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    Updated on Jan 31, 2019. Posted on Oct 24, 2018

    You'll Never Want To Get Up From The Couch Once You Buy This Flat-Screen TV

    We're talking the *best* budget-friendly option for your next Netflix binge.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    I love watching TV, you love watching TV — TV is great! And prices on flat-screen televisions have been falling over the past few years, which is good news if you’re looking to buy one. The bad news is that with so many options, it can be confusing to sort out which one fits your needs.

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    Luckily, we’re here to help. We compared a whole slew of top-rated flat-screen TVs across all price points to see which is best for your next Netflix binge (you can find all three of our picks for best flat screen TV on BuzzFeed Reviews)

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    But if you're looking for a budget-friendly option, the 55-inch TCL 5 Series 4K HD Smart TV (which is under $500!) is a great pick!

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    For our test, we looked at the most common 55-inch classes and series made by different brands. The one that immediately jumped out was our top pick for the $ category, the TCL 5 Series. This model has consistently been at the top of many “best budget TV” lists, and when we started testing it, we could see why.

    To begin with, the LED screen delivers a sharp, vivid image that puts it miles ahead of other lower-priced models. The blacks were dark and inky, allowing the brighter areas to shine through in gorgeous 4K detail with brilliant colors.

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    So when you're watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you can see those gorgeous costumes in all their detail.

    In addition to a true high dynamic range (HDR) picture, the 5 Series comes with Roku built in, letting you stream content straight to your TV and even use the mobile app to control it.

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    Thinking about cutting the cord to cable? This would be perfect for you!

    And for gamers, the input lag hovered around 18 milliseconds, depending on certain options. That was similar to higher-priced models and better than every other television we tested in this category.

    The TCL maintained a fairly wide viewing angle, meaning it looked great whether you were sitting directly in front of it or off to the side.

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    This makes it a solid option for families, viewing parties with a lot of people, or even just oddly shaped rooms, because it will still provide a good picture no matter where you sit. Other cheaper models lost quite a bit of brightness and color saturation due to off-angle viewing, but the TCL’s LED screen held up.

    So what’s the catch? Where did they cut the corners to offer such a great TV for less than 500 bucks?

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    Get it? Cut corners?

    We’re not gonna lie: the speakers were… not great. The two 8-watt main speakers just didn’t have the power to shake the walls, but with the money you’re saving, you could easily find a decent speaker option.

    Also, much of the casing is plastic, especially on the back — but that’s not where the picture is, so does it really matter? The short answer is no — not for us, anyway. The only thing that might make your decision harder is the screen’s brightness. If you’re planning to put this TV in a bright room, you might want to move up to the next price band because, while the TCL delivers a rich, detailed image, the peak brightness of the screen can’t compete with tons of sunlight. This was a consistent issue with ALL of the models in this price range, but, y’know, curtains exist. There’s always that option.

    If you have a gigantic living room, you’re probably going to want something a little higher up the food chain, but for small apartments or spare rooms, the TCL 5 Series delivers a surprisingly vibrant 4K picture with plenty of features for under $500.

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    That money you're saving? You can spend on streaming services and snacks — both very important.

    Want to tune in yourself? Get it from Amazon for $449.99.

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    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!

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