TL;DR – These are the Best Cheap TVs for Gaming:
- TCL 55″ Class 6 Series Roku Smart TV (2020)
- TCL 50″ Class 5-Series 4K QLED Roku TV
- Hisense 55″ Class H8G Android Smart ULED 4K TV
- Vizio 43″ Class V-Series 4K HDR Smart TV
- TCL 55″ Class 5-Series QLED Roku Smart TV
- LG 65″ Class 85 Series NanoCell AI ThinQ
- Vizio 65″ Class M-Series Quantum 4K HDR Smartcast TV
- Samsung 43″ Class TU7000 Smart 4K TV
1. TCL 55″ Class 6-Series QLED Roku Smart TV (2020)
Best Budget TV for Gaming
TCL makes a lot of great budget TVs, and with the 2020 TCL 6-Series, the company has a great gaming TV on its hands. The TCL 55R635 makes very few sacrifices compared to the more premium options among the best gaming TVs. You’ll be getting a 55-inch 4K TV for under $700. And while plenty of other 4K displays are available for less, they’ll lack some of the higher-end features here. The TCL 55R635’s inclusion of a QLED panel with Mini-LED backlighting drives up its capabilities, offering an excellent color palette and the strong contrast performance afforded it by 240 local dimming zones. So, from HDR10 to Dolby Vision, you’ll get great visuals.
But, when you’re gaming, you get some extra perks as well. When you want the prettiest gaming experience, you can stick to 4K and enjoy games running with a 60Hz refresh rate. If you want a competitive edge, though, you can drop the resolution down and run that display at 120Hz. That applies for 1080p and 1440p, which makes this a strong fit for the Xbox Series S.
2. TCL 50″ Class 5-Series 4K QLED Roku Smart TV
Best Ultra Cheap TV for Gaming
It wasn’t very long ago that a QLED display came at a considerable premium, but TCL’s 5-Series has a 50-inch QLED panel for just $400, and that’s a solid deal if we’ve ever seen one. You’ll be getting a sharp 4K picture with a 10-bit color depth for some excellent visuals. And, when you want to enjoy HDR content, you’ll find support for Dolby Vision as well as HDR10 and HLG.
While the TCL 5-Series doesn’t do anything exceptional for gaming, it has a strong baseline for visuals that will translate well into gaming. The TV’s Auto Game Mode will at least recognize when you’re gaming and work to reduce any input latency that could make it feel sluggish.
3. Hisense 55″ Class H8G Android Smart ULED 4K TV
Best Budget 4K TV for Gaming
The Hisense 55-inch H8G has plenty going on for it, and its $600 price tag is one of them. This isn’t just a basic 4K TV, but rather one that offers up boosted peak brightness at 700 nits, local dimming with 90 dimming zones for improved contrast, and plenty of support for HDR on its Quantum Dot display.
From Dolby Vision and HDR10+ down to HLG, the Hisense 565H8G is ready for the popular HDR formats and can deliver a colorful image with true 10-bit color depth. It also has a game mode available to keep your input lag low when it’s most crucial. And, thanks to its Android TV operating system, you can get popular streaming apps and even install some games directly on the TV.
4. Vizio 43″ Class V-Series 4K HDR Smart TV
Cheapest 4K TV for Gaming
Getting the best TV isn’t always a priority, but there’s no good reason not to get the best TV available in your budget. Vizio’s 43-inch V-series TV meets a high bar of quality while costing far less than you’d likely expect. This TV is just a bit under $300, but you’ll be getting a decently sized screen that delivers 4K visuals.
The picture is improved further by the display’s use of full-array backlighting, which can help keep the brightness of the picture uniform – no weird bright corners or edges. The display also supports a variety of HDR formats, including the premium HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. An Auto Game Mode will also help cut down on input lag for a more responsive experience.
5. TCL 55″ Class 5-Series QLED Roku Smart TV
Best Budget QLED 4K TV for Gaming
You may not want all the bells and whistles of a high-end TV when you look at the price, but you can actually still get a QLED panel at a bargain. The TCL 5-Series delivers a large, colorful QLED display for under $500. That panel is capable of giving you a 10-bit color depth that makes visuals richer. It even has 48 local dimming zones to improve the contrast of the display and deliver on HDR.
When it comes to gaming, the TCL 5-Series does miss out on some premium features like VRR and high refresh rates, but it offers a low input lag to make sure your games feel responsive. If you want to game at 4K/60 on your gaming PC or a console, this TV will keep up.
6. LG 65″ Class 85 Series NanoCell AI ThinQ
Best Budget Big Screen TV for Gaming
Going with a massive TV doesn’t come cheap, but some models are more affordable than others. That’s the case with LG’s 85 Series NanoCell TV. This 65-inch behemoth costs just about $1,000 while deliver tons of screen space and a quality 4K display.
You’re not just getting 4K visuals but also support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 formats. Better still, this display can run at 120Hz for super-smooth gaming. There’s also HDMI 2.1 on board, letting you take advantage of 4K gaming at 120Hz with HDR and support for variable refresh rates through FreeSync – no needing to trade one for the other, as is the case with HDMI 2.0. LG’s TV will even automatically reduce latency when you’re gaming.
7. Vizio 65″ Class M-Series Quantum 4K HDR Smartcast TV
Local Dimming at a Bargain
Affordable local dimming comes with just a $700 price tag, but that also gives you a 65-inch display to enjoy it on with the Vizio M-Series. Not only is this big screen offering a 4K picture, but it combines Vizio’s Quantum Color with 30 local dimming zones and a peak brightness of 600 nits for a strong visuals all around.
When it comes to gaming on this display, you won’t be able to go over 60Hz, but you get support for a variable refresh rate between 48Hz and 60Hz, letting you avoid screen tearing when your gaming rig has occasional, small dips below 60 FPS. And, this TV kicks in Auto Low Latency Mode while you’re gaming, so you can react faster to everything that happens.
8. Samsung 43″ Class TU7000 Smart 4K TV
Best Budget Smart 4K TV for Gaming
Samsung is driving down the price of affordable 4K TVs with the 43-inch TU7000. This model comes in at just $300, but you’re getting a sizable display with that sharp resolution that’s all the rage right now. The clarity of 4K is one thing, but a good TV goes even further with HDR support, and this model offers up HDR10+ for an extra high-quality picture. The TV’s Auto Game Mode is also ready to ensure you enjoy your games with low input lag and fast response times.
Where to Get the Best Budget Gaming TVs in the UK
Gaming can be an expensive hobby, so if you’re looking to save a little extra cash while completing your set up UK gamers, we’re here to help. We couldn’t find all the TVs in the UK, but there’s still a decent selection available right now. But, if you are looking for a bit more, check out our best 4K TV deals article for an extensive list of great TVs available in the UK
What to look for in a Budget Gaming TV
When shopping for a budget gaming TV, expect to make some sacrifices. To stay on a budget under $700 or $500, don’t expect to see too many quality screens bigger than 55-inches. You can also basically forget about OLED, as the screen technology demands a premium of $2,000 and up.
There are two ways of going about buying a budget gaming TV: get a big screen with poor image quality or a good quality screen that might be smaller than you want.
I highly suggest going with the latter route as your TV might only be 43-inches, but if it’s 4K in resolution and produces accurate colors, you can always sit closer to the screen to remedy its small size.
Having a big screen might be nice, but if it has muted blacks and an off-putting color cast, no amount of distance is going to fix the way it looks. And you certainly can’t fix a poor quality display panel on your own.
To 4K or not to 4K
It’s worth taking a moment to discuss whether or not you should buy a 4K TV. Even if you only have a console capable of 1080p gaming (a PS4 Slim or Xbox One S), there are a couple of benefits to buying a 4K TV.
First, there’s High-Dynamic Range (HDR), a feature found almost exclusively in 4K TVs. However, that’s not to say all 4K TVs support HDR. Instead, you should look for budget models featuring a peak brightness above 300 nits to get the full HDR effect.
Increasingly, games are starting to support HDR on the PS4 Slim and Xbox One S, and it can make a big difference in image quality. These games will look a lot better on a 4K TV with HDR support than on a 1080p TV without it.
Second, you’re running out of options anyway. If you’ve been shopping for a new TV anytime in the last year, you’ve probably noticed HD sets aren’t the dominant force in TVs they used to be. You’re hard-pressed to find a new TV bigger than 49-inches in 1080p.
Manufacturers and consumers to have already moved on. If you do a quick search of 55-inch TVs on Amazon, you’re going to find the results are overwhelmingly 4K. That almost sounds concerning, but the prices on 4K TVs have come down much more dramatically, and in a much shorter time, than similarly-sized televisions during the HD era.
Bargain brands like Vizio and TCL have helped push the price of 4K sets down across the board. It’s not hard to find a 55-inch 4K TV with tons of features for less than $400, which is pretty amazing if you look at the historical prices of televisions. As little as 20 years ago, 32-inch CRTs were out of reach of most people. Now a 32-inch TV seems almost quaint.
It’s almost surprising how quickly 4K is taking over. You’ve long been able to get 4K computer monitors, but with the new round of the best graphics cards for gaming, you can now actually take advantage of all those pixels. Gaming laptops, too, are starting to squeeze in those new GPUs, making 4K closer to the norm than the exception. So what’s next for display technology? Why 8K of course.
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