It’s easy to get overwhelmed with jargon when buying a new TV, but here are the main points we think you should consider when comparing the different models:
What is your budget?
How much money you have to spend on your new TV instantly narrows down your options. It is totally possible to get a brilliant 43-inch set for under £500, but if you want the latest screen technology and more smart features, expect to pay £600+.
Luckily, many of the best TV brands, including Amazon, Samsung and Sony, all have budget options in 204, and you can save extra money – often hundreds of pounds – by choosing a slightly older flagship model instead of one from the latest line-up.
What features do you need?
While 4K is thankfully common these days, even among the best TVs under £500, we always recommend deciding which features you want to prioritise. If you love using Alexa devices in your smart home, you may want to make sure your TV has a voice assistant built-in.
If you are connecting a next-gen console like the PS5, you’ll want to make sure that it has a higher refresh rate or a dedicated gaming mode, and if you’re mounting it to a wall you’ll need to make sure that it has a VESA connection on the back panel.
Vesa is the name for the four pre-built screw holes that you use to connect a bracket. You’ll find it measured in millimetres, and that’s the distance (vertical x horizontal) between the holes.
How many HDMI ports do you need?
HDMI (High Definition Media Input) ports are usually found on the side or back of the TV and are used to receive audio and video from devices like laptops, gaming consoles, set-top boxes and streaming sticks on your set. We advise aiming for at least three. The last situation you want to be in is having to unplug and reconnect devices every time – it’s particularly awkward if your TV is mounted to a wall.
Most standard HDMI connections will be HDMI 2.0, and that’s perfectly fine for pairing most external devices. The exception is next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
To achieve the best performance from those – 4K resolution at 120Hz refresh rate – you’ll need the latest HDMI 2.1 connectivity. From our list, the Fire TV Omni, Fire TV 4-Series and the Sony X85K all have at least one HDM port with 2.1 support.
Other products we considered
We’ve limited this round-up to six of our favourite 43-inch TVs that we felt give you a nice balance between price and specs, but there are plenty of other models out there. Here are some top TVs that we also considered but didn’t quite make the cut:
The LG C3 is one of the best TVs you can buy, and the only reason it’s not on our list is because it’s actually 42 inches. The C3 is a bit of a rarity, being the first 42-inch OLED TV. The panel isn’t quite as bright as some of the rival OLED sets from other brands, but it’s stunning for movies and gaming.
We’d also consider the Samsung AU7100. We regularly see this 4K model discounted on Amazon, alongside similar sets from 2021 and 2022, including the AU9000 or AU8000. It’s ideal for movie nights, it’s got tiny borders around the screen, support for all of the popular streamers and has a slimline design. We included the more recent Samsung CU7100 as it’s got a newer processor, but this remains great for the basics.
The Hisense A6E from last year is a brilliant budget option, particularly as it’s regularly discounted to under £250 on Amazon. You don’t get too many fancy features, but this model will suit you if you just need a set for watching movies and TV shows, plus we appreciate the built-in Alexa and a dedicated game mode that lowers your input lag.