Shop Sweeps

What I Look For When Buying A TV

I recently had to buy a new TV for my house. My old TV was feeling a little on the small side and it didn’t have any of the handy smart TV features so many of the current televisions have. Plus, have you seen how much cheaper TVs have gotten over the last few years?

My last TV was smaller, was not 4K and definitely wasn’t a smart TV yet it could triple the price of my latest purchase. It is incredible how you can now find high quality TVs with tons of awesome features for so much less than they used to cost.

Obviously one important feature for anyone is picture quality. Everyone has their own preference, so I find it is useful to actually look at the TVs in action? Do you watch sports? Try watching your favorite sport on the devices you are considering. These days, most TVs are either High Definition (HD) or Ultra High Definition (UHD or 4K) and even 8K. For many people, HD is just fine. While 4K and 8K devices will have more pixels, usually resulting in a sharper, less pixelated picture, this may not be necessary for everyone. The fact is that only certain programs are even shown in 4K or 8K so you may not be able to take advantage of those features all the time anyway.

Sounds is another important aspect to consider. Does the TV you are considering have built—in speakers and if so, are they good enough? Do you need a sound bar? Sound bars are smallish speakers that augment the sound volume and clarity. I actually picked up a Bose sound bar with my recent TV purchase and really do like the sound. You can even stream music from your phone or computer with WiFi enabled sound bars which is another cool feature.

Obviously, size is another thing to consider. While we all love big TVs, you don’t want to get something that is too big for the room. If you go to a showroom you can see how the picture looks on different sized screens from a similar distance you would normally watch the TV from.

The most important factor for most people, including me is cost. Luckily TVs have come down in price and there is something in all kinds of price ranges. Some new brands that seem to have good reputations and solid pricing are TCL – I first came across this brand on Amazon, but have seem them in stores of late and Sceptre, which can be found at Walmart and Amazon among other places. We actually have a Sceptre TV in our office and it works well for both presentations and watching our favorite soccer matches. Other well-known brands include LG, Sony, Samsung and RCA. All have good reputations and are worth considering in my opinion.

If you plan on shopping for a TV any time soon, be sure to do your homework, compare prices, read review and of course check out the TVs at a local store. 

Just remember, don't feel pressured to go and buy a Smart TV if it's not within your budget. If you want to get a new TV, and also want to be able to stream your shows via Netflix, Hulu, Etc, you have a couple of alternatives. The cheapest option is to simply by an HDMI cable and plug into into your TV and computer -- just make sure its extra long. This will allow you to log into your streaming services from your computer and then you can display it on your TV.

The other option is buying something like an Amazon Firestick or a Roku. You can get either one for for under $25 and they basically turn your TV into a smart TV. All you have to do is plug the device into the back of your TV!

P.S: If all of this sounds great to you, but you would prefer to not spend money on a smart tv, then please don't forget to enter for a chance to win our Smart TV Giveaway!