There’s no particular reason you should listen to me, but I’m gonna gob on regardless.
Just close your eyes and stick a pin in the Richer Sounds catalogue innit. Or the J-Lew website. I ended up with a mid-range Sony based largely on the basis of the OS/TV guide, and the colour of the bezel (wanted alu silver), rather than paying attention to any reviews about picture quality (it’s a major brand, how shit can it be).
I’m massively sceptical of smart TVs. Netflix and iPlayer are ok on 'em as they’re very browsable with next to no typing, but YouTube is unusably fiddly, so I revert to going via a Chromecast stick plugged in the back for that. Would be quite content to just cast from my phone through Chromecast for everything, tbh.
All TV speakers are essentially pointless. I used to run my TV through a sub-£100 Cambridge A1 amp + speakers from my 90s JVC midi system. Switched to a Denon RCD-M40DAB mini system (+ same speakers) a few years ago. The current Denon equivalent is £290. Or ~£450 when paired with Dali Spektor or Q Acoustics 3020 speakers (which would surely be an upgrade to what I’ve got). Which is hardly big $$$.
Occasionally I’ll check out some soundbar reviews. Simply cannot convince myself that any would be a viable upgrade. They have the stench of fad, and all seem to be suspiciously cheap and skinny/small (sometimes requiring a separate subwoofer box and who can be arsed with that) and encumbered with crappy smart speaker functions, else they’re truly big $$$ high-end jobs.
Closest I’ve got to finding a tempting soundbar that might be a better value upgrade than some half-decent bookshelf speakers has been the Dali Katch One, which genuinely seems like a proper piece of non-smart hi-fi kit for a non-crazy (though admittedly not cheap either) price (£650).
Reckon I could be a What Hi-Fi writer?