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!
Stephan Jukic – Updated November 22, 2017
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 4 Best 40-45 inch 4K TVs of 2017
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 2018 and beyond so check back down the road. A smaller, cheaper models, all of the following 4K TVs offer a native 60Hz refresh rate unless otherwise stated in specific listings.
Samsung UN40MU7000 4K UHD HDR LCD TV (40 Inches)
Samsung’s MU7000 40 inch 4K LCD TV is undoubtedly the single best ultra HD television of 2017 in this compact size range. Last year it was a Sony model which took the crown as number one but now Samsung has definitely beaten Sony with the MU7000. While it doesn’t offer the highly premium specs of its QLED flagship cousins, the MU7000 delivers a native 120Hz refresh rate and some genuinely solid high dynamic range support, with 10-bit color and wide color gamut. It also offers one stunningly good contrast ratio with excellent black levels that will all work together to make your regular television content and high dynamic range movies in particular look fantastic on this model’s screen. What you basically get with the MU7000 40 inch model are all of the exact same display and motion handling performance specs of its larger 55 and 65 inch versions but in a compact package. Check out our detailed review and Amazon’s own pricing for this little TV below for all the particulars.
Sony XBR-43X800E 4K UHD HDR LCD TV (43 Inches)
Sony’s 43 inch X800E is one of the company’s smallest 2017 4K TVs but despite its diminutive size, this model still manages to pack plenty of high quality display performance into its technology. Featuring full high dynamic range color delivery and some decent brightness, the TV also offers wide viewing angles due to its IPS panel TV screen. On the other hand, this also means a low but still decent contrast level. More importantly though, the X800E comes with excellent motion handling and is a very useful 4K HDR TV for use as a large PC monitor, starter 4K TV, gaming display or as a great extra bedroom television. Sony has priced the 43 inch model very attractively and this little television is currently retailing for a very reasonable budget price, which you can check for even further discounts in the link below. Our review of the X800E covers all of its pros and cons in deep detail as well.
Samsung UN43MU6300 4K UHD HDR LCD TV (40 inches)
Samsung’s MU6300 40 inch model is very nearly as powerful as the MU7000 in many ways but lacks some of the more vibrant HDR color performance and motion handling metrics of its pricier cousin. However, when it comes to contrast and black levels (both of which are crucial to TV picture quality), the MU6300 performs beautifully. Overall, this is one perfectly robust 4K HDR TV with great basic high dynamic range performance, full access to the Samsung smart TV platform and its selection of apps, and full connectivity as shared by its more expensive cousins. It’s also a fantastically good 4K and HD console gaming TV while also serving very smoothly as a solid PC monitor if that’s what you’d like to use the MU6300 for. We also can’t complain about its excellent price tag. We’d rank the MU6300 higher than the Sony X800E but the Sony model’s slightly better motion handling wins out in this case. 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 fucntions at offering access to the maximum possible range of entertainment options.
Samsung KU6300 6-Series 4K UHD “HDR” TV (43 Inches)
Sharing most of the same display and design features in common with the MU6300 we mention right above, the KU6300 and its curved KU6500 version come in several sizes, of which the 40 and 43 inch models fit into this particular guide. The KU6300 and 6500 lack the 1000 nit+ peak brightness of Samsung’s pricier 4K HDR TVs like the QLED models and also fail to quite reach the same vibrancy as their 2017 MU-Series cousins. 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.
4K TV and HDR Connectivity
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 Streaming Stick Plus 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 quite likely Roku’s Roku TV platform, LG’s WebOS 3.5, 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 smartcast and a wide range of external smart streaming device OS systems that can be plugged into any 4K TV with HDMI (all existing models) for instant installation of an entirely new smart interface and its own selections of apps.. 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: