When you’re unwinding with shows and movies after a long day of classes, you don’t have to settle for a tiny laptop or smartphone screen. The market is full of excellent TVs that are affordable, even on a student budget—especially if you get a model that’s a couple of years old. Read on for our top five recommendations, and find the TV that best fits your viewing style and student housing.
This smaller model from Samsung—a well-respected television brand—is a good fit for cramped dorm rooms, and the high effective refresh rate, which Samsung calls Clear Motion Rate, means your action movies won’t look choppy (except for the ones filled with all those great karate chops). The resolution is a little lower than the preferred 1080p, but that’s common to see in thirty-two-inch televisions and smaller. Overall, this is a great small TV at a consistently low price. But if it’s still outside your price range, check out what other deals Amazon currently has on similar televisions.
If you’re willing to put down a little more money on a TV, this VIZIO model has a larger screen than the Samsung UN24H4000 for not much more cash. The effective refresh rate isn’t as high as the Samsung, but this is a solid choice overall with overwhelmingly high reviews. Your roommate will appreciate that this TV comes with a headphone jack, so you can enjoy your shows without interrupting their studying (or sleeping). If you’re not sure this is the TV for you, keep an eye out for other high-ranked TVs with screens between nineteen and thirty-two inches. If you go much larger than that, be prepared to build a shrine for your television because it’s going to dominate the room.
Living space can be tight in college, so you’ll appreciate the versatility of using a computer monitor as a TV screen. HP is an experienced monitor developer, and this monitor comes at a good price with strong reviews. Hook it up to your laptop to either research for class with two screens or stream online videos when you need to relax. If you have a TV service, just connect it to your cable box with an HDMI cord. This monitor is also handy for gaming on both computers and consoles. The adjustability will mean you can watch as easily from your bed as your desk, and the integrated speakers mean you don’t have to worry about cluttering your living space with an additional sound system.
If you want a powerful TV for the whole apartment to enjoy, this TCL model has a lot to love. It not only has best-on-the-market 4K picture clarity and a high refresh rate, but it also comes with a built-in Roku player. You will have access to over 4,000 streaming channels as well as handy benefits like a phone app that functions as a remote in case your roommates lose the one that comes with the TV. And the fifty-five-inch screen fits well in most apartment living rooms, which will give you peace of mind if you’re not planning on living in the same place for all four years of college.
Plenty of people in college host parties, but a projector will make your parties legendary. Turn off the lights and turn an entire wall into a screen, or grab an extension cord and set up outside for a movie under the stars. This projector has plenty of connectivity options, so you can hook up to a cable box, laptop, console, or smartphone. However, there is no Bluetooth capability, so make sure you have the right cables for what you want to connect to. It also has a built-in speaker, but you might want a stronger supplemental sound system for big open spaces. All in all, while this projector has its limitations, it’s affordable and mobile, which is perfect for a student who’s on the go and ready to party.
There are plenty of great TV sets out there, so if you want more information to make an educated decision, check out our article “How to Choose the Right TV.” Once you find the TV you want, be sure to save with student deals on TV services—any TV is more fun when it comes with all the shows you want to watch. To find out how to get the best deals, check out our tips for getting student discounts on your cable, satellite, or fiber TV service.