Your decorations are up, guests are confirmed, wings, chips, and dips are ordered and maybe in your fridge. There’s just one thing bothering you: the old TV sitting in your living room.
Super Bowl season is the best time of the year to buy a TV if you don’t care about having the latest and greatest set to hit stores in a few months. Retailers and manufacturers alike are eager to get old stock out of stores so there’s plenty of room for brand new TVs to take their place come spring. Across the board, you should see 2021 TVs at or close to their best prices ever, including some top-end flagships.
We’ve gathered up some of the best deals out there for the most budget-conscious among you. If you’re looking to size up your existing TV or get a large screen to watch the game on (and later put in a guest room), we have plenty of options for you to consider.
We’re breaking this guide up into three size categories: 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch. A general rule of thumb with TVs is the smaller the screen you shop for, the better picture you’ll get for your money. Our 55-inch picks span the range from good guest room TV to awesome all-rounders, where the 75-inch panels are more suited for casual viewing over a high-end home theater room.
Physical retail locations are your friend here, as some larger models are only available for pickup. With that in mind, stock can vary wildly depending on your location.
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55-inch TVs: Options, options, options
The sub-$800 field is most suited to the 55-inch class TV. Here you’re going to find an even spread of high-end technology that still fits in your budget, with a good mix of budget TVs meant to get the job done. Your best bets here are going to be the TCL 6 Series with Google TV and the Hisense U7G. Both of these TVs offer incredible brightness and picture quality for the price and the full suite of gaming features like 4K 120Hz support and variable refresh rate (VRR).
Want to go even cheaper? TCL’s 5 series and 4 series fit into just about any budget. If you can swing the extra $170 for the 5 series, I’d nudge you there as it still has local dimming for improved HDR that the 4 series is lacking, making it a better primary TV.
65-inch TVs: Great values
This size is where options start to narrow but there are still several models here that offer terrific value for the money. Your best bet here is the 65-inch TCL 5 series. You’re getting local dimming for HDR, plus VRR gaming (albeit at 4K 60 fps and not 120 fps) while still staying $100 below our price cap. The Hisense U6G also provides local dimming for HDR, but is a step down in brightness compared to the U7G. The TCL 4 series also holds strong and well below the price cap. At this price, it’s hard to complain about its shortcomings. The 65-inch Sony X85J also squeaks in here for those of you who value picture accuracy above all else.
75-inch TVs: More screen, less money
This is where things become a bit simpler. At this screen size at this budget, local dimming options evaporate. Many of our top picks in the 65-inch and 55-inch classes are available in 75-inch at terrific values, but you will be cracking the $1,000 mark to get them. Both of our picks here feature direct-lit backlighting for good screen uniformity for watching sports, but pretty poor black levels when consuming movies and series.
These TVs will be great to pick up for your Super Bowl party and move into a guest room when you’re not worried about entertaining a group of 10 people. Your best bet here is going to be the Vizio MQ6 TV, which features quantum dots for superior color accuracy. Quantum dots are absent on the TCL 4-Series with Roku TV here, but those do feature superior software experiences compared to Vizio’s ugly Smartcast OS.