It can be challenging to know where to start if you're in the market for a new TV. There are so many acronyms, technologies, sizes, and resolutions that you'll have to be a walking encyclopedia to understand it all. Don't get taken in by the bells and whistles. Here's all you need to know about choosing your next TV.
The technology your TV uses to project the image on the screen can impact the price point and its crispness. Currently, four technologies are dominating the market to choose from.
Not only is LCD technology used in televisions, but it's also used in watches, smartphones, computers, and digital clocks. LCD TVs are flat and lightweight with varying resolutions and capabilities.
They're often used outdoors as they can withstand extreme temperatures and feature waterproof casings. LCD TVs can have slower response times, so fast-action scenes can appear to blur. However, they are affordable with excellent sound quality and worth checking out if you are looking for a new TV.
LED TVs use light-emitting diodes to project images on a screen. It uses backlighting rather than fluorescent lighting, making it thinner than older models. LED TVs have been on the market since 2005, innovating on the technology available in LCD TVs.
In fact, they are LCD TVs with LED backlighting, but they were branded as a different type of TV to differentiate them in the market better. LED TVs provide excellent color and contrast, including deeper blacks.
Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) TVs came on the market in 2012, using electricity-reactive organic compounds to emit light and pictures. They are thinner and lighter than other types of TVs, making them a great choice to mount on walls.
OLED TVs have fantastic color quality, great contrast in various lighting conditions, and higher refresh rates. They don't require backlighting, and because of it, they use up to 40% less power. That means you'll save money in the long term when you invest in an OLED TV because they use less power and energy.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to OLED TVs. OLED TVs have a shorter lifespan than other TVs despite their high price point. While the technologies have improved over the years, OLED TV's pictures will become less crisp over time. If a static image is left on the screen, it will burn into the screen.
OLED TVs have a lot of potential to be the next big thing, but more work needs to be done to make it worth the investment.
Quantum light-emitting diode (QLED) TVs first emerged on the market in 2017, and they've been growing in popularity ever since, thanks to their affordable price point. Quantum dots, which are small nanoparticles inside the TV, provide more precise color and enhanced brightness for an enhanced picture.
QLED TVs have bigger screens and longer lifespans. The technology makes them resistant to burn-in, so pictures won't stain the screen if left on too long. This is an excellent choice for those looking for advanced technology with a medium price point.
When choosing a new TV, you can select between flat and curved screens, with flat screens being the more popular choice. Flat-screen TVs are easy to mount and give a clear picture no matter which angle you're looking at. On the other hand, curved screens can distort the image, so it's best to view them head-on. However, curved screens give an immersive experience, allowing viewers to lose themselves in the action on the screen. It depends on your preference, but flat screens may be more convenient if you have multiple TV watchers.
The higher the resolution, the sharper your picture on your TV.
1080p TVs are quickly becoming the bare minimum for resolution, replacing 720p that previously held the title. They are affordable, though, with the advances in technology, they are becoming outdated. You can get a 1080p TV for $200 or less, which makes it attractive for those looking for a new TV on a budget.
4K is the most popular resolution on the market right now. However, the in-home TV content is still catching up with high-definition technology. It has 3,840 x 2,160 pixels or nearly 8.3 million pixels working overtime to bring your image to life. Good 4k TVs can retail for around US$1,000 or less depending on the size, brand, and more.
8K is the highest resolution TV on the market today, and because it's the newest technology, it's also the most expensive. Currently, most content is not made for 8k TVs, so it may not be worth investing in the technology just yet. With time, these models will lower in price and availability.
Many TVs come with additional features that sweeten the deal. For example, smart TVs integrate many streaming and cable services within the television, reducing the need to buy additional elements. However, you'll need to pay subscription fees to use many of the features. Additionally, you can connect to the internet, accessing many apps and digital content through a single device.
Another common feature is voice activation. Voice activation can help you control your TV with your voice rather than searching through it for programming manually. This feature makes it more accessible for those with special needs, and it's becoming a standard feature in newer TVs.
When looking at your TV's features, consider if you will actually use them or if they are simply cool distractions. The more features your TV has, the higher the price point, so its features must be practical.
The Future of TVs
With how fast technology changes, it's essential to buy a TV that will last you several years before needing an upgrade. Many new technologies, including field-emission displays and surface-conduction electron-emitter displays, are currently in development and may soon overtake LCD and LED technologies as the best and brightest TVs on the market.
Sound quality has also improved as TVs have evolved, reducing the need for external speakers. Map out your budget and see what type of TV can fit into it. It may be worth it to splurge to get the most out of your investment.