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Finest TVs beneath £500: low-cost TVs to purchase right now

The TV market is incredibly competitive, and that’s brilliant news for budget buyers: TV tech that cost more than a car just a few years ago is now widely available in budget bargains, and you can get an awful lot of TV for not very much money. Let’s look at a bunch of the best TVs under £500.

We think you’ll be surprised by just how much TV you can get for under £500 right now – and that’s without taking any TV deals into consideration. It’s a very competitive market, and that means our £500 figure should be considered an absolute maximum: you should be able to get any of our favourites here for less than that.

The best TVs under £500 you can buy today:

1. Samsung AU9000

Samsung AU9000 specs
Display 43/50in 3840×2160 LED
Supported formats HLG, HDR10, HDR10+
UI Tizen
Connectivity 3x HDMI, 2x USB, Ethernet, optical, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

At just £399 for the 43-inch and £429 for the much harder-to-find 50-inch model, this is exceptional value for money. You get absolutely top-class specifications for your cash including HDR10+, some HDMI 2.1 features for gaming, Bluetooth 5.2 and Samsung’s excellent smart TV interface with lots of free streaming channels and support for all the key streaming apps too.

It looks and performs like a much more expensive TV, it delivers surprisingly good contrast in dark films and shows, and the only real negative is the fairly weedy sound – something that’s a problem with much more expensive rivals too. Buy this, and one of the best soundbars and congratulate yourself on bagging a genuine TV bargain.

2. Hisense A6BG

Hisense A6BG specs
Display 43/50in 3840×3160 VA LCD
Supported formats HDR, HLG, Dolby Vision
Connectivity 3 x HDMI, 2 x USB, Ethernet, Optical, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Hisense make some very good entry-level TVs and recent price cuts mean you can get this massive 65-inch model for a smidgen under £500. It delivers 4K resolution with HDR including Dolby Vision support, there’s auto low latency mode for your gaming console, it has Freeview HD built-in and it works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Inevitably some corners have been cut to make this so affordable. The HDMI ports are 2.0, not 2.1, and the panel has fairly limited viewing angles and can struggle with darker scenes. But there’s a good selection of streaming apps and if you’re looking for something simple, straightforward and really rather massive, Hisense would be our pick at this price point.

3. LG 55UQ80006LB

QuicLG 55UQ80006LB specs
Display 55in 3840×3160
Supported formats HDR10
UI webOS
Connectivity 2 x USB, 3 x HDMI, Ethernet, optical, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

This is LG’s entry level 4K TV, and it prioritises performance over gee-whiz features. That means you get LG’s impressive a5 Gen5 AI processor, which delivers excellent upscaling from HD sources, and the panel delivers impressive contrast with wide viewing angles.

It’s not as bright as some rivals but the picture quality and clarity is excellent, it’s surprisingly loud, and in addition to HDR it also has Filmmaker mode so you can see movies as the director and cinematographer intended. There’s the usual collection of apps including Freeview Play, Now TV, Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+, and there’s also a Game Optimiser for your console(s). Last but not least there’s LG’s webOS interface, which is arguably the best Smart TV interface of all.

How to buy the best TV under £500

You’ll find two kinds of television in this price bracket: TVs that were designed to be sold at this specific price, and slightly older TVs that are reaching the end of their shelf life and are being sold at a discount, bringing them under the £500 mark as a result.

In many (but not all) cases, the slightly older model is likely to have a better specification – so for example our recommended Samsung has a better panel and spec than you’ll find in similarly priced 2022 models from rival firms.

So how do you ensure you get the biggest TV bang for your buck? The trick is to know what really matters to you, and to choose accordingly.

If you’re looking for a gaming TV, faster refresh rates and low latency modes are more valuable than a few extra inches of screen space; if you plan to connect more than just a soundbar or a single console or streaming stick, you’ll want a TV with more than one HDMI port. And if you’re already wedded to an Apple TV or Fire TV stick for most of your viewing, the smart TV operating system doesn’t really matter.

What about OLED?

You won’t currently find OLED TVs under £500 – they’ve only just fallen under the £1,000 mark – and there are significant differences between the various LED TVs on offer. Keep an eye out for differences in brightness – some panels are much dimmer and/or have narrower viewing angles than others, which can make them hard to see in bright rooms and less than ideal for bringing friends round to watch the World Cup – and if you plan to use a soundbar or AV receiver, make sure the TV has HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) or better still, eARC.

When it comes to getting the best possible price we’d recommend keeping an eye on our deals pages, of course, but we’d also strongly suggest putting any potential purchase through a price comparison service such as PriceSpy, Pricerunner or, for Amazon listings, CamelCamelCamel. The first two sites enable you to see what multiple retailers are charging for the TV you’re interested in, and CamelCamelCamel enables you to see its Amazon price history so you can see whether any discount is worth getting excited about.

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