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.
That well-rounded option has a lot to offer users, but it’s not the only TV that provides quality at an affordable price.
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 and sports: 65-inch Vizio P-Series Quantum
- The best TV under $1,000 for gaming: 55-inch Samsung Q60R
Why you should buy this: It has a fantastic 4K screen, versatile HDR performance, and is armed with Roku’s excellent smart software.
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for great performance and intuitive usability at a killer price.
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 as much as TCL’s 65-inch 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 impressive contrast, and its QLED display technology allows for rich and vivid color reproduction to make any scene pop.
In terms of software, it’s driven by Roku OS, which 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.
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 movies, sports or most other stuff you watch at this price.
Who it’s for: Those looking to watch movies, sports, and other content with impressive brightness, lovely black levels, and rich colors.
Why we picked the 65-inch Vizio P-Series Quantum 4K TV:
While the 65-inch TCL 6-Series is the best all-around value on our list, the 65-inch Vizio P-Series Quantum is an absolute steal at its new price point. Yes, as you’ve likely noticed, this TV rides just above the $1,000 line from most outlets, but it’s well worth including in this list because it is just that good.
As its name suggests, the P-Series Quantum uses quantum dots to achieve incredible color reproduction from its clear, vibrant screen. Its full-array backlighting offers 200 zones of local dimming for rich contrast when you’re watching your favorite films, and its impressive peak brightness makes all content you view really pop. That makes it great for movies (especially those in 4K HDR), but also for sports, TV shows, and just about anything else you’ll want to watch.
The TV is also loaded with some serious processing power for morphing older content shot in HD or Full HD into a higher 4K Ultra HD resolution. There’s also multiformat HDR on board, including Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma, and 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.
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 both in equal measure. No matter what type of content you’re watching — be it old or new, a movie, or a sporting event — the Vizio P-Series Quantum will handle it with aplomb.
TCL’s collaboration with Roku won the 6-Series some brownie points in the software department to put it over the top. But the P-Series has Vizio’s ever-improving SmartCast for multiple ways to watch all your favorite streaming video. In short, this is a fantastic TV, and it may well be worth bumping up your budget to take it home.
Why you should buy this: It’s a QLED, offers advanced gaming tech, and comes at a great price point for a Samsung screen.
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 on board 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 several 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.
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 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.
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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