What’s a good (and slim) 55-inch TV for Chromecast?

The Samsung UN55ES8000 that was state of the art in November 2012 ($2500) has failed after perhaps 2 hours per month of use. When it can be turned on at all, the screen is filled with a random pattern. One thing that was awesome about this was the depth: just 1.2 inches. The TV is mounted in a fairly small room where one has to walk past it.

I assume that the $2500 TV is now 1080p junk and not worth repairing.

What’s a good 55-inch flat screen TV replacement? This won’t be hooked up to cable. It would be nice to have a TV with built-in Google Chromecast since that seems to be the most convenient way to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus (Hamilton every night 4-Ever!).

I am reluctant to spend big $$ again given that this thing failed after not too many hours of use.

(Should I perhaps also give a shout-out to Panasonic? A 50-inch plasma TV purchased 12 years ago and used far more than this dead Samsung is still working perfectly! It is rather thick and only 1080p resolution, but it shows no sign of flaking out. Panasonic quit the U.S. TV market in 2016.)

42 thoughts on “What’s a good (and slim) 55-inch TV for Chromecast?

    • Thanks, Arthur: You can set up Roku so that Netflix, Amazon Prime, Comcast, Disney Plus, et al. play via Roku? I guess one issue that I have with this is that I’d like guests to be able to use their own devices. Chromecast is good because anyone who gets access to the network can play whatever they want.

    • Totally concur here. External boxes, Chromecast, that’s all garbage with all sort of problems. Get a 55″ TV at Costco with the streaming apps built in. I did this 4 years ago, connected it with Wifi, and use youtube TV, netflix, vudu, etc, absolutely perfect. And cheap.

      Although as a blog reader, I really want to encourage you to use Apple TV. This will be expensive and frustrating for you, but it will make for really entertaining blog posts from when you get it until when you throw it out.

    • Just false. Chromecast can get anything roku can use, just cast that app from the to the chromecast. Sony 900 (950 if you want to spend the money) is the tv you are looking for. Sony is built on the Android TV OS, and has chromecast built-in. You can side load any app roku has as well, that’s just a little more work than casting it or being able to get it from an app store. Trust me, I install and set tvs up all day as a job. I’m a home theater installer. Roku doesn’t even have Peacock and HBO max… Plus it’s an extra device, unless you plan on getting a tv with roku built in… Which is just crap tvs.

    • Roku has its native apps but you can also cast to it exactly like you do to a Chromecast. I do it myself. So I don’t think you’d ever want to add a Chromecast to a TV that has Roku built-in — you would just cast directly to the built-in Roku. Chromecast functionality is a proper subset of Roku.

  1. I buy LG tvs because they have very reasonable software and apps for all streaming services. They even have separate buttons for netflix and prime.

    If you want excellent colors, buy LG OLED, if you want low price, buy LG LCD. Both will be completely fine. Easy to buy at Costco or at Amazon.

    • Oh, yeah, between all streaming boxes my box of choice is Fire Cube – streams well and has built-in Alexa. With this said, upstairs LG streams directly to TV without any additional box.

    • Just bought an 55″ oled (b9sla 2020 model with hdmi 2.1) and it’s worth the 1200€ sticker price. Oled technology has matured enough to be reliable and the picture quality is so much better than LCD.

    • It might be fun to try to get the system board fixed and then see if the TV actually does work! At worst we would have some fun taking it apart.

  2. We have a 55 inch samsung that was $500 two years ago. It has its own apps for everything which are reasonable but not super fast?

    Not an expert but isn’t an external dongle better? In four years there’ll be some other crap and you’ll need a new dongle anyway.

  3. On the other hand, you could fly it to West Virginia and drop it off. Under the Biden Administration, someone will either eat it or inject it.

  4. I bought a 55″ LG OLED TV about a year ago at Costco. I think it’s the C9. Sale price was $1500. Picture is amazing! Also, very thin.

    Honestly, I think this is the best TV picture I’ve ever seen. It is a smart TV, and gets all the streaming services you have mentioned.

    Highly recommended.

  5. Consider upgrading the audio-visual experience with some good speakers? Powered speakers have really improved in the last decade. Near-audiophile sound, but without the clutter of big boxes and cables (ie: better wife acceptance factor). Recommended: Naim MuSo 2nd gen, or KEF LS50 wireless (reduced price because improved version 2 is forthcoming).

    • Brilliant idea as usual, Dr. Surati! However, it looks as though The Frame requires a second “One Connect” box that has to live somewhere. The existing TV is self-contained on the wall with power and Ethernet. The only complication is that the Chromecast dongle has to be connected and powered as well.

    • Tom: Thanks for the suggestion. I don’t think it can be as simple as an input problem due to the fact that the TV cannot generate its own screens correctly, such as the menu, the “Smart TV”, etc. There are a lot of screens that don’t depend on any input at all and they’re all spectacularly broken.

    • I expect a lot of lights to go out. I had a very strange incident on my Dell tower *today.* Screen fizzled into pixels, not a crash but Windows rebooted, no error messages. It looked briefly like the machine wouldn’t reboot, then it did. No errors or anything else, but it died briefly and then came back.

  6. I have been using 2 Sony LCD TVs in the past several years. Both work fine with Chromecast and show good colour without tweaking the picture setting much.

  7. I have a small Chromecast dongle that plugs into an HDMI port. It does need to be powered by USB, but most TVs have a USB port on the back as well. The dongle is so small and light it can easily be affixed to the back of the TV with some self-adhesive Velcro® fasteners and is unlikely to add any depth. I think it cost $10 or $20 on eBay. That might give you some additional flexibility to get the TV you want. Personally, I find the dongle works better than the strange UI built into many TVs anyway, and you can activate it just my selecting the correct HDMI source.

    • Totally second this. I initially tried using wirecutter and quickly realized their reviews are very thin compared to rtings.com. The rtings site works reasonably well on your phone, which comes handy while you’re shopping.

  8. I have the new Chromecast with Google TV, and it’s fantastic. It’s the only set-top box that’s really responsive (except Apple TV, maybe, haven’t used it in a while and never really liked it). You click a button, and something happens immediately every time. Wouldn’t want to go back to a regular Android TV.
    I would either buy a non-smart TV if you can still find one (ours is from 2010…) or just ignore the Smart TV features when you decide for one. It just takes a few years for them to become outdated and unsupported anyway. So why bother? Just connect your favorite TV stick via HDMI and you can update it in a few years without throwing the TV away. Most now come with a remote that allows you to turn on/off the TV and set the volume, so there’s little advantage to using the built-in Smart TV features.

  9. I have a Samsung that was $2300 in 2009. Still working great today, and had been my main TV all that time.

    Waiting on it to die to get a 4k TV

  10. I have done fair amount of research to buy myself a new TV. All smart TVs these days come with Chromecast, Alexa and Airplay & AppleTV app built in. No need for another box. Sony and Hisense TVs are built in Android OS so you have access to google play store. Hisense H9G is an excellent TV for the price (under $800 for 55″) and is the TCL 6 series which is built on Roku platform. After accruing assets from Sharp, Hisense TVs have really stepped up their game. With LG tvs, they are great and their webOS is pretty good but with IPS panel, the blacks appear gray and that’s big drawback for me. However IPS Panel have great viewing angle. Personally have narrowed my selection to Sony X900H/950H.

  11. Like several others, it might be a good idea to separate the app from the TV with whatever you get. A dongle will be inexpensive to replace, but not so much the whole TV when the app goes obsolete. Have a Sony bluray player that won’t get app updates any more, but otherwise still works fine.

    BTW, did you know Chromecasts have a guest mode that doesn’t require wifi access? You get a PIN from the Home app, and don’t have to grant access to your network.

  12. Beware of bloatware, uninstallable apps and ads on recent Samsung TV’s. I regret the purchase after having a good experience on and older model with none of that nonsense.

  13. Bought a HiSense H8G 50” 4K HDR android TV and it’s worked very well. Pretty slim, not quite as slim as your previous TV. $450 or so

  14. Here’s a suggestion: buy the cheapest 65″ Vizio at Costco. If you can hold off until Thanksgiving, you will most likely find a deal pushing prices below $400.

    Costco sells you a 4 year extended warranty for about $40, which should cover the vulnerable portion of the bathtub curve.

    I recently replaced a still functional 2011 55″ HD flat screen TV with a 65″ Vizio. To my surprise, the thin bezel of the 65″ means the new TV takes up about the same amount of space on the wall as the old one. I paid $419 at my local Costco.

    It comes with built-in apps for most streaming services. Since the TV supports HDMI arc, it actually detects the receiver and automatically turns it on on the right channel so I get the audio through my speaker system. If that’s not an option with your setup, you can get a cheap soundbar to make up for the shitty built-in speakers.

    Enjoy!

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