This guide will tell you about the best TOP 5 4k TVs at a price not higher than $1000. Look at an overview of the product features, their strong and weak points and learn which one is the best for gaming. Today, we’re going to learn about how this technology works, some things to bear in mind when buying them. You’d be surprised what a few hundred bucks can buy, with this technology. You may also want to read our beneficial section on resolution and image scaling so that you can become familiar with the matter or find out some more useful details for you.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

What Is A 4k TV?

Flat screen LED TVs. Every now and then, those of us of a certain age have to take pause, and just admire these now very commonplace pieces of technology, and admire science fiction made science fact. Flat displays with massive resolutions like this adorned science fiction movies for decades, but nobody really expected them to so suddenly move from the realm of fantasy to very affordable, common reality.

Yet, here we are, approaching the third decade of the 21st century, and everywhere you look, you see these miracles of modern technology. It’s more than that, though. They’ve evolved beyond just displays, having advanced, onboard operating systems and specialized software to make the most of a digital world.

Smart TVs aren’t a brand new concept – as early as the 1990s, smart boxes to bring the internet and digital experience to television were shown and even sold. They weren’t very useful, but the concept definitely enthralled most whom saw it.

How a 4k TV Works

A smart flat screen TV isn’t as complicated, on the surface, as one might think. Not unlike old CRT televisions, there are grids of pixels across the face of the display, with cells specializing in red, green and blue. It was the development of the blue LED that made these possible, as it didn’t happen until the 1990s.

Unlike a CRT TV, there isn’t a scan (where a beam sweeps across the screen, left to right, top to bottom), but a parallel rewrite whenever a new color is given to a pixel. A backlight exists to add luminance and brightness to the screen, usually adjustable. It’s the same basic technology that works on a smartphone or a tablet, on a larger scale, and usually without the capacitive touch screen.

The smart components are usually similar to the chipset in a smartphone or tablet as well, though seldom as powerful (they generally don’t need to be). It’s an ARM processor, with a Linux kernel. A few even run actual Android, though it’s usually a proprietary wrapper and interface, developed by the company, or licensed in the case of Roku, for example.

 What To Look For When Buying A Product?

When it comes to this technology, there are in fact a host of things to bear in mind, because it really depends on where you want this TV to be, and what you want to do with it. The line between “computer monitor”, “TV”, and “internet portal” is blurring rapidly, and you may want to use it for one or all of these things, so let’s look at some critical things you want to make sure you have in your display.

  • HDMI Input – HDMI is pretty much a must, and very few of these displays lack support for it. However, you want to make darn sure that it’s in place. Your cable box, if you plan to use one, produces the best picture through this, not through coaxial or composite, which are both honestly garbage with no HD capabilities.
  • Wi-Fi – If you plan to use the smart TV features, and watch things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and YouTube, then you want to make sure it can support a Wi-Fi connection. A few of these devices do have LAN (RJ45/Cat. 6) ports, but this is relatively rare, and very inconvenient.
  • Full-Featured Remote – Interacting with Smart TVs can be a huge pain, which is why I myself just hook computers up to them, and use a better interface. This isn’t due to the interface design, it’s the limited way a lot of remotes can work. Look for one with a remote that has solid shortcut buttons to bring up the most-used apps, settings, and so on. It’s nice if they have a mini keyboard, though these are, for reasons I cannot fathom, rare at the moment. I expect that feature to become commonplace in the future, though.
  • Supported System – Something that’s a problem with a lot of Smart TVs is the challenge of upgrading and adding apps. These systems have a bad habit of becoming unsupported quickly, which is where a standardized, multi-platform system can come in handy. If you’re heavily into the smart TV side of these, then it may help to aim for that.

A Little on Resolution

Before I share some experience and our list of top displays, let’s take a minute to talk about resolutions and image scaling. This is something that the average consumer isn’t intimately familiar with, on a technical level. Marketing loves to take advantage of this, not unlike how they did with game consoles during the “bit wars”.

Let’s first understand what resolution actually is – the number of pixels in an X and Y dimension, that can be displayed. To give you a point of reference, old CRT televisions displayed a resolution of 640x480 pixels. With the advent of 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio, it’s generally measured only on the vertical. 1080p, for example, is 1,080 pixels across. 4K, then, is 4,080 across.

HD encompasses any resolution 720p or greater, so seeing “HD” on a device does not guarantee the highest resolution going.

For those planning to game on one of these displays, or hook a computer up to it, we also need to talk a little bit about another resolution concept, DPI (dots per inch), which computers, unfortunately, love to obsess over. If you hook one of these ultra HD 4K displays up to a computer, it’s going to complain about DPI awareness/unawareness, because they generally like 72DPI at 1080p. They can support higher resolutions, but the interfaces of most programs are not made with this in mind, causing everything to be very tiny at 4K. I’ve gotten used to it myself despite my aging eyes, but others may find this a nuisance.

Finally, a little bit on scaling. Many game consoles (especially before the current generation) don’t support HD at all, let alone 4K. With modern games, the console doesn’t even dictate the resolution, with games ranging from 720p all the way to 4K, depending on how the developer programmed them. Lower resolutions, if not upscaled, will look letterboxed severely, rendering only in a centered region of the screen. Upscaling will decrease the picture quality because it’s literally just increasing the physical pixels per digital pixel.

Upscaling from 720p to 4K doesn’t utterly ruin the image quality, but you will notice some decay. Smart TVs can do some interleaving and postprocessing to improve this, but in the case of gaming, the lag makes this not viable. Modern consoles like Xbox One and PS4 have no problems with high resolution.

My Personal Experience With a 4k TV

I have a 60” 4K smart TV by LG. I’ve had it for a couple years, so it’s older than the models we’ll be looking at today. But I love this display. I don’t use the smart features much, unless my computer is taking time to reboot due to Windows’ habit of updating without asking first (ugh …).

This isn’t because smart features are bad, I just happen to practically live at my computer anyhow, so it just makes a nice, gigantic 6th monitor for me. However, I want to tell you a little tale about the picture correction process, and how you should never use it for programs or games.

Not long ago, I was invited to a jaunty little Duck Game competition with a known Twitch/YouTube streamer I’m friends with. I won’t name names, as it’s self-serving and distasteful. However, they’re a novice at Duck Game (a little platformer/run and gun where you try to kill the opponent(s) duck). I am a bit of an old hand at it now. The intention was to amuse viewers whilst I devastated them at the game, and waxed jackass-like over it.

However, I had color and resolution correction turned on, without realizing it. Oh, the lag was real, let me tell you. Every time I pushed a button, I could count a full second before a response on the screen.

My YouTube friend destroyed me consistently, much to my short-lived humiliation. I don’t honestly mind, it made for a good show, and my ego is far from so fragile as to be bruised by losing at a video game on the internet. However, having discovered this after the fact (because I don’t want my games to lag either way), I later decimated them at a rematch, much to the amusement of many, many viewers.

Do not, and I mean do not turn any kind of picture correction on while playing games. It actually takes processing time for the onboard GPU to mess with every frame of the video, and it’s perceptible with something like video games. Movies, it’s fine though I’ve noticed it still causes a fraction of a second of desynchronization between the sound and picture. This will probably get faster in the future, but honestly, there are limits. Input lag is a feature that indicates the time required for the television's electronics to process the received signal and display it on a screen. You should consider the input lag value when choosing a TV for gaming, especially the online one. The lower the value, the more quickly the TV would respond to the gamer’s actions.

TOP-5 Best 4k TVs Under 1000

This review covers TOP-5 best 4k TVs within the price range from $300 to $980. These products have varying size and different set of features. While some models like that of Samsung are significantly optimized for gaming, there are items with marginal gaming optimization.

55-Inch 4K TV with Best Smart Features | TCL 55R617

TCL 4K TV with Smart Features: photo

 TCL may be a lesser known brand, as far as this kind of thing goes, but the big seller with it is the standardized, constantly updated system by Roku. Roku provides their own DVR and streaming platform, but also a very standard and user-friendly OS that’s widely developed for, and has a good app catalog behind it.

My only real complaint is, the remote on this thing is terrible.

Features

  • Size: 55”
  • Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB, HDCP.
  • Resolution: 4K.
  • Onboard System: Roku TVOS.
  • Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix.
  • Browser: Yes.
  • Keyboard on Remote: No.
  • Voice Input: Yes.
  • Wi-Fi: Yes.
  • Gaming Optimized: Yes.

Performance

This is the best one for people wanting to full-on use the smart TV features, with a very standard, heavily-supported TVOS platform. Roku’s system is very similar to the Android offshoot used on emulation machines and custom retro consoles, making it very easy to use.

I hate the remote on this thing, though, as it has all of fourteen buttons, making the interface tedious if you need to surf the web or do a search. The voice feature is nice, but let’s be honest, voice recognition doesn’t like peculiar accents or vernaculars very well.

Pros Cons
  • The standard platform, widely-supported.
  • Great picture. 
  • Ultra-thin. 
  • HDR support. 
  • Great app catalog. 
  • Voice support.
  • Horrible remote.
  • Browser sucks.

Conclusion 

The browser and remote aren’t great on this, but you probably don’t surf the web on your smart TV, if you’re going with a model like this. The remote isn’t fantastic either, but if you love smart features, I highly recommend this TV.

TCL: Check the current price

Consumer-Grade 55-inch 4K TV | Toshiba 55LF621U19

Toshiba Consumer-Grade 4K TV: photo

Amazon’s Fire platform powers this one, which makes it surprising that it so readily supports Netflix, Hulu, PSN, and HBO apps among other things. But then, Amazon has to know people don’t have a lot of patience for locking competition out of devices.

This is a cheaper Smart TV than the TCL model, and as a result, the platform is a bit less often updated, but Amazon is still a stickler for updating, making this a viable choice.

Features

  • Size: 50”
  • Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB, HDCP.
  • Resolution: 4K.
  • Onboard System: Amazon Fire TVOS.
  • Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, HBO.
  • Browser: Yes.
  • Keyboard on Remote: No.
  • Voice Input: Yes.
  • Wi-Fi: Yes.
  • Gaming Optimized: Marginally.

Performance

If you thought the TCL was a little too pricy, and that’s understandable, then this Toshiba is a good alternative, if smart features are your focus. Amazon does update this platform often, meaning you should be able to get apps and additional functionality out of this model for some time to come.

The remote isn’t much better than the TCL, though at least it has proper shortcuts, and it does have better voice support.

Pros Cons
  • Standard platform, widely-supported.
  • Great picture. 
  • Ultra-thin. 
  • HDR support. 
  • Great app catalog. 
  • Voice support.
  • Horrible remote.
  • Amazon is slow about updating the competing stream apps.

Conclusion 

I’m most comfortable recommending this TV to people who want very affordable smart features. However, it’s a little small, and the remote still isn’t fantastic, and as said above, Amazon loves to be slow about updating Netflix etc.

Toshiba: Check the current price

Gaming Optimized 4K TV | Samsung QN55Q6F

Gaming Optimized 4K TV from Samsung: photo

The smart features on this one are run of the mill. It does support the standard streaming apps and so on, but don’t expect to get much in the way of updates or bells and whistles. This one is really designed for gamers, with a smart color system that can dynamically shift, without even lagging (somehow).

Features

  • Size: 55”
  • Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB, HDCP.
  • Resolution: 4K. 
  • Onboard System: Proprietary Linux TVOS.
  • Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, HBO.
  • Browser: Yes.
  • Keyboard on Remote: No.
  • Voice Input: No. 
  • Wi-Fi: Yes.
  • Gaming Optimized: Yes, significantly.

Performance

If smart features are your big focus, this one won’t let you down, but that’s not where it excels. In actuality, this one is best for gamers, and the color correction is practically real time, and I’m baffled as to how that’s possible. Had I been using this one, even with corrections on, I probably would’ve won that game.

Pros Cons
  • Great picture.
  • Ultra-thin. 
  • HDR support. 
  • Gaming optimized to the max. 
  • Simple interface.
  • Bland remote.
  • Run of the mill TVOS distro. 
  • Kind of heavy for its size.

Conclusion 

I’m comfortable recommending this to hardcore gamers, with a slightly less though still present confidence in it for film and video buffs. The color on this thing is magnificent, and the speed of picture correction never ceases to astound me. I don’t know how it can do shader processing between frames like that, but somehow, it manages.

Samsung: Check the current price

Best 4K TV for Binge Watchers, 65 Inches | Sony XBR65X850F

Sony 4K TV for Binge Watchers 65”: photo

For someone wanting to watch a lot of movies, or long sessions of binge-watching (we all do it, don’t lie!), this Sony is a cinch. With a 65” HDR ultra-sharp picture, it’s like having your own private movie theater to watch your favorite shows.

The smart features are average, and new apps are seldom made for this platform. But, it does keep the existing apps updated, and supports the whole streaming app catalog.

Features

  • Size: 65”
  • Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB.
  • Resolution: 4K.
  • Onboard System: Proprietary Linux TVOS (PS offshoot).
  • Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, HBO.
  • Browser: Yes.
  • Keyboard on Remote: No.
  • Voice Input: No.
  • Wi-Fi: Yes.
  • Gaming Optimized: Somewhat.

Performance

Gamers may have to tweak this TV unless you’re into PS4 gaming, which Sony, of course, has their TVs supporting with flying colors. The smart features are pretty bog standard as well, but the picture on this is the best for long video sessions.

The remote is subpar, as usual, and the browser isn’t the best either, but if you’re a video-loving couch potato, this is probably the TV for you, hands down. This is one of the pricier ones on the list, though.

Pros Cons
  • Great picture.
  • Ultra-thin. 
  • HDR support. 
  • Simple interface. 
  • Large.
  • Bland remote.
  • Run of the mill TVOS distro. 
  • Expensive.

Conclusion 

I highly recommend this to film and TV buffs, because the smooth interlacing and high-definition picture can’t really be topped. This is about the best a 4K streaming image can be. Anything better requires 8K, and your eyes won’t notice that upgrade, the human eye’s sensitivity is finite.

Sony: Check the current price

Best Family Model of 65-Inch 4K TV | LG Electronics 65UK6300PUE

Family Model of 65-Inch 4K TV LG: photo

If you have a family, and they like to do a lot of different things on your TV, this is probably the most balanced model out there. This 65” model doesn’t excel in any one area, but it’s not significantly lacking in any either.

This is similar to the one I have and is only one year older, though it’s five inches bigger.

Features

  • Size: 65”
  • Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB.
  • Resolution: 4K.
  • Onboard System: Proprietary Linux TVOS (PS offshoot).
  • Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, HBO.
  • Browser: Yes.
  • Keyboard on Remote: No.
  • Voice Input: No.
  • Wi-Fi: Yes.
  • Gaming Optimized: Somewhat.

Performance

Someone wants to watch Netflix, someone wants to watch cable, someone else wants to play games, and still someone else wants to watch movies. These all need different specialism in technology, at the end of the day. This LG can handle them all sufficiently, though other models excel more highly in some of these areas or others.

The remote is passable but not great, and the ports are in awkward places.

Pros Cons
  • Great picture.
  • Ultra-thin. 
  • HDR support. 
  • Simple interface. 
  • Large. 
  • Amazing picture.
  • Bland remote.
  • Run of the mill TVOS distro. 
  • Expensive.

Conclusion 

I recommend this as the contemporary catch-all display option for couples or families, or heck, just someone who wants to do it all and doesn’t want to severely compromise on any of it.

LG: Check the current price

Comparative Chart of 4k Tv Under 1000 Effectiveness

Product Features Input Lag

TCL 55R617

• Size: 55”
• Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB, HDCP.
• Onboard System: Roku TVOS.
• Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix.
• Browser: Yes.
• Keyboard on Remote: No.
• Voice Input: Yes.
• Wi-Fi: Yes.
• Gaming Optimized: Yes.
Effectiveness: 10
1080p: 16,7 ms
4K: 18,6 ms
4K + HDR: 18,6 ms

Toshiba 55LF621U19

• Size: 50”
• Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB, HDCP.
• Onboard System: Amazon Fire TVOS.
• Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, HBO.
• Browser: Yes.
• Keyboard on Remote: No.
• Voice Input: Yes.
• Wi-Fi: Yes.
• Gaming Optimized: Marginally.
Effectiveness: 9
1080p: 36.0 ms
4K: 37.6 ms
4K + HDR: 36.2 ms

Samsung QN55Q6F

• Size: 55”
• Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB, HDCP.
• Onboard System: Proprietary Linux TVOS.
• Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, HBO.
• Browser: Yes.
• Keyboard on Remote: No.
• Voice Input: No.
• Wi-Fi: Yes.
• Gaming Optimized: Yes, significantly.
Effectiveness: 10
1080p: 15.2 ms
4K: 15.3 ms
4K + HDR: 15.2 ms

Sony XBR65X850F

• Size: 65”
• Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB.
• Onboard System: Proprietary Linux TVOS (PS offshoot).
• Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, HBO.
• Browser: Yes.
• Keyboard on Remote: No.
• Voice Input: No.
• Wi-Fi: Yes.
• Gaming Optimized: Somewhat.
Effectiveness: 8
1080p: 27.9 ms
4K: 30.0 ms
4K + HDR: 30.1 ms

LG Electronics 65UK6300PUE

• Size: 65”
• Ports: HDMI, RGB Composite, Coaxial, USB.
• Onboard System: Proprietary Linux TVOS (PS offshoot).
• Additional Stream Apps: Hulu, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, HBO.
• Browser: Yes.
• Keyboard on Remote: No.
• Voice Input: No.
• Wi-Fi: Yes.
• Gaming Optimized: Somewhat.
Effectiveness: 8
1080p: 11.5 ms
4K: 11.8 ms
4K + HDR: 11.3 ms

FAQ 

What is the best 4k TV on the market?
That Sony.

Will it upscale ps4?
Yeah, all the consoles put out a standard signal.

Which 4k TV is best for gaming?
The Samsung. It was literally built around gaming.

Which one is the best for Xbox One X?
The Samsung.

Will it get cheaper?
Sure, but only to a limit before you’re buying used, and by then, some newfangled thing will render it obsolete in your eyes, almost certainly.

Conclusion

These are the best ones going right now. 8K is kind of pointless, and I really don’t get the fascination with the curved monitors. I am confident one of these will serve you well, just be careful about correction and gaming.