The best 43-inch TVs remain massively popular, though you might not realise that when looking at the latest elite-level models, which tend to only come in larger sizes. Giant TVs sell well, no question, but for so many people a 43-inch TVs is all they want – or need, depending on the size of your room!
That's definitely true if you're looking for a TV for back-to-school season – a 43-inch TV is about the biggest that most people's bedrooms can accommodate, or is ideal for a shared living room TV in a student house.
Happily, while the best 43-inch TVs might not include the absolutely peak of TV technology, they do come in some excellent mid-range models that make for excellent value when balancing image quality with price. And even better, when it comes to smart TV features, they tend to be exactly the same as even the highest-end models, so for ease-of-use, these are top-notch.
You'll find that the best 48-to-50-inch TVs start to really add some options for higher picture quality at a higher price, and that only builds if you step up to the best 55-inch TVs – but you'll also see that there's a huge amount of crossover between the TVs we have here and larger sizes. For most people, the quality of these TVs is right at the sweet spot.
So don't expect the same ultra-high-end panel tech as the very best TVs (in particular, there are zero OLED TVs available in this size so far) but you will find advanced image processing and streaming features here, and those are some of the most important things. Some will include great gaming features too, though at the moment none has the HDMI 2.1 features that the best gaming TVs offer (though perhaps that isn't a problem for you).
And there's no lack of support for HDR formats for truly modern viewing – that, and they're all 4K, naturally! You can get some really impressive stuff, especially when you consider that all of these models are well-priced enough to be in our lists of the best TVs under £500 and best TVs under £1,000. If you're keen on HDR, make sure you keep an eye out for brightness levels, if you can get 600 nits or higher, you're likely to have a very good experience.
Best 43-inch TV: What to look for
For many people, a 43-inch TV is the perfect size for smaller UK living rooms. It’s big enough to deliver a detailed picture at a sensible viewing distance, but not so big that you feel you’re in the front row of the cinema.
As a general rule, the best viewing distance is around twice the diagonal screen distance. So for a 43-inch smart TV, you should ideally be sitting about seven to nine feet away, though these are only rough guidelines.
A 43-inch TV is the first screen size where you can really begin to enjoy the higher resolution benefits of 4K Ultra HD. LCD panel technology still dominates because the smallest OLED TV is 48 inches, but you will start to see manufacturers employing direct LED backlights and local dimming for a superior picture.
The HDR performance will also improve, with wider colours from technologies such as QLED, and increased brightness.
Some manufacturers will also include their full smart TV platforms, which is a bonus, since it gives you access to catch-up TV and streaming services without any additional boxes needed.
The one thing you shouldn't expect from many 43-inch TVs is blockbuster built-in sound. A few have more impressive speaker systems than others, but the small size and lower price means it just isn't a huge focus for most of them. Their sound will be perfectly adequate, of course, but not cinematic. Our list of the best soundbars has some excellent compact options in a range of budgets, though, if you want to upgrade the audio.
Best 43-inch TVs: the list
This is the smallest TV you can get with Samsung's famed QLED screen technology. The use of quantum dot technology ensures the Q60T is the best 43-inch HDR TV, with wider colours, higher peak brightness, and support for HDR10+. It also boasts the AI-enhanced Quantum Processor to upscale HD and SD content, and get the best out of the 4K panel.
The Q60T is also a fantastic 43-inch Smart TV, with Samsung’s full suite of features. These include easy set-up via the SmartThings app, Ambient Mode, and the ability to work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
There’s a comprehensive selection of streaming services that includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Now TV, Apple TV+, Disney+ and all the UK catch-up services. There’s even a Universal Guide to make sure all this choice doesn’t overwhelm you.
If you’re a gamer there are plenty of useful features, including a very low input lag and enhancement options. The Q60T uses edge LED backlighting (rather than the more spectacular for HDR 'direct' backlighting of more expensive QLED models), and Samsung doesn’t support Dolby Vision, but otherwise this excellent 43-inch LCD TV is hard to fault, as our full Samsung Q60T review explains.
The LG NANO796 features a direct LED backlight, which means you're getting the potential for strong brightness, visibility and contrast, backed up LG's excellent processing. Throw in Dolby Vision support and a great and usable smart TV platform, and it's a real winner for its current price.
LG uses an IPS panel here, which means better off-axis viewing angles (ie, in a living room where people aren't facing the screen directly, they'll get a better experience), but it means slightly weaker black tones than the Samsung above delivers. We're glad to see Dolby Vision on board, because this advanced form of HDR makes better use of the mid-range brightness levels that a panel like this can achieve.
LG's processing handles upscaling from HD to 4K well, as well as motion. And its webOS smart TV feature are really easy to get to grips with – though for UK buyers, the lack of Freeview Play or a complete set of alternative catch-up TV options is disappointing. It's an excellent TV overall – possibly just about a better choice than the Samsung if you'll be viewing from an angle a lot.
This is Samsung's highest-end TV from 2021 that doesn't include its QLED panel technology. This brings the price down nicely compared to its 2021 QLED sets, but you won't feel like you're getting budget image quality. When it comes to detail especially, this really takes advantage of being a 4K set – everything is beautifully sharp and crisp. It's also really strong at upscaling from HD, so the majority of stuff on streaming services still looks great on all those pixels. Colours and contrast are handled better than you might expect too, while motion control is also impressive.
Samsung Tizen smart TV platform is one of the best around, combining comprehensive app support with being really easy to use and to navigate. Connectivity here is solid, and the extremely low response time in the gaming mode will be really welcome to gamers. It's just a really impressive package overall, with the one exception being the sound, which is average at best. Here's our full Samsung AU9000 review.
When it comes to the the best 43-inch 4K TV for picture quality, nothing beats the Panasonic HX940. This high-end LED TV boasts intelligent local dimming, and a panel with increased brightness and wider colours. Hollywood professionals have tuned the panel, while Panasonic’s proprietary HCX Pro intelligent processor helps ensure the best-possible images when watching movies. The HX940 not only supports Ultra HD, but also every version of high dynamic range, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.
Panasonic hasn’t skimped on the sound system either, with a decent set of speakers and onboard Dolby Atmos decoding. The myHomeScreen 5.0 smart platform is somewhat basic compared with much of the competition, but its simplicity makes it easier to use, and it includes most of the key streaming services. The gaming features are fairly limited, but there’s a host of calibration controls for getting the very best out of the HX940. As a result, there really is no better 43-inch HDR TV for watching your favourite films and TV shows.
If you’re looking for the best-value 43-inch TV for the UK, then the Hisense A7500F is an excellent choice. Like all Hisense TVs, it's extremely competitively priced, yet you sacrifice nothing when it comes to features. The smart platform isn't quite as slick as the likes of Samsung and LG competitors, but its well-equipped for services, and decent set of video streaming services that includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Rakuten TV along with all the UK catch-up services via Freeview Play.
Colour punch and clarity is impressive for the price, as is motion processing, which tends to be the weak spots of really budget TVs. Brightness is inevitably limited for the price, but Dolby Vision HDR support makes the most of it, helping it punch above its weight.
Impressively, there are four HDMI 2.0 inputs, which is not common on budget TVs at all, meaning you won't get frustrated in the future that you don't have enough ports for all the add-ons you might want. It all makes for a pretty incredible package – our full Hisense A7500F review goes into even more detail on where it impressed us. The only gripes are that it's not great for off-axis viewing (ie, for people watching it from an angle) and the sound is adequate but not good – no surprise for the price, but just something to be aware of. You should consider a budget soundbar.
The Sony XH85 benefits from the company’s design expertise, showcasing a striking metal finish that uses an aluminium bezel and metal blade stand. However this attractive 43-inch 4K TV isn’t all surface cosmetics, and also uses an Ultra HD Triluminos panel with edge LED backlighting. It includes the latest X1 4K HDR image processor that enables wider colours and brighter highlights for HDR, while Sony’s Motionflow XR 800Hz motion processing results in smoother and more detailed motion.
The XH80 doesn’t just deliver minimalist looks and impressive picture quality, it also sounds great thanks to decent speakers, powerful amplification and Sony’s Clear Phase technology. As with all of Sony’s TVs the XH80 uses the Android operating system, making it an excellent 43-inch Smart TV that not only includes built-in Google Assistant, but also works with Amazon Alexa. Overall the Sony XH80 is a superb 43-inch HDR TV that proves even at smaller screen sizes, you can still have a high-end experience.
The Sony XH80 boasts all the picture processing features associated with the Japanese manufacturer, making it the ideal 43-inch LCD TV for sports fans. The 4K Triluminos panel uses edge LED backlighting and includes the X-Reality PRO image enhancing engine. As a result colours are wider and highlights brighter for HDR, while Sony’s Motionflow XR processing produces smoother and more detailed motion with fast-paced sports action.
The XH80 doesn’t just deliver an impressive picture, it also delivers the sonic goods thanks to decent speakers, plenty of amplifier grunt and Sony’s Clear Phase technology. This is also a great 43-inch Smart TV thanks to the Android OS which includes built-in Google Assistant, although it also works with Amazon Alexa. Overall, the Sony XH80 is a solid 43-inch 4K TV regardless of what you’re watching, but will particularly please sports fans.
If you're looking for a solid 43-inch Smart TV, but only have a limited budget, then the TCL EP658 ticks the key boxes for a remarkable price. This 4K LCD TV uses an edge-lit 10-bit panel, with micro dimming, AI image enhancement tech, quad-core processing, and support for HDR10. There’s also Dolby audio and a solid sound system that uses full-range speakers with decent amplification for a TV.
However, where the EP658 really impresses at this price is with its smart platform, which uses the same Android operating system found on more expensive models from Sony – including the two above! As a result, it offers all the associated benefits, including a built-in Google Assistant, extensive video streaming apps, and support for Freeview Play, which provides easy access to all the UK catch-up services. Here's our full TCL EP658 review, which talks about where it excels, and where its limitations are.