What To Look For When Buying a TV

Buying a TV should be a straightforward matter that’s dependent on individual taste and judgment. However, it’s always smart to do a little bit of research before visiting the market to better direct your investment.
With today’s fast-paced technology, you should bear in mind that there are some basics you shouldn’t do without when shopping for a TV. The following is your guide for choosing the most convenient TV for both you and your family.

Picture Quality

According to scientist Roger N. Clark, the human eye has a resolution of 576 megapixels (or 576,000,000 pixels). Pixels are the small units that compose an image. The more pixels a display has to offer, the more detailed and clear it’s going to look.
Meaning, a TV that has a 7680 x 4320px definition (8k TV screens) is way better than another one with 1920 x 1080p. Picking the right resolution that fits both your eyes and your budget is a crucial step. So, what are the available resolution options in the market?

720p

720p TVs aren’t so different from the 1080p ones when it comes to picture quality. Today, most TVs support HD (high definition) programming, which typically offers a high quality for a great price. Logically, fewer pixels will look better on smaller screens or if you sit at a reasonable distance. Plus, there’s more content in 720p resolution out there.

1080p (full HD)

The 1920 x 1080 TV sets have been common for years now. Eventually, the 720p will phase out as soon as the 1080p rapid-growing content prevails. Meanwhile, if they're within your budget range, the 1080p screens come in bigger sizes, especially for a better gaming experience.

4k (ultra HD)

With 3840 pixels in horizontal rows and 2160 others in vertical columns, 4k monitors are the Holy Grail of TVs’ market. Being pricey, content-limited, and internet-consuming, they're not yet the most preferred option for many people. However, there’s no doubt it’s been a giant leap in the TV industry.

8k

Offering quadruple the resolution (7680 x 4320), 8k resolution is living proof of technology’s madness. It stands as the future of television. Currently, it’s exorbitant and has extremely limited content.

Screen Size

Selecting your screen size primarily depends on your room size. You don’t want to end up sitting too close to a huge screen or vice versa. A human adult eye is approximately 24.2mm (width) x 23.7mm (height) in size; you don’t want to move your eyes around too much.
To accurately measure where on the wall you should place your TV, you should consider your height while sitting. Most experts recommend keeping the middle of your TV at your eye level. Let’s say your couch seat is 30 inches from the ground, and your height from hips to eyes is 30 more.
That’s 60 inches from the ground. Now, an average TV’s length is 27 inches (27 divided by two to mark the middle = 13.5). So, 60 inches plus 13.5 inches equals where the middle of your TV should be placed from the ground.
Although there’s no scientific evidence that sitting up close to your TV screen damages your eyes, it’s a common cause of eyestrain along with too much reading. Other than that, most people testify that the closer they are to the screen, the more immersed they feel.

Refresh Rate

Pixels are put together to assemble an image. In the same manner, images come together to produce a video. For those pictures to be displayed one after the other, the screen gets refreshed multiple times. Most TVs have a refresh rate of 60Hz, which means images get refreshed 60 times per second.
So, the higher the refresh rate is, the smoother a video is going to play. If you’re watching a movie with fast-motion scenes (let’s say Fast & Furious.) on a 60Hz TV set, it’s most probably going to get jittery and blurry. Plus, if you plan to get a screen for your PS 5 or Xbox X series, you’ll want to invest in one that operates on 120Hz or higher.
PS: Beware of the term “Effective Refresh Rate,” which implies that only half of the stated refresh rate is functional. (E.g. 120Hz Effective RR = 60Hz)

HDR

Undoubtedly, the High Dynamic Range technology has improved TVs’ picture quality. Briefly, HDR is the difference between the brightest colors and the darkest tones in an image. Such a feature provides a more realistic viewing experience with vivid colors and more contrast levels.
Enhancing the contrast ratio (the range of brightness levels displayed) guarantees more details by contrasting bright elements against the black color without having to turn black into gray. Being low on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a 4k resolution experience when HDR can be found in affordable sets.
However, Dolby Vision technology is a worthier choice if you’re looking for more accurate and impressive details, which are similar to HDR10+ by Samsung, but with a wider range of content. Feeding your HDR TV non-HDR content will cause what’s called upscaling.
Consequently, Images will get fuzzy and distorted. The same happens when playing a low-resolution video (480p) on a high-resolution set (4k). It also leads to blowing up the image to force it to fit the screen.

LED TVs

Most TVs currently have LCDs. LCDs (Liquid Crystal Display) used to have fluorescent lights as backlighting behind the screen. Instead, they are now replaced with LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) which offer a longer lifespan, smaller electric bills, and brighter lighting. So, what are the types of LED backlighting?

Full-Array Backlighting

It’s basically a grid of LED lights behind the screen. Each light turns on or off independently. Meaning, specific portions of the screen light up or dim dynamically, which is known as Local or Active Dimming. Such a feature gives off a deeper black color, better contrast, and brightness, which makes it a preferred choice for many.

Edge-Lit Backlighting

As the name suggests, lights sit to the side of the display. So, that’s less lighting, yet it’s the most popular and affordable one.

Mini-LED Backlighting

This one is like the full-array backlighting, but with smaller lights, thus more of them, which makes it more accurate but also more expensive.

OLED

OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) doesn’t use LED lights but rather depends on the electric current that passes through diodes in organic layers that produce light. Light, in turn, passes through a color refiner that displays pictures on the screen.
This technology is considered better than the full-array LED. It projects more accurate colors, contrasts, and less distortion. Having the pixels displayed right behind the screen creates wide viewing angles, meaning you can watch from any angle without missing a single detail.

Conclusion

There’s no wrong choice when it comes to buying a TV. Don’t let the numerous options overwhelm you. Whatever your eyes are comfortable with is likely what you should go with. You can always find a flexible return policy that will give you enough time to thoroughly test a TV screen and see if it meets your needs.