We’ll cut straight to the chase: The TCL 6-Series is the best TV under $1,000. Why? Because it’s the best all-rounder, fusing a color-rich 4K Ultra HD screen with a fantastic suite of must-have features, including Dolby Vision and HDR10. It also boasts Roku OS for one-click access to a host of streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
But if you’re in the market for something a little different — either because you’re after a more immersive viewing experience or are loyal to another manufacturer — there are plenty of other TVs out there that are deserving of your hard-earned cash. Just keep in mind that when you opt for a higher-end screen, the price per inch also goes up. That’s why a 55-inch Samsung QLED 4K TV costs more than a standard 65-inch Samsung LED 4K TV. So it’s up to you to decide what you need more: A larger screen or better visuals.
Got the answer? Scroll down to meet the TV (under $1,000) of your dreams.
Best TVs under $1,000 at a glance
- The best TV under $1,000: 65-inch TCL 6-Series
- The best TV under $1,000 for movies: 55-inch Vizio P-Series
- The best TV under $1,000 for gaming: 55-inch Samsung Q60R
- The best 55-inch TV under $1,000: 55-inch Vizio P-Series
- The best HDR TV under $1,000: 55-inch Samsung Q60R
Why you should buy this: It’s (oh so) big, has a fantastic 4K screen, and is armed with an impressive skill set.
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a big screen on a budget.
Why we picked the 65-inch TCL 6-Series 4K TV:
There are hundreds of TVs available for less than $1,000, but none stand out quite as much as the 65-inch TCL 6-Series. Once a brand that churned out midrange slop, TCL is now competing in what’s essentially the NFL of TVs, battling against titans like LG and Samsung, and coming out on top as far as value for the money is concerned.
So, what’s so good about the TCL 6-Series? Picture-wise, it touts both Dolby Vision and HDR10 for extracting additional detail from what would otherwise appear to be a faint, low-light scene, such as the inscriptions on the wall of a cave in an Indiana Jones movie. Its localized dimming zones produce deep blacks and unrivaled contrast.
In terms of software, it’s driven by Roku OS, the brainchild of streaming box titan Roku. 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 — no streaming stick attached.
Being a higher-end 4K TV, the TCL 6-Series is also decked out with 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 it understands:
- “Find The Big Bang Theory.“
- “Switch over to HDMI 3.”
- “Play Designated Survivor on Netflix.”
- “Switch off after this episode of Friends.”
Why you should buy this: There’s no TV more suited to movie consumption at this price.
Who it’s for: Movie buffs looking to spruce up their home entertainment setup on a budget.
Why we picked the 55-inch Vizio P-Series 4K TV:
While the 65-inch TCL 6-Series is the best all-around TV under $1,000, the 55-inch Vizio P-Series is the one that those who take in a large number of movies ought to be interested in. That’s because it’s loaded with some serious processing power for morphing older content shot in HD or Full HD into a higher 4K Ultra HD resolution.
The P-Series is also armed with some post-production features that are designed to draw the most out of the content on the screen, including the firm’s Xtreme Black Engine Pro, which scans scenes, dimming pixels when necessary to deliver the immersive obsidian black levels the TV is famed for.
There’s also multiformat HDR on board, with the list of supported standards including everything from Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma to HDR10. Clump that all together and the result is spectacular contrast in the brightest and darkest moments, rich and natural color, and an impressively versatile, uniform screen.
“For this price, you simply can’t get better picture quality than with Vizio’s P-Series.”
In other words, you can spend your entire Saturday watching movies, then switch over to ESPN for a full day of NFL on Sunday, with the television excelling at that too. No matter what type of content you’re wanting to consume — be it old or new, a movie, or a sporting event — the Vizio P-Series will handle it with aplomb.
The P-Series is shaping up to be perfect for all content, so why didn’t it take home the title of the best all-around TV at this price? Well, the main reason is size. The TCL 6-Series costs near enough the same as the Vizio P-Series — and delivers nearly the same feature set — yet comes bundled with a screen that’s a whopping 10 inches larger.
TCL’s collaboration with Roku won the 6-Series some brownie points in the software department, too. Sure, the P-Series with its integrated Chromecast Ultra can tap into top-tier streaming content through the likes of HBO Go, Sling TV, and Netflix, but the catalog of supported content is nowhere near as extensive as it is on the TCL.
Why you should buy this: It’s a QLED, offers FreeSync VRR, and has an Auto Latency Mode on board.
Who it’s for: Dedicated gamers who are looking to breathe fresh life into their gaming station.
Why we picked the 55-inch Samsung Q60R 4K TV:
Samsung’s QLED TVs are the best in the business (on paper, at least), utilizing so-called quantum dots to deliver a viewing experience that’s far superior to that of regular LED TVs like the aforementioned TCL 6-Series and Vizio P-Series. Granted, it’s not something the average consumer will need, but it will appeal to dedicated gamers.
In a nutshell, QLED TVs are LED TVs that have been infused with quantum dots, a small semiconductor of nanometer dimensions, to enhance performance. As a result, the processing unit onboard the television can tap into a far wider color spectrum and achieve higher brightness, resulting in more vibrant visuals.
As well as delivering a more immersive picture (Fortnite has never looked so good), the Samsung Q60R has a number of features that dedicated gamers are bound to find useful, including an Auto Low Latency Mode, which is triggered when a console is detected to cut down input lag, and FreeSync VRR for the Xbox One X.
Let’s not forget that the Samsung Q60R is a 4K TV, rather than a dedicated gaming monitor, and that’s advantageous because it comes with all the smarts we’ve come to expect from high-resolution TVs, including the firm’s trademark UHD Engine, which is responsible for turning HD content into 4K Ultra HD.
It also ships running Tizen OS for TV, which is the component that earns Samsung’s Wi-Fi-connected televisions their “smart” status. It provides you with instant access to all the leading live TV and on-demand streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, HBO Now, Hulu, and Netflix.
Why you should buy this: It’s the most well-rounded 55-inch TV on the market.
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a 55-inch TV that can transition between games, movies, and shows with ease.
Why we picked the 55-inch Vizio P-Series 4K TV:
When we crowned the 55-inch Vizio P-Series the best TV under $1,000 for movies, we also noted that if it wasn’t for its size, it would have beaten the 65-inch TCL 6-Series for the title of the best all-around TV under $1,000. That’s because it can handle all content with ease, maintaining a crisp, clear image — regardless of what’s on the screen.
We did a deep dive into what the Vizio P-Series brings to the table two sections ago, so we aren’t going to get down to the nitty-gritty all over again. Instead, we’ll recap some of the best features for those who are only just joining us, prompting them to take a read through the earlier listing for a more in-depth analysis.
Right, so what are the standouts? Well, the P-Series is equipped with Vizio’s Xtreme Black Engine Pro, which, when combined with HDR — whether it be Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma, or HDR10 — is responsible for generating the oft-raved-about deep black levels that result in the unrivaled contrast in both bright and dark scenes.
The P-Series has also taken a trip through the Google car wash, emerging with a Chromecast Ultra under the hood. That can be used to tap into a number of streaming services, such as HBO Now, and Netflix, while also offering the option to mirror content playing on a computer to the television through Google Cast.
Why you should buy this: It’s a QLED TV with HDR, so it will win just about every picture battle.
Who it’s for: Anyone and everyone searching for a 4K TV under $1,000 with HDR on board.
Why we picked the 55-inch Samsung Q60R 4K TV:
The 55-inch Samsung Q60R is a must-have for gamers, but also for those looking for a TV under $1,000 with HDR. No doubt, the rest of the TVs we’ve featured all tout HDR, but none of them have a QLED screen, so the results aren’t quite on par with that of the Q60R — even if it, unlike the TCL and Vizio, doesn’t support Dolby Vision.
We aren’t going to run through what QLED is all over again because we touched on that in the gaming section. If you’ve only just tuned in or require a quick refresher, click here to be taken up a few scrolls for the more detailed explanation. In short, QLED is brighter and more vibrant than a regular LED screen.
Consequently, the results HDR yields are better than what would be produced if an identical HDR standard (HDR10+, for example) was running on a non-QLED Samsung. That’s because the Q60R has a better screen, so whatever image is being showcased is naturally clearer, with a richer and more natural color profile.
There’s no shortage of 4K HDR content to choose from, either. The television’s smart software is a goldmine for 4K material, available through the likes of Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, and Netflix, without the need for an aftermarket set-top box or streaming stick.
As the saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In this case, the one downside is that the Samsung Q60R doesn’t recognize Dolby Vision as a supported HDR standard. That’s not something your average Joe ought to be concerned about, but if you had your heart set on it, best opt for the TCL or Vizio.
Research and buying tips
- What size TV can I afford for $1,000?
- Can I get an OLED for less than $1,000?
- Can I use an HDTV or 4K TV with a PC?
- Do TVs under $1,000 work with Alexa, Google Home, or Siri?
- What outputs should TVs under $1,000 have?
You’ll be able to find a TV as large as 65-inches for under $1,000.
Unfortunately, no. OLED technology is only available on very high-end models and isn’t available for under $1,000.
Yes, as long as your computer has an HDMI output. Adapters can be used if it doesn’t, though they typically omit audio.
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 receiver.
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.
In terms of inputs and outputs, the main thing to look out for is HDMI. You’ll want to get a TV with ARC, which allows your 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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