What to look for in a TV

So you want to buy a new TV? Great, we’ve already posted our picks for TVs at the beginning of 2018, and you can find that article here. However, for all of you techies out there who like to find their own way through the TV mess, here are some helpful tips for what to look out for.

LED vs OLED

Just about every modern TV out there is going to be one or the other. LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode. This is essentially the backlight for the screen which gives you the picture. The main downfall to LEDs are their size. They are too large to be a single pixel and therefore cause issues when you have high contrast images, for instance a dark scene inside a cave. The biggest redeeming factor for LEDs is their ability to glow very bright, which has its benefits in bright rooms. OLEDs are very small and can be made the size of a single pixel, allowing them to be shut off individually. This ability gives you a true black tone to your picture, which increases your contrast and helps you to discern between similar colors.

HD vs 4K

HD is a technology familiar to most of us. It is a reference to the amount of pixels on the screen giving you clearer definition. It comes in either 720p, 720i, 1080p or 1080i. The “p” stands for progressive scan and the “i” stands for interlaced. The biggest difference between them, is the “p” will have a crisper picture during faster paced action scenes whereas the “i” may blur during those same scenes. 4K is also a reference to how many pixels are on the screen. In fact, a 4K tv has 3840 x 2160 pixels while 1080 only has 1920 x 1080. What that means to you is the more pixels the sharper the image. If you are like me and have to have the sharpest picture, make sure to buy the 4K. Besides, the price difference isn’t anywhere near where it used to be.

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HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. This technology greatly improves both the contrast ratio and the color quality. In fact when consumers were tested and asked to pick between a 4K TV with no HDR or a 1080p with HDR they almost all chose the 1080p TV and said that it had greater picture quality. HDR gives your TV a much truer tone and therefore a much greater picture quality. Couple HDR with 4K and you have a great looking TV you can be happy with for years to come.

Refresh Rate

This is how many times the screen changes within a single second. The standard TV has a refresh rate of 60Hz however many can be purchased at 120Hz. This means that your TV either cycles frames at 60 frames per second or 120 frames per second. There is a kicker: unless you are a gamer and you hook your TV up to your computer, 60Hz is all you will ever need / get. Nearly all providers of Television Service only broadcast in a 60Hz format. This means that even though your TV is capable of operating at 120Hz it will still only show at 60Hz. Some manufactures offer technology boosts, for instance Samsung’s Clear Motion, which raises your Hz from 120 to 240. There is a slight, but noticeable, difference but nothing worth going out of your way to find, unless you absolutely must have it.

SMART Capability

SMART TVs are becoming the norm. This technology allows you to use apps like Netflix or Hulu without having to connect an outside device such as a ChromeCast or Roku.

WiFi and / or Ethernet

A WiFi capable TV is very common on today’s market. The biggest issue with the technology is the upload / download speed is generally pretty slow and can sometimes cause delays, or slow loading times when booting up an app on your SMART TV. This is where an Ethernet capable TVs comes in handy. Being able to bypass the built in WiFi and simply plug the TV into your modem or router will increase your speeds considerably. WiFi will do the job though so no sweat either way.

HDMI / USB Ports

Not a lot to be said here. You just want to make sure you take note of how many are available and ensure that it is enough to fit your extra devices. If you have an Xbox One, a Ps4, and a Switch you will need to make sure there are enough HDMI ports for each device plus your cable box. Otherwise you will have a fun (and frustrating) time changing out the cords manually when you change devices.

Conclusion

After reading through these key points, if you decide you would rather not attempt to memorize all the different options and would rather let us point you in the direction of some reliable choices, head on over here to see our “Good”, “Better”, “Best” picks for TVs in early 2018. All of our picks are great options and based on your price point you would have a great product no matter which you choose.

Good luck out there!

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4K TVs

With so many buzzwords floating around the television arena (UHD, 4K, HDMI, HDR, Refresh Rate), it is easy to get confused and talked into buying something the salesperson wants instead of what you need. Oftentimes, without approaching this purchase with a bit of knowledge, it can leave your head spinning and your wallet lighter. With so many brands and models of TVs, the research to find a great quality product can leave your head spinning. Let us help.

The Good

ROKU_S4

Roku S4

This LED (screen type) TV comes in screen sizes of 43″, 49″, 55″, and 65″. Has both wireless and ethernet capabilities, perfect to use with its’ Smart TV Features. It has Ultra High Definition 4K picture and HDR10. This tv, priced at around the $300 mark for the 43″, won’t break the bank but has enough features to be future proof for the next couple years.

Links to Buy:

TCL 43S405 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
TCL 49S405 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
TCL 55S405 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
TCL 65S405 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)

The Better

SonyTV

Sony X900E

This LED TV comes in 49″, 55″, 65″ and 75″ also with 4K picture, HDR (for color and contrast), wireless and ethernet capabilities, as well as being Smart Enabled for your app pleasure. The Sony X900E features several advanced capabilities mainly in the Sony specific arena: 4K HDR Processor X1, TRILUMINOUS display technology, 4K X-Reality Pro, to name a few. All in all, this pick is a great mid-ranged option bound to take you through the next couple years and then some.

Links to Buy:

Sony XBR49X900E 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
Sony XBR55X900E 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
Sony XBR65X900E 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
Sony XBR75X900E 75-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model)

The Best

C7_ST_Desktop_Front

LG OLED C7

The biggest thing separating this TV from the other two picks is the OLED technology. To put it in plain english: OLED gives you blacker blacks and richer colors granting the viewer the ability to see greater color deviations in the picture. If you’ve ever had to squint to make out hard to see details during a dark scene in a movie, this new screen technology drastically improves the quality of the on-screen lighting alleviating many of those occurrences. Additionally, the HDR technology is better than the other two picks among the similar features. To cut to the chase, you would have the top of the line current day TV as well as a very future proof pick for the upcoming years.

Links to Buy:

LG Electronics OLED55C7P 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2017 Model)
LG Electronics OLED65C7P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2017 Model)