For some, buying a TV may be a simple task. Go to the store, pick out the nice one, and come back home. For others, choosing the perfect TV takes some time. It requires research, separate shopping excursions, and plenty of test runs. There’s always the hunt for the perfect deal and best options.
If you tend to be more of a thinker and plotter, what should you be thinking about before you make the big purchase? Thankfully, we have a small list here that can help you decide what TV to buy.
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What are you going to use it for?
Well, this question may be obvious. You’re going to watch movies or TV shows, of course. But nowadays, there are many other things you can use your TV for.
If you like video games, you’ll want to look for one that best supports your system. Not all TVs are made equal and you’ll want one with a higher refresh rate to give you less blur and the best vision.
Are you going to want a Smart TV, that can easily connect you to the ever-expanding world of streaming services? That will have to be something you consider as well.
If you’re going to be plugging in a number of devices, you’ll need to make sure it has enough HDMI or USB ports for all your devices. You might need one port for your gaming system, another for your streaming device, and so on and so forth.
How big is your room?
You could be putting this TV in the bedroom, office or living room. Wherever you put it, you’re going to have to think about how big the room is.
It might be tempting to just go ahead and buy the biggest TV on the market but you’ll need to consider all the other factors. If your TV is too big, it will be like sitting in the first few rows of the movie theater. Craning your neck to the left and right just to catch all of the action. If it’s too small, you might find yourself leaning forward and squinting, trying to make out what is happening.
An easy way is to check out some formulas to see which TV would be the best fit for your room. Not only will you have to consider the size, but the viewing angle as well. Having it at an angle to the side or tilted too far up or down means the picture could be distorted and difficult to see.
What about the quality?
It’s already hard enough keeping up with so many other acronyms across technology and there are so many that just refer to the quality of your picture.
A quick breakdown, LED or LCD TVs describe how the picture is broadcast and the kind of lights it uses to display the picture. When you see something like 1080p or 4K, that refers to the screen resolution, or the number of pixels that can fit on the screen.
To think about how high in the quality you want to go, you’ll have to revert back to question number one on this list: what are you planning on using your TV for?
If you’re just planning on using it for watching regular TV, you don’t need to get the nicest TV out there. The overwhelming majority of broadcast channels, over 99%, are still being broadcast in 720P. While the majority of cable channels are broadcast in 1080i or 1080p, none are broadcasting in anything higher.
You only need to worry about going to 4K if you plan on streaming certain content or have a certain gaming system.
For example, the only current gaming system to broadcast in 4K is the Xbox One X. Some streaming services broadcast their content on 4K, but not all.
So if you don’t have an Xbox One X or an appropriate streaming service, it’s not going to be worth it to buy a 4K TV. If you’re planning on going down that road one day, then by all means make the necessary purchase. 8K TVs are on a whole other level and not even movies are being made in 8K. They’re super expensive and it’s best to wait another year before making that plunge.
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