Sometimes back, buying a TV was a walk in the park because the only thing you needed was to choose the biggest screen you could afford and that was it. Today, things are totally different and with so much jargon such as 4K, OLED, HDR, Quantum Dots, and SUHD, choosing the right TV is becoming such a daunting task as you might be confused on which TV technology to invest in. Besides, prices could vary for TVs of the same size and when you ask the sales people why, they will tell you that some have extra features and alien-sounding technologies that make them more expensive than others. To make things easier for you, we went out hunting and prepared a comprehensive TV buying guide that will answer most, if not all your burning questions and a way forward to buying a TV of your choice.
Which is the best TV to buy??
We are in the middle of 2018 and if you don’t have time to look at our buying guide but you want top class TV, here are a few choices.
- For the best picture quality, go for LG C8 series OLED TV
- If looking for an OLED TV, go for LG B7A series OLED TV
- The best alternative to OLED TV, go for Samsung Q8 series
- For the best TV with a quality picture, go for TCL 6 series
- For a small but top-quality TV (40-inches and below), go for TCL S305 series
- For a mid-sized (43-55 inch) but high-quality TV, go for TCL S405 series
If you still have some time left on you, I would advise you to have a look at the buying guide below, and who knows, you might change your mind along the way.
Our Advice To You
At this time of the year, new TVs are on the market but they are probably very expensive. And because I want you to get something good without regrets, I recommend that you buy now or wait until later when the prices will go down.
A new 2017 TV is still perfect for you
We are already in the middle of 2018 and you could find yourself scratching your head out wondering if buying a 2017 TV would be a good investment or a waste of money. Well, most of the 2018 TVs have no big difference from those of 2017 and you will probably get a good 2017 TV version. They offer most of the features that buyers look for, such as HDR and 4K support and they are likely to be cheaper.
If you want the greatest and latest, get a 2018 TV
Very soon, the few 2017 TV versions will disappear from shelves. If you are the kind of people fond of the current technology and you like the latest versions of television, getting a 2018 TV version will satisfy your needs.
If you want cheap but 2018 TV version, wait until November or later. You could be wondering why you will have to wait that long if you have money with you, but this is why.
Rules for buying TV
Wait until November for crazy TV price
In the US, the day after Thanksgiving is regarded as a Black Friday where things are sold at a throwaway price, and televisions are no exception. The prices of the best and current TVs are cut and you could find yourself buying one half of the price you could buy now. To make it even more interesting, the prices remain low throughout the holidays until New Year. High-end sets are reduced up to 20-40% compared to when they were released and you could even find some at a cheaper price than that. Therefore, it is better to wait and get something worth your hard-earned money.
Don’t let specifications confuse you
Every TV comes with its specification which in one way or the other is to confuse you and drive you into buying a more expensive TV. Instead of draining your bank accounts just because one TV has better specifications than the one you wanted initially, just ignore these specifications. However, the sheet can be of great help if looking for a TV based on features, such as whether it’s a smart TV, has HDR or fancy remote. However, don’t use the sheet to look at the picture quality because you will likely find yourself buying what you were not
Choosing your TV screen size
We are in 2018 where technology has become cheaper and the quality is improving exponentially. With this in mind, the screen size of your TV matters and because your friends may define you by the TV size they find in your living room, its time to upgrade and choose the right size for you and your family. As it has always been, deciding the size to buy depends on how far you will be from the screen, but a bigger size is better based on the viewing experience. I, therefore, recommend a screen size of at least 40 inches for your bedroom TV and at least 55 inches for your living room TV. However, a 65 inches TV would be a perfect size for the living room as it improves the viewing experience for you and your family.
The fact is that TVs have many amazing features such as fancy remote, HDR, 4K resolution, and smart TV, but the screen size is the most important and defines how well you use your money. Many people complain that they bought TVs with a small screen, but no matter how large the screen is, you will never find anything to complain about. In most cases, TVs with large screens require big wall units big enough to leave at least an inch on the sides and a cavity on top for ventilation which is worth your effort for an elegance lifestyle.
Invest in 4K and HDR
Televisions with a 4K resolution have pixels which are estimated to be four times that of standard 1080p resolution televisions and the more the pixels, the higher the resolution and the sharper the picture quality. That is definitely something to look for when buying a TV, but you can hardly differentiate the sharpness between the old-fashioned HDTV and a 4K TV. 4K TVs are easy to manufacture and for that reason, they are cheap. For instance, you can get a 4K 65-inch TCL and Vizio for only $800 compared Samsung and LG TVs that cost $1000. What many people don’t know is that the 4K UHD has been there since 2003, but Youtube started supporting it in 2010. Since then, it has taken a place in the society and you will find it in many people’s homes thanks to the increased availability of the technology, and people are going for big screens TVs with 4K resolutions and neglecting those with 1080p and lower resolutions.
Most of the 4K TVs come with a High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatibility that boosts contrast, colors, and brightness and you are likely to see an improvement when you compare them with normal HDTV. We can proudly say that the technology is at its best and Amazon and Netflix are now offering 4K and HDR. It is also possible to rent or buy new 4K HDR movies on Vudu Google Play, iTunes, or buy a 4K Blu-ray player and discs to play your favorite movies and series on it.
Choosing a TV based on new technology
As stated earlier, technology is now at its best and the competition is becoming stiff with smaller devices such as tablets and Smartphones offering mobile viewing for on the go-user, thereby putting more pressure on TV manufacturers to improve the home viewing experience. It’s therefore omportant to invest on a TV based on the technology.
HDR: Improves the viewing experience based on colors, contrasts, and brightness and its worth your consideration when purchasing a screen to ensure that you get the most out of your 4K content. However, it’s recommended to check the screens that are compatible with every variant of the technology.
Smart TVs: Unlike a few years ago where a TV was just a screen, today things are different and if you are looking to invest in a screen that lacks Smart capabilities, you are surely missing out. A Smart TV makes you feel that you are having a computer instead of a television as it allows you to access a variety of browsers, apps, online gaming, and social media platforms. Before 2018 ends, buy a Smart TV and have a taste of another world-class experience.
Curved screens: Before you invest your hard-earned dollars on a television, it is wise to look for something that will give you and your family tremendous benefits such as consistent contrast from any angle, wider viewing angles, and a 3D effect accomplished by the curvature of the screen, and this could be no other television but the one with a curved screen. These televisions also give you an opportunity to watch films in 4K UHD or HDR thereby making the viewing experience even better.
When looking for a TV to buy, look for something with an exceptional picture quality. A TV is among the assets you will bring in your home and being a lifetime investment, you don’t need something that will require you to strain your eyes when watching or the one that produces blurred images. However, a TV with the excellent picture may come with a huge price tag, but if a high-quality picture is not what you are looking for, you can easily find many varieties within your price range.
What to consider when buying a TV beyond price, size, and picture quality
The above considerations are a must-have for anyone looking for a high-class television, but there are still some important things to look for;
Technology is getting better with each dawn and televisions have not been left behind and you can find TV remote with a ‘push to talk’ and built-in mics functionality. In 2018, the newest thing in town that most people are talking about is the integration between Google and Amazon, and TVs. LG 2018 TVs come with a Google Assistant built-in which gives you an opportunity to use their voice remotes to search for your favorite channels, play trivia games and music, order pizza, and moderate lights and control other Smart Home devices around you. To make it even more interesting, it is now possible to manage various functions on the TVs with a Google Home speaker or an Alexa without touching the remote. Therefore, if you are looking to invest in a TV with such elegance, get LG or Sony TVs that work excellently with Alexa commands.
HDMI has made television connectivity such an easy task, and all you need is to get the actual number of devices you wish to connect and look for a TV with that same, or more number of HDMI ports. Most of the 4K TVs come with enough but strong HDMI connections that can excellently work with various 4K and HDR gear. You are likely not to find the latest HDMI 2.1 standard in the market as at now, but cheap HDMI cables are readily available for you to buy.
TV antenna tuner
Getting a TV with a built-in over-the-air tuner sounds like a great idea especially if you are planning to cut the cable TV cord. This tuner provides you with an opportunity to watch free local TV broadcasts in higher quality than satellite, cable, or streaming. There are various televisions that are tuner friendly such as Amazon Fire TV edition or Roku with comprehensive grid- style program guides.
When looking for a TV to purchase, a remote is something you need to put in consideration as it’s the one that controls almost everything you want to see on the screen. It is recommendable to get a TV whose remote is medium-sized, can directly command others gears, and comes with well-differentiated backlit buttons. It is also advisable to look for something with touchpad and gesture control which improves the TV control experience.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on television
With a comprehensive TV buying guide we provided, you could be feeling that something is not adding up and some of your fears are have not been addressed. However, we are here to help you out in your decision making and these five top FAQ could clear your doubts.
- What are the best TV brands? It is not easy to tell you the exact brand of Television you should go for, but I would recommend those brands with Smart TV systems or designs.
- What is the best TV for gaming and sports? Some people don’t buy the TV for watching but rather as a monitor for gaming. If you are in this category, look for the screen with high-quality pictures and it could be no other than that with standard performance characteristics and color level, and big screen of course.
- What accessories should I consider buying? Before even purchasing a TV, its worth knowing that all HDMI cables are similar and therefore, make arrangements and have a universal remote.
- After I purchase the TV, how long will it last? After investing in a TV, your wish is for it to last long. Even though I couldn’t give you an exact time it will, it will basically last very long, but it all depends on how you use it and the position you place it.
- Can I use my television as a computer monitor? The technology we are enjoying today does not disappoint, and if wondering whether you can use it as a computer monitor, the answer is yes particularly if the TV of your choice has 4K resolution.
Final Tips for shopping a TV
Now that you already know what to look for when buying a Television, I would recommend you to go shopping in person other than ordering one online. Buying in person gives you an opportunity to interact directly with the TV of your choice and determine whether or not it’s worth your money. When you get into the shop, ask the seller to turn off the TV’s demo or shop mode to have a look at the picture quality. In most cases, the videos you find on these televisions when shopping are carefully chosen and designed to make every TV impressive and eye-catching and they may confuse you. It's important to have a look at the basic channels and see whether they have the qualities you are looking for. To be safer, go with your USB with your favorite music or show and after plugging in, observe how it works. You can also see how news channels differ from sports channels and most importantly, see how user-friendly the remote is to avoid frustrations after purchase.
It could be that your current TV is becoming embarrassingly old or has cracked out, or perhaps you are looking for a classy TV to match your lifestyle. Either way, its the perfect time to upgrade and buy a TV with the latest and cutting-edge tech that will increase the elegance in your living room or bedroom. The above comprehensive guide may not tell you the most perfect TV you need but will definitely give you the basic tools you need in investing on a perfect screen that you be proud of.