The Best 4K TV on a Budget

The Best 4K TV on a Budget

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Our pick

TCL 5-Series

TCL 5-Series

Best 4K TV on a budget

TCL’s 5-Series TV runs the easy-to-use Roku OS, and its great contrast ratio helps the picture look good with SD and HD sources.

Buying Options

$410 from Amazon
$610 from Staples

The TCL 5-Series produces a bright, punchy image, and it has a wonderful contrast ratio for an LCD/LED TV that lacks local dimming to more precisely adjust the backlight. The integrated Roku OS makes it one of the easiest TVs to use, and it supports every major streaming service. Gamers will appreciate the 5-Series’s low input lag, which means less time between when something happens in the game and when you see it on your screen. This year, TCL added support for automatic low-latency mode, so the Xbox One X and future gaming consoles can switch into game mode automatically. And if you watch over-the-air TV, you can even pause a program with the use of a basic USB flash drive. The 5-Series also works with the Roku TV Wireless Speakers, making it easy to upgrade the audio without having to add any wires. This TV supports the HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range formats, but its lack of local dimming means that we don’t consider it a true HDR TV.

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Runner-up

Vizio M-Series Quantum

Vizio M-Series Quantum

Great picture, mediocre features

The M-Series Quantum TV features local dimming and looks good with SDR and HDR sources, but its streaming platform isn’t as good as that of the competition.

Buying Options

$500 from Target
(55-inch)

The Vizio M-Series Quantum (models M657-G0, M557-G0, M507-G1, and M437-G0) is one of the only budget TVs to include both local dimming for improved contrast and quantum dots to produce the wider color gamut in Ultra HD movies. It had the best-looking SDR and HDR images of all the under-$500 50- and 55-inch 4K TVs we tested, but the local dimming is only moderately effective (compared with the higher-performance TVs in our Best LCD/LED TV guide) and works best in a completely dark room. Vizio’s integrated SmartCast streaming system is well behind Roku in both its app selection and ease of use. If you already use a different device for media streaming and just want the best overall image, the M-Series Quantum is the best choice under $500. (The M-Series Quantum line includes other models that offer different performance, and we discuss those in the Competition section, below.)

Hafta Ichi
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: The Best 4K TV on a Budget

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