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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

What Should I Look For In a New TV?

Most of you probably think the holidays are the best time to purchase a new TV, but you're wrong. The Customer Electronics Show in January is the time when most manufacturers release new television. The process of selecting a new TV can be a big headache with all of the complex terms being used to describe all of the features that modern TVs have. I know you want to get the most out of your investment, which is why I am preparing this quick guide to help you. If you're in the market for a new TV, you need to check out my guide that will break down the terms for you and help you make the best decision.

No TV buying guide is going to replace your own judgment. Your best bet is to head to your favorite electronics store and look at TVs. Of course, it isn't that simple because you need to understand the terms they are using such as the difference between 8K and 4K resolution, why you want HDR, the differences between LED and OLED, and why you need HDMI.

Here are the most common terms broken down:

SmartTV: Before smartTV, you needed to connect a Roku Device, Firestick or Chromecast to your TV to stream services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+ Now most TV has these features built-in. You just need to connect your TV to your home or office Wifi.

LED and OLED: LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. This means your TV display image is made of little lights. The more LED lights, the sharper the picture. The difference between LED TVs and OLED TVs is that the pixels of an OLED TV are self illuminating, whereas the LEDs in an LED TV are used to light an LCD display.

4K and 8k: 4K is an ultra-high-definition (Ultra HD) image format with a horizontal resolution of about 4,000 pixels and 8K is a horizontal resolution is about 8,000 pixels. Pixels are the LED dots that make up a TV image and the K means about 1,000. The more pixels, the sharper the image.

When you're looking for a new TV this year, here are the things you need to keep in mind.

  • Samsung makes the best TV on the planet. Consist quality and workmanship make this brand of TV stand out more than other brands.

  • Don’t buy a TV with less than 4K resolution. This is a suggestion, not something that should be a rule of thumb. If the TV you're looking at has a lower resolution and fits your budget, get it!

  • Expect to pay about $500 for a good 55-inch 4K TV. If you're looking for a larger TV and higher resolution, expect to pay more.

  • Stick with Name Brand TVs. I listed Samsung as the best TV, but other brands that are good are LG, Sony, and Roku's TCL series.

  • The more HDMI ports, the better. HDMI ports are where you plug in external items like gaming and sound systems. The more your TV has, the more devices you can add in the future.

  • Don't rush out to buy a soundbar. TV speakers vary from TV to TV, so test out the sound first before you rush out and get one.

  • Bigger isn't always better. Before you come home with a 70 inch TV, make sure you measure and see if it will work within your space. Yes, bigger is better for the eyes, but it may not work in your home.

  • Skip 8K TVs (for now). 8K TVs are super expensive, 8K movies and shows aren't available yet and 8K is almost to the point that the human eye can't recognize.

  • Pay attention to the TV that works best with your smart home setup. Not all brands of TVs will work with your smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. You may not want to connect your TV to your smart home now, but you never know if you will change your mind.

  • Avoid extended warranties. Your credit card company may already provide purchase protection and most TVs already come with a 1-year warranty. IF there are going to be problems with your TV, they will occur in the first 6 months.

Hopefully, this guide will make TV shopping easier for you. There are a lot of complicated terms out there, but remember to always use your gut when you purchase a TV. You're the one who is making the investment and you're the one who has to sit in front of it for years to come.

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