Need to know
- TVs with smaller screens are a better choice for compact living spaces or as an extra telly for the bedroom or spare room
- Our experts pick four small TVs under $950 as their favourite and most reliable models for smaller spaces
- We test a wide range of televisions in our labs of all sizes and for all budgets, assessing their performance on things such as audio and video quality, ease of use and energy efficiency
If you're after a smaller TV for a cosy apartment or bedroom, or you just don't want a behemoth screen taking over your living room, you might be considering a television with a screen of around 32–43 inches.
Although these more compact models don't usually come with 4K resolution, you wouldn't really notice the higher video resolution in a screen that's less than 42 inches, and these smaller televisions can still offer great viewing performance for SD video (watching DVDs) and HD video (for Blu-ray movies).
Cheaper to buy, but performance can be hit and miss
Smaller models start around the $250–400 mark, but CHOICE TV expert Denis Gallagher says there are plenty of average buys out there you should be wary of.
Our experts spend hours in our technology labs testing the audio and picture quality of a wide range of television models, and we also look at model specifications and features, how easy they are to use and which are the most energy-efficient.
We see some brands performing well fairly consistently, while others continually fail to impressCHOICE TV expert Denis Gallagher
"In our current television review, we have almost 70 models and just under a third of these are smaller TVs with screen sizes of 50 inches or less," says Denis.
"In this category we see some brands performing well fairly consistently, while others continually fail to impress."
How to pick the right size
When considering the size of the TV you need, you should think about the size of the room and how far away from the screen you'll be sitting.
A 127cm/50" high-definition TV (1920 x 1080 pixels) will look fine at a viewing distance of two metres, for example. But if you want to sit closer, a smaller TV will suit you better as you'll avoid seeing the pixels (dots) that make up the screen.
Our experts have highlighted four small TVs for less than $950 they recommend as being their favourite and most reliable televisions for smaller spaces.
Unlock this article and more
- Information you can trust
- See the best brands
- Avoid the worst performers
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.