With so many TV choices out there, coupled with spaced-aged features that are constantly being upgraded and stores slashing sales prices (like EOFY for example) buying a new TV is both tantalizing and overwhelming.
Walk into an electronics store and you will see rows of TVs playing the same scenes, each with different settings for colour, resolution and contrast. Even TVs with the same screen size can vary markedly in price. So how do you choose the best TV for you?
Brands are not really a factor these days as reliability issues have been cleaned up and bugs hunted out of systems and hardware. Most brands cover long-term warranties with the ability to extend through your dealer. If you have a favourite brand it’s not going to hurt to stick with it.
LG, Samsung Q8, TLC, all these companies have great products on the market right now.
Which TV you buy really depends on where it is going and what you are watching. Specialities abound so it’s a good idea to hash out what you watch most before you go into the store.
Examples of different TVs for different viewing include:
- • Documentaries (i.e. National Geographic channel.)
- • Sports
- • General TV
- • Gaming
- • HD film/movies
This will give you something to talk about with the rep that comes to sell to you.
With sports and gaming it’s about having great speed so that the images can keep up with the movement and action. In most cases it’s simply about having the best connections.
Four Factors You Should Actually Care About with Your TV Purchase
Most of the specs on the highly detailed sheet the manufacture provides really don’t count so don’t sweat too much over comparing those or using them as your go-tos, you’ll just get a headache. Here’s what you actually need.
- 1. Weight (this is important if you want to mount your TV)
- 2. Size (bigger TV screens offer better value for money)
- 3. Picture quality
- 4. Price
- • HDR
- • Smart TV capability
- • Fancy remote
TVs are heavier than they look so if you plan on mounting your TV on a bracket it pays to thoroughly investigate your hanging space, wall materials, studs etc to know what your wall is capable of handling and where the possible spots for your wall mounted TV might be. It’s also really important that you don’t attempt to mount your TV on your own. Depending on the weight of your TV you will need a mate or two to help with the lifting, remember it’s not just your back I’m looking out for here, drop your TV and it’s toast before you’ve turned it on.
Most TVs don’t come with a mount included so make sure the bracket you purchase can handle the load weight and is appropriate for your screen and wall.
If you are planning on wall mounting your outdoor TV remember that SealTV outdoor cases come with brackets that are heavy duty and fully weather proof. You can also upgrade to a swivel mount if you want more flexible viewing for your outdoor area. It’s important to never use an indoor mount outside as it won’t be able to handle the harsh elements.
Why Does Size Count?
When you are in the store and comparing TVs stacked side-by-side you can easily lose track of how big your TV viewing space at home is. You probably have more space than the tiny shelf the store TV is displayed on and you won’t be sitting right beside some whopping great home cinema screen. What that means it the TV that looks like a great size in the store can often look smaller than expected when you bring it home.
For a feature TV you probably will be looking at 65 inches or more, although you can get away with a smaller screen in the bedroom (40 inches) or for secondary living room viewing about a 55 inch screen.
The only time I wouldn’t recommend a bigger screen is if you will be watching up close. If the room you are in is smaller or the room set up means you need to have your chair in close proximity to the screen then a big TV will come across blurred and pixelated. The bigger your screen the further back you need to sit to get the best picture quality so take the space of your room into account when you buy.
The last thing you need to keep in mind if you move up to a bigger screen is that it fits inside your current entertainment unit (if you have one). Remember, the screen needs to fit with plenty of space to allow for ventilation. TVs get hot when in use so allow at least a 3cm gap on both sides and above the unit for air movement.
When it comes to an outdoor TV then definitely, you want the biggest you can afford but when it comes to enclosing your indoor flat screen TV in a SealTV protective case, we recommend that you put your recently purchased TV inside as your main viewing TV and move the older flat screen unit to the backyard for outdoor entertainment. You can always change it out again next time you upgrade. You can buy a new TV for outside if you are really invested in your outdoor viewing space, SealTV’s quality IP rated outdoor casing protects your TV from elements and shock.
No matter what type of viewing you are buying for picture quality is the most important thing to look out for and will make the biggest difference overall to your viewing.
What to look for:
- • Deep black. The ability to display deep black means more contrast and that means a clearer picture. This is especially relevant to movies and HD film which you normally would watch in a darkened room.
- • Colour saturation and accuracy. If you get a TV with deep black quality then your saturation is already probably at its best. It’s still good to check in on the saturation levels and make sure that the colour shown is accurate.
- • Matte screen. If your TV room has a lot of bright light or if you are planning on buying an indoor TV to take outside with SealTV a matt screen is better at reducing reflections, however, they won’t show black levels as well as a glossy screen. If you like the store screen set up it’s worth checking the settings list of the screen and taking a snap shot on your phone so you can match yours up later. You might also like to experiment a bit with the enhanced pre settings and turn them on and off to see if you like your viewing better without them.
- • Price. Waiting for EOFY sales, end of year sales or store clearances is the best bet for getting a great deal on your next TV. It’s a great way to be able to afford the luxury you want without the luxury price tag.
Is Last Year’s Model Still Current?
Yes. If you are in the store looking at an unbeatable price, especially at sales time, then last year’s model is a very acceptable option, especially when a batch of brand new TVs come out with their new-as-new price tags.
These prices are inflated on the manufacturer’s margins because they are looking to hook in those people who ‘must have’ the newest of new no matter the price. If that’s how you like to shop, that’s great, for everyone else, wait six months for the prices to go down or snap up a bargain in the out-with-the-old clearance.
Last year’s TV has also been well tested by critics and the public alike. While an online search will give you plenty of reviews on the TV you are looking at they will usually contain conflicting information as the user will bring in their own preferences when they give their critique. Make sure their uses and reasons for watching match yours before you jump to any conclusions.
If price is no concern or you love having the latest and greatest tech then you will probably feel more comfortable buying the most current model. Yes it will be slightly better than last year’s so you are buying a genuine article, however, for those happy with last year’s model you won’t be missing out on too much glam.
In most cases the higher price on a TV does mean better quality so you usually do get what you pay for, again though, it depends on what you are watching. A high priced TV that is wrong for your setup or viewing preferences isn’t going to do you any favours.