The best TVs under $500 in 2024 (2024)

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Top TV models can get pricey, but there are great values out there if you know where to look. To help you find a reliable display without breaking the bank, our experts have compiled a list of the five best TVs under $500. Our picks are categorized by size, ranging from 43 to 70 inches, so both big and small spaces are accounted for.

We've focused on highlighting models that deliver the best performance available at each size while still meeting our price requirements. For example, buyers who want an excellent 65-inch display for under $500 should check out the Hisense U6K, the only 65-inch Mini LED TV sold at that price. Meanwhile, the TCL Q65 is the most impressive 43-inch TV in this price range thanks to its QLED panel, which enables a wide range of colors.

Our recommendations for the best TVs under $500 are based on a combination of hands-on testing and research informed by more than a decade of experience covering tech products.

Our top picks for the best TVs under $500

Best 70-inch: Insignia F30 - See at Amazon

Best 65-inch: Hisense U6K - See at Walmart

Best 55-inch: Roku Plus Series - See at Amazon

Best 50-inch: Hisense U6HF - See at Amazon

Best 43-inch: TCL Q65 - See at Amazon

Best 70-inch

The best TVs under $500 in 2024 (1)

Insignia 70-inch F30 4K TV

This Insignia TV is about as basic as 4K displays come, but it's one of the only 70-inch displays that's regularly sold for under $500. Home theater fans should look elsewhere, but buyers who just want a cheap big-screen TV for casual viewing should be satisfied.

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What we like

  • One of the most affordable TVs available in this size
  • Access to lots of streaming apps with the Fire TV OS
  • Includes an Alexa Voice Remote

What we don’t like

  • Limited contrast and elevated black levels
  • Doesn't support wide color gamut
  • Low peak brightness compared to pricier TVs

It's rare to find a 70-inch TV that sells for under $500. In fact, this entry-level Insignia model is one of the very few options that fits that bill. When viewed in this specific context, it's a solid value-forward display.

To be clear, you get what you pay for here, as this model makes some big compromises to keep its cost down. As such, we only recommend this for casual buyers who prioritize a large screen and low price above all else. The F30 uses a regular 4K LED panel without any extra bells and whistles like quantum dots, local dimming, or Mini LEDs. Those features are just not in the cards if you want a display this big at this price.

This means the TV's brightness, color, and contrast capabilities are as basic as they get. Black levels will veer more toward a gray or blue hue when watching the F30 in a dark room, and the TV can't dim or brighten specific areas. So, while the display can technically process high-dynamic-range (HDR) videos, it doesn't have the ability to get bright or dark enough to really showcase the benefits of HDR content. Likewise, it can't display the full range of colors that HDR videos are mastered for.

But that doesn't mean the F30 looks bad. The display can still handle live high-definition (HD) content just fine, and 4K standard-dynamic-range (SDR) streaming material is covered well. The F30's video app selection is also great thanks to its built-in Amazon Fire TV operating system (OS), and it has an Alexa voice remote, which is a nice perk at this price.

Ultimately, home theater fans are much better off stepping down a size and paying a little more for something like Hisense's U6K QLED TV, which can deliver a dramatic improvement in color and contrast. But as a casual channel-surfing display, the F30 is an affordable 70-inch option.

Best 65-inch

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Hisense 65-inch U6K QLED 4K TV

Hisense’s U6K is one of the best budget TVs you can buy. The 4K display boasts quantum dots, local dimming, and a Mini LED backlight to deliver better contrast and color performance than most competitors in its price range.

What we like

  • Local dimming with Mini LEDs for excellent contrast control
  • Quantum dots provide rich color reproduction
  • Midrange performance for a budget price

What we don’t like

  • The 60Hz panel isn't the best for gaming
  • Viewing angles aren't great
  • Dimmer screen than more expensive TVs

The Hisense U6K is our pick for the best budget TV you can buy. The 65-inch model is available for just under $500, a nearly unheard-of bargain for a display with these specs.

The U6K uses a QLED panel with quantum dots and a Mini LED backlight with local dimming. Other 65-inch QLED TVs are available for a similar price, but they all use regular-sized LEDs, and most lack dimming capabilities. These features enable the U6K to achieve deeper black levels and better contrast control than its competitors. It's also brighter than most models in this class, with a peak of around 600 nits.

The best TVs under $500 in 2024 (3)

During our tests, the U6K impressed us with its vivid HDR images. Though not in the same league as pricier TVs that can hit 1,000 nits or more, the U6K's extreme highlights still shine with enough intensity to showcase the benefits of HDR mastering. Local dimming performance is also solid with only minimal blooming (halos around bright objects) visible when watching the TV in a dark room. You can get superior black-level performance on a more expensive QLED or OLED, but for under $500, it doesn't get any better than this.

However, viewing angles are a definite weak spot, as the U6K's contrast and colors distort if you sit off to the side of the screen. Likewise, the panel is limited to 60Hz, so you can't enable high frame rate modes on a PS5 or Xbox Series X. On the plus side, the TV does support variable refresh rate (VRR) to minimize screen tearing, and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) to automatically lower input lag when it receives a signal from a compatible gaming source.

The U6K's Google TV OS is nicely organized and packed with streaming apps, but we wish that navigation was smoother. Buyers may want to supplement the U6K with a dedicated streaming stick to get snappier performance. Check out our guide to the best streaming devices for recommendations. But even with that caveat, this is by far the best TV under $500 available in this size.

Read our Hisense U6K TV review.

Best 55-inch

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Roku 55-inch Plus Series 4K QLED TV

The Roku Plus Series is the brand's budget-friendly QLED display. The TV has local dimming and quantum dots to provide solid contrast, color, and brightness capabilities. For under $500, the 55-inch model is a great value for anyone who wants a capable smart TV.

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What we like

  • Good HDR brightness for the money
  • Convenient Roku smarts
  • Handy voice remote and app
  • Local dimming delivers solid black levels for this class

What we don’t like

  • Picture quality suffers at off-center view
  • Missing motion processing options
  • Lacks Mini LEDs for more precise contrast control
  • Limited to 60Hz panel without variable refresh rate

Buyers who want the best 55-inch TV for under $500 should check out the Roku Plus Series. Though the Hisense U6K has a slight edge in picture quality, that model is hard to find in this size. The 55-inch Roku Plus Series is readily available and delivers similar image performance. It also boasts our favorite smart TV interface.

Like the U6K, the Roku Plus Series uses a QLED panel with quantum dots and local dimming. However, this display has regular-sized LEDs rather than Mini LEDs, which leads to less precise contrast control. But while the U6K did preserve shadow detail better in our tests, the Roku Plus is no slouch. Black-level and brightness performance are still good for this class, so HDR content comes through with enough contrast to make the feature worthwhile.

The best TVs under $500 in 2024 (5)

We also like this model's Roku OS more than rival interfaces, like Google TV and Fire TV. While those platforms place a heavier emphasis on content recommendations, Roku takes a simpler approach. The streamlined homepage focuses squarely on presenting all your TV apps upfront and center with large icons that make it easy to organize everything and jump right into your favorite services.

The TV's remote has a few nice perks as well, including a built-in battery that recharges over USB. The remote also supports hands-free voice search (with a dedicated mute switch) and has a tiny integrated speaker that can emit a chime if you ever misplace it.

The 55-inch Roku Plus Series has a full retail price of just under $500 and is often on sale for around $450. If you prefer a Mini LED backlight over the smart TV perks of Roku's interface, you can occasionally find Hisense's new 55-inch U6N on sale for a similar deal price, but that model normally costs $600.

Read our Roku Plus Series TV review.

Best 50-inch

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Hisense 50-inch U6HF QLED 4K Fire TV

This 50-inch display has Amazon's Fire TV platform built-in for easy access to tons of streaming apps. It also boasts advanced picture quality features like wide color support, up to 600 nits of brightness, and local dimming for a budget-friendly price.

What we like

  • Quantum dots for wide color gamut
  • Local dimming for enhanced contrast control

What we don’t like

  • 60Hz panel limits gaming performance
  • Viewing angles are mediocre
  • Menu system lacks motion adjustments

The Hisense U6HF is the best-looking 50-inch TV there is for under $500. Its performance isn't quite as good as the brand's U6K or Roku's Plus Series, but those two models aren't available in this size. To get better picture performance from a 50-inch TV, you'd have to step up to the Samsung Q80C, which costs around $800.

The U6HF is a slightly downgraded version of the U6K that's based on an older model in the series. It has a QLED panel to deliver wide color support and up to 600 nits of brightness. It also has local dimming to control contrast across specific zones on the screen. However, this model uses regular-sized LEDs, and it has fewer zones than the U6K or the Roku Plus Series. This means black levels aren't quite as deep, and blooming is a bit more prevalent.

Like all our picks in this guide, the U6HF has narrow viewing angles and a screen limited to 60Hz. But compared to other 50-inch TVs in this price range, it's nearly in a class of its own. Most TVs this size don't have local dimming at all, and many have a more limited range of colors.

The TV also comes with an Alexa voice remote and uses the Fire TV OS as its interface. Hisense used to offer a Google TV version of this model, simply called the U6H, but that edition is no longer sold. The 50-inch U6HF has a full list price of $500, but it's often available for as little as $300, which is a great value.

When it comes to competing 50-inch TVs, buyers should also consider Amazon's Fire TV Omni QLED. The Omni QLED is a little dimmer than the U6HF but it has similar color and contrast capabilities, as well as the added bonus of hands-free Alexa support. The 50-inch Omni QLED is technically listed for over $500, but it's frequently on sale for around $400.

Best 43-inch

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TCL 43-inch Q65 QLED 4K TV

The Q65 is TCL's entry-level QLED display for 2024. This model lacks local dimming, so contrast is limited, but it still has quantum dots to provide a wide color gamut.

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What we like

  • QLED panel with quantum dots for wide color support
  • Decent brightness capabilities for this class

What we don’t like

  • Contrast and black levels are limited without local dimming
  • 60Hz refresh rate isn't ideal for gaming

Smaller TVs tend to skimp out on advanced picture quality features. This is especially true once you get below 50 inches. Features like local dimming and Mini LED backlights are essentially nonexistent in this class. However, there are a couple of 43-inch options that still offer wide color support with quantum dots, and the TCL Q65 is the best value of the bunch.

The Q65's color capabilities are good enough to showcase the expanded color gamut of HDR material, which is a rare perk at this size. Its full-screen peak brightness is also a step above many 43-inch competitors. But since it lacks local dimming, the TV isn't able to brighten or darken specific zones on its panel. This means it's not able to control its brightness precisely enough to produce deep black levels or intense specular highlights (like explosions).

So, while the Q65 can offer good HDR color performance, its HDR contrast capabilities are lacking. But that's to be expected for any TV this size unless you're willing to spend substantially more for a 42-inch OLED, like the LG C3.

With that in mind, the TCL Q65 is a great fit for casual viewing in a secondary room where you don't need an especially big screen or top image performance. Its Google TV interface should suffice for most streaming needs and it has Google Assistant voice control via its remote.

The 43-inch Q65 is often available for around $300, which is a good price for a QLED this size. However, if you don't care about wide color capabilities and don't mind a dimmer screen, you could save more by stepping down to TCL's 43-inch S4 4K TV. The S4 only costs about $200, which makes it a solid value option for those who want an entry-level smart TV.

How we test TVs under $500

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Our guide to the best TVs under $500 was compiled using a combination of hands-on testing and research. Our team has been covering TVs and home entertainment products for more than a decade, and we use that expertise to inform our criteria and testing parameters.

When we review displays, we examine a TV's clarity, HDR brightness, contrast capabilities, black-level performance, viewing angles, upscaling quality, smart TV interface speed, and extra features like voice control. To measure brightness we use test patterns from the Spears & Muncil Benchmark 4K Blu-ray disc with an X-Rite iDisplay Plus colorimeter.

But while test patterns are useful for establishing certain performance thresholds, we find that real-world content is the best barometer for seeing how a TV performs during day-to-day viewing. We use a curated selection of scenes from various movies and TV shows, focusing on sequences that put each TV's shadow detail, specular highlight, and color performance to the test. We also use a mix of sources, including 4K Blu-rays, cable TV, and streaming videos. Contenders for the best TV under $500 are evaluated in both light and dark rooms to get a sense of day and nighttime viewing performance.


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Are 75-inch or larger TVs available for under $500?

Though some models do dip below $500 during limited-time sales like Amazon Prime Day, 75-inch and larger TVs typically cost over $500. For that reason, we have not included any displays bigger than 70 inches in our guide to the best TVs under $500.

If you're looking for recommendations in those larger sizes, visit our guides to the best 75-inch TVs and the best 85-inch TVs.

Are OLED TVs available for under $500?

You may have noticed that we haven't included any OLED displays in our guide to the best TVs under $500. The reason? There simply aren't any OLED TVs currently available for that amount.

In the past, we've occasionally seen smaller-sized versions of LG's A-series OLEDs go on sale for around $500. But those models are no longer sold, and even when they were, we never saw them dip below the $500 mark.

Right now, the most affordable OLED TV is the LG 42-inch C3, which typically sells for around $900. For more OLED recommendations, check out our guide to the best OLED TVs. And head over to our QLED vs. OLED comparison for details on the pros and cons of each panel type.

Are TVs under $500 worth it?

Yes, the best TVs under $500 are worth the money, but you should be aware of certain performance limitations that are common when shopping for TVs in this price range.

First, you'll need to settle on a TV with a QLED or LED panel rather than an OLED. Second, you should expect peak brightness for models in this price range to top out at around 600 nits. Third, you should focus on models that are 70 inches or smaller. And finally, there are certain companies that tend to offer better overall value in this class.

Advanced picture quality features like quantum dots, local dimming, and even Mini LED backlights can be found on TVs for under $500, but these models are usually sold by value-oriented brands like Hisense, TCL, Vizio, Roku, and Amazon.

In our experience, quality control from these companies isn't on the same level as that from more expensive brands like Samsung, Sony, and LG. But none of the slight inconveniences we've encountered are troublesome enough to prevent us from recommending their displays.

Samsung, Sony, and LG also sell TVs for under $500, but their offerings provide worse image quality than similarly priced models from the competition. However, if you're willing to spend substantially more than $500, you can find excellent high-end TVs from those brands with better features and build quality than cheaper options.

For more TV recommendations across budgets and sizes, check out our other TV guides:

  • Best TVs
  • Best 4K TVs
  • Best 65-inch TVs
  • Best 50-inch TVs
  • Best Samsung TVs
The best TVs under $500 in 2024 (2024)
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