In the past, scouring the TV market was a fairly easy task, mainly because the factors under consideration were not that many (Smart TVs, UHD Displays, Curved Screens, etc. were unheard of).
Today, it’s a challenge to settle on a TV that perfectly complements your home. This is because technological advancements have caught up with the TV sector, leading to the continuous production of cutting-edge displays at relatively affordable prices.
Before setting out on TV shopping, it is imperative to grasp the basics of these scintillating devices. While display size is the most obvious consideration, its intended use also factors in TV selection. Ideally, a TV should sport a crisp display that provides an immersive and memorable viewing experience. The audio output should also be up to par to complement the vivid display. Some the best-rated 50” TVs that are currently available in the market include:
- Sceptre E505BV-FMQK
- Samsung UN50J5000
- VIZIO D50-D1
- TCL 55S405 (2017 Model)
- Sony XBR55X900F (2018 Model)
Features Comparison Table
|Device Name||Dimensions||Resolution||Refresh rate||Buy|
44.33 x 9.5 x 28.03"
44.9x 13.3 x 28.6"
44.24 x 10.04 x 28.27"
49.1 x 8.7 x 30.8"
52.5 x 7.69 x 32.5
South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung is held in high regard by many when it comes to the production of televisions. The UN50J5000 50-Inch 1080p LED T is no different, as its stunning rendering ability continues the tradition that we have all become accustomed to. Even better, this TV model is available at a pocket-friendly price.
The outlook of the UN50J5000 model is nothing to write home about. Its sports the archetypal design of most Samsung LED TVs, with a unitary base stand provided for those who desire to place the device on a cabinet.
The Samsung J5000 has a Full HD 1080p display, guarantying the rendering of crisp and vivid images, regardless of the setting. With a motion rate of 60Hz, viewers can enjoy action-packed events in a fairly comfortable manner. This is further bolstered by the impressive back lighting technology that Samsung has deployed on this model. Moreover, the integrated Wide Color Enhancer functionality improves the quality, saturation and brightness of images, ensuring that all content (including older non-HD files) are displayed with stunning clarity.
Playing media content stored in USB storage devices on the J5000 TV is simple, thanks to the ConnectShare Movie feature. This function enables the TV to play videos, audio, and photos stored in a compatible camcorder, cameras, hard drives, flash disks, and so on. Notably, the ConnectShare Movie requires an active internet connection to work. Moreover, users can enjoy high-resolution videos and picture transmissions through the two inbuilt HDMI input ports.
To cap off the impressive features of the J5000, Samsung included the DTS Premium Sound system. Besides delivering an unrivaled surround sound experience, this system decodes the DTS-encoded content, resulting in the generation of hidden audio channels. The DTS Premium Sound is complemented by tow 10-Watt Dolby MS10 speakers on either side of the TV.
- Affordable price
- Reputable brand
- Wide Color Enhancer
- Impressive audio output
- USB connectivity
- Low refresh rate
- Two HDMI ports
- ConnectShare Movie requires an internet connection
The VIZIO D50-D1 is sufficient proof that you do not have to pay steep prices to get your hands on a Smart TV. Although it is modestly priced, this model is laden with features that are normally found in high-end devices.
Similar to most current TVs, the VIZIO D50-D1 has two detachable stands at its base. Also, both its bezel and thickness are standard. Overall, nothing really stands out in the outlook of this TV.
In its price range, the VIZIO D50-D1 is the undisputed king of delivering images of incredible quality. The Full HD 1080p display is backed by a distinctive Full-Array LED back lighting, a unique mechanism that renders exceptional images by enhancing the recreation of colors. Furthermore, this TV has an impressive 120 Hz refresh rate, making motion pictures sharper and more realistic. Fast-moving content such as blockbuster movies and high-end video games are more enjoyable on this beast, thanks to the integrated Clear Action 240 functionality that powerfully processes images and further enhances the 120Hz frame rate.
Another integral feature of the VIZIO D50-D1 is the inbuilt Wi-Fi receiver. Using this, the user can conveniently access the internet and thereby unleash the full potential of this TV. The VIZIO Internet App Plus package includes popular content sites such as Hulu, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, and so on, through which a user can access the latest news, music, movies and live events. Amazingly, the apps are easily accessible via the integrated App Launcher and are automatically updated to the latest versions to provide a continuous glitch-free experience.
- Cheap price and value for money
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- 120 Hz frame rate
- Incredible sound output
- Premium app collection
- User-friendly interface
- Ultra HD content streaming
- Additional internet connectivity costs
3. TCL 55S405 55-Inch 4k (2017 Model)
Over the years, Chinese products have gained significant traction amongst electronics’ consumers due to their bang for the buck value. Fundamentally, they offer premium features at very affordable prices. The TCL 55S405 is faithful to this trend, combining HDR functionality with the stunning Ultra HD 4K display to render lifelike images with astounding quality.
Like its premium-featured contemporaries, the TCL 55S405 has an aesthetic feel with a slim frame and a thin bezel. Underneath the display is two base stands which are detachable. The front side of this unit is bare, as all buttons and input ports are either on the sides or at the back.
As mentioned above, this model leverages its Ultra HD 4K resolution capability together with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) functionality to deliver pictures of impeccable quality. These two technologies provide the perfect balance of contrast, detail and color to produce lifelike renditions of videos and photos. Moreover, the LED back-lit panel has a resolution of 2160p (3840×2160 pixels), further improving the quality of the display.
Since it is a Smart TV, the TCL 55S405 has an integrated Wi-Fi receiver and is bundled with the Roku Smart TV operating system. Roku TV features a comprehensive entertainment database with access to over half a million movies as well as thousands of streaming channels. Users do not have to fret over appalling internet connection speeds as the Wi-Fi receiver is compatible with both the 2.4 GHz and the modern 5 GHz wireless bands.
Besides wireless connections, this TV also supports cabled networks via the included Ethernet port. Other inbuilt ports include an optical audio out, 3.5mm audio jack, three HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2, RF, and Composite.
Remarkably, this Roku TV has a remote that is very easy to use. There is also a provision for using your smart-phone as a substitute through the Roku app, should you misplace or damage the original remote control.
- 4K Ultra HD resolution
- 120 Hz refresh rate
- Easy to use OS
- Value for money
- Exciting sound output
- Multiple input ports
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Supports Ethernet connection
- Mobile app support
- Internet connection costs
4. Sony XBR55X900F 55-Inch 4K(2018 Model)
If you have no budget concerns and desire to acquire a model from a reputable brand, then Sony XBR55X900F is probably your best choice. Nonetheless, this model is deserving of its premium price tag, as it is loaded with an array of truly superb features.
Albeit simplistic, the X900F’s design is nothing but elegant. Surrounding the vibrant display is an almost bezel-less frame, which is matched by the similarly slim chassis. The supporting stands are equally exquisite, and as expected, easily detachable.
The XBR55X900F has a 4K HD resolution that renders images with unmatched clarity as well as a high dynamic range of detail and color. Additionally, this TV consistently delivers images with eye-popping vibrancy thanks to the TRILUMINOS feature. Unlike other vibrant displays, Sony’s X1 Extreme Processor regulates brightness and contrast levels to reduce the instances of eye fatigue due to prolonged viewing. Also, the X-Motion Clarity function ensures that motion blur is not experienced while using this device.
In addition, the X900F also doubles up as an Android TV, meaning that it runs on the world’s most popular mobile operating system. This makes it compatible with Google’s digital assistant, Google Home, as well as its Amazon contemporary, Alexa. For this reason, users can issue voice commands to the TV, and also control volume, change channels, and so on. Regarding connectivity, this TV has an inbuilt Wi-Fi receiver for internet connections. It also has four HDMI ports, two USB ports (2.0 and 3.0), Composite and an audio out port.
- Top of the range image quality
- Compatible with Google Home and Alexa
- Controlled image brightness and contrast
- Elegant design
- Android TV
- Multiple input ports
- Expensive price
- Internet connection costs
If your TV budget is really constrained, then you should probably go all out for the Sceptre E505BV-FMQK 50-Inch 1080p LED HDTV. It’s incredibly friendly price tag makes it a standout choice for consumers who want quality without necessarily digging deep into their pockets.
Although it is not the most the aesthetic of TVs, this model somewhat sleek. The display is surrounded by a thin bezel, and its 9.5 mm thickness is comparable to the slimness of flagship devices. Beneath the TV is an optional base stand which can easily be fitted using the provided screws if you do not prefer wall mounting.
As expected of any Full HD 1080p display, this model delivers a crisp combo of clarity and colors to render images that take after natural images. However, due to its modest pricing, the TV has a refresh rate of 60Hz. Despite this, Sceptre compensates for the fairly disappointing frame rate with the inclusion of the unique MEMC 120 (Motion Estimation and Motion Compensation) functionality, enabling the TV to effectively refresh images at a frequency of 120Hz. This significantly enhances the viewing experiences, especially for movies and live events.
To complement the high-resolution display, Sceptre included three HDMI ports at the back of the E505BV-FMQK. The HDMI 2 port stands out from its counterparts because it integrates the unique Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) feature. Essentially, MHL is a function that allows the user to seamlessly transfer media files from their compatible smart-phones or tablets onto the TV screen (The TV screen mirrors the display of the mobile devices). Also, the MHL port emits higher current, ensuring that the connected device never runs out of juice.
Regarding audio output, the E505BV-FMQK is equipped with SRS TruSurround HD audio enhancement feature. This delivers a perfect blend of treble and bass, resulting in the production of clear and harmonious sounds.
- Sleek design
- HD display
- Affordable price
- Long-life LED backlight
- Low refresh rate
- No internet connectivity
How to Choose the Best TV: A Detailed Guide
As mentioned earlier, shopping for a TV is not a straightforward task, mainly due to the wide array of choices available.
For instance, if you take a walk down an aisle lined up with several TV brands, you will most probably get spoilt for choices, as all of them look stunning. This makes it extremely difficult to tell the great TVs from the good ones, at least for a novice.
The choice is made even harder by technological advancements, with terms such as 4K, Wild Color Gamut, High Dynamic Range, OLED and other related jargons being thrown around. Nonetheless, the guide below simplifies these technical terms, this helping you in making the right choice when shopping for a TV.
The factors you should consider when buying a TV include:
The resolution of a display denotes the number of picture elements (pixels) that form an image on the screen. Therefore, more pixels guarantee a higher resolution, meaning that the screen will deliver a finer picture. The most prevalent resolutions are Full HD (1080p) and Ultra HD (4K or 2160p). If you are going for a larger display, it is advisable to buy one with 4K resolution, since its effects are more noticeable on bigger displays; otherwise, Full HD is sufficient.
Ideally, your TV should connect with external media players, gaming consoles, audio devices, and external storage devices. Hence, it is imperative to ascertain the integrated input ports in your desired TV before making the purchase, lest you end spending extra cash on compatibility devices.
Standard TVs vs. Smart TVs
In this era of digitization, TVs have not been left behind – Smart TVs are gaining popularity at a significant rate. As their name suggests, these TVs have additional features that are not available to the typical models. Smart TVs can stream videos from Amazon, HBO, Netflix and so on, as well as browse the web, make program recommendations and respond to voice commands, among many other things. As result, they are costlier than standard TVs.
On the other hand, you can add the functionalities of a Smart TV to a standard model by investing in a separate media player. Such gadgets include Amazon Fire TV, Roku player, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
HDR is arguably the most prevalent buzzword associated with the current generation of televisions. The role of HDR is to improve the contrast and brightness of pictures, with an aim of making the images more lifelike. Usually, HDR is closely associated with Wide Color Gamut (WCG), as they perform the same function. It is important to note that HDR is only effective when viewing HDR content.
Limited viewing angles are perhaps the most glaring shortcoming of current televisions. This implies that the images look good if you sit in front of the screen. To evaluate the viewing angle of a TV, you should watch the screen from either side until the image appears washed out. You will notice that the degradation of image quality varies from one model to another. Typically, screens that have an IPS panel have wider viewing angles than the standard variants. Alternatively, you can opt for an OLED TV, although these come at a steep price.