TV Buying Guide: Things You Need To Know

TV Buying Guide Quick Tips

If you’re in a hurry, here are the most important things to consider before you buy a television. We explain each of these points in greater detail in our TV buying guide below:

  • Don’t buy a TV with less than 4K resolution. Avoid full HD or 1080p sets.
  • You can skip 8K TVs (for now). 8K TVs are super expensive, and 8K movies and shows aren't available yet.
  • Expect to pay about $500 for a good budget 55-inch 4K TV. And at least $900 for a 65-inch model. Models with better picture, speakers and features will cost more.
  • Look for 60 Hz or 120 Hz refresh rate: When it comes to refresh rates, 60 Hz is good, but 120 Hz is better. A higher refresh rate provides smoother motion for everything from movies and shows to live sports and gaming.
  • Look for an HDR-compatible set: This offers more realistic colors and better contrast.
  • OLED TVs look much better than most LCD sets: But QLED TVs from Samsung, Vizio and TCL are an affordable middle ground.
  • Look for at least four HDMI ports. And opt for the newer HDMI 2.1 format if you can.
  • Plan to buy a soundbar. TV speakers are worse nowadays because the screens are thinner.
  • Avoid extended warranties. Your credit card company may already provide purchase protection

Choose Your Price Range

The more you spend, the better the features.

TV prices have come way WAY down in the last 3-5 years, and right now, less than a grand will buy you a gorgeous, top-of-the-line, 42-inch, 4K smart TV loaded with almost every bell and whistle possible. Spend more, and you can bring home the same thing, but at 65 or 75-inches… and with every feature under the sun. (We’ll discuss features as we go.)

More money also buys you deeper blacks, better contrast, and a broader, richer color spectrum. (Deeper blacks are huge. You want deeper blacks.) And most of all, more money will also get you a bigger screen, so let’s start there.

TV Resolution

Screen resolution has come a long way in the last few years. We witnessed a jump in clarity and color quality when 4K Ultra HD TVs came on the scene. And now 8K Ultra HD is here. Both 4K and 8K are types of Ultra High Definition (also called Ultra HD, or UHD). So, what's the difference? And, what should you be looking for when it comes to screen resolution? Check out the resolution chart below for a quick guide.