Gone are the days when TVs used to be huge and take up ridiculous amounts of space in homes.
We have a lot sleeker and better options to choose from. If you are out to look for a major upgrade to your viewing experience but are swarmed by the number of options out there that include Smart TVs, OLED TVs and terms like 4K and HDR we have you covered with all you need to know.
We’ll head straight into the factors that you need to consider when purchasing a TV and how you can choose the right one for your living room.
Factors to Consider
It is important to find the right sized TV for your home. You do not want to end up with something that is too small for you and your family or too large that you have to constantly move your head around to keep up with the content.
A simple rule of thumb is if there is enough space available between where you sit and your wall, try to get the biggest TV possible that fits your budget and your space constraints.
People usually follow the common rule of getting a TV that the screen height should be about a third of the distance between where yo0u sit and the screen. However, you can sit twice as close when it comes to 4K TVs.
Instead of complicating things head to a store and check out live display units and see what size fits you best. Even if you are planning on getting a TV online it is recommended to get a “feel” of what you are getting. As TVs can be expensive investments you do not want to end up disappointment.
We strongly recommend getting a 4K TV if you can and avoid falling for the 8K hype as of now.
If your budget does not permit you to get a 4K TV, you should opt for a good quality 1080p TV instead. A common argument made by consumers is that 4K TVs are not worth it if you do not have 4K content to watch.
But that is changing rapidly with gaming consoles and PC capable of 4K gaming as well as a number of video streaming services offering 4K content.
1080p or Full HD is still the standard but Ultra HD or 4K is slowly becoming more mainstream and you want to future-proof your investment if possible.
The text on these displays are much richer than their 1080p counterparts and you will easily notice the increase in sharpness when it comes to videos and images as well.
HDR or High Dynamic Range allows displays to offer more colours, contrast levels and enhanced brightness. The difference between HDR and non-HDR content can be quite alarming when you see it for the first time.
HDR10 is considered the gold standard as it is approved by the UHD Alliance which is an industry trade group. Dolby Vision HDR is also another variant of HDR and is far more demanding on hardware so you can expect to pay even more for the feature as it requires better internal hardware.
There is not enough HDR content right now but that is changing rapidly and we recommend investing into the technology.
If you are a gamer we strongly recommend opting for a TV with HDR as both the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X which are the two flagship home consoles out there support HDR and there are a ton of games out there offering HDR compatibility.
How to Choose the Right Television for YOU!
The simplest way to understand refresh rate is that the higher refresh rate you have, the better content is going to look. 60Hz is pretty much the standard but fast-paced movement can feel blurry or jittery.
It is strongly recommended to invest in 120Hz if possible, for a much better experience. There are 240Hz displays making it into the market as well if you need the maximum possible refresh rate available.
HDMI ports and other connectors are very important when it comes to TVs, specially if you plan on connecting multiple sources of content to your TV. While there are aftermarket solutions available if you want to add more ports, it can become a messy situation with wires and connectors.
A sound bar, a gaming console and a streaming device will take up three slots by themselves.
HDMI 2.1 and HDMI 2.2 are slowly getting more popular so you should try to get TVs with either of those formats at the very least. Do not settle for anything less than four HDMI slots and HDCP compatibility is a must for 4K TVs.
One of the biggest issues with thin TVs is the inability to offer great quality sound. Sound bars are pretty much necessities for modern day TVs. When TVs were much thicker during the CRT era, manufacturers were able to put in large speakers that offered great quality.
Audio should not be a major factor at all when investing in a TV but we recommend checking for all the right ports and connectivity options to ensure your soundbar or home theater system will work flawlessly with your TV.
You can either opt for a full surround sound experience with a home theater system or go for a large soundbar that offers quality audio.
Types of TVs
Aside the number of features and other things that you need to consider when purchasing a TV, you also need to make up your mind about what kind of TV you are looking for. LCD, LED, LED LCD and OLED are the three major types of TVs out there.
LED and LCD TVs
Most of the TVs out there are from the LED or LCD category. The HD and Ultra HD TVs take advantage of LED lights to illuminate LCD screens. Most modern-day TVs are capable of dynamically lighting separate parts of the screen based on the content on display.
Full-array LED TVs have the backlights directly behind the display. A grid of lighting is available that illuminates the display and offers a much better display. Pure LED displays are quite better than LED-backlit LCD displays but they also command bigger price tags.
Quantum Dot displays are also getting very popular and they offer great quality. Quantum dot technology is not particularly popular right now as the TVs are fairly new so you will have fewer options to choose from but the difference in quality is definitely worth investing in.
OLED TVs go beyond what full-array LEDs offer. A number of organic LEDs are placed and controlled at the pixel level by the displays. The TVs are capable of displaying pitch black and amazing levels of contrast.
The technology is fairly expensive and quite a few manufacturers are trying to put out quality OLED TVs. OLED displays offer unmatched quality and are definitely worth the investment if you are willing to.
There are a number of manufacturers that throw around the smart TV tag and honestly, they are not always worth it. Most TVs these days come with apps like Netflix, YouTube and pretty much anything else that you would need.
Even if you do not own a smart TV, streaming devices like a Fire Stick from Amazon or Google’s Chromecast or even an Apple TV can offer all of the functionality that you need.
While it’s great to have a solid OS on your TV, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have one as streaming devices have you covered regardless.
Curved displays are slowly getting more and more popular but are they really worth it? Not quite. The displays are gimmicky and are proven to offer worse picture quality than flat-screen units.
You should not invest into a curved TV unless you are looking at the highest end of the spectrum and are opting for a premium TV. But even then, it is likely that a flat-screen equivalent will have slightly better image quality.
Unless you are really into the sense of immersion that it creates, you can safely skip it.
With all of the important deciding factors covered, we strongly recommend not opting for TVs that are less than 32” as the size is pretty much the standard and you will find a ton of products for the size.
Try to get the best possible TV you can depending on your budget as a good investment will last you a very long time and unlike most other electronic products, they do not require too much maintenance making them solid long-term investments.
Avoid getting products from unknown manufacturers or “refurbished” models as they often come with issues. A number of lesser known manufacturers are known to reused rejected displays from more reputed brands and rebrand them for sales.
We hope our guide has been helpful to you and has helped you find your next TV for your home.
January 5, 2020