You want to buy a new TV, but you don’t have the budget for a high-end device and still want the new TV to have good features? That’s no problem, since there are also good TVs in the lower-priced range that are well suited for both home cinema and gaming. Which inexpensive devices come into question? We have put together a small selection for you here.
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The best budget TV: Hisense U7G
When it comes to a budget, the Hisense U7G is the best choice for you. The Chinese manufacturer is known for offering inexpensive TVs that are also packed with exciting features that are usually only found in the high-priced segment of other manufacturers. The U7G is especially suitable as a good all-rounder because it scores well in all areas.
The Vertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panel delivers a contrast of 6300:1, as well as deep blacks, thanks to Full Array Local Dimming. Combined with a peak brightness of 950 SI unit of luminance: 1 nit = 1 cd/m2 – The best way of measuring and comparing a TVs brightness and the wide color gamut, High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) content looks terrific. These can be further optimized by the dynamic HDR formats Dynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits and License-free, dynamic HDR-format in competition with Dolby Vision. Unfortunately, the viewing angle is narrow as usual, which means the TV is not intended for a larger group, as the picture quickly looks pale from an oblique angle.
Both the motion handling and the gaming features are convincing. There is hardly any motion blur and with an HDMI 2.1 port, the TV is ready for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. [email protected], low input lag, Auto Low Latency Mode – Automatically detects connected consoles and keeps input lag as low as possible. and Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card via Variable Refresh Rate with AMD graphics cards or consoles promise hours of gaming fun.
The mediocre sound can be quickly remedied with a soundbar, since the U7G supports both Multi-channel-sound-system (Surround Sound) competing with Dolby Digital and Object-based surround sound format with 3D-Sound from any direction and has an HDMI eARC port. Hisense also does everything right in terms of Smart TV and provides a smoothly running operating system with Android 10.
With the release of the LG A1, the Korean manufacturer has brought an inexpensive OLED to the market, which means you can enjoy the perfect black and the theoretically infinite contrast at home even with a smaller budget. Although it can only be seen as a light version of an OLED due to the lack of features, it is still an exciting candidate.
In addition to the typical OLED picture quality, the viewing angle is habitually wide, making the TV suitable for a very large seating area. Unfortunately, it does not get quite as bright with 500 nits, but the color space coverage can make up for it quite a bit here.
However, those who like to gamble a lot with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X should reach for another TV. The LG A1 only has a 60 Hz panel and hardly any gaming features, which is why you should limit yourself to the older consoles.
If you want it to be even cheaper, we can recommend the entry-level Hisense U6G. It is almost unbeaten in this price segment when it comes to picture quality.
Thanks to the Full Array Local Dimming, it achieves a contrast of 4750:1 and a deep blacks. Additionally, the U6G has the dynamic HDR formats Dolby Vision and HDR10+, which further optimizes the picture. They are also features that are rarely found in this price segment. Only the narrow viewing angle has to be mentioned negatively here.
Even gamers get their money’s worth from the TV, albeit with restrictions. If you play a lot with the new consoles and want to get the full potential out of it, you won’t be happy with the Hisense U6G. HDMI 2.1 and VRR are missing, which is why you should rather stick with the older consoles. Android 10 also turns the TV into an excellent Smart TV that hardly leaves anything to be desired.
The best budget TVs in comparison
The best budget TV:
2x HDMI 2.1 ([email protected])
HDR10 HLG HDR10+ Dolby Vision
LG A1 OLED
HDR10 HLG Dolby Vision IQ Dolby Vision
HDR10 HLG HDR10+ Dolby Vision
Other noteworthy budget TVs
The Sony X80J is another budget TV that delivers a good overall package in the price segment. The built-in ADS panel unfortunately does not provide such a good contrast, but the viewing angle is very wide. Unfortunately, the TV is not very bright either, but Sony can score with a very good color fidelity thanks to Triluminos Pro, which is especially visible in Standard Dynamic Range – image/video with a conventional gamma curve (opposite: HDR) – “normal” videos content. Tones like skin tones are very natural, making movies and series look as the creators intended.
Unfortunately, the Sony X80J cannot convince in the gaming field, since it does not come with HDMI 2.1 ports or Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card. However, retro players will be happy about an analog connection and those who still play on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One will also have fun with the Sony X80J.
It does not always have to be high end
Cheap does not always have to be bad
Owning the best of the best seems to be the be-all and end-all for many, but it doesn’t always have to be the most expensive device to enjoy a movie at home. Even for gaming, you don’t necessarily have to own a high-end TV to spend fun hours in front of the television. Unfortunately, this is often suggested, but it always depends on the individual needs that every user has for a TV.
However, if you have to keep an eye on the budget, you naturally want to tickle the best out of each segment, which works well with the all-rounders. Here, you should pay particular attention to a high contrast so that an exact and sharp picture can be created. OLED TVs unfortunately always have the edge, but an LCD = Liquid Crystal Display – a type of screen using liquid crystals for creating the image TV can also do a good job here. A high contrast is necessary to display High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) content well, which is why features like Dynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits and License-free, dynamic HDR-format in competition with Dolby Vision are always good as well.
You only want a TV for gaming with the newest consoles and you are on a low budget? Then make sure you get an HDMI 2.1 port, because only then the full power of the consoles can be used. On a positive note, gaming plays an increasingly important role when it comes to TVs, so even inexpensive TVs are equipped with the appropriate connections. But even if the TV still has a 2.0 port, the new consoles can be used without problems. [email protected] is not possible then, but not every gamer needs this spec. Especially if you prefer to play on the older consoles or with a Nintendo Switch on the TV, you do not have to have an HDMI 2.1 port. A low response time and low input lag is enough here.
A good, smoothly running operating system is also always a good point of reference, because many users just need a good smart TV. Even very inexpensive TVs are usually well-equipped and offer all streaming services, so you can dive straight into binge watching the newest TV show.
Eyes open when buying a TV
Generally, you should keep an eye on deals to discover a bargain and also keep an eye on the price development of the respective models. But there are also other tips and tricks to find a good, and cheap TV.
A good tip is to buy models from the previous year. These are not directly worse than the new models by lengths, but usually a lot cheaper, since space in the warehouses must be created for the new TVs. Here you can possibly get a high-end model at a more affordable price.
You can also save on the size of the TV, because the price is usually based on the area of the display. Ergo, the larger the display, the more expensive the device. Here, it can be worthwhile to choose a smaller size in order to achieve a lower price.
Frequently asked questions about cheap TVs
Most manufacturers present their latest models at the beginning of the year at CES in Las Vegas before they are released in the first months of the year. Accordingly, prices are highest at the beginning of the year. Therefore, the best prices can be achieved in the fall months through December, as not only is the Christmas season beckoning, but manufacturers are already preparing for the next cycle. It is also worth waiting for the period after Christmas, because then there are also cheaper prices.
This question cannot be answered across the board, since everyone has different needs for their new TV. A good smart TV with a fast operating system and good upscaling is sufficient for regular TV and watching a few series on Netflix. For someone who wants to play for hours on their TV and still enjoy the ultimate home theater fun in their own living room, they have to dig much deeper into their pockets here. You still have to pay more for an OLED than for an LCD = Liquid Crystal Display – a type of screen using liquid crystals for creating the image TV, even though the models have become cheaper in the meantime.