What Size TV Should I Get
What size TV do I need for my room? How big a TV should I buy?
Those are all common questions we are asked often. Ive put together this detailed guide to answer exactly these questions for you.
You will no longer have to wonder what TV size is best. I will show you everything you need to know to calculate the perfect size TV for every room.
What About All Those Picture Settings Should I Buy A Calibration
Properly adjusting the picture is very important to getting the most out of your TV. That said, simply selecting the “Movie,” “Cinema” or “Calibrated” preset will get you the most accurate picture on most TVs. If you want to go deeper, or perhaps bring in a professional to help, check out our picture settings tips and professional calibration explainer.
Heres What You Need To Know Before Buying At TV At Costco
Money expert Clark Howard loves Costco Wholesale for its great prices and quality products. If youve ever walked into a Costco, you know youre hit with a whole section of TVs and electronics almost the minute you step inside the warehouse club.
In this article, well take a look at the TVs that Costco sells, the extended warranty offered on all Costco TVs, the stores return policy and more.
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Other Features To Consider When Buying A New TV
Its always worth thinking about your TV-viewing habits before you make a decision on purchasing a TV. Here are a few examples:
- Do you like switching the light off before sitting down to watch TV? Or by contrast, do you typically watch television during daylight hours? Its in the gloom that QLED and OLED televisions really perform well, but they sometimes struggle under bright light conditions.
- Are you a gamer? If theres usually a console parked under your TV, you might want to seek out a television with a high refresh rate that stops your gameplay from juddering look for sets marked as 120HZ or higher.
- Are you a film buff whos sorely missing the cinema? Youre probably thinking about a TV with high-quality visuals, but its also wise to set aside some of your budget for a soundbar. Youll often find that retailers sell TVs and soundbars together in bundle deals.
- Have you considered putting your TV on the wall? It can make all the difference to the quality of your viewing, and TV wall brackets are inexpensive. Dont miss our how to wall mount a TV explainer to find out more.
Costco’s TV Prices Are Competitive
It can be hard to know whether youre really getting a good deal on a TV at Costco and other warehouse clubs. Almost identical televisions from the same manufacturer may have different model names, depending on what store you go into. That makes it hard to compare prices and to take advantage of price-match guarantees. A retailer doesnt have to match a price from one of its competitors if the TVs have different model names, even if the sets are almost identical.
Despite all that, we find Costco to be very competitive with other major retailers when it comes to TV prices. And actually, its not hard to decode warehouse club models on your own, so you can compare deals and look up reviews in Consumer Reports ratings, which are open to members.
Often, the model designations only differ from what youll see at stores like Walmart or Best Buy by a few digits. For example, with LG TVs, the models sold at warehouse clubs will have an AUA suffix, while sets sold at other types of retailers will use either PUA or PUB endings. That 65-inch LG OLED65CXAUA OLED TV you find at Costco will be very similar to the LG OLED65CXPUA at Best Buy or Crutchfield.com.
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What Are Freeview And Freeview Plus
Freeview is simply the brand behind free-to-air TV . It integrates the EPG , or onscreen program guide, which should be easy to navigate and read.
Most TVs also support Freeview Plus. This adds support for catch-up TV apps such as iView and 7plus, so you watch what you want when you want.
However, for all this to work you need your smart TV connected to the internet through your home network, as the catch-up TV is delivered to you via streaming video.
What Size TV Should I Buy
With the TV market continually shifting towards larger screens, there are fewer top-quality sets smaller than 49 inches each year. But bear in mind that with TV bezels shrinking, larger sets might not be as big as you think, especially if you haven’t bought a new TV in a few years.
- 32-inch TVs and smaller you won’t find 4K TVs at this size because the screens are too small to show off the increased detail. Smaller TVs should still be smart, though, so look for ones that let you access the internet and download streaming apps.
- 40 to 43-inch TVs these are the most popular sizes among our members, but manufacturers favour bigger screens. You’ll see HD and 4K sets at these sizes and they should have smart functionality. But there aren’t many high-end TVs with the best picture technology and cutting-edge features.
- 49 to 55-inch TVs these bigger TVs are where manufacturers focus their time and resources. Barring a few older models, all 49 to 55-inch TVs will be 4K and support HDR. Since TVs at these sizes tend to make up the bulk of a manufacturer’s range, you’ll find high-end models rich with features as well as budget options with less advanced technology.
- 65-inch and larger TVs at the top end of the size spectrum follow the same trends as 49 to 55-inch models, so you’ll find big TVs at the cheap and pricey ends of each manufacturer’s range. They will all be 4K and should have smart functionality.
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Getting The Right Connections
Your ideal TV should provide enough video connections not only for now, but for the foreseeable future as well. The most important input is HDMI, which supports all major forms of digital video sources including Blu-ray players, game consoles, set-top boxes, cameras, camcorders, phones, tablets, and PCs through a single cable. Most TVs have three or four HDMI ports, but some might only have two. It’s the best way to send 1080p video from your devices to your screen with one cable, and will be the main way you connect your main sources of entertainment to your TV. If you want a 4K screen, make sure at least one of the HDMI ports is HDMI 2.0. It’s the latest standard that supports 4K video at 60 frames per second older HDMI ports can only handle 4K up to 30 frames per second, at best.
As for cables, unless you have a huge home theater system and plan to run cables between devices at distances longer than 25 feet , brands and prices don’t matter. We’ve compared the performance of high-end cables and inexpensive ones, and found that they all carry digital signals similarly. More expensive cables might have a better build quality, but you won’t see any performance advantages from them. Don’t shop for HDMI cables at retail stores, and ignore and clerks who warn you of “dirty electricity” or “viruses” that can come with cheap cables . Hop online and find the least expensive cable at the size you need and snap it up.
Don’t Forget Gaming: Features Matter
A good gaming TV won’t just have a great picture and sound. You also need to consider the connectivity options, gaming features and overall responsiveness of the TV.
While we already recommend holding out for more HDMI ports, an extra HDMI port can mean the difference between leaving your console connected and swapping it out for your Blu-ray player every time you want to fire up a round of Call of Duty.
While HDMI 2.1 is still relatively new, it’s a must have for any of the next-gen consoles. And certain features offered by the 2.1 spec have become much more common, like Auto-Low Latency Mode , which switches to game mode as soon as the console is turned on, and Variable Refresh Rate , which matches the screen to the frame-by-frame output coming from the TV, synchronizing the two for judder-free gaming.
To get a closer look at our favorite console-ready TVs, check out the best gaming TVs for 2021.
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Which Brand Of TV Is Best
All of the top TV brands produce excellent TVs and jockey for position for the best TV overall. Although this list of the best TVs is topped by LG at this time, that can change with new generations of televisions, the demands of buyers, and availability of new features. In recent years, the best TV brands include Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Vizio, TCL and Hisense.
When Is The Best Time To Buy A TV
If youre planning to replace your TV, it can be worth waiting until a sales period, as thats when we see some of the biggest price drops and the hottest deals. Key events in the calendar kick off in the New Year sales, before Easter Weekend and then Black Friday in November.
What we noticed during the Black Friday 2020 sales was a lot of aggressive price-matching between all the major retailers, including Currys PC World, John Lewis, AO, Very and, of course, Amazon. So what typically happens is that youll find the same TV at the same discounted price across a number of stores . However, that shouldnt make you complacent: these deals come and go very quickly, especially on Amazon, where lightning deals can run for a matter of hours.
Looking for a bargain? See our list of the best smart TV deals this month.
Check The Viewing Angle
Despite many improvements, most LCDs still have a fairly significant shortcoming: limited viewing angle. That means the picture looks its best only from a fairly narrow sweet spot right in front of the screen. We recommend checking the viewing angle by watching a TV from off to the side, and from above and below the main part of the image. As you move away from the center of the screen, the image can dim, lose contrast and color accuracy, or look washed out. And the degree of picture degradation varies from model to model. Weve found that TVs that use IPS LCD panels offer wider-than-average viewing angles for LCD sets, though this can sometimes come at the expense of contrast.
Recently, weve seen some TVs from Samsung and Sony that have wider-than-average viewing angles for an LCD-based set without using IPS panels. These are typically in the companies higher-priced models.
If you try to check out a TVs viewing angle in the store, be aware that the TVs retail setting typically cranks the brightness and boosts colors to unnatural levels, artificially improving off-angle viewing. Whatever you experience in the store, its important to also check the viewing angle after youve set it up in your home. We suggest you do it immediately so that you can easily return the set if it proves to be disappointing.
How We Test TVs
We begin each model year by bringing in the top-tier televisions from each of the major brands, including Samsung, Sony, LG, and others. These premium televisions help set the highest standard for the year, managing expectations for each model below them, and providing context among the competitors.
We begin testing by setting up each TV in a completely dark room and adjusting its picture settings using tools and methods readily available to consumers just like you might do at home. From there, we use a series of test patterns and familiar content, from streaming services to Ultra HD Blu-ray to over-the-air TV, to judge each TVs performance characteristics, including color production, motion resolution, black levels, backlight influence, brightness, HDR quality, and detail resolution.
Once weve analyzed a TVs picture quality, we move on to elements that affect the user experience, including each sets smart TV interface, user settings interface, remote control, external device recognition and control, and other essential touchpoints.
When possible, well place two competing models side by side to provide additional context for the pros and cons of each TV. Finally, we decide which type of user a TV might appeal to. For instance, some TVs provide better bright-room performance, while others are better for a dedicated home theater performance. Some are better for sports, while others are better for watching movies or playing games.
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Timely Advice: Fall Is The Best Time To Buy A New TV
The TV buying season is cyclical. Every year new models are introduced in January and start hitting store shelves in March and April. TV prices go down as the year progresses until Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November, when they typically hit bottom. Those sales are best known for crazy, doorbuster pricing on no-name televisions, but the fact is that just about every TV gets a Black Friday price cut. Those sales are just around the corner and now is typically the time when manufacturers start lowering their prices.
In 2021, however, TV discounts will not as steep as they’ve been in the past. Pandemic-related manufacturing disruptions have caused across-the-board price hikes throughout the consumer electronics market. Expect TV prices to stay higher this year, even with Black Friday sales, especially on cheaper models. Either way, we will be watching the sales prices as they roll in and will update our buying advice accordingly.
Regardless, if you’re a TV enthusiast who insists on the latest features or someone who just needs a TV upgrade, now is still the best time of the year to start looking for deals.
Looking for more advice? Here you go.
Which TV Brand Lasts The Longest
As long as you buy one of the recognized big name TV brands, the longevity of your TV is more dependent on the model and technology inside it than the brand. Most modern OLED TVs are rated for around 30,000 hours, which is enough to let you watch three hours of TV every day for over 27 years. LCD TVs can be rated for anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 hours, so you’re certainly likely to buy a new TV before any of these sets finally stop working for good.
If you buy a brand that uses poor quality components or comes with a very limited warranty then you may find that your TV doesn’t last that long. Sticking to an established brand and focusing on the better models that company manufactures will guarantee that your TV lasts for many years to come.
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Using Soundbars Or External Speakers
Soundbars are a popular option for consumers that want to get better sound from their TV but don’t have the interest, budget or time to build a full-blown home cinema. They’re designed to simulate the effects of surround sound setups in a much smaller package that’s generally cheaper as well. But like the move from TVs to soundbars, with few exceptions an external speaker setup and a reasonable amplifier will almost always sound better.
Configurations for both options include:
- 2.0: Stereo surround or left and right channel.
- 2.1: Stereo surround plus a subwoofer.
- 5.1: Five speakers and one subwoofer to create the surround sound effect.
- Dolby Atmos/DTS-X: Object-based surround sound which is designed to make you feel like you’re in the location that’s on screen. It can specifically place the objects in reference to their position on screen, which is a step up from the general surround sound in a 5.1 setup.
Soundbars house a number of speakers in the body that’s designed to replicate various speaker configurations. Replicating left, right and centre speakers is easy as the bar sits under your TV in front of you. However, those that claim to create 5.1 or an Atmos/DTS-X effect do so by angling other speakers towards the walls, so they can bounce audio around the room to “surround” your ears.
Best TV Under Rs 5000: Xiaomi Mi TV 5x 55
Xiaomi’s focus on affordability and value-for-money continues to pay off for the company, and the Mi TV 5X 55 is an excellent option at under Rs. 50,000, particularly from the perspective of getting the most bang for your buck. With Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, a 55-inch Ultra-HD LED screen, and very good software, the Mi TV 5X is a familiar, reliable experience that gets most things right.
Sound quality is decent on the whole, the picture is about as good as you can expect for the price, and performance is consistent across resolutions. However, there were some performance issues with the TV in our review, and Xiaomi still doesn’t bundle batteries with the remote, which is disappointing.
Core performance is the key here and HDR content, particularly in the Dolby Vision format, looks a lot better than on most televisions in this price segment. Android TV 10 and PatchWall make for a good software experience as well. If you have a a budget of less than Rs. 50,000 and are looking for a big-screen TV, the Mi TV 5X is definitely worth considering.
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