If you wanted to buy a great LCD TV a few years ago, chances were you wouldn’t be able to locate any that were under $500. Although the top models are still more expensive, depending on your needs, you can discover models in this price range that will serve you well.
Keep in mind that most models come in a variety of sizes, so if you’re looking for the best TV under $500 but don’t want to compromise on quality, a smaller-sized set is always an option.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re seeking for the greatest TV under $500 — our list should include something for everyone looking for a fantastic TV on a budget.
There are a few things to look for in a $500 or less television. Gone are the days when you had to pay a lot of money to get a 4K resolution; nowadays, unless you’re spending less than $150, any new TV you buy should be 4K.
Beyond that, consider the operating system and smart features you want: some TVs in this price range come with Roku built in, for example, but brands like Vizio and Samsung produce their own smart TV systems.
Are you in the market for a new television? Don’t forget to check out our guides to the greatest TV, the best 4K TV, the best OLED TV, the best 65-inch TV, the best 55-inch TV, and the best 40-inch TV.
All of the above should allow you to download all or most of your favorite streaming platforms, such as Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and so on. However, if you plan on using an external streaming device, such as an Apple TV or NVIDIA Shield TV, this won’t be an issue because you won’t be interacting with the built-in operating system very often.
In the last two years, we’ve tested over 60 TVs, and here are our top picks for the best TVs under $500. You might also be interested in our choices for the best budget TVs and the best 48-49-50 inch TVs, as well as the best 4k TVs under $1,000 if you don’t mind paying a little more.
Our Editor's Choice
10 Best Smart TVs under 500 – 2021 Reviews
We’ve been told to stay at home in the age of the coronavirus, which means we’re watching more TV than ever. At the same time, the economy is in a slump, and many Americans are facing financial difficulties.
Because of this, you may be seeking for TV discounts in order to purchase a new television without spending a lot of money. The good news is that a second TV, or a new primary set that allows you to move your present model to a different room, is less expensive than you may imagine.
Because they offer good image quality and enormous proportions, most of CNET’s finest TVs cost more than $500, although there are a few exceptions. Below are TVs that we recommend as the best TV under $500, as well as one that costs $50 more. The picture quality is adequate on the majority of them, and superb on the more expensive ones. It’s entirely up to you.
Best TV Under $500 With Wide Viewing Angles: LG 55UN7000PUB
The LG 55UN7000PUB is the greatest TV under $500 that we’ve tested with wide viewing angles. The IPS panel on the 55-inch model we tested ensures that the image is accurate even when seen from the side. The 50 and 60 inch models are also available for about $500, but they have different panel types, so we can’t say how well they work.
This is a simple entry-level television that works best for watching TV programmes or sports. Even though it doesn’t get bright enough to prevent glare, it has excellent reflection control, so it works nicely in a room with a few lights. It has no trouble upscaling lower-resolution video, but its RGBW sub-pixel structure prevents it from displaying a perfect 4k image. As a result, it’s better for watching cable TV or DVDs than the latest 4k movies, which is to be anticipated for such a low-cost TV. The webOS operating system is simple to use and has a large number of programs accessible for download.
Unfortunately, because of its IPS display, it’s not ideal for watching movies in dim lighting. Because it has a poor contrast ratio and no local dimming, blacks seem gray in the dark. Despite the fact that it supports HDR10, it isn’t suitable for watching HDR video because it lacks a wide color gamut and poor HDR brightness. Regardless of these flaws, if you’re searching for a low-cost TV with wide viewing angles for about $500, this one should suffice.
- It has a 49-inch UHD IPS LED screen, which offers the possibility to enjoy excellent image quality thanks to its resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Besides, it has Active HDR technology that provides more realistic colors.
SMALLER ALTERNATIVE: SAMSUNG UN43TU8000FXZA
Check out the Samsung UN43TU8000FXZA if you need a smaller game TV for your space. It lacks VRR compatibility and has a slower response time than the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020, however it is larger (43 inches) and has a greater contrast ratio than the Vizio. It generates inky blacks that appear amazing in the dark despite the lack of a local dimming feature. It also boasts a reduced input lag, making gaming feel more responsive.
It doesn’t get extremely bright, despite having good reflection handling, thus it may struggle with glare in bright settings. Because of the narrow viewing angles, the image appears washed out from the side. Keep in mind that we only tested the 55-inch model, but the 43-inch should function similarly.
Finally, if you’re looking for a TV under $500 with VRR support and a fast response time for gaming, the Vizio is the way to go, but the Samsung is a smaller option with an even greater contrast ratio.
It has dimensions of 92.8 x 9.3 x 55.1 cm and a weight of 10.9 Kg, which will allow you to enjoy your favorite content in a 40-inch format.
It has Dolby Digital Plus audio technology of 20 W of power, suitable for a more transparent sound.
It has Micro Dimming technology, which automatically regulates the color, brightness, and contrast of the image in each scene of the video.
It incorporates 2 HDMI ports, digital audio output, USB port, and CI Slot, to facilitate connection with other devices.
The installation and commissioning of this TV can be slow since it is necessary to download an application for it.
Best TV Under $500 For Gaming: Vizio M55Q7-H1
If you play a lot of video games, the Vizio M55Q7-H1 is the finest TV under $500. It’s a solid performer in its price range and a good overall TV from Vizio’s 2020 collection. Advanced gaming capabilities such as variable refresh rate (VRR) and an Auto Low Latency Mode are also included (ALLM). The SmartCast interface from Vizio is clunky and unreliable, but it’s one of the few ad-free smart platforms available. We tested the 65-inch model and expect the 55-inch model to perform similarly.
While the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, it should enough for console and PC players. It also boasts a rapid response time, minimum motion blur in fast-moving material, and a reduced input lag, resulting in a snappy gaming experience. It boasts a high contrast ratio that offers deep, inky blacks if you prefer to gaming in the dark. However, due to its modest brightness, you may experience glare in brightly light environments, despite its excellent reflection managing.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that it is promoted as having HDMI 2.1 ports, they only have HDMI 2.0 bandwidth capacity. It’s also not the best choice for HDR gaming, as its HDR brightness in ‘Game’ mode isn’t up to par, resulting in highlights that don’t pop as much as they should. Finally, although having full-array local dimming, its performance is subpar, decreasing the contrast ratio of the TV. Still, this is one of the finest gaming TVs under $500 for a budget TV, and most people should be happy with it.
It has a 32-inch screen, with HD quality of 1366 x 768 pixels and LED technology to provide a crisp image, with bright colors and more accurate to reality.
Allows connection with different electronic devices through the HDMI, USB, VGA, digital audio output, and headphones.
As an additional function, it incorporates a digital tuner DVB-T / T2 / C that allows to capture the signal of the different TV channels available in the European Union.
The sound quality is probably lower than expected on a TV of this type. However, it is enough to enjoy multimedia content from the comfort of your home.
ROKU ALTERNATIVE: TCL 55S535
Check out the TCL 55S535 if you prefer something with Roku TV as its smart operating system. Although the Roku interface is not as bright as the Hisense H8G, it is easier to use and delivers better menu scrolling than Android. In addition, the app store makes it simple to find your favorite programs. In terms of picture quality, the TCL is adequate and should satisfy the majority of users.
Because it has an excellent contrast ratio and a decent local dimming feature, it works best in dark or dim environments. Blacks appear deep and inky. It’s not the ideal choice for well-lit rooms, however, because it doesn’t get bright and the reflection handling is just average. It also has a wide color gamut for HDR video, albeit it may not get bright enough to make highlights pop.
If you’re looking for the greatest all-around TV under $500, the Hisense should suffice, but if you prefer Roku TV, the TCL should be considered.
For connection, this model has a large number of inputs, such as three HDMI and USB inputs, respectively, in addition to a signal tuner.
It has several functions to obtain a copy with better quality, in addition to having a 4K UHD resolution.
According to the manufacturer, this model belongs to category A, which allows for better electricity consumption.
The TV incorporates essential accessories for a better user experience, such as the remote control and the base to place it on a table.
Some users mention that the Smart TV functions that this model has been a bit limited, considering this as a negative aspect.
Best 4k TV Under $500: Hisense 55H8G
The Hisense 55H8G is the greatest 4k TV under $500 that we’ve tested. It performs admirably considering its low price, and its thin bezels give it a more premium appearance than its low price would suggest. It makes use of the Android TV smart interface, which offers you access to a big number of apps and allows for a great deal of customisation, although it isn’t always the most user-friendly.
It has a great natural contrast ratio, which is boosted even more by the full-array local dimming feature, which is unusually good for this price range. This makes it ideal for watching movies in a dark area, and its high peak brightness means that even if you watch a lot of daytime TV in a bright room, you shouldn’t get too much glare. Its rapid response time, which results in little motion blur and low input latency, should appeal to both casual and hardcore players.
Unfortunately, like with most VA panel models, its viewing angles are limited, so it’s not the ideal choice for watching with a large group of people in a broad seating configuration. Also, while its wide color gamut is appropriate for HDR video, it can’t reach nearly as bright as some more expensive options with HDR content, so HDR images don’t jump as much as they could. That said, this is a fantastic value for the money, and it’s the greatest TV under $500 we’ve ever tested.
This equipment belongs to the A ++ category of energy efficiency, which is one of the highest in the classification scale, which implies a rational use of electricity.
The TV has various connectivity options, including wireless connection via WiFi, two USB ports, two HDMI ports, etc.
This model can reproduce the images with sufficient quality, being of Full HD resolution.
Among the elements added in the purchase of this TV, its remote control stands out, as well as small bases that work as a table stand.
As buyers have expressed, it may happen that the model does not allow specific applications to be installed, so it should be informed about it before making the purchase.
Vizio V-Series (VX Series) (40, 43, 50, 55, 58, 65-inches)
The Vizio V-Series may be the way to go if you want the Vizio experience but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
You won’t get the same quantum dot technology or overall image quality, but you will get a lot of the same smart features, like AirPlay and Chromecast support for convenient streaming from other devices.
Even better, the Vizio V-Series is extremely inexpensive, with smaller models starting at just over $200. That makes it the smartest TV in its price range by a long shot.
Vizio M-Series Quantum (MQ Series) (50- and 55-inches)
The Vizio M-Series has shown to be a wonderful method to access smart TV features without having to pay for external streaming devices time and time again.
The M-Series not only provides superb image quality, but it also includes built-in functions such as AirPlay and Chromecast, as well as the ability to control it with your voice via Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
The TV is brilliant and lively in terms of image quality, due to quantum dot technology, and it also supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, as well as having 90 local dimming zones.
The Vizio M-Series is one of the few televisions on this list with a passable audio system. External speakers or a soundbar will always sound better, but the Vizio M-Series’ built-in speakers will suffice in a pinch.
Samsung Q60T (43-inch and 50-inch)
Samsung was one of the first companies to employ QLED technology, and as a result, it produces some of the greatest QLED TVs available.
While the larger Q60T variants can cost considerably more than $500, they are normally around $500, if not a bit more. And, if you’re willing to stretch your budget, the Q60T is the way to go: it has the benefits of QLED technology, including bright, vivid colors, as well as the ability to go bright enough for most viewing.
In its pricing range, the Q60T is unquestionably a good choice, but it isn’t ideal. Its image processing technology isn’t as good as some other Samsung QLED TVs, and it employs edge lighting rather than back lighting, which reduces brightness and affects viewing angles.
Still, with good image quality and Samsung’s Tizen operating system integrated in, the Samsung Q60T is a great choice.
TCL 5-Series QLED TV (50- and 55-inches)
TCL is another brand that has dominated the affordable TV market in recent years, as evidenced by the TCL 5 Series.
The TV is the cheapest QLED TV available, which means it has improved image saturation and therefore more bright colors. In addition, the TV features full array local dimming, which results in deeper black levels.
In terms of software, the TCL 5 Series includes Roku TV, which lets you install your favorite streaming apps. It also supports Dolby Vision for a more immersive viewing experience on approved material.
Even while it performs admirably at this price range, the TCL 5 Series isn’t ideal. The TV isn’t as bright as we’d like, it’s not excellent at upscaling HD material to 4K, and the 60Hz refresh rate means motion isn’t as fluid as some gamers would want – but these are minor gripes with what is otherwise a very competent and affordable 4K TV.
Hisense H8G (50-inch and 55-inch)
Hisense has been on a roll in recent years, producing and launching some of the best TVs on the market, and the H8G is no exception.
The TV is available in sizes up to 65 inches, but if you want to keep under $500, you’ll have to settle for 55 inches. That’s by no means a modest amount of television, and it should suffice for the vast majority of living rooms.
Beyond the basic screen size, the TV features a 4K resolution and supports HDR and Dolby Vision, so whatever you watch should have a good dynamic range. Also included with the TV is Android TV, which will hopefully be upgraded to Google TV in the near future.
The Hisense H8G Quantum is the way to go if you want an outstanding TV in the sub-$500 price category. It doesn’t have the most unusual look, and the built-in audio quality isn’t the best, but if you want an amazing TV in the sub-$500 price range, the Hisense H8G Quantum is the way to go.
How to use -Best Smart TVs Under 500
The new generations no longer have to get up from their seats to change the TV channel; do not press buttons on the remote control. The digital era has reached the main entertainment center, even to change its name. In Smart TV we no longer only watch movies or the daily programming of the channels, because now the contents are almost endless.
Have internet connection
This is the main thing when you think of a Smart TV. If you do not have access to an internet connection, it will be useless to have a high-tech device like this. These devices have been designed to connect to the Internet through a WiFi network so you can make the most of all its advantages.
It is recommended that the connectivity be excellent, that is, that it can process the right amount of bytes per second so you can browse and enjoy the content you want to see.
Variety of interfaces
In this type of device, you can watch traditional television or use the range of interfaces available to connect it to other equipment; For example, Blu-ray, flash drives, game consoles, among others. Navigation is very intuitive, so your experience will be enjoyable, and you can enjoy all the entertainment offered by Smart TV.
Connect to the Internet
Being able to connect to the Internet is the most significant advantage offered by a Smart TV since you can access the browsers and expand the variety of content provided by this tool. When you use it for the first time, you must configure the TV connected to your network, and then the device will do it automatically every time you turn it on.
Connect to the websites of online chains that offer exclusive content. The programming that you can see will be infinite when you connect to the network so that you can see the genres of your choice in movies, series, sports, musicals, and much more.
Social networks also on TV
Smart TVs increase interactivity to astronomical levels. With its interfaces, you can also connect directly to your social media accounts so you can comment and share what you see in real-time. In this way, you can interact with other users and exchange opinions.
Install the applications you need
If you are a fan of apps, you can not only have them on your smartphone but also your TV, so you don’t miss anything that happens in games, social networks, weather information, and more. You can even use Skype on your Smart TV to communicate with whoever you want, whenever you want.
Now you can control your Smart TV in some models through voice commands and gestures, so forget about the remote control, this only applies to some equipment. If you want to change the channel, tell the TV with your voice and, automatically, you will have the content you want to watch. And for internet browsing, just stand in front of the Smart TV and move your hands to slide the windows as you want.
The most popular brands -Best Smart TVs Under 500
Although it seemed a utopia a short time ago, today, the TV market is mostly occupied by Smart TVs. Televisions have a network connection and an internal interface with which we can access online multimedia content, web pages, and much more, with the quality and level of detail of a screen that is small if it exceeds 40 inches. It offers excellent quality. Let’s look at some of the leading manufacturers in this segment.
Although few people know, the Korean brand LG owes its name to the Goldstar and Lucky brands. These brands are those that this manufacturer began to use to sell its products in Europe and the United States, being unified under the LG emblem in 1995. However, its beginning dates back to 1945, with products for consumer electronics of all kinds. , reaching its peak with the Asian boom of the 80s.
His broad commitment to technology has led him to develop all kinds of products in this market, ranging from DVDs or soundbars to imaging equipment. Since LG manufactures both televisions and monitors, we can find models that range from 19 or 22 inches to other products that reach 84 inches in Ultra HD format.
Many of its televisions incorporate Smart TV technology, with which you can browse or watch your favorite YouTube videos without having to move from the sofa.
Samsung is a company based in South Korea, which was founded in 1938 as a company dedicated to food, even with different agri-food factories offering all kinds of products. However, its electronic sector appears in 1969, committing itself entirely to the manufacture of all types of elements, although with particular emphasis on televisions, monitors, and other related components, although its catalog of products ranges from image and sound to computer science.
In the television segment, it was the creative brand of products such as the first 24-inch CRT monitors and the first plasma televisions marketed in the market, currently occupying the second place in the companies that sell TVs, behind the also Korean LG, which we will talk about next.
However, the company continues its evolution, which has led it to develop a unique system for its Smart TV, which turns out to be especially appreciated by consumers for its simplicity and comfort. The integration of this smart technology in their televisions has earned him numerous awards and awards.
This manufacturer of electronic products is the creator of the first Smart TV with Android technology that hit the market. This breakthrough had its presence in 2014, serving as a starting point for the Philips brand itself to make many advances in the sector, to unify the entertainment of our entire home through WiFi technologies, to go what other brands also joined similar developing products.
However, this culmination of technology comes after many years of work. The company’s origins are much older, accurately dating from 1891, at which time the company is established in the Netherlands to devote to the manufacture of incandescent lamps.
Later, the company focused on the world of audio and image, starting to make radios and other similar products. As for television, his first research in the field dates back to 1922. From those first inventions to the high technology of his current Smart TVs, a lot of time has passed, but luckily we are here to enjoy it.
Frequently asked questions -Best Smart TVs Under 500
Q1: Which brand of Smart TV is better: LG or Sony?
Although LG has indeed been one of the pioneer brands in the flat TV and Smart TV sector, it is also true that Sony is one step ahead. Partly because the image and sound quality offered by their products is somewhat higher than what we can find in LG models, especially in cases where Bravia technology comes into play, as it is one of the highest standards Quality we currently observe. But also in regards to the Smart aspect, since Sony models have interfaces and a faster and more efficient navigation engine than LG models, which despite the excellent quality of the WebOS system, have a problem with Slow response that has not just responded.
Q2: Which brand of Smart TV is better: LG or Samsung?
Within the Smart TV brands of the market, if there are two models at a similar level are LG and Samsung. Something that causes the answer to this question to be accompanied by a depends. In the aspect of image quality, although Samsung is making great strides, LG still has a little advantage. The same applies to the price aspect, since LG TVs, as a direct panel manufacturer, are somewhat cheaper than Samsung’s, especially in similar and large models. The main advantage of Samsung is in the integration of the mobile and in the smarter aspect of the product, where it offers a wide variety of applications and a more fluid operation than LG models. In the end, the answer lies in the aspects that may interest you most in the process of the product.
Q3: How to connect my Smart TV to PC?
To get this connection, we have two options. The simplest is to do it using an HDMI cable so that the PC becomes an image source that adapts automatically to show the best results on the screen. If this option is not viable, you can choose to do it via WiFi or Ethernet connection, for which you need an application that allows you to “mirror” or directly project what you see on the PC screen on the TV. Many manufacturers now offer these PC applications that facilitate the configuration process in a couple of clicks. If your manufacturer does not have this option, you also have apps and even browser extensions that allow you to perform these functions. It’s just a matter of finding an option compatible with your TV
Q4: How can I use my mobile as a remote control for Smart TV?
Currently, almost all Smart TV manufacturers have apps that allow you to use your mobile as a remote control for your TV. You just have to access the page of the manufacturer of your TV or the market of your mobile (Google Play or Apple Appstore) and find the application compatible with your TV and your mobile. Usually, it will be necessary for both products to be connected to the same network to achieve remote control properly.
Q5: I can’t connect my Smart TV to the Internet. How do I do it?
First, you must verify the connections. If you are trying to connect over WiFi, check that the network parameters such as passwords and users are correct and that the network is available. If it fails, try a direct-wired connection. In case of problems, you can also turn to the attendees that include the televisions and who prey to carry out tests and verifications to try to detect what the problem is when making the connection. If the problems persist and you cannot find a solution, you will have to use the manufacturer’s consultation line to help you connect the product.
Buying Guide – What is the Best Smart TVs under 500 on the market?
Television in our homes has played a vital role in recent decades. Today, with the widespread of the Internet and the possibility of enjoying content on-demand, its role has changed.
This guide to buying the Best Smart TVs under 500 allows you to pay attention to those essential details when choosing, as well as to avoid getting lost in hundreds of technical details that probably mean nothing to us.
Screen resolution and measurements
Since not all houses are equal, it is necessary to adjust the screen size to the dimensions of the room where you are going to place the television. The larger the screen size, the better you can view the different contents that you can access.
Do not forget to check the screen resolution, and it is convenient to choose at least one product with Full HD resolution. The HD Ready option has already become outdated, and although 4K is the best today, it is not cheap, nor can you get the most out of it because of the lack of content in this format.
To take advantage of a Smart TV, we must be able to connect our television to the Internet. It is essential to be able to communicate at a speed of at least 6 Mbps so that the images look smooth and good quality.
Most Smart TVs include two ways to connect to the Internet: the first through an Ethernet type port, also called a LAN connection. In this way, the TV is connected to a router through an Ethernet cable. This type of relationship is more stable, so if you are going to use the Smart TV a lot to watch videos and movies, it is probably the best option so that there are no cuts. However, this type of connection has the disadvantage that the Router has to be near the TV or you will have to use a very long cable.
The second way is to connect via WiFi. This is that we will connect to the Internet through the wireless signal of a router. If your budget does not allow you to buy a smart TV with the ability to connect wirelessly, you can purchase an adapter for this purpose later.
Smart TV Navigation
To navigate on a Smart TV, you can do it using the remote control or using a keyboard just like the one used for a computer or tablet. Therefore, before buying a specific model, it is essential that you know what the interface used by said manufacturer to access the Internet is, browse, select, etc. and the possibilities that next to the command it offers you.
It is also essential that you find out if this manufacturer has any application that you can install on your mobile phone to control the Smart TV. This can be very useful to control the TV since you will have access to a conventional keyboard from which you can type more quickly than if you had to do it from the remote control. Besides, this application is also useful for maintaining control if the command fails or is lost.
Almost all Smart TVs include DLNA technology, the acronym for its name in English “Digital Living Alliance Network, “with which you can create networks to share content. Your Smart TV must have this feature if you are interested in being able to enjoy the contents of your computer or your mobile on your TV.
Complementary and compatible applications
Each brand will offer you different own or third-party applications that can be used on your Smart TV, within which you will find all kinds of resources such as games, videos, educational apps, lifestyle, etc. Of course, how critical these applications are for you will depend on your tastes and needs. There is also a growing interest in smart TV brands in integrating social networks as part of television as a center for personal and family entertainment.
Apart from these characteristics, a Smart TV can have 4k or only have HD, and it can have or not 3D, it can have a higher or lower image refresh rate; All these characteristics will influence the price of the same, but in terms of its ability to connect to the Internet, the most important thing is to have a fast and stable internet connection and that the way to use it is as simple as possible.