The only thing more confusing than buying a new TV is learning how to use all of your remotes.
But that’s not to say it can’t be done (the TV part, at least).
The good news is that today’s TVs are better than ever, with picture quality we only dreamed of a decade ago. They’re also smarter than ever.
Here’s how to get one that meets all of your needs, while staying in line with your budget.
We’ll get to our TV-buying tips in a minute, but if all you really want is to be told which TV to buy, we’ve got you covered. CNET, which offers in-depth technology reviews, recommended these TVs in February of 2018:
• If money is no object, go with the LG B7A series OLED TV
• If you want the best picture quality for the money (except for the 55-inch screen), try out the Vizeo M series
• If you want the best picture quality for the money at 55-inch screen, the TCL 55P607 is for you
Go Big with a TV
Not really interested in the TVs listed above? In general, experts suggest ignoring the long list of specifications. What you’re really looking for are size, price, and picture quality.
Let’s start with size. Most people find that a bigger TV really is better. In general, that means 40 inches or larger for small rooms like offices or bedrooms and at least 55 inches for a family’s main TV.
Getting the Best Price
There are so many “deals” out there these days that it sometimes seems like you never really know what the true price of something is.
But, at least when it comes to TVs, the best prices are offered during November, December and parts of January. Probably the best day of the year to get a bargain on a TV is Black Friday, where you can expect to pay between 20 and 40 percent less on higher-end models than when they’re introduced in the spring.
Matt Granite, known for his show “Matt’s Daily Deals” on YouTube says that, after Black Friday, the best day to buy a new screen is the day of the Super Bowl, followed by Cyber Monday and then Amazon Prime Day (the 2018 date has not been announced yet, but the event is usually in July).
After you decide what size TV you want, the next goal is to find the best possible picture quality without going over your budget. Here are a few tips:
• OLED TVs still have the best picture quality available—but they’re also still quite expensive.
• LED LCD TVs with local dimming usually offer better picture quality.
• Don’t buy a TV with less than 4k resolution.
• Rather than worry about contrast-ration specs, take a few moments to actually watch the TV you’re considering buying and trust your eyes.
• Thinking about a new, curved TV? Most experts agree that they don’t noticeably improve the viewing experience, but they do look kind of cool. If you like the added style of curved TVs—and are willing to pay extra for it—then go for it.
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