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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.

illustration of two tvs with crosses
Last updated: 28 September 2023

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 it's Black Friday, end of financial year, Boxing Day, or some other sale. 

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 40 models in our lab each year. We evaluate key factors you want to know about, including picture quality, sound, remote, energy use, user interface and more. 

Covering more than 90% of the market, we review 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.

Do you even need a new TV?

Before you get swept up in the sales hype, stop and think about whether you actually need that new TV at all. (We're not trying to be killjoys, we promise!)

If you're happy with the picture quality of your existing TV but feel like it's just not smart enough, you don't necessarily need to buy a new one – you can simply smarten up the TV you already own. 

CHOICE TV expert Denis Gallagher explains how to turn a regular TV into a smart TV to breathe new life into your older model and save yourself hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. 

Five TVs to avoid buying

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

eko k65usg

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


  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 60%
  • Size: 65 inches
  • Price: $899

Stocked by Big W, EKO is a newer 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

tcl 65p745

Big screen, low price, middling performance: the TCL 65P745.

TCL 65P745

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 67%
  • Size: 65 inches
  • Price: $795

This is one of the cheapest 65-inch TVs we've tested, so if you're looking to go big, it's understandable that you'd be tempted by its low price.

But don't pull out your credit card just yet. This model is far from good value for money, unless you're a fan of ordinary picture quality and so-so sound.

It's not all bad news: it has excellent SmartTV functions and very good energy use and user interface. But these aren't really compelling selling points when picture and audio performance are both so average. 

If you're looking for a big screen on a budget, our TV experts found a number of models that perform better for around the same price or just a little more.

Read the full TCL 65P745 review.

bauhn aldi with webos atv58uhdw 0322

Aldi Bauhn ATV58UHDW-0322: LG style without the LG substance.

Bauhn (Aldi, with WebOS) ATV58UHDW-0322

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 68%
  • Size: 58 inches
  • Price: $599

This Aldi TV uses the operating software of an LG and even uses the LG content store for app updates. It may look like an LG and talk like an LG … but it definitely doesn't perform like an LG. 

With TVs, it's all about the picture and sound quality and this TV isn't great on either front. Picture quality across standard definition, HDR and 4K was rated as OK at best, and our experts said its sound quality had a "cheap radio sound" and was "muffled and dull, and lacks power". 

Even if you find this TV heavily discounted, it's just not worth queuing for. 

Read the full Bauhn ATV58UHDW-0322 review.

ffalcon 55uf2

Spend just a little more and you can pick up a much better TV than this Ffalcon.

Ffalcon 55UF2

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 68%
  • Size: 55 inches
  • Price: $469

It's the second-cheapest TV of its size in our test, but if you can stretch your budget by even $100 more, you can pick up a TV with far superior sound and picture quality. You might not even have to spend that much if you find a good price in the EOFY sales. 

But if you have $500 to spend on a small TV, don't make it this one unless you're a fan of poor sound quality and underwhelming picture quality. 

Read the full Ffalcon 55UF2 review

kogan kaqled65xq98jsta

You'll get what you pay for with this Kogan 65-inch TV.


  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 69%
  • Size: 65 inches
  • Price: $829

It may be a bargain even at full price, but you'll pretty much get what you pay for with this Kogan 65-inch TV. 

Our expert testers were disappointed with its standard and HDR picture quality and found the 4K picture pale. 

On a positive note, it has excellent SmartTV functions and a very good user interface, so even if the picture is average at least it's easy to use. 

Regardless, it's not one to add to your cart, even if you find it at a great price. 

Read the full Kogan KAQLED65XQ98JSTA 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.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.