TV Answer Man, I keep seeing ads on TV and web sites saying I can get a great deal on a 4K TV for March Madness which starts this week. But is this true? Is this a good time to get a 4K TV? And do I really need a 4K TV to watch the games? — Jess, Corsicana, Texas.
Jess, 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. Knowing this, retailers bombard us with attractive-sounding offers on new 4K TVs, making it sound like you need a 4K TV to watch the games.
However, buying a 4K TV for the specific purpose of watching March Madness could be a mistake.
Why do I say that?
CBS, and the Turner-operated TNT, TBS and Tru, which will air the games, have said they will not offer them in 4K this year. (The only time they did was in 2019.) So if you’re thinking of buying a new TV — specifically a 4K TV — just to watch March Madness, think again.
Now that I’ve said that, there are two possible reasons why you might want to buy a new 4K TV before the games begin this week.
1. 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, such as March Madness, is available in 4K.
2. Compared to the Super Bowl, and the Black Friday sales rush, retailers offer fewer real deals on TVs during March Madness. Most sets carry the same prices they did a few weeks ago despite the retailer claims, and they will likely have those prices a few weeks after the tournament is over.
But that said, you might find a few that you like that offer actual discounts. (And if you’re unsure if the discounts are real, read this article.) If you are in the market for a new TV, and it’s discounted significantly, this could be a good time to pull the trigger.
But if you’re a budget-conscious consumer who already owns a TV you’re happy with, you probably can hold off on buying a new TV right now.
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— Phillip Swann