TV buying guide, what to look for in 2020

TV buying guide, what to look for

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 resolutionAvoid 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 55-inch 4K TV. And at least $900 for a 65-inch model.
  • 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.

Screen size: Finding the sweet spot

Whether you’re looking for a basic or high-performance TV, the biggest factor in your decision will probably be screen size. Consider how many people in your family typically watch at once and where you’re going to put your new set. Then pick the largest screen size that will fit comfortably into that space — and your budget. The sweet spot today, considering price, performance and the typical living room, is between 55 and 65 inches.

How to choose a right TV


Screen size also depends on how close you sit to the TV. Basically, if you can see the individual pixels of the screen, you’re too close. A good rule of thumb is that you should sit at a distance from the TV that is three times more than the height of the screen for HD and just 1.5 times the screen height for 4K Ultra HD. In other words, you can sit twice as close to a 4K UHD TV.

Here’s a handy calculator that can guide you in your decision process, but most important of all; use your own judgment!

Full HD vs 4K Ultra HD

Full High Definition (FHD) is a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, also known as 1080p. Ultra High Definition (UHD) is a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, also known as 2160p but more commonly referred to as 4K as it has 4 times the amount of pixels as standard high definition televisions. What does this mean? The more pixels, the clearer the picture!
4K content is recommended for optimal viewing experience on any UHD TV. Although native 4K content is not yet widely available, viewers can find additional content via streaming providers and Blu-ray discs.
TV buying guide, what to look for in 2020
Rest assured though, even if you’re not viewing 4K content, your TV is working hard to upscale the content. All 4K TVs have the ability to upscale HD (1280×720) or Full HD (1920×1080) content and display them at 3840×2160 resolution to enhance the picture quality.


Although these terms sound similar, the technologies are actually quite different. LED LCD TVs use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the screen via edge lighting or full-array backlight methods through an LCD panel. Edge-lit TVs have LEDS around the edge of the TV screen, whereas backlit TVs have LEDs behind the TV screen. Key benefits of LED LCD TVs include a thin profile, remarkable picture quality and greater brightness than any other TV technology on the market.
Some TVs with full-array technology have the benefit of being able to dim specific sections of the screen, which allows for better contrast and picture quality than other LED LCD technologies. This feature is often referred to as dimming zones or local dimming.
How to choose a right TV
Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) use an organic substance that glows when an electric current is introduced. Each pixel provides its own illumination therefore eliminating the need for a backlight. This technology helps to produce a picture with perfect black for Infinite Contrast and vibrant color. Other key benefits of OLED TVs include incredibly thin profiles, wide viewing angles and reduced blurring due to lack of shutter array.

High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range (HDR) refers to the TV’s ability to deliver more colors, better contrast levels and increased brightness compared with standard HD and Ultra HD sets.
HDR10 is the most commonly used format for HDR. HDR10 has the ability to adjust black levels and peak brightness for an entire movie or show. Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+ offer an additional step up in HDR experience since they offer scene-by-scene optimization.
How to choose a right TV
While most 4K TVs can display HDR content, more premium TVs from major brands will offer a big step up in HDR performance largely due to higher peak brightness than standard TVs.

Refresh Rate

Refresh rate represents the number of times per second that the image is flashed or refreshed on the screen. By flashing a series of still images, the TV creates the illusion of motion.
The refresh rate is measured in hertz. If a refresh rate is 60 Hz, the image is refreshed 60 times per second. More premium televisions will have a native refresh rate of 120 Hz.
TV Features Explained – Part 3: Refresh Rates | Best Buy Blog
Refresh rate is the industry standard for measuring motion rates. However, many television brands will use varying terminology to describe the motion smoothness rather than how quickly the image refreshes. For example, brands may list Motion Rate 120 or TruMotion 120, but the native refresh rate is 60Hz. What’s the difference? TV manufacturers can apply motion enhancement technologies, which improves smoothness and reduces shakiness. In general, the higher the motion technology, the smoother the picture will appear.

Smart TV

When a TV is listed as smart, it is referring to the TV’s capability to connect to the internet. This functionality enables viewers to stream a variety of apps and services including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more.
TV manufacturers use a variety of operating systems, each with their own benefits and features. If you are seeking a specific feature, it’s important to check that the TV operating system you choose offers this option; as some apps and content are unique to certain smart platforms.
How to choose a right TV
For an optimal experience, your smart TV needs adequate internet speed and close proximity to your router; otherwise, you may experience poor connection and buffering issues. In order to stream 4K Ultra HD-quality content; an internet speed of 25 Mbps is recommended. You may consider upgrading your internet service and/or router.
For a bit of more nuanced and expert advice speak to a TV advisor.