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3 TVs to avoid buying

Keen for a new screen? Give these models a miss, say our experts.

TV screens with thumbs down symbols signifying poor performance
Last updated: 10 June 2020

If you're looking to nab a new TV for less, buying an older model in the end-of-financial-year sales can save you a hefty slice off the original retail price.

But be careful – while retailers will be clearing some good-quality stock, they'll also be offloading plenty of low-performing models you're best to steer clear of.

Choice lab expert Scott tests a TV

CHOICE test co-ordinator Scott in our TV labs.

Our TV experts test about 80 models in our lab each year, covering more than 90% of the market, including leading brands such as LG, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung, to lesser known brands such as Changhong, Bauhn, Chiq, Ffalcon and Polaroid.

In our most recent lab tests, we reviewed some impressive units alongside some seriously poor performers (see our full TV reviews ). Here are the three worst to avoid:

ffalcon 40f1

1. Ffalcon 40F1

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 58%
  • Size: 40 inches
  • Price: $298

This small TV might be a bargain at $298, but in this case you definitely get what you pay for. It scores just 45% for sound quality and 51% for standard definition picture quality, and comes with only two HDMI ports. 

On the upside, it has very good energy use and a sensor to adjust the TV's brightness to ambient light. But they're the only positive things our testers had to say about this one. 

Read the full review of the Ffalcon 40F1

sony kdl50w660f

2. Sony KDL50W660F

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 61%
  • Size: 50 inches
  • Price: $599

This medium-sized Sony fails to deliver on both standard definition and high definition picture quality, and has only two HDMI ports. 

It did receive an excellent score for streaming, and very good scores for other features, such as its user interface and smart TV functions. But with a CHOICE Expert Rating of just 61%, it's still one to avoid.

Read the full review of the Sony KDL50W660F

polaroid pl55uhdnf

3. Polaroid PL55UHDNF

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 62%
  • Size: 55 inches
  • Price: $699

The list of this TV's bad points is a long one: very poor EPG (electronic program guide) score; poor sound quality; no auto adjustment to display 4KHDR content; extremely weak sound with no warmth, detail or presence; and the 4K picture looks like an upscaled DVD rather than 4K – it has a poor colour gamut and appears brown, juddery and flat. 

Our testers say it does have very good smart TV functions and WiFi Direct, but even these two features can't save this TV from our naughty list.

Read the full review of the Polaroid PL55UHDNF