Advice Please: 43" TV £500 Max Budget

monkeyjim

Member
Hello TV Gurus,
I was round my Dad's at the weekend and realised he needed a new TV, he's on an old BEKO HD Ready 32WLA520HD, which buzzes and needs a set top box to watch TV through it. He's a pensioner and can't really afford one, so I was thinking of giving him my current one and updating mine. Giving him mine would be a huge upgrade.

I currently have a Samsung UE40KU6020, which has served us well the past five years. The HDR has never been great and I've found it pretty slow. The picture can be a bit bandy on dark gradients. We have a sound bar directly in front of it, just at the right height not to block the screen.

Plugged in to it I currently have a PS5, Apple TV and a Sonos Beam (down to the helpful advice I got here!).
We watch Netflix, Prime, Disney+ and all the terrestrial catch up services. I have an Apple infrastructure at home and the Airplay function, I see the Samsung has, does appeal to me.

I started looking today, and I'd be happy with another Samsung, but I got bamboozled with all the different models around at the moment. At the moment I've got a UE43AU9000, UE43AU8000 & UE43AU7110 all sitting in my basket and can't see much difference between them. There were more, but I just got confused! I think I prefer the stand of the AU8000 because I saw a video which demonstrated that you can use two height settings (so the beam doesn't block the screen).

I read the Tizen OS is one of the best TV operating systems, and I was watching some videos about the upscaling which seemed impressive.

I'm not averse to a Sony, the TV we had before this was a Sony (which now sits in a spare room) and whilst none of the apps work any more, it's got an Apple TV plugged into it and picture is still great. I see some good comments here about Hisense but I don't think they have the apps/functionality I want.

I'm not mounting it, and live in a smallish house, so anything bigger would look a bit out of place.

Hope I've not been too specific with this long message, and some can offer some sagely insight!

Cheers
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
2021 models like the new Samsung AU series are pretty overpriced compared to the new TU series, so unless you somehow have a special price, you're best looking at saving some money for 2020 models instead.

The AU8000 and AU7110 and even AU9000 are models from the same line of TVs, so picture quality differences will be very small between each of them. The AU9000 does come with a 120hz panel compared to 60hz though.

These TVs (and the 2020 TU series they replace) are the modern version of your 2016 KU series, and should be very similar, if not identical in picture quality. Unfortunately things do not change so fast in the TV industry, so a budget TV you buy today is going to be very similar to a budget TV you bought in 2016 with picture quality.

If I were you I'd consider spending a bit more money to get something more premium, something that will be an upgrade rather than side-grade to your current TV and something that will hopefully last you longer. HDR is a big thing you buy into nowadays, and if you don't spend much on a TV, you won't get one with adequate HDR picture quality which can mean for problems when you use a HDR source.
You might have already noticed it a bit with your KU series. HDR looks pretty dark and washed out, to the point where SDR looks better.

The only qualm about this is you need to look at bigger TVs. Manufacturers don't make higher end TVs at smaller sizes any more. Bigger is always better where UHD is concerned anyway, since its pretty much wasted on a 43" TV. But the true higher range TVs only start at larger sizes, meaning you at least need to look at 49".

A favourite of the forum is the Sony 49XH9505 which is a 2020 model, if you can up your budget to a TV like that, or even better a 48" OLED then you'll be golden, otherwise its really hard to recommend any small TVs with your sources/uses, and in all honesty you'd probably be better off just spending as little as you can at 43" if you're stuck at that size to get something comparable to what you're already using (or just sticking with what you have, and buying your Dad something new).

Hopefully the guides in my signature and best buy thread help you out:

You'll notice no 2021 models are included since they are currently overpriced, the guide should also have some links in the opening post which I hope explains a bit about panel types (your current Samsung uses a VA panel) and HDR - which is what I banged on about above when I mentioned the possibility of spending more money.
 

monkeyjim

Member
That's brilliant, thanks a lot. I'll have proper look through after work. I did see your link in another thread when I was looking for some tips yesterday, but our house size/layout meant there was no point looking beyond your info on 40-43" TVs.

I'd definitely consider a Sony, but I'm guessing there's no smaller equivalent to the 49XH9505.

It's funny, because like many here, I grew up with CRT TVs and the "big telly" in the living room was a rented 21" Sharp and I had a 12" black and white in my bedroom. 43" still feels massive to me!
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
In that case I'd suggest spending less, rather than more. The only TV you can get that is an improvement over what you own is the 43AU9000 since it has a 120hz panel. Improvements will be mostly outside of picture quality, with motion being better, having more up to date features and connectivity and faster, more up to date smart TV.

Beware that it is currently overpriced since its a new 2021 model.

The Sony alternative is the 43XH8505/43XH8588 from 2020, like the Samsung 43AU9000 it also runs at 120hz and since its end of life you may find it at a better price. Sony's at this size do use IPS instead of VA panels though so the Sony will have drastically different characteristics to Samsung models. The 2021 Sony is the 43XJ85.

Really I'd consider just keeping with what you have until 42" OLEDs come out, or alternatively looking at spending less now rather than more to get something similar to what you have. There's much better value spending as little as possible at smaller sizes than there is spending more. Not only do the smaller TVs with 120hz panels cost a lot more, they are also no better than cheaper models with HDR, which begs the question, why upgrade at all?
 

monkeyjim

Member
I think the reason is two fold, I did look at Christmas at getting a new TV for my Dad, but his boiler died and my brothers and I had to pay for that. The TV he has now was bought at the time for my Mum, who's no longer with us. Because the TV has no digital tuner he's stuck with a terrible Talk Talk TV box which is slow and using up electricity unnecessarily.

I'm using Alexa more and more with lighting, music and general "smart homeness".

I can't justify spending money on him right now, but since getting the Sonos Beam a few months ago, I wanted a more up to date TV, which led me to thinking buying myself a new TV gets an upgrade for us both! Also, the past three TVs I've bought have all been prior to a major football tournament, and I've always been able to grab a bargain.
 

Madao

Active Member
I don't understand why you can't get a 50" TV. I live in a cramped box room and still managed to fit a 50" TV in there. Sure, it's not ideal, but anything less than 50" it feels like you're just throwing money away and should keep what you have.

That's the thing, though, you said it would be an upgrade for you both, but you'd be spending money for nothing really as there would be no visual improvements. Spending £300+ for an 'more up to date TV' doesn't add up to me. It's honestly kind of wasteful to spend money on a new model TV that's only major difference would be it's date of manufacture. Your money of course, but based on what you've said you don't exactly sound flush.
 

monkeyjim

Member
The TV is on a long table under the stairs and behind it in the alcove I have a number of framed artworks. The TV would be too close to the stairs and block a good deal of the imagery. We sit approx 7' away from the TV and I think anything bigger would dominate the room. Plus, most importantly, the other half won't have anything bigger!

Maybe you're right. I was thinking the addition of airplay, better HDR, a more responsive OS, upscaling and (I'm hoping) a better connection to the sound bar with e-arc instead of arc would be worth the upgrade, as well as being able to pass my current TV on to my Dad.

There's all sorts of other family things in play as well which I won't go into here.

I guess the answer to the quandary is, there isn't anything drastically better than what I already have in the 43" category, so it's a case of go bigger or stick with what I have and rethink my Dad plan.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I guess it comes down to what you want.

Reasons I can see to change to a model like the AU9000:
  • You want improved motion
  • More up to date/faster smart TV so you can use things like Airplay.
  • HDMI features like eARC (eARC is not used by streaming services, only physical discs/games). Although possibly your current TV may not support Atmos via streaming services.
Reasons not to upgrade:
  • Upscaling won't be noticeably better than your current TV.
  • HDR will still be poor, you'll get better colours, but a dim or washed out image in most titles.
Depends a lot on pricing too, you tend to pay a lot for TVs like the AU9000 with 120hz panels. Especially this time of year when 2021 stock is very expensive. Its probably the worst time you can buy a newly released model right now. The Samsung AU series are selling for over 100 more than their predecessors did. I'd be tempted to pick up a discounted 2020 model whilst you still can and either give it to your Dad, or use it as a stop gap until 42" OLEDs are released.
 

monkeyjim

Member
I don't think this TV does upscaling, I do notice a difference with 4K stuff, but the HDR is rubbish. I got it partly for a PS4 Pro, but prefer the picture with HDR off. Atmos is out of the picture for me because my sound bar doesn't support it. I'll just keep my eye out for a bargain, just don't know what to do with my Dad. Thanks for all your help.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Every TV does upscaling, its just that 4k models are particularly poor at handling lower quality content. They have 4x the pixels than HD TVs do. I wouldn't expect a new model would be any better with upscaling.

HDR is also something that will still cause you trouble on any 43" TV. It demands a minimum set of specifications to display properly without issues, and those specs only start on larger TVs.

You can buy some 2020 stock now with a good discount, models like the 43" Hisense A7300 are selling for only 300 now. That TV will more or less match your current for picture quality, its smart TV is more basic though.

Argos also sell a Hisense model like this but with Roku TV built in, so its smart TV is better.

Its very easy to use if you're looking for something cheap for your Dad, just beware that like your own TV its viewing angles are tight, so he must only view it head on for the best picture.
 

Madao

Active Member
My aunt has the 2020 model of that and it's pretty decent. Roku TV is so much better than that horrible vidaa or whatever it's called, easily the worst part of Hisense TVs. I think that's a very reasonable option considering OPs circumstances.
 

monkeyjim

Member
Every TV does upscaling, its just that 4k models are particularly poor at handling lower quality content. They have 4x the pixels than HD TVs do. I wouldn't expect a new model would be any better with upscaling.
I see, I think I misunderstood. When I was watching a review of one of the dozens I was looking at, a news caption was shown and it miraculously crisped up. The TV equivalent of enlarging something vector in photoshop and turning antialiasing on. It was very impressive, but it was probably more noticeable as they were reviewing a larger version of one of the Samsung sets I was looking at.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
We live in an era that makes it hard to get trusted information. Many comparisons you see on YouTube and alike are from 'influencers' who may not know what they are talking about.

I'd take comparisons in videos with a grain of salt unless they come from a reputable source. The whole upscaling thing is nothing but marketing, they make you believe each of their new TVs has the latest and greatest technology, but it never makes a real life difference. The best thing you can do with a TV now is to avoid using poorer quality material and make sure your source is 4k as often as possible.
 

monkeyjim

Member
Which probably led me to start this post in the first place! FYI - it was 3:13 in this video.

Prime day soon, plus pretty much anything modern will be better than what my Dad currently has!
 

Stan Hope

Banned
That's brilliant, thanks a lot. I'll have proper look through after work. I did see your link in another thread when I was looking for some tips yesterday, but our house size/layout meant there was no point looking beyond your info on 40-43" TVs.

I'd definitely consider a Sony, but I'm guessing there's no smaller equivalent to the 49XH9505.

It's funny, because like many here, I grew up with CRT TVs and the "big telly" in the living room was a rented 21" Sharp and I had a 12" black and white in my bedroom. 43" still feels massive to me!
i can't add anything technical to your thread, all i'd like to say is , monkey jim you're my brother from another mother, the big telly was a rented Grundig, with a panasonic vhs top loader, bought on hp, {my mum could've probably bought 2 for cash}

i also joined this forum with a £500, stretching to £600 budget to replace my dad's 13 year old 32 inch plasma, and came in with the long held opinion 43in tv's are as big as you really need to go.

i've been a member less than a week and i'm about to get me old fella and entry level oled, at twice my original budget.:rotfl::suicide:
 

Cheshire Cat

Active Member
Which probably led me to start this post in the first place! FYI - it was 3:13 in this video.

Prime day soon, plus pretty much anything modern will be better than what my Dad currently has!
Dodge is spot on re his comments on the price of 2021 sets. However, if you need to buy now Costco has a good deal on the AU9000 - £469 with discount applied at checkout.


This is £40 more expensive than a 60hz 2020 model at RS:


RS and JL also have 2020 LG models below £400, but I don’t know if they are any good!
 
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monkeyjim

Member
Thanks for that, I did see another thread with that offer in, was tempted but I'm not a member anyway. I'm gonna keep an eye out on Prime Day and do what Dodge said about picking up an older model at a discounted rate. Surely they need to get rid of the 2019/2020 models!
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Only a single year warranty from Amazon usually if that’s a concern
 

monkeyjim

Member
Just as an aside, @Dodgexander do you know much about the Sony KDL-32W653A? We picked it up about 8 years ago at a bargain price and the colour and contrast of the image is way better than the Samsung. I wouldn't have changed, but I was buying a PS4 Pro around the time of getting the Samsung, which was for the larger size and the HDR.

I just wondered if you knew if there was anything unique about that model which would be worth looking out for in a Sony when we do eventually change the TV. I think it had the X-Reality PRO, but I'm not sure how much of that is just marketing speak!
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
There's nothing special really about your old TV, its just that you're replacing it with a cheaper model today, and really nowadays with the advent of HDR you need to spend a lot more monies to have a problem free and impressive picture. The other thing to note is with older TVs that were HD, less upscaling was required which makes for a sharper picture when using poorer quality content. Moving to larger UHD model you'll find it won't polish content quite like you'd expect it too.

If you look in my guide you see I mention at the start of low tier models like the TU series:
Its becoming harder and harder to recommend any TVs in this price range due to the increased plethora of HDR content (most of which is unavoidable with built in apps). If your TV is a similar size and only 10 years old it may be better to reconsider keeping your current TV, or possibly treating the TV as SDR only.
This comes down to HDR, HDR is explained here:

To cut a long story short, for SDR purposes nowadays you get a lot more for your money than you used too, but for HDR you need to spend more money to get an adequate TV to display it properly, and without issues. Since low tier TVs (like any new model) being larger and also having more pixels you are bound to take a quality hit using poorer quality material, so its important that at least when you use the TV with high quality material like HDR, that it looks its best. If you are buying a cheaper UHD model you're basically buying into a TV that has problems displaying HDR, together also with the downsides of a larger UHD TV.

People are a bit shocked when I tell them there's no point changing models when their existing TV is so old, but I think they underestimate how little LCD tech has really moved on. At the end of the day the LCD TVs you buy today are still LCD TVs like the ones we bought years ago.

But when you start to get to high tier LCD TVs in the guide, that is when things start getting more impressive. These are the TVs that will showcase HDR as its meant to be seen, and won't have a dark or washed out picture.
 

monkeyjim

Member
Thanks for that, much appreciated. What you say makes total sense, I'm a graphic designer so I'm used to dealing with resolution and trying to explain to clients that their 72dpi image that looks great on their website will not work in a brochure!

Seeing as Dad is currently on a 32", I'm going to look at options there, the main thing is that I can get him something that's easy to use, with built in free-view along with catch-up and streaming services.
 

Madao

Active Member
I'd just get the Hisense Roku from argos, it's a breeze to use.

 

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