TVs, like many home appliances have undergone massive innovation. From the days of CRT TVs to LCD TVs then LED TVs, Plasma TVs and now OLED TVs. Meanwhile resolution-wise 4K UHD is the standard and you shouldn’t sell for anything less in 2016.
The quality of TV viewing that one used to find at the cinema is now available at home with 4K UHD TV content at 4 times the clarity as compared to a FULL HD TV. To compliment TV viewing, the kind and quality of surround sound home cinema speakers and soundbars available has seen a similar upward innovation trend.
Companies like Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba are at the forefront of this innovation and are manufacturing best-selling TV accessories for years now.
At the start of 2016, the world has seen transparent OLED TVs, .75mm thick TV screens, Curved screens and 3D TV is almost passe. Most TV content companies offer 4K content and there’s 8K waiting in line to be the next tech revolution for large screen TVs.
With all the technical jargon like viewing angles, refresh rates and Smart TV apps, how do you as a consumer choose which TV to buy? This little guide will equip you with the basic knowledge to make the right TV buying decision.
How to Choose Which TV to Buy?
1. Your Room Size
The first thing is to identify what size to buy. To find out what would be the right size for your room, you need to know the distance between where you TV will be placed and where you will sit. If you have a tiny bedroom for example, where the distance between the TV and your sofa is under 4 feet, a 22 inch TV would do the trick. Whereas for living rooms where the distance is greater a bigger screen TV would be ideal. Here’s some data to help you choose your TV size:32 Inches » 4.0-6.7 feet
37 Inches » 4.6-7.7 feet
40 Inches » 5.0-8.3 feet
46 Inches » 5.7-9.5 feet
50 Inches » 6.3-10.4 feet
55 Inches » 6.9-11.5 feet
60 Inches » 7.5-12.5 feet (source)
2. Screen Quality
In 2016, going for anything under a 4K TV would not be a great idea if you’re buying a new TV because most TV content companies and channels have either started providing 4K content or they will soon.
If you buy a Full HD TV in 2016, you will be missing out on 4 times the clarity provided by 4K TVs. However, if you’re planning to replace your existing Full HD TV or if you’re a gamer, then hold on for a few more months because we’re yet to see if XBox and Playstation will come up with 4K content.
At this point (start of 2016), 4K gaming content is not available with XBOX or Playstation. If you’re a PC gamer, you can get 4K content depending on your graphics card.And then there’s OLED technology (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) which has almost 0 radiation and much better quality, but it’s very expensive. If the cost doesn’t matter, then by all means go for an OLED TV.
3. What Do You Want Your TV to Do For You?
Definitely buy a Smart TV in 2016. Smart TVs have Internet connectivity, can stream content off the Internet via TV Apps and even have in-built browsers. You can buy a wireless keyboard to connect with your TV. For basic computer usage, this is sufficient and can replace your desktop.
Modern Smart TVs have social apps like Facebook, Youtube – basically most of the stuff available on your mobile is now available on Smart TVs. Therefore buying a Smart TV is a good idea. Do check out TV reviews to see which TV offers which features.
4. Your Budget
Good news is that TV technology became cheaper over the years. If you’re looking for say the best 4K TV under 1000 pounds, then log onto Google and search for one. You will find 10s of review sites providing reviews and detailed testing. You can buy a brilliant 4K TV under 500 GBP – you just need to look around and choose the one that’s right for you.
5. Additional Points to Keep in Mind When Buying a New TV
There are TVs with built in DVD players, built in Freeview or Freesat, TVs that have minimal rim widths that look great in living rooms. Many come in white colour in case that works better for your room. Some need a LAN cable whereas others come with built-in WiFi. Make sure you ask about all these to get a TV that you’ll love watching for a long time to come.
The Buying Process – To Buy Online or From a Physical Store?
Read Reviews and Check Prices Online
Now that you know what you want in your TV, start by reading reviews on sites like topuptv.co.uk, rtings.com (US) etc. and narrow down on your top 3. Visit Amazon.co.uk, Currys and other online shopping websites and note down the price. Also note if they offer free delivery and returns and check the duration of warranty offered.
Visit a Store and See the TV in Action
Visit a local TV showroom and see the TV in action. If you find that the local TV store has comparable prices, then buy it from there. If the price gap is huge, then buy online. Either way, if something goes wrong, the warranty will be provided by the TV company (Samsung, LG etc) and not by the local TV store, but they’ll be able to guide you and you’ll have someone to help you and that personal touch is important.
Buy Wherever You Get More Value
Usually online prices are cheaper because there are lesser overheads for companies. The question is how cheap? If online you get prices that are 20 quid or even 40 quid cheaper, consider buying locally. That way you won’t need to wait for a few days for your TV to be delivered. You’ll instantly have the TV and someone to ask questions, get information from. If the price difference is more, then you should buy online.
Where to Check TV Reviews?
UK has a few favourites:
- What HiFi? (www.whathifi.com)
- Top Upminster Technology Venture (www.topuptv.co.uk)
- Tech Radar (www.techradar.com)
- Richer Sounds (www.richersounds.com)
- Appliances Direct (www.appliancesdirect.co.uk)
Where to Buy Online?
Other Gift Idea Websites?