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Best Big-Screen TV Bargains

Top-performing TVs aren't cheap, but these models offer a lot for the money

Photo of shopper in store looking for TV bargains.

There’s really nothing like watching a blockbuster movie or an NFL game on a big-screen TV, but sometimes our budgets aren’t as outsized as our TV wish list.

But you don’t have to spend top dollar to get a decent set.

Though many of Consumer Reports’ highest-rated TVs are expensive—prices for the top 10 models in our TV ratings range from about $2,000 to $4,500—our test results show that you can find good televisions for much less. And that’s especially true at this time of year, when many 2018 models have now been around for 10 to 12 months and retailers are starting to clear inventories to make room for new 2019 sets.

More on TVs

Below is our list of can’t-miss big-screen picks. These aren’t the least expensive TVs you can buy; they’re all 4K sets with excellent picture quality. Every one supports high dynamic range (HDR) technology, a feature that can boost a TV’s brightness, contrast, and color when done right, making the pictures on the screen look more like real life.

They also feature smart-TV tech, offering access to online streaming services directly from the set, without the need for an external streaming player. Most of the TVs are LCD/LED-based models, but we did pick one relatively modest-priced OLED TV because sets with that technology have recently dominated our ratings, providing rich, deep blacks and unlimited viewing angles.

Aside from one 55-inch TCL model, the list comprises 65-inch sets. You may be able to pay less by choosing one of these models in a smaller screen size. If you’re buying at this time of year, see whether you can get a 30-day price-match guarantee from the retailer. That will protect you against sudden, significant price drops at this time of the year, when prices can be volatile.

Though we’ve highlighted a few notable models, remember that you can sort through our ratings by price and find lower-cost models that fit even better with your needs. For example, all other things being equal, a TV with not-so-good sound will have a lower Overall Score than another model. But it might be a terrific choice if you intend to use a sound-bar speaker or home-theater system with the set. A set with a narrower viewing angle might not be an issue if you’re free to sit directly in front of the TV at all times.

The more-than-200 models in our ratings right now all went through a battery of objective measurements and subjective evaluations designed to push a TV to its limits. You’ll see individual scores for attributes such as high-definition picture quality, Ultra High Definition performance (for 4K models), viewing angle, motion blur, and sound quality. We also consider ease of use and versatility.


Consumer Reports buys all the TVs we test at retail outlets. We don’t accept freebies or hand-picked models from manufacturers—so every tested model is just like the one you might buy for your home.
 

LG OLED65B8PUA, $2,600

Yes, a lot of us may have a hard time wrapping our heads around the concept of a $2,600 TV being considered a bargain. But if you’re looking for a top-performing OLED TV, this 65-inch 4K set is the least expensive option by a few hundred dollars, and it still delivers everything you’d want in a TV: excellent HD and UHD picture quality, very effective HDR performance, and excellent sound. And like all the OLED TVs we’ve tested, it delivers very deep blacks, along with a virtually unlimited viewing angle. It's pretty much this price everywhere, including Amazon and Walmart.

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