TV prices have significantly gone down over the past few years. Yes, there are still TVs that cost thousands of dollars, but those are the premium ones with picture quality that can make a grown man cry. If you don’t have the money to splurge on a high-end TV, might we suggest the following alternatives? The Toshiba 50LF711U20, TCL Class 5-Series, and Vizio M-Series might not make cinephiles cry, but they do offer a solid blend of affordability, performance, and features with minor compromises on build quality. Get 55-inch units of these budget-friendly 4K TVs on Best Buy and save up to $120.
– $330, was $450
The Toshiba 55LF711U20 4K TV is one of the new breeds of televisions that feature built-in Fire TV — Amazon’s state-of-the-art digital media player that delivers high-definition streaming content to your home. The generously sized 50-inch screen comes to stunning life with 8 million pixels for the clearest, sharpest, and most vivid picture. The TV is also compatible with Alexa – use the Voice Remote to control basic TV functions like changing channels and turning up the volume, as well as launching apps, searching for content, and a whole lot more. Just press the microphone button and give a command like, “Find comedies,” and Alexa will provide you with search options.
This 4K TV is powered by a quad-core CPU/Multi-core GPU for fluid responsiveness and fast search results. You can connect it with dual-band Wi-Fi, three HDMI inputs, and multiple input/output options, including Ethernet and USB. You can even customize the input names and configure picture settings for each connected device.
Fire TV Edition brings together local, national, and streaming channels to the home screen. It is HDR-compatible, so you can stream movies from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, and more in high definition. You can also connect gaming consoles and a cable or satellite box through one of the three HDMI ports.
The Toshiba 55LF711U20 4K TV has been given an outstanding 4.6-out-of-5-star rating on Best Buy. It has been praised for its picture quality, built-in Fire TV, easy set-up, and great price. Some customer complaints include the ubiquitous Amazon ads in the “recommended by your apps” bar that cannot be disabled and the lack of channel buttons on the Voice Remote. Changing channels has to be done through the “guide” function. Still, with Best Buy’s huge $120 discount on the Toshiba 55LF711U20, its price of $330 instead of $450 is pretty appealing.
– $350, was $400
The TCL 55S517, or the TCL 5-Series, has an understated and basic design. Its bezels are nicely trim, keeping up with the latest TV design trend, which is almost unnoticeable when you’re watching something. It’s made of durable plastic in a matte-black finish that looks decent but is nowhere near luxurious. Despite its humdrum appearance, what really matters is the 5-Series’ excellent display.
This TV boasts a 55-inch vertical alignment (VA) panel with a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. A VA panel is a type of LED screen that offers the best contrasts and image depth. Its picture quality is quite beautiful, with sharp details, vibrant colors, and deep blacks. This TV supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, so expect a delightfully wide spectrum of colors and details in gorgeous high definition. Its brightness level could use a little work, but you honestly get the best value out of every dollar spent in terms of image quality.
At the back of the TV, you’ll find the connection ports, including HDMI ports, RCA jacks, optical, USB, Ethernet, and even a 3.5mm audio jack. This TV only has three HDMI ports (normally one for a cable box, one for a soundbar, and one for a game console). Fortunately, you won’t be needing a slot for a digital streaming stick, since it already has a built-in Roku TV.
One of the best TV platforms on the market, Roku offers a simple and intuitive way to navigate various streaming apps and channels. Watching TV shows and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, and YouTube was an overall pleasant experience, and you get access to a broad range of free content via Roku TV’s Featured Free program.
The TCL 5-Series is a fantastic pick for a budget-friendly 4K TV. Its picture quality is amazing for the price, and the built-in Roku TV is a huge plus factor. However, you must brace yourself for a barrage of ads, which is the reason why this 4K TV is cheap. Other than that, this is a great TV that we fully recommend. Get it for just $350 instead of $400 on Best Buy today.
The Vizio M-Series Quantum’s design is typically minimalist as with the most recent 4K TVs. The bezel that surrounds the screen is incredibly slim and is only slightly thicker at the bottom. It is supported by two boomerang-shaped legs, which are detachable should you wish to mount this TV on your wall. Behind it are two sets of ports, one facing right and the other facing downward. There are four HDMI ports (one of them offers an audio-return channel that’s optimized for soundbars), one USB port, one optical, RCA jacks, a port for HD antennas, and an Ethernet port for network connection. Sadly, this TV doesn’t support a Bluetooth connection, so you need to have some sort of plug-in adapter to use wireless headphones.
This TV’s quantum dots work together to deliver a picture with boosted brightness and a full-array local dimming (FALD) for extreme contrasts — the blacks are inky black and the brights are beautifully bright. It supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, so it’s capable of a wider spectrum of colors and details. Overall, its picture quality is simply sensational for something that costs less than $1,000.
Surprisingly, this TV’s built-in speakers deliver audio that is quite decent despite being so slim. The bass is punchy but won’t make furniture vibrate, the dialogue is extremely audible, and the volume can easily fill a small to medium-sized room.
Unfortunately, Vizio’s remote control remains frustratingly unevolved, with far too many buttons. It does its job well, but it’s not as wonderfully simple as a Roku or Samsung remote. The same can be said for its smart TV system. It runs with SmartCast 3.0 and is comparatively faster than older Vizio TVs but still slower than a Roku. The interface looks well-organized and polished, and it has built-in Chromecast, but you cannot add new apps on it.
The Vizio M-Series Quantum offers the ultimate TV viewing experience on a shoestring budget, thanks to a bright and colorful display that truly stuns. Unfortunately, it runs with the sluggish SmartCast 3.0 interface and comes with a frustratingly primitive remote. But seriously, you can overlook these things as it really delivers where it matters most. Get this 4K TV for the discounted price of $550 on Best Buy.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- This gorgeous and affordable 55-inch Sony 4K TV is $80 off at Best Buy right now
- The best 4K TVs under $500 for 2021
- The 4 best TVs under $1,000 for 2021
- Save $80 on the cheapest 4K TV at Best Buy — perfect for the Super Bowl
- This 75-inch Samsung 4K TV just got a $200 price cut at Best Buy