Q. I’m thinking of buying a 4K TV to watch all the new shows on the new Fall TV season. Is this a good time to buy one? — Terry, Milwaukee.
The four big networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox) will kick off their new Fall lineups next week, debuting new shows and returning old favorites. And knowing that more people will watch television next week after their summer vacations, TV makers are heavily promoting 4K TVs at web sites and retail stores.
However, buying a 4K TV for the specific purpose of watching the new Fall TV season could be a mistake.
Why do I say that?
The primetime lineups of CBS, Fox, NBC and ABC are not available in 4K. That’s right. Some seven years after 4K TVs were first available at retail, the four biggest TV channels still do not offer primetime programming in 4K. (CBS, Fox and NBC do offer some select sports broadcasts in 4K, but you can only watch them on special 4K channels provided by pay TV providers such as DIRECTV, Dish and fuboTV.)
So if you’re thinking of buying a new TV — specifically a 4K TV — just to watch all the new shows, think again.
Now that I’ve said that, there is one reason why you might want to buy a 4K TV before the 2019 Fall Season begins. 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 any show or game — and you will be ready for the future when more network programming is available in 4K.
You also will be able to watch 4K programming from other sources such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
But if you’re a budget-conscious consumer who already owns a great HDTV, you probably can hold off on buying a new TV right now.
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— Phillip Swann