There are plenty of 4K TVs you can buy at just about any budget, even at a price tag under $1,000. But there are plenty of 4K TVs that aren’t worth their price, no matter how budget-friendly. For many people, most 4K TVs aren’t yet worth their hefty price tags, since there isn’t yet a huge amount of 4K content available. In fact, for many tech fans, it’s worth waiting at least a year or two before upgrading to a 4K TV, since the tech is still in a relatively early stage and many sets are either very expensive or alternately, don’t perform very well.
If you’re in the process of researching a new TV purchase, you’re probably pretty familiar with Consumer Reports. The publication offers what many consider the gold standard of reviews and comparisons across many categories of consumer products, and 4K TVs are no exception. When you’re researching the wide array of 4K TVs that are already on the market, Consumer Reports is one of the best sources to trust for an objective assessment of which sets are worth the investment, and which 4K TVs just aren’t worth the price.
We trust Consumer Reports’ ratings to figure out which big-screen TVs are the best purchases, so we also trust Consumer Reports to warn us about which TVs just aren’t worth buying. We took a look at all the 4K TVs that the publication’s researchers have tested and reviewed, and selected the ones that received the lowest ratings. Read on to take a look at the worst-rated 4K TVs, so that you know which ones to avoid when shopping for a new television.
1. Westinghouse WD50UC4300 TV
Consumer Reports researchers write that the 50-inch WD50UC4300 fared better than they expected in their testing, and even offered “very good” high-definition picture quality. But the considerable downsides of this TV from Westinghouse include noticeable motion blur, sound quality that’s only “fair,” and a limited smart TV platform that just includes access to Netflix, YouTube, and Vudu.
2. Samsung UN55JU650D TV
Consumer Reports concludes that the 55-inch Samsung UN55JU650D falls short on HD quality, primarily due to its overly bright black levels and the “nonuniformity” seen across its display. And while this TV from Samsung delivers excellent UHD performance, that’s ultimately compromised by the same black level issue. The upshot? You can save the $1,000 and skip this model.
3. Sharp Aquos LC-70UE30U TV
According to Consumer Reports, the 70-inch Sharp LC-70UE30U offers high-definition picture quality that’s good, but is below that of most other TVs of this size, which can primarily be attributed to aggressive oversharpening. This $1,900 TV also has a fairly narrow viewing angle, which is less than ideal if you want to place it in a living room or family room, and while it has very good UHD performance, it has only decent HD-to-UHD upconversion and streaming performance.
4. Hisense 50H7GB TV
According to Consumer Reports researchers, the 50-inch 50H7GB TV from Hisense delivers very good high-definition picture quality but only good UHD performance thanks to limitations in the TV’s 4K viewing options. Additionally, the TV’s motion blur reduction was only fair, with noticeable blurring on some images. Even though this is a pretty budget-friendly TV, especially considering that it offers 4K resolution, it isn’t one that we’d recommend purchasing.
5. Sharp Aquos LC-60UE30U TV
The 60-inch Aquos LC-60UE30U from Sharp delivers high-definition picture quality that’s good, but below that of most other sets this size thanks to what Consumer Reports characterizes as “aggressive oversharpening.” More reassuring is the researchers’ conclusion that this pricy TV does have very good UHD performance, though they found only “decent” HD-to-UHD upconversion and streaming performance.
6. Vizio M43-C1 TV
The 43-inch Vizio M43-C1 offers very good HD picture quality, but its UltraHD performance is only “good,” according to Consumer Reports, thanks to some video-processing issues, including the TV’s inability to display photos in 4K quality stored on a USB drive. The sound offered by this Vizio TV is also only rated as “fair,” and the set only does an average job reducing motion blur.
7. Vizio D65u-D2 TV
Consumer Reports researchers write that the 65-inch Vizio D65u-D2 offers only good UHD performance, caused primarily by the same video processing issues experienced with the previous TV, like its inability to display photos in full 4K resolution from a USB drive. Additionally, this TV has a fairly narrow viewing angle, and the Clear Action 480 refresh rate introduces significant dimming and image flicker.