Best LED Televisions

Top 10 Rated Mid-Value LED TVs 2014

By

Following are the models our electronics category editors JB Burden and Bob Wiley think are great mid-range LED TV choices in terms of the quality/value/price/features equation. We have reviewed these or similar offerings from the manufacturers and we recommend and rated these models based on the following:

1. Mid-Grade Features Set Value Proposition LED Television
2. 2D Picture Quality – Strong Black Levels, contrast, color, clarity,
3. LED TVs without the highest end most expensive features but still the most essential
4. Some Extra Features that make sense and add to value and work well
5. Side Angle- off center viewing quality (a difficult metric for LED TVs)
6. Sound Quality
7. Internet/Smart TV Functionality
8. Appearance and Design Elements

55” Diagonal
1080p
LED edge Lit
120Hz panel
Smart TV

Stepping up the 55 inches and a bit more feature-wise, the 55F6400 is similar to the F6300 listed above but has active 3D…read more


LG 55LA6200  8.5/10

55”
Edge Lit LED
1080p
120Hz
Passive 3D

LG has some very compelling pricing in this good performer. It does not have the frame-less appearance of some of LG’s top of the line…read more


1080p
Passive 3D
240Hz Processing
LED TV Edge Lit

The 55-inch Vizio M551d is a great buy for this size class. It has most everything a top of the line TV from other manufactures have. The Passive 3D performance…read more


LG 50GA6400  8/10

50”
Edge Lit LED
1080p
120Hz
Passive 3D

This TV is very similar to the LA6200 listed above, but it has a Google Chrome interface and operation for the browser portion…read more


46” Diagonal
1080p
LED edge Lit
120Hz panel
Smart TV

Samsung has lots of mid-level LED TVs to choose from. In this smaller size 46 inch LED TV, you forgo some features…read more


Sony KDL-60R550A  7.5/10

120 Hz (Motionflow XR 240)
Passive 3D
1080p Resolution
Clear Resolution Enhancer

This Sony 60” LED competes well with the Sharp model listed above. It has sound color performance and the reliability that Sony products are known for…read more


1080p
LED Edge Lit
120Hz panel

Here is an unusual 58” LED TV, at a fairly attractive price point. Though better known for their plasma TVs, Panasonic is producing some decent…read more


60” Diagonal
LED Edge Lit
1080p
3D
Smart TV

This 60” LED from Sharp is firmly in the running for value per square inch. It includes a dual core processor this year…read more


Mid-Value LED TV Buying Guide

Factors to Consider when Purchasing an LED TV (at least a mid-range one)

Resolution

Since almost all mid-range LED Televisions are 1080p resolution this is not really much of a factor any more.

Picture Quality Features to Pass On

In a Mid-Priced LED TV you want good but not over the top picture quality features. You save significant money by not having to have the fanciest most current features. Today those include 960Hz enhanced refresh rate, full array local dimming backlighting rather than edge lit LED, and true 240Hz panels.

Some Picture Quality Features You Want to Keep For Sure

1) Clear Coat Screens
For me, clear coat screens are important. We have in our list here a few TVs that do have a matte screen finish, but we prefer clear coat (otherwise called ultra clear) screen LCD panels due to better light flow in the screen and brightness. Contrast and side angle viewing may also be much better depending on the screen.

2) Video Processing
Processing is important no matter what price level you are choosing from, so we recommend strong processing engines from good manufacturers. This makes a huge difference with 480i or 480p standard definition signals up-converting to the native resolution (1080p) of the panel.

3) 120Hz vs. 240Hz Native Panel
To my eyes 120Hz panel refresh rate speed is probably good enough. Both 120Hz and 240Hz have issues when it comes to some negative unintended consequences. Both are good for fast action programming such as sports. But it’s much more difficult to see the difference between 120Hz to 240hz than the larger step up which is 60Hz to 120Hz. You will see much more judder – jerky motion effects with at 60Hz screen – so we recommend 120Hz for this price category LED TVs.

Other LED TV Features to Take a Pass On (in the Mid-Range Price Category)
Some people could give a hoot about 3D capability and that is why we have included TVs in this list that are not 3D compatible. If 3D is included – active or passive is fine for this category unless you are a 3D connoisseur – in which case you probably want active shutter 3D quality. Super fancy remote controls with QWERTY keyboards or touch pads are nice to have but not extremely necessary. 4K resolution is out of reach in this price range and may not help you that much anyway right now with such limited programming. The highest end appearance packages with the thinnest depths add too much cost and are not included in this categories recommendations (with the exception of the LGs).

Features to Not Take a Pass On

In my mind, the way Internet TV (also called Smart TV) options are expanding you might want that feature more than 3D for now. Built in Wifi is a nice feature to have to access the Internet – not having to purchase a Wifi Dongle or hard wire for the Internet. A full web browser is sometimes reserved for higher end TVs, but it’s a feature I like a lot because you can access and watch programming directly off the Web without having to use only the available Internet TV Apps built in.

Sound Quality

Though much overlooked – sound quality is mucho important if you do not plan on using a home theater system.

Steve Holdgren Steve Holdgren is an engineer by trade and has worked for some of the largest energy related engineering firms in the world with his latest stint in Switzerland. He holds a degree is mechanical engineering… See more about Steve

More Top Ten Lists

Top 10 32″- 42″ LCD TVs

Top 10 HDTVs

The small LCD TV category is still very important to the average North American consumer. We’ve included a solid list of the Best LCD TVs for 2012 based on the following qualitative and value criteria: Solid Picture Quality based on…[more]

Top 10 HDTVs

Top 10 HDTVs

Our expert TV editors pull together the Top 10 most impressive best quality HDTVs for 2012. Editors noted several factors in helping them decide which HDTVs to include in the list including: 1. Black Level Depth 2. Side Angle Viewing Quality 3. Clarity and Clearness of Images on Screen…[more]

Top 10 Blu-ray Players

Top 10 Blu-ray Players

Blu-Ray players are becoming increasingly more advanced while not surging to ridiculously high prices. Several new models coming out in 2012 offer smart TV viewing options, with the ability to search for movies, apps, and entertainment sites. We selected 10 of the best Blu-Ray players that showed the greatest technological advances and connectivity options. Other features we considered…[more]

LG UDTV Review

LG UDTV 4K

LG has introduced a new macdaddy, spanking hot $22,000 84 inch UDTV (ultra high definition TV) that will be shipped fall of 2012. It will not only be one of the larges TVs on the market but is also the highest definition at 3,820 X 2,160. The abreviation for this resolution is 4K to differentiate it from 1080 or let you know that it is 4 times the 1080p resolution…[more]

Best TV Series

Best TV Series

This simple list shows off some of the best TV shows of the past few years that have a box set available. With the popularity of HBO/Showtime type shows you can get lost in finding the next great TV show (or last great)…. [more]


More LED TVs

Filed Under: ElectronicsHDTVsMid - ValueTop 10 Lists