The Upgrade Episode 1: How to Find, Buy, and Upgrade the Perfect HDTV for You

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Episode 1: How to Find, Buy, and Upgrade the Perfect HDTV for You

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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

4K TVs

  • more pixels
  • from most viewing distances, 4K TVs arent that different from HD 1080p

HDR

  • 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

Frame rate

  • good for sports and fluid motion i.e. 120hz
  • most shows and movies are shot at 30fps so overkill for regular television

Dead trends

  • 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.

Smart TVs:

  • 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  • As an alternative, you could buy a Roku or Android TV for $50-100 and upgrade when it becomes outdated, but if you buy a TV that has a smart OS built in it will become outdated with no ability to upgrade.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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