The best budget TVs
2022/08

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 affordable OLED: LG

Besides LG’s C-series, the somewhat cheaper B-series is also an excellent alternative. Although one or the other feature has been saved in LG’s OLED B2, you get one of the best and cheapest OLED TVs on the market with this model.

LG OLED B2 test shot in the dark
Especially in dark surroundings, the B2 shows its potential.

Like its predecessor, the B2 features excellent picture quality and a perfect black level. In addition, there is a wide viewing angle, which makes the OLED a true home theater experience. In addition, there is the dynamic HDR format Dolby Vision IQ, which adapts scenes to the ambient light, which permanently ensures an optimal display.

The powerful processor helps the TV to display content smoothly and without annoying jerks. Navigating through the menus also works smoothly and quickly. Although the B2 is not quite as bright as its big brother, the difference is hardly noticeable, which is why you hardly have to make any concessions here.

LG OLED B2 Smart TV Features
The B2 is a full-fledged smart TV with many features.

The B2 also offers an extensive arsenal of gaming features and is positioned high in this league. If the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X is connected via one of the two HDMI 2.1 ports, the consoles have all the functions they need for ultimate gaming fun. In addition, the B2 also offers the dynamic format Dolby Vision Gaming, which gives Xbox Series X users a clear graphics advantage.

Of course, the B2 doesn’t have to hide when it comes to a comprehensive operating system. Because that is given with webOS 22 and with the help of the Magic Remote, you can reach all apps comfortably and intuitively. Whether streaming services, voice assistants or Apple services – the B2 is in no way inferior to its big brother. The B2 only lacks a Hands Free Voice Control function that allows you to speak directly with the device, just like the creation of individual user profiles.

LG
4K / UHD
120 Hz
2x HDMI 2.1
Compatible
LG A1 OLED
4K / UHD
60 Hz
No HDMI 2.1

LG’s A1 OLED is even cheaper, but compared to the other models, it can only be called a light version since some essential corners have been cut. However, if that does not bother you, this model is a good entry-level OLED for your living room.

One big difference is that the A1 only has a 60Hz panel instead of a 120Hz panel. Nevertheless, the TV offers the usual and brilliant OLED picture quality. Furthermore, the A1 has the same processor as the LG B1 OLED, which means it has enough power for image processing as well as optimization. LG’s cheapest OLED also features the dynamic HDR format Dolby Vision IQ.

The OLED is also quite suitable for gaming and only gaming enthusiasts will be bothered by the minor details. It lacks the 120Hz panel as well as HDMI 2.1 ports, which would really offer all features for the current consoles. In practice, however, it often looks different, which is why you can also connect the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X to the A1 without any problems. For all others, there is still the B1 or B2 as an alternative!

Affordable lifestyle TV: Samsung The Frame 2022

Directly from Samsung’s Lifestyle series comes “The Frame 2022”. Compared to the predecessor, the model from the 2022 lineup now has a matte anti-reflective coating instead of a glossy screen. The South Korean manufacturer deliberately took this step to make the display look even more like a screen. The included wall mount in slim-fit design additionally underlines this idea.

On top of that, you can replace the black bezels with other colors. However, you’ll have to buy matching covers separately. So that you do not have to search for murals for a long time, you can download suitable artworks via Samsung’s Art Store and drop them directly onto the panel – for a fee, of course.

You have to make concessions in terms of the panel and the backlight. Although the native refresh rate is 120 hertz, you will not find mini-LEDs or a local dimming function. Even though you should not expect miracles from the picture performance, the lifestyle TV performs better than expected in terms of gaming. Because The Frame 2022 comes with HDMI 2.1 connections, as well as associated functions that you would want for the current consoles.

Like its predecessor, the 2022 model is aimed at buyers who value a coordinated interior, but don’t want to miss out on a matching TV. Samsung goes one better and makes “The Frame 2022” even more of a work of art.

Samsung AU8000
4K / UHD
60 Hz
No HDMI 2.1

A good and inexpensive entry-level TV is the Samsung AU8079, which can convince with a wonderful price-performance ratio. The predecessor was already a popular entry-level TV, and even though you naturally have to do without some features, it is worth taking a closer look…

The built-in VA panel produces a good contrast and a deep, even black. SDR material is displayed well, which unfortunately does not apply to HDR content, since it does not look much different. However, you should not expect more here for the low price. Nevertheless, you get a really good picture for the price that can be seen in the living room.

Motion blur can occasionally occur due to the 60 Hz panel, especially when playing fast-paced games like shooters. Otherwise, you won’t notice any of that. Nevertheless, gaming on this TV is fun, even if you have to do without the advantages of an HDMI 2.1 port.

Samsung Q60A
4K / UHD
60 Hz
No HDMI 2.1

Anyone who wants a QLED usually has to dig deeper into their pockets. However, the Samsung Q60A is a solid allrounder for the living room that is quite inexpensive, especially in smaller sizes.

Of course, you have to make certain concessions here, but it is well equipped for everyday use. The installed VA panel primarily offers a convincing color gamut and good contrast. Furthermore, the TV produces a deep black, but the viewing angle is narrow. The lack of Dolby Vision and a missing local dimming function are drawbacks.

For gaming, the Q60A is conditionally suitable, but it offers a good platform for the old consoles or for casual gamers. There is no HDMI 2.1 port and the QLED only has a 60 Hz panel.

The best budget TVs in comparison

TVModel yearPanelResolutionHDMIHDRRating
TotalEquipment
Sizes

The best affordable OLED:

Recommended
LG
LG
2022 OLED4K/UHD
2x HDMI 2.1 ([email protected])
ARC eARC
HDR10 HLG Dolby Vision IQ Dolby Vision
Total
Equipment
Alternative
LG A1 OLED
Alternative:
LG A1 OLED
2021 OLED4K/UHD
ARC eARC
HDR10 HLG Dolby Vision IQ Dolby Vision
Total
Equipment

Affordable lifestyle TV:

Recommended
Samsung The Frame 2022
Samsung The Frame 2022
2022 VA4K/UHD
ARC eARC
HDR10 HLG HDR10+
Total
Equipment
Alternative
Samsung AU8000
Alternative:
Samsung AU8000
2021 VA4K/UHD
ARC eARC
HDR10 HLG HDR10+
Total
Equipment
Alternative
Samsung Q60A
Alternative:
Samsung Q60A
2021 VA4K/UHD
eARC
HDR10 HLG HDR10+
Total
Equipment

Other noteworthy budget TVs

Sony X80K

The Sony X80K is a good mid-range TV. This model offers a solid price-performance combination overall. Due to the comparatively low cost and the associated brightness deficits, however, HDR content is not shown to its best advantage. Ultimately, the display simply lacks brilliance. This also affects the sensitivity to reflections. Consequently, the screen has little to offer in the way of highlights.

Unfortunately, a good black level looks different and the image content appears more gray than deep black. The backlit LCD LED TV also lacks a local dimming function. Thus, brightness levels cannot really be displayed precisely on the panel.

However, the Sony can score points in color fidelity and a wide viewing angle. The low input lag is especially beneficial for gamers. However, the device does not offer VRR or HDMI 2.1. All in all, the X80K is a good budget device from the lower price range with an average picture performance.

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 TV can also do a good job here. A high contrast is necessary to display HDR content well, which is why features like Dolby Vision and HDR10+ 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 TV, even though the models have become cheaper in the meantime.

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