Best 4K TVs Under $1000

Updated August 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

40 Models Considered
16 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best 4K TVs under $1,000

A television is the centerpiece of any home theater. In order to experience a high-end viewing experience with the incredible image quality and grandeur of so many newer films and series, a 4K TV is vital. The question is, how do you find the best buy?

Whereas these TVs were once luxury investments, they are now increasingly common and affordable. You have many options from which to choose.

We set a price limit of $1,000 and found that there are models across all popular brands with various sizes and features available. In this guide, we dissect the details so you can get the best experience. For example, if you have a large living room and opt for a 65-inch model, you’ll want a TV with a refresh rate of 120Hz. For a smaller space, however, you don’t need a big screen. In fact, a smaller TV with a lower rate of 60Hz may suit you fine.

For more critical information about features as well as information about some products we think are worth checking out, continue reading this buying guide.

4k tv under 1k
Many of the best 4K TVs can be operated not just by remote control but also through voice control. Some integrate with Google Assistant, Alexa, or both for added convenience.

Key considerations

What is 4K resolution?

With 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, 4K resolution is used to shoot most newer movies and shows. This includes much of the content created over the last 10 years. Film with 4K resolution features four times as many pixels as full HD, yielding greater detail and a more faithful recreation of the filmmaker's vision.

4K is often paired with High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. Whereas 4K refers to detail, high dynamic range refers to color range and brightness. A 4K TV with HDR offers vibrant colors and stark contrast.

Of course, it is important that you have 4K content to enjoy. This may mean subscribing to a streaming service that offers 4K content, owning or renting a cable box with 4K capabilities, or employing a 4K gaming console or Blu-ray player. For consoles or players, you’ll need games and discs that are 4K as well.

Brand

Three top TV brands offering excellent 4K TVs are Samsung, LG, and Sony. Budget-friendly brands offering 4K include Hisense, TCL, Sceptre, Insignia, and Vizio.

All these companies feature price tags under $1,000, though the top brands push the threshold. Generally, the top tier separates itself from the others with proprietary technology that boosts performance, power, brightness, and contrast.

Size

TV screen size is measured diagonally from one corner to the other. The majority of options are 55 or 65 inches in size. The smallest models run around 40 inches, and the largest top out at 85 inches.

Smaller models can provide entertainment in a cozy space like a den or dorm room. Some are used as monitors for computers or screens for gaming. However, if your TV will serve as the focal point in your home theater, you will likely want a medium-size screen or even a big screen.

Take into account the space available as well as your viewing area. An easy rule of thumb: figure out how far away you’ll be seated from the TV. Divide that number by two to determine the minimum appropriate size.

Refresh rate

The frequency at which an image refreshes per minute is the refresh rate. Measured in Hertz (Hz), most of the TVs discussed in this buying guide boast rates of 60Hz or 120Hz. A higher rate reduces motion blur, which is particularly necessary for big screens where blur can be more noticeable.

While there are only two native rates, 60Hz and 120Hz, companies add on technologies to create “effective” refresh rates. This is the brand’s way of explaining what the rate is perceived to be. However, when shopping, it is important for you to look at the native rate.

Year and series

A 4K TV under $1,000 likely won’t be the newest model. Chances are you’ll find suitable options that are one to three years old. Generally speaking, it is best to avoid TVs much older than that because they may not be equipped with the latest streaming services.

Double-check your WiFi speed and connection prior to buying your new TV. A speed of at least 25Mbps is recommended to enjoy smooth, detailed resolution without interruption.

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Features

TV panels

TV panel technology informs the quality of the images you see. LED panels are common budget-friendly options, but they often lack the brightness needed to keep up with the vibrant colors of high-quality content.

Similarly, many LCD TVs are low-priced with decent backlighting. However, these LCDs may feature lower contrast and require higher energy consumption.

A luxury offshoot of LED is QLED. This TV panel technology was championed by Samsung and later adopted by TCL. QLED offers impressive brightness, though contrast is sometimes sacrificed.

Another high-end type of panel features OLED. Whereas in LCD TVs, the pixels have uniform backlighting, OLEDs individually light each pixel, offering quality brightness and stark contrast. LG and Sony produce high-quality OLED models. You’ll find some QLED TVs for under $1,000 but few, if any, OLED models.

Inputs

You’ll want to make sure you have the right number and type of inputs available to connect all your potential devices to your TV.

Most have at least two HDMI ports and a USB slot, but some larger TVs offer more HDMI ports and slots. Consider which devices you will want to connect to your TV, such as a gaming console, soundbar, or Blu-ray player.

4k tv2
DID YOU KNOW?
It's worth investigating the TV’s audio and video settings when using it for the first time. While the factory settings may suffice for some users, experimenting with the options can help you get the best viewing experience.
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What you can get for your $1,000 budget

A budget of $1,000 is a fairly generous one, and you can expect to have a lot of options from popular brands for your home theater.

Size: You’ll have your choice of size up to 75 inches.

Brand: All brands are available with this budget, but the latest TV features and models from the top three brands may not be.

Year: Quality options from the last couple of years are available.

What TV features are hard to get for $1,000 or less?

The main sacrifices that may come with a budget of $1,000 involve brightness, contrast, and speed.

Some of the best QLED TVs, such as those from Samsung, may be found in the under-$1,000 price range, but they will likely lack size or high refresh rate. Luxury OLED TVs from makers like LG and Sony are tough to find for under $1,000, as are 85-inch models.

Inexpensive: For $500 or less, you’ll find some older 4K TVs of average size. These may lack newer features and higher processing power and refresh rates.

Mid-range: You can find a range of options in the mid-range, between $500 and $750, with your choice of size and brand.

Expensive: Products of the highest quality in this price range cost between $750 and $1,000. You will have some good options in terms of size, contrast, brightness, and refresh rate, particularly from Samsung, LG, and Sony. Look here for the best buys in the range.

The newest and largest choices cost over $1,000. In fact, some wear price tags over $2,000. These boast powerful performances and high refresh rates and come from top brands.

Accessories

Soundbar: Sonos Playbar
Most 4K TVs provide decent audio quality, but for the best clarity and resolution, invest in a soundbar. We endorse this soundbar from Sonos because it offers immersive sound, clear dialogue, and rich bass.

TV stand: Ameriwood Home Carson TV Stand
If you forgo mounting, you’ll need an appropriately sized TV. We like this durable option from Ameriwood Home that features cabinets, shelves for consoles and discs, and an open back for cord control.

Companies are already making and selling 8K TVs with a resolution of 7,680 by 4,320 pixels. However, their high price and the lack of content made in 8K means they won’t be popular and accessible for a couple years, leaving 4K at the top for now.

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Tips

  • Decode the serial numbers. Though complicated, understanding what each letter and number symbolizes can reveal important information such as size, series, and the year the TV was made.
  • Mount the TV. For the best viewing angles, mount your TV on the wall at an appropriate height. This can be done professionally or with two people using a stud finder and a few tools.
  • Regularly check sales. TV prices drop during the holidays, but they're frequently on sale throughout the year, too. If you know what you want, regularly check your preferred retailers for sales.
  • Consider what you watch. These TVs are best enjoyed by those who like newer content, major blockbusters, sports, and gaming. Older shows and dramatic films may not be greatly buoyed by this kind of television.
4k under 1k
Avid gamers will find a range of 4K TVs that cater to video games and offer a quality console performance. These TVs have high refresh rates and likely a game mode to enhance visuals and response rates.

FAQ

Q. Should I buy a refurbished model?

A. While a refurbished TV is a budget-friendly option, it’s also a risky purchase. It’s not always clear who tinkered with the product, and most retailers cannot vouch for its integrity. We recommend against purchasing a refurbished TV unless it comes with a warranty and guarantee of authenticity.

Open-box items, however, are not damaged products that have been repaired. Rather, they are returned items. You may get a reasonable discount on a product that works well but perhaps has some blemishes.

Q. How long will my TV last?

A. Depending on the year it was made, your 4K TV should last five years, if not longer.

However, it’s likely that once you hit the three- to five-year mark, you might be ready for new technology. With each new year, the price of TVs from the year prior drops as technology moves forward.

Q. What’s the difference between Android TV, Roku TV, and other smart TV platforms?

A. To make a television “smart,” a TV platform, or operating system, is integrated. Brands like Samsung and LG, noted for their quality TVs, boast their own unique smart platforms (Tizen and WebOS, respectively). These come at a higher cost but also offer impressive performance. More budget-friendly operating systems will integrate a system like Android TV or Roku TV to offer consumers access to smart services.

 

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