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BGR Buying Guide: What to look out for when buying a brand new TV

If you’re looking to buy a new TV but are confused by all the technical details and jargon, here’s our guide to make things easier for you.

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Buying a TV can be confusing, with all the brands, specifications, resolutions and jargon that goes into it. There are many things that you need to keep in mind when buying a new TV, particularly when it comes to screen size, resolution, features, and more. We’ve created a one-stop buying guide for you to properly understand all that you need to look out for when buying a new TV.

There are plenty of brands in the market, and your choice of brand entirely depends on your budget, and the features you’re looking for in your new TV. Size is also a key consideration, as this will depend on the size of the room you want to keep your TV in, and the viewing distance. Take a look at the parameters below to help you choose your next TV.samsung-qled-tv-india-launch

Size

The first thing you need to figure out is the size of the TV you want to buy. The larger the room and viewing distance, the larger the TV that you can buy. Since a bigger screen will make for a better viewing experience, go for the largest screen size that your budget will accommodate, but keep in mind that the screen is not too large for your room. This will essentially hamper your viewing experience, and likely give you headaches. ALSO READ: Samsung Q8C QLED Smart TV Review

You can follow these guidelines to decide on the ideal screen size, based on viewing distance.

Distance

TV size

<5 feet

up to 32-inch screen

5-7 feet

up to 43-inch screen

7-9 feet

up to 55-inch screen

>9 feet

65-inch screen and above

 

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Resolution

TVs today come in a range of resolutions, from standard definition to 4K resolution. Flat-panel LED-LCD televisions are usually only available with resolutions of 720p (HD) and upwards, while the now-antiquated CRT technology comes with standard definition resolution. Depending on the size of TV you buy, and the kind of content you intend to watch, you can choose the resolution of your TV.

If most of your viewing is standard definition content (most channels on your set-top box, most videos on YouTube), you’ll be best served by an HD-resolution TV.

If you watch HD channels on TV, plus stream full HD content over the internet, you’ll find a 1080p (Full HD) TV to be best suited to your needs. With growing content and a shift towards high-definition picture and streams, this is the ideal resolution to buy right now for a balance of size, price and quality. ALSO READ: Samsung The Frame First Impressions

If you want the latest, future-proof and state-of-the-art TV, you should get a 4K (Ultra HD) resolution TV. This offers the most detailed picture, and lets you make the most of sharp 4K content. Although there is a growing list of 4K content available today, high data requirements, and costs make 4K a niche offering. However, online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are increasing their 4K-resolution offerings constantly.

Screen technology

While plasma and LCD were mainstream options in the past, LED-LCD is the most widespread and commonly used form of screen technology for flat-panel TVs today. However, Quantum Dot LED and OLED technology in TVs is also gaining momentum, with a growing number of TVs from brands such as Samsung, LG and Sony available now with the technologies. However, due to the high cost of the technology, OLED TVs are much more expensive than LED-LCD TVs. ALSO READ: Sony KD-65A1 OLED 4K Smart TV Review

Also worth mentioning is a new technology in TVs known as HDR, or high dynamic range picture. TVs that support HDR content are capable of better colors and contrast, by allowing a wider gamut of colors across the color spectrum. It’s important to remember that even the content you watch needs to be in HDR format for the TV to properly display the improved color gamut and picture. The picture is more realistic and life-like, with better handling of bright and dark sections within the same frame.

If you have a lower budget or are just looking for a regular TV that will suit most purposes, you should buy an LED-LCD TV. If you have a higher budget and want better picture technology, you can consider either QLED or OLED TVs. These TVs come with better picture, improved motion and refresh rates, superior colors and contrast, as well as brighter screens.Amazon Fire TV  3

Smart TV

A key feature offered on many TVs today is smart functionality. With this, the TV will be able to connect to the internet to access online content. This can either be through Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection, and gives the TV the ability to fetch and display content from various sources such as social media services, streaming services, YouTube and more.

Smart TVs run on various operating systems and user interfaces, depending on the manufacturer. While smaller manufacturers might use custom-built Android-based systems, larger manufacturers such as Samsung and LG develop their own systems such as the Tizen OS-powered Smart Hub or WebOS. Some manufacturers such as Sony use either custom interfaces or Android TV, the official television version of Android OS.

Smart TV apps include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, YuppTV, Plex and more for content, along with official apps for Skype, Facebook, Twitter and other social media services. Many operating systems also support remote-based games for the TV.

If you choose to buy a non-Smart TV, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t access these online services. Adding a connected dongle or streaming stick such as the Google Chromecast, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick can add smart and connected functionality to your otherwise unconnected TV straight through the HDMI port. This will connect directly to the internet, let you mirror your smartphone’s screen, or use your smartphone’s access to streaming services and beam them directly to the TV.

  • Published Date: October 17, 2017 4:15 PM IST
  • Updated Date: October 17, 2017 4:31 PM IST