As with any other type of technology, there is a diminishing returns once you reach a certain point from the televisions. yes Best OLED TVs It’ll produce the best blacks and contrast – and yes, you’ll likely see the best color saturation and brightness from a QLED.
However, there are actually some budget offerings that can offer 80% of what you’ll get from more expensive models at a third of the price – like, say, the Toshiba M550 Series Amazon Fire TV.
The model was just launched in May and has already gained traction as one of the models Best TVs Under $500 With a native 120Hz panel, support for Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+, and Amazon Fire TV smart platform with Alexa.
Without specific numbers from our TV test lab, it’s hard to say for sure if it can live up to the hype – but if you’re in the market for Best 65 inch TV Under $500, that’s the price I’d buy based on specs alone.
What do the specifications mean?
Let’s break the specification down line by line. First, this is a 4K HDR TV. This means it has 4K resolution – four times the resolution of a 1080p HD TV – and supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) content. HDR uses an expanded color gamut than standard dynamic range content. You’ll see brighter whites, darker blacks, and more saturated colors on an HDR TV.
Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are two advanced versions of HDR that provide shot-by-shot HDR calibration. Instead of one specific brightness level for white light and one minimum level for black levels, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ deliver custom-tuned HDR performance to better match the filmmaker’s intentions.
Despite being “only” an LED-LCD TV rather than an OLED, the M550 uses a full range of dark local backlighting over direct light or sharp lighting. This will allow the contrast to appear more consistent without too many halos or gray spots in the background.
As for refresh rate, the M550 is a native 120Hz panel—something almost unheard of in the sub-$500 TV range. Most TVs have a refresh rate of 60Hz around this price range. This means that the TV refreshes the picture 60 times every second. The problem here is that most movies are shot at 24 frames per second, and in order for that to fit the TV’s native 60Hz refresh rate, the TV has to dive unevenly into the incoming frames (traditionally called 3:2 pull technology).
The 120Hz acquisition allows 24fps content to look more natural (it doesn’t need to do anything specific to the incoming content) and therefore typically results in a sharper picture.
For gamers, there’s a double advantage here: the TV not only supports 120Hz, but also supports a variable refresh rate of up to 60Hz – an incredibly nice feature if you’re planning to connect a device PS5 or Xbox Xbox X. When frame rates drop in a game, the TV will automatically drop its refresh rate to match, eliminating stuttering or stuttering in gameplay.
In addition, it has Amazon Fire TV with Alexa
Another great feature of the M550 is that it comes with a Fire TV smart platform, which is the same feature you’d find if you bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.
Having a device built into your TV has a number of advantages – such as not having to buy a separate streaming device, saving money – and being able to use a remote control to control your TV and any apps you want to use.
Speaking of apps, Fire TV has the best streaming services preinstalled: Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and of course, Prime Video.
Admittedly, I’ve always felt that Amazon Fire TV relies too heavily on it Prime video Recommendations, but Amazon is going to Amazon, I think.
The last advantage of having an Amazon Fire TV built in is that your TV comes with Alexa and can work like an Amazon Echo device as well. You can tell Alexa to turn on other smart devices around your house or get information about a local restaurant all while watching a show or movie — very useful if you’ve already invested heavily in smart home products. Even better, if you lose your remote, you can ask Alexa to turn on the TV and raise or lower the volume and change the input using just your voice.
If you decide you don’t want another device listening for you, there is a physical switch on the TV to disable the microphone. It is completely an optional feature.
According to users, there are some bugs
So why isn’t the Toshiba M550 taking the rest of the TV industry by storm? Well, if you look at some of the user reviews on the Best Buy website, you will see that some people are having some difficulties with their TV firmware.
The most annoying of these seems to be the fact that the TV will default to the Smooth Motion setting every time you turn the TV off. This is especially annoying if you notice and pay attention to the dreaded soap opera effect (an over-processed image that makes on-screen characters look very lifelike).
The fix is easy there – all you have to do is go to the settings menu and turn it off – but it can be annoying if you’ve been constantly turning your TV on and off all day.
Another issue that we’ve noticed by reviewers is that changing sources sometimes produces a black screen with no sound. This could happen for a number of reasons (HDMI devices sometimes fail to pair with the TV via a digital handshake, for example) but it seems to be fixed.
Overall, the Toshiba M550 has everything you need in a TV for under $500. You get a large 65-inch panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and support for Dolby Vision and Fire TV plus Alexa. Some may want to hold out until the above errors are addressed, but this combination needs to be delivered. Stay tuned for our special review soon.
“Certified food guru. Internet maven. Bacon junkie. Tv enthusiast. Avid writer. Gamer. Beeraholic.”