The 5 Best TVs for Under $500 in 2019

It's easy to buy a new TV without breaking the bank

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: TCL 50S425 50" 4K Roku TV

A wealth of entertainment options shouldn’t require a high price point. The TCL 50S425 is a simple and elegant TV with built-in Roku that gives you access to over 500,000 movies and TV shows. For even more control, the mobile app allows you to use your smartphone or tablet as a remote, offering features like voice control, a search function, and the capability to plug your headphones into your device and stream TV audio from there. Images are dynamic and captivating thanks to a combination of 4K Ultra HD, high dynamic range (HDR), and direct-lit LED. Apps load quickly, and Roku is continuously adding new features, which now include pairing with Roku Wireless Speakers for an alternative to a wireless stereo and Google Assistant voice control, provided you have the right equipment. The TV is also available in 43-inch or 65-inch models. 

Find out more about buying a TV if this is a big, new purchase for you.

Best Value: Toshiba 55LF711U20 55" 4K Fire TV

The Insignia Fire TV delivers top-notch visuals and a variety of special features at a surprisingly low price point. The Insignia Fire offers a 43-, 50-, or 55-inch screen, all of which deliver lifelike visuals in 4K ultra-HD resolution. It’s also the first line of Insignia TVs to support HDR (high dynamic range). This contributes to the striking picture quality, showcasing deeper contrast and a wider range of color.

Like most Smart TVs, the Insignia Fire provides access to top streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, STARZ, and more. These online services integrate seamlessly with your live TV. Additionally, it comes with the voice-activated Amazon Alexa, which essentially turns your TV into a smart-home hub. You can search for titles, control smart devices, switch inputs, and much more—all without having to lift a finger. The Insignia Fire also offers three HDMI ports for connecting gaming consoles, a cable box, speakers, and more.

Best Smart TV: Toshiba 55LF711U20 55" 4K Fire TV

If you’re already a fan of Amazon’s Prime Video service, the Toshiba 55-inch Fire Edition television has everything you need. The Amazon platform is now built directly into this internet-enabled television's main menu, giving you access to thousands of channels including Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, and STARZ. Use the included Voice Remote to ask the TV to launch apps, search for television shows, play music or control additional smart home devices on the same Wi-Fi network. Echo Dot owners can also pair and manage the television through Alexa voice control.

When it comes to picture quality, the Toshiba has 4K Ultra HD resolution that really shines when viewing movies and TV shows. Clarity, contrast and lifelike colors are all a highlight of the smart television’s overall performance. There are also a surprising number of ports for a budget TV: three HDMI inputs, an optical port, USB, Ethernet, and antenna/cable inputs. Amazon has also promised years of software updates to keep the programming fresh and the content mixed. 

Take a peek at some of the other best smart TVs you can buy.

Best Small Screen: Toshiba 43LF711U20 43" Fire TV

Amazon's latest effort to pair its Fire TV platform with TV manufacturers, the Toshiba 4K HDR Fire TV is a solid budget option, offering access to a variety of streaming services and dynamic visuals. Along with the expected Prime Video, you’ll also be able to watch services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, and access popular apps like Spotify, Twitch, and PlayStation Vue, among many others. The TV has HDR support, elevating contrast and colors for more vivid viewing than standard dynamic range (SDR), along with a decent number of ports, including one USB port, three HDMI ports, and a headphone jack. 

While fairly standard in terms of quality among other products at this price range, the TV differentiates itself with Alexa voice assistant integration. A built-in mic on the accompanying remote lets you browse, change what you’re watching or using, and even manage quotidian tasks like updating your calendar, all with your voice. You can also control all Alexa-compatible smart home devices.

Best Big Screen: TCL 55S517 55" 4K Roku TV

If you’re looking for a big screen on a budget, the TCL’s Roku-enabled LED TV fits the bill. Since Roku’s current catalog offers more than 500,00 movies and TV episodes, your viewing choices are extensive and easy to access through this TV’s built-in interface. Other apps like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and YouTube are also available to meet all your streaming needs. And if you’re tired of clicking through endless menus to find what you want, don’t worry — this TV comes with a voice control remote, so queuing up your favorite show is as simple as saying the word. 

Then sit back and enjoy all your favorite media on this TV’s 55-inch 4K Ultra HD screen. Dolby Vision HDR (HDR10) delivers lifelike colors and a superior native contrast ratio. Combined with HDR10, TCL’s NBP Photon technology provides true-to-life color reproduction. Gamers will find the screen’s dark shadows, bright highlights and low input lag to be among the best in the space. For gaming or other external hardware like Chromecast, stereo systems or DVD players, there are three inputs for HDMI 2.0 and a lone USB 2.0 connection.  

What to Look for in a TV Under $500

Ultra high-definition - We’ve surpassed the world of standard high-definition movies and videos. Newer 4K Ultra-HD televisions are now on the market at more affordable prices and offer four times the resolution of a TV with a traditional 1080p screen. If your budget can make it happen, seek out a 4k television for the best viewing experience.

Smart features - Who still has a cable subscription? If you don’t, then be sure to find a television that offers built-in smart services for connecting to services such as Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Now. Alternatively, you can purchase a separate streaming box such as Apple TV or Roku.

Screen quality - A beautiful image goes beyond the resolution of your television. Try to avoid anything that doesn’t offer an LED (light-emitting diode) or OLED (organic LED) screen, as anything else may result in a more washed out image. Additionally, if you can find a good deal, televisions with HDR (high dynamic range) can provide a more vibrant color experience.