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TVs to avoid buying

Don't make a costly mistake – our lab tests reveal the mediocre models you might want to think twice about buying.

five tvs to avoid buying and their scores
Last updated: 05 May 2022

Need to know

  • Our lab experts tested more than 40 recent 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

It's going to take up prime position in your living room and provide countless enjoyable hours of Netflix bingeing, sports watching or movie marathoning, so the choice of which TV to buy is an important one. 

TVs are one of the most popular discounted items come sale time – whether that's Black Friday, end of financial year or Boxing Day sales, or various other sales, but we urge caution – 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

All under control: CHOICE test coordinator Scott O'Keefe in our labs.

To help you sort the star performers from the B-grade extras, our TV experts test about 60 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 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:

eko k65usg

EKO K65USG: Stocked by Big W, out testers give it a big thumbs-down.

1. EKO K65USG

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 60%
  • Size: 65 inches
  • Price: $649

Stocked by Big W, EKO is a new brand in our testing. Unfortunately for the brand, its debut in our labs was rather lacklustre. 

It's the cheapest model in this size category, and while you can't fault the price, you can fault the performance: it has poor HD picture quality, poor sound quality and poor Blu-ray disc picture quality. It's also light on features: there's no DVR and the HDR display isn't enabled automatically for HDR content. 

On a more positive note, it does have very good smart TV functions and has ChromeCast embedded. 

Despite this, the EKO's test scores paint an underwhelming picture. If you're after a TV this big, be prepared to pay more. Otherwise, opt for a smaller but better quality TV. 

Read our full EDO K65USG review

bauhn ATV65UHDG

The Bauhn ATV65UHDG from Aldi: not worth queuing up for.

2. Bauhn ATV65UHDG

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 62%
  • Size: 65 inches
  • Price: $699

Aldi's bargain-brand Bauhn TVs pop up in their Special Buys sales and usually sell out quickly. But TVs from Aldi rarely perform well in our testing, so if you really want a great viewing experience, we urge caution before queuing up for one of these.

This 65-inch model is very cheap for its size but, sadly, our testers found you get what you pay for.  

TVs from Aldi rarely perform well in our testing

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.

Read our full review of the Bauhn ATV65UHDG.

bauhn-aldi-atv50uhd-1120_1_large

Another Aldi bargain to avoid: the Bauhn ATV50UHD-1120.

3. Bauhn (Aldi) ATV50UHD-1120

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 63%
  • Size: 50 inches
  • Price: $499

Another Aldi Fizzer, this 50-inch model unfortunately does nothing to improve the brand's reputation. 

In its favour, our experts said this particular model has very good energy use and it scores 76% on how easy and practical the remote is to use. However our experts say it also has poor sound quality and gave it a poor score for its electronic program guide, so we think this is one Aldi bargain you probably want to avoid. 

Read our full review of the Bauhn (Aldi) ATV50UHD-1120.

hisense-40s4_5

The Hisense 40S4: one to leave on the shelf.

4. Hisense 40S4

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 63%
  • Size: 39 inches
  • Price: $445

This 39-inch unit may be cheap but it paints a pretty grim picture, especially in high definition. It managed a paltry 54% for HD viewing, the lowest score for the criteria in our test. SD viewing was slightly less awful at 60%, but the sound quality received a scathing review from our testers who rated it as very poor. 

"It is extremely tinny, lifeless and low volume – a phone would sound better," they said.

Another 39-inch Hisense 40R4 model scored a marginally better 67% and costs $50 less so this one is probably better left on the shelf. Read our full review of the Hisense 40S4

bauhn aldi atv32hdg 0121

Our testers said this Bauhn TV's sound quality is "harsh and distorted". Yikes.

5. Bauhn ATV32HDG-0121

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 63%
  • Size: 32 inches
  • Price: $249

Yes, another Bauhn. We tested three Bauhn TVs and, as you can see, they all ended up in this list of the worst performers. (In case you haven't got the memo yet, you can read all about Aldi TVs here: Should you buy an Aldi Bauhn TV or soundbar?)

It's the second-cheapest TV in our test, and while it may be a bargain, it's far from a good buy. Its worst attribute is sound quality, about which our testers said: "Sounds like a megaphone, not fit for purpose, retrenched, harsh, distorted." 

It did score well on its smart TV assessment, and it's quite energy-efficient in standby mode, which is just as well – with a viewing experience this poor, you probably won't want to turn it on too often. 

Read our full Bauhn (Aldi) ATV32HDG-0121 review

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.