Television (TV) Buying Guide

Here’s a handy PriceMe guide on all the things you should consider when purchasing a new TV in 2022

Buying a new TV can often feel overwhelming! There are so many options to choose from and a lot of confusing terminology that surrounds them. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered! We’ve outlined all the aspects you should consider when purchasing your new TV!

Choose a screen to suit you and the room!

One of the most important things to consider is the size of the TV you’re after. The size you need will come down to where you’re going to put it. TVs are measured diagonally in inches and can range from less than 20 inches to over 80 inches. If you’re putting your TV in a bedroom, kitchen or small apartment, then opt for one that’s 24 to 43 inches. If it’s for your living room or home theatre, then one that’s 50 to 65 inches would be better suited. If you want an incredibly immersive experience then get one that’s 70+ inches (although it will dominate the room). Other factors that may impact your decision is how many people will be watching the TV at the same time as well as the quality of the screen (Ultra HD 4K models with their increased quality means you can sit closer to the TV).

Resolution is king! 

Resolution refers to how many pixels make up your screen. More pixels means a higher quality picture. The main resolution types to choose from are Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) or Ultra HD 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels). While the industry standard has been Full HD for a long time, we’d recommend opting for a Ultra HD TV as they’re relatively affordable, deliver incredible picture quality and will ensure that your TV lasts well into the future. Nowadays, there’s heaps of content to watch in Ultra HD (4K) with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Youtube and more, supporting the higher resolution. 

There’s also 8K TVs that deliver insanely sharp and detailed images but they’re super expensive and there’s not much 8K content available at the moment. So we’d recommend holding off on buying one of them!  

Think carefully about the screen type

The type of technology in your TV screen will also affect how good your movies and tv shows will look! The main screen types to choose from are LCD, LED, OLED and QLED. 

The most common type of screen you’ll find when shopping is an LED LCD screen. They use LCD (liquid crystal display) panels and create colours through LED (light-emitting diode) backlighting. The lighting is either ‘edge’ (LEDs around the edge of the panel pointing in) or ‘array’ (LEDs across the screen). ‘Edge’ results in slimmer TVs while ‘array’ offers better picture quality. 

More recently, we’ve seen the rise of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens. These are the best screens available as each pixel is its own light source, meaning there’s no backlighting required unlike LED screens. This results in more vibrant colours and deeper blacks. However, OLED screens are quite expensive.

There’s also QLED (quantum dots) which uses a very different technology but offers a similar picture quality to OLED. QLED is mostly seen in Samsung TVs and is slightly cheaper than OLED.  

So if you’re keen to splash out then go for an OLED or QLED. But for most people, LED LCD screens will be just fine, offering fantastic picture quality at an affordable price!

Unlock even better quality

To get an even greater display, make sure to look into HDR and higher refresh rates! HDR (high dynamic range) is the latest feature in Ultra HD (4K) TVs which delivers more colours, brightness and higher contrast. Images are incredibly rich and vivid, capable of delivering billions of colours unlike non-HDR TVs which can only manage millions of colours. So if you want the best picture quality, then make sure your new TV has HDR!

The other thing to look into is refresh rate. Refresh rate refers to how many times per second the screen changes an image. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the image. This is great for sports or video games as it’ll keep all the action looking clear and smooth. The only issue is that it can make movies look ‘dull’ or ‘flat’ as there’s no motion blur. So if you’re a sports fan or gamer then think about getting a TV with a higher refresh rate!

Make sure your TV’s as smart as you… or smarter

Most TVs you’ll come across are Smart TVs, meaning they come with built-in WiFi, allowing you to stream Netflix, Neon, Disney+, Youtube and so much more! Many Smart TVs will let you surf the web, use voice commands and connect with your other devices such as phones or tablets. Smart TVs make the user experience much easier since you can access all your apps using just one remote! However, not all Smart TVs offer the same features. So double check that the Smart TV you want has all the apps and features that you require!  

Got all your connections?!

Don’t overlook the ports on your TV! Make sure you’re able to plug in all of your cables and devices. Most audio-visual cables or devices connect to your TV via HDMI so you want to make sure you’re getting at least 3 or more HDMI ports. Also, look into whether you need the newer HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 ports to connect your Ultra HD components. Of course, there are other ports like USB or multimedia ports that may be important- it just depends on what you’ll be using your TV for. Finally, if you’re going to mount the TV to the wall then find one which has plenty of ports on the sides and bottom rather than on the rear. 

Don’t forget about sound! 

When we think about a great TV, we tend to solely focus on the image and forget about sound. With so many TVs getting slimmer and slimmer, this has left little room for speakers, resulting in poorer audio quality. So we recommend you get a soundbar! Soundbars are long horizontal speakers that sit in front of your TV or can often be mounted to the wall. They deliver incredibly rich and full sound. While you could opt for a surround sound system, we still suggest a soundbar as it’s much more affordable and easier to set up. Otherwise, if you’re really set on just getting a TV then see if there are any that specialise in great sound quality. 

Stick with a trusted brand?

When there’s a seemingly endless amount of TVs to choose from, often it can be easiest to go with a brand that you know. With well-known brands like Sony, LG or Samsung offering a variety of TVs, it’s sometimes best to go with one of their products as you know you’ll be getting a quality TV. On the other hand, sometimes lesser known companies will offer a TV that’s truly exceptional, attracting people with specific needs and a smaller budget – because you do pay for that brand.

In the end, the best TV will be the one that meets your specific needs. Have a good think about what you want out of your TV and find one that delivers on just that. It may feel daunting but if you consider the key factors we’ve outlined, you’ll be able to find a fantastic TV in no time!

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