In 2021, the best TVs under £1000 don't just represent a budget-conscious purchase. They're some of the best 4K TVs you can get, balancing good value with some seriously premium features. That price point is the tip-over mark, at which some key flagship TV features trickle down into the mid-range, giving you the option of some primo picture quality or a truly massive screen. Sometimes even both.
Software-wise the best TVs under £1000 generally get the same smart TV platforms as their more expensive relatives. This can often be the key to a TV which punches way above its weight: a good OS can make a TV easier to use and open up streaming options that a bad one can't. If a TV also inherits a processor capable of seriously good upscaling or eye-watering HDR, all the better!
We're not employing much hyperbole here at all. It is remarkable to sit and compare the best TVs under £1000 with the much more spendy best TVs; the latter may carry better panel tech, with the likes of the best OLED TVs and best 8K TVs doing things which simply cannot be done at this price point, but feature-wise things are often incredibly close.
HDMI 2.1 support is another strong feature, one we certainly weren't talking about in these terms a year ago, but one which has rolled down from the high end and is now far more common on the best TVs under £1000 than you might think. Seeing some of the best gaming TVs in this list is a real bonus, particularly if you've recently had your wallet lightened by a new next-gen console.
Yes, you can go big. The best 55-inch TVs are probably the highlight examples of the best TVs under £1000, but if you want to go bigger you can as long as you're prepared to deal with the slight image quality dip that comes along with the best 65-inch and 75-inch TVs available in this price range.
And if the best TVs under £1000 still seem a bit too expensive, never fear: the best TVs under £500 can offer some significant bargains which still perform well. It's also worth keeping appraised of the best TV deals, as you may be able to swipe a sub-£1000 bargain on a TV which would usually cost a lot more.
- The best TVs for gaming: top TVs ready for PS5 and Xbox Series X
- Boost your bargain TV's sound with the best soundbar or soundbase
What is the best TV under £1,000?
Our pick as the current best TV under £1,000 is the LG BX OLED TV. This TV is only this cheap thanks to a recent price drop – it's the first time that an LG OLED TV has ever been this low-priced. You get simply the best HDR performance available for the money thanks to per-pixel lighting, LG's image processing is extremely strong for sharp 4K images and upscaling, and it's ideal for gaming, thanks to a really low response rate, plus support for 4K 120Hz and Variable Refresh Rate over HDMI 2.1 – all of which are perfect for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
If you find that the LG has had is price jacked back up, our other pick is the Sony KD-55XH9005. It's an LCD screen with direct array backlight, meaning it's impressively bright (useful for cutting through the light in bright rooms), but also has good local dimming for rich contrast. It provides really rich HDR performance, and Sony's processing is second to none, so 4K images look perfectly sharp, HD video is upscaled to 4K expertly, and motion looks smooth with seeming artificial. It's also geared up for gaming, with HDMI 2.1 support.
The best TVs under £1,000 in order
It might only just squeak under the £1000 mark, but this is the best choice for the budget, hands-down. OLED TVs have self-lighting pixels, rather than using a backlight to generate their brightness – this means they offer unmatched precision for colour and contrast control. An OLED pixel can individually shine brightly, or dim itself right down the deepest black tone. It gives OLED TVs a realism that mid-range LCD TVs (like all the others here) just can't hope to match, and gives them a large contrast range that really makes the most HDR.
The LG BX gives you everything that's great about OLED TVs, without any cut corners. You can get finer image quality overall from LG's more expensive TVs, but you're not actually missing out on anything here. The panel is as bright as many other TVs in this list but can go much deeper into dark areas, making it supremely cinematic. LG's image processing is really strong, making 4K look expertly detailed, and bringing HD up to a near-4K standard with style.
It features two HDMI 2.1 ports, with full support for 4K 120Hz and VRR live now. The webOS smart TV platform is one of the best and easiest to use in the business (though lacks Freeview Play, which means weaker UK catch-up TV services than some here). It's simply an incredible package for the price, as our full five-star LG BX review explains.
The only downsides are that its audio isn't as strong as the images (you'll want to add one of the best soundbars to bring it up to snuff), and that OLED TVs can be prone to burn-in of static images if they're left on there for a long time, so it may not be the best option if you watch news channels all day (it'll be fine for anyone else, though).
Another recipient of impressive price drops, this seriously well-specced 55-inch set from Sony is one of the best-value buys around. Some of the TVs below beat for image quality in certain areas, but nothing gives you this quality of picture at this size with such great technical features to make sure it's future-proof.
This LCD TV gives you bright HDR images that really dazzle with colour, but it's also quite capable when it comes to darker scenes, though not as strong as the LG BX, of course. But it makes up for that with Sony's excellent processing, which makes motion look natural and smooth, and is fantastic at upscaling from HD to 4K, so everything looks detailed and crisp. Support for Dolby Vision makes the the most of its HDR screen, though there's no HDR10+ here (the rival to Dolby Vision used on Amazon Prime Video).
It uses Android TV for its smart TV functionality, which means it's really well-equipped for streaming apps, though the interface isn't quite as tidy and smooth as Samsung or LG TVs. And as a bonus, the built-in sound is better than most mid-range TVs – you won't have to immediately add your own soundbar (though you might still want to).
This is also Sony's only 4K TV from 2020 with HDMI 2.1 functionality, including support for 4K video at 120fps, which makes it perfect for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. It will also support Variable Refresh Rates and Auto Low Latency Mode via an update coming shortly. eARC HDMI support is here too, for high-resolution audio output to your sound system. Our full Sony XH90 review goes more into where this TV impresses.
This was Sony's flagship LED 4K TV for 2020, packing in all kinds of advanced technology and processing for supreme picture quality… and somehow you can get one of these sets for under £1000!?
Only the smallest size of this model comes within our budget, but 49 inches is still a generous size, and one that's small enough to fit in most living rooms without problem. But crucially, there's still all of Sony's wizardry going on here.
The XH9505 includes Sony's X1 Ultimate image processor, which works on making sure that all the detail of 4K video is brought out, and on upscaling HD into 4K so it looks pristine on the screen, and there's no TV that does this better, meaning you get the most from this TV whatever you're watching. The same processor is the best out there for handling motion, making sure that fast-moving action is clear and smooth while still looking natural. And we really rate Sony's ability to take SDR video and punch up the colours and contrast to look closer to real HDR, but again without making things look artificial.
Combine that with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio support, plus eARC for lossless connectivity with a soundbar, and you've got a really well-equipped TV for movies and television. The Android TV operating system has all the key apps available, though is a little clunkier to navigate than some others.
As our full Sony XH95 review tells you, this a notably better performer than the Sony XH90 above, so why does it sit below it? Well, we think a) the extra 55-inch size is a good balance for the extra image quality this gives, and b) the XH90 is actually more future-proof, because this doesn't support HDMI 2.1 at all. However, if image quality alone is your priority (or if you don't want to go as big as 55 inches), pick this instead and be happy.
The Samsung Q70T sits in the middle of Samsung's 2020 4K QLED TV range, bringing pretty much all the high-end technical features you could want, but with a slightly less advanced panel, making it great value overall, and an impressive balance of quality and price.
The image still gives you the wide, rich colours of QLED, with bright HDR highlights. It uses an edge-lit backlight, rather than the direct backlight of the Sony models above or the Samsung Q80T (which sits just above it in the range), which means it's not as strong for black levels and deep contrast. This means it's less cinematic than some TVs around the same price, but for overall image punch, it's a really impressive set.
Samsung has still filled this set with high-end tech, including next-gen gaming features. The Q70T supports the Variable Refresh Rate and 4K at 120fps features of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and when combined with ultra-low latency in its gaming mode (which it will switch to automatically when you fire up a console), this becomes a great choice for gamers. The downside is that it only has one HDMI 2.1 port, compared to two on the Sony XH90 or LG BX.
More good news: Samsung's smart TV platform is one of the easiest to use and most comprehensive. On the downside, you don't get Dolby Vision HDR support, sadly. We break down more of the pros and cons of this set in our full Samsung Q70T review.
The Samsung AU9000 is the company's highest-end non-QLED TV for 2021. You're not getting quite the same vibrant colours and brightness that Samsung's QLED TVs are famous for, but what you do get for your money is truly impressive.
Colours are still excellent, and even difficult elements such as skin tones are handled extremely well. Even better, contrast is really solid for an edge-lit LCD TV like this, and dark or black areas are impressively rich. Complexity in colours is taken in stride too – there's little sign of the 'banding' that cheap image processing can cause.
Even more importantly, detail is simply superb. Feed this TV with a 4K source and it really lets everything shine through, looking sharp. It's also great at upscaling HD sources to 4K, keeping them clean and realistic.
Samsung Tizen smart TV platform is here, and it's easily one of the best systems when it comes to being easy to use. It's clear, it's smooth and it's unfussy – it's a great thing to have powering your TV.
This TV is an excellent choice for gaming too – incredibly low response times and Auto Low Latency Mode over HDMI are welcome additions.
We've chosen the smallest 43-inch size for this guide, but the set is also a top buy at its other sizes – it's just that some of the other options here offer a little more in certain areas in bigger sizes. Here's our full, five-star Samsung AU9000 review, though.
You wouldn’t know to look at it, but the HX800 series is one of Panasonic’s most affordable LED ranges. You wouldn’t know it from a glance at the spec-sheet, either: the TX-58HX800 may only be an edge-lit design rather than feature the local dimming of its pricier stable-mates, but it holds a full hand of HDR compatibility, up to and including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.
And you wouldn’t know by operating it, because its My Home Screen 5.0 user interface is clean, rapid, logical, and can be customised in any number of ways, though it's lacking Disney+ support currently.
Most of all, though, you wouldn’t be able to tell this is more on the budget end by watching it. Given the best chance, with some dynamic HDR material, it reveals vivid, detailed contrasts and wide-ranging, punchy colours. It’s confident where motion and sport are concerned, and keeps picture noise to an absolute minimum.
It's not the brightest here, it's true, (both sets above are much brighter), but the tuning on its picture for realism in films overcomes that easily – it still looks rich and engaging in ways that many TVs with brighter panels don't manage still.
Its 58-inch size is an unusual one so far (55-inch and 65-inch being more common), but we've heard from the industry to expect more 58-inch models in the future, so you can be ahead of the trend here.
In short, judged on its own terms – as a big 4K TV with an extensive specification and exemplary usability at a fiercely competitive price – the TX-58HX800 is just about as good as it gets, as our full Panasonic HX800 review reveals.
Samsung's entry-level QLED screen comes in two flavours (the Q60T or the Q65T), which is just a cosmetic variant) but the differences are cosmetic – these are the same TV, but you'll see different versions at different retailers.
The Q60T range is pushing a real sweet-spot in Samsung’s extensive ranges of 4K TVs. Pictures from 4K sources are outstanding: vivid-yet-natural colours, strong contrasts, lavish detail levels and smooth motion. Upscaling from lesser resolutions is accomplished too, with super-low picture noise and a fine colour balance.
Add in a Tizen-based operating system/user interface that’s a match for the best around – responsive, logical and not too in-yer-face – plus an incredibly rapid sub-10ms response time when in ‘Game’ mode and the Q60T starts to look compelling. Then there’s the customary Samsung quality of build and finish – nothing about the way this TV presents itself suggests it’s built to hit a lower price.
Consider everything the Q60T does brilliantly, and you’ll find it easy to overlook its shortcomings, especially since there aren't many of them: the sound this Samsung makes in no way does justice to the pictures it delivers, like all Samsung TVs it goes without Dolby Vision, and though it's great for gaming in terms of its rapid response times, it doesn't support the new 4K/120fps and Variable Refresh Rate features of the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. If you're not a next-gen gaming nut and are happy beefing it up with a soundbar, those aren't even flaws at all…
The Samsung TU8500 is the highest-end TV in Samsung's range that doesn't have a QLED screen. It's subsequently not quite as bright as the Q-range TVs above, and doesn't have quite such an eye-catching colour range, but compared to other TVs in the same price bracket, it offers high-quality, sharp 4K images and great contrast, with accurate blacks.
Samsung is using an interesting new backlight tech with two different colours of LEDs, and it does a great job of keep blacks looking deep, while also providing a good overall brightness level, only really struggling with HDR, which lacks the pop of more expensive TVs.
The real trick here is that while the images are 'good for the price', the apps and software you use on the TV are 'good for any price at all', because it uses Samsung's full Tizen smart TV system, so the usability is on par with the flaggiest of flagships. If you're looking for a lovely big TV that doesn't let itself down on image quality, and has every streaming option you could want in an easy-to-use system, this is absolutely perfect. Read more in our full Samsung TU8500 review.
If you want your money to buy the biggest and punchiest screen it can, this Philips is absolutely the way to go. There's a ridiculous amount of technology in here, yet it remains slightly mind-blowing value and a good performer.
Essential to making ownership of a panel this big worthwhile is good image processing, and Philips' P5 picture processor is a really strong for this, applying great upscaling to make HD video look tolerable on the giant screen, and handling motion well to make sure it's nice and clear.
There's also support for both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision dynamic HDR formats, meaning that you really get the most from the panel when it comes to contrast and colours. It's not the brightest and most dazzling for HDR content, but there's very little to complain about for a mid-range TV overall, and even less when you consider the size and value.
As an added bonus, it includes Philips' Ambilight tech, which spreads colours matching what's on-screen onto the wall around the TV, just in case the full 75 inches of TV wasn't immersive enough for you…
How we chose the best TV under £1,000
From eye-candy UHD visuals and superior sound to drop dead gorgeous design, these are the TV sets you should be shortlisting right now.
All demonstrably benefit from the extra clarity that 4K offers, a fact that will be particularly noticeable when upgrading from a 1080p telly. The good news is that there’s now less of a shortage of native UHD content to exploit this resolution boost. From Apple TV and the burgeoning UHD Blu-ray catalogue, to Netflix, Amazon and Sky, there’s plenty of stuff to show off your new panel’s prowess.
And of course gaming is increasingly a source of spectacular 4K, thanks to the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X (and soon the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X).
All these TVs feature HDR onboard. It’s worth noting that not all screens that claim to be HDR offer a genuine HDR experience, with properly bright spectral highlights. Many lower cost models are merely 'HDR compatible' (which means they know when they’re receiving HDR content, but they don’t have the wherewithal to do much with it). Naturally, we're looking for the ones that truly make the most of HDR.
The other area where corners are inevitably cut with less flagship TVs is sound, but that's easily solved with one of the best soundbars. You can add one now (just factor it into your budget), or try without for a while and add one when you're ready.
- The best 32-inch TVs – perfect for bedrooms and offices
- The best 43-inch TVs – great entry-level 4K sets
- The best 48- to 50-inch TVs – beautiful mid-size 4K TV sets
- The best 55-inch TVs – premium TVs that still fit most living rooms
- The best 65-inch TVs – beautiful big-screen TVs
- The best 75-inch TVs – giant 4K and 8K TVs packed with features