Five cheap non-LED LCD TVs compared

At CNET we've recently reviewed a pack of entry-level TVs that don't have LED backlights. Which one did we like best?

Here's a little secret: an LED TV is just an LCD TV with a fancy backlight.

While it usually provides a thinner design and improved energy efficiency, an LED backlight doesn't necessarily provide better picture quality. In fact, sometimes LED TVs perform worse than their non-LED cousins. But they never cost less.

With those facts in mind, here's a quintet of budget-friendly, LED-free TVs ranked in descending order of overall CNET rating. In other words, we like the ones at the top best.

Samsung LND630 series
With image quality every bit as good as that of many expensive LED models, the Samsung LND630 is our top choice choice for a no-frills LCD TV. Read the full review.


Sony KDL-BX420 series
If you don't expect the world from the entry-level Sony KDL-BX420 LCD, its picture quality may be a pleasant surprise. Read the full review.


Samsung LND550 series
While not quite as good as the top two, the Samsung LND550's mix of features, style, and picture quality still stands tall among the tough entry-level LCD TV crowd. Read the full review.


Vizio E3D0VX series
The Vizio E3D0VX series has excellent features for the price, including 3D and robust streaming, but its 2D picture quality is a big Achilles' heel. Read the full review.


LG LK450 series
While the picture quality of the LG LK450 has its strengths, they're overcome by its grayish reproduction of black. Read the full review.


Looking for specs and pricing? Compare these TVs head to head. Click through to the reviews for additional screen sizes.

Only TVs we've actually reviewed made the list, but if you have an alternate to suggest, leave a comment.

 

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