4K TVs are all the rage at the moment – where once they cost thousands of pounds (some still do), there are now many more affordable options on the market. So forget about Full HD and upgrade to the Ultra HD experience.
Just to be clear 4K and Ultra HD (or UHD) are the same thing and means the display has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 – Full HD is 1920 x 1080, so it's four times the amount of pixels. For more, see our in-depth explanation of UHD and 4K.
All the below TVs are 4K but other features vary such as the type of 3D used, available catch-up services, built-in tuners, screen size and more. To be doubly clear, we've ranked them on price alone but explained what each model has to offer. Take a look at our Plasma vs LED comparison and if 3D is a priority, here's an article explaining the difference between passive and active 3D. If you’re looking for something more ‘state of the art’, take a look at our roundup of the best TV’s of IFA 2015 where amongst other things, we discuss a 4K TV launching in Autumn for only £449.
Prices taken on 16/09/15
5 cheapest 4K TVs in the UK 2015
5. Samsung 48JU6400 48in UHD 4K Smart LED TV - £704.09
The Samsung 48JU6400 LED TV is the most expensive 4K TV in our roundup at £704.09, but (believe it or not) that’s still relatively cheap for a UHD TV. It boasts a full App Store with not only catch-up TV apps, but also mobile-esque games that can be played with Samsung’s infamous smart remote. It also includes ‘Multi-link screen’ technology which allows you to essentially split-screen the TV, enabling you to browse the internet using the built-in web browser and watch your favourite show simultaneously – the built in quad-core processor makes more sense now, huh?
As well as the above, this 4K TV also supports Wi-Fi mirroring, allowing Android users to mirror their smartphone or tablet to the TV display, bringing a whole new level of enjoyment to mobile games. You can also ‘cast’ videos from YouTube and Netflix directly to the TV from both Android and iOS devices. Of course, the TV also has built in Freeview and all other standard smart TV features.
Buy it now for £704.09 at eBuyer.com
4. SAMSUNG UE40JU6500 Smart 4K 40in Curved LED TV - £699
Though the Samsung UE40JU6500 4K LED TV may not be the cheapest one available on the market, it is one of the cheapest curved 4K screen on the market at the moment. With a whopping PQI rating of 1100, it’s one of the highest quality displays in our roundup and well worth the money. There’s also a larger 48in model if a 40in TV isn’t quite big enough for you.
The curved screen should allow for better immersion, as the screen enters your peripheral vision and should thus draw you into the action. Samsung claims that even if you’re watching TV from an angle, you’ll still experience the high quality colour, contrast and sharpness of the display.
It’s energy efficient and has all the standard Smart TV features that you’d expect, including voice control and on-demand apps. It also boasts a ‘Multi-link screen’ which allows you to watch two channels at once, or browse the net/use an app and watch TV simultaneously.
Buy it now for £699 at Currys
3. LG 49UF675V 49in 4K Ultra HD TV - £583.50
At 49 inches, this LG TV is the largest in our roundup – but not quite the cheapest. So, apart from its size, what’s so attractive about this TV? As well as it being 4K, it uses a ‘unique 6 step image process’ to upscale your 1080p media to 4K with little-to-no loss in quality. The TV also boasts two HDMI 2.0 ports, which can support the native 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. This may not sound like a plus as its a 4K TV but it is, as (surprisingly) many 4K TVs ship with the inferior HDMI 1.4.
With regards to audio, this LG TV boasts two 10W speakers that create a ‘virtual surround’ to improve your listening experience and bring you closer to the action in your movies. It also has a Digital Audio Out, a must-have for those of us that opt to use Soundbars and Hi-Fi’s instead of built-in TV speakers. It also includes Freeview HD, and of course, a range of popular apps including BBC iPlayer, All4, ITVPlayer and of course Netflix.
Buy it now for £583.50 at eBuyer.com
2. Panasonic Viera TX-48CX400B Smart 3D Ultra HD 4k 48in LED TV - £574
This Panasonic Viera 4K TV just missed out on the title of biggest screen in the roundup by a single inch, measuring in at 48 inches. There’s also a smaller 40in variation available too, for those that want a smaller TV. Although it’s a relatively cheap 4K TV, it has an impressive 200Hz refresh rate, which along with the TV dynamically controlling the level of backlighting should help to reduce the amount of blurring on the screen, a critical feature when watching high speed movies. This is the only TV in our roundup that features Active 3D technology, though with support for 3D dwindling, it shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
It has native 4K support for both Netflix and YouTube, with a variety of other upscaled 1080p apps available including BBC iPlayer, Facebook and Twitter. It also features a full internet browser, allowing you to surf the net without having to get up from your sofa. It also features DNLA support, enabling tech-savvy users to access content that’s stored on various devices around their home and wirelessly stream it to the TV.
As with the above, this Panasonic Viera TV has two HDMI 2.0 ports, which support a full 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, which may not make much of a difference today, but will make your TV is future proof – at least for a while.
Buy it now for £574 (was £799) at Currys
1. Seiki SE39UA01UK 39in LED 4K TV
The Seiki 39in 4K TV is the cheapest in our roundup at a bargain price of £209.99 while boasting features that’ll compete with others in our roundup. The company’s aim is to bring a cheap 4K TV to market that can compete with its more expensive rivals, and we think this could be the start of a 4K TV revolution. It doesn’t quite compete with the 200Hz refresh rate of the above Panasonic Viera TV, but at 120Hz it’s not far behind and will offer a much smoother picture than a standard 60Hz TV.
It includes a USB port that can handle both images and videos up to a 4K resolution, and includes three HDMI ports. If you were hoping these were HDMI 2.0 ports, you’ll be disappointed – this TV features HDMI 1.4. HDMI 1.4 can handle a 4K resolution, but the frame rate is capped at around 30 frames per second, limiting the quality of native 4K content.
It’s important to note that the Seiki 4K TV doesn’t include smart features like an App Store or web browser, as the company wanted to keep the price as low as possible. With this said, set top boxes are pretty cheap these days (like the Amazon Fire TV stick) and turn any TV into a smart TV, so buying the pair may be a good alternative to paying double the price to have smart features built in.
Buy it now for £209.99 from eBuyer.com