Affordable options for movie marathons, gaming sessions, and everything else.
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When it comes to home cinema technology, there’s no doubt about it: We’re living in the future. Nowadays, you can find absolutely enormous 8K TVs with incredible sound systems, stylish designs, and more smart features than you can handle. Not everyone needs that level of tech though, and most people can’t afford to drop thousands of pounds on a super hi-spec television set.
There’s nothing wrong with a more basic TV — something with decent picture quality, crisp sound, and some useful smart functions. There are plenty of TVs that tick all of these boxes, and most are available at low prices.
The trouble with finding cheap TVs is that there is so much on offer, making it difficult to pick a favourite. We know the struggle, so we’ve tried to help you out. Here’s some useful information to get you started.
What is a smart TV?
It’s rare to find a TV these days that doesn’t boast some kind of smart features. In the simplest terms, it’s a TV that connects to the internet and supports a variety of entertainment apps. That means you’ll be able to watch streaming platforms such as Netflix or YouTube as well as regular digital channels.
Some smart TVs support other features, such as voice assistant — look out for TVs with Alexa or Hey Google, which eliminates the need for a remote control — or connectivity to other devices and smart home systems.
What is 4K?
4K is shorthand for ultra-high definition (UHD) resolution. At 3840 x 2160 pixels (sometimes just labelled as 2160p), it has around four times the pixels of regular high definition, which is 1080p. It’s named 4K because the pixels width is almost 4,000.
Can you find cheap 4K TVs?
Many televisions these days have 4K. It’s very nearly the standard above a certain price point. However, not all the TVs in this roundup have 4K resolution, because we’re talking real budget options for the most part. You can get cheap 4K TVs but may need to spend £100 or more for the pleasure.
What is HDR?
This is a term you’ll see a lot when shopping for TVs. It means High Dynamic Range. It essentially refers to the contrast levels between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks. The better the dynamic range, the more lifelike and vivid the colours will be. There are here various types of HDR, including HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision.
What TV features are the most important for gamers?
Look out for TVs that have specific gaming modes, which usually have a low input lag (reducing the time between you press a button on the controller and the action paying out on the screen) or TVs with a HDMI 2.1 port. This is the fastest type of HDMI connection and is used to connect next-gen gaming consoles.
What is the best cheap TV?
We have lined up a selection of the best cheap TVs from top brands like Toshiba, Philips, and Hisense. These models are not going to top the charts when it comes to specifications or features, but they might surprise you with what they can do.
We’ve found cheap TVs for movie marathons, gaming sessions, streaming, and just about everything else. There is something for everyone and every situation on this list, whether you’re looking for a TV for university or the spare room in your house. We’ve got you covered.
These are the best cheap TVs in 2022.
Best For Sound
The Hisense 43A7100FTUK(opens in a new tab) offers a lot for the price, including 4K and HDR technology that supports HDR 10 and HLG formats. Those are the sorts of things you’d usually expect from far more expensive TV sets. Though it’s still on the pricier end of the budget scale.
You can enjoy all your favourite shows in stunning realism thanks to the quad core picture processing technology. Every type of sound is also perfected with DTS Studio Sound, which combines Volume Levelling Bass Enhancement, Speaker EQ, and Dialogue Enhancement technology. The picture quality is good, but the sound is better.
The VIDAA U 3 0 Smart TV platform lets you easily access entertainment from Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, and more. You can also control your TV via built-in Alexa.
Best For Wall Mounting
Mounting your TV on the wall is not just a current style, but also helps with a special kind of relaxation. You know what we mean: Getting that TV on a prime spot on the wall, tucking into a boxset, and putting your feet up for literally hours of entertainment.
If that sounds good to you, the Toshiba 43LK3C63DB(opens in a new tab) is a great choice because there’s an option to add a wall mount (though for a slightly higher price).
Though it’s not 4K, this TV has a full HD resolution and uses both HDR and Toshiba’s Tru Micro Dimming technology to sharpen the colours and contrast. Super Resolution technology also helps upscale non-HD content. It combines Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual to create a sound that’s worthy of the visuals, too.
As far as smart features go, it’s an up-to-date model. This includes access to entertainment apps and voice control via Alexa or Hey Google.
Best For Students
The LG 32LM630BPLA.AEK(opens in a new tab) enhances your viewing experience with the help of Active HDR technology, Dynamic Colour Enhancer, and Virtual Surround Plus sound.
The quad core processor supports advanced picture processing for impressive levels of brightness and clarity, and LG’s webOS Smart platform can be used to stream your favourite shows on sites like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+. It’s also compatible with LG’s Magic Remote, but this is sold separately.
It’s not the latest model, but the price point ensures that it’s still a popular choice. We’ve selected it as a good student buy for that very reason. Pretty much all the modern features you need — at a price that’s agreeable even if you’re living off a student loan.
The sturdy two-pole stand and minimal bezel frame also enhance the viewing experience, and complete a contemporary look that would suit just about any space.
Best For Gaming
The TX-50JX600B(opens in a new tab) features much of Panasonic’s best 4K picture technology, but doesn’t come with a scary price tag. This TV also features Dolby Vision support, so you get the best from 4K video streaming services, such as Netflix, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
That’s bolstered by Dolby Atmos sound, which creates a fully immersive listening experience — whether you’re watching the latest blockbuster, cheering along with your favourite sport, or enjoy a lengthy gaming session.
In fact, it’s a great all-round option for gamers. The TX-50JX600B boasts a dedicated gaming mode that reduces input lag and switches on the highest-quality picture settings. This ensures the picture and action are completely up to speed with your button mashing. Next-gen gaming is no problem thanks to a super-fast HDMI 2.1 connection.
You don’t even need to use a remote control. Alexa or Hey Google will do the channel changing for you. Just tell them what you want to watch.
Best For Beginners
The RCA RB32H1-EU(opens in a new tab) is not the most impressive TV on the market, but it’s decent, affordable, and compact. It’s also a fairly stylish option for anyone looking for something cheap and unobtrusive.
You can connect multiple devices with the three HDMI ports — that’s enough for a gaming console, DVD player, and sound bar — and it’s also equipped with a scart socket. That’s pretty old school by today’s standards, but it’s useful if you’ve got older DVD or even an old video recorder that’s still in use.
In fact, it’s got other old school-friendly plus points. The built-in tuner allows you to receive both an analogue and digital signals.
It’s not the most impressive list of features — you’ll want to look elsewhere (and spend more) for smart TV functions — but at this price, you can’t expect too much.
Best For Android
The TCL 32S5209K(opens in a new tab) is cheap, but it has a nice selection of features that make it exceptional value for money. It’s powered by the Android TV operating system, which not only gives you access to all the entertainment apps you need — Netflix, Disney, YouTube, and so on — it also makes this TV compatible with a wealth of Google-specific features.
Hey Google (for hands free voice control), Google Home (for integrating with a smart home), and Chromecast (for streaming directly from a phone or mobile device) are included. As for apps, you’ll find everything you need in the Google Play Store.
The picture doesn’t quite reach 4K levels but there’s plenty to see — quite literally. HDR10 and micro dimming technologies optimise the brightness, colour saturation, and contrast. Basically, it looks great. Dolby-enhanced audio delivers a clear and powerful sound.
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