Tips and advice

Buying a new TV in a store: Here’s what to watch out for

Buying a new TV in a store: Here's what to watch out for. This article will help you all about buying a new TV.

Buy a new TV

Buying a new TV is no easy task, especially if you want to sit well in the coming years, want to know what you are buying and of course get value for money. The offer is huge and the number of tricky terms of features and functions is increasing day by day. However, when you go to a physical store to buy your TV and thus make the decision, it doesn’t get any easier. We try to help you on your way with the tips below.

Reading in the field of TVs

First of all, we recommend that you read up on TVs. There is an enormous amount of information about what TVs can do today, which features and functions are new and which technologies are emerging. When you are in a physical store and ask for information from a seller, there is a chance – we have experienced it several times – that you will not receive all or not the correct information. Also sellers do not know everything about the latest models and techniques. So it never hurts to read yourself in advance so that you can at least ask the right questions about the features that are important to you. Do not go out unprepared because this will eventually cost you time and possibly money. For example, it is important to know which smart TV platforms there are and what you can do with a smart TV. Nowadays there are also different types of televisions, such as televisions with different oled techniques and televisions with mini led backlight.

If you want to read yourself about the latest TVs, techniques and developments, we recommend taking a look at the yearly av lineup. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about the latest TVs from the major manufacturers. In 2022 (and subsequent years) you will find the relevant overview in the main menu at the top of the website. More general tips and advice on TVs can be found in our tips and advice section.

Your budget

The budget is partly related to the information under the above heading. When you know what is for sale and which features are important to you, you can better estimate what you should spend for a TV. When you go to a store without information and therefore rely on the information from the price tags and the seller, there is a good chance that you spend more than you intended. Although it is relatively easy to choose in terms of technical specifications and features, it is a lot more difficult in terms of image quality, especially in a store. Therefore, before you go to a store, go through some reviews. Search online for reviews of models that you have placed on your wish list after reading them. You can also contact us for TV reviews. This way you also know what to expect in terms of image quality (and audio quality) from TVs in a certain price range and it is easier to set your own budget limits. Please note; a TV with good picture quality does not have to cost thousands of euros. If you do good research before you buy, you will see that a 50- or 55-inch TV with good image quality is certainly possible for less than 1,000 euros.

The screen size

The size of your new TV may be the first major consideration. It is wise to determine the size of your new TV when you are at home and not when you are in the store. Firstly, because you can see exactly what fits and what does not fit at home, and secondly, because TVs in the store often look a lot smaller than they actually are, especially due to the large surfaces of the walls and the large TVs that are around them. You can determine the size of your new TV by reading our articles about the viewing distance and size of a TV to read, but it is just as easy to simulate a number of sizes (for example 50-inch and 65-inch) with a number of A4 pages or a piece of cardboard and place them on the cupboard or on the wall.

If you still want to make a choice in the store or are in doubt about the size, try at least to take a distance from the TV that is equal to the distance from your chair or sofa to the TV in the living room. Also take the viewing angles into account and sit slightly off center to determine whether the image quality meets your requirements. Another important aspect is that you quickly get used to the size of a TV. A 40-inch seems like a lot when you come from a picture tube, but after a few weeks this also seems small again. In most cases, a TV that initially seems a bit large will no longer stand out in your living room after a while. A size larger is therefore often more sensible than a size smaller.

The image quality

We have already briefly touched on it under the heading about the budget; the picture quality of a TV is very difficult to determine in a shop. First of all, a shop is not the optimal environment to judge the quality of the screen. After all, you don’t have bright fluorescent lighting at home, do you? With this light box, TVs with a somewhat lower brightness quickly become negative, but this does not mean that these models also offer too little brightness in your home. Perhaps they are very good in a high contrast and in deep black values. It is also difficult to check which settings in the store have been adjusted to highlight or make a particular TV stand out. And even if it hasn’t been done; settings are always played with, even by people walking around the store. So don’t just rely on what you see on the screen when you walk through the store. It is best to read yourself well in this area in advance, mainly on the basis of reviews and user experiences, which also indicate which settings have been used and which refer to comparisons with other TVs.

If you still want to look at the image quality in a physical store, make sure you walk through the settings and, for example, the ‘dynamic’ or ‘lively’ mode, which was actually developed especially for shops. Also put image processing techniques which only embellish the image but at the same time negatively affect it. That is why you should also ask for the remote control so that you can check which settings are used and so that you can change the source or channel yourself. A demo channel – chances are you’ll see this – is often equipped with content that is static and oversaturated, making it look perfect quickly. Try to put the TV on a TV channel so that you actually get a good picture of the qualities. If possible, ask the seller to dim the light in the vicinity of the TV so that the environment better matches the home environment.

What do you want to watch on TV?

What kind of TV you are going to buy, which image technology you should choose and what resolution (and a number of other features) this model should have largely depends on what you watch on it or what you want to watch on it in the future. In terms of resolution, you can go for 4K or 8K today. 4K is now widely accepted, both in terms of hardware (televisions) and content (streaming services, some channels and Blu-ray discs). 8K is still music in the future and there is hardly any content to be found. Are you considering going for 8K? Read our article about the advantages and disadvantages of 8K.

There is also a lot of choice in the field of image techniques today. This way you can for a oled tv go if you want the deepest blacks and infinite contrast, but these days you can also get a QD-oled-tv select. These are OLED TVs with a quantum dot filter for even better color reproduction and a slightly higher brightness. The LCD technology is also still for sale, but has improved considerably. the better LCD televisions come today with mini LED backlight and/or with Quantum dots for better color rendering. In general, you can say that LCD models offer the highest brightness and are therefore suitable for rooms with more light. They are also often slightly cheaper than OLED models. OLED televisions offer the deepest black levels and the most accurate color reproduction, but they do sacrifice brightness and are generally slightly more expensive.

HDR is a term that you will also see a lot in the store. Almost every television today has HDR, but unfortunately that doesn’t say much anymore. You can read exactly what HDR is in us HDR background article, but it’s good to know that the extent to which you really benefit from HDR depends on the light output (brightness) of the television and the HDR standards that are supported. The higher the brightness of the TV, the higher the contrast between light and dark areas on the screen and the more realistic the HDR effect becomes. The most used HDR formats are HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision.

You also see it here; terms are thrown that may not mean much to you now and that is why it is wise to read as much as possible before entering a store. Thereby; don’t hesitate to bring your own content to the store. If the retailer wants to sell something, you will probably get the chance to show your own Blu-ray disc with content or open a streaming service and play your favorite movie or series. If you’re a gamer and like to play games, it’s a bit more difficult to test this in the store, but at least ask if the TVs you find interesting have a special game mode. This makes the input lag reduced and the gaming experience is more comfortable. Also read our article about a TV for games; what should you pay attention to.

Finally, there is a good chance that you have a subscription to one or more streaming services. So make sure that the televisions on your wish list support these services. In other words; that the app of the respective services is available on the smart tv platform from the television. You can also easily check this in the store, but it can also be found online.

Warranty and service

One of the reasons consumers still go to brick-and-mortar stores to buy a new TV is that these stores would handle warranty better and provide better service than stores that can only be found on the Internet. However, from our own experience and experiences of consumers, we can say that this is no longer the case today. Internet shops are also bound by the guarantees that manufacturers offer and the larger and better internet shops offer an excellent guarantee and support of their own. Many shops come to collect the TV when something is wrong with it, so that you can’t go anywhere with your TV is no longer applicable these days. However, this article is about buying the TV in a physical store and here too you should read carefully what the terms of the warranty are. Also, don’t just buy an extra warranty without knowing exactly what you will get back for your TV in a year’s time if something is wrong with it. It is also wise to read carefully in the standard warranty of manufacturers, which is required by law. This often already provides excellent protection for when something goes wrong with the TV within a short period of time.

More information

With the above tips and advice you should be well on your way to buying a TV in a physical store – but of course also just online. The most important thing I want to emphasize again; read yourself. It takes some time and effort, but it pays off when you make the actual buying decision. Not only your eyes have to make this decision, your mind and knowledge are just as important.