TVs can be expensive. And whether you’re looking online or in-store, choosing the best television, can be a confusing process. Spending big may get you the latest technology, but most of us want to buy a good television at an affordable price.
All Verum TV recommendations here are under £500 – the cheapest costs less than £200. We compare 100s of televisions to reveal the best models you can buy, ranked by size.
How to Choose the Best Television
Generally big is better, but what’s important is the distance you sit from the screen and the physical space available. With size decided, it’s about picture & sound quality. Then comes connectivity. All the recommendations here balance these factors to identify the best television in each size category.
Verum only recommends Smart TVs with Freeview. Freeview allows you to connect to around 70 channels including BBC & ITV via an aerial. ‘Smart TV’ means that you can watch iPlayer, Netflix and other on-demand streaming services via the internet.
You may be familiar with the acronyms, HD Ready, Full HD & 4k? These specifications refer to the number of pixels or dots that make up the picture. The more the better, but what’s important is getting the right specification for the right size screen. 4k is a must on a 50-inch screen, but isn’t detectable on a 24-inch or 32-inch TV.
Whether you’re after a big screen for the living room or something smaller for a bedroom or kitchen, here are the best televisions, you can buy right now…
Best 24-Inch TV:
If you’re looking for the best smart TV under £200, with all the right technology for a 24-inch screen, then this Toshiba is the television for you. The HD Ready standard (see below) is perfect for a crisp 24-inch picture. Plus unlike most 24-inch screens it’s a Smart TV.
Why choose a Smart TV?
Watch, what you want when you want with this Toshiba Smart TV. Easily stream all your favourite TV programmes via BBC iPlayer, Netflix etc. Plus, with built-in Freeview, there are over 70 channels to choose from.
Connectivity is good with built-in wifi and all the required ports. Plus, this television has a headphone socket. This is far from standard with most TVs and can be extremely useful. Headphones can be great for a shared bedroom, for someone who’s hard of hearing or for a games player. Another good feature of this TV is that you can plug-in a USB stick for TV recording.
This is a great small television for an affordable price. If you’re looking for the best 24-inch television – this is it!
HD READY | FREEVIEW | SMART TV | USB RECORDING | AERIAL INPUT | OPTICAL OUTPUT | HDMI x2 | BUILT-IN WIFI | (W)553 x (H)333 x (D)63
Toshiba 24-Inch | Verdict price £180 | Check best price on Amazon
Best 32-Inch TV under £200:
Philips 32PHS6605 32-Inch
This Philips 32-Inch television comes highly recommended. And for a quality 32-inch screen, under £200, it’s also excellent value for money.
The HD Ready resolution is a good specification for this size screen size. Manufacturers (& some review sites) push the more expensive Full HD, but unless you sit very close it’s hard to see a visible benefit. What’s certain is that a quality Full HD screen will cost you a chunk more. This TV from Philips delivers a great picture & it’s excellent value for money.
Owners rate both picture & sound quality. Plus, most describe set-up as ‘plug & play’, although the instructions could be clearer. Freeview delivers 70 channels plus being a Smart TV, all your favourite Apps come pre-loaded. With one-button access to a clear icon-based menu, makes navigation is easy.
If your looking for an excellent 32-inch TV at a great price, this Philips television is for you.
HD READY | FREEVIEW | SMART TV | USB RECORDING | AERIAL INPUT | OPTICAL OUTPUT | HDMI x3 | BUILT-IN WIFI | (W)732 x (H)435 x (D)81
Philips 32-Inch | Verdict price £199 | Check best price on Amazon
Best TV under £400:
Samsung TU7100 43-Inch
This Samsung TV has it all. With a 4k display, HDR and a wide range of streaming apps, you can watch anything and everything with stunning clarity and sharpness. Some may argue that 4k Ultra HD is over the top for this size screen, but getting this level of specification at this price, from a brand like Samsung is worth grabbing with both hands.
With HDR10+ (High Dynamic Range) you get bright whites, deep blacks and true-to-life colours. This means a brighter, more realistic picture, whatever you’re watching. Beyond all the standard functions, this TV also works with Alexa & Google Home.
Owners have lots of good things to say about this Samsung TV, raving about the picture, sound and how easy it is to set up. There are a few minor quibbles that while the picture is good viewed straight-on, it’s less so at an acute angle. In truth, to get wide viewing angles, you need OLED technology (rather than LED) which costs around a grand more!
It’s possible to spend a lot more on a new TV, but this Samsung 43-inch TV has it all. And for under £400, it’s not just a great television – it’s also a bargain.
4K Ultra HD | HDR10+ | FREEVIEW | SMART TV | AERIAL INPUT | OPTICAL OUTPUT | HDMI x2 | BUILT-IN WIFI | (W)963 x (H)558 x (D)59
Samsung 43-Inch | Verdict price £380 | Check best price on Amazon
Best TV under £500:
LG 50UN70006LA 50-Inch
This big television has a 4K Ultra HD screen meaning it has four times more pixels and therefore four times better resolution than Full HD. At this screen size, you’ll see the difference with more realistic images and greater detail.
LG build lots of extra technology into their TVs. This model has what LG refer to as Active HDR. Essentially, this is an enhanced version of the recognised HDR10 standard, which will give you high contrast and rich colour. Another LG specific technology is ‘True Immersion’, which is designed to give you a wider viewing angle when compared to conventional LED TVs.
Owners of this LG television have good things to say about the picture quality, sound and usability. For many, a TV investment of this size means also buying a soundbar and should this be for you, all good. However, this television comes with good speakers and a decent built-in sound system.
There’s everything to like about this LG television – picture, sound, features and price.
4K Ultra HD | HDR10 | FREEVIEW | SMART TV | AERIAL INPUT | OPTICAL OUTPUT | HDMI x3 | BUILT-IN WIFI | (W)1234 x (H)717 x (D)84
LG 50-Inch | Verdict price £400 | Check best price on Amazon
TV Jargon Buster – Specifications Explained
There are so many acronyms associated with televisions. Verum looks to cut through the jargon & give you sensible advice, in plain English. However, some of the terms do make comparisons easier and are worth referring to. These are detailed below.
HD Ready (1280×720)
Great for 24-inch & 32-inch. In Europe ‘HD Ready’ means the device is capable of receiving and displaying High Definition pictures from an external source but does not have a digital tuner to decode the signal. The picture is usually displayed at 720p. This means there are 720 horizontal scan lines in the signal and therefore the picture. This is fine on a small TV (including 32”), but more lines and therefore more pixels will give a sharper image. This becomes more evident on larger screens.
Full HD 1080p (1920×1080)
Good for 40-inch screens. Full HD means 1080 horizontal scan lines. This will give a sharper and higher definition image, compare to HD Ready.
Ultra HD 4k (3840×2160)
Great for screens above 40-inch. Also described as UHD, this resolution will give you four times more pixels than Full HD. With an aspect ratio of 16:9 (same as above), this specification means the device can receive and present video at a minimum resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. Good for TVs above 50” and essential for 60” and over.
HDR High Dynamic Range
Technically, a TV with HDR is capable of delivering brighter whites and deeper blacks. However, it’s often used to imply a wide colour gamut and a brighter, more vivid image.
The television panel is made up of tiny pixels which are illuminated by Light Emitting Diodes (LED). The backlit screens give good bright picture quality and are comparatively cheap.
This is Samsung specific technology. The ‘Q’ stands for Quantum-dot. Samsung claim this gives a brighter display and a wider colour palette.
Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) illuminate themselves rather than relying on being back-lit. This technology has numerous benefits and one significant downside. The screens are slimmer (no backlighting), they deliver a superior contrast ratio (deeper blacks simultaneously with brighter whites) and a wider viewing angle. However, they’re very expensive (starting at over £1000)
Access to around 70 channels (including BBC, ITV & Channel 4) via an aerial.
Everything claims to be Smart, nowadays. From lightbulbs to motorways it’s not always clear on the actual benefits. However, a Smart TV does make sense. By connecting the TV to your home wifi, you can stream Netflix, Youtube, iPlayer and alike. Plus, play videos from your phone on your TV. However, some TVs are smarter than others. Make sure you choose a model that’s capable of streaming what you want.
How To Choose The Perfect Television
Even if you know all the acronyms and understand the jargon, it’s still hard to decipher the specifications and find the right television for you. The big question is how big is too big…
TV Sizes & Viewing Distance
“Bigger is better” makes sense when buying a TV. A screen that fills your view will give you a more immersive and cinema-like experience. However, most of us don’t have a home cinema – we watch TV in the sitting room, kitchen or bedroom. And a huge screen can dominate. This is great when you’re watching the latest blockbuster, champions league final or playing Call of Duty, but less good when not watching TV.
Take a look at the table below to check out the recommended screen size according to viewing distance.
|SCREEN SIZE (Diagonal)||VIEWING DISTANCE|
|24-Inch / 610mm||1.0m to 1.5m|
|32-Inch / 810mm||1.2m to 2.1m|
|43-Inch / 1090mm||1.6m to 2.7m|
|50-Inch / 1270mm||1.9m to 3.2m|
When small is better
As a general rule, the bigger the screen, the higher the price. While it’s possible to buy an expensive small television, it’s rarely worth it. Paying extra for 4K Ultra HD technology, on a small screen doesn’t give a noticeable difference (unless you sit 6 inches away). It will, however, look awful on your credit card bill!
Sitting too close
To see the difference between Full HD and Ultra HD, you need to sit pretty close to the screen. This means for a 40” TV you need to be around 1.25 m away to see 4k detail. On a 60” TV this calculation gives a viewing distance of around 2m – which is still pretty close.
Television Best Buys
Best Small TV
Toshiba 24-Inch | Verdict price £180
See price on Amazon
Philips 32-Inch | Verdict price £199
See price on Amazon
High-end technology at a great price
Samsung 43-Inch | Verdict price £380
See price on Amazon
Everything to like
LG 50-Inch | Verdict price £400
See price on Amazon
What’s the right screen size?
Take a look at the guide above, but if still undecided, choose the biggest screen size that will fit the space. The actual width of the screen, rather than screen size, is the best dimension for this – detailed above in the specs.
Choose any of the above screens and you’ll be getting a great deal on a great TV.
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