Shopping for a new television is not easy, especially considering the variety of technologies used in modern HDTVs. You also need to consider the screen size, I/O ports, and other features.
Use the following TV buying guide to find your next television.
Main Considerations When Choosing a Television
Start your search by paying attention to these technical details:
- Screen size
- LED technology
- Dimensions and weight
- Refresh rate
Some people also prefer to pay attention to the television brand. Samsung, LG, and Sony are a few of the most trusted TV manufacturers. TVs from these brands tend to cost more but also provide access to the latest technologies. If you want the best TV available, it will likely come from one of these brands.
The resolution is often the first choice when shopping for a new TV. Most of the TVs measuring at least 50 inches offer 4K resolution. Smaller TVs are more likely to offer full HD (1080p) resolution. A 4K TV provides four times the pixel resolution compared to a 1080p TV. The image is sharper. The pixels are also more difficult to make out when standing closer to the TV.
The top TV manufacturers have also released several 8K televisions in 2021. 8K TVs contain over 33 million pixels to provide the most detailed video available. However, there are no 8K video players and companies are not releasing movies and shows in 8K resolution yet.
An 8K TV can prepare you for the future if you are willing to spend extra money to get the highest resolution. For the typical home theatre setup, you will likely find full HD and 4K video to be more than adequate. However, the choice between full HD and 4K also depends on the size of the screen.
The screen size impacts your viewing experience and ability to discern the difference between 1080p and 4K video. You are less likely to detect the difference in resolution when watching on a small TV. If the screen measures 42 inches, you need to get within a meter of the TV to detect the pixels. In most cases, you are going to be sitting several meters from the TV, making the difference between 1080p and 4K less substantial.
65 inches is typically considered the minimum screen size needed to enjoy the increased clarity of 4K video. For example, the Samsung 65″ QLED Smart TV provides exceptional colours and sharpness compared to 1080p TVs of the same size.
Standard LED TVs are gradually being replaced by the latest OLED and QLED TVs. So, what is the difference between LED, OLED, and QLED? Each option uses a different type of LED technology.
OLED TVs tend to offer the darkest black levels and less motion blur compared to LED and QLED TVs. OLED is still used by Sony and other manufacturers due to its superior black levels and viewing angles. However, QLED technology offers a brighter picture and less ghosting.
Quantum LED (QLED) TVs were introduced by Samsung. You can find 4K and 8K options, including the Samsung 75-inch 8K Ultra HD Smart QLED TV and the newer Samsung 85-inch Neo QLED Smart 4K TV. These TVs are recommended for those who want the best colours or plan on using their TVs for gaming.
Dimensions and Weight
Along with the screen size, you should pay attention to the overall dimensions and weight of the TV. The weight is especially important if you plan on mounting the TV on a wall. TVs can weigh anywhere from 10 kilos to 25 kilos.
Most wall mounts are designed using the VESA interface standard. TVs include four holes in the back for mounting on a VESA wall mount. If you already have a wall mount from your existing TV, you can find a new TV with the same VESA size. However, you need to check the maximum weight rating of the mount to ensure it can support your new TV.
The latest TVs from Samsung, Sony, and LG offer 120Hz refresh rates, which is a step up from the 60Hz refresh rates found on most TVs.
The refresh rate determines how many times the screen refreshes every second. A 60Hz screen refreshes 60 times per second while a 120Hz TV refreshes 120 times per second. A 120Hz refresh rate provides a slight advantage when playing video content with a lower frame rate. For example, a movie played at 24 frames per second (fps) is less likely to blur when played on a 120Hz screen compared to a 60Hz screen.
When playing a 24fps video, a 60Hz screen needs to use a technique called 3:2 pulldown to achieve consistent playback. With 3:2 pulldown, 12 of the 24 frames are repeated three times. The other 12 frames are repeated twice. A 120Hz refresh rate allows the TV to display each frame five times. This consistency leads to less motion blur for 24fps playback.
Televisions used to come with a wide range of input and output (I/O) ports, including RCA, S-Video, and cable inputs and outputs. Most of those I/O ports are now gone.
Modern TVs tend to include a few HDMI ports, a cable input, and a mini-RCA jack. The mini-RCA jack is used to connect the old composite RCA cables using a special adapter. The cable input is for your cable or antenna while the HDMI ports are for just about everything else. If you have an AV receiver or an HDMI switch, you may not need a lot of HDMI ports on the TV. However, if you run everything through the TV, you may need multiple HDMI inputs.
Optical digital inputs and coaxial digital inputs are useful for connecting an AV receiver to your TV. You may also want a USB port, which can be used to power small devices, such as a TV streaming stick.
If you want to save money, go with a small LED TV from Sony, Samsung, or LG. If you want the best picture, check out the latest Sony OLED TVs and Samsung QLED TVs. Choose OLED for deeper blacks and a wider viewing angle and QLED for true colours and less ghosting. Have any other questions? Please contact us and we will be happy to help!