The best TV under £1000 to buy in 2018: 4K UHD HDR smart TVs that are solid gold deals

Yes, you CAN get a world class TV for less than £1,000

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Why the Best TV under £1000? Yes, it's an arbitrary, round number, but we chose it because it's well below what you'll pay for a real 'flagship' TV but still gives plenty of scope for getting a TV of very high quality. 

At around £1000 you won't find an OLED that we'd recommend wholeheartedly buty you will for sure get an LED (or QLED) television that does justice to all the best 4K and HD sport, movies and TV. It's worth also noting that slightly cheaper TVs are also often more forgiving with standard-def (and lower-quality HD) material. 

In the sub-£1000 TV market, large 4K screens, many boasting HDR compatibility, are now the order of the day. In my role as the UK's leading expert on televisions, I’ve been scouring the trade shows, and wrestling with people in the shopping aisles on sales days, only to find the best affordable television for YOU. 

Black Friday will make this an even more fertile area, as sellers seek to thin out their stocks of last year's champion tellies. If you want something even cheaper, the Best TVs under £500 could become even more attractive as prices of better TVs drop to bring them into that bracket. And even the flagship, £1,500+ 4K UHD OLED, LED and QLED TVs might see a few price snips, come the Friday that is Black.

What is the best TV under £1,000?

The straight answer here is the Samsung QE55Q6FAMT which was originally £1,800 and can now be picked up for under a grand. That's followed by the Panasonic's TX-58EX750. The Panasonic was a great TV when it launched and now you can get it for a few hundred quid less, it is a steal, especially for gamers and sports fans.

For pure screen-inch bang for buck, it's hard to argue with the 65-inch incarnation of the LG 634V. Its mix of screen size, build quality, effective HDR and excellent smart EPG/streaming TV bits for its cost is highly persuasive.

How we chose the best TV under £1,000

From eye candy UHD visuals and superior sound to drop dead gorgeous design, these are the TV sets you should be shortlisting right now.

All demonstrably benefit from the extra clarity that 4K offers, a fact that will be particularly noticeable when upgrading from a 1080p telly. The good news is that there’s now less of a shortage of native UHD content to exploit this resolution boost. From iTunes and the burgeoning UHD Blu-ray catalogue, to Netflix, Amazon and Sky, there’s plenty of stuff to show off your new panel’s prowess.

And of course gaming is increasingly a source of spectacular 4K, thanks to the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, although not every TV makes for a great gaming display, as we’ll see.

That is why, in my opinion, now is the time to say goodbye to HD and embrace 4K.

Our chosen televisions include both HDR (high dynamic range – this year's must-have TV tech for early adopters) and SDR models (standard dynamic range – ie: what all TVs, no matter how pricey, were like all the way back in 2014). 

It’s worth noting that not all screens that claim to be HDR offer a genuine HDR experience, with properly bright spectral highlights. Many lower cost models are merely 'HDR compatible' (which means they know when they’re receiving HDR content, but they don’t have the wherewithal to do much with it). So, caveat emptor, as Maximus Decimus Meridius once said.

The other area where corners are inevitably cut with less flagship TVs is sound. You can always add a soundbar or soundbase to rectify this sorry state of affairs.

Right, that’s enough of this merry introductory banter. Let’s take a closer look at these big-screen beauties...

The best TVs under £1,000 in order

This is the best TV under £1,000

Quite simply the best TV for under £1,000 that you can get right now

1. Samsung QE55Q6FAMT

4K QLED beast is the hottest TV deal in town right now

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inches
HDR: HDR10 and HLG
HDMI: 4
USB: 3
Dimensions: 710 x 1226 x 55mm
Reasons to buy
+High-performance panel+Solid smart platform
Reasons to avoid
-No Freeview Play-Fiddly connections box

There are two types of sub-£1,000 TV: those that are born £1,000 and those that have it thrust upon them, by being overpriced at launch. This epic Samsung falls into the latter category, being originally about £1,800.

That price drop is partly due to it coming to the end of its life but might also be because Samsung's QLED Quantum Dot technology has proved a hard sell, in the face of OLED. However, QLED has a great many charms, and at this price, it's irresistible. 

Compared to LED LCD, QLED improves off axis viewing and offers an extended colour palette for deeper vibrancy. In addition to HDR10 compatibility, there’s HDR+ processing to effectively 'upscale' standard dynamic range sources to something more vibrant, without being artificial.

This 4K set is fronted by Samsung’s Tizen Smart platform, home to catch-up TV players from all the main channels (BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5), as well as ubiquitous  streaming services Netflix, Amazon (both in 4K) and YouTube. There’s also NowTV, which is handy if you want to dip into Sky channels without a long term contract. Tuner options include Freeview HD and twin Freesat HD but there's no Freeview Play, which is unfortunate.

Despite its slimness, there’s a fairly beefy 40w stereo sound system onboard. Connectivity includes four v2.0 HDMIs and three high-speed USBs, although Samsung’s external OneConnect junction box can be a bit of a faff to accommodate.

The '360 degree' design means it looks cool both front and back, so if you enjoy staring lovingly at the back of your telly, this is the set for you. This entry-level QLED also comes with a OneRemote zapper with microphone, able to control other devices, not just the TV. Snap one up.

Panasonic TX-58EX750

2. Panasonic TX-58EX750

A great UHD TV, especially for 4K gaming, and a steal at under a grand

Specifications
Screen size: 58-inches
Other sizes available: 50-inch, 65-inch
HDR: HDR10, HLG
HDMI: x 4
USB: x 3
Dimensions: 1115 x 647 x 40mm
Reasons to buy
+Vivid wide colour+Excellent detail+Premium build quality
Reasons to avoid
-Complex picture settings-HDR isn’t overly bright

This 4K Pro Panasonic is a steal in its under-60-inch incarnations these days, but its advanced image engine and top-notch build quality certainly don't spell 'bargain basement'. The adjustable, swivelling, X-shaped pedestal and thin chrome bezel give a quite luxurious feel, in fact. 

• Panasonic EX750 full review

That's matched by the image quality. The TX-58EX750 upscales HD to UHD with aplomb, while native 4K looks sharp as a needle. HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range images aren't eye-searingly bright, but they sure are effective, and easier to live with than some more super-bright TVs. Colour performance is exemplary.

Motion handling for sport is especially good, too. Detail is kept in fast moving action without unwanted artefacts. 4K gamers will love the Game mode – pro tip: it's not in the image presets; it's buried in Picture Setting Options. 

My Home Screen V2.0, built on the open-source Firefox TV OS, is a solid smart TV platform, being unobtrusive but customisable. 

Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube all stream in 4K and there's the usual full range of catch-up apps, plus a choice of Freeview Play or Freesat for linear viewing. 

Audio quality isn't great, but you can always add one of the best soundbars and sound bases. Overall, an excellent choice. 

3. Samsung UE55MU7000

A great UHD TV, especially for 4K gaming, and a steal at under a grand

Specifications
Screen size: 55 inches
Other sizes available: 49-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch, 82-inch
HDR: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
HDMI: 4
USB: 3
Dimensions: 1226 x 711 x 55 mm
Reasons to buy
+Advanced motion handling is good for sports+Low input lag
Reasons to avoid
-Limited off axis viewing
-No Freeview Play

Samsung’s UE55MU7000 is a high performing, bottom-lit LED LCD flatscreen that’s certain to appeal to movie fans and gamers alike, thanks to its spectacular visuals and game-friendly low input lag.

The MU7000 is 100/120Hz, which opens the door to superior motion handling. Of the other sizes available, the 49-inch uses a 50Hz panel, so is a rather different beast, while the larger ones (all the way up to an 82-inch MONSTER) are 100Hz.

• Samsung QE55MU7000 review gives the bigger picture

The set supports HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG high dynamic range formats, though it’s not in the top league of peak brightness performers. Unlike the QE55Q6FAMT above this Samsung doesn’t use a Quantum Dot filter either, but colour vibrancy remains high. My only real caveat is with the viewing angle – if you sit anywhere other than square on, colour intensity and contrast fade significantly.

Motion handling is good. The brand’s Auto Motion Plus image interpolation retains detail, making it perfect for sports, though as usual the soap opera sheen it imparts isn’t particularly cinematic. Black Frame insertion (aka LED Clear Motion) also helps maintain detail, although this adds a level of flicker some might find irritating.

Input lag measures less than 25ms, which should satisfy FPS addicts. Smart features offer all the streaming necessities, but the lack of Freeview Play is a disappointment. All things considered though, a cracking buy.

4. Hisense U7A HE55U7A1WTSG

Not just the longest name for a TV ever; the best new sub-£1000 TV of 2018

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inches
Other sizes: 50-inch, 65-inch
HDR: HDR10, HLG **HDMI** 4
USB: 2
Dimensions: 1382 x 877 x 187 mm
Reasons to buy
+Super sharp 4K images+Great design and finish for the price+Unique Auto-Sports mode
Reasons to avoid
-Only two HDMIs support full fat 4K-Relatively dull HDR performance

An official product of World Cup 2018, the U7A continues Hisense's usual practice of providing you with an awful lot of TV for a comparatively meagre outlay. You definitely don't need to be a Russian oligarch to afford this one…

A very big threat to the TVs from Philips, Panasonic, LG et al at its launch price of £799, this is only going to get cheaper as the year wears on, too.

• Read our full review of the U7A for the full story

The design and unfussy OS belie the price ticket and 4K UHD image quality is absolutely cracking. The set looks fine with HD, and excellent with native 4K, so long as you choose the right image presets, there's real wow factor here. 

As is the norm with sub-£1000 TVs, the set may not be a class leader when it comes to HDR peak brightness. However, a solid black level and strong colour performance, coupled to some effective motion handling, ensure this sporty UHD screen is consistently entertaining, whoever you support.

Oh, and when we say 'sporty', it really is: not only is there a useful Sports mode to handle fast motion and make pitches and football strips look super vibrant, the U7A even auto-detects that sport is on, and suggests you activate the mode!

In short, World Cup performance at League One pricing. Though hopefully, a future firmware update will mean it doesn't show a Russia 2018 logo on boot-up in perpetuity.

LG 65UJ634V

5. LG 65UJ634V

Best big-screen LED LCD under £1,000

Specifications
Screen size: 65-inches
Other sizes: 43-inch, 49-inch, 55-inch, 60-inch
HDR: HDR10, HLG **HDMI** 3
USB: 2
Dimensions: 855 x 1471 x 84mm
Reasons to buy
+Extensive HDR support+Excellent smart hub and Freeview Play+Many inches to the buck
Reasons to avoid
-Average audio-Less good for sporty viewing

LG may be the champion of OLED TV tech, but it’s got some well specified LED LCD 4K models on its books too. This 65-incher is just the ticket for home cinema fans, and comes with Freeview Play, which integrates catch-up and on-demand content with linear, terrestrial broadcasts.

This IPS panel offers vivid colours and a wide viewing angle. There’s also extensive HDR support. In addition to HDR10, the TV is compatible with the more 'hay clarse' DolbyVision and the as-yet-unsupported HLG format that the BBC is toying with. 

Connectivity includes three HDMI v2.0 inputs and two USBs. The set also boasts Ultra Surround, although we suspect you’ll want to add a soundbar or similar for a genuinely cinematic viewing experience. 

Another good reason to add it to the shortlist is webOS, the brand’s much lauded connected platform. LG kick-started the trend for minimal smart platforms, and in many ways still leads the field. Streaming attractions include 4K enabled Netflix, YouTube and Amazon video, as well as Now TV.

LG 65UJ630V

• Also consider: the LG 65UJ630V is, to all intents and purposes, the exact same telly as this, but with a different look (ie: it's on little legs rather than a crescent-shaped stand). 

One largely unheralded trick of webOS is that it supports Fast App Switching, which means accessing Netflix and other internet Services is as easy as changing channels. You can also hop back and forth between Netflix, Amazon et al and live channels, without having to restart the app.  

If the 65-inch version is too big, the option of screen sizes from 43- to 55-inch may sway you, but this is the real bargain.

Sony KD-49XE8396

6. Sony KD-49XE8396

The best smaller TV under £1,000

Specifications
Screen size: 49-inches
Other sizes available: 43-inches, 55-inches
HDR: HDR10
HDMI: 4
USB: 3
Dimensions: 640 x 1096 x 57mm
Reasons to buy
+Excellent HD-to-4K image upscaling+Wide Colour gamut
Reasons to avoid
-Android TV OS remains a PITA-Limited HDR peak brightness

One of Sony’s best-selling mid-range flatscreens, this modestly priced 49-incher boasts a spec that warrants a triple take. In addition to the now obligatory 2160p UHD 4K resolution, it’s got HDR10, and YouView overlaid on a Freeview HD tuner.

Sony’s image processing chops remain the best reason to buy though. The X-Reality Pro picture processor is one of the best out there, while the Triluminos display offers a wider colour gamut. 

YouView brings a full complement of catch-up TV services, including BBC iPlayer, ITVHub, My5 and All4, to accompany YouTube, Amazon Video and Netflix in 4K.

There are some compromises to be made of course. At this price point you can’t expect  the full HDR dazzle seen higher up the Sony food chain, and Motionflow is rated at 400Hz, so motion resolution is more limited.

But the design is clean and classy, we like the minimalist wireframe pedestal, and connectivity is great. All four HDMI inputs support HDMI v2.0, which means there’s plenty of scope for 4K gadget hook-ups.

Hisense H65N6800

7. Hisense H65N6800

Hisense serves up a superb value 65-inch 4K HDR TV

Specifications
Screen size: 65-inches
Other sizes available: 50-inch, 55-inch, 75-inch
HDR: HDR10
HDMI: 4
USB: 3
Dimensions: 1119x647x58 mm
Reasons to buy
+Effective HDR+Freeview Play and smart interface
Reasons to avoid
-Unimpressive audio-Only two full 4K HDMIs 

If you’re looking for value, performance and a bigger screen than the Panasonic, this big Hisense has them all. 

It boasts Freeview Play with roll-back EPG and integrated Catch-Up TV (BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and Demand 5), plus the brand’s minimal but stylish Vidaa U smart portal. This echoes Samsung’s Tizen platform and LG’s webOS  stylistically, and offers Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube in 4K.

Build quality is excellent. The thin bezel and heavy pedestal feet look swish and feel substantial. Even the remote has satisfying heft.

Connections include four HDMI inputs (although only two support 4K at 60Hz), plus three USBs, plus composite and component AV.

Picture quality is high. The set not only promises HDR compatibility, it’s actually bright enough to deliver a believable HDR image. Highlights, from glinting reflections to sunlight, look genuinely dynamic. This makes the TV a great match for UHD Blu-ray, streaming HDR 4K services and Sky Q, as well as next gen games consoles. In Game mode, we measured input lag at just 29.1ms, which is impressive.

Again, the set’s Achilles heel is its audio which, despite a fair amount of volume, sounds thin and acerbic. But that’s easily fixed with a soundbar or home cinema system.

Overall, another cracking budget UHD buy – and one that is available in a number of sizes at similarly alluring prices, at that.

Philips 55PUS6272

8. Philips 55PUS6272

The joy of Ambilight 4K in a television for under £1000

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inches
Other sizes available: 50-inch
HDR: HDR10
HDMI: 3
USB: 2
Dimensions: 1244x731x78 mm
Reasons to buy
+Three-sided Ambilight+Freeview Play
Reasons to avoid
-Relatively poor HDR performance-Only three HDMI inputs

Philips has significantly upped the ante with its 4K 6-Series models in 2017. The inclusion of Ambilight, its excellent image-complimenting, room-lighting technology, is a real point of difference from the competition.

With Ambilight you can wash your walls with colours, or have it pulsate to the beat of streamed music. If you have a Philips Hue lighting system, it can be fully integrated with that too.

This 55-incher is part of a new line from the brand, the 6272 range, which also incorporates a 50-inch model. The difference from its 6262 stablemates is that we get three-sided Ambilight, not two, and a sexier stand. Mmm.

The specification is top notch. This 55-incher has a Freeview Play tuner, which means all key catch-up TV players are onboard, as well as Netflix and YouView.

Connections include three HDMI inputs, all of which are HDCP 2.2 compliant for hooking up 4K capable gadgets, plus component AV and two USB ports.   

Picture quality is super sharp, with vibrant colour performance, but with a peak brightness of 350 cd/m², the set is more HDR-compatible than HDR capable. This means it’s not really bright enough to really show off spectral highlights, needed for that authentic HDR ping. But with 4K SDR material (as delivered by Sky Q), and HD, be it from a streaming service or Blu-ray, the set is a winner.

Sony KD-55XE8596

9. Sony KD-55XE8596

The best larger Sony TV for under £1000

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inches
Other sizes available: 65-inch, 75-inch
HDR: HDR10, HLG
USB: 3
Dimensions: 1232 x 717 x 57mm
Reasons to buy
+Vibrant, contrasty pictures
+Great motion handling
Reasons to avoid
-Limited HDR brightness-
Slightly flimsy build by Sony standards

Available in three sizes, the Sony XE8596 offers a very strong combo of picture performance and video streaming. Given that the smallest of these screens is now widely available for less than a grand, this mid-ranger is well worth auditioning. 

The design is minimalist, to the point that the frame is quite lightweight – no premium materials used here – but at least it directs your attention to the screen. That said, I’m not that enamoured with Sony’s somewhat rubbery remote controller. 

For your not-too-considerable outlay you get a big TV set that's HDR10 and HLG (broadcast HDR) compatible.

It's edge-lit, with no fancy form of local dimming, it's not the brightest TV, but a good black level performance ensures images always look dynamic. This is a WCG (wide colour gamut) panel ('Triluminos' in Sony parlance), so you can bank on a vibrant colour performance too. 

The set uses the brand’s X1 4K HDR imaging chip, which I’ve found consistently impressive. Super Bitmapping technology combats colour banding, while HDR Object-based Remastering adds a HDR-style boost to all SDR content, effectively giving a new lease of life to HD and standard Blu-rays. All very impressive.

Motion handling is also above average, thanks to Sony’s always effective Motionflow picture processing. Significant if you’re hankering after a new big screen TV for this summer’s FIFA World Cup. 

The XE9596 even boasts low input lag, making it a decent choice for gamers looking for a UHD screen upgrade.

Sony’s smart platform of choice, Android, is made more palatable by a YouView app overlay which replaces the standard Freeview HD programme guide. This offers up all main catch-up TV services, such as BBC iPlayer, ITVHub, All4 and demand 5.

Streaming apps include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube, all of which support 4K streams. Chromecast is built-in, which makes sharing content with a compatible smartphone a doddle. 

There’s nothing particularly outstanding about its audio performance, bar the volume output (2x10w). The usual advice applies: add a soundbar or soundbase sooner rather than later. Connections include four HDMIs, all HDCP 2.2 compatible, plus a trio of USBs and components AV inputs.

Overall, the  KD-55XE8596 wins more battles than it loses. It's a very solid picture performer that will reward savvy bargain hunters.

Hisense H65N5300

10. Hisense H65N5300

Another mammoth screen at a mini price from Hisense

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inches
Other sizes available: 43-inch, 49-inch, 55-inch, 60-inch
HDR: None
HDMI: 3
USB: 2
Dimensions: 568 x 970 x 88 mm
Reasons to buy
+Huge screen for the price+Decent smart platform with Freeview Play
Reasons to avoid
-No HDR-Limited connectivity

Search online for the biggest cheap 4K TV and you’ll most likely stumble across the Hisense H65N5300. It’s certainly big and relatively inexpensive, although there is some devil in the detail.

First, here’s the good stuff: it’s a 4K set with Freeview Play. Having a roll-back Freeview programme guide means you can play shows you’ve missed without having to select individual Catch-Up players. The set also employs the brand’s Vidaa Lite interface, a modern looking smart platform with access to Netflix, YouTube and Amazon in 4K. A Quad Core processor makes navigation snappy.

There’re some compromise on connectivity – only three HDMIs and two USBs – but I suspect most folks could live with that. Similarly, while the audio system makes some noise, it’s ultimately is only a stop gap until you add a soundbar or home cinema amp and speakers.

The 8-bit panel uses FRC ‘Frame Rate Control’ technology, a dithering process to approximate the missing bit-depth. Perhaps more significantly, the set doesn’t support HDR. As a result, 4K performance does suffer by comparison with some of the more expensive panels here. 

But then, come on, what can you reasonably expect at this price? If you want a massive screen, especially if your principal sources are HD – be it Blu-ray, standard consoles or HD streaming – then this set offers an awfully big bang for your buck, and proof that you don’t have to dig deep to go large.

11. Samsung UE58MU6120

Best value Samsung 4K HDR flatscreen

Specifications
Screen size: 58-inches
Other sizes available: 40-inch, 43-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch
HDR: HDR10
HDMI: 3
USB: 2
Dimensions: 1305 x 764 x 69mm
Reasons to buy
+Big, vibrant UHD images for the cash+Samsung TV Plus UHD streaming services
Reasons to avoid
-
No Freeview Play
-Only three HDMIs

If you’re looking for a great marriage of performance and price, a '6 Series' TV is another good place to start. All the major brands have them, and while models are not always directly comparable, they generally promise a step-up in performance for only a little bit more wedge.  

This Samsung is one such sixer – one of a confusing array of 6-series models from Samsung (MU62xx, MU64xx and MU66xx), usually with the variations usually being down to cosmetics or retailer exclusives, but this one is more temptingly priced than most. 

In addition to 4K, 2160p screen resolution, our featured 58-inch MU6120 is HDR10 compatible and boasts an unassumingly minimalist design. The 'flying V' pedestal will fit most AV furniture, while the edge-lit panel is just 63mm deep.

There’s some effective image enhancements on board, designed to elevate the set above the ordinary. A noise reduction tech, known as Ultra Clean View, removes unwanted grain and fizz. To improve motion handling, there’s Auto Motion Plus, an image interpolation mode that minimises judder and maintains detail in fast moving scenes.

It should be noted that while this is not a Quantum Dot screen, colour vibrancy gets a boost from Samsung’s own PureColour image processor. HDR compatibility covers HDR10, but given the price tag, don’t expect it to really push peak whites. 

The set is edge-lit, but employs UHD dimming technology, which divides the screen in zones to adjust brightness.

The onboard sound system is rated at 20w, but is limited by the set’s onboard speaker system. However, you can easily boost sound performance by adding a soundbar. Opt for a Samsung and you’ll even be able to take advantage of the brand’s nifty TV Soundconnect wireless technology.

It’s a drag that Samsung doesn’t support Freeview Play, leaving us with basic Freeview HD, but Samsung’s Tizen-based Smart Hub platform does the job when it comes to must-have streaming apps (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube), and it also offers Samsung TV Plus. This is a Video on Demand streaming service, run in partnership with Rakuten TV. There’s a selection of movies here, broken into three categories: New Releases, Family and UHD. 

Navigation between apps is kept lively by a Quad Core Processor. A Smart View app also allows you to control the TV via your mobile device, as well as stream content from mobile to the panel.  

Connectivity is admittedly a tad limited. The set has just three HDMI v2.0 inputs and twin USBs, which support timeshifting to a USB hard drive, plus component. 

This model doesn’t use the outboard One Connect junction box found higher up in the range; all inputs are local to the TV. Also supplied is a simplified remote featuring voice control via an integrated microphone.