If you’re looking for a new TV, the Black Friday sales can be the best time to bag yourself a bargain. It can be quite a stressful, high-pressure time, with limited sales often drawing people to the lowest prices, rather than getting the features that they need.
The best way to make the most of Black Friday is to get a new TV with the latest technology in it, giving you more future-proofing and a far better viewing experience. Here, we’ve run down five things you should look out for when deal-hunting for a new TV.
You want the best of subscription-free television, you absolutely need to get a Freeview Play model. These smart TVs give you all of the free-to-air TV channels via your regular aerial, plus you get catch-up TV from all of the main services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 and UKTV Play. Crucially, all of the players are baked into the TV guide, so you can step back in time and watch a show that you’ve just missed.
While all Freeview Play TVs share the same core features, if you want a bit more the latest Panasonic TVs pull together all of the boxsets available on the on-demand channel, giving you binge-watching heaven. There are currently more than 250+ series available, and you can access them by pressing the FVP button on your remote and selecting Box Sets.
You can find out more about what Freeview can do with our five simple tips to get more from your TV.
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.
OLED or LCD?
The two main TV technologies are LCD and OLED. LCD TVs are the standard technology and are far cheaper than OLED models. They have the advantage that they’re brighter and colours can have that bit more ‘pop’. However, LCD TVs generally suffer when it comes to contrast, and blacks can look a bit washed out.
OLED TVs are more expensive but they’re far thinner than LCD models. With OLED, each pixel is individually controlled, so you can turn each one-off to get perfect blacks. This makes OLED far better when it comes to contrast, giving more detail and inky blacks. Colours are good but more natural, and OLEDs are a bit dimmer than their LCD equivalents.
In truth, neither technology is particularly bad, but if you want the best and most realistic viewing experience, look for an OLED model.
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, which means that any Black Friday discounts may not be that good compared to the normal price. Often a shop’s listing for a TV will state which year it is to help you out.
And, 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 can get 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 that you can do on Black Friday is to find out how good a deal that you’re actually doing. 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.