TVs are arguably one of the most important things in humans’ lives. The super rich might want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the one-of-a-kind TVs and sort of that. For other types of people, that would not be necessary because a TV is considered a tool to view the world. That’s why a budget choice of a TV would just be perfect for the matter.
What can you buy for under $500? You could buy several sets of iPhone chargers, a refurbished iPhone from 2 years ago, or a good new warranted TV. In this recommendation, we’ll list out the best 55-inch TVs under $500 which you can buy online today.
For under $500, you don’t have to give up thinking about major brands such as LG, or Samsung, and you don’t also throw about thoughts about other affordable brands like TCL, Hisense, or Insignia. We have categorized the TVs under $500 as below, so please take a look.
1. The display technology of 55-inch TVs
55-inch is fairly small, as people say. It’s not too small that manufacturers can’t put an OLED on it, but it’s not too big to hold an 8K OLED. For the size, and the price, LCD, LED, QLED and maybe NanoCell should be possible.
- The LCD TVs
LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. An LCD display consists of two parts: the backlight shines a pure white light source to the world, and the panels block some of the light’s parts to produce the required color. LCD screens are cheap, affordable, and most important of all, easy to make. LCD screens are made into phones, TVs, even refrigerators, so they’re easy to recycle and use again.
- The LED TVs
As all of you have known, the successor of the LED displays is OLED. It might be a very different kind of technology; however, the basic principles are the same. The problem of OLED displays is that the prices are so high, so we don’t expect to buy an OLED TV with $5000. In this recommendation, we’ll only be talking about LED TVs.
LED or Light Emitting Diode, represents the idea when every pixel in an LED display is an independent diode that produces lights. When the pixel displays a color, say red, the diode at that position produces red; otherwise, it turns itself off. LEDs are a great idea to save energy while producing much better images.
- The QLED TVs
QLED is Samsung and TCL’s technology. When OLED TVs are too expensive to make on 8K, Samsung and TCL decided to adopt the QLED screen, which stands for Quantum LED, being an extended version of LCD with quantum diodes to absorb lights instead of blocking them. QLED often comes with HDR and is present on all the TV with 4K or 8K screens. Check this out from Samsung TCL 55″ 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR QLED
- NanoCell TVs
We have seen NanoCell TVs with the size of 55 inches; however, the price currently is not under $500. Despite that fact, we are expecting the price of the NanoCell to drop a little in the future and fall into the range we’re talking about today. NanoCell is still a new flagship bet of LG, so the prices are still higher than the ones you can actually buy at. NanoCell was born as an extension of LCD, featuring the tiny 1mm dot to absorb light instead of panel, allowing the 8K density to be easier to make.
2. The resolution of the screen
What is a resolution? A resolution is how detailed an image is. An image at SD resolution features somewhat around 640×480 pixels for two edges, while an HD image features at least 1280×720 pixels. 4K or Ultra HD screens consist of at least 3840×2160 pixels. The more pixels a screen contains, the more detailed you would see in the image. An unreadable word on an SD screen can be seen very clearly on an 8K screen, so people will try to put more and more pixels on screens.
- HD TV
These are usually so much cheaper than 4K and 8K, but if you’re thinking of buying one, you’re gonna have to accept the fact that the world will move on to newer technologies in a year or two. The brands aren’t likely to produce TVs this kind anymore, because it would not be profitable due to the reduced customers’ demand and the reduced 4K production cost.
- 4K TVs
4K TV is actually the most popular we see in stores nowadays, because it’s beautiful, smart, and sometimes more affordable than HD TVs. 4K content is now being made by creators and broadcasters. They are trying to do that over Youtube, digital cables or even over the air. 4K will be the new standard of the world in a few years. And you don’t want to be left behind.
3. The size of your TV
This article is dedicated to 55-inch TVs, so we would not give comments about other sizes. Make sure these conditions fit you before buying your 55-inch TVs:
- You have a small room with not so much space: Otherwise, unless you’re absolutely sure, we would recommend you a bigger TV, such as 65 or 75-inch.
- The viewing angle is not hugely wide.
- You don’t have needs for intense gaming
- You’re not interested in 8K. 8K TVs aren’t currently available for this size, so think about it if you need one.
55-inch TVs are made for small rooms with VESA size of 400×400 or 200×200, and making these is a hard thing. Smaller TVs can save you a few bucks of course. So be sure to check this out TCL 50S425 50 Inch 4K Smart LED Roku TV
4. Where to put your TV
TV brands always make TVs to be able to be put in various places, because some people like to put their TVs on the tables while the other half of the world like mounting it on the wall. The senior citizens are likely to be the former ones with the tradition of putting TVs on the wall, while mounting it looks so modern and the young really like it. For each situation, here’s what you need to think about:
- Putting the TV on the table: The TV out of the box is good right away to be put on the table. Therefore, there’s nothing further you need.
- Mount it on the wall: First of all, you need to know how much space you have on the wall for your TV, then choose the suitable size of your TV. Secondly, you buy a TV wall mount that offers you the VESA size of the TV. Finally, you drill some holes on the wall, and use a screwdriver to mount it solidly.
5. Additional features
When it comes to budget choices, the features might be limited. Some of the TVs we’re recommending today still manage them have support for these built-in:
- HDR support: HDR (High Dynamic Range) produces colors that are much richer and brighter than normal color definition
- Gaming mode: This is a feature we usually see on Samsung or LG TVs because they study the customers’ behaviors really well.
- IoT integration: This usually comes with support for AI assistants; however, it’s not all. IoT integration also means you can pair it up with NFC tags, fingerprints, or hand gestures, etc.
- AI integration and voice control: Alexa and Google Assistant are the most popular AI engines to work with TVs. Siri only work with Apple TV but it’s another type of product
The best 55-inch TVs under $500.
1. SAMSUNG 55-Inch Class Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series
One of the best-selling Samsung TVs calls the name of the SAMSUNG 55-Inch Class Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series. The model is offered in 6 sizes, ranging from 43-inch TVs to 83-inch TVs. Another reason for the popularity is the price and features. Normally, the 55-inch version costs you a little more than $500. However, some sellers might give you different discounts or promotions that help reduce the price to under $500, which, to a Samsung TV, is a great price.
Despite that fact, the TV still comes with a 4K HDR-compatible screen, powered by the CPU called Crystal Processor 4K, with Alexa and Bixby assisting you. The TV runs the Tizen operating system developed exclusively for Samsung TVs and Wearables. This model is made to work seamlessly with the Q60T soundbar also made by Samsung, and it can be ordered together with the speaker.
Finally, the TV is trending to people buying TVs. However, we don’t expect that to last very long, because Samsung might introduce a new model in the early months of 2021. Until then, the TV is still a good choice for both budget-expecting and technology-enthusiastic people.
- Crystal Processor 4K
- Tizen with Bixby and Alexa
- Made to work with soundbar
2. TCL 50S425 55 Inch 4K Smart LED Roku TV
With nearly 40,000 good reviews on Amazon and still counting, TCL 50S425 50 Inch 4K Smart LED Roku TV is truly the best TV of all times when the price is an important factor, and the best TCL TV. The TV comes with an LED display of the resolution 2160p or 4K, featuring roughly 8 million pixels on a single panel of 5 sizes: 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch.
Taking a first look at the TV, you’ll instantly notice the very thin bezel around the TV, somehow even thinner than some model from Sony or Samsung with a doubled price. HDR compatibility feature is present out of the box, along with the support for not one, but two AI assistants, the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Therefore, you can either control your TV from any Android Smartphone, or Fire lineups from Amazon.
That’s another reason for the very affordable price you see on Amazon. The smart TCL TV is powered by Roku platform, which means it comes with all the benefits of the Roku TV, including over 500,000 movies and TV episodes, free TV channels in the US and everything. There are 3 HDMI ports, and Ethernet port, and the standard set of Wi-Fi, USB that all other smart TVs have.
- Resolution: 4K
- Size: 43 inches to 75 inches
- The price is beautiful
- Lots of ports: Ethernet, 3xHDMI, and standard Wi-Fi
- LED display
- Smart TV with Roku platform
3. LG 55UN7300PUF Alexa Built-In UHD 73 Series
Coming from LG brand, LG 55UN7300PUF Alexa Built-In UHD 73 Series stands out not only for the price but also for the features. The TV model is now selling at $476 on Amazon, thus, with $500, you can buy this TV along with a wall mount to hang it.
The display is 4K, advertised to provide clarity in every moment, with pristine color, light, and detail. It comes with the standard QUAD CORE 4K PROCESSOR by LG, upscaling the image from 1080p or lower resolutions to 4K. The processor doesn’t work in the traditional way but adopts an AI algorithm to enhance the low-resolution image by adding details that weren’t originally available.
As generous as LG is, they gave the TV the ability to work simultaneously with 3 devices via 3 HDMI ports, to work wirelessly via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and to stream things with high speeds from the Internet with a RJ-45 port.
- Ethernet + 3xHDMI + Wi-Fi + Bluetooth + USB
- 4K with QUAD CORE PROCESSOR 4K
- Active HDR by LG
4. Hisense 55-Inch Class H8 Quantum Series
Hisense 55-Inch Class H8 Quantum Series is, as the name suggested, a member of the LCD-based TVs. The screen functions in a way that’s similar to QLED by Samsung or NanoCell by LG. However, the technology is not as good as the two giants, and Hisense doesn’t use the same name.
Instead, the technology is called ULED, claimed to be able to perfectly display more than 1 billion colors for the best images. In our opinion, this TV is the best TV in our recommendation list today to use as a part of a home theater, because of the thickness of the edges, the HDR and Dolby Atmos built-in.
The TV works with a voice control remote, and Alexa through a separately ordered device. Like the Samsung TU-8000, this TV is officially priced over $500, but there are discounts and promotions offered by Amazon to instantly reduce the tag to under $500.
- HDR and Dolby Atmos are highlights
- ULED screen, LCD based
- Voice control remote, Alexa compatible
- Dolby Vision is not available
5. TCL 5-series 4K UHD with Dolby Vision
TCL 55″ 5-Series 4K Vision HDR QLED offers you 4 sizes, 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch, and all of them are priced under $1000. Despite the low price, it still manages itself to come with Dolby Vision, being one of the most-anticipated features on the market. The resolution is 4K, claimed to be the superior 4K Ultra HD. It runs the Roku TV platform and offers 4 HDMI inputs, which we usually see on TCL TVs. An Auto Game Mode and Google Assistant, along with Alexa are available in this affordable TV.
- Comes in 4 sizes: 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch
- Very affordable
- Auto Game Mode
- A lot of AI Assistant
- Roku Platform
- Dolby Vision
1. How do I mount my TV to the wall?
Typically, 55-inch TV use VESA 300×200 or 400×200 as standards for its mount sizes. However, be sure to follow the steps below to check, buy, and mount your TV to the wall:
- Check the wall to make sure it’s safe to drill
- Take a look at the back of your TV and mark the size on the wall
- Buy a wall mount that fits those measurements
- Use a screwdriver to certainize the item
2. Does a TV take a lot of power?
Normally, TVs don’t consume a lot of power. The LCD takes up more power than OLED displays but in comparison to your water heater, or your microwave, your TV’s power consumption is nothing. Therefore, you don’t have to usually worry about your electricity bill even when you leave your TV turned on days and nights.
3. Can I view content with lower resolution than my TV’s?
Most of the time. 4K TVs usually come with a 4K upscaler to enhance your image to 4K by adding details that were not there in the first place to make the pictures look like they’re shot on 4K while they’re not. However, due to the price range, some TVs might not use algorithms and processors to do that. Instead, they use traditional resizing algorithms to transform the resolutions “information-preserving-ly”
4. How can I set up my new TV?
Most TVs have an intuitive, user-friendly interface to help you set up your TV. The usual steps:
- For Wi-Fi users: Power on your TV, the TV should prompt you to set up a Wi-Fi. Moreover, check out the Wi-Fi setup in Settings -> Connections or Settings -> Wi-Fi
- For Ethernet users: Plug in the RJ45 cable, and power on your TV. Review the default settings or change it if you want to.
There are still options for you to play content via Bluetooth or Google Cast. In order to do that, turn on the Bluetooth or SmartCast on your phone, and look for the name of your TV.
To open an app on your TV, use the arrow keys on your remote to navigate and click OK button when you want to launch something
5. Can I install apps on my TV?
Yes. It’s the point of smart TV. The new apps on smart TVs are usually found under the App Store or the channel, depending on the platform. For example, it’s called apps in Android operating system or WebOS, while it’s called channels in Roku platform installed by TCL. The apps should be more flexible because it works in terms of coding and self-processing, while the channels might be limited by the APIs provided by the platform.
It is certainly wrong when they say you can not buy a good TV with under $500. The price range might seem low, but it can still handle some of the best TV lineups in the world. These are our final picks of the best 55-inch TVs under $500:
- The best overall: SAMSUNG 55-Inch Class Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series
- The runner-up: TCL 50S425 50 Inch 4K Smart LED Roku TV
- The best LG lineups: LG 55UN7300PUF Alexa Built-In UHD 73 Series
- The best from Hisense: Hisense 55-Inch Class H8 Quantum Series
- Another one from TCL: TCL 50″ 5-Series 4K Vision HDR QLED
That has been our picks for the best 55-inch TVs under $500. For more features such as the gaming compatible or 8K, we suggest that you take a look at the best 55-inch TVs under $1000. We hope with the guide we provided, you have learned something more about TVs and how to choose the best 55-inch TVs for your family.