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Best TVs under $500

With TV technology constantly on the move, the mid-to-entry level HDTV segment has enjoyed continually improved picture quality along with a growing list of advanced features once reserved for the premium tier. As such, we’ve updated our list of the best TVs under $500 to help you squeeze every last dime out of your budget so you can upgrade your current TV or finally get that bedroom set you’ve been meaning to pull the trigger on.

Related: Best TVs under $1000

Those looking to save some serious green will find the latest choices in our list bigger, brighter, and better than ever. And just to keep you caught up on the latest tech, this year we’ve even added a 4K Ultra HD set to the pile, which comes with all of the hottest new features and access to the best-looking content out there. You may never leave your couch again.

The Best

Vizio 43” M-Series M43-C1 Ultra HD Full‑Array LED Smart TV, 2015 ($500-550)

Vizio-43”-M-Series-M43-C1-Ultra-HD-Full‑Array-LED-Smart-TV,-2015

4K Ultra HD is the headline here, but the real beauty of this TV lies in its 28 active zones of Full Array Local Dimming, which allow the set to create deeper black levels, thus improving contrast for a quality image in any lighting. And that’s just the entry-point when it comes to the wiles of this mid-level flat screen from Vizio. Depending on where you shop, you might pay as much as $550 for this baby, but it might just be worth stretching your budget a tad in this case.

Sitting in the middle of Vizio’s expansive lineup, the M-series is loaded with options. That includes five (count ’em) HDMI inputs, a 120Hz native panel for high-quality motion resolution, a snappy smart interface with a loaded carousel of apps, and solid overall picture quality — though you may have to make a few adjustments to get things just right. Other features include a double-sided remote with full qwerty keyboard, and a six-core processor. That’s a whole lotta love for a very nice price. Read more here.

Screen size 43 in
Display technology LED
Backlighting Direct/full array
Refresh rate 120 Hz

Buy it now from:

Newegg Amazon Best Buy Walmart B&H

The Rest

Samsung 40” J6200 Series UN40J6200 LED Smart TV ($500)

Samsung-40”-J6200-Series-UN40J6200-LED-Smart-TV_

Praised for its uniform black levels, smooth motion resolution, and rich colors, the J6200 is still one of the best ways to get into the Samsung family below the $500 line. With a thick plastic bezel, a plain-Jane stand, and a panel that doesn’t offer much in the way of off-axis viewing, there’s no doubt this TV breathes budget. The smart functionality also leaves something to be desired — it’s a little slow when compared to more modern sets. But, as part of the Samsung lineup, the J6200 does boast the best app selection in the industry, excellent color reproduction, and the security of one of the biggest brands in the industry. And if you catch the right deal, you might even be able to step up to the 48-inch for under your $500 budget — now that’s a bargain.

Screen size 40 in
Display technology LED
Backlighting Edge
Refresh rate 60 Hz

Buy it now from:

Amazon Best Buy Walmart B&H Newegg

LG 43″ 1080p 43LF5900 Smart LED TV, 2015 ($430)

LG-43'-1080p-43LF5900-Smart-LED-TV,-2015_

LG’s LF5900 is a gem hidden in the HDTV ore, packing a nice punch for its price point. Features include 3 HDMI inputs (enough to get you locked in with your major components), and more importantly, LG’s webOS 2.0, which is our favorite smart interface, and tough to find elsewhere in LG’s lower tier. On top of that, the TV packs LG’s brilliant color reproduction, and at 42.5 inches (that’s how LG rolls) it’s just big enough for a smaller living room, and a nice luxury for your bedroom.

Screen size 42 in
Display technology LED
Backlighting Edge
Refresh rate 60 Hz

Buy it now from:

Amazon Best Buy Walmart Newegg

Sony 40” Bravia W600B KDL40W600B LED Full HD TV, 2014 ($480)

Sony-40”-Bravia-W600B-KDL40W600B-LED-Full-HD-TV,-2014_

Is this the same TV we chose last year from Sony? Yes. Is it still a fantastic deal? Absolutely. This sweet little bargain is fully loaded, including a smart platform, 4 HDMI inputs, and that incomparable Sony glow. While Sony has shifted its focus almost entirely to premium displays, the 600B is proof it still has some great deals at the lower tier, even if this set is getting a little long in the tooth. With a well-designed exterior, high marks across the board for performance, and a lowered price to just $400, the W600B brings the noise. As a bonus, you can also jump up to a 48-inch model (which we highly recommend) for just $50 or so above the $500 limit.

Screen size 40 in
Display technology LED
Backlighting Edge
Refresh rate 60 Hz

Buy it now from:

Amazon Best Buy Walmart B&H Newegg

Sharp 48″ AQUOS HD Series LC-48LE653U LED Smart TV, 2015 ($480)

Sharp-48'-AQUOS-HD-Series-LC-48LE653U-LED-Smart-TV,-2015_

Sharp’s LE653U isn’t packed with the kind of features that will knock your socks off, especially when it comes to the smart apps, which are fairly limited. That said, one thing Sharp has always done well is create vivid, accurate color, and this TV is no exception. Though we’re slightly bummed that Sharp trades the full-array backlighting for an edge-lit display here, the TV gets high marks for its above-average contrast and solid black levels. Those who are already set up with a quality streaming device will find a lot of value here for the money.

Screen size 48 in
Display technology LED
Backlighting Edge
Refresh rate 60 Hz

Buy it now from:

Amazon B&H

Hisense 40” H4 Series 40H4C LED Roku TV, 2015 ($330)

Hisense-40”-H4-Series-40H4C-LED-Roku-TV,-2015_

You may not have heard of Hisense yet, but the rising brand out of China is clawing its way into the conversation. Though its performance may not stand up to high scrutiny, the deciding factor for the H4C’s place on our list once again this year is its built-in Roku interface, which is one of the best smart UIs on the market. Read more here.

Screen size 40 in
Display technology LED
Backlighting Edge
Refresh rate 60 Hz

Buy it now from:

Amazon Best Buy

TCL 50” 1080p 50FS3800 Roku Smart LED TV, 2015 ($470)

TCL-50”-1080p-50FS3800-Roku-Smart-LED-TV,-2015_

While this year’s model is an update of our previous pick from the second top brand out of China, many of the same rules apply. Like the Hisense, this display is unlikely to wow you with a premium picture, but its proposition of a 50-inch screen with Roku baked in, all for a price below the magic $500 watermark makes this TV an enticing choice. In addition, this year’s model sports full-array backlighting, which should help it achieve better contrast, and more uniform black levels — score! Read more here.

Screen size 50 in
Display technology LED
Backlighting Full array/direct
Refresh rate 60 Hz

Buy it now from:

Amazon Best Buy