If you’re in the market for a new TV, we’ve put together a list of five key things you should be looking out for.
Go 4K if you can
Look out for a 4K Ultra HD television where you can. Typically available in screens larger than 40in, 4K televisions have four times the resolution of Full HD models, showing unrivalled detail. Of course, to get the best out of a 4K TV you need to be able to watch in Ultra HD. The good news is that the number of Ultra HD providers is increasing, with many premium streaming services now offering this. Ultimately, 4K is the future of TV, so if you’re going to buy a new television, you may as well future-proof yourself.
4K TVs also support High Dynamic Range (HDR) images, which improves contrast and brightness on supported content. Contrast defines the difference between the darkest and lightest parts of a picture that can be displayed at the same time, with HDR TVs having far greater contrast to display more detail. HDR also boosts brightness, so you can have areas of searing detail.
HDR is available in a few different standards, and not all TVs support all of them; however, TVs typically support the widest-used HDR standards, so you shouldn’t have a problem viewing content. Check out our guide on how to watch 4K content for more information.
Freeview Play brings all your favourite TV together into one place. There are over 85 live TV channels, and eight on demand players, meaning BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK, and STV Player are all built in as standard.
With over 20,000 hours of on demand content, and over 750 box sets available, there is loads to choose from, so to make this easier you can also head over to the Explore Freeview Play hub on Channel 100 to browse handpicked content recommendations.
Freeview Play is built into most new TVs, and of course, it is completely free. You can find out more about what Freeview Play can do with our five simple tips to get more from your TV.
OLED or LCD?
The two main TV technologies are LCD and OLED.
OLED TVs come with a far higher price tag, they are thinner than LCD models and with OLED each pixel is individually controlled so they are better when it comes to contrast, giving more detail and inky blacks.
However, unless you are really invested in getting that perfect contrast, LCD is still a great option, it shows off brighter colour – giving more of a ‘pop’ - and it is much more affordable.
Watch out for the manufacturing year
While specs can tell you a lot about a TV, it’s worth seeing if you can see what year it is. TV manufacturers typically release new models every year but stores still often have stocks of the previous year’s televisions.
These models tend to be cheaper, because they’re more out-of-date, most of the time though it’s worth buying the latest TV model that you can, as you’ll get newer features, better picture quality and the rest.
However, that all said, if you’ve seen a quality TV from last year at a really good price that meets your needs, then it’s worth using our advice below to do so.
Check the sales price
One of the main things to do if you are looking at a TV that is on offer, is to check how much of a deal that you’re actually getting. The easiest way to do that is by using CamelCamelCamel to track the price of a product on Amazon. All you have to do is go to Amazon and find a product, then copy and paste the web address into CamelCamelCamel. This will give you a graph showing how the price has changed over time, including the maximum and minimum prices. You may well find that a product has been cheaper before, so isn’t such a good deal; a good TV deal is one where the price is usually high and has been significantly been reduced.