40 inch TV Reviews – Best Guide for 40″ and 43 inch Smart LED 4k Ultra HD TVs for Sale – Buy a 40 inch 4k Flat Screen Television with Confidence!
The 4K TVs we’re about to cover here are all in the 40 to 45 inch range and as such they cover the smallest existing size bracket of 4K TV size ranges –anything lower and you’d be looking at buying a 4K monitor instead of a TV.
Furthermore, as a general rule, smaller 4K ultra HD TVs are not quite as recommendable as their larger cousins if you want to truly appreciate the particular benefits of 4K resolution. On a smaller screen, the difference between 4K resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels and Full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080 pixels is visible only from very close distances outside the scope of normal viewing range. Thus, the ideal purchasing size for a 4K TV sits at above 50 inches and even more comfortable in the 60 inch+ range.
However, even with the above in mind, we still firmly think that a 40 to 45 inch 4K TV is a much better purchasing choice than its Full HD counterpart. The reasons are quite simple: First of all, the resolution benefit is indeed there. Even if it’s not easily visible from a normal TV viewing distance, it will be noticed from close up, in case you decide to use the TV for gaming or watch it in a cramped space. Secondly, because 4K TVs also come with other cutting-edge display enhancement technologies, they create superior picture quality through more than just their pixel count. Thus, you can get the benefit of display specs like HDR (high dynamic range), enhanced color and superior backlighting. Some of these and others aren’t even available in many HDTVs.
Thus, while the following TVs may not be the best choice for 4K viewing due to size, they’re superior display performers in all other regards.
A Note on viewing Distance
Viewing distance in a 4K UHD TV is a factor of the TVs size and at what range it can be enjoyed most immersively while also presenting a sharp picture. With 40 to 45 inch 4K TVs, the sharpness won’t be a problem at almost any distance with pixels all but invisible in native 4K content unless you’re just a couple feet from the screen.
That said, ideal home entertainment room viewing for these smaller models is a bit longer than that, at about 6 to 6.5 feet, or just over 1.8 to 1.9 meters, which is less than the 4K TV average of 8 to 11 feet for larger TV models. At a distance of 6 to 6.5 feet, native content and upscaled high quality non-4K content will look great and even these smaller TV displays will still provide a decent amount of immersion. This distance is their “golden zone” for optimal TV entertainment display.
Now, before we move onto our Top 5 40-45 inch 4K ultra HD TVs themselves take note that after these listings we also cover several crucial points to consider about buying a 4K TV. These are all examined carefully right after the following 4K TVs and are worth reading, particularly if you’re a newcomer to this technology.
The 5 Best 40-45 inch 4K TVs of 2016
Now, without further delay, we get down to the list of TVs themselves. The following are the 5 4K ultra HD models we consider to be the best in their 40 to 43 inch size range on the current market. This list will later undergo updates as newer models emerge in 2016 and beyond so check back down the road. All of the following 4K TVs offer a native 120Hz refresh rate unless otherwise stated in specific listings.
Sony’s compact, utilitarian looking but oddly elegant X800D 4K HDR TV is perhaps the second cheapest of the 2016 Sony HDR TV lineup. Despite its very comfortable price and low rank down the chain of 2016 Sony models, this TV nonetheless packs plenty of display punch that should leave plenty of consumers happy. In fact, we almost consider it to be the perfect budget starter TV in terms of quality per dollar spent.
Featuring high dynamic range support for HDR10 standards, the X800D also offers a very decent peak brightness, decent black performance, wide color gamut and 10 bit color while also offering up some excellent motion control and motion handling specs. While this television lacks more premium features like local dimming and 24p content playback support, what it does offer is more than good enough for the price you’re going to pay for it and we can’t help but love the X800D for this reason.
The Samsung curved JU7500 4K ultra HD TV is the company’s 2015 flagship television on sale in their non-SUHD JU-Series 4K TV line. As such and because it’s one superbly well-made TV, the JU7500 has some truly excellent display, connectivity and viewing specs to offer even in this small 40 inch model we’re covering here.
With the JU7500, you get your hands on some superb color accuracy, contrast, and some fantastic motion control features which make this an excellent model for gamers in particular. Furthermore, judder control also works remarkably well in this model. For gamers or for fans of fast paced 4K sports and movie action, the JU7500 is the best that Samsung has to offer in this size range and also the best 40 inch 4K TV on the market in general in our view. Furthermore, we absolutely love the high quality of this TV’s upscaling engine, which creates an effect that looks even better than it normally might on the smaller screen space –upscaled 480p and 720p content looks great while Full HD content from sources like Blu-ray discs is simply spectacular to behold in the JU7500.
Finally, this model offers all the usual core connectivity specs, HEVC compatibility, VP9 decoding, HDCP 2.2 and Samsung’s fantastic smart TV OS, Tizen, which works together with those connectivity specs at offering access to the maximum possible range of entertainment options.
As Samsung’s second best JU-Series model, the JU7100 offers many of the same superb specs as its JU7500 cousin which we just covered above. A slightly lower quality performer on anglie viewing than the JU7500, the JU7100 is nonetheless nearly identical in quality to its pricier cousin, with superior contrast performance and great backlighting brightness (the larger models even have Full-array LED backlighting technology). This TV delivers exceptional color accuracy, excellent upscaling capacity, which looks all the better on the smaller 40 inch display and of course, the same superb Tizen smart TV OS is in place along with all the usual core connectivity specs for maximum possible access to both 4K and non-4K content from the web or external media players.
We should also note that, like the JU7500, the JU7100 received an “HDR” firmware update in late 2015 which supposedly makes this TV compatible with certain sources of HDR streaming and media player 4K content. This and other top-tier JU-Series Samsung TVs don’t quite deliver the same color vibrancy as their SUHD cousins from the brand (which have quantum dot color enhancement) but the color accuracy of the JU7100 is nonetheless absolutely great.
Samsung’s 2016 answers to the company’s highly popular 2015 JU-Series 4K UHD TV models are the KU televisions and the KU7000 and its identical but curved version the KU7500 are the best of the bunch as far as their 40 to 45 inch models go. While this flat-screend 4K UHD TV doesn’t offer true HDR specs of the type found in the 2016 SUHD TVs from the brand, it does deliver some very decent color 8-bit performance thanks to its “Active Crystal Color” and delivers excellent black performance, decent peak brightness and great overall contrast. Furthermore, the quality of the KU7000’s non-4K content upscaling technology and Tizen Smart TV platform is as good as anything from Samsung delivers in any class. A lack of wide color gamut, 10-bit color and truly high peak brightness in excess of 1000 nits excludes the KU7000 from being a real HDR TV but for nicely priced starter models, the 40 or 43 inch editions are downright great.
Sharing most of the same display and design features it comes with in common with the KU7000/KU7500 combo we mention right above, the KU6300 and its curved KU6500 version comes in several sizes, of which the 40 and 43 inch models fit into this particular guide. As we said for the KU7000 goes as well for the KU6300. This is not a true HDR TV despite Samsung’s inclusion of so-called “HDR Premium” technology in this and the KU7000 model along with their curved variants the KU6500 and KU7300. This is the case mainly because the KU6300 and 6500 lack the 1000 nit+ peak brightness of the 2016 SUHD TVs and because they also happen to lack HDR-approved wide color gamut and 10-bit color. That said, this is one of Samsung’s most affordable 2016 4K TVs and for its price, it offers up some very good overall display specs. However, unlike the KU7000, the KU6300/6500 models lack Active Crystal Color, making them slightly weaker in their 8-bit color performance.
The Vzio M-Series line of 4K TVs is one of the best budget options for high quality, feature-loaded name brand televisions on the market today. With excellent apps access, some great display features, superb contrast and even full-array LED backlighting in many cases, these 4K TVs are one fantastic deal considering how little even the largest models cost relative to their competitors from other brands. Furthermore, the M-Series models offer some superb contrast performance, great color uniformity (particularly for grey and black) and excellent upscaling engines for non-4K content in 480p, 720p and Full HD resolutions. Finally, their color accuracy is very good, even if color vibrancy is a bit on the low side.
On the other hand, some of the best M-Series attributes don’t quite apply to the 43 inch model in the series the M43-C1. Don’t get us wrong, this is a fantastic TV with the same color performance, motion control and judder performance as its larger cousins. It also offers the same media access and connectivity specs. However, because it lacks full-array LED backlighting, the M43-C1 only refreshes at 60Hz, isn’t quite as solid on contrast, brightness and color vibrancy as its larger cousins. However, at this small size range, this is without a doubt the most affordable 40 inch name brand 4K TV on the market right now, costing less than $600. We should also note that Vizio’s Internet Apps Plus smart TV platform isn’t the best, with limited functionality and a lack of full web browsing capacity.
Samsung’s JU6500 is one of the most affordable of Samsung’s 2015 JU-Series 4K TVs and as such, it lacks some of the superior performance specs of its JU7500and JU7100 cousins. This 4K TV however still offers up the same top-shelf connectivity specs, compatibility with HEVC, VP9, HDCP 2.2 and access to the full power and web browsing connectivity of the excellent Samsung Tizen smart TV platform. Also, in terms of display performance, the JU6500 40 inch model is a great performer at non-4K resolution upscaling, offers great color accuracy and very good contrast on a nicely bright display panel. Motion blur control is also great, making this a fine low cost 4K TV for gamers who want to try out 4K PC gaming or upscaled HD gaming on a 4K TV.
We however do not like the native refresh rate of only 60Hz instead of the superior 120 and the lack of judder support and poor viewing angles of the JU6500 are less than stellar, though these are minor complaints given this TV’s price and other solid performance features. This is definitely the second most affordable TV on this list at just over $600 and were it not for the better display performance of the Vizio M-Series model, we’d recommend the 40JU6500 for its much better smart TV platform performance.
Sony’s X830C 4K smart TV is definitely the weakest performer in this ranking of top 40 to 45 inch 4K TVs but on the whole it’s a solid starter model and offers a very decent package of specs and overall quality for its very reasonable (particularly by Sony standards) price of just under $800. With the X830C, what you particularly get is some excellent motion control features, like judder handling and motion blur control, which are typical of Sony models in fact. Meaning that as a 4K TV for gamers, the X830C is a particularly good option. Its input lag is great and its functionality as a 4K PC monitor is superb, especially when it comes to handling gaming in 1080p and 4K resolutions at different refresh rates ranging from a real 60Hz to 120Hz. Furthermore, as is also commonly the case with Sony 4K TVs, the X830C offers up an excellent level of upscaling quality that works to nicely improve the quality of assorted resolutions of non-4K content and also to display native 4K in excellent sharpness.
Color accuracy on the X830C is also superb, even if this model lacks the enhanced vibrancy and color range of the Triluminous Display technology found in higher-end 4K TV models from Sony’s lineup. What we particularly disliked about the X830C on the other hand is its very poor contrast, which is actually rather surprising given Sony’s more typical high quality performance in this regard. Consequently, the local dimming on the 830C is also very poor and black uniformity doesn’t look good at all. Furthermore, the screen is too reflective for our taste. On the other hand, the Sony X830C, like all 2015 Sony 4K TVs, comes with the very good Android TV smart platform, with excellent access to media apps and full web browsing capacity.
All of the 4K TVs on the list above and pretty much all newer 4K UHD TVs from the major brands offer the same essential package of connectivity specs regardless of their dimensions and price. Some brands and models may include one more or one less HDMI or USB port or may lack/include a particular newer connectivity spec like HDMI 2.0a (for HDR content) vs. HDMI 2.0. However, generally, physical connectivity for content and smart TV functionality stays the same across the board. Thus, here are those core essentials:
HDMI: HDMI is the single most important connectivity spec in any 4K UHD TV. It’s what the majority of content from external media devices will enter the TV from and for 4K content in particular, HDMI 2.0 is crucial for a smooth frame rate/refresh rate transfer at 60Hz or 60 frames per second. Virtually all external Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray, media player, gaming console and set-top box media sources like the Roku 4 or the Amazon Fire 4K TV box will connect to your TV via HDMI 2.0 ports on the device. HDMI 2.0a is also now on the scene for the sake of 4K video with HDR from external sources however not all 4K TV models have this spec or the necessary firmware updates for it quite yet, though a majority of Samsung, Sony and LG TVs have gotten HDMI 2.0 updates as of late 2015.
USB: USB is the standard issue peripheral device connectivity spec through which you can connect your 4K TV to external devices like smartphones, tablets, low-intensity media players, hard drives and other such gadgets. USB is generally used for charging external devices through your TV or transferring things like music files and non-4K video files. However, for any sort of 4K video, USB ports, even of the higher-end USB 3.0 type, cannot be used for effective 4K video transmission. Most 4K TVs from 2015 offer only USB 2.0 via 2 to 4 ports.
Internet Connectivity/WiFi: Definitely the most crucial media connection spec in any 4K TV after HDMI, or possibly even more important than the former, Internet connectivity through Ethernet is vital to getting the most out of your 4K UHD TV. It’s through your Ethernet connection that the vast majority of 4K streaming content will arrive and it’s also through internet connectivity in general that an ultra HD TV’s smart functionality truly works at its maximum capacity. This applies for 4K video apps from sources like Netflix, for numerous other non-4K media apps and for all of the browsing, search and smart interactivity features of your TV’s smart platform.
However, for 4K video in particular to work effectively on a 4K TV, the ISP connection behind your Ethernet cable has to offer a minimum of 15Mbps or more ideally 20 or more Mbps. These are the speeds at which canned and live 4K content stream. Furthermore, HEVC (version H.265), VP9 (mainly for YouTube 4K videos) and HDCP 2.2 specs have to all be built into your TV for access to the majority of commercial 4K content sources from the web or from external devices via HDMI. Luckily, most 4K TVs and all of the TVs we’ve listed above offer these particular specs.
Finally, WiFi comes built into all newer model 4K TVs like those we’ve covered above, and while WiFi in its current form can’t be used to broadcast 4K video sources to other devices in your home, it’s very useful for conventional internet browsing and for sharing content between your other display devices and your TV. Thus, through special mirroring technologies found in most 4K TVs, you can share an HD video from your smartphone to your TV and enjoy the clip on the larger screens upscaling-capable display.
Smart TV Platforms
Smart TV functionality is the backbone of the modern 4K TV and all models come with their own particular smart platform. However, not all smart platforms are created equal, with some offering many more features than others. The best smart OS on the market will include extras like voice search, voice control, gesture controls and specialized display and content manipulation features or full web browsers. On the other hand, all modern smart TV platforms, from best to worst, offer the basics of search menus, access to media apps and features for accessing content from external devices you’ve connected to your TV.
Currently, the best smart TV platforms on the market are LG’s WebOS 2.0 and its newer version webOS 3.0, then Samsung’s Tizen smart TV OS with Smart Hub, and finally, Sony’s Android TV platform in all of their 4K TVs. From there we also have Vizio’s Internet Apps Plus smart hub or Panasonic’s Firefox TV platform. Premium 4K TVs also usually come with so called smart remotes, which further enhance the smart platform manipulation experience.
Upscaling and Native 4K viewing
All 4K TVs obviously enough offer 4K display in native resolution for native 4K ultra HD content, but not all models deliver this to the same degree of quality. 4K pixel counts alone aren’t the benchmark for what makes content in this resolution good. Other factors like source material quality and delivery mechanism are also crucial, as well as a given TVs own native display specs for color, contrast, motion control and brightness. Thus, a 4K video from a 4K Blu-ray player being transmitted via HDMI will look far superior to a 4K video being streamed across a 15Mbps internet connection to your TV.
Furthermore, there is the process of upscaling to consider. All 4K TVs today have upscaling engines and because the majority of content today is still in non-4K resolution, these algorithmic engines in the TVs processor core are crucial for making non-HD content look superior in a 4K TV. All of the models we’ve covered above offer great or even fantastic upscaling engines.
Other Display Features
We already covered the other display benefits of 4K TVs, which go beyond simply their extra resolution, in our introduction to this guide, so we won’t go into detail here. Needless to say, enhanced color, HDR, faster refresh rates and superior brightness are all bonus features that often make a 4K TV’s quality about much more than just pixels.
Backlighting and Local Dimming
Backlighting in 4K TVs can basically be divided into two different general categories: You have your LCD/LED TVs and your OLED TVs. The former depend on LEDs behind an LCD filter screen for lighting of onscreen content and the latter, OLED, depend on self-illuminating pixels right inside the TVs surface screen. None of the 4K TVs in this 40-43 inch TV guide are OLED models but if you’re interested in known the deep details about which of these two technologies is better, check out our OLED vs. LCD TV guide here: