There’s nothing quite like watching your favorite movie from your couch. You can pop up a bowl of corn AND enjoy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s with no one to judge you for having two movie treats.
Affordable TVs under $400 let you enjoy shows at home without breaking the budget. That’s a win for everyone. Plus, with the Smart features available on almost every budget TV, you can stream shows and movies or even cast videos from your smartphone.
Here are our top-ranked TVs under $400 to make your purchasing decision a little easier:
- Best Overall: SAMSUNG 43-Inch Class Crystal
- Best Runner-Up: Amazon Fire TV 43″ Omni Series
- Best Smart Functionality: Amazon Fire TV 50″ 4-Series
- Best 4K TV: LG Class UR9000 Smart TV
- Best 55-inch TV: Hisense Mini LED Smart TV
Best Overall: SAMSUNG 43-Inch Class Crystal
- Crystal UHD delivers very clear and crisp picture
- Features Samsung’s motion Xcelerator to display fast-moving actions perfectly
- Comes with voice-assistants built-in
- Ultra-thin sleek design
The ultra-thin design of its AirSlim profile makes the SAMSUNG 43-Inch Class Crystal blend in with your furnishings. Add a rotating visual art display, and you’ve got built-in wall art.
But a sleek and slim design isn’t the best part about the best overall TV under $400. The Crystal processor 4K shows you details with fantastic clarity. So, it’s almost like being at the theater but from the comfort of your couch!
The High Dynamic Range (HDR) video format opens a world of vividly bright colors that new films offer. So, you can enjoy movies like Avatar with the brilliance you saw on the big screen. If you’re streaming HDR content, this TV will show it in exciting detail.
In addition, the Motion Xcelerator format lets you watch fast-paced action with minimized blur. Motion clarity gets enhanced too, which gamers and sports lovers appreciate.
Another great feature of the Samsung 43” TV is that you can mirror your phone or tablet to it with just one tap. So, you can keep watching a show you’d like to see on a bigger viewing screen.
Check out this product on Amazon.
|Alexa, Bixby, Google Assistant
|Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth
Best Runner-Up: Amazon Fire TV 43″ Omni Series
- Supports vivid 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, HLG, and Dolby Digital Plus
- Delivers a clearer and more vibrant picture with brighter colors
- Features built-in microphones for hands-free TV with Alexa
- 3 HDMI inputs
- Built-in privacy protections and controls
Get the 43” version of Amazon’s Fire TV Omni Series for under $400, or pay just a little more and get the 50”. This version supports 4K entertainment content with 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, and HLG. But it won’t support Dolby Digital Plus, so you’ll have to look into the 65” and 75” versions.
The TV is hands-free with Alexa, so there’s no need to worry if you lose the remote. Instead, built-in microphones hear you ask to turn the TV on. Then, speak your content choices aloud to find and launch your favorite shows. No remote, no problem.
Fire TVs regularly add new Alexa skills and smart home functionality, so you’ll get the latest capabilities. At the same time, Amazon knows your privacy is important. So, the TV has privacy controls. You can even electronically disconnect the microphones.
On the other hand, if you’d like to add an Alexa Communications-compatible webcam, you can turn this TV into a two-way video calling system. So, you can talk to family in another state and see them in detail, with no more blurry video calls.
Three HDMI inputs connect you to video game consoles and cable or satellite. And the HDMI eARC makes for enhanced sound when you add your audio equipment. Amazon’s Omni Series TVs are excellent in home theater settings. That’s where they really shine!
Check out this product on Amazon.
|TV Voice Control, Alexa
|4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, HLG
Best Smart Functionality: Amazon Fire TV 50″ 4-Series
Amazon’s 4-Series Smart TVs work overtime to make viewing your selected content easy. That’s why you’ll find this 50” model on two of our best TV lists! In fact, it has topped our list of the best TVs under $300 that you can buy today.
It lacks some of the Omni Series bells and whistles, so you can’t access video calling or get TV voice control. But you won’t miss what you’ve never had. This TV is perfect for someone on a budget who desires a responsive and easy-to-use interface.
You get easy access to all your favorite streaming apps from user-friendly screens. Then, you can view HDR-supported content in HLG and HDR10 formats. This TV is impressive for everyday 4K viewing entertainment.
Check out this product on Amazon.
|Fire TV, Amazon, Alexa, Amazon Instant Video
|Fire Tv, Amazon, Alexa, Amazon Instant Video
Best 4K TV: LG Class UR9000 Smart TV
- Built-in workout apps
- Filmmaker mode to watch movies
- a5 AI Processor Gen6
- Super slim design
LG has been a staple in the smart TV industry for years, and the LG Class UR9000 Smart TV does almost everything your PC does without being connected to it. A vast screen to edit documents? Yes, please! Content, video calls, and productivity apps are built in, so you’re ready to go.
Watch your favorite streaming content in 4K HDR10 Pro, all on one of the slimmest TVs on the market. With AI-powered 4K upscaling, this TV really takes things to the next level. Crack open Netflix or Hulu for some of your favorite shows, or enjoy access to over 300 free channels with LG Channels.
If you’re a fitness fiend, you’ll like the built-in workout apps. Conversely, if you prefer gaming, then you’ll find the built-in gaming dashboard handy. Overall, this model has something for everyone and makes the perfect 4K TV under $400.
|43” or 50″
|Alexa, Google Duo, Far Field Voice
Check out the LG Class UR9000 Smart TV on Amazon.
Best 55-inch TV: Hisense Mini LED
- Full array local dimming
- Supports HDR 10+, Dolby Vision IQ, and Dolby Atmos
- Game Mode Plus and 60Hz VRR
- 240 Motion Rate
- Compatible with Alexa
It is not often that you see a Mini LED TV for under $400, but the Hisense Mini LED fits the bill if you can find it on sale. A mini LED model like this one will offer improved brightness, contrast ratio, and other enhanced features compared to a typical LCD or LED TV.
With HDR 10 Pro, a super wide color gamut, Dolby Vision IQ, and Dolby Atmos, this Hisense is one of the most loaded models on offer at this price range. It comes with all the extras like voice control, Filmmaker mode, and Gaming mode, and together with the massive screen size of 55 inches, it makes a perfect TV for your home theater or gaming room.
|Alexa, Bluetooth, Voice Remote, Apple Home, Google Home
|Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10
Check out the Hisense Mini LED on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best TV Under $400: Step-by-Step
When choosing the best TV under $400, there are five primary considerations (after price) for most buyers.
- Screen Size
- Image Resolution
- Refresh Rate
- Smart Features
- High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Let’s review each feature in more detail.
When buying a TV for under $400, you want to keep your room size in mind. First, the room’s size helps you determine your best viewing distance. Next, consider how many people will watch TV (or be gaming) simultaneously.
Screen sizes range from 24 to 65 inches in the under $400 category. TVs with 50-55 inch screens fit most living rooms well. Of course, a larger space requires a larger screen. But, then, you need to consider the next feature.
Think about your room size and the sound quality. Will you add a soundbar? Or does the TV have an adequate sound system? This is something to consider when making your game plan.
A TV’s image resolution makes a big difference in your viewing enjoyment. More pixels equate to more image detail.
So, you’ll get a sharper and clearer picture. TVs under $400 have three configurations for screen resolution:
- 720P (High Definition — HD)
- ~One million pixels
- Older TVs
- New TVs with 32-inch screens and smaller
- 1080 (Full High Definition — FHD)
- ~Two million pixels
- 32 to 49-inch screens
- 4K (Ultra High Definition — UHD)
- ~8 million pixels: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels
- 50-inch screens and larger (sometimes smaller screens, too)
You’ll get a better viewing experience on larger screen sizes when you also have a higher resolution. So, 4K is an excellent choice for screens over 43 inches. In fact, most TVs over 50 inches are 4K these days. Lower resolution works perfectly fine for smaller screen sizes.
The TV size and the resolution, color, and contrast are essential. Your TV’s contrast ratio comes from the luminance of the brightest white and darkest black levels. So, the higher your TV’s contrast ratio, the better it will display deep black tones. And that means you can watch movies in a dark room and still have a quality viewing image.
The number of times per second a smart TV creates (or refreshes) a new screen image is called the refresh rate. You’ll find refresh rates defined in Hertz (Hz).
A 60Hz refresh rate means the screen image is created 60 times per second. And a 120Hz refresh rate is double that at 120 times per second.
You’ll get a better picture the more images a TV can show per second. As a result, images appear smoother without flickering or stuttering, as in old-time black-and-white movies.
Smart TVs under $400 are solid investments for app access like Netflix and Hulu without relying on cable services. Your compatibility requirements may differ from your neighbor’s, so select the TV based on the services you currently use.
- Google Assistant
- Apple AirPlay
- Apple HomeKit
- Fire TV
High Dynamic Range (HDR) on TVs Under $400
High Dynamic Range (HDR) video formats are one of TV technology’s best advances. Viewers experience enhanced image and screen quality from the more comprehensive color range with brighter highlights and more contrast.
Remember that you won’t see any benefits unless you watch HDR content. Many streaming services have HDR content, and so do Xbox and PlayStation games.
But you’ll notice deeper and richer colors when the content you’re watching supports HDR. But, of course, TVs under $400 will look different than ones you’d spend thousands of dollars on, so don’t expect the heavens to open on a smaller budget.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©VasiliyBudarin/Shutterstock.com.