Episode 1: How to Find, Buy, and Upgrade the Perfect HDTV for You
Prices are on the decline. Manufactures are trying to make room for this year’s models.
Last year’s models are still cutting edge. The best TVs will be under a few years old, but you don’t need this year’s models for the best quality.
Best times to buy a TV
- the holidays
- right before the Super Bowl
CES television trends this year
- more pixels
- from most viewing distances, 4K TVs arent that different from HD 1080p
- make pixels look better
- high dynamic range, better contrast, allows pictures to be displayed with richer colors due to wide color gamut
- HDR specs: HDR 10 – broad spec, supported by most TVs; Dolby Vision – higher upgrade, more expensive, only some TVs support, absolute best picture
- good for sports and fluid motion i.e. 120hz
- most shows and movies are shot at 30fps so overkill for regular television
- 3D TVs – you have to be directly in front of the TV, you need special glasses
- Curved TVs – look great, but only if youre directly in front
How much should I expect to spend for a high quality TV?
- $300 on the low end for 4K, not HDR compatible
- HDR: Low end of $600-$800
- $1000+ for the best quality
Does brand matter?
- Not so much as model. There are really good quality models from smaller brands like Vizio
- Samsung has good quality big TVS but bad smaller ones.
- Bank more on reviews of individual TVs rather than trusting brand.
- Brand names never guarantee quality but reviews do.
- Most TVs that sell for more than $1000 have a smart operating system.
- The best quality picture TVs often have smart features
- Smart OS is convienent because you dont have to buy another set top box
- Good for living room TVs if you want to play Netflix or other apps
- May have invasive privacy settings
- As an alternative, you could buy a Roku or Android TV for $50-100 and upgrade when it becomes outdated, but if you buy a TV that has a smart OS built in it will become outdated with no ability to upgrade.
Ordering TVs online
- Go to a showroom first to look at the television set you’re interested in, it will be easier to picture what it will look like in your living room.
- No picture can convey what a good HDR looks like
- Look at TV from the eye level you’d be watching it at
Setting up a brand new TV
- Read the manual
- Calibrate – tuned to look good in store, might not match your living room set up
- turn off motion smoothing, which artifically increases frame rate for in-store look
- Test high saturated colors and realistic detail with a CGI heavy movie i.e. Mad Max: Fury Road
- Calibrate TV in the light you will often watch TV in, whether during the day or at night
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