Ask LH: What's A Good TV To Buy For $1500?

Hi Lifehacker, I'm about to move into my new house and of course, the first thing I need is a nice big new TV. Any idea as to what I can get for around $1500? Smart TV is a must and I'd prefer 50" or bigger for the screen? Thanks, TV Time

TV picture from Shutterstock

Dear TVT

We threw your query at Gizmodo's chief TV reviewer Campbell Simpson. According to Cam, you're better off sticking to "dumb" models when it comes to sub-$1500 televisions. This will allow you to score a bigger screen and better picture quality for the same price. This will also save you from struggling with a sub par interface.

As Cam explains:

When you're buying a cheap television, the Smart TV interface is usually slow and a little bit rubbish, so not having it is really an advantage.

In terms of specific television models, Cam's personal pick is the Panasonic TH-60A430 LED TV. This is a 60-inch Full HD monster constructed from an IPS LED "Super Bright" panel, inbuilt dot noise reduction, a beefy V-Audio speaker unit and a smooth reproduction mode for fast moving images and gaming.

Naturally, you can still purchase a third-party product to supply your smart TV needs: be it the Google Cheomcast, Apple TV or one of the myriad Android dongles on the market.

If any readers have recommendations of their own, let TVT know in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    I had that particular TV, two of them in fact. Both returned for horrendous LCD problems - uneven panel and huge backlight bleed in some corners. Seems to me that 60 inch is too big to get uniform panels in LCD.

    The Pana ST60 plasma 60incher that I have now is great, and was $15xx last I checked.

    JB have a 60" 6 Series Samsung LEDTV on sale at the moment for just a fraction under $1500.
    https://www.jbhifi.com.au/tv-home-entertainment/hd-televisions/samsung/samsung-ua60h6400aw-60-full-hd-smart-3d-led-lcd-tv/552563/

    when you (TVT) say smart TV is a must, what sort of smart functions do you use on a daily basis such that it is a "must" criteria? (this is a genuine question as i've never owned a smart tv)

    I would recommend Bravia 55 inch series smart 3d wifi tv, almost always available for under $1500. It comes preloaded with apps and once you install a VPN on your router at home it opens up all the US apps like netflix and Hulu.

      I should also have specified, some of the others such as LG are geolocked and you are unable to get any of the good US apps on your TV

    Agree that for the most part the "Smart" functions on TVs suck. But we use ours for Skype since it has a built-in camera and keeps the account live as long as it's on. Which encourages the family overseas to get in contact and saves having to leave a PC on.

    I found that configuring my router with UnblockUS and setting the DNS to the US, then performing a factory reset on the TV causes it to detect that it's in the US and lets you install the apps, thereafter you can either revert the DNS or leave it as-is so you can still use Netflix or other apps that check region per-use.

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