Eleven Things You Should Know
Smart television LED OLED 4K HDR. The world of televisions looks better every day, but it is also more confusing. Today, there is a wide range of high definition (HD) and 4K Ultra HD sets in stores, from large low-cost displays to high-end displays that can cost as much as a car.
We’re here to help you decide.
If you are in a hurry, these are the most important things you should consider before buying a television. We explain each of these points in greater detail in the text below:
- Do not buy a TV with a resolution lower than 4K (ie, avoid 1080p sets) if you want a future proof set.
- You can skip 8K TVs (for now): the next jump in resolution is not mandatory yet. 8K TVs are super expensive and you still can not get movies in 8K. It will be at least a year before 8K TVs are something that you should consider.
- Expect to pay around $ 500 for a solid 4K TV of 50 to 55 inches and at least $ 900 for a 65-inch model.
- Do not buy a TV with an update frequency lower than 120 Hz.
- Look for an HDR compatible set that offers more realistic colors and better contrast.
- OLED TVs look much better than a typical LED LCD, but they are considerably more expensive.
- Ignore the specifications of the contrast ratio: manufacturers falsify the numbers. Trust in your own eyes.
- Search at least four HDMI ports; 4K buyers should ask about HDCP compatibility.
- Most televisions are “smart TVs” these days with easy access to Netflix and other online applications. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is a big problem.
- Plan to buy a sound bar. TV speakers are worse today because the screens are thinner.
- Avoid extended warranties Your credit card company can already provide purchase protection.
Screen Size: Finding the Sweet Spot
If you are looking for a basic or high performance television, the most important factor in your decision will probably be the size of the screen. Consider how many people in your family usually look at the same time and where you will place your new set. Then, choose the largest screen size that fits comfortably into that space and your budget. The sweet spot today, considering the price, performance and typical living room, is between 55 and 65 inches.
The size of the screen also depends on how close you feel to the television. Basically, if you can see the individual pixels on the screen, you’re too close. A good rule of thumb is that you should sit at a distance from the TV that is three times the height of the HD screen and only 1.5 times the height of the screen for 4K Ultra HD. In other words, you can sit twice as close to a 4K UHD TV.
Here is a more detailed guide to calculate the appropriate size of the TV screen depending on the dimensions of your room, as well as the resolution of the TV.
If you have the opportunity, go to a store (and perhaps bring your family) and look at the TVs. Although 4K content is still rare, you may want higher resolution technology if you plan to sit near a large screen.
Bottom line: Choose an appropriate size and screen resolution for the distance that will be seated from the screen. We would start at 55 inches, unless you’re in an apartment or a small bedroom.
Screen Resolution: 4K or HD?
The resolution describes the number of pixels that make up the image on a screen, which is described in terms of horizontal rows and vertical columns. More pixels translate into sharper images and finer details, so a higher resolution is (almost always) better.
For many years, the resolution of 1920 x 1080, also called Full HD, has been the norm, and remains the most common resolution in televisions around the world. However, TV manufacturers are rapidly switching to Ultra HD equipment (also called 4K). These 4K models have four times more pixels than current HDTV screens. We are talking about 2,160 horizontal lines, or 3840 x 2160 pixels. The biggest benefit of 4K TVs is that small objects on the screen have more details, including sharper text. In general, the images seem richer and more real than in an HDTV, but the benefits can be subtle.
Ultra HD video looks great and it’s getting easier to find. Several streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Video and even YouTube, have begun to offer 4K content, and high-definition Blu-ray discs are becoming more common. Live TV has not yet adopted 4K, but Direct TV, Dish Network and Comcast Xfinity have started offering 4K movies. Although Ultra HD sets can expand existing HD content, the results can be mixed and do not look as sharp as the original 4K programming.
The first 8K TVs are now coming to market, with the Samsung Q900 8K TV coming first, and more than other manufacturers in 2019. These screens quadruple the resolution seen in the 4K sets, offering a great leap forward in image quality, but finding Content to make the most of that higher resolution is extremely limited. It will be at least one or two years before the 8K sets are recommended for anyone, except for the first adopters, so we recommend keeping 4K.
Conclusion: Ultra HD resolution, also called 4K, is becoming increasingly the standard, and is a better option if you want your investment to be ready for the future. The higher resolution 8K TVs are reaching the market, but it is not worth buying them yet.
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