What to Look for When Buying a TV – 2020 Guide

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4K resolution, HDR, 10-bit Panel … You have to buy a television but you have no idea about televisions. We explain everything to you with simple words.

Buying a television today almost requires learning an alien language. 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, HGL, UHD, 10-bit panels, Rec. 2020, extended gamut, input lag, and other gibberish that demonstrate the failure of the industry to agree on standards that do not exist.

It turns out that the old flat TV you bought years ago not working anymore. What a shame, when  DTT channels looked so good on it… Surely it could last another ten years, but in the technical service you have been told that they no longer repair antiques.

You have to buy a television without having a clue about televisions. You just want a nice big new one that looks good, but now … they even have the Internet! And what is that of 4K, HDR and Ultra HD that appears in all advertisements?

We are going to show you the seven keys to buying one if you have no idea of it. You can save a lot of money on things you don’t need and avoid having to figure out the meaning of dozens of confusing and irrational terms.

The market has changed a lot in recent years. It is time to catch up on these seven easy to learn keys.

Size

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The first thing to decide is the size of the new TV. Not all brands have all sizes. First take a look at where you are going to place it. Imagine the largest TV that fits there and measures its diagonal. That is, from a top corner to the opposite bottom corner.

Now multiply that measurement, in meters, by 39.37, and you will get the size of the largest TV you can put there.

For example, if the diagonal measures 1.57 meters, we make: 1.57 x 39.37 = 61.81. Rounding off, the largest TV you can buy is 60 inches.

Keep in mind that the recommended size depends on the distance from where you see it. Measure the distance from the chair to where you are going to put the TV, and multiply it by 26.24. For example, if the distance to the chair is 1.64 meters, we have: 1.64 x 26.24 = 43 inches. Therefore, ideally, the TV should be between 43 and 60 inches with these examples.

They are measures to cover the entire viewing angle, since modern ones can be seen from closer. Also, if you do not have a suitable place on the shelf, you can always mount the TV on the wall. This site suggests that it is best for professionals to do this for you to make your TV as secure as possible, and they can also set up your speakers right away.

Picture detail

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Modern ones show more detail than those that were sold two or three years ago. Now it’s called 4K, Ultra HD, or UHD resolution. All three names mean the same thing. The images on the screens are made up of dots called pixels. 4K TVs have 8 million points. That’s 16 times more than a DVD, to give you an idea, some TVs carry the Ultra HD Premium seal. It means that they meet color, brightness and contrast standards that guarantee the highest image quality. You have the guarantee that it is a good TV, but it will surely be expensive …

The problem is that there is currently little content using that 4K resolution. Just some Vodafone, Orange or Movistar channels, some Netflix content, some videos on YouTube, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies, games on the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X consoles, and little else.

If you have any of those platforms, then buy a 4K TV. If in the long term you are not going to use any of them, or very little, then buy a 1080p TV.

Screen type

There are several types of screen, and it is important because it greatly influences image quality. This is one of the key concepts if you are going to buy a TV, and you have no idea about TVs.

Img source: freepik.com
  • LED: They are brighter so they look better in bright rooms, but lose quality when viewed from the side. They are good to watch TV with the light on, but those who do not see it from the front will lose image quality. They are the cheapest.
  • OLED: They have less brightness than LEDs, but the colors are more vivid, the blacks perfect, and they look good from the sides. They are ideal for watching movies in the dark, with large families, and also for sports. It is the best technology, but also the most expensive.
  • QLED: Intermediate Technologies. They improve the LED a little but in some things they are below OLED.

Image enhancements

You will see that many new TVs have the HDR tag. It is a new technology that produces more realistic colors and more detail in dark scenes, or with backlight. It only works with movies, series and video games that have HDR, and must also have 4K resolution. We have already mentioned it. If you are not going to use that content, you can buy a 4K TV without HDR, although now almost all have it.

Connections and sound

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Today’s televisions use HDMI connections. This is where consoles, movie players, etc. connect. It is a connection that is already many years old, so it is likely that your current TV already has it. If you buy a 4K TV, the DVD players, Blu-ray players, consoles, etc. that you have, as well as the cables, will serve you without problems. Only if you use a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, or 4K video players will you have to verify that the HDMI cable is high speed, or HDMI 2.0.

Make sure the TV has at least three HDMI connectors. The more the better. It is also important that you have at least one pair of USB connectors. They are used both to connect hard drives or USB sticks, as well as to power fashionable devices such as devices to watch video without cables, mini consoles, etc.

There are other types of connections but they are secondary.

Another key to buying a TV if you have no idea about TVs are the speakers. Forget about them. In modern TVs they are usually quite limited because there is no place for them, being so thin. Better buy a sound bar or external speakers.

Internet

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Today’s TVs connect to the Internet via WiFi or cable. They can use apps like mobile ones: YouTube or Twitter, games, and television platforms like Netflix, HBO, etc. Everything is operated with the remote control, although some allow you to use a game controller or the mobile itself as a touch screen.

The performance of these applications is usually low because a TV is not a computer. If you plan to connect TV to the Internet, just check that it has the basic services that interest you, such as YouTube, or the streaming platforms you see: Netflix, HBO, etc. The rest is not necessary.

Video game

Many people buy a TV to enjoy their video games in a big way. If you have a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X console, it is advisable to buy a 4K TV (if possible, with HDR), to take full advantage of its advanced video possibilities. With any other console (PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch) a 1080p TV is more than enough. You can also connect them to a 4K TV, but having much more definition you will have to adapt the image and it will be blurred or with many saw teeth.

Of course, points this data: latency, “input lag” or response time for video games must be less than 45 ms. Check it in the specifications or ask in the store. Similarly, look also at the refresh rate. If it is less than 60 Hz, you will not be able to see the games at 60 frames or frames per second, a fact that is also especially important for many players.

Conclusion

With these seven tips to buy, you can choose a TV that fits your needs, without throwing money away.

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