TV buying guide: How to choose the best television

Teljoy

This year, get intentional about the TV you want and read up on what you want it to be (and do) before clicking the ‘shop now’ button.

Back in the day it was simple buying a TV. You’d go to your local electronics shop and just pick the cheapest one (there was very little choice). People didn’t care too much about specs as long as you were able to watch the news and daily soaps. However, the multitude of options and technologies that have emerged over the years have changed viewing experiences and we now have much higher standards.

As the brand that brought the first TV in to South Africa after 1969 here’s what we’d like to share to help you make your next TV upgrade:

4k, 6k or 8k? What resolution do I need?

Resolution matters and it’s the first thing any buyer should consider. Why? Ever take a photo on your smartphone and zoom in real close? It gets all fuzzy, doesn’t it? Those fuzzy little dots of colour are called pixels. And when it comes to picture quality, the more densly packed the pixels are, the more lifelike things become. That’s called high resolution and the same rules apply to your TV. The higher the resolution, the better. Buy a 4K TV, otherwise known as an Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV if you want extremely higher resolution then go for 6k or 8k.

QLED, LED, LCD? Which panel type is right for me?

These are some prevalent terms you might encounter during your TV shopping journey. 

LCD: This is the screen display that took over the short life of its plasma competitor.

LED: This is built into the TV as a backlight for display to offer much more contrast.

QLED: QLED is basically the most advanced version of conventional LCD-LED technology. The Q is for the quantum-dot filter which essentially purifies the colour of the light coming from the LEDs to get a better, more vivid, and more saturated colour.

Do I need smart?

Don’t overthink this one. Obviously go for smart (if you can) as Smart TVs have WiFi built in and give you access to streaming and other TV Apps. But whether you get a smart TV or not you will be able to make it smart using a streaming device like Google Chromecast or an HDMI cable.

What size?

Whether you're looking for a basic or high-performance TV, the biggest factor in your decision will probably be screen size. Consider how many people in your family typically watch at once and where you're going to put your new set. Then pick the largest screen size that will fit comfortably into that space and is within your budget. The sweet spot, considering price, performance and the typical living room, is between 55 and 65 inches. There are however sizes even bigger, like a 98-inch TV – would you consider buying it? 

What about voice assist and a soundbar?

If you like asking for help, some TVs will enable you to use Google Assist to change channels, lower volume and generally control your TV using voice commands. TVs are so thin now that some users complain they don’t pump out enough high quality sound. A sound bar fixes this problem.