Buying a new tv can be pretty overwhelming you’ve got to consider the size and resolution whether it’s 1080p 4k even 8k then you’ve got Oled versus Qled refresh rates response time sound quality and then of course to top it off the price your budget that’s probably the most important thing so it can all get pretty stressful so i’m going to try and break down the basics of what you need to know but for starters before we get into nitty gritty there’s a few sort of top level recommendations i can give you.
Best tips in buying tv
Firstly and this might sound obvious but buy what you need because you can easily spend a lot of money on a tv but you may not need to and these days you can get a lot of flagship features in relatively low cost tvs at the same time though also consider if you are spending a bit more on something like a good 4k tv which is a little more future proof then you will need to upgrade again for even longer secondly and tvs like well anything that’s expensive can depreciate rapidly it’s not quite the same as taking a car off the lot but if you consider new flagship tvs now that say cost two grand in about nine months time they’ll probably cost twelve or thirteen hundred so either by last year’s models or just wait until maybe black friday when you’ll get some big discounts on even the latest tvs and lastly don’t forget about extras like a sound bar or even a new tv stand i mean if your new tv has great picture quality but average or poor speakers then you may want to factor in the cost of a sound bar and also if it’s a larger tv say 65 inches and above then make sure the base fits on your tv stand and there’s still room for a soundbar if needed but let’s dive a little deeper .
Size of tv
First thing you need to consider when buying a tv is what size it should be tvs are measured from corner to corner there is actually an optimum screen size for a given distance which is based on how much of your vision it fills and how the eye resolves detail and there’s also online calculators to help you work out yours or you could just forget all that and go with a massive tv and a tiny room for that ultimate immersive experience .
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Resolution 1080p vs 4K vs 8K
The screen’s resolution or its number of pixels almost all new tvs are either 4k or full hd 1080p with 4k being the newest standard 4k tvs have four times as many pixels so it’s like having four full hd screens stuck together meaning the tv can display a more detailed picture the problem is image quality is usually limited by what content you can actually watch so just because you have a 4k tv doesn’t mean everything you’re watching is now suddenly in 4k there is a lot more than there used to be when it first came out a few years ago and netflix and amazon youtube bbc iplayer most of the big streaming services now do upper 4k and of course also hdr content which we’ll come to in a second but not everything does and you know older blu-rays so non-ultra hd blu-rays and you know just older content generally isn’t 4k now to combat that slightly we do have ai upscaling which historically has been pretty rubbish but these days thanks to the more advanced processing in the tvs uh it can actually make quite a big difference but it’s still a bit hit or miss having said that if you’re on a tighter budget there’s nothing wrong at all with a good 1080p tv however i would recommend 4k if possible because well firstly they’re a lot cheaper than these to be you also get all the extra detail in 4k content it also comes in handy for gaming whether you’ve got a ps4 xbox one x or even the next gen console and also you get hdr pretty much all 4k tvs sort of come as a bundle but the two technologies sort of come together 4k and high dynamic range or hdr and together they can make a big difference to your picture quality and you don’t have to spend a fortune pretty decent 4k hdr tvs say around 40 42 inches can set you back you know 250 300 in some cases they really have come down a lot in price but then at the other end of the spectrum we have these cutting-edge 8k tvs these can look incredible but they’re very expensive and of course native 8k content is almost non-existent although i do expect that to change over the next couple of years also the actual perceived difference between 4k and 8k is a hard sell too it’s definitely a case of diminishing returns plus you’d need a tv at least 65 but ideally 75 or 88 inches to really get the most out of it personally i think 4k is the sweet spot right .
Wants to buy -
Latest NanoCell & Mini LED
LG’s nano cell tvs offer an interesting balance they’re more affordable than oled and like q led they’re based on led lcds but have an additional nano filter that gives us improved picture quality nothing can beat the contrast of no lead but the latest now cells do come pretty close but taking a step back and all modern tvs except oleds use leds as a backlight to illuminate the screen with pricier models using more of them which is sometimes called full array local dimming and having more leds has a couple of advantages it means the screen can get brighter overall and it also allows the tv to dim a smaller area of the screen which helps contrast when you have a bright part of the image next to a dark area which is why the dark or the black areas on conventional tvs with fewer leds can often look quite grayish and washed out and just recently there’s a new contender mini led mini leds are still led lcds but rather than hundreds of leds they use thousands of much smaller ones this can improve brightness allows for more even lighting across the screen and most importantly it improves contrast by allowing finer control over which areas of the screen are bright or dimmed lg showed off a mini led this year’s ces and tcl have just brought out a mid-range mini led tv and while we’re not quite at oled levels of contrast early reviews suggest it’s pretty impressive so it’ll definitely be interesting to see how these develop over the next year or so.
What is HDR ?
The biggest innovation to tvs in the last five years or so is high dynamic range or hdr hdr makes the picture look more realistic by having a greater contrast range between the brightest and the darkest parts of the screen so you can basically see more detail on the shadows and the highlights and the result is content that can look more immersive and dramatic looking and a lot of recent console games also support hdr and you can find hdr shows and movies on all the major streaming services pretty much every new movie coming out now supports 4k and hdr the problem is there’s a couple of competing hdr standards and most tvs only support one or two the good news though is that most 4k tvs will likely support at least hdr 10. this is the most common type but how well it’s implemented can vary a lot so it’s still worth doing your research about a tvs hdr picture quality but then there’s hdr 10 plus and also dolby vision which is now known as dolby vision iq these are better and can dynamically adjust their dynamic range from scene to scene using what’s called dynamic metadata the big deal though is that samsung tvs support hdr 10 plus whereas lg and most other tvs support dolby vision and the truth is there’s a lot more dobby vision content than there is hdr 10 plus and actually that’s a big reason why i do tend to stick to lg tvs or another brand that have tvs that support dobby vision or dobby iq there’s also another form of hdr called hlg or hybrid log gamma which broadcasters use but most recent tvs will support this anyway now hopefully you’re still with me i know that’s a lot to take in so far .
Wants to buy -
For Gaming Monitor ?
Gaming if you’re buying a tv with the next generation of consoles or pc graphics cards in mind then you’ll want a tv with a low response time and ideally one that supports hdmi 2.1 now this does limit you to newer more expensive models but hdmi 2.1 supports 4k at 120 hertz and even 8k at 60hz a tv with hdmi 2.1 also gets extra benefits like variable refresh rate all very technical but it helps to reduce screen tearing and make your games feel a bit smoother and you also get auto low latency mode or alm which automatically switches your tv to its low lag lowest response time gaming preset that’s all very fancy and high end though and probably out the price range for most of us so the most important things for gaming are to get a 4k tv because then you also get hdr and then try to get one with a low response time anything under 20 milliseconds in game mode is pretty good and most reviews should give you these figures while i am boring you to death about hdmi 2.1.
Wants to buy for gaming -
what is e-ARC ?
The e-ARC or enhanced audio return channel the standard arc connection allows you to send sound to a compatible soundbar or av receiver and then you can control the volume with the tv remote which is pretty handy but then eoc adds support for uncompressed sound and higher quality dolby atmos but bear in mind your speaker system will also need to support 2.1 just a quick word on sound quality and generally built-in tv speakers aren’t very good they can vary a lot between different brands and also the model you go for but if you can’t spare the cash then a good sound bar will make a world of difference.
which apps in tv?
Pretty much all modern tv s support their usual range of streaming apps so you know netflix amazon youtube etc but higher end or newer models also get things like disney plus and apple tv so check before you buy if the tv you’re looking at offers the apps that you want alternatively you could get an amazon fire stick or roku to add streaming apps to older tvs or just to give you more options a quick word of warning though because while i definitely do recommend going into an actual store and having a look at a tv because that gives you a good idea of you know size design and even sound quality the problem with that is store models are put into store mode which often over saturates colors turns on all the processing and basically makes tvs look artificially good so they’re not always a good representation of actual picture quality so go into a store have a look at what you like but then double check reviews online to make sure you’re getting a good tv ambreeze that was a lot to take in.
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What to buy ? My opinion...
If i were to go out and buy a new tv right now i think for me i would go with something like the lg c10 series they’ve actually just launched the 48 inch model which i think is a great size it costs about 1500 although of course if you do wait maybe six months or to sale you’ll get that even cheaper but i think that’s a really good all-round tv or alternatively you could look at lg’s now sell options but these are still on the pricier side so if your budget is say four to five hundred pounds then there’s not much that beats toshiba’s new uk 4b range which packs in a lot of features for the money alternatively tcl makes some really good value tv s.