TV Buying Guide: What You Need to Know in 2022 - The Plug - HelloTech (2022)

These days, TVs have so many complicated features that it can be difficult to find the right one. Should you get an LED, QLED, or OLED TV? Is an 8K TV really worth it? What’s the difference between HDR10 and HDR10+? To make things simple, here’s a comprehensive guide that explains everything you need to know about buying a new TV, so you can make the best decision when shopping for a new flat screen.

If you are just looking to buy a new flat screen, take our short quiz to find the best smart TV for you.

What Size TV Should You Buy?

When it comes to TV size, bigger is almost always better. To calculate exactly how big your next 4K TV should be, just measure how far you sit from the screen and divide that number by 1.4. For example, if you sit 10 feet (or 120 inches) away, you should buy an 85-inch TV.

This ensures that the screen will occupy enough of your field of view for an immersive experience. Since 4K TVs became mainstream in 2019, the most popular screen size in America has increased to 65 inches, according to data from TrendForce.

Read More: How far should you sit from your TV?

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Don’t want to deal with the hassle? HelloTech can mount your TV for you. We have thousands of certified technicians across the country who can come to your home as soon as today and mount your TV right the first time. We’ll even dress your wires or hide them in the wall for an additional fee.

Resolution: HD vs 4K vs 8K

One of the most important things to consider when buying a TV is its resolution. This refers to how many pixels (or points of light) a screen has. Basically, the higher the resolution, the more details you will be able to see.

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These days, most TVs support Full HD (high-definition), 4K, and 8K resolutions. Full HD (also known as 1080p) TVs have over 2 million pixels, while 4K UHD (ultra-high-definition) TVs have over 8 million pixels, and 8K TVs have over 33 million pixels.

To make it simple, a 4K TV has four times as many pixels as a Full HD TV, and an 8K TV has four times as many pixels as a 4K TV.

Read More: 4K vs 1080p

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Should You Buy an HD, 4K, or 8K TV?

Full HD TVs have been the cheapest option for years, but 4K TVs are getting cheaper every year. On the other hand, 8K TVs are still very expensive, and there’s not a lot of 8K content you can even watch right now.

Panel Types: LED vs QLED vs OLED

There are really only two different types of displays on the market: LED and OLED. While LED TVs are cheaper, they don’t have the best image quality. On the other hand, OLED TVs have much better image quality, but they don’t get very bright.

What Is an LED TV?

The majority of flatscreen TVs these days use LED (light-emitting diode) backlights that shine through LCD (liquid crystal display) panels to create an image. These TVs are usually cheap and bright, but they don’t always deliver the best image quality.

TV Buying Guide: What You Need to Know in 2022 - The Plug - HelloTech (5)

Because the panels aren’t good at blocking out all the light, LED TVs often make blacks look washed out. However, they also get very bright, so you can still see the image in a well-lit room with lots of windows.

What Is a QLED TV?

A QLED TV is just like an LED TV, except it uses a “quantum dot” layer between the backlight and the LCD panel. This additional layer has tiny crystals that increase the brightness and color volume of an image.

What Is a Mini-LED TV?

Many TVs have hundreds (or even thousands) of Mini-LED backlights to improve the brightness and contrast of the image. Mini-LED TVs are usually brighter than regular LED TVs, and they often have a feature called “local dimming,” which also improves the contrast as well.

Some TV companies also use terms like ULED, Neo LED, and QNED, which are just other forms of LED TVs with minor improvements.

What Is an OLED TV?

OLED TVs are completely different from LED TVs because they don’t use a backlight. Instead, each pixel in an OLED TV can be turned on or off individually. This improves the contrast ratio because black pixels can be turned off completely, even if they are right next to bright white pixels.

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The biggest downside to OLED TVs is that the individual pixels can degrade over time, leading to “permanent image retention.” This means static images and graphics can “burn in” your screen, especially if you leave your TV paused on the same image for a long time.

Read More: What’s the difference between LED, QLED, and OLED TVs?

Should You Buy an LED or OLED TV?

If you plan to watch TV in a bright room, you should buy an LED TV because they will get bright enough to combat natural light. On the other hand, if you plan to watch movies in a dark room, you should buy an OLED TV because they have better contrast and motion handling.

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If you do buy an LED TV, it’s important to know what type of backlighting it uses. There are “edge-lit” TVs that use a row of LEDs on the top, bottom, or side of the screen. There are also “direct-lit” TVs that use a grid of LEDs. However, both of these displays will cause light to “bleed” from the brightest parts of an image to the darker areas.

What Is Full-Array Local Dimming?

Full-array TVs have a feature called “local dimming,” which divides the LED backlights into “zones.” Each of these zones can be individually dimmed to improve the overall contrast. The more local dimming zones a TV has, the deeper its blacks will be.

Need help understanding the features of your new TV? HelloTech can help you figure them all out. Just book a home theater tutorial, and we’ll send a technician to teach you how to use your TV, change any settings, and even program your universal remote.

TV Buying Guide: What Is HDR?

HDR (high dynamic range) adds details to the shadows and highlights of an image. That means you’ll get whiter whites, deeper blacks, and a wider range of colors compared to older displays with Standard Dynamic Range (SDR).

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However, in order to take advantage of HDR content, you need a TV with a peak brightness of at least 500-1,000 “nits” or more.

HDR10 vs HDR10+ vs Dolby Vision

The three main HDR standards are HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. HDR10 is the most popular standard, but it can make an entire movie look brighter or darker than it should be. On the other hand, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision can get brighter, support more colors, and produce the most natural image.

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In order to take advantage of an HDR TV, you also need to be watching HDR content. Currently, HDR10 and Dolby Vision are supported by lots of streaming services and Blu-ray players, but HDR10+ is not commonly used.

Read More: What is HDR and how does it work?

Sound Quality: HDMI ARC vs eARC

Most TVs these days are too thin to contain high-quality speakers. To get the best sound from a TV, you will need to connect it to a soundbar or surround-sound system via HDMI ARC (audio return channel) or eARC (enhanced audio return channel) port.

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With HDMI ARC, you can connect your TV directly to a soundbar or AV receiver using a single cable. The only real difference is that eARC supports higher-quality audio formats like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. These surround-sound technologies allow you to create a 3D sound that comes from all around you, as long as you have the right audio system.

Setting up a home theater can be hard, but HelloTech makes it easy. Our hand-picked professionals will work with you to create the perfect audio system for your home theater. We’ll even stick around after everything is installed to walk you through the new system and answer any questions you have.

What Is Refresh Rate: 60Hz vs 120Hz vs 240Hz

A TV’s refresh rate refers to how many images a screen can display per second. Generally speaking, a high refresh rate will result in smoother motion, especially when watching sports or playing games on current-gen consoles, like the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5.

These days, you should only buy a TV if it has a refresh rate of 120Hz, especially if you want to play video games. But a higher refresh rate will also help with older movies, action movies, sports, and anything with lots of motion.

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However, it’s important to note that some manufacturers artificially inflate their refresh rates. So, make sure to check the “native refresh rate” before buying a new TV.

TV Buying Guide: Choosing a TV for Gaming

If you are buying a TV for gaming, you want to find one with a low input lag (also known as latency). This is how much time it takes for the screen to respond after you push a button on your controller. Preferably, you want a TV with an input lag under 30ms (milliseconds).

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TV Buying Guide: Ports and Connectivity

When buying a TV, you also need to make sure that it has the right ports. Specifically, you want a TV with several HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.1 ports. These high-speed connections support higher resolutions and faster refresh rates from your other devices,

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At the moment, HDMI 2.0 is the most common HDMI standard. But if you have the latest-gen gaming console, you should buy a TV that has at least one HDMI 2.1 port. It is also important to note that you will need a high-speed cable in order to take advantage of your HDMI 2.1 ports.

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If you have a smart TV, you also want to buy a TV with an Ethernet port. This will allow you to connect your TV directly to your router to get the most reliable signal.

Should You Buy a Smart TV?

A smart TV connects to the internet, allowing you to watch thousands of movies and TV shows on streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, and more. You can also connect a smart TV to your smart speakers and use voice commands to change the channel, turn off your TV, and more.

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Each smart TV comes with a streaming platform built in, such as Roku, Android TV, and WebOS. You can also control most smart TVs using the dedicated smartphone app. Some smart TV apps also let you connect wireless headphones to your TV or stream content from your smartphone to the TV.

Having trouble connecting to your streaming services? HelloTech has professionals across the country who can come to your home and set up any streaming services or streaming devices you have.

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