As famously depicted in The Simpsons, the centrepiece of any contemporary living room is undoubtedly the top-tier television. Given the constant influx of new content, ranging from original streaming service shows to immersive video games, your TV is poised to become your faithful companion for countless hours. Therefore, when considering buying a new TV, it’s essential to ensure that it checks all the right boxes, especially with Amazon Prime Day 2 just on the horizon.
In summary, here’s how to select a TV:
- Screen Type & Size
- Ports & Accessories
Whether you’re an avid RPG enthusiast eager to experience the stunning 4K graphics of Starfield or a dedicated reality TV fan determined to stay up-to-date with the drama on Below Deck: Down Under, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of essential features to consider when selecting a new television.
Amidst the plethora of perplexing marketing jargon surrounding screen technologies, the most prevalent ones are QLED, OLED, and LCD. Each of these screen types comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks, making it a nuanced decision rather than a clear-cut choice of one being superior to the others. To simplify matters, the primary distinction among these screen types lies in how they illuminate the pixels that form the images on the screen.
A higher level of brightness in a display reduces its susceptibility to glare caused by external sources such as lamps and sunlight streaming in through windows. While direct light may still pose some challenges, the increased brightness of a QLED or OLED screen can effectively diminish these issues. If you find yourself bothered by the lingering brightness of long summer days during late-night viewing, opting for a brighter screen is likely your best solution.
If gaming is a significant part of your entertainment repertoire, it’s crucial to pay attention to the TV’s refresh rate, as it directly affects the smoothness of your gameplay. High-quality gaming monitors typically offer refresh rates ranging from 120Hz to 240Hz. In contrast, while many 4K TVs support 120Hz gaming, it’s not a guaranteed feature across all models.
Size and Design
It’s crucial to determine if your TV will fit within your available space and seamlessly integrate with the surrounding devices. Consider the aesthetics: does your setup complement a slightly bulkier TV or lean towards a super-thin design? For those using sound bars, also think about the placement and how it harmonizes with your overall arrangement.
Furthermore, it’s essential to recognize that while a larger screen can contribute to that immersive home cinema experience, bigger isn’t necessarily always better. As a case in point, I recently made the switch from a 55″ LCD to a 48″ OLED, and I found that prioritizing quality over size and staying within my budget yielded significant benefits.
If you don’t intend to place your TV on a stand, the option of mounting it should also factor into your design considerations. Most TVs available in the market are mountable, whether it’s through a mount provided by the brand or one from a third-party seller. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that the prices of these mounts can vary significantly between different models. Therefore, reaching out to the brand to inquire about mounting options can potentially save you some additional costs in the long run.
Ports and Accessories
To enjoy streaming your beloved content, you can use a Smart TV, gaming console, or a DVR device like Apple TV. It’s vital to ensure that the TV you choose has an adequate number of ports to accommodate your external devices. You’ll also need a reliable internet connection through Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable. If possible, placing your TV near your router and using an ethernet cable will provide a more consistent connection, reducing the likelihood of frustrating buffering issues during your streaming sessions. After all, no one wants to experience a movie’s climax while waiting for their internet to catch up.
While the screen quality remains the paramount consideration, it’s also worthwhile to contemplate the compatibility of accessories you intend to use with your TV. Take my situation, for instance; I have numerous additional consoles to connect, so ensuring that my TV boasts an ample number of HDMI ports is of utmost importance. When you’re out shopping, it’s convenient to determine how many ports are necessary to support your external devices, especially if you frequently switch between an Xbox, PS5, and Nintendo Switch. Fortunately, HDMI port dongles are available, but they can vary in quality and come with an additional cost.
In addition to HDMI ports, it’s also important to monitor the availability of USB and composite cable ports. If you use devices like an Amazon Fire Stick, or a soundbar, or wish to play downloaded content from your storage, having the right ports to support these activities is essential.