How to Choose the Best TV | Ultimate Buying Guide
The size of the TV depends on the free space at the installation site. Therefore, first of all, it is worth assessing whether there will fit a new device. Please measure the size of a cabinet niche or seat on the wall and write it down. Later, this will help understand whether the chosen TV will fit in or slightly temper appetites.
How to Choose the Best TV
Pick up the diagonal.
The larger the screen, the stronger the immersion effect. But just buying the biggest TV for all the money is not quite right. After all, the choice of diagonal is influenced by the distance to the screen and the quality of content. These parameters are closely related: the closer to the display, the more realistic the picture, and the more visible flaws.
The optimal distance is considered a distance of 1.2-2.5 diagonals: so recommended by manufacturers.
For example, for 40 inches, it will be about 1.2-2.5 meters, for 65 inches – 2-4 meters. Provided that the room is wide enough and you plan to watch high-quality digital content, you can focus on this formula.
If there is not much space, and the signal is not always in high resolution, you will have to find a compromise, given the dependence of diagonal, distance, and quality of content.
- If you want a larger diagonal – take care of a high-quality signal or sit away from the TV.
- If the room is small, reduce the diagonal or improve the quality of the signal.
- If the content is of dubious quality, move away from the screen or take a smaller diagonal.
Determine with resolution
The display’s resolution directly affected the level of detail of the image and provided a quality signal. In 2020, four standards were available on the market, but HD is almost non-yet, and 8K is still considered exotic. In fact, you have to choose between Full HD and 4K.
The rule “the more, the better” here again does not work because the full open TV with a high-resolution screen can only be if the appropriate signal. The whole choice comes down to understanding the content in which permission you plan to watch more often.
- HD (1,280 × 720) is morally obsolete, but it is ideal for watching live TV channels and TVs with a diagonal of up to 32 inches. It is found only in the most budget models and will be suitable only for a summer house or kitchen.
- Full HD (1,920 × 1,080) is gradually replaced by a more progressive 4K but is still in demand and remains the most popular. The vast majority of content is available at 1,080p.
- UHD or 4K (3,840 × 2,160) is a burgeoning format that will become a staple in the next couple of years—ideal for YouTube videos, movies, TV series, games. TV channels will be worse than Full HD.
- The 8K (7,680 × 4,320) is a newly introduced standard that is twice the resolution of 4K and four times Full HD. There is no point in buying in the next three to four years because only a few models are available on the market, and all content is limited to a dozen videos on YouTube.
Choose matrix technology
In pursuit of realistic color, high brightness, and contrast, manufacturers are constantly experimenting with displays. Now all TVs have a matrix of three main types: LED, led, OLED. Each of them has both advantages and disadvantages, so you should choose based on your preferences.
Technology-based on liquid crystals. In fact, the same LCD (LCD), but with illumination not on fluorescent lamps and LEDs. This allowed to save space and produce thin devices, so manufacturers put the type of illumination LED in the name. It is fixed, although the matrix does not differ from the older ones.
LED panels are currently the most common. They have two varieties that differ in the location of crystals in the matrix.
- IPS – In such panels, liquid crystal molecules are always parallel to the display plane and scatter light to the sides. This provides perfect viewing angles and color reproduction, but contrast sufferers and black in low light are more like dark gray.
- In this matrix, VA is located perpendicular to the screen, which allows to block the light completely and gives deep black color. However, this simultaneously worsens the picture when the angle of view changes: horizontally distorted shades, and vertically – the detail of shadows.
Both technologies are used in entry-level models. LED-IPS can be recommended for viewing diverse content by the whole family in natural light and for video games. LED-VA is better chosen by those who prefer to enjoy movies and TV series in the evenings alone or together.
The led matrix is, in fact, an improved version of the previous technology and has nothing to do with OLED. But with the submission of the same manufacturers, they were singled out in a separate category. Samsung uses this term, LG. They are called Nano Cell, Sony – Triluminos.
The difference between this technology is the use of blue LEDs for illumination. They form the red and green colors missing for the RGB palette due to an additional layer with quantum dots. All this gives a brighter and richer picture.
The sled-matrixes are more expensive, so they should be considered on an average budget.
Although most manufacturers already install them in all models except the initial.
Fundamentally different, more modern technology, which is based on organic LEDs. They do not need additional illumination, as they emit light when the current is applied, completely disconnect. Thanks to this, OLED TVs boast excellent color and contrast and perfect black and only a few millimeters thick.
The disadvantages of such a matrix include inferior to LED-similar brightness and a very high price.
In addition, OLED screens are prone to “burnout” – the appearance of residual traces on static images such as the interface in games or die TV channels.
OLED matrix can be recommended when the purchase budget is not severely limited, and the main content will be movies and TV series. For games, it’s best to choose led.
Consider the type of backlight.
All TVs except OLED use an LED lighting matrix. At the moment, manufacturers are using two technologies: Edge LED and Direct LED.
The first involves the location of LEDs around the screen’s perimeter; the same matrix is illuminated through the scattering panel. This option is cheaper and allows you to achieve a smaller thickness of the case.
In Direct LED, LEDs are installed directly behind the matrix and are evenly distributed throughout its plane. Although it turns out thicker, this design gives a more homogeneous illumination without light. It allows you to extinguish parts of the screen to achieve a deeper and more natural black color.
Determine the frequency of deployment
This option shows how the screen is updated in one second and is measured in hertz (Hz, Hz). So, 60 hertz means that in a second, the image will change 60 times. The higher the frequency, the smoother the dynamic scenes will look, such as in sports broadcasts or video games.
60Hz screens are enough to view most content, including TV shows, movies, and TV series. 120 Hz can only be useful if you plan to connect to the TV console and play video games.
Choose an operating system.
Without any OS, only the most budget models are now sold. In principle, it is even good: you can save money, and if you want to implement smart features, it will be at any time, having bought a media set-off.
Most of the TVs on the market have a particular smart platform. They all offer a minimum set of software, including a media player, YouTube, customers of online cinemas, and an app store. The differences are mostly visual, but not only.
- WebOS is LG’s own development. A nice shell with a minimalist, intuitive interface and good optimization. Cons include closedness and a meager set of apps in the store.
- Tizen is a smart platform option from Samsung. It is similar to What WebOS is, and by and large, differs purely visually. The exclusive feature is the support of the Samsung Smart-Things smart home system for the Internet of Things.
- Android TV is a special version of Google’s OS used in Sony, TCL, Philips, and other manufacturers. WebOS and Tizen lose the interface and speed but boast many applications from Google Play, including games.
Explore the corrosions and wireless standards
Now the number of ports in TVs has decreased to a minimum. Video and audio are transmitted through HDMI, so you need to make sure you’re enough for all your devices. However, there are a few nuances that are worth paying attention to.
- HDMI is the most important thing. There should be at least two or better three or more – to connect the media set-up, game console, soundbar, and other devices. To output 4K 60 Hz, you need 2.0 version ports, and 4K 120 Hz requires 2.1. Often we will only eat one of these; the rest are older.
- USB – it is better to have at least a couple: for flash drives and mouse, controller or keyboard. Also, check whether there is USB 3.0 support and what is the maximum volume of drives.
- Ethernet – Cable connectivity is preferable because it provides faster and more reliable Wi-Fi.
- Digital Optical Out is an optical outlet for acoustic systems. You’ll need it if you’re going to use speakers with this connectivity option.
- Wi-Fi – Wireless connection is convenient for those who don’t want to mess with cables. However, if the airwaves are overloaded, there may be stability issues.
Check the sound
All TVs with built-in speakers have roughly the same sound quality and volume. Do not dwell on the number of speakers and their power because you can significantly improve the sound by connecting even the simplest speakers or soundbar.
The test is, in fact, limited to listening at a volume above average.
There should be no hull rattle and wheezing loudspeakers.
Rate the remote
It is also important to check the convenience of a completely remote, especially if the TV with Smart TV and remote will turn on the screen and navigate the menu.
The more expensive models have a built-in gyroscope that allows you to control the cursor using the tilts of the console, moving around the menu in the manner of a mouse. Sometimes there’s even a keyboard on the back.
Some remotes have voice search support, which is very convenient: it’s enough to say the name of a movie or function into the microphone, and the system will immediately display them.
Find out the type of tuner.
Premium TVs are equipped with all types of accessories, but some models may not have them. If you plan to watch TV shows, be sure to specify the type of built-in tuner.
- DVB-T/DVB-T2 provides digital broadcast channels to a regular antenna.
- DVB-C/DVB-C2 is needed for digital cable television.
- DVB-S/DVB-S2 – you need to connect to a satellite dish.
Explore additional features
Manufacturers develop technologies and introduce new features, but not always useful (some just another trick of marketers).
Here are some useful chips:
- HDR is an extended dynamic range feature, available mainly on 4K TVs. Films and games with appropriate support make the picture as contrasting and juicy as possible, adjusting the brightness of certain image areas.
- Bluetooth is useful for using wireless headphones as well as mobile devices for media content.
Definitely unnecessary in 2020 is considered:
- 3D – the once fashionable technology has finally sunk into oblivion and is no longer used in modern TVs. You can only meet it in models that are piled on warehouses.
- Curved display – curved screens only look interesting. In fact, they are one harm: you can only look strictly in the center because even with a slight deviation, the picture is distorted.