a smaller TV, use a wall mount or a custom made stand. 120Hz is not a necessity. It can help in smoothing motions with image interpolation but that also creates what we call the soap opera effect and some people don't like this. Compare TVs with and without in a store and you will see if you like it or not.
7
I just bought the LG 43lf5900 & the picture quality on some of the HD channels is not clear, such as words or numbers. None of the channels are clear as I expected, although Netflix looks great. Do you have calibration settings for this model?
We haven't reviewed that model, so we don't have specific settings to recommend at the moment. They shouldn't be too different from these, though, so try these out and see if the picture improves.
7
I'm looking for a 40"+ TV for the bedroom. Would be viewing the TV from approximately 11-12 feet away. While the Samsung UN40J6200 seems perfect, the Vizio E43-C2 and the Samsung UN43J5200 have larger screens. The TV will mainly be used for TV shows and movies from cable or streaming. Which TV would you recommend?
At that distance the larger size would be better and there is no better 43" 1080p TV than the Vizio E.
7
I am looking for a smart TV with built in DVD player, 40" plus. Does anyone make such a TV? And are they any good?
Nowadays very few TVs include a DVD player. We haven't reviewed any, and they are generally not made by the well known TV brands. There are some options available here.
6
I am looking to buy a UHD 4k television monitor - 40" - to use primarily for my desktop PC. I am not a gamer, but will use for video streaming, word processing, surfing the internet, etc. I was told that since a 40" 4k TV is not that much more expensive than a 28" 4k computer monitor, the TV would be the better deal, especially since they are both in 4k anyway. I was also told that the LG or Sony would be better than the Samsung this year, because of refresh rates, signal speed, etc. Any suggestions?
For what you need (4k @ 60 hz @ chroma 4:4:4), Sony and Samsung TVs are about equal. We list our favorite TVs for use as a PC monitor here.
6
I have an older Samsung 40 inch lcd. Sometimes when you turn it on the picture is particially double exposed and there is lines horizonily through the screen.When it warms up they will go away. Is it about to go out?
Other users have reported the same problem. It's hard to say if the TV is going away any time soon but it will probably go worse over time. Unfortunately, to fix the problem, the TV needs to be repaired.
6
I've been doing alot of research and it simply isn't clear. I'm looking for a TV that actually has the soap opera effect with a great picture. I'm torn between the Samsung UN40J6200 and the Vizio M43-C1. Room is not bright and viewing distance is about 7 feet.
Since the M43-C1 is a 60hz TV, the interpolation effect won't be great. For the M series, only 60" sizes and up are 120Hz. At your viewing distance, 4k wouldn't look really better neither so get the J6200.
6
Thank you for the response. I would like to now ask how the Vizio M43-C1 while not having HDR has a higher HDR rating that TVs that have HDR? Will I benefit from HDR gaming and movies with this TV even though it does not technically have HDR 10? Thanks
No, since it cannot decode the HDR metadata. The HDR rating is base on a series of base tests that we do on all the TVs that we review. Even if a TV does not support HDR, the tests results are still accounted for in the final TV ratings. We know it is a little confusing for the moment and we will update the way we show the results soon to make this more clear.
6
I wanna buy Lg 43UF770 4k LED TV and my viewing distance will be 5' to 6'. Is that okay for all way? Is this TV good in overall features.
Unfortunately, since this TV is not sold in America, we cannot really comment on the overall features and performance. But at your distance, an 43" TV would be okay, but a 50" would be even a better choice if you can afford it.
5
What calibration equipment do you use for your testing?
We test luminance with the Minolta LS-100 and we use a CR-250-RH spectrophotometer for calibrating the picture.
5
What about the Xiaomi Mi TV?
Unfortunately, since it doesn't appear to be available for purchase in the US, we won't be reviewing the Mi TV.
5
I am replacing the older TV in our motorhome. The current flat panel fits in a cabinet and the cabinet dimensions will accept several 40" LCD TVs. The problem is we need front firing speakers due to the tight fit in the existing cabinet. Any ideas?
We haven't seen any TVs in that size range that have front-facing speakers. If you can fit a soundbar in the cabinet, that would be a solution. Otherwise, maybe a wireless speaker set would work best.
5
Would you recommend 40" Sharp 1080p TVs? Any recommendations?
We're a bit hesitant to recommend Sharp TVs right now. As we noted on our 'Sharp' page, 'Sharp has now sold its Mexican TV factory to Hisense, as well as the right to use Sharp branding on the TVs it sells in the Americas, beginning next year.'
We don't know how this is going to impact support for current-run TVs, so we're holding off on recommending Sharp models for the time being. If you want a good budget TV, go for the Vizio E-series instead. The quality is very good, and Vizio shouldn't be going anywhere.
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