How to buy a TV
Here are some of the key factors to consider when shopping for a new TV.
Display: The best displays on high-end TVs use an OLED panel, which stands for organic light emitting diode. These panels use self-illuminating screens rather than LED backlighting, which results in better contrast and viewing angles as well as true black tones and more even lighting.
These premium TVs are usually expensive and are best suited for a home theater setup. LED panels with features like quantum dots and local dimming are also a good choice for buyers who want the best picture quality. These sets can’t match the contrast of an OLED, but they can get even brighter.
Those looking for a more casual viewing experience can opt for a smaller screen with a budget-friendly LED panel. Even entry-level TVs offer 4K displays, which means that it is possible to get a sharp TV without spending tons of money. Of course, these TVs might not feature the greatest brightness and contrast of more expensive models, but they are often more than enough for movie nights and console gaming.
HDR Format: High Dynamic Range (HDR) is an image technology that is featured on many 4K TV displays, 4K streaming options, and 4K Blu-ray disks. HDR enhances images so that they appear brighter, with more color and deeper contrast than ever before. However, there are three different HDR formats – HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision – and not every TV supports all three.
This means that you can have a TV with HDR, but still not be able to get the best HDR quality from a specific source. When buying a TV with HDR, make sure that it supports the format that you use the most.
Connectivity: It is important to be able to connect all of your devices to your new TV. Gaming consoles, such as the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, each need their own HDMI port to connect to the TV, as do Roku players and other streaming boxes. The more HDMI ports the TV has, the better.
It is also important to find out what kind of HDMI is supported by the TV. HDMI 2.0 is capable of streaming in 4k at 60Hz, while the newer HDMI 2.1 standard supports next-generation gaming features such as 4K at 120Hz, and variable refresh rate (VRR).
Smart TV Platform: These days, most TVs come with some smart capabilities. Unfortunately, content on various smart platforms can differ dramatically. For example, Spectrum TV customers can find the Spectrum TV app on Samsung Smart TVs, but not on ones made by LG or Sony. LG TVs also don’t support HBO Max. It is important to find a platform that offers all of the channels you want.
Of course, you can also purchase a separate streaming player to connect to your TV if you don’t mind spending a little extra money. Streaming devices also generally offer better performance and are easily upgradeable.
Extra Features: It’s a good idea to check what other extra features the TV offers. Does it have a voice-controlled remote? What about Alexa, or Google Assistant? Does it offer Airplay compatibility? These features will probably not make-or-break a purchase, but are good to know about, especially when you are trying to get the best deal for yourself or your family.