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If you’re shopping for the best 50-inch television, there’s a good chance that you’re focused on a display to accommodate a room where you plan on sitting around four feet away from the screen. This gives you plenty of screen size to feel immersed in the viewing experience without feeling overwhelmed or like you’re squinting to see the action.
But there’s a lot to consider when shopping for the best television. While size matters, you’ll need to decide which display is most important. For example, you’ll need to pick between features such as OLED and LED. And you’ll also need to figure out if you want a connected television that allows you to natively connect to streaming app platforms or if you’ll use a third-party device to access those services. And of course, concerns such as refresh rates, frame rates, and resolution are critical factors as well.
Keep reading our best 50-inch television buying guide to learn more. And if you’ve just started your search, check out our best TVs buying guide to help narrow your choices.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This unit features a crisp resolution and HDR support for immersive gaming or watching your favorite movie. Additionally, this device offers smart connectivity and wired or wireless internet so users can enjoy numerous streaming video and music applications.
The TCL 50S435 50” TV is an excellent pick for users to enjoy streaming and on-demand movies, television, and even music through numerous supported applications. This model features a 4K UHD resolution that delivers impressive clarity and detail in your favorite movies, TV, and games. The HDR support offers accurate colors and the stark contrast between bright and dark images for enhanced immersion. While this model requires an active ROKU account, users have access to various apps for streaming and music for countless hours of entertainment.
In addition to a crisp resolution and dynamic colors, the TCL 50S435 50” TV offers incredible input options so users can utilize multiple devices without constantly rearranging their entertainment center. With four HDMI ports and optical audio support, users can enjoy a rich audio-visual experience with surround sound with BluRay players, the latest gaming consoles, and streaming sticks. Lastly, this model supports wired and wireless internet connections and voice controls through multiple services.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This device features a bright screen with a crisp resolution and HDR10 support for engrossing movie nights and watching live sports. Additionally, users will love browsing their favorite streaming platforms with the easy-to-use remote with voice controls.
The INSIGNIA NS-50F301NA22 50” TV is a stellar pick for users who want a feature-rich television with fantastic visual fidelity and dynamic color for immersive entertainment. This model offers a 4K Ultra HD display with resolution upscaling for a near-4K image quality on legacy devices and media. With support for HDR10, this model offers bright whites and deep blacks on modern gaming platforms and streaming media. While FireTV can lag a bit on Wi-Fi, this model provides an ethernet port for a wired internet connection.
In addition to crisp visuals and accurate and dynamic color, the INSIGNIA NS-50F301NA22 50” TV provides a user-friendly experience accessible to all ages regardless of tech experience. The FireTV OS provides an easy-to-navigate homepage that combines live over-the-air channels and streaming options in one place. Additionally, the Voice Remote feature works with Amazon Alexa to offer spoken control over TV functions and smart home devices like lights and smart locks. Lastly, this model provides DTS Studio Sound for increased immersion and realistic spatial audio.
Award: BEST FOR MOVIES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This device offers resolution upscaling so users can enjoy modern and classic media in stunning detail. Users will love integrating this unit into their daily routine with multiple voice assistant options and easy connectivity to Android devices and Windows PCs.
The SAMSUNG UN50AU8000FX 50” TV is a compelling choice for users who want exceptional image quality for their media room or gaming setup. This 4K UHD TV delivers a crystal clear resolution that offers incredible detail for streaming media, modern games, and live sports. Additionally, this model upscales and optimizes all Full HD content to 4K, thanks to the Crystal Processor. While the remote control leaves a bit to be desired, this model offers multiple voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Bixby for smart home control and changing TV settings.
In addition to fantastic image quality and smart connectivity, the SAMSUNG UN50AU8000FX 50” TV delivers accurate colors with SAMSUNG’s Dynamic Crystal Color system that utilizes a fine crystal layer to replicate millions of colors. Additionally, this model offers HDR technology for increased contrast and depth between bright and dark images. With Motion Xcelerator technology, this model offers enhanced clarity and minimized blur during hectic and fast-moving scenes during live sports or the latest gaming experiences.
Award: BEST FOR STREAMING MEDIA
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model features rich input options and internet connectivity for a device that delivers nearly endless entertainment choices for movie nights or TV show binge sessions. Thanks to Dolby Vision and HDR10, users will enjoy crisp and clear visuals in streaming media and modern games.
The Hisense 50A6G 50” TV is an excellent pick for users who enjoy streaming high-quality content from numerous streaming services. This model offers a 4K Ultra HD and Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10 support for cinema-quality visuals and a dynamic color range in movies, TV, and modern gaming platforms. Additionally, this model offers AI UHD upscaling and noise reduction for legacy media like DVDs and retro game systems. While the built-in speakers aren’t the best, this TV can connect to headphones, a soundbar, or an external sound system via Bluetooth.
In addition to excellent visual fidelity and enhancement features, the Hisense 50A6G 50” TV delivers superb usability, even for less experienced tech users. This model utilizes the Androidtv OS that provides a clean user interface for easy access to numerous streaming services and live over-the-air television. Additionally, the simple remote features Google Assistant voice control for searching for shows or launching an app. With Auto Low Latency Game mode, gamers can enjoy smooth and lag-free gameplay.
Award: BEST FOR GAMING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model features an incredible resolution and post-processing for legacy formats and content to deliver clarity and detail to your favorite media. Thanks to Motionflow XR technology, users can enjoy fast-moving sports, movies, and gameplay without suffering from a degraded or muddied image.
The Sony KD50X80J 50” TV is a fantastic pick for users who want cutting-edge visual performance and detail for the latest hardware and legacy media. This LED television offers a crisp 4K UHD image at 60fps on modern and some last-generation game consoles. Additionally, with the 4K X-reality Pro technology, this television can upscale classic media to near-4K resolution. While the Google TV user interface can seem sluggish or congested, users will love having ready access to their favorite streaming services and on-demand movies.
In addition to an excellent resolution and a fast framerate for gaming, the Sony KD50X80J 50” TV provides a rich user experience for a modern smart home. This model works with Amazon Alexa so users can adjust TV settings, change channels, and turn their television on or off. Additionally, this model offers four HDMI ports and optical audio for users with an extensive media setup or gaming room. Lastly, with HDR and Triluminos Pro color, users will enjoy a vibrant image with excellent details.
Award: BEST FOR LIVE SPORTS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model delivers exceptional image quality, and an easy-to-navigate user interfaces for quickly scrolling through streaming apps and on-demand media. Additionally, this television provides advanced post-processing to enhance the audio and visuals of modern and classic media.
The Toshiba 50C350KU 50” TV is an excellent pick for users who want audio and visual enhancements to bring their favorite movies and live sports to the next level. Thanks to the Regza Engine 4K technology, this Toshiba TV delivers a stunning 4K image for crisp details and clarity in movies and streaming shows. Additionally, the Color Re-master technology corrects your image to offer a natural and vibrant color pallet across all experiences. While mounting this model is difficult, the slim design and sturdy base ensure that it fits most entertainment centers.
In addition to an impressive 4K resolution and enhanced colors, the Toshiba 50C350KU 50” TV offers FireTV to bring all of your favorite streaming services and live over-the-air channels into one easy-to-navigate home page. The responsive Voice Remote with Alexa allows users to change channels, volume, and various settings with their voice. Additionally, with DTS Virtual:X technology, users can enjoy multi-channel virtual surround sound for increased immersion and spatial awareness in movies or games.
50-inch televisions are simply TVs with a 50-inch screen when measured diagonally. However, don’t be surprised when you find a variety of sizes including 48-inch and 49-inch televisions in this category.
Once considered a large screen, they’ve since been outpaced by 55- and the best 60-inch TVs. Because 50-inch simply refers to the size of the screen, there’s a wide array of features that can be incorporated into a 50-inch television.
For example, you can find QLED, OLED, and traditional LED screen formats. If you only need a simple screen to connect to a traditional cable hookup, then you might find that television that has native streaming support might be excessive. However, others who’ve decided to cut the cord may prefer a 50-inch television that does incorporate direct access to streaming services like Apple+, Netflix, or even Prime Video.
As mentioned previously, a 50-inch television simply means that the television measures 50 inches diagonally from bezel to bezel. Functionality and features can vary widely depending on the manufacturer and the cost of the television.
While LED televisions, in general, have a reasonable price thanks to innovations in technology, 50-inch televisions often are pricier than their bigger siblings simply because it’s not a popular size anymore.
And because it’s not as massive a category as in previous eras, don’t be surprised if you find that many 50-inch televisions aren’t as competitive as larger models. However, this isn’t always the case. Aside from price and availability, 50-inch televisions can come with displays and features found on larger and smaller models.
This can include QLED, OLED, and standard LED, as well as 4K display support. As with smaller and larger models, you’ll get a range of ports, allowing you to connect streaming devices and gaming consoles to your television. Usually, you’ll get three or four HDMI ports as well as an auxiliary or optical digital sound output.
While not as popular as the best 43-inch TVs or the larger 55-inch options, 50-inch televisions tend to have an affordable price range anywhere from $300 to $500. However, it’s possible to find cheaper or more expensive models depending on the features and display quality specifications that you prefer.
50-inch TVs may no longer be a fan favorite, but a 50-inch LED TV works just like any LED television. LED is the standard TV technology and the acronym stands for light-emitting diode. This technology allowed for televisions to get thinner, and ultimately less expensive, as the technology progressed.
LED technology shines light through liquid crystals and other internal components to create images that appear on the screen. As time progressed, better display technology was developed which paved the way for premium options like OLED and QLED.
OLED (organic light-emitting diode) utilizes material that glows when it comes into contact with electricity. Likewise, QLED (quantum dot light-emitting diode) leverages nanoparticles to produce colors instead of white LEDs. Because of these two methods, both OLED and QLED are viewed as superior tech thanks to enhanced color accuracy and wider viewing angles.
Even though 50-inch televisions aren’t the most popular size anymore, they’re still an effective option for people who want to have a television that won’t overwhelm a smaller room.
While planned obsolescence is a thing in the tech world, you usually won’t have to worry about your television dying a few months after you buy it. On average, LED televisions to have a lifespan that ranges from 40,000 to 60,000 hours — with some brands promising as much as 100,000. That averages out to about 4.5 years on the low end and almost 7 years at 60,000 hours. And if you manage to get a TV promising 100,000 hours, that’s about 10 years of use before you need to replace it.
Of course, your individual experience will depend on the quality of the television you picked and user behavior. Because today’s televisions tend to include smart features, this means that they rely on an operating system. So, if you fail to perform a firmware update, you may find that you experience glitches early on. But even if you update regularly, we all know that eventually, a manufacturer will stop supporting updates for older models — meaning that you’ll need to update to a new model.
But user behavior will most definitely impact how long you can go between buying televisions. Avoid setting your television to maximum brightness as this will significantly reduce your television’s lifespan. Experts recommend picture settings where the backlight is set to 75% or less to maximize efficiency and achieve the promoted top range for performance hours.
There are quite a few factors to consider beyond size when shopping for a 50-inch television. Along with picking the right display features, also consider factors like bezel size, connectivity, resolution, and contrast, as well as whether streaming functionality is built-in.
This might seem like an odd question, but the 50-inch television niche is quite small. In some cases, you may find that retailers combine 48- and 49-inch televisions in this subcategory. So, if you have your heart set on a 50-inch television, pay attention to the dimensions.
Not everyone cares about this factor. But some people despise the look of an oversized bezel. Especially if you’re looking to implement a specialized mount where a large bezel will detract from the overall look you’re trying to achieve, look for a slim design with a low-profile, thin bezel.
At a minimum, you’ll use your television to watch movies or television shows. But if you’re a gamer, and serious about this activity, you’ll want a television with the right specs to make your gaming experience enjoyable.
For example, you might find that you’ll need a television with HDMI 2.1 ports because they can support a variable refresh rate — ensuring that you can achieve 120 hertz for a smoother gaming experience.
Plasma displays have been obsolete for quite a while. So, these days you’re going to be choosing between LED functionality. A basic LED display works just fine, but you also have the option of OLED and QLED. Once feared for a risk of burn-in, OLED technology has come a long way and you don’t have to worry quite as much unless you leave your television on a static channel for more than a day.
There’s no right or wrong answer for this. Connected televisions are standard these days, even in the 50-inch television category. If you already used connected devices like Amazon Fire TV sticks or an Apple TV, you might not be as pressed to get a 50-inch version that can natively connect to streaming platforms. But, if you despise attachments on your television, this might be a priority.
Also note that mirroring, the ability to pair your mobile devices with your television and play content from your device on the TV, is a common feature even for 50-inch TVs.
These days, a 50-inch 4K TV is a standard format to find. With that in mind, you’ll want to target companion specs such as 120 hertz, peak brightness around 1,000 nits, and either support for Dolby Vision or HDR10+.
While conversations continue to mention 8K, as of the time of publishing this article, 8K technology isn’t a standard feature for 50-inch TVs. And more importantly, outside of major sporting events like the Tokyo Olympics, there’s not a lot of content available on the market to justify the serious splurge required to own an 8K 50-inch display television.
Depending on how you already access television content, this may or may not be important. Many connected devices already come with remote controls that have voice support built into their functionality such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. But if you don’t already subscribe to one of those services, you may find voice assistants a nice value-added option.