Best Place to Buy a TV for Cheap

Best Place To Buy A Tv For Cheap

Best Place To Buy A Tv For Cheap: When looking for the best place to buy a TV for cheap, it pays to shop around and look for the best deals. With major price drops around events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can score big savings if you time it right. Beyond those major sale events, retailers also offer specials throughout the year.

Table of Contents

Key Places to Shop

Some of the best places to find budget TVs include:

  • Amazon – With the widest selection of models and constant deals, Amazon should be your first stop.
  • Sign up for price drop alerts on select models
  • Best Buy – Price matches guarantees and open box discounts can amount to big savings.
  • Look for weekend flash sales and student deals
  • Walmart – Low everyday prices plus Rollback specials make this a go-to for deals.
  • eBay – Open-box, refurbished and used models are frequently discounted. Bidding format allows you to set your max price.
  • Warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s Club – Large sizes for less, but selection limited.
  • Check daily deals and Gold Box specials
StoreProsCons
AmazonHuge selection, frequent dealsCan’t see in person
Best BuyOpen box deals, price matchingStock fluctuates
WalmartLow prices, specialsLimited high-end models
eBayDiscounted used & open box modelsNo warranty, prices vary
Warehouse StoresLarge TVs, lower pricesSmaller selection

What to Look for in a Budget TV

Focus on these areas when choosing a cheaper TV:

  • Brand – Stick to models from TCL, Hisense, lower-end LG or Samsung for best value.
  • Picture quality – Check specs like resolution, HDR support, refresh rate rather than just brand name.
  • Ports – Ensure needed HDMI and input ports for your devices.
  • Smart features – Built-in Roku TV, Fire TV, Google Assistant etc can save money on streaming devices.
  • Screen size – Get as big as possible for your budget and room size.
  • Reviews – Consult rtings.com and Amazon to compare real performance data.

By sticking to budget brands, monitoring daily deals, price matching and seeking out refurbished or open box deals, you can save big money on a full-featured smart TV. Comparing specs and reviews ensures you still get good picture quality and performance despite the lower costs.

Look For Deals and Sales

One of the best ways to save money when purchasing a TV is to take advantage of the many deals and sales offered throughout the year. Rather than paying full retail price, you can often score discounts of 20-50% or more if you shop at the right times.

Major events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday should be prime deal hunting times. Retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart usually offer some of their top TV deals of the year during these sale extravaganzas.

Tips for Finding Deals

Use these tips to make sure you catch the biggest bargains:

  • Sign up for alerts – Many stores let you set price drop alerts on specific models so you get notified automatically of deals.
  • Check for refurbished and open box deals – Consider gently used and display units marked way down in price.
  • Look for coupons, rebates and cash back – Stack savings from multiple sources.
  • Compare prices across retailers – Use sites like Google Shopping to price check models you’re interested in.

Beyond those major yearly sales, retailers also discount televisions year-round:

  • Amazon – Check their daily Gold Box and lightning deals.
  • Best Buy – Flash sales run on weekends and holidays often.
  • Walmart – Rollback specials rotate frequently.
  • eBay – Bid on used and pre-owned models.
StoreTypical DiscountsBest Sales
Amazon20-30%Black Friday, Cyber Monday
Best Buy10-25%Black Friday, Super Bowl
Walmart10-20%Black Friday, Super Bowl
eBayVariesAnytime

Setting price drop alerts, stacking coupons and rebates, checking daily deals, and hunting down open box models are all great ways to save big when buying your television. Timing your purchase around major sale holidays like Black Friday or Cyber Monday takes savings to another level.

Check Retailers For Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

The best times of the year to find deep discounts on TVs are centered around major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Retailers slash prices sitewide to drive traffic and sales during these prime shopping periods. You can expect to save anywhere from 25-50% off or more during these seasonal sales events.

Top Retailers to Check

Be sure to monitor deals and prices from the following major retailers around Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend:

  • Amazon – Extensive TV selection with constant deals. Lightning deals can sell out quickly
  • Best Buy – Large selection of name brand models. Offers in-store only doorbuster deals. Price matches other retailers during sale
  • Walmart – Competes head-to-head with holiday pricing. Brick-and-mortar stores have large quantities Special “Black Friday Deals for Days” early access event
  • Target – Focuses on budget-priced models. RedCard debit/credit card saves additional 5%
  • Samsung – Directly discounts their lineup of smart TVs. Provides financing options. Includes free shipping, and features specialty gift guides for the season
Store% OffPrice MatchingShipping Perks
AmazonUp to 50%NoFree on select models or Prime
Best Buy25-30% typicalYesFree over $35, expedited available
Walmart25-30% typicalNoOnly with delivery membership
Target20-25%NoFree on large TVs
Samsung20-30%NoFree standard

Strategies for Savings

Use these tips when shopping the major winter holiday sales:

  • Price check ahead of time so you know just how low deals are priced in the moment.
  • Make a list of target models within your budget to streamline browsing.
  • Act quickly as the most popular models often sell out. Deals end suddenly once limited quantities are gone.
  • Factor in doorbuster deals requiring early in-store only shopping for the steepest savings.
  • Use coupons and rewards programs to stack additional instant savings on top of sale pricing.

Shopping selectively for TV deals offered over Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekends is one of the most reliable ways to secure major long-term cost savings. Preparation and speed are key to landing the absolute lowest pricing.

Sign Up For Price Drop Alerts

One of the best ways to save money on a television purchase is to set up automated alerts that notify you when prices drop on specific models you have your eye on. This allows you to track deals easily over time without manually checking. Retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart all offer free price tracking tools.

Retailers With Price Alert Options

The major online stores that provide price drop notifications and in-stock alerts include:

  • Amazon – Add models to your Watch List or set formal Price Change Alerts.
  • Best Buy – Create email alerts on product pages under “Notify When Available.”
  • Walmart – Sign up for email alerts on item pages or download mobile app.
  • eBay – Follow items to get notified of bidding activity and price reductions.
  • CamelCamelCamel – Third party site tracks Amazon price history and changes.
StoreAlert MethodsFrequency
AmazonBrowser add-ons, mobile appDaily
Best BuyEmail, mobile alertsOnce per change
WalmartEmail, mobile notificationsOnce per change
eBayEmail, mobile push notificationsDaily summaries
CamelCamelCamelEmail, browser add-onsOnce per change

Setting Effective Alerts

Use the following best practices when setting up price tracking:

  • Monitor hot models – Add alerts leading up to major sales events like Black Friday when prices fluctuate.
  • Choose specific configurations – Pinpoint the exact dimensions and specs you want.
  • Set thresholds – Define your target max price point.
  • Use broad alert tools like CamelCamelCamel for wider market tracking beyond one retailer.
  • Add budget notifications so you’re notified if models drop below an affordable rate suddenly.
  • Install browser add-ons to monitor live price data seamlessly while browsing.

Dedicating just a few minutes to establishing price drop alerts on the TV models you want can amount to hundreds in savings over time. You eliminate the need to manually check, instead getting notified automatically when savings opportunities arise.

Set alerts on specific models

When setting price drop alerts, it’s best to be as specific as possible with the exact television model you want to monitor. Creating notifications around a particular configuration ensures you only get notified when that TV hits your target sale price.

Factors to pinpoint include:

Brand and Series

  • Prioritize top budget brands like TCL, Hisense, Vizio.
  • Look at low-end models from Samsung, LG.
  • Know the model line names like Samsung’s QLED series.

Screen Size

  • Narrow your preferred range for viewing distance and room size, example:
  • 32-43 inches for bedrooms
  • 55-65 inches for living rooms

Resolution

  • Minimum resolution for budget models today:
  • 1080p (Full HD)
  • 4K (Ultra HD)

Features

  • Smart functionality like Fire TV, Roku TV
  • HDR capability
  • Number of HDMI ports

Retailer

  • Set alerts for Amazon, Best Buy etc. separately.

Example Alerts

TV ModelPrice LimitRetailer
TCL 55″ Class 4-Series 4K UHD HDR Smart Android TV$368Amazon
Hisense 58″ Class R6 Series Dolby Vision 4K UHD Roku Smart TV$268Walmart
Samsung – 55″ Class Q60C QLED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV$599.99Best Buy

Creating custom alerts around distinct TV models and configurations allows you to filter out price noise and only get notified when the exact television you want reaches an affordable rate. Setting up a few alerts takes minutes but can amount to big savings over time as major sales roll around.

Get notified on general price changes

In addition to tracking specific television models, signing up for more general price drop alerts can help you find deals across the overall TV market. Rather than targeting an exact brand and configuration, these wider notifications keep you updated on the latest sales and price reductions across top retailers.

Broader Price Tracking Tools

Services that provide open-ended TV price alerts and updates include:

  • CamelCamelCamel – Free site and browser plugins that show Amazon price history and drops on all products.
  • Honey – Browser add-on that automatically applies coupon codes at checkout and tracks prices.
  • Wikibuy – Browser extension allows you to compare prices across retailers on individual products.
  • Slickdeals – Deal aggregation site and apps with community-sourced price updates.
  • DealNews – Daily email newsletter with latest sales and verified deals across all categories.
ServiceMethodsCoverageFrequency
CamelCamelCamelBrowser add-ons, emailAmazon onlyInstant price change updates
HoneyBrowser add-onOnline storesRealtime at checkout
WikibuyBrowser add-onChecks online pricesManually triggered checks
SlickdealsWebsite, mobile appsOnline & local storesUser-submitted deal updates
DealNewsEmail newslettersOnline & brick-and-mortar retailersDaily summary emails

Keeping Abreast of Sales Trends

Wider market tracking helps ensure you don’t miss short-term lightning deals outside of models you’re watching. Benefits include:

  • Notice upticks in TV discounts ahead of major sales holidays.
  • See pricing trends across brands, sizes, features etc.
  • Catch rare but deep price mistakes and glitches.
  • Monitor for new budget models that get released.

Casting a wider net for TV price drop notifications takes little effort but can clue you into the best times to buy and latest undiscovered bargains that pop up routinely.

Check For Open Box and Refurbished Models

Beyond just buying brand new televisions, considering gently used open box and manufacturer refurbished models can amount to huge savings. These like-new TVs are often hundreds below normal retail pricing.

Top retailers to check for discounted open box inventory include:

  • Best Buy – Extensive selection of open box picks both online and in stores.
  • Walmart – Carries limited open box and refurb stock online.
  • Amazon Warehouse – Marketplace for discounted used, pre-owned and open box electronics.
  • eBay – Both large and small sellers list open box TVs in all sizes.

When weighing open box and refurbished options:

Open Box Benefits

  • Up to 40% discounts on display units
  • Unused condition besides missing outer packaging
  • Normal return policies still apply

Refurbished Benefits

  • Saving 30% or more over new models
  • Professionally inspected and repaired by manufacturer

Considerations

  • Limited inventory that fluctuates
  • Smaller warranty periods usually
  • Some visible wear possible

Vetting Open Box Listings

Make sure to closely inspect each open box television prior to purchasing:

  • Read descriptions and grading details carefully
  • Thoroughly test all ports and inputs on-site if possible
  • Inspect the screen for any dead pixels or brightness inconsistencies
  • Check manufacturer warranty status
  • Factor in any missing accessories or parts

As long as condition reports are accurate and units have been properly tested and graded, scoring an open box or manufacturer refurbished TV can translate to major savings in line with normal holiday discounts but available year-round.

Look For Coupons, Rebates and Cash Back

Beyond directly marked down pricing, taking advantage of stacks of savings through coupons, mail-in rebates and cash back makes TV deals even sweeter. These forms of incentives help you maximize value from top retailers.

Available Deals to Stack

Types of additional savings to combine with TV sales include:

  • Online coupons – Site-wide promo codes, percent-off deals.
  • Targeted eCoupons – Special discounts sent via email or ads.
  • In-store coupons – Physical vouchers and mailers.
  • Rebates – Mail-in certificates paying a portion back weeks later.
  • Rewards site cash back – Percentage or fixed payouts from portals like Rakuten.
  • Referral bonuses – Credit for getting friends to buy.
  • Retail credit cards – Sign-up bonuses, extra percent-off perks.

Strategies for Stacking Savings

Best practices for maximizing value:

  • Monitor weekly promo emails from subscribed retailers.
  • Check cash back portals before every online purchase.
  • Use honey browser extensions to auto-apply coupon codes at checkout.
  • Don’t forget gift cards as another way to lower overall costs.
  • Buy refurbished models that have additional coupon savings stacked.
  • Price match first then provide coupons for another level of instant savings.
SourceAdditional Savings
Online Coupons5-20% off
Mail-in Rebates$20-50 back
Cash Back SitesUp to 20% of purchase
Credit Card Welcome Offers$100-200 in rewards

Layering different incentives allows you to maximize the value you receive from any TV offers and sales events. The little bit of extra effort keeps more cash in your wallet.

Compare Prices Online

One key strategy to finding budget TV deals is taking the time to thoroughly compare pricing and offers across different retailers. Rather than assuming one store has the best prices or just defaulting to Amazon, cross-checking prices can unveil hidden deals.

Online Comparison Tools

Services that allow you to instantly check pricing across stores include:

  • Google Shopping – Centralized catalog of products and real-time prices aggregated from retailers.
  • CamelCamelCamel – Shows Amazon’s price history and other listings for quick comparison.
  • Wikibuy – Browser extension checks competitor pricing on any product.
  • Honey – Finds active coupon codes and tracks price history directly on product pages.
  • BrickSeek – Reveals inventory data and pricing specific to local retail locations.
ToolDatabaseEase of UseFrequency
Google ShoppingExtensiveSimple searchReal-time
CamelCamelCamelAmazon-onlyBrowser add-onsInstant checks
WikibuyOnline retailersSingle click price checkOn-demand
HoneySupported storesAutomatic at checkoutReal-time
BrickSeekMajor chainsEnter zip code and modelInventory snapshots

When to Check Around

Be sure to compare retailers when:

  • A desired model goes on sale or gets discounted.
  • There are special financing offers from a particular store.
  • You have extra reward certificates or gift cards for specific stores.
  • Credit card bonuses give extra cash back or discounts.

Cross-comparing prices only takes a moment but protects you from overpaying and wasting potential savings opportunities. The extra couple minutes checking tools like Google Shopping and Wikibuy pays dividends.

Use price comparison sites

Check multiple retailers

Dedicated price comparison websites and browser extensions should be a deal hunter’s first stop when evaluating TV pricing across different retailers. These aggregator tools compile real-time costs from dozens of top online stores into one place for easy discovery of who has the best price.

Top price comparison services include:

Google Shopping – Shows prices across merchants along with specs and reviews. Easy sorting and filters.

Nextag – Compare prices from thousands of sellers along with buying options.

PriceGrabber – Side-by-side comparisons from qualified merchants. Can track price history.

Idealo – Gathers prices across Europe and the UK along with reviews.

Prisjakt – Popular comparison site in Scandinavian countries.

Skinflint – Specialized in computer hardware and electronics price tracking.

When searching on an aggregator site, you can:

  • Instantly see who has a model in stock at the lowest price
  • Filter by features like screen size, smart platform etc.
  • Sort by discount percentage or criteria like free shipping
  • Enable tracking to monitor specific configurations over time
  • Check updated historical price graphs to identify price drops
Stack Savings Further

To maximize value:

  • Use comparison site links that enable cash back
  • Factor in stacked coupons, rewards and gift cards
  • Check refurbished and used listings too
  • Locate price matching opportunities

Cross-checking prices takes seconds but saves hours of manually browsing individual retailers. Sites like Google Shopping or Nextag should be bookmarked for easy access anytime TV deal hunting.

Focus on Budget Brands

One key money-saving strategy when purchasing a television is focusing your search on quality budget-friendly brands rather than paying up for premium names. Lesser-known labels like TCL, Hisense and Vizio provide stellar performance and features at a fraction of the prices of high-end Samsung, LG, and Sony models.

Top budget brands to target include:

  • TCL – Best selling TVs with built-in Roku. Great picture quality for the costs.
  • Hisense – Very affordable pricing with high-end features like Dolby Vision.
  • Vizio – Reliable smart TVs often discounted. Known for sound bars.
  • Toshiba – Element and Fire TV model lineup starting under $200.
  • Insignia – Best Buy’s house smart TV brand packs features starting at $100.
  • Sceptre – Ultra low-cost 4K and 1080p televisions under $300 often.

Benefits of budget models:

  • Save 50% or more over big name competitors
  • Packed with premium features – 4K, HDR, smart platforms
  • Solid performance and picture – Meet needs for most non-enthusiasts
  • Frequent sales and deals that drop prices even lower around holidays

The main trade-off with lesser known labels is slightly shorter 2 to 5 year expected lifespans versus up to 10 years for more expensive Sony or LG options. However, given the major upfront discounts, replacing a budget set once over a decade still amounts to notably lower overall costs in the long run.

Consider Hisense and TCL

Two of the top budget-friendly television manufacturers that provide incredible performance and features for reasonable pricing are Hisense and TCL. Both brands offer premium capabilities like 4K resolutions, HDR support, smart platforms and more for hundreds less than the big names.

Why Choose Hisense

Reasons to buy Hisense:

  • Very affordable – Comparable models $100-200 less than Samsung, LG
  • Packed with features – Dolby Vision HDR, full array local dimming, and wide color gamut on multiple series
  • Roku smart platform comes standard – Intuitive interface with thousands of apps
  • Available in bigger sizes – High-end tech like dual cell panels up to 100″

Best Budget SeriesHisense U6, U7, U8

Why Choose TCL

Reasons to buy TCL:

  • Industry’s best prices – Budget 4K HDR models start under $300
  • Pre-installed Roku TV – Complete smart platform with constant updates
  • Above-average image quality – Mini-LED backlighting boosts contrast and brightness
  • Often on sale for additional value – Models discounted routinely

Best Budget SeriesTCL 4-Series, 5-Series

For shoppers that want the most television for their limited budget, Hisense and TCL models are packed with every feature needed for home theater entertainment at the most affordable pricing tier in the industry, bar none.

Look at Lower-End Samsung and LG Models

While flagship Samsung QLED and LG OLED televisions carry premium pricing, the lower-end model lines from these top-tier manufacturers can provide similar performance and features for budget shoppers.

Savings when buying lower-series Samsung and LG TVs include:

  • Hundreds less than premium lines
  • Solid core performance and connectivity
  • WebOS and Tizen smart platforms – Intuitive interfaces
  • Future-proof innovations trickle down from higher tiers

Where models differ from flagships:

  • Less advanced display panel types
  • Fewer HDMI ports or USB inputs
  • Lower peak brightness ratings
  • Less sophisticated styling

Notable Budget Series

Samsung TU-Series

  • Crystal UHD 4K resolution
  • PurColor and HDR support
  • Tizen operating system
  • Prices start around $450

LG UP-Series

  • Real 4K displays
  • IPS panel technology
  • ThinQ AI and smart control
  • Often found under $500

For shoppers wanting trusted brand pedigree without massive price tags, checking lower tier offerings from LG and Samsung provides excellent performance driven by their higher-end technological innovations.

Check Vizio for Sales

Alongside brands like TCL and Hisense, Vizio is another budget-friendly television manufacturer known for feature-packed smart TVs sold at reasonable price points. By routinely discounting prices, even their highly rated M-Series and V-Series models become very affordable for most shoppers.

Here is a pricing comparison on competitive 65” models:

BrandModelNormal PriceSale Price
Samsung Q60B QLED65” 4K TV$893.87$644.99
LG B3 Series 65-Inch Class OLED Smart TV$1496.99$1296.99
Vizio M65Q665” 4K QLED$722.57$685.53

Why Vizio Stands Out

Reasons to consider Vizio:

  • Frequent sales – Models routinely 20-30% off
  • High-end features – ProGaming Engine, Vizio IQ processors
  • Dolby Vision HDR included even at low prices
  • Budget-friendly OLED debut – More affordable organic LED 4K

Examples of latest Vizio savings events:

  • Up to $500 off OLED models
  • Buy more save more – $100 off $899+, $200 off $999+ etc
  • Free $150 gift card bundled with purchases
  • 0% interest financing for up to 36 months

With constantly rotating deals, most Vizio series provide stellar performance and premium capabilities for prices in line with entry-tier no-name brands. Checking their latest incentives converts to major value.

Pay Attention to Picture Quality

When evaluating budget televisions, it’s important to look beyond just brand names and prices to compare actual picture quality performance. Aspects like resolution, high dynamic range support, refresh rate and more determine real-world viewing experience.

Factors to consider around display quality:

  • Native resolution – Minimum 1080p, target 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR support – Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG translate to richer contrast and expanded color
  • Refresh rate – 60Hz smoothly displays live video, while 120Hz better handles gaming and sports
  • Contrast and brightness – Brighter, more uniform pictures with deeper blacks
  • Viewing angles – Cheaper panels show more color shifting off-axis

Checking Objective Metrics

Rather than taking marketing claims at face value, independent testing websites like Rtings provide scientific measurements of elements that impact visuals:

  • Contrast ratio – Difference between brightest white and darkest black
  • Peak brightness – How intense bright highlights can get (nits)
  • Black uniformity – Consistency of dark areas, no bright spots
  • Color accuracy – How closely hues match real-world image sources

Using tools like Rtings allows you to directly compare display qualities when researching models so you don’t overpay strictly based on brand recognition alone. Prioritizing metrics translates to the best looking picture at any budget.

Consider resolution, HDR, refresh rate etc.

When evaluating budget TV deals, prioritizing core technical specifications that impact visual enjoyment ensures you get the best performing unit possible without overpaying for name brands not objectively better.

Key factors to compare include:

Display Resolution

  • 1080p – Minimum for most non-enthusiasts
  • 4K Ultra HD – Four times as many pixels, future-proof

High Dynamic Range

  • HDR10 – Basic HDR support
  • Dolby Vision – More advanced, brighter images
  • HLG – For streaming live broadcast HDR content

Refresh Rate

  • 60Hz – Standard for movies, television
  • 120Hz – Smoother motion for sports, gaming
  • 240Hz – Target for competitive console gameplay

Panel Type

  • LED – Most affordable, solid uniformity
  • QLED/OLED – Pricier, with ultra vivid images

Brightness

  • 300-500 nits – Sufficient for darker rooms
  • 1000+ nits – Brighter, truer color in daylight

Checking specs rather than judging by brand awareness alone allows you to compare models equitably. A 600-nit Vizio budget model may look better than an LG set at just 400 nits in person even at the same price. Crunching numbers takes a bit more diligence but pays off in your eventual viewing satisfaction without overspending.

Read reviews about image quality

Rather than solely comparing specifications on paper, taking time to read expert evaluations and consumer feedback focused specifically on real-world picture quality helps identify budget televisions that punch above their weight class visually.

Sources that can speak to display performance:

Rtings.com

  • Scientifically measures vital metrics like contrast, color accuracy
  • Directly compares visuals across size-matched models
  • Reviews off-angle viewing and uniformity

RTings YouTube Channel

  • Shows motion performance, input lag for gaming
  • Demonstrates contrast and black levels
  • Reveals uniformity inconsistencies

BestBuy Customer Reviews

  • Provides owner impressions on image pop and clarity
  • Highlights potential quality control issues
  • Conveys longevity over years of use

Amazon Detailed Reviews

  • Breaks down picture settings like backlight, brightness etc
  • Calls attention to panel lottery and defects
  • Judges viewing from different angles and in varied lighting

Considering verified testing data and actual user feedback avoids assumptions that all cheap televisions have subpar images. Many budget-friendly options equal premium rivals – analysis and reviews identify true visual standouts.

Ensure Needed Ports and Connectivity

An often overlooked specification when selecting a budget television is making sure it has the necessary ports and connectivity options to interface with your external media devices. Having ample HDMI inputs for game consoles, cable boxes, sound systems and the like ensures seamless usability.

Key Input Considerations

Assess that ample ports are present:

  • Number of HDMI ports – Need at least 3-4 total to plug in hardware
  • Latest HDMI specs – Target HDMI 2.1 features like 4K/120Hz, Auto Low Latency Mode
  • USB inputs – For playback storage, firmware updating
  • Digital audio output – Optical out sends Dolby signals to sound system
  • Smart platform – Built-in Roku, Fire TV or Android TV saves needing extra streaming gadgets
  • Gaming features – Auto Game Mode, variable refresh rate

Budget models often lack:

  • Legacy composite video inputs
  • Number of ports
  • Gigabit ethernet LAN

New connectivity considerations:

  • Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay
  • Voice assistant compatibility
  • Wi-Fi 6 wireless

Thinking through needed ports for game systems, cable boxes, Blu-ray players and more ensures seamless connectivity. Having to switch cords constantly leads to frustration.

HDMI ports for devices

A vital consideration when purchasing an affordable television is making sure adequate HDMI inputs are present to simultaneously support all your media components. You want to avoid constantly having to disconnect and swap cables between game systems, streaming sticks, cable boxes and the like.

Devices you may need to connect include:

  • Blu-ray or DVD players
  • Game consoles like PlayStation/Xbox
  • Over-the-air HDTV antenna
  • Cable, satellite or IPTV set-top box
  • Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku stick
  • AV home theater receiver
  • Smart home hubs like Echo Show

Minimum Recommended

  • 3 HDMI ports for smaller TVs under 50 inches
  • 4 HDMI ports for larger televisions

Keep Future Needs in Mind

If buying a higher-end 8K television, ensure future-facing input specs:

  • HDMI 2.1 support
  • 4K resolution at 120 Hz
  • Auto Low Latency Mode for gaming
  • Variable Refresh Rate capability

Checking that ample HDMI ports are onboard prevents having to constantly swap cables and dongles in and out when looking to access another device. Future connectivity standards like HDMI 2.1 also ensure a budget model keeps pace with 8K sources down the road.

Smart options like Roku TV or Fire TV

One easy way to save money when purchasing a budget TV is opting for models that have popular streaming platforms pre-installed. Rather than needing to buy external devices like an Apple TV or Fire Stick, choices with Roku TV, Fire TV, Android TV and Google TV built-in provide apps and content while eliminating the cost of separate gadgets.

Benefits of embedded smart interfaces include:

  • Save $30-$150 over buying streaming sticks/boxes separately
  • Enjoy frequent software updates with new features and fixes
  • Built-in voice controls through included remotes, no smartphone needed
  • Hop apps instantly with dedicated platform buttons on remotes
  • Reclaim ports by not needing media device HDMI occupancy
Top Budget Platforms

Roku TV – Simple cross-app search, seamless streaming device syncing
Fire TV – Deep Prime Video integration, Alexa voice assistant
Android TV – Chromecast functionality, Google Play marketplace
Google TV – Personalized recommendations, watchlist integration

Opting for the smart functionality you prefer pre-loaded cuts down on hardware costs while keeping your experience consistent across external media gadgets and the television interface itself. If viable in your budget, integrated platforms should be strongly considered for savings and convenience.

Shop Big Retailers for Selection

When evaluating budget-friendly televisions, shopping at major national retailers provides the widest range of models and configurations to choose from. Stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target and eBay offer hundreds of choices across name brands, pricing tiers and feature sets.

Amazon

With a massive electronics inventory unmatched by rivals, Amazon should be ground zero for deal hunting. Benefits include:

  • Constant lightning deals and discounts across brands
  • Convenient shipping and delivery options
  • Detailed specifications and sizing guides
  • Extensive reviewer feedback identifying issues

Best Buy

For evaluating televisions in person and competitive bundle offers, Best Buy is ideal:

  • Magnolia home theater departments showcase picture quality comparisons
  • Regular flash sales like the 4th of July event discount prices further
  • Price match guarantee locks in the lowest rate if found cheaper elsewhere later
  • Standout open box appliance selection often hundreds below new costs

Walmart

With a focus on affordability across categories, Walmart drives low everyday pricing:

  • Rollback specials and holiday sales rival Prime Day and Black Friday
  • Brickseek inventory lookup spots rare local markdowns
  • 90-day return window for extra peace of mind
  • Physical locations helpful for assessing viewing angles

Target

Known for home goods and appliance deals, Target offers:

  • Competitive sales around Black Friday and Super Bowl
  • House brand televisions like Element at only Best Buy prices
  • RedCard program takes 5% more off automatically

eBay

For open box, used and refurbished discounts:

  • Sellers frequently list display and pre-owned models
  • Bidding format allows setting your max price
  • Major cost savings on just slightly older units
  • Limited warranty coverage requires careful vetting

Checking all the top merchants provides the most comprehensive view of budget opportunities across exact features and pricing needed. Cross-comparing retailer incentives yields the winning deal.

Amazon Has the Widest Options

Without question, Amazon provides the most extensive selection of new and budget-priced televisions making it the ideal starting point when deal hunting. With hundreds of listings across every major manufacturer, niche importer and third-party marketplace seller imaginable, Amazon’s inventory is impossible for competitors to match.

Benefiting affordability seekers, Amazon offers:

All Top Brand Names

  • Samsung, LG, Sony along with TCL, Hisense budget models
  • Flagship QLED and OLED ranges down to entry HD tiers

Exclusive Import Brands

  • Labels rarely found elsewhere in the US market
  • International model numbers with unique features

Official Refurbished Store

  • Heavily discounted like-new open box units
  • All major producers available – Vizio, TCL, Sony etc

Amazon Warehouse Deals

  • Customer returns and preowned listings
  • Budget off-lease commercial units from businesses

Easy Search Refinement

  • Filters for price, size, features, ratings
  • Compare specs and components side-by-side

With new bundle offers rolling out daily along with discounts across their certified refurbished and Amazon Warehouse departments, plus an endless array of third-party sellers, Amazon should be the first stop for deal hunters wanting the maximum number of options to evaluate on any budget.

Best Buy Price Matches and Has Open Box Deals

Offering competitive bundled package pricing plus an industry-leading selection of discounted open box televisions, Best Buy is a go-to for budget hunters. By guaranteeing to match lower costs found elsewhere and stocking already reduced display models, Best Buy makes it easier to score deals.

Price Match Promise

Best Buy sets themselves apart by allowing customers to request a price match if finding a lower published online or local retail price within either 2 weeks before purchase or through 25 days after. To successfully match and drop the cost, you’ll need to provide:

  • Advertised lower rate from a major or local retailer
  • Valid comparison model numbers
  • Identical condition – new, refurb etc
  • In-stock ready to ship or pick up locally

Open Box Savings

Beyond price matching, Best Buy offers steep discounts on open box items:

  • Gently used customer returns and display models
  • Items inspected and graded on condition
  • Discounts increase for more cosmetic wear and tear
  • Major cost savings – often 20-40% off

Taking advantage of Best Buy’s industry-leading price match policy along with tapping into their open box television inventory combines to create notable opportunities for saving money on any number of TV models and configurations with the policies backed by their Price Match Guarantee.

Check Walmart for Rollback Specials

Driving brutal pricing pressure across the retail landscape, Walmart employs aggressive Rollback sales that temporarily slash prices even lower than normal everyday discounts across televisions and electronics. When in the market for an affordable TV option, keeping an eye out for in-effect Walmart Rollbacks unlock significant savings.

What are Rollbacks?

Walmart describes Rollbacks as providing customers “exceptional prices on items every day” with periodic extra discounts automatically applied at the shelf ranging anywhere from slight percentage drops to massive half-off cuts depending on inventory needs and supplier negotiations.

Identifying Current Rollbacks

Recognizing when Rollback deals are active requires checking:

  • In-store pricing tags with red “Rollback” badges
  • Category-specific paper flyers near inventory displays
  • Walmart.com listed prices versus third party sites
  • BrickSeek.com for local inventory API data

Rollback Savings Examples

50″ Onn 4K Roku TV – $238 (Was $318)
TCL 55” Class Q Class 4K QLED HDR Smart TV w/ Google TV, 55Q650G – $348 (Was $398)
LG 65″ Class 4K UHD OLED Web OS Smart TV C3 Series OLED65C3PUA – $1596.99 (Was $2499)

With prices so low already across their television selection, any active Rollbacks make budget-friendly options even more affordable. Frequently checking the latest deals can yield major savings over MSRP costs.

Target Has Good Budget Models

While not top of mind for many television shoppers, Target consistently stocks quality affordable big screen televisions perfect for deal hunters. With competitive pricing on their house brand Element sets along with frequently running sales that take up to 25% off name brands, staying alert to deals at Target can satisfy both bargain and performance needs.

Element Brand Sets

Available exclusively at Target, Element televisions enable serious savings:

  • Value-focused features and specifications
  • 4K UHD resolution even at smaller screen sizes
  • Partners like Roku provide built-in streaming
  • Super low everyday prices – 32″ HD starts under $150

RedCard Perks

Stack savings further by securing a Target debit or credit RedCard for an automatic additional 5% discount on all purchases including clearance and sales prices.

Weekly Deals

Monitor Target’s weekly ad circular and website for limited-time TV offers like:

  • Gift card bundles – $100+ gift card pack-ins
  • Groupon coupons – Extra discount promo codes
  • Trade-in reductions – $100+ markdowns for device recycling

For shoppers wanting reliable quality backed by proven names like Vizio, LG and Sony while spending the absolute least over cheaper no-name displays, checking deals and budget brands at Target strikes the ideal balance.

Consider Warehouse Stores Like Costco and Sam’s Club

For shoppers wanting the absolute cheapest price per inch possible on a mammoth big screen television, checking bulk discount warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale should be on the radar. Despite offering smaller overall inventories, the sets they do carry often break records for the largest sizes at the most affordable pricing.

Go Big for Less

In order to accommodate sprawling warehouse aisles, store layouts and loyal members focused on volume discounts, selections focus exclusively on massive display options including:

  • 70-inch+ screen sizes almost exclusively
  • Support for next-gen gaming and streaming needs
  • Focus on widely recognized mainstream budget labels

** Added Value Perks**

Beyond ultra-low costs aided by direct shipment from manufacturers, additional benefits include:

  • Free extended warranties
  • Generous return policies
  • Member-only instant rebates and sale events
  • Store credit card cash back rewards

Remember warehouse clubs tend to limit overall model availability in favor of enormous televisions that fill their spaced out store displays. However, for a specific subset of shoppers, this restraint opens access to cinematic home theater setups at prices not matching smaller equivalents elsewhere.

Pay Attention to Screen Size

An often overlooked specification that greatly impacts both long term viewing enjoyment and upfront costs is carefully considering television display size needs relative to intended placement spaces. Rather than defaulting to 55 or 65 inches due to budget limitations or pricing sweet spots, take measurements to determine ideal aesthetic setup.

Factor Room Dimensions

Too small of a screen size for a large living room makes details hard to discern from a distance and leaves uncomfortable negative space. However, going too overwhelmingly huge darkens images if unable to support needed brightness and strains viewing angles up close creating distorted colors and contrast.

Calculate Optimal Viewing Range

General size guidelines relative to couch positions:

  • 32-43 inches = 5-7 feet away
  • 55-65 inches = 8-10 feet ideal
  • 75+ inches = 11+ feet back

Understand How Budgets Change

Screen sizes have different typical entry-level price points:

  • 32 inches can be under $150
  • 43-55 inches start below $300
  • 65-inch around $500+
  • 75-inch at $750+

Checking a specific room’s measurements calculates the optimally sized television for seating layouts and décor rather than assuming a default option. Spending a bit more monthly over years of ownership is warranted not being left wanting an upgrade shortly after purchasing. Consider going just slightly larger than initial budgets allow if possible for added years of enjoyment per dollar spent.

What’s your room size and optimal viewing distance?

Finding the right screen size for your unique room dimensions and seating layout ensures the new television doesn’t overwhelm or underwhelm the physical space. Carefully pairing display size with ideal viewing angles calculates the goldilocks sweet spot for both aesthetic appeal and viewing comfort.

Measure Room Width

Break out the measuring tape to capture wall-to-wall widths across various angles depending on contemplated TV furniture placement. Also factor nooks, entryways or odd angles that alter usable seating room. Remember to convert metrics like meters into feet for screen size compatibility.

Map Possible Mounting Locations

Factor where in the room you can physically place the television based on:

  • Wall space and electrical outlets
  • Allowable furniture footprint and traffic paths
  • Seating visibility avoiding glare or odd angles
Find a Viewing Distance Calculator

Next, input room dimensions and probable TV mounting placements into free online tools that identify:

  • Optimal screen size given mapped parameters
  • Minimum and maximum comfortable viewing ranges
  • Recommended screen sizes based on priority factors like picture quality or immersiveness
Upgrade Size If Possible

If budget allows, strongly consider bumping up a size tier to gain some future-proofing headroom. An extra 8-12 inches retains usability if rearranging furnishings while providing added discernibility over years of ownership.

Getting the display dimensions right for current and foreseeable seating layout avoids both immediate and long term compromises. Sizing up also builds in flexibility should equipment get rearranged or viewing habits evolve.

Consider going a bit bigger for the money

When evaluating television sizes to fit both room dimensions and budget constraints, if at all possible, increased consideration should be afforded to going just slightly larger than originally imagined. Settling for the minimum necessary diagonal length risks shorter term satisfaction, whereas a modest size increase retains enjoyment over an ownership measured in years while adding minimal impact to overall spend.

Future Proofing

Primarily, leaving some wiggle room around maximum perceived viable viewing range allows for unpredictable but inevitable life changes. These include factors like:

  • Rearranging furnishings
  • Children and pets altering layouts
  • Changes to vision or mobility impacting distances

While leaving comfortable headroom around the edges of a television’s discernible sweet spot carries no drawbacks beyond limiting absolute minimum viable placement options in largest of spaces.

Added Immersion

Additionally, those extra inches contribute to incremental gains in perceived immersion adding joy multiplied over years of ownership. More readily apparent fine details in videos and games hold attention better thanks to increased retina real estate.

Barely Noticeable Monthly Costs

Amortizing flat screen television costs over conservative 5-year lifespans, bumping up within size classes represents marginal monthly outlay differences, akin to a daily coffee. However, each day enjoying discernible gains thanks to modest future proofing pays dividends.

Avoid very small screens if possible

When evaluating cheap televisions sized 32 inches or smaller, carefully weigh room dimensions and intended viewing distances against the long term enjoyment sacrifices inherent with compact displays. Minuscule screens risk both immediate and downstream compromises compared to even marginally larger models better balancing immersion, discernibility and satisfaction over years of ownership.

Difficulty in Discerning Details

Primarily, undersized televisions struggle displaying legible text and discernible fine image elements critical across use cases like game console interfaces, sports scores/statistics, video playback controls, and web browsing. Small text and fine details turn into indecipherable blobs harming experiences.

No “Sweet Spot” Flexibility

Furthermore, downsizing to extremes leaves little leeway in optimal viewing position flexibility before pictures blur or pixelate. Standing consumes what little breathing room exists, quickly crossing thresholds where displays fall apart.

Future Limitations

Looking forward, smaller screens limit feasible furniture configurations, restrict household layout evolving with children or pets, and worsen naturally with owner vision changes. Even slightly larger displays better accommodate unforeseeable but inevitable life changes imposing on enjoyment.

Prioritize Needed Screen Area

Carefully consider minimum viable television sizes at the limits of current and likely future seating constraints. That extra discernibility and flexibility pays off daily rather than focusing purely on upfront purchase savings on entry-level 1080p sets. Pay now or pay later.

Look for Smart TV Features

When purchasing affordable televisions, considering models with integrated smart platforms helps eliminate the extra costs of dedicated streaming devices while providing smarter consolidated control. Modern webOS, Roku TV or Google TV options create hub-like experiences mirroring phones and tablets.

Built-in streaming can reduce device costs

Opting for televisions running refined platforms like LG’s webOS, Roku TV, Amazon’s Fire TV interface or Google’s latest Google TV software provides free access to most streaming services. Ditching external gadget costs saves immediately while keeping feature sets competitive long term thanks to automatic updates.

Consolidated Viewing Experience

Convergence onto the television interface enables managing other peripherals like game consoles, cable boxes and disc players through universal playback controls. Rather than juggling inputs constantly, everything streams through one cohesive and aggregated menu system.

Go for Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri support

Controlling televisions hands-free through integrated Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice controls provides effortless management conveniences. Asking for shows by name rather than channel surfing old school quickens routine interactions.

Ensure interface is easy to use

When evaluating smart television software, aesthetic appeal matters far less than navigation intuitiveness for novice users. Menus should make finding streaming apps or inputs for unfamiliar visitors straightforward rather than prioritizing stylistic flourishes over usability.

Choosing televisions with competitive smart interfaces reduces upfront costs while keeping conveniences competitive after purchase thanks to constant platform updates rather than aging externally connected boxes. Prioritize utility over looks when comparing.

Carefully Evaluate picture quality

Moving beyond rudimentary specifications like display resolution and refresh rates, comprehensively vetting objective performance metrics around visual qualities before purchasing unmasks affordable televisions providing outsized enjoyment relative to pricing. Evaluating contrast, color accuracy, motion handling and more pays dividends.

Read rtings.com and other expert reviews

Sites like Rtings.com scientifically measure key attributes determining real-world picture quality through arrayed test scenarios assessing traits like:

  • Color gamut coverage and accuracy
  • Black level depth and backlighting uniformity
  • Motion clarity for fast action sports and gaming
  • Viewing angle color shifting

Quantifying these dynamics rather than relying on subjective brand prestige assumptions frequently highlights budget models objectively equaling premium competitors at substantial discounts.

See televisions in person if possible

While referencing empirical testing provides confidence, still try visiting showrooms to witness budget televisions distinguishing themselves adjacent flagship brands. Witnessing affordable models shattering expectations in person builds conviction discounted pricing achieved required enjoyment thresholds before finalizing purchases.

Understand panel types like OLED vs LED

Learn differences between baseline LED or QLED displays compared to superior but costlier OLED screens optimizing contrast through per-pixel illumination rather than filtering blanket backlighting. This translates displayed image nuances into breathtaking cinematics providing lifetimes of enjoyment outweighing small monthly amortized premiums. But also know entry-level LEDs come remarkably close today thanks to zone array backlighting.

Carefully analyzing picture quality best practices future proofs purchases while steering impressions away from marketing created biases. Still seeing differentiated models first-hand cements ideals balancing performance against pricing earning long tenure in demanding home theaters.

Consider features like HDR, local dimming, refresh rate

When evaluating budget-friendly televisions, comparing supported feature sets beyond base specifications reveals models providing elevated enjoyment despite discounted pricing. Aspects like high dynamic range support, local dimming zones and faster refresh rates optimize viewing experiences across use cases.

High Dynamic Range

HDR instantly improves picture quality regardless of resolution by expanding contrast and color. Making brights brighter and darks richer happens through standards like:

  • HDR10 achieving basic gains
  • Dolby Vision with scene by scene optimizations
  • HLG for watching supported streaming channels

Full Array Local Dimming

Televisions utilizing independently controlled backlighting zones rather than unity blanket lighting enhance definition. Lighting only parts of the display required by content in real-time begets truer blacks without sacrificing brightness.

Higher Refresh Rates

While 60Hz sufficiently handles video, 120Hz presents smoother fast action like sports while minimizing motion blur. Serious gamers require even quicker 240Hz displays aligning frame timing with supporting consoles preventing distraction artifacts.

Carefully determining models packing elevated amenities despite bargain pricing identifies gigantic value hiding in plain sight. Features enabling tangible gains for owners trump meaningless model number minutiae affectionately cited as justifying ridiculous premiums failing actually improving consumption not operational conveniences alone. Seek joy maximizing specifications benefiting viewers directly.

Best Place to Buy a TV for Cheap Summary

When shopping for an affordable yet high-performing TV, following some smart buying strategies allows you to score big savings. Key tactics include monitoring sales, understanding specifications, weighing different retailers, and more.

Major sales around Black Friday, Cyber Monday and throughout the year offer 20-50% discounts, making them prime times to purchase. Sign up for retailer alerts, check for open-box deals, and utilize coupons and rebates. Additionally, warehouse stores like Costco allow massive screen sizes for budget pricing despite limited model availability.

Pay close attention to display specifications like 4K resolution, HDR formats, refresh rate, backlighting technology, brightness in nits and more. These determine real-world picture quality before getting swayed by branding claims alone. Rtings provides in-depth technical evaluations beyond specs.

Stick to best budget brands like TCL, Hisense and Vizio that frequently beat premium names at much lower costs. Make sure ample HDMI ports, smart software and gaming capabilities align with your needs as well.

Shop retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart who offer robust budget model selections and exclusive incentives. Amazon provides the most options and reliable promotions, Best Buy price matches and stocks hefty open box discounts, while Walmart hits frequently changing Rollback sale pricing on select models.

Carefully measure out room dimensions and seating placements to determine optimal screen sizes rather than defaulting to a middle ground. While it increases upfront costs slightly, go a bit larger than bare minimum size needs to gain future-proof flexibility. Avoid undersized displays if possible.

Integrated smart platforms like Fire TV and Roku provide streaming and consolidated device control while eliminating external accessory costs. Just ensure the interface remains simple to use over cosmetic panache.

For the deepest savings combined with strong image quality, read detailed technical reviews that objectively assess budget models rivaling premium names in areas like color reproduction accuracy, contrast levels and motion handling. Testing proves certain previous-generation mid-range series beat high-end competitor flagship successors released years later despite sticker prices suggesting otherwise.

In short, leverage sales promotions across top retailers while stacking additional incentives, prioritize technical capabilities over branding prestige assumptions, and run televisions through rigorous analysis qualifying true display prowess identifying finds punching spectacularly above weight classes promised strictly by price alone. This layered evaluation discipline cuts through marketing narratives guiding uninformed consumers towards overpriced mediocrity unjustified by genuine performance advantages delivering proportional added enjoyment boosting perceived daily values compensating negligible amortized consumer outlays assessed longitudinally.

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