Which 50-inch TV is best?
Shopping around for a new TV is daunting, especially if you aren’t up to date with the latest trends and technology. Internal components and functions constantly change, and the best TV from five years ago now seems technologically ancient.
But if you have already decided on a size — in this case, a 50-inch model — it should narrow down your choice somewhat. It’s not an easy ride, as you still need to consider the display technology, sound quality and what suits your budget. However, the Samsung 50-Inch QLED Q60B Dual LED Smart TV is an excellent choice.
What to know before you buy a 50-inch TV
Improved display technology
As with most TVs, 50-inch devices use one of several display panel types. Plasma panels have been almost completely phased out, as their quality and visual clarity deteriorate with time. Depending on where and how you’ll use your TV, one newer display panel might be better suited than another.
- LED is an older technology but still highly proficient in delivering good visuals. Each pixel on the display is an LED, which assists in an even spread of illumination for a sharp image.
- QLED is Samsung’s latest technology, and while it works much the same as LED, the light-emitting diodes are much smaller. To produce the colors, each nanoparticle changes color based on its size, adjusting at quantum-level velocities.
- OLED — organic light-emitting diodes — resemble regular LEDs but require less backlighting space and use self-lit pixels. This means the TV’s frame can be super thin while producing crystal clear visuals.
Lesser audio quality
A large TV excels at producing great visuals for a cinematic experience, but unfortunately, that often comes at the expense of the audio. The panels on many modern smart TVs are incredibly thin, which doesn’t leave much room for built-in speakers. The audio quality is usually less than expected, and a good-quality sound bar can make a huge difference.
The price doesn’t set the quality
Many consumers fall into the brand perception trap, where they’d rather buy a well-known brand over something considerably cheaper from a lesser-known company. But in most cases, the internal components are nearly identical, and the higher markup is only for the brand name. For example, LG Display makes panels for many brands, including Sony. Hisense retained its rights to manufacture Toshiba TVs for the next 40 years.
What to look for in a quality 50-inch TV
Enough connections for your gadgets
A good-quality TV has enough connections for all your gadgets. Some affordable TVs might only have two HDMI ports, which won’t be enough if you have a gaming console, a streaming box and a home theater system. It’s recommended that a TV has at least three HDMI ports, a few USB connections, optical audio and an Ethernet port.
Large TVs are top-heavy and prone to tipping over with the slightest imbalance in their center of gravity. A great solution is to mount the unit on a wall. Not only does it prevent accidents, but it also looks much better. Most TVs use the common VESA mounting configuration, ensuring that it will fit no matter which bracket brand you buy.
High refresh rate
TVs with a high refresh rate have smoother visuals when displaying fast-moving objects. The refresh rate, also called the frames per second, indicates how quickly the pixels can change color, smoothing out the transitions. A good-quality TV has a refresh rate of 120 hertz or higher for action-packed films, but most video game consoles are only capable of 60Hz.
How much you can expect to spend on a 50-inch TV
The price is dictated by the brand, the display panel used and any additional features. An entry-level 50-inch from Hisense costs $250-$300, but a fully-featured smart TV from Samsung costs $600-$800.
50-inch TV FAQ
What does HDR mean?
A. High dynamic range is a technology that enhances photos’ and videos’ visual brilliance and clarity. It essentially takes several frames in a contrast range and combines them to create an accurate color spectrum. It minimizes the stark contrast between very dark areas and very light colors.
What makes a TV a smart TV?
A. The term smart TV indicates that it connects to the internet so you can download apps or access streaming platforms directly. It also provides the TV with critical software and firmware updates.
What’s the best 50-inch TV to buy?
Top 50-inch TV
What you need to know: With the accompanying software, this TV automatically tunes the color brilliance and shades for accurate visual reproduction.
What you’ll love: There are three HDMI ports, optical audio out connection, and an Ethernet port for watching streaming content. It is compatible with Amazon and Google’s voice assistant, and the remote is solar-powered.
What you should consider: Some users said the browser to get more apps on the TV is confusing.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top 50-inch TV for the money
What you need to know: This TV uses Hisense’s AI UHD upscaler to improve the visual quality of content lower than a 4K resolution.
What you’ll love: It has Google TV built in that responds to the voice-enabled Google Assistant remote and a game mode for automatic low-latency gaming.
What you should consider: It has a refresh rate of 60 hertz, so you might have smoothing problems with high frame rate content.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Perfect for films and video games, this TV uses HDR and Dolby Digital Plus to improve your experience.
What you’ll love: It has a dedicated hub for Amazon Prime, three HDMI ports, and built-in microphones so you can access Alexa to control your smart gadgets. For connectivity, it has a wireless receiver and an Ethernet port.
What you should consider: It doesn’t support Dolby Vision, but the larger 65-inch and 75-inch Fire TVs do.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.