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The best TVs under $1,000

Some people might tell you that you need to drop at least a thousand dollars to get a TV with vibrant picture quality, but we have to disagree. Even if you’re on a budget, you don’t need to sacrifice quality. One of our favorite budget options has to be the TCL 6-Series (2020).

We were already big fans of the 2019 model, but when TCL added Mini-LED backlighting to its QLED display, it launched the 6-Series into a whole new level of picture quality.

The 6-Series is going to be a great choice for most people, but it’s not the only TV that provides quality at an affordable price.

If you’re looking for a bargain, take a look at our roundup of the best TVs under $500 and the best Cyber Monday TV deals, some of which are featured in our guide to the best Cyber Monday sales happening now.

Best TVs under $1,000 at a glance

The best TV under $1,000: 65-inch TCL 6-Series (2020)

TCL 6-Series 4K Roku TV (2020)
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s as close as you can get to OLED picture quality for under $1,000.

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for the best possible picture quality and features for the lowest possible price.

Why we picked the 65-inch TCL 6-Series 4K TV (2020):

There are hundreds of TVs available for less than $1,000, but none stand out as much as TCL’s 65-inch 6-Series (R635).

Last year’s 6-Series was already so good, it completely changed our perception of the TCL brand, elevating it from so-so budget territory to the status of a genuine competitor to brands such as LG, Samsung, and Sony.

The new 6-Series solidifies that reputation, largely thanks to TCL’s pioneering efforts with Mini-LED backlighting. It effectively swapped hundreds of large LED bulbs for many thousands of smaller LEDs, which gives the 6-Series the ability to control local dimming at granularity we’ve only seen once before (in TCL’s own 8-Series). To say that it improves picture quality is an understatement. It brings QLED displays closer to OLED performance for black levels and contrast than they’ve ever been before.

All of the other features that made the 2019 model so appealing — including its knockout price of around $900 for the 65-inch size — remain in 2020. Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDR10, and of course the excellent Roku OS running the show — they’re all here.

New for 2020 is a THX Certified gaming mode, AMD’s FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) technology, and auto game mode. Gaming at 120Hz is possible, but it caps at 1440p. Still, with the Mini-LED backlighting, shadow details is so good, and the motion so smooth, you might not mind the lower resolution.

The Roku OS offers a ton of great features, from an intuitive interface to thousands of streaming apps. As such, it should come as no surprise to hear that it’s a one-stop shop for live and on-demand content, providing an instant portal to the likes of Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, Hulu, Sling TV, and Netflix, along with a wide array of lesser-known services, so you can stream to your heart’s content.

It’s compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant should you wish to control the TV via one of these smart speakers, or you can simply use the remote’s built-in voice control. Just hit a button on the remote and you’ll be able to throw all sorts of vocal instructions its way, from commanding it to search a particular movie or show across all your preferred content providers to adjusting the volume level.

Here’s a quick look at some of the commands the TCL 6-Series understands:

  • “Find The Big Bang Theory.
  • “Switch over to HDMI 3.”
  • “Play Designated Survivor on Netflix.”
  • “Switch off after this episode of Friends.”

Read our in-depth TCL 6-Series (2020) review

The best TV under $1,000 for bright rooms: 65-inch Hisense H9G Quantum HDR TV

Hisense H9G Quantum HDR TV

Why you should buy this: You won’t find darker darks or brighter brights without spending a lot more money

Who it’s for: Those who want to place their TV anywhere and still get top-notch picture quality.

Why we picked the 65-inch Hisense H9G Quantum HDR TV:

One of the keys to good picture quality, especially when watching HDR content, is brightness. If your TV can’t get bright enough, you won’t see as many colors, and it won’t produce sufficient contrast. In a darkened room, this is less of an issue, but if you want to watch TV in a room that gets lots of natural light or in a room that’s brightly lit most of the time, a bright TV is critical.

That’s where the 65-inch Hisense H9G Quantum HDR TV shines (literally). It’s one of the brightest TVs we’ve ever tested — at any price — which is why it has earned a spot on this list as well as our Best TVs list.

That extra brightness (and impressive dark performance too) really comes in handy when watching content in Dolby Vision or HDR10, which the H9G supports. It’s also key to enjoying good ol’ SDR movies and shows too.

Better yet, Hisense makes getting the most out of the H9G very easy: Instead of tweaking both SDR and HDR settings separately, you can adjust one and the other will adapt to your preferences automatically. As our reviewer said, “just sit, click, watch, and know you are getting the best picture performance.”

The H9G uses the Google-created Android TV operating system, which means it has Google Assistant built in (you can access it via the included voice remote) as well as Chromecast — perfect for shifting your favorite content from your phone or tablet to the big screen.

The only thing you should be aware of before buying the Hisense H9G is that it’s not ideal if you want to be future-proofed for gaming. It doesn’t have any HDMI 2.1 ports, and no gaming features like variable refresh rate (VRR) or automatic low-latency mode (ALLM).

Read our in-depth Hisense H9G Quantum review

The best TV under $1,000 with a huge screen: 75-inch LG UHD 70 Series 4K HDR TV

LG UHD 70 Series
LG

Why you should buy this: It’s a massive TV that doesn’t require a conversation with your financial adviser.

Who it’s for: Dedicated gamers who are looking to breathe fresh life into their gaming station.

Why we picked the 75-inch LG UHD 70 Series 4K HDR TV:

Sometimes, there’s simply no substitute for size. If a big TV is what you want, this LG UHD 70 Series is your biggest bang for the buck, with a monstrous, Super Bowl-ready 75 inches of screen real estate, for well under $1,000.

But there’s more to this TV than a big screen; it’s also a great choice for gamers. That’s partly because of the size but also because of its low input-lag and its automatic low-latency mode (ALLM). It’s also one of the few TVs that supports the HGiG recommendations for HDR gaming — in other words, it will be able to communicate with next-gen game consoles in order to maximize the image quality of HDR games.

Apple device owners will like the fact that this TV has Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit onboard, making it a cinch to share phone and tablet content onto the big screen, and control the TV via Apple’s Siri.

But if you’re not a big Siri fan, that’s OK: The 70 Series is also compatible with Alex and Google Assistant smart speakers.

The LG 70 Series all runs on LG’s WebOS, a very easy-to-use smart TV system that has hundreds of popular streaming apps such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and many more.

The best TV under $1,000 for those on a budget: 55-inch TCL 5-Series (2020)

TCL 5-Series Roku TV (2020)
TCL

Why you should buy this: Great picture quality, leading-edge features, and an incredibly affordable price.

Who it’s for: Anyone who needs a new TV and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money.

Why we picked the 55-inch TCL 5-Series (2020):

TCL has proven over and over again that it makes the most affordable high-quality TVs on the planet. Right now, the best example of that is the TCL 5-Series (2020). TCL basically took all of the qualities of last year’s 6-Series (one of our favorite TVs) and repackaged them into an even more affordable model.

What you get is a bright, colorful image thanks to its quantum dot-enhanced backlight, deep blacks, and screen size that will find a home anywhere from the bedroom to the basement.

It supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, the two most common flavors of HDR, it as an excellent 4K upscaler so that your non-4K content looks as good as possible, and it’s gamer-friendly with an auto game mode that provides low input-lag and fast response times.

Four HDMI ports give you plenty of connection options, including HDMI ARC, which lets you connect an A/V receiver or soundbar with just a single cable. There’s no Dolby Atmos support, but as long as your receiver or soundbar supports it, you’re good to go.

Because it’s a Roku TV, the whole experience is powered by Roku’s incredibly simple yet powerful software, with thousands of streaming apps available.

The 5-Series is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant-powered smart speakers. The included Roku remote doesn’t have a microphone, but if you download the free Roku app on your smartphone you can use it for voice searches and for private listening.

All in all, the TCL 5-Series is an exceptional value in a 55-inch 4K HDR smart TV.

Here are a few tips for picking the right size TV for any room, including where to find a TV's measurements.
TV Size

Research and buying tips

What size TV can I afford for $1,000?

You’ll be able to find a TV as large as 75-inches for under $1,000.

Can I get an OLED for less than $1,000?

Unfortunately, no. OLED technology is only available on very high-end models and isn’t available for under $1,000. But that may not be the case for long. Vizio recently started selling its first OLED models, with a 55-inch size that sells for $1,300.

Can I use an HDTV or 4K TV with a PC?

Yes, as long as your computer has an HDMI output. Adapters can be used if it doesn’t, though they typically omit audio.

Do TVs under $1,000 work with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri?

Most modern TVs can be paired with Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant through either an Amazon Echo, Fire TV, or Google Home. Some televisions even have them built-in, eliminating the need for a stand-alone device.

Right now, there are no TVs that have Siri built-in. Those that support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, however, can be controlled using Siri on an iOS device, such as an iPad, iPhone, or iPod, as well as a Mac.

What outputs should TVs under $1,000 have?

In terms of inputs and outputs, the main thing to look out for is HDMI. You’ll want to get a TV with HDMI ARC, which allows your TV audio to stream to a soundbar or A/V receiver. All of the televisions we highlighted have at least one of those ports, as well as at least three total HDMI ports, so there’s an ample amount of inbound image and audio channels for the Blu-ray players, games consoles, and set-top boxes in your setup.

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