Building the cheapest 4K home theatre setup you can in 2020
- 14 February, 2020 09:19
HIsense Series 8 ULED 4K TV
So, you’re looking to build yourself a solid 4K home theatre setup but don’t want to break the bank? That’s OK. Not everyone can afford to buy LG’s priciest OLED. That doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself a modern home cinema experience.
If you’re looking to build a comprehensive 4K home entertainment system on a budget, here are some options you might want to consider.
Hisense 55R6 Series 6 55" 4K UHD Smart LED TV
Hisenses’ 55-inch R6 Series 6 4K UHD Smart LED TV runs on Hisense’s VIDAA 3.0 smart TV operating system, supports HDR10 content and features the usual stable of picture optimisation options that the brand is known for. There’s a 100Hz motion smoothing mode, a game mode and a dedicated sports setting.
It’s not the sharpest or brightest TV in Hisense’s catalogue but it does a decent job of boiling things down to the essentials of what the brand usually offer.
TCL 43P6 43" UHD Smart LED TV
If you fancy something a little more modest in size, TCL’s 43-inch P6 UHD Smart LED TV is another way to go. It runs on Android TV, so it’s very easy to link up to your various streaming services of choice.
The one catch here is that it touts HDR Premium, which means it may not support some HDR standards like Dolby Vision.
Soniq N55UX17C-AU 55" 4K Ultra HD Google Chromecast Built-in TV
Without crossing the threshold into the realm of the truly sketchy, this Soniq TV is basically the cheapest 4K TV you’re gonna find. It features a built-in Chromecast and full 4K support.
However, the big thing you’re gonna miss out on here is HDR content. The upscaling and post-processing is also not quite as advanced or effective as some of the other options in this article. Ultimately, you're getting what you pay for.
Yamaha YAS108B Soundbar Speaker
While Samsung, LG and Panasonic all offer their own bespoke soundbar solutions these days, there’s still something appealing about the notion of throwing your lot in with a traditional sound brand like Yamaha - especially when the price isn’t as dear as you might think.
Yamaha’s YAS108B soundbar supports virtual 3D sound and packs in a set of built-in subwoofers. If you’re looking for a smart upgrade on the tin-sounding speakers in yoru cheap TV, they’re a smart way to go.
Pioneer SBX-101 Bluetooth Soundbar and Subwoofer
If you’ve got the room for a separate subwoofer and fancy something a little more dedicated, Pioneer’s SBX-101 is an inexpensive alternative.
Soundbars don’t get much cheaper than this without significant compromises and while the SBS-101 dowesn’t come with things like HDMI-Arc or Airplay support, it’ll absolutely make for a solid improvement on the foundations of your next home movie experience.
Now, obviously, relying on whatever operating system powers your new TV of choice is always going to be the cheapest option. However, when we’re talking about super-cheap 4K TVs, there’s a good chance you might not even get any sort of smart TV functionality out of the box.
In those cases, you’re probably going to want to pair your new TV up with a device that makes accessing your media content and streaming services as easy as possible.
Apple TV 4K
If you want to make the experience of watching Netflix your cheap 4K setup feel anything but, the Apple TV 4K is a great way to make it happen. Apple’s streaming box is elegant to look at, intuitive to use and it supports pretty much all the usual streaming suspects in addition to Apple’s own TV+ catalogue.
You can buy the Apple TV 4K here.
Nvidia Shield TV
The Nvidia Shield TV is an Android TV powered streaming box that allows you to integrate together your various streaming services. The Shield TV also supports Android game experiences, Google Assistant voice controls and the ability to stream gaming content from an Nvidia-powered PC over a wireless network.
Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-Ray Player
If you’re planning on watching any 4K Blu-Ray content in your new setup and don’t already own an Xbox One X, the Sony UBP-X700 is our go-to recommendation for 4K Blu-Ray players. You won’t get the sleek interfaces found in the Apple TV 4K or Nvidia Shield TV but you will get support for Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, HDR10 and USB playback.
For more info on 4K Blu Ray players, check out our guide here.