For the last few years, one manufacturer has dominated the budget TV sales charts. No, it’s not LG. Or Sony. Or Vizio, TCL or Samsung.
It’s a company you’ve never heard of called Sceptre.
Sceptre TVs sell so well because they focus on maximizing value – not only is it possible to see Sceptre TVs selling for under $300, but that’s actually the norm.
While that might lead you to believe that Sceptre is just another fly-by-night manufacturer that’s here one day and gone the next, the California-based company has been around for the last two decades, and recently formed a high-end division that caters to a much more … performance-minded audience.
If you’re scared that you’re buying a TV from a company without a reputation, don’t worry, Sceptre is here to stay … just be careful which TV you buy from them.
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Should I buy a Sceptre TV?
Sceptre caters to a specific audience: budget-conscious buyers who don’t mind missing out on a few features. Most Sceptre TVs don’t offer a smart platform, and only a handful offer Ultra-High Definition resolution or High Dynamic Range support.
To put that bluntly, what that means you won’t be able to access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and other online streaming services without buying a streaming device like a Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast or a Roku Premiere, and even if you do buy one, the streaming services won’t look their best without 4K or HDR support.
That said, Sceptre TVs really aren’t made for the AV enthusiast crowd: their colors might look washed, faded or incorrect, and motion artefacting is likely to occur in the lower-end models. If you have a critical eye, this might bother you over time and is one of the reasons you’d opt for a more expensive set from Sony, Samsung or LG.
So who should buy a Sceptre TV?
If you’re buying a TV for the sole purpose of watching non-HD cable TV or a second screen for your bedroom that will only watch over-the-air channels, they’re an extremely good deal. Another example we’ve heard before is that someone will buy them for an elderly family member – someone who doesn’t care about picture quality as much as they do having a large, more easily visible screen.
You could also make the case that the TVs are good for college dorms where accidents might happen (the TVs aren’t that expensive to replace after all) or as signage for a restaurant or bar. You probably shouldn’t buy them to broadcast the next football game on, but they’re certainly fine if you need a place to advertise or post your deals of the day.
Overall, we’d recommend checking out a model from another budget manufacturer like TCL or Vizio first – but if those TVs are still out of your price range, and you’re fine making a compromise in picture quality, Sceptre’s TVs are perfectly adequate.