Smart TV, LED, OLED, 4K and HDR there are various new options available while buying a new Television nowadays. The world of TVs is upgrading every day and it’s getting more and more confusing too. The smart tag can sometimes turn out to be a gimmick and not exactly what you were looking for. We’re here with our Ultimate Smart TV Buying Guide to help you decide.
LCD, LED, QLED, or OLED – Which Type of TV Should You Buy?
Whether you’re looking for a basic or high-performance TV, the biggest factor in your decision will probably be screen size. There is a lot to consider in terms of panel technology. The consumer buying trend indicates the perfect screen size to be 55 inches to 65 inches. How to calculate the correct TV size? A formula, proposed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers or SMPTE, states that an ideal screen size equals the distance between you and the screen divided by 1.6. So, if you sit 90 inches away from your TV’s screen, according to the formula a screen size of 56.25 inches will be the perfect match for your bill. In this case, you can consider picking a 55-inch TV set.
There are plenty of new screen technologies such as OLED and QLED that might confuse the buyer. The earliest flat-screen TVs had plasma or CCFL-backlit LCD panels, but both of these technologies are no longer commercially used. The three modern and popular types of screen these days are OLED, QLED, and LED
OLED: The Best TV
Of the modern and easily available television screen types, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is also the most expensive type of display. Every pixel is capable of emitting its own light in response to an electric current. OLED TVs are known for having the best black levels, high levels of contrast, and realistic colours. OLED TVs are thinner and have narrower bezels than other TV displays.
One major drawback with OLED TVs: IT can’t get quite as bright as a QLED or LED TV, and HDR content naturally doesn’t achieve the peak brightness it’s capable of on other types of displays.
Quantum Dot TV: The Middle Ground
QLED TVs use a unique Quantum dot layer that improves brightness and colour on light. QLED is closer to LED when it comes to the actual technology and hardware involved. QLED TVs have more vibrant colours and brightness than LED and most OLED TVs, but stop short of the contrast levels and deep blacks that OLED TVs offer.
The most affordable: LED TV
The most affordable and widely used of the three, LED televisions typically use TFT-LCD panels with LED backlighting, offering better brightness and colours than early CCFL-backlit panels. This makes the LED display slimmer and more energy-efficient than LCD displays.
TV Screen’s Resolution: 8K, 4K or HD?
For many years, the full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution has been the standard, and is the most widely used screen resolution. However, latest trends suggest TV manufacturers are shifting rapidly towards Ultra HD sets (4K resolution). 4K televisions support a resolution of 3,840×2,160. That’s four times as many pixels on a 4K TV compared to one supporting 1080p resolution.
The benefit of 4K TVs is that small objects on the screen have more detail, including sharper text., Images appear richer and more life-like than on a full HDTV The sharper picture also has the added benefit of letting you comfortably view the screen from a shorter distance, making larger TVs more comfortable to view in a regular-sized home.
NOTE: Higher resolution means better quality, but only if you have the content. Most of the content your view on HD channels is 1080p. There are very few 4K channels currently airing 4K content.
8K displays offer a giant leap forward in picture quality, offering 4 times more resolutions than 4K sets but again, finding 8K content is extremely limited. It’ll be at least a year or two before 8K sets are recommended for anyone.
TV Screen Refresh Rate: The Faster, The Better?
Screen refresh rate, expressed in Hertz (Hz) describes how many times a picture is refreshed on the screen per second. TV manufacturers claim refresh rates as high as 800Hz. The standard refresh rate is 60 Hz, meaning most of the content in the market tops at 60Hz. So, a 60 Hz Tv is practically as good as a 100 Hz TV. Choose a refresh rate that’s good for the content that you intend to view.
Pick a TV with a high refresh rate if you want to enjoy an intense gaming experience or watch fast-paced action on your TV, as the refresh rate presents every detail with precision.
HDMI And Connections For Your TV:
The most important port that you should look out for is the HDMI connector. HDMI handles both video and audio, ensures high-quality display, and makes older ports redundant. While every TV has an HDMI port these days, there’s a bunch of jargon that you need to be aware of. A higher number of HDMI ports is preferable as they get used up very quickly. HDMI 2.0 ports are ones that can handle 4K UHD content.
To have your TV stream audio to a 5.1 home theatre you need to have an HDMI ARC port on your TV. ARC (audio return channel) is supported on HDMI 1.4 and above. If your TV doesn’t have HDMI ARC support, it needs to have a digital optical port for streaming 5.1 audio.
Is HDR Needed For TVs?
High Dynamic Range (HDR) displays use a backlight system that can output about 1,000 nits peak brightness or greater, which allows you to see a greater level of depth and colours and better contrast in your videos. HDR isn’t linked to resolution, so there are HDR-capable TVs that are full HD.
If you’re getting a 4K TV, don’t get one without HDR support.
What about the OS Used In Smart TVs?
While the majority of the popular apps are available on every OS, you can always use Apple TV, Fire TV, or Chromecast to make up for your TV’s shortcomings.
We advise getting a smart TV that already has a majority of the popular apps available for a smart TV.
Curved TV Or Not?
Leading TV manufacturers like Samsung claim that Curved TVs offer a better immersive viewing experience, which we believe is true. Curved screen makes the images seem more realistic and provides a wider field view. But its disadvantages like limited viewing angle and distorted images far outweigh the advantages. Curved TV, unfortunately, is more of a marketing gimmick and doesn’t offer much of an advantage. Hence, it is better not to opt for a curved TV until manufacturers come up with technology to overcome the disadvantages.
The advancement in reducing the screen thickness, led to a relapse in the audio sector. As TVs keep getting thinner, the space for speakers has also reduced. TVs, because of this reduced space, have substandard audio speakers. An external speaker or sound bar is a wise investment if you want to achieve a completely immersive viewing experience.
These basic aspects compile our Ultimate Smart TV Buying Guide. Read our suggestion for the Top 5 TVs of 2020 to help yourself with the purchase.