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TVs to avoid buying

Don't make a costly mistake – our lab tests reveal the mediocre models to miss in the sales.

TV screens with thumbs down symbols signifying poor performance
Last updated: 03 June 2021

Need to know

  • Our lab experts tested over 65 popular TVs from LG, Sony, Samsung, TCL, Hisense and many more
  • We rate key factors including picture quality, remote, user interface, sound and energy use
  • Become a CHOICE member to see the full reviews and best performers

Winter is here, which makes it prime time for hibernating at home with a brand new TV. After all, not much beats a cosy blanket, snacks and a serious Netflix binge-fest or movie marathon. 

To make it more tempting, the end-of-financial-year sales are incoming, but do be careful – retailers might discount some good-quality TVs, but they'll also be offloading plenty of mediocre models, too.

Choice lab expert Scott tests a TV

CHOICE test coordinator Scott in our TV labs.

To help you sort the star performers from the B-grade extras, our TV experts test about 80 models in our lab each year, evaluating key factors you want to know about, including picture quality, sound, remote, energy use, user interface and more. 

We cover more than 90% of the market, reviewing popular brands such as LG, Sony, Samsung, TCL and Hisense, as well as lesser known ones such as Changhong, Chiq, Ffalcon and Aldi's house brand, Bauhn.

In our most recent lab tests, our experts found some terrific TVs alongside some seriously mediocre models (see our full TV reviews). Here are the models that rated lowest:

1. Ffalcon 40F1

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 58%
  • Size: 40 inches
  • Price: $299

This TV from the curiously named brand Ffalcon (not a typo) crash-landed hard in our lab test. The lowest scorer overall, it rated a dismal 56% for high definition (HD) viewing and an even sadder 51% for standard definition (SD). It's also hard on the ears, scoring just 45% for sound quality.

In its favour, it boasts a good user interface and remote, 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 our full review of the Ffalcon 40F1.

ffalcon 40f1

The Ffalcon rated the lowest in our test.

2. Blaupunkt BP650USG9200

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 61%
  • Size: 65 inches
  • Price: $795

This 65-inch unit paints a pretty grim picture, especially in high definition. It managed a frightful 49% for HD viewing, the lowest score for the criteria in our test. SD viewing was slightly less awful at 55%, but ultra high definition (UHD or 4K) was ultra ordinary at 50%.

To top it off, the TV rates just OK for sound quality and remote. It scores much better for its user interface, electronic program guide and energy use. But, overall, this model's still better left on the shelf. Read our full review of the Blaupunkt BP650USG9200

3. Bauhn ATV65UHDG

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 63%
  • Size: 65 inches
  • Price: $699

Aldi's bargain-brand Bauhn TVs pop up in their Special Buys sales and usually sell out quickly. This 65-inch model is very cheap for its size but, sadly, our testers found you get what you pay for.  

The unit rates well for energy use and smart TV features, but all-important picture quality was average at best, scoring a sorry 59% for SD viewing and just 54% for HD.  

It does feature UHD viewing, but with a score of just 50%, it's pretty lacklustre too. Sound quality rated equally poorly, with our experts noting muddy, rumbly audio in their tests.

Our experts have also tested Aldi's 58-inch and 48-inch models and they rated even worse – something to keep in mind if you're tempted to line up for the next TV sale. Read our full review of the Bauhn ATV65UHDG.

bauhn ATV65UHDG

Aldi's Bauhn TV rated badly for picture and sound quality.

4. Linsar LS40CFHD

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 63%
  • Size: 39 inches
  • Price: $399

This model performs notably better than the previous two, but that's not saying much. Overall, it still delivers a fairly average viewing experience, managing just 60% for HD picture quality and 66% for SD.  

But it's not all bad news – it scored well for energy efficiency, user interface and its remote. But those ticks are snuffed out by an abysmal sound-quality rating of just 15%, which means you'll need to shell out for a soundbar if you want to enjoy your favourite shows. Or use subtitles. Read our full review of the Linsar LS40CFHD.

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