Big, smart and a crisp picture: TVs under 500 euros already offer everything you need to enjoy the TV program, for streaming and games.
By Sven Wernicke
High-quality TV sets with 4K resolution, HDR and apps for Netflix, YouTube and Disney+ are also available in the price range up to 500 euros. You can’t expect OLED or mini-LED displays with excellent contrasts and black values, as well as full color space coverage. But for everyday use, the LED panels on cheap televisions are absolutely sufficient. Well-known manufacturers also have very good units on offer for under 500 euros.
LED TV LG 55NANO796PC: a lot for little money
The LG 55NANO796PC offers modern features for little money.
Image: © LG 2022
LG now focuses on TVs with OLED and QNED screens, but the cheaper NanoCell models also know how to impress – and score with a fantastic price-performance ratio. The LED TV LG 55NANO796PC uses direct LED backlighting, which ensures good contrast and very pure colors.
In addition, the LG 55NANO796PC shines with a successful design and the current standards. HDR, 4K resolution, the webOS 6.0 operating system with all relevant streaming apps and the practical Magic Remote control make the 55-incher a real recommendation.
|+ Direct LED backlit NanoCell display||– Minimum above the limit of 500 euros|
|+ Operating system webOS 6.0 with voice assistants and smart home control||– No Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos|
QLED TV TCL 43C635: Quantum Dots for an excellent picture
The TCL 43C635 provides a crystal clear picture for less than 500 euros.
Image: © TCL 2022
The TCL 43C635 surprises with a QLED screen that is atypical for the price range. Nanoparticles, the so-called quantum dots, lead to very clear colors and high contrasts. HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are a matter of course for the television. Even the HDMI 2.1 standard with ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), which is relevant for gamers, is included, but the TV set does not support a refresh rate of 120 Hz.
Thanks to the integrated Onkyo speakers, the smart TV offers Dolby Atmos. The Android TV operating system used provides all the necessary streaming services and a good connection to mobile devices. And the design of the TCL 43C635 is also impressive.
|+ Quantum Dot technology for particularly good image quality||– Giving up 60/120 Hz and variable refresh rate (VRR) for gaming|
|+ Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos|
|+ HDMI 2.1 with GENERAL|
|+ Android TV operating system with Google TV interface|
Samsung GU43AU8079 LED TV: Dare to be more sustainable
The Samsung GU43AU8079 delivers a high resolution image and is also particularly sustainable.
Image: © Samsung 2022
Even the packaging for the GU43AU8079 contributes to more sustainability, the box can be transformed into a cat house or a bookshelf in a few simple steps – Samsung calls the Eco Package. The television itself is also environmentally friendly, the remote control is made of recycled plastic and a special sensor dynamically adjusts the brightness of the screen. It saves power.
Technically, the television is also well positioned: the Crystal Processor 4K increases the image quality of the LED TV, a contrast enhancer increases the depth effect and color contrasts. The wafer-thin AirSlim design of the GU43AU8079 is striking and truly beautiful. And of course the smart TV harmonizes particularly well with smartphones and tablets from Samsung.
|+ Smart ideas for more sustainability||– No Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos|
|+ Very good picture quality for LED TV|
|+ Operating system Tizen with many apps|
|+ HDMI 2.1 with ALLM and 60 Hz (4K)|
Hisense 50A7GQ comes with many gaming features.
Image: © Hisense 2022
Hisense 50A7GQ QLED TV with direct LED backlight and quantum dot technology gives you an excellent image with high contrast with intense colors. The TV supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision as well as Dolby Atmos. Hisense’s own VIDAA U5.0 interface offers intuitive operation and access to all major streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube.
Exciting for gamers: Hisense 50A7GQ has HDMI functions such as ALLM, eARC and VRR up to 60 Hz, which is especially useful for owners of current game consoles.
|+ Quantum Dot technology for particularly good image quality||– Does not support the HDMI 2.1 standard (ALLM and VRR via HDMI 2.0)|
|+ Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos|
|+ Operating system VIDAA U5.0 with the main streaming apps|
|+ Support ALLM and VRR for games|
LED TV Philips 43PUS7906/12: all-rounder with Ambilight
With its Ambilight, the Philips 43PUS7906/12 creates an impressive atmosphere when watching TV.
Image: © Philips 2022
Whether it’s movies, series or games: Philips 43PUS7906/12 transforms your living room into a sea of colors. Thanks to the three-sided Ambilight lighting on the back, the wall behind the TV lights up to match what’s happening on the screen.
And the LED TV can do even more: Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and HDMI 2.1 with VRR and low latency, which is important for gamers, are plus points of the Smart TV. The Android TV operating system provides access to a large selection of apps.
|+ Atmospheric Ambilight||– 120Hz (for gaming) is not supported|
|+ Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos|
|+ HDMI 2.1 with VRR and low latency|
|+ Android TV operating system|
What you should consider when buying a television for up to 500 euros
So that you don’t make a bad purchase, you should consider a few aspects before buying a TV set for just under 500 euros.
Size and panels: 75 inches for 500 euros? Sounds spectacular, but a simple edge LED backlight is usually used for particularly large televisions. This leads to a rather poor image with low contrast and dark. In this price range, it is better to use smaller televisions with 43, 50 or 55 inches. You get much higher quality devices with QLED panels or direct LED backlit LCDs.
Operating system: The common operating systems for smart TVs are Android TV (Philips, Sony, TCL), Tizen (Samsung), webOS (LG) and My HomeScreen (Panasonic). Some manufacturers rely on less common solutions, such as Hisense BYE. Make sure the apps you want to use are available to the operating system.
Apps and streaming services: Most televisions up to 500 euros allow the use of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and other well-known platforms. If you miss a provider, you can usually access it with a cheap streaming stick. All you need is a free HDMI port on the TV.
Standards: The HDR technologies HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG promise a particularly high-contrast, powerful image. Dolby Vision also makes it clear that a TV can display HDR content in very high quality. For surround sound lovers, a TV should have Dolby Atmos. And for Xbox Series X/S or PlayStation 5 owners, HDMI 2.1 with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (automatic low latency mode) relevant.
Ports and connections: Your new TV should have the most important connection and connectivity options.
- HDMI ports for receivers, games consoles, Blu-ray players etc.
- Integrated receivers for DVB-C, DVB-S, DVB-S2 and/or DVB-T2 for linear TV
- USB connector for connecting external data carriers or game controllers
- Ethernet and WiFi to connect to the Internet
- Bluetooth for wireless headphones and game controllers
- Optical output for hi-fi systems and soundbars
- 3.5 mm port for wired headphones
Power consumption: Not only the size of the television determines the power consumption, but also the set brightness, the strength of the HDR effect and the type of panel (OLED, QLED or LCD). Before buying, pay attention to the respective energy efficiency class, the device must consume as little electricity as possible during operation.