TV Buying Guide – Choosing a Television 101

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tv buying guide

Buying a new television can be a tedious task especially if you are not too interested in the tech itself but rather on what shows on your screen. The newest models always come packed with the latest technologies and features that all are a must-have if you ask someone who is trying to sell you something.

Well, today is your lucky day since we are not here to sell you anything! We are just trying to help you make some sense out of the ever evolving field of TV’s.

Bestseller No. 1
LG OLED48CXPUB Alexa Built-In CX 48" 4K Smart OLED TV (2020)
  • LG OLED TV: Only OLED pixels emit their own light, allowing for perfect black, intense color and stunning picture.
  • PIXEL LEVEL DIMMING: Millions of pixels emit their own light. Only OLED can turn pixels off completely and independently. See stunning picture, perfect black, infinite contrast and over a billion rich colors.
  • WEBOS AND MAGIC REMOTE: LG's fan-favorite webOS platform makes it surprisingly fast and easy to stream movies and shows with your favorite apps and find new obsessions based on what you like. While our Magic Remote lives up to its name with voice and motion control — just speak or simply point, scroll and click.
  • α9 GEN 3 AI PROCESSOR 4K: Everything you see and hear is automatically made better, clearer, smoother, and more dynamic with our a9 Gen 3 AI Processor 4K. You don’t have to do a thing. Our most advanced 4K processor does it for you with AI Picture Pro, AI Sound Pro, AI 4K Upscaling, and the ability to help your TV to evolve over time.
  • GAMING: LG OLED TV is built for gaming. AI-powered picture quality transports you to the moment. Gaming features and the latest tech, like NVIDIA G-SYNC and FreeSync, give you an edge with less lag, high refresh rates, and incredibly smooth and responsive gameplay.
Bestseller No. 2
TCL 55" 6-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR QLED Roku Smart TV - 55R635
  • Superior 4K Ultra HD: Picture clarity combined with the contrast, color, and detail of Dolby Vision HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the most lifelike picture.
  • Mini-LED Technology: Uncompromised contrast, brightness, and uniformity for incredible viewing in any environment.
  • QLED: Quantum dot technology delivers better brightness and wider color volume.
  • Contrast Control Zones: Contrast is individually optimized across up to 240 localized zones for striking contrast between bright and dark areas of the image.
  • Easy Voice Control: Works with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to help you find movie titles, launch or change channels, even switch inputs, using just your voice. Also available through the Roku mobile app or voice-enabled remote control.
Bestseller No. 3
SAMSUNG 55-Inch Class Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series - 4K UHD HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-in (UN55TU8000FXZA, 2020 Model)
  • Crystal processor 4K: This ultra-fast processor transforms everything you watch into stunning 4K.
  • Multi voice: Smart TV with Alexa and Bixby.
  • Smart TV powered by Tizen: Go beyond Smart TV with next-gen apps, super easy control, and a host of enhancements that elevate the TV watching experience.
  • HDR: Unveils shades of color you can't find on HDTV.
  • Crystal display: Experience crystal clear colors that are fine-tuned to deliver a naturally crisp and vivid picture.
Bestseller No. 4
Sony XBR-49X800H 49" 4K Ultra High Definition HDR LED Android Smart TV (2020)
  • 4K HDR PROCESSOR X1: See premium 4K pictures, rich with real-world detail and texture. Upscale everything you watch to near-4K with 4K X-Reality PRO.
  • X800H ULTRA HD SMART LED TV: See premium 4K pictures, rich with real-world detail and texture. Upscale everything you watch to near-4K with 4K X-Reality PRO
  • TRILUMINOS Display: See exactly what the creator intended with advanced color and gradation
  • DOLBY VISION and HDR provide dazzling detail and color
  • Dimension of TV without Stand (W x H x D): Approx. 43 3/8" x 25 1/2" x 2 1/4", 25.6 lbs || Dimension of TV with Stand (W x H x D): Approx. 43 3/8" x 27 3/4" x 11 3/8", 26.7 lbs
Bestseller No. 5
LG C9 Series Smart OLED TV - 77" 4K Ultra HD with Alexa Built-in, 2019 Model
  • Your purchase includes One LG OLED TV of 77”, OLED77C9PUA model, One Magic Remote with batteries, One Power Cable, and One Start Guide
  • TV dimensions: Without Stand – 67.8” W x 39” H x 2.2” D. With Stand – 67.8” W x 41.2” H x 10” D. TV Weight: 65.9 lbs. VESA Mounting – 400 W x 200 H
  • Advanced image and sound technologies inspired by the cinema optimize picture and sound for a spectacular, more lifelike experience in every scene. Experience Dolby Atmos in a 2.2 Channel Speaker System
  • LG TVs are the first to integrate both the Google Assistant and Alexa with LG ThinQ AI technology
  • Inputs & Outputs: HDMI Input (HDCP 2.2): 4 (1 rear, 3 side) | HDMI Audio Return Channel: eARC (HDMI 2) | USB Ports (v 2.0): 3 (2 rear, 1 side)

What Should You Look For?

These are the aspects you should take into consideration when buying a television.

Screen Size

The most important part of the television is, surprise surprise, the screen, and the most distinctive feature of the screen is its size.

Measure the area on which you are planning to place the TV and figure out which size will fit there. There are lots of calculators out there to measuring the “ideal” viewing distance for each size, but generally speaking we are firm believers of the old fashioned “the bigger the better” ideology- unless we are talking about extra cramped spaces. All these calculations are best done with your own eyes and a little bit of common sense.

If your last TV buying experience is not exactly recent, one thing to keep in mind is that the new models come with tiny frames. This means that you will have more screen area in a new 42″ TV than you had on one bought ten years ago.

Picture Quality

This is the part where the faint-hearted tend to give up with all the different numbers and letter combinations. But fear not, they are not as complicated as they might first seem. Picture quality is one of those factors that are not just something for the sales people to boast on – there are actually differences between different models. If you want the picture to be as crisp as possible, buy a 4K (Ultra HD, UHD) television. The resolution (pixels on the screen) is four times bigger than in Full HD televisions.

Resolution comparison graphic

As Netflix, Amazon Prime and plenty of others streaming services have already started supporting 4K streaming you will miss out on a lot of eye candy if you settle for less. 4K is the resolution of this day and will soon enough become the standard until even bigger resolutions surpass it. This is not a dying gimmick like 3D.

But size is not all that matters. If you want a complete viewing experience (at least in terms of the technological aspects) you need to take colors and contrast into account too. This is best guaranteed by choosing an OLED TV with HDR support.

The millions of colors at their best, complimented with the blackest of the blacks will treat your eyes in ways the older technologies never could. As a cherry on top OLED screens generally have higher refresh rates, making them ideal for watching fast paced sports for example.

4K televisions can also scale up regular Full HD video making it look better than it would from a FHD television.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

HDR is arguably as important as 4K resolution if you want a TV that will serve you optimally for the years to come.

As a rough generalization 4K will aid the picture with sharpness while HDR takes care of the vibrancy of the colors, brightness and contrast.

The basic idea of High Dynamic Range in layman’s terms is that it makes the picture look more natural by enhancing the distinction between the smallest differences of tones.

Not all HDR televisions support the technology in full effect though. If you want the best, be sure that it supports the Ultra HD Premium standard.

Smart TV Features

Netflix logo on a smart TV

Smart TVs have become a industry default in a short time span and it might sound a bit confusing if your knowledge of televisions is somewhat outdated.

What it means is that the modern televisions come with the ability to use various streaming platforms (Netflix, YouTube etc) straight from the telly without any further accessories. You can even use a traditional web browser with them. Tech-wise this means that smart TVs come equipped with a processor and internet connectivity.

This might seem a bit unnecessary if your television watching habits are from the time before smart TVs but believe us: watching your favorite show’s whenever you want with the ability to pause and rewind when you want is something that you will miss once you get used to it. Not to mention the enormous libraries of content that is available on these platforms.

Proper Accessories

best soundbar subwoofer combo

One thing that the latest technology hasn’t yet brought into the tellies is proper audio.

If you are the least bit serious about entertainment you must buy some sort of external audio equipment. In the past this would have required a whole another guide (and still does if you are an audiophile), but the easiest way to upgrade the audio experience is to buy a sound bar subwoofer combo. These handy devices have gained massive popularity with their ease of use. Today they even sound great, making them a real contender for the usual amplifier + speaker set combo.

If you are going for extra style points you should also look into wall mounting.

Last update on 2020-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API