Everyone wants a great deal on a new TV. As such, we’re back with an updated list of our top TV choices under 1000 clams. As each year passes, the value only rises, and if you know how to look, you can find a whole lot of 1080p HD goodness for a reasonable price. Naturally, we’ve got you covered.
This year we’ve highlighted one special TV that has the right stuff at the right price to garner our top pick. But whether you choose our go-to display, or one of our other top contenders, the list below has just what you need to take your home theater to the next level at a nice price.
If $1000 is a little high for your budget check out our picks for the Best TVs under $500.
Vizio M552i-B2 ($800)
When we told readers at CES 2014 that Vizio had come out swinging big this year, we weren’t kidding. The fruit of its labor – with an aggressive price-to-performance ratio — is our top recommendation for TVs under $1000. Simply put, you can’t find a better combination of features and picture quality at this price than Vizio’s M-series. As a bonus Vizio stepped up its design game, delivering a TV that holds up well against that of the biggest hitters in the industry.
What helps push Vizio over the edge this year is its implementation of a full array of direct LED backlights controlled by a 32-zone dimming system. This feature — which competing companies charge a lot more for — helps to deliver great black levels, excellent contrast, and above-average screen uniformity. Tack on solid video processing, 4 HDMI inputs, and good motion resolution and you’ve got a TV with a picture that bests anything else in its price class. Want to go bigger? The 60-inch model is just $1150, and you can bet that price will go down as we near the holiday season.
Sony KDL-50W800B ($850)
Loaded with options and toting that famous Sony glow, this TV is a great option for those who want a piece of the premium brand at a great price. The W800B takes flack for having less-than-exciting 3D, and it’s black levels won’t look as rich as they may on a TV with local dimming, but plenty of inputs and solid overall picture performance make for a smart buy here.
LG 55LB6300 ($900)
The big selling point here: webOS. By far our favorite new smart platform, the system is intuitive, brilliantly simple, and just plain fun to play with, accentuated by LG’s magic wand remote. Those who do a lot of movie watching in the dark may take issue with its less-than-stellar black levels, but plenty of features and accurate color reproduction make this TV a gamer. Is $900 too rich? Check out the 50-inch for $200 less.
Panasonic TC-60AS530U ($800)
Plain and simple, this is just a whole lot of TV real estate at this price point. We enjoyed the AS530 when we reviewed the 50-inch model recently, and the price has now dropped enough to make it nothing short of a steal. The smart platform is a bit pedestrian, and two HDMI ports is a bummer as well, but the picture holds up well in the day or night, proving there’s plenty of fight left in Panasonic’s lower tier in the post-plasma era.
Read our AS530U series review
Samsung UN55H7150 ($998)
With sizes all over the board, Samsung’s sleek and sexy middle rung LED has a size and price point for just about any room — but if $1000 is your bankroll, the 46-inch is the sweet spot. This TV (which supplanted Samsung’s UNH6350) is a screaming deal, offering local dimming for better contrast, as well as boasting a lightning-quick 240Hz panel. Samsung’s easy breezy smart platform and bright, accurate color reproduction add even more fuel to make it a prime option on your list.
Samsung PN51F8500 ($1,000)
Best Buy stopped the presses with the announcement of a huge price drop on what is very likely the last of Samsung’s premiere plasma displays. Your thousand dollars ($999.98 to be exact) buys you a serious stack of awesome here, including a premium design, killer performance, a Bluetooth remote, 4 HDMI inputs, and Samsung’s intuitive, loaded-to-the-gills smart platform, not to mention the myriad display benefits plasma offers above LED TVs.
Read our Samsung PN60F8500 review
|Screen size||51 in|
|Refresh rate||600 Hz|
|Available at||Best Buy|
Sharp LC-60LE650U ($800)
Sharp displays are perhaps best known for their brilliant color performance and big screens, and this aging gem offers both at a remarkably low price. Though it’s a 2013 holdover, it also has a fairly decent smart platform. While black levels or contrast won’t compete with the big boys, the LE650U is a plus-sized TV that’s bright, brilliant, and loaded with enough inputs and features to sit in the captain’s chair of your home theater.
Read our Sharp LC-60LE650U review
Panasonic TC-55AS680U ($800)
Those looking for something a bit sexier than the Panasonic AS530U can find it in the slim and silver AS680U. While the two TVs match up pretty well on paper, the AS680 also brings on another HDMI input for a total of 3, and slightly better motion resolution, while still presenting a pretty enticing bargain for a 55-incher.
Vizio E600I-B3 ($798)
For those willing to give up a bit of performance for a grand spectacle of HD real estate, the E600I is a great alternative to our top-rated M-series TV. Like its upper-tier brethren, this is one of the few full-array backlit TVs with local dimming, helping it reach richer black levels, and better contrast and uniformity than the majority of its peers. Add-in a solid smart platform and good color accuracy, and the E-series is a prime choice. And taking a step down to the 55 or 50-inch models provides a mega-bargain of HD goodness.