Selecting a new TV is not a decision to take lightly. Like in many aspects of modern life, the paradox of choice makes choosing a new living room TV harder than feels necessary. Here, we take a look at factors you should consider to help you make the right decision easier.
Bigger may not always be better where TVs are concerned, but it usually is. Unless your living room is small enough you’ll have trouble viewing the entire screen at once from where you’ll sit, opt for a TV screen measuring at least 50 inches diagonally. According to entertainment gear reviewer David Katzmaier, not choosing a large enough TV is the most common TV-buying regret consumers have.
Viewing distance matters, but a 50-inch TV screen can be viewed comfortably from between six and 13 feet away. Make sure you can put at least eight feet of distance between a TV and your viewing sofa if you go bigger with a 60-inch screen. The number of walls surrounding a TV can also impact a viewers’ perception of a screen’s size and the room it’s in. If your living room has four full walls, you should only choose a large TV if the room’s square footage is large. With three-walled rooms that open into another part of an apartment, this is less of a concern. In other words, the best TV for you is the one with the largest screen you can afford without making your living room feel cramped.
Resolution is important to the viewing experience, but most modern TVs offer impressive resolution. Unless you’re considering a screen larger than 60 inches, you’re probably not going to notice much of a difference between a 1080p TV and an ultra high definition (UHD) TV. But UHD TVs, also known as 4K TVs, are probably the TVs of the future. If you’re considering buying a 65-inch screen TV that you’d like to enjoy for a while, take 4K into consideration. At present, there’s not a great deal of 4K content available, but it’s coming. If you’re looking at screens closer to 50 inches, only splurge if you truly can. 4K TVs are already more affordable today than they were a year ago, but prices are bound to drop further.
Other picture quality contributors
The most visually impressive TV viewing experiences are delivered by TVs that closely reproduce the images coming from the incoming source. While resolution is a factor here, it’s not the only or most important factor. In order to closely reproduce images, a TV needs to have high contrast and color saturation capabilities. Full-array LED backlights (on LED LCD TVs) also help. A wide color gamut, fast video processing speed, high maximum light output, and full-array LED backlights (on LED LCD TVs) also help. At present, OLED TVs offer the best picture quality of any sets on the market.
Smart TV capabilities
Today, a smart TV is essentially a TV that can connect to the internet. Since most TVs can be connected to the internet with the help of an HDMI cable, having a smart TV isn’t all that advantageous. That said, the latest smart TV models come with impressive, user-friendly remotes and help prevent cord clutter. Other convenience-creating factors may be standard on smart TVs soon.
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