Q. I’m thinking of buying a 4K TV to watch all the March Madness games. Is this a good time to buy one? — Marcia, Cleveland.
Every year, scores of millions watch the annual college basketball tournament, known as March Madness, and they like to view it on the best set possible. In addition, retailers are heavily promoting 4K TVs now so shoppers will be bombarded with attractive-sounding 4K offers when they go into stores this week, or peruse their favorite web site.
However, buying a 4K TV for the specific purpose of watching March Madness could be a big mistake.
Why do I say that?
For starters, March Madness, which will air on CBS, and Turner-owned cable networks such as TBS and TNT, will not be broadcast in 4K. The games will be aired in 1080i High-Definition.
Second, despite what some TV makers claim, the High-Definition picture does not look significantly better on a 4K TV. If you have a high-quality HDTV, March Madness’ high-def broadcasts will look just as good on your set as they will on a 4K TV.
So if you’re thinking of getting a 4K TV because you think you will be buying the best picture possible for the games, think again. You would be better off spending less money on a highly-rated HDTV. (Most 4K sets cost as much as $500 more than a comparably-sized HDTV.)
Now that I’ve said that, there is one reason why you might want to buy a 4K TV before this week’s games begin. If you were thinking seriously about buying a 4K set anyway, well, go ahead and buy it now. If it’s a top-rated 4K TV, you will get a very good picture for the game — and you will be ready for the future when more programming is available in 4K.
But if you’re a budget-conscious consumer who simply wants a great TV for basketball’s most exciting time of the year, get a great High-Definition TV.
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