With all the TVs available today, and all the technical terms and jargon associated with television technology, it can be difficult to know what’s important. Here’s a quick guide to help cut through the confusion.
Price: TVs vary in price from $100 to over $2,000. Small screens are cheaper, well-known brands are more expensive, and spending more money will also give you better image quality. Most entry-level TVs have a good enough picture for most people, but TVs last a long time, so it may be worth spending more to get a better picture. It’s also best to shop for a TV in the fall, when prices are lower.
Screen size: Bigger is better in our book. We recommend a size of at least 43 inches for a bedroom TV and at least 55 inches for a living room or main TV — and 65 inches or larger is best. More than any other “feature,” increasing the size of the TV screen is the best use of your money. One of the most common post-TV-purchase complaints we hear is from people who aren’t big enough. And we almost never hear people complain that their TV is too big.
Capabilities: When it comes to entry-level TVs, the most important part is what kind of smart TV system the TV uses. Among the midrange models, look for a feature including full-array local dimming, mini-LED and 120Hz refresh rate, which (unlike other extras) help improve the picture, in our experience. And among high-end TVs, OLED technology is your best bet.
For more advice on buying a TV, see How to Buy a TV.