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Tips and advice

You want to buy a new TV? You should start with these tips and advice

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Many consumers still buy a new TV in a brick-and-mortar store, which is why we focus in this article on everything to look out for when buying a TV in a store.

In this article, we introduce the steps you need to take and link to articles where you will find all the important information on the specific topic. So read on about the relevant terms, techniques and topics so that you are fully informed and can make the right purchase.

Know what’s for sale

Nowadays there is a huge choice when it comes to TVs and there is sprinkled with nice terms and techniques. So there is a good chance that you can no longer see the forest for the trees. That is why it is wise to read up on what is for sale, which techniques are important and what they exactly mean for you as a consumer.

For example, the term LED TV is actually incorrect as it actually concerns an LCD TV with LED backlighting. Looking at the LCD TVs from a few years ago, only the type of background lighting (ccfl then, LED now) has changed and that has hardly any influence on the image quality. However, the type of LED lighting can influence the image quality. We know full array LED and edge lit LED ; where with full array many LEDs are located behind the panel and with edge lit LED the LEDs are located on the sides. Full array LED is the best (and most expensive) option for image quality as these LEDs (in zones – local dimming) can be switched on and off and therefore offer you a higher contrast.

You also encounter a lot of refresh rates of 200 to 1,000Hz, but these say very little about the image quality of your TV. What does say something about the image quality is the native refresh rate of the panel; 50Hz or 100Hz. When the budget allows, go for a 100Hz panel as this offers the best quality in terms of a smooth display of fast-moving images. A 100Hz panel can be advertised by manufacturers as an 800Hz TV, but that 800Hz is purely about the frames that TV ‘makes up’ extra to make images look smoother. In most cases, however, smoother means a home video look that makes films look fake and offers hardly any added value to you as a consumer. In our article about High Frame Rate (HFR) we explain this in more detail. For gamers, the input is important. This measurement tells you how much delay there is between performing an action on your controller and performing the action on the image. The lower the input lag, the less delay. And then we haven’t even talked about terms such as local dimming and quantum dot. 

 

This includes high dynamic range, high resolution audio, Dolby Atmos and 4K Ultra HD, a number of terms that you will often encounter when you are looking for new equipment. We recently wrote an article explaining these terms and telling you whether it is worth including them in the purchase decision. In short, the 4K is Ultra HD resolution something you can no longer ignore, both in terms of hardware and content. Dutch TV channels are not yet available, but you can already buy Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and streaming services now offer a lot of content in the 4K Ultra HD resolution. If you watch a lot of films and series on physical discs or via streaming services and you like to enjoy the highest possible quality, then Ultra HD is an absolute must.

High dynamic range(a larger dynamic range with brighter white and deeper black in one image) also offers real added value, but in our view it is more reserved for real film fans. Moreover, you only really benefit from this with an expensive, premium TV that has a high maximum brightness. Cheaper models also often advertise with HDR support, but they can only handle the signal (display the image) and not display the full range with really bright white and deep black. HDR can also be found on the latest Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and various streaming services (including Netflix and Amazon) have started streaming series and films in HDR. There are currently two HDR standards; HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The standards are comparable, but Dolby Vision uses dynamic metadata so that the HDR information can be optimized per scene. HDR10 is widely supported; every HDR TV comes with HDR10.Dolby Vision is currently only supported by LG in the Netherlands and in terms of content, there are various films and series that are equipped with it (in addition to HDR10). Dolby Atmos will also appeal to film fans, but for the ultimate Atmos experience, a lot of speakers must be placed in the room, including the speakers required for Atmos above the listening position. However, a Dolby Atmos-like experience can now also be obtained with a soundbar .

You also often see the term smart TV, but what exactly is a smart TV and what can you do with it? There are various platforms on the market, one of which is more filled and performs better than the other. Android TV is an extensive platform with access to a large number of apps, but leaves much to be desired in terms of stability. Samsung’s Tizen and LG’s webOS are very nice, stable and minimalistic, but offer access to fewer apps. We list the most important platforms, with all the differences and possibilities, in our smart TV article .

And then we haven’t even talked about OLED, the latest technology in TV. Should you buy an OLED TV or an LCD LED TV? Both image techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, including in terms of image quality, price and design. An OLED TV is currently in all cases a premium TV for which at least around 2,000 euros must be paid, but they are slowly getting cheaper. You can purchase LCD LED TVs for a few hundred euros, but lag behind OLED TVs if we look at deep black levels, high contrasts and motion techniques. On the other hand, the premium LCD LED TVs offer a higher peak brightness. You can read more about all the differences and considerations in our article about the differences between an OLED TV and an LCD LED TV .

And then there is the topic of energy consumption, which many consumers still value. A TV simply consumes quite a bit of energy, especially when it is on for hours. But which TVs consume the most energy? Are there any differences between brands and models? And what should I take into account if I want to keep the energy bill low? Today, the differences are no longer particularly great, but a 65-inch TV can quickly consume double the consumption of a 40-inch TV, something that can be an important consideration for the energy-conscious consumer. You can read more about this in our article about the energy consumption of televisions .

What kind of TV are you looking for?

Then it is important to ask yourself what kind of TV you are looking for. Which of the features and functions you have read about do you want on your TV? Don’t just look at what you want now, but also at what you might want in a year or three years’ time. It is important to think carefully whether the other equipment you have at home is compatible with the features and functions you want on your TV. For example; to watch 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, you also need an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. To run Ultra HD and HDR signals via a receiver / amplifier, it must be compatible with the latest HDMI standard (HDMI 2.0a).

Also look at the room in which the TV will be placed. This room, and in particular the viewing distance and the space you have in front of the TV, determines the size of the TV. For example, you can sit closer to a TV when the resolution is high. One of the rules you can stick to is a viewing distance of 2.5 to 3 meters for a 65-inch 4K Ultra HD TV. At this distance you can clearly see the advantage of the higher resolution and the ‘cinema experience’ is also optimal. Read more about the ideal size of a TV in our articles about the viewing distance for Full HD TVs and the viewing distance for Ultra HD TVs.. The design of the TV is also important, because it must of course match the design of the room in question. TVs are generally black in color and come with few bells and whistles, but pay attention to the location of the connections, for example. Can you hide the cables behind the TV, out of sight? When you put the TV down, does the base fit on the furniture? And, if you hang up the TV, can you still access the connections?

Also consider carefully how you are going to connect the TV. Where is the equipment to be connected? Do you have the right cables to connect everything? And do you get the most out of your TV and other devices with these cables? Read more about connecting equipment in our article about connecting your home cinema system . Do you have to cover longer distances? Then read our article on long distance hdmi .

The budget

Now that you have all this clear, you can also start looking at your budget. Make sure you have an amount in mind that you want to spend on your new TV. However, take into account which features and functions you would like to have, whether other devices need to be replaced and how large the TV should be. Make sure you put all your wishes on paper and draw up your budget based on this.

The budget is partly related to the information under the heading above. 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 will be spending more than you actually intended. 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, for example, a 50-inch TV with excellent image quality is also possible for less than 1,000 euros.

Read reviews

After following the previous steps you have pretty much in mind what TV you want, but before you actually go shopping, it is important to dive deeper into it. Read reviews, especially those from experts. We have an extensive review section where you will find tests of the latest TVs, but there are many more prominent websites that tell you in an extensive story whether a TV is worth your money or not. You can also read what the important pluses and minuses are. After reading these reviews, your wish list can probably be thinned out again.

What are the best TVs?

Several websites also provide overviews of the best TVs. This can be the best TVs overall, the best TVs for a specific budget or the best TVs for a specific use. We have also written several articles about TVs recently, including the best high-end TV, best TVs of 2018/19, best TV for playing games, best affordable 55-inches TV, and best budget TV. Read out TV reviews and these types of articles carefully to keep your list of contenders as small as possible when you go to buy a TV.

Go buy your new TV

Now the time has come to actually buy that new television. You have your wish list, your budget and you probably have some TVs in your head that have a chance to become your TV. Go shopping where you want and do this both online and offline. You have now been trained in such a way that a seller may know as much (or sometimes less) as you and in addition, the online prices are simply often more attractive. If you go to a physical store, don’t fall straight for the picture that appears on TV. These TVs are often set in such a way that they display everything optimally for fluorescent light and try to convince you as a viewer. You will never use the displayed content and settings used at home. It is difficult to judge a TV for its image quality in a physical store, so the experience of experts and buyers is most important in this regard. Take a look, compare and finally make the decision.

One of the reasons that consumers still go to a brick-and-mortar store to buy a new TV is that these stores would handle warranties and provide better service than stores that are only available on the Internet. However, from our own experience and experiences of consumers, we can say that this is no longer the case nowadays, provided you know from which store you are buying and you check how that store is rated. Internet shops are also bound by the guarantees that manufacturers offer and the larger and better internet shops offer an excellent guarantee and support. Many stores come to pick up the TV when something is wrong with it, so having nowhere to go with your TV is no longer applicable nowadays. But, if you are going to buy the TV in a physical store, you should read carefully what the conditions for the warranty are. Also, do not just buy an extra warranty without knowing exactly what you will get back for your TV in a year if there is something wrong with it. It is also wise to read yourself carefully about the standard warranty of manufacturers, which is required by law. This often already provides excellent protection for when something is wrong with the TV within a short time.

Are you looking for a matching audio system?

If you are looking for a new TV, there is a chance that you will also want to buy a new audio system. But, what exactly do you want? You can go for an extensive Dolby Atmos home cinema system with many speakers, you can go for an all-in-one set for a few hundred euros, or you can go for a soundbar with a subwoofer. There are plenty of options, but we recommend that you make a good investment right away and do not quickly buy something for the sound. A home cinema system or soundbar of, for example, 500 to 1,000 euros does not necessarily say that the neighbors are worried about it (the volume is not the most important at a higher price), but often that more audio formats are supported, that you have more music. from your own network and the cloud, that there are more connection options and that the audio that is reproduced simply sounds better.

A home cinema or stereo set of 100 or 200 euros will never give you an audio reproduction with a large range, a wide audio field and sufficient dynamics in an average living room. If a soundbar is not for you, we often advise you to go for separate components; a separate receiver or amplifier with separate speakers. Not only does this give a better quality, you can also always replace a part if something breaks and you have more options for connecting (future) equipment. To help you on your way, we refer you to our articles with about what a soundbar is and what a receiver is exactly .

Your TV is on: what now?

Have you found the TV that meets all your needs and fits within your budget? Then you can get started with installing, connecting and setting up your TV. We have covered these topics in detail in our article about connecting and setting up your TV . With these simple tips you will quickly arrive at the best picture settings for your TV.

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