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Buying a new TV can be an overwhelming task if you are getting your feet wet. It feels like there’s a new letter-number combination coming up every year and the marketers are all singing its praises: this is now the hottest thing and you absolutely must get a TV that has it. We open some of these terms up in our TV buying guide.
But since we are operating on a very specific budget (under $200), most of this reasoning can be streamlined or even thrown into the bin. To put it short: the old saying “you get what you pay for” is very applicable to TVs. The market is so competitive that the prices between different manufacturers are generally well in line with eachother. However, this does not mean that you should entirely switch off your brain when looking for televisions under $200.
If you want to do your own research instead of trusting our reviews, we’ve included a list of things to focus on at the bottom of the article.
Televisions Under $200 Comparison Table
Best TV's Under $200 - Our 5 Picks
Editor’s Note: as we said before you have to remember that with televisions the old cliché “you get what you pay for” holds true. The reviews and ratings here are not comparable to higher end models and should be read within their context – televisions under $200. You can’t expect them to be as good or well built than models that cost four digits.
Komodo by Sceptre Review
- Mobile high-definition Link (MHL) MHL allow streaming of contents from your compatible smartphone or tablet to scepter TV, which capitalize on the visually enhanced picture quality
- Sub port Let’s you view your pictures as a slideshow or listen to your favorite music via the USB port. Just insert your flash drive into the USB port for the ultimate entertainment
- Hemi HDMI not only delivers superior digital video and audio, but also, connects both to the TV with only one cable
- 43″ Led HDTV 1080p FHD resolution
Komodo by Sceptre is a 2018 version of the Sceptre X438BV-FSR, but the differences between these two models are non-existent. Most likely they just wanted the name to be something more rememberable.
We know it’s super irritating when you have set a certain price limit and someone says “why don’t you save x more and get this instead”, but if you could add $50 to your budget you should definitely go for the 50-inch 4K UHD version of Comodo by Sceptre .
Toshiba 32LF221U19 Review
- Fire TV experience built-in – Fire TV Edition brings together live-over-the air TV and your favorite streaming content on the home screen. Connect any HD antenna (sold separately) to watch live over-the-air TV or stream movies and shows from Disney+, Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO and more.
- Voice Remote with Alexa – Everything you’d expect from a remote – plus launch apps, search for TV shows, switch inputs, control smart home devices and more, using just your voice. With Prime Video, Netflix, HBO and PlayStation Vue buttons, instantly access your favorite apps.
- Keeps getting smarter – This TV is smart and simple in every way. Just plug it in, connect to Wi-Fi and enjoy. Plus, your TV keeps getting smarter with new Alexa skills and features through automatic over-the-air software updates, so that you always have the latest.
- Endless entertainment – Watch over 500,000 streaming movies and TV episodes in HD, from Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, HBO, and more. Plus, access tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills.
- Get it all in one place – With Fire TV Edition it’s easy to see everything you’ve recently watched – live TV, streaming services and connected devices – in one place. Plus, you can connect your cable/satellite box or gaming console through one of the TV’s three HDMI inputs.
If you’re willing to go $30 over the budget range of $200, you could cop this 43-inch 4K UHD HDR enabled version of the Toshiba .
TCL 32S305 Review
- Dimensions (w x H x D): TV without stand: 28.8 x 17.1 x 3.0 Inches , TV with stand: 28.8 x 19.1 x 7.1 Inches
- Smart Functionality offers access to over 5, 000 streaming channels featuring more than 500, 000 movies and TV episodes via Roku TV
- 1080p Full HD Resolution for a lifelike picture
- Direct lit LED produces great picture quality with 120Hz refresh Rate for fast moving action scenes with virtually no Motion blur
- Inputs: 3 HDMI, 1 USB, RF, Composite, Headphone Jack, Optical audio Out
Again, it has to be said that with an additional $60 on top of the price of the 32″ model you could buy a 50-inch 4K LED 2019 model from TCL . Kind of a no-brainer if you ask us.
Samsung UN32J4001 Review
- Enjoy a great picture with Samsung 720p high definition (HD), which makes your favorite films and games more detailed, vibrant and clear
- Slim design
- Enjoy a clear moving picture Resolution at Motion Rate 60 with amazing refresh Rate, processing speed and backlight technology
- See every image as the director intended with enriched colors – even with older, non-HD content
Samsung UN32J5003 Review
- Enjoy a great picture with Samsung 720p high definition (HD), which makes your favorite films and games more detailed, vibrant and clear;Speaker Type : Down Firing + Base Reflex (2CH)
- Enjoy a clear moving picture resolution at Motion Rate 60 with amazing refresh rate, processing speed and backlight technology.
- See every image as the director intended with enriched colors – even with older, non-HD content.
- Power Supply (V): AC110-120V 60Hz
It’s quite telling that if you want a new 1080p TV for less than 200 dollars from the “premium” manufacturers, you need to get a 2015 model. That’s why the list is mostly filled with models from unknown brands – otherwise it would be a list of “TVs” better suited for ants.
Things To Consider – A TV Buyers Quick Cheat Sheet
Most of the specs you will come across are just buzzwords used for marketing purposes – they don’t necessarily tell a lot about the picture quality by themselves. If you are already familiar with the basics of TV specifications and terms you might as well skip this part and hop straight on to our picks.
A general rule of thumb when choosing a TV would be that get as big as you can, but the tight budget will set some limitations to this. The biggest televisions you will find below the $200 mark are 43-inch, but then you will have to leave something else (like integrated Smart TV functionality) off.
The resolution aspect is really simple on televisions below $200. 4K (also known as UHD) would naturally be the best but we will have to settle for 1080p (Full HD, FHD). Even though the difference between 4K and FHD might sound like a lot on paper, it really isn’t that big of a deal.
Furthermore, the amount of 4K material available is still limited. You will get by with a FHD just fine.
OLED TV’s with HDR support have the best quality of picture but they are way out of our price range at the moment. There are still a few factors you should focus on.
High contrast – ultimately meaning that the TV is able to display deep shades of black.
Glossy or matte screen – this often gets neglected (maybe it wouldn’t if somebody came up with a term like UMS, Ultra Matte Screen), but is worth considering because if you are going to watch your TV a lot on bright day light you want your screen to be matte. It eliminates reflections. Once again the budget will set some limitations to this, though.
Features And Design
Smart TV means that the TV has built-in processor and internet connectivity, enabling different applications (mostly streaming platforms such as Netflix and Youtube) to be used without any additional equipment. Even though this is mostly an industry standard these days, the budget televisions often lack the functionality. This is not an issue however as there are plenty of great external devices available, such as Chromecast and Roku Streaming Stick.
HDMI in layman’s terms is the interface used to connect your devices on your TV. Just make sure that your future TV has enough HDMI ports for all the devices you are about to use on a regular basis.
Design: as the TV will be a big piece of your furniture you naturally want it to look good. If you are planning to wall mount your TV make sure that it is VESA ready, though most new TV’s are by default.
Last update on 2019-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API