It’s the dilemma of every entertainment system owner out there: You really want a display upgrade, but you can’t pay thousands of dollars for it – and if you’ve checked the latest, fanciest TVs available these days, you know they are well over thousands of dollars, especially when it comes to big new features like 4K.
The good news is that 4K TVs are finally growing common and prices are falling. The even better news is that we’ve searched the very best 4K TVs of 2016 to find those under $1,000, so they can fit both your living room and your wallet!
Before we begin, here are two important points to remember:
- Screen Size: Look we love 4K resolution, but it does have a screen problem. On smaller screens, you really can’t tell the difference between a lot of pixels and a whole lot of pixels. The bigger the screen, the more 4K matters. It’s a good idea to get a screen that’s at least 50 inches to benefit from 4K: After all, if you can’t tell the difference then why bother paying more? Also remember that the distance you sit from the TV is also important when it comes to resolution.
- HDMI: Remember that you’ll need HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 2 port for wired connections on your 4K TV. Early HDMI standards don’t support 4K, so you won’t get a 4K picture, end of story. Other port options won’t support it either, so you have to be careful on this point. Wireless streaming directly to your TV is a different matter: Make sure you have plenty of bandwidth!
If you really want to save money, this model is absolutely your best bet: We haven’t seen any other 4K TV with such a low price, and we probably never will again. This 50-inch screen includes a 120Hz refresh rate and plenty of outputs, including four HDMI ports. The backlighting is pretty simplistic and may decrease the quality of bright images, but at this price you can live with the knowledge of all the money you saved – it’s a fair trade, right?
Okay, so we’re cheating a little bit on this one, although we will note that the 50-inch version of this TV is well under $1,000 so there are options to save even more money. The great thing about this TV – in addition to its wireless capabilities – is the 64 active LED zones, a feature that tends to provide better backlight for clearer contrast. Otherwise extra features on this TV are sparse, but as we like to say, what do you use your TV for anyway? With so many features provided on receivers, set-top boxes, and consoles, most people just need a few HDMI ports and great screen quality – and that’s what you get here.
This 50-inch sharp TV increases LED backlighting yet again with a full array, which means the enter screen is backlight instead of just the edges, a feature that also tends to provide clearer, brighter images and so is usually worth the extra money (unlike many of those super special tech “features” that are just branding language). The refresh rate, however, is only at a native 60Hz, which may disappoint some hardcore gamers. Inputs include two USB ports and four HDMI ports, which should be plenty!