In the world of home entertainment, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that paying more money always gets you a better product. While the latest 4K sets can cost thousands of pounds, advances in technology mean that you can get some pretty impressive kit on a more modest budget. Here we take a look at some of the best new TVs for less than £350.
If you’re on a tight budget, this offering from Sony gives you a 32-inch screen with HD resolution. If you shop around, you can buy one for under £300. It has a Freeview HD tuner so you can enjoy free-to-air HD channels, and it’s also a Wi-Fi enabled smart TV so you can access catchup services like iPlayer and subscription services like Netflix. There are two HDMI ports so you can connect a Blu-ray player and a games console without having to juggle cables. As one might expect from Sony, it’s a well-made piece of kit that is easy to set up and use.
With its a 40-inch screen, the Panasonic may have a 1080p HD screen, but it delivers picture quality that is among the best in its class and it comes packed with smart TV features. Priced at around £500 when it first came out, it now falls into our best new TVs for less than £350 category at a number of retailers. It has built-in Wi-Fi and Freeview HD, two HDMI ports and a USB port for playing media files. Smart TV options allow you to access all of the popular catchup and online streaming services.
This 32-inch offering from LG uses the latest OLED screen technology. This means it delivers deep blacks and vibrant colours. There is decent sound quality, and its smart features use LG’s clever WebOS interface that displays a row of tabs along the bottom edge of the screen for easy navigation. You can store your favourite channels on these to make access easier. There are a generous number of connection options, with three HDMIs, two USBs, Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet, plus a connection for a sound bar.
So far our best new TVs for less than £350 have all been toward the top end of the budget, but there are some solid cheaper options. If you need a smaller set for a bedroom or small flat, the 24CS500B has a compact 24-inch screen, but it doesn’t scrimp on other features. There’s a Swipe and Share feature that lets you show content from your tablet or smartphone; myStream, which recommends content based on your viewing habits; and the full range of Freeview HD channels plus catchup and streaming services. It also has a clever adaptive backlight system that adjusts its light output based on an analysis of the picture so you always get the best image.
Goodmans is perhaps a brand you associate more with Hi-Fi equipment, but it sneaks into our best new TVs for less than £350 roundup with this 50-inch smart TV that you can pick up for around £300. It’s packed with features. Not only are there three HDMI ports, but there’s also an old-fashioned SCART connector so you should have no problem connecting your other devices, and there’s no need to swap cables around. Plug a flash drive into the USB port, and it also allows you to pause, record and time-shift live TV.
Samsung’s K5100 uses the company’s Wide Colour Enhancer technology to deliver clear, vibrant images on its 40-inch screen. It delivers strong sound quality thanks to integrated Dolby noise reduction and the position of its speakers on the front rather than on the rear as with most flat-screen sets. The adjustable stand looks stylish, making it suitable for use in many different rooms in the house. Built-in Bluetooth allows you to easily share media from your smartphone.
If you didn’t think it was possible to get a television with the latest 4K technology for less than £350, JVC has a surprise for you. Although it’s usually priced around the £400 mark, you’ll find several retailers selling this 43-inch model for less than our target budget. It has the latest Freeview Play technology, allowing you to simply scroll back through the TV guide to catch up on programmes you’ve missed, and you can take advantage of the 4K content available from Netflix and YouTube. There’s a built-in Opera web browser so you can surf the internet from the comfort of your sofa. Connectivity is taken care of by Wi-Fi, four HDMI and three USB ports.