Best TVs under $1000 Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best TVs under $1000 you can buy in 2022.
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 a classy 4K TV).
If you've walked the TV aisle at Walmart or Target lately, you'll 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 – you might bag a bargain, but you won't get a good home theater experience.
With new deals dropping in all the big box retailers, now's a great time to buy – we've listed the best TVs under $1000 below. They range from $199 to $999, and all deliver excellent specs, features, apps and performance for the money.
How to find the best TV under $1000 for you
When looking for a good TV on a budget, you have to know when and where to make compromises. This might mean going for an older panel technology, sacrificing luxury features, or opting for a smaller set than you'd ideally prefer.
In general, TVs under $1000 are usually LCD/LED panels that sacrifice the high-end quality of an OLED panel for the availability and price of displays made with older tech. No, you won't get the pure, rich blacks of an expensive OLED with a TV priced under $1000, but LCD and LED tech is very mature today, so you can often still find sets with great picture quality.
Another essential consideration to make when looking for a TV on a budget is sound. In truth, even premium TVs struggle to produce impressive audio, and inevitably the quality at the lower end of the market tend to be weaker still. Thankfully, a decent soundbar needn't cost too much, so it's well worth saving some money in your budget for one of those. If you're dead-set on using your new TV's integrated speakers, look for models that sound particularly clear – you're not going to get a home theater audio experience from a cheap TV, so prioritize clarity.
Brightness and HDR are often complicated with TVs under $1000, too. While a certain TV might be marketed as HDR, many cheaper sets don't support 'true HDR' in the sense that they have relatively dim maximum brightness values, meaningfully influencing the contrast and clarity of their HDR presentation. If robust HDR support is important to you, you'll often have to look specifically for it.
If you're a gamer looking for a good TV under $1000, you'll want to find reviews of TVs where the latency of a particular set is measured, because oftentimes cheaper TVs can sacrifice latency to cut costs, or in exchange for better image quality. A TV with particularly bad latency can make any kind of gaming simply not worth it.
Ultimately, we at What Hi-Fi? notice that TVs under $1000 are rarely all-round great performers, but if you're just looking for a few features on top of a good-looking picture, there are great performing televisions that won't break the bank, which is where this page comes in.
Below is our round-up of the best TVs you can find for less than $1000...
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
The 50-inch X90J’s intense brightness and vibrant colours make it an outstanding mid-range option – and one of the best TVs under $1000.
Design is a mixed bag – the screen itself is slightly plasticky – but features are plentiful. The X90J boasts Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR, which focuses on trying to make images appear more as your eye perceives the real world. There's also Dolby Vision HDR support, alongside the more typical HDR10 and HLG HDR formats.
The result? Exceptional amounts of brightness that make it onto the X90J's screen with startling consistency, delivering some of the most flat-out punchy and bright HDR pictures we’ve ever seen on a 50-inch TV.
Sony’s enthusiasm for Dolby extends to the XR-50X90J’s audio as well, in the shape of built-in Dolby Atmos decoding. The size of the XR-50X90J’s soundstage is impressive too, delivering width and even a little height beyond the physical boundaries of its screen.
If you're die-hard movie fan who watches TV in a blacked out room, the Sony XR-50X90J’s sheer brightness might be a problem. But for most folk, the XR-50X90J’s love of brightness, colour and clarity will make it one of the best TVs under $1000 right now. And from a respected TV brand, too.
Read the full Sony XR-50X90J review
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 HDR, Dolby 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)
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
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
How we test TVs under $1000
What Hi-Fi? has state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, Reading and Bath, where our team of reviewers test AV kit against competitors and best-in-class products, which we've been proudly doing since 1976.
Naturally, testing TVs doesn't always require these facilities in the same way testing speakers does, but what's important and unique about our testing process is how we review products as a team. No one member handles an entire review, so we can limit individual bias as much as possible and thoroughly double-check our work.
Testing TVs is one of the most complicated types of product to test, since modern TVs offer an extraordinary amount of features, including supporting a variety of resolutions in both standard and high dynamic ranges, a sound system, smart functionality, and gaming features, too. A TV is an all-in-one device, which makes it a challenging proposition for review, but we at What Hi-Fi? are more than up to this complicated task.
For our TV testing, we test for picture quality using a huge variety of content from old DVDs to the latest 4K Blu-rays to a plethora of streamed content. We also don't accept out-of-the-box picture settings that a TV comes with, either. We don't opt for professional calibration, as a customer should never have to do that, but we do spend hours tweaking our settings to get the best out of a set.
In the context of gaming, we'll connect both a PS5 and Xbox Series X to establish what gaming features are supported and what performance is like. We evaluate stuff like 4K/120Hz, VRR support, Dolby Vision compatibility, Game Mode latency, and more, while we even look for HGiGs for more accurate tone-mapping as well as measure input lag using a Leo Bodnar device for the ultimate accuracy.
Naturally, we'll also test every major app offered on a TV as well as what kind of AV quality each service can deliver on a TV, making sure you can get the best experience wherever you go. We do thoroughly test a TV's speakers, since many will rely on them, but we almost always advise any TV worth more than a few hundred dollars be paired with a dedicated sound system like a soundbar.
We're all about comparative testing at What Hi-Fi? where we make sure not just to review how good a particular TV is at a certain price but how a TV performs in the context of other TVs on the market. Just because something's great value doesn't mean it's a great product.
When we write our buying guides, like this one for TVs on a budget, at What Hi-Fi? we make sure to not just simply select our best-reviewed products, and instead find televisions that look great while making smart sacrifices to keep costs low and only bundling in the features most useful to consumers.
All our guides and reviews have no input from PR companies, sales teams, or even manufacturers or engineers, and we strive to deliver the most honest, unbiased coverage our team of experienced professionals in the AV and consumer tech worlds can muster. For more information about What Hi-Fi? check out our About Us page.
Bargain or bust: Should you buy a refurbished TV?
Fancy splashing out? Browse today's best TV deals
Or feast your eyes on the best 4K movies and TV shows