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Best TVs under $1000: get an awesome new TV for less

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Best TVs under $1000 Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best TVs under $1000 you can buy in 2021.

Fancy a TV that combines impressive picture quality with top streaming apps for under $1000? You've come to the right place – we've tested some of the best budget sets in the States in our quest to find the best TVs under $1000. Choose wisely and you can have your cake and eat it (in front of an awesome 4K HDR TV, naturally).

Those of you who have walked the TV aisle at Walmart or Target will know it's possible to pick up a 4K TV for as little as $300. But, in our experience, very few sub-$1000 sets offer great all-round performance. Compromises are often made in key areas, meaning you might get a bargain, but you won't get a good home theater experience.

With seasonal deals landing everywhere, we've highlighted our favorite value-orientated 4K TVs under $1000 below. They range from $199 to $999 in price, but all deliver excellent spec, features, picture and apps for the money...   

Best TVs under $1000 2021

(Image credit: Future / How to build a girl, Amazon Prime)

1. Samsung UN55TU8000

The best sub-$1000 TV around right now.

Specifications
Type: LED
Resolution: 4K
HDR support: HDR10, HLG
HDMI inputs: 3
Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 78 x 123 x 25cm (with stand)
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant HDR picture+Bags of tonal detail+Punchy colours
Reasons to avoid
-Not particularly bright-Uninspiring sound

If you can stretch your budget towards $1000, make a beeline for the Samsung 8 Series – we think it's one of the best-value TV sets on the market right now. 

The 8 Series sat just below the company’s flagship QLED panels when it originally launched in 2020, and it continues to deliver impressive picture quality at an affordable price in 2021.

It's packed with streaming apps including Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, Hulu, YouTube, ESPN and plenty more besides, so there's no need to add a streaming stick. You also get three HDMI inputs, a decent interface for browsing all that content and voice control if you want to get smart.

Here's the kicker: the picture is better than most rivals at the $600 price point. Colours are vibrant, black levels are solid and performance is good across 4K, HD and even SD pictures. Sound is basic but a soundbar would fix that. For the money, this is the smart TV equivalent of champagne on a beer budget.

Read the full Samsung UN55TU8000 review

Best TVs under $1000 2021

(Image credit: Sony / Hanna, Amazon Prime)

2. Sony XBR-49X950H

A classy performer for under $1000.

Specifications
Type: LCD with direct LED backlight
Resolution: 4K
HDR support: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
HDMI inputs: 4
Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 109cm x 63cm x 7cm
Reasons to buy
+Punchy, rich picture performance+Vastly improved sound+Snappy user experience
Reasons to avoid
-Same design as previous model-Some backlight bloom

On the hunt for an affordable Android TV with an exceptionally lifelike picture? This Sony knocks it out the park. Launched in 2020, the 49-inch X950H LCD TV impresses with a snappy interface, Dolby Vision HDR support and sharp picture.

NetflixDisney+, Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount+ are all on board to scratch that streaming itch, while Google Play Movies & TV delivers pay-as-you-go 4K content with HDR10. Sony has even thrown in AirPlay 2, which lets you stream Apple TV content from an iPhone/iPad to your TV.

Of course, the X950H's main draw is its rich but natural color palette and excellent ability to display dark detail. Motion performance is impressive and gamers should be satisfied to hear that input lag is just 21.1ms. 

All told, this set's mix of performance and technology makes it one of the best TVs under $1000 right now. And from one of the most respected TV brands in the business, too.

Read the full Sony XBR-49X950H review

Best TVs under $1000 2021: Hisense 43A6GT

(Image credit: Hisense/ You Vs Wild: Out Cold, Netflix)

3. Hisense 43A6G

Decent picture and sound at an extremely affordable price point.

Specifications
Screen size: 43in
Type: LCD
Backlight: Direct LED
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats supported: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Operating system: Android TV
HDMI inputs: 3
Optical output: Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 56 x 96 x 7.4cm
Reasons to buy
+Exceptional value for money+Brightness with HDR impressive+Friendly smart system
Reasons to avoid
-Colours can look a bit pale-Picture presets aren’t helpful-Some colour banding with HDR

Nevermind $1000, the 43-inch Hisense A6G is well under $400 (see deals below). Which is a nice surprise given that this 43-inch 4K HDR TV supports features such as Dolby Vision HDRDolby Atmos sound, and even 120Hz gaming.

Design is fairly basic but the presence of Android TV brings most major streaming apps, the ability to control your TV with your voice, and the option to streaming music and video from devices to your TV via Chromecast. 

As for the picture, the 43A6GT can't rival a premium LCD or OLED TV. But it delivers native 4K sources with a very respectable level of sharpness and detail, while the motion processor manages to retain a reasonable amount of sharpness.

This is a great gaming TV for the money with support for 120Hz frame rates (albeit only at 1080p resolutions); variable refresh rates (VRR); and Auto Low Latency Mode. Xbox Series X owners will also be pleased to hear that this Hisense supports Dolby Vision for gaming.

This is all excellent stuff, and makes the lack of such features on many more expensive entry-level TVs hard to swallow.  Too small for your living space? The A6G is also available in 50-, 55-, 60-, 65-, and 70-inch sizes. 

Read our full review of the Hisense 43A6G (UK version)

Best TVs under $1000 2021

(Image credit: Future / Bosch, Amazon Prime)

4. TCL 32S335

Small, smart and really rather good for the money.

Specifications
Screen size: 32in
Type: LCD
Backlight: Direct LED
Resolution: 720p
HDR formats supported: None
Operating system: Roku
HDMI inputs: 3
ARC/eARC: ARC
Optical output: Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 19" x 29" x 7"
Reasons to buy
+Excellent apps and OS+Lively color palette+Well-balanced audio
Reasons to avoid
-Poor motion handling-Limited shading ability

If you’re looking for a small TV, for a bedroom or perhaps even an RV, this budget Roku TV-powered TCL could be the perfect panel. You won’t find much smaller or cheaper from a recognised manufacturer and, in TCL, you’re getting a TV from a brand that's on the up.

Roku's excellent operating system provides the platform for all the settings and controls as well the apps and service, while the hardware is from TCL. As you can tell from the price, this is a super-low budget model and you only get 720p resolution, but that could be all you need.

While there are a lot of cheap TV pitfalls, TCL has done well to avoid most of them. The backlighting is even, the picture is balanced and the sound is clear enough. Its colors lack subtlety and its motion handling is pretty poor but at under $200, this is a great option.

Read the full TCL 32S335 review

Best TVs under $1000 2021

(Image credit: TCL)

5. TCL 55S425

A superb 55-inch 4K Roku TV for the value shopper.

Specifications
Type: LED
Resolution: 4K
HDR support: HDR10, HLG
HDMI inputs: 3
Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 78 x 123 x 25cm (with stand)
Reasons to buy
+Affordable 4K TV with HDR+Solid Roku TV experience+Good for gaming
Reasons to avoid
-No local dimming-Unimpressive motion handling-Limited HDR support

There are plenty of cheap 55-inch 4K HDR TV to chose from but few offer decent colour handling, a sharp picture and a brilliant smart TV platform. Step forward, the TCL 55S425.

The main attraction here is the presence of the slick Roku TV interface, which provides easy access to a host of major streaming services (Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, YouTube TV and more). You also get a basic Roku remote control with one-touch access to Hulu, Netflix and Sling TV.  

Of course, even the best TVs under $1000 make a few compromises. The lack of local dimming is to be expected at this price and the models listed above do a better job at handling motion. 

That being said, the picture is sharp and gamers will appreciate the super-speedy 14ms response time. So all in all the TCL 55S425 Roku TV is a strong option for those seeking a bargain 4K TV.

Read the full TCL 55S425 Roku TV review

Best TVs under $1000 2021

(Image credit: Vizio)

6. Vizio V505-G9

One of the better affordable TVs you can buy right now.

Specifications
Type: LED
Resolution: 4K
HDR support: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
HDMI inputs: 3
Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 112cm x 71cm x 25.6cm
Reasons to buy
+Decent picture quality+Good HDR format support+Built-in Google Chromecast
Reasons to avoid
-Basic port selection-Middling HDR performance-Quiet audio

When it comes to pure bang for buck, the Vizio V505-G9 knocks it out of the park thanks to support for Dolby Vision HDR, good color handling and Vizio's SmartCast software. Built-in Chromecast is the frosting on this high-tech cupcake.  

You won't be spoilt for connections and there's no Bluetooth but you won't be short of good quality streaming apps. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube TV are joined by Vizio’s own dedicated channel, called WatchFree, which streams more than 100 TV channels over the internet.

The remote is rather basic and the picture quality won't blow you away, but there's decent color handling and brightness, which should help make the most of this set's wide HDR support. Gamers might want to skip this TV, though, as 4K gaming is limited to 24Hz.

Gaming aside, the V505-G9 is a good all-rounder and well worthy of a spot on our list of the best TVs under $1000.

Read the full Vizio V505-G9 review

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Tom has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Men's Health, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile tech, electric cars and video streaming.