How to decide what TV to buy: Best TV buying guide

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TVs have a wide range and are actively changing, getting new technology. Now there are different TVs: Nano Cell, Neo QLED, OLED and so on, and prices range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Moreover, some TV models can cost hundreds of thousands.

Many people take much less care when choosing a TV, but you should be more responsible when choosing a TV. Some people buy TVs that are too cheap and not good enough to provide a good experience. Others prefer high-end TVs, but high-end TVs have superior technology, but for watching TV at home, expensive TVs can have overpriced specs.

This guide will help you choose a TV that fully fits your needs.
You should understand that choosing a TV set depends primarily on what you are using it for. You can watch TV shows at home, play games, or watch high-definition video from streaming services. So you have to start by understanding how you will use the TV.

How to choose a TV with a good picture quality

The most important factor when choosing a TV is picture quality.
The better the picture quality, the brighter and clearer you see it. The control method (panel), resolution, TV size, and contrast ratio affect picture quality the most.

First of all, let’s look at how it works.

TV’s picture quality depends on the panel (screen) technology and the backlighting (light source).

First, TVs are divided into OLED and LCD according to the presence or absence of a light source.

In turn, LCD (LCD TVs) are divided into LCD, LED, NanoCell and QLED according to the type of panel and light source.

QLED (light-emitting diode with quantum dots) – according to the original explanation, is a technology that doesn’t require a separate light source, similar to OLED. However, Samsung uses QLED-LCD TVs as QLED TVs for marketing purposes.

LED TVs features

LED TV – uses a light source, LED backlighting on an LCD panel.
Although the color gamut and contrast ratio is insufficient compared to OLEDs. It’s currently the most basic method that provides sufficient picture quality for normal TV viewing, so it’s the most recommended type when considering value for money.

Nanocell and QLED – Modern LED TVs

Nano Cell and QLED TVs share the same LED backlighting method, but there are differences.

  • LG’s NanoCELL: ultra-thin 1 nm molecules are applied to the panel
  • Samsung’s QLED-LCD: a sheet of quantum dots is inserted between the backlight and the panel

The above-mentioned methods are LED types with improved picture quality by increasing color reproduction, brightness and viewing angle compared to standard LED TVs.

OLED TVs features

OLED TVs have some disadvantages, such as high price and burnout.

OLED TV can be called the highest quality TV in existence.

  • Very thin thickness: because it emits light without LED backlighting
  • Very high contrast: A great way to transmit black

However, there are disadvantages of not expressing color properly and leaving marks when used for long periods of time, brightness is lower than LED TVs (Manufacturers claim they use technology that prevents burn-in, and the one method to prevent burn-in the reducing maximum brightness).

How to choose TV with the best image quality/price ratio

If you’re looking for the highest quality TV and aren’t burdened by the price, the best choice is OLED TV. These TVs offer higher picture quality than conventional LEDs. However, if you don’t want to overpay, it’s better to choose NanoCell or QLED.

If you just need a big TV, and you do not have special requirements for the picture, then we recommend LED with good performance,.
If possible, try to see the TV in the store first and compare the difference in picture quality between different models.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the picture can be different because the stores play video content, which is designed to maximize picture quality. It is the same with video, usually special clips with good picture quality and high resolution.

I recommend to record your own video on a flash drive and ask to play it on the TV in the store.

How to choose the best screen resolution

The picture you see on TV is made up of a set of countless dots, one of which is called a pixel (PIXEL). Resolution means how many pixels an image is made up of. The higher the number of pixels, the higher the quality of the image.
The number of pixels is determined by multiplying the number of pixels horizontally and vertically, and TVs currently have three resolutions.
FULL HD: 1920 x 1080
4K UHD: 3840 x 2160
8K UHD: 7680 x 4320

HD resolution is outdated and such screens are usually put in very cheap TVs, such screens are manufactured in factories on obsolete lines.

Compared to FULL HD, a 4K UHD TV has four times more pixels, and an 8K UHD TV has 16 times more pixels, so it can be shown clearer videos on the big screen. You can watch content that won’t get warped when you’re zooming. However, it’s important to understand that for most users FullHD will be enough, so if you want to save some money, you can buy a cheaper TV.

To be fair, I can say that it would be more preferable to buy a UHD 4K or even 8K TV.
The share of 4K content in the format continues to grow, with Netflix and YouTube recently increasing in the number of views that provide 4K using the Smart TV feature. Given that the TV replacement cycle is about 7-10 years, it’s more advantageous for you to buy a 4K TV so that your TV won’t be obsolete in 3-5 years. However, 8K video is still too far away from commercialization and the price is too high. So if you want a long-lived TV, the best choice is a 4K TV, as buying an 8K TV is too expensive at this time.

What is HDR?

We already explained what is HDR, so you can read our article to understand it better. This is another factor that determines image quality. The contrast ratio refers to the difference between the minimum and maximum brightness that the screen can display, and the higher the contrast ratio, the darker the dark places in the picture and the brighter the bright places, expressing rich colors so you can see them similar to what you see in the real world.

Why HDR is important in your TV?

In the past, manufacturers have focused on displays and resolution, but recently they have also focused on HDR-related technologies. HDR (high dynamic range) is a standard capable of expressing more detailed brightness than SDR (standard dynamic range) used in current general broadcast or video.

However, there are a few pitfalls you should understand about HDR. In our article on Quantum HDR in Samsung TVs, we explained in detail that many manufacturers have their own marketing names for this technology.
So you should check for HDR support rather than paying attention to the type of HDR or the marketing name.

Different manufacturers use different formats for names such as HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG and HDR10+. Certain formats were common in the early days of technology, it’s better to check to see if HDR itself is supported than to determine which format is supported. Typically, modern TVs support multiple formats.

As with 4K, there isn’t a lot of HDR-enabled content, but Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube are streaming such content, and it’s hard to say it’s full HDR, but regular video can produce similar effects if it has HDR functionality.

Another reason why we recommend you buy a TV with HDR support is that there will be more such content anyway, so your TV would have a longer life.

What TV size do you need?

As technology advances, home TVs are getting bigger and bigger.

Most home TVs currently being sold range in size from 43 to 85 inches, which is 107 to 217 in centimeters.
Usually you only want to choose the size of your TV based on your viewing area or distance, but first you need to check the resolution of the TV you are buying.

The size of your TV is a factor that can effectively display high resolution images, so it is recommended that you buy a larger TV with a higher resolution. If the TV is too small in screen size but high in resolution, you will simply have a hard time noticing the difference when watching high resolution on a small screen

For example, the resolution of your purchased TV is 4K UHD, which is high resolution, but if the TV is too small, you won’t feel the difference between HD and 4K picture quality

Conversely, the resolution is FHD. If the TV is too big, the picture on the screen may look grainy.

In other words, if you’re buying a high-definition TV, it’s better to choose a large TV, and if you’re buying a low-resolution TV, it’s fine to buy a small TV.

Another thing you should pay attention to is the size of the TV depending on the screen diagonal. We have an article on how the size of the TV changes depending on the screen size, so you can read it to make a more informed choice.

These days, the most common size is 65 inches. That kind of TV is big enough to be comfortable, but also not too big to fit in any room.

You can choose according to your viewing distance. For example, 65 inches is recommended for viewing distances of 2 meters or more.

However, there is a maximum limit, so if you place too much TV in the house and watch from a short distance, visually the picture quality will deteriorate. This is the same principle as if you enlarge the picture on your phone too much, it will look broken. If the viewing distance is 2 meters, it is recommended not to exceed 50 inches for FHD and 75 inches for 4K UHD.

Should you pay attention to the TV’s sound?

It may seem strange, but the sound does not matter. If the sound is bad, you can buy a soundbar.

The TV sound is represented by channels and outputs. Channels are designated as 2.1, 4.1, 4.2, etc., Which means the number of speakers. The first number indicates the number of regular speakers and the second number indicates the low frequency speaker. The output is displayed in watts, and the higher it is, the louder the sound.

If you appreciate really good sound, we recommend buying a separate soundbar.

However, while TV sound is improving every year and it is true. But integrated sound is improving much more slowly compared to the rate of improvement in picture quality, and it’s hard to provide a place where sound will be good quality. Therefore, if you want to hear good sound, you should buy a separate soundbar rather than relying on integrated sound.

Should you buy curved or rollable TV?

A curved screen is better if you don’t watch TV alone. However, if you plan to watch the TV a bit sideways, a flat TV is a better choice.

Now there is a trend of fewer curved TVs, flat TVs are displacing such models.
A curved TV screen may seem exciting compared to a flat surface when viewed from the front, but often in practice such TVs have their drawbacks.

If we talk about rollable TVs, it is still just marketing, such TVs are expensive, and their advantages aren’t yet obvious.

Should you buy Smart TV?

TVs are becoming more like smartphones and computers every year, giving you the ability to watch videos not only from the air or cable, but also to use streaming services, search the Internet, and use TV for presentations. We recommend buying a Smart TV because it allows you to use a variety of additional features.

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