By The TV Answer Man Team
Buying a new TV can be an intimidating experience, particularly in a crowded electronics store. You might be afraid of asking the wrong questions or being overwhelmed by the salesman as he or she spits out a bunch of jargon about the set. We have tried to simplify the process by compiling the three basic questions you should ask when buying a new TV. And here they are:
1. What are the key features and specifications of the TV?
The first and most crucial question to ask the TV salesman is about the TV’s key features and specifications. Understanding the technical aspects of the television will help you determine if it meets your requirements and matches your viewing preferences. Some of the important features to inquire about include:
a. Screen Size and Resolution
The screen size determines your viewing experience, and the resolution affects the picture quality. Ask about the available screen sizes and resolutions, such as Full HD (1080p), 4K Ultra HD, or even 8K if applicable.
b. Panel Technology
Inquire about the panel type, whether it’s LED, OLED, or QLED. Each panel technology has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of picture quality, contrast, and viewing angles.
c. Refresh Rate
A higher refresh rate ensures smoother motion during fast-paced scenes, ideal for sports and action movies. Ask about the refresh rate, typically measured in Hertz (Hz).
d. HDR (High Dynamic Range)
HDR enhances the TV’s ability to display a broader range of colors and contrast for a more immersive viewing experience. Ask if the TV supports popular HDR formats like HDR10, Dolby Vision, or HLG.
e. Smart TV Features
Many modern TVs are equipped with smart capabilities, allowing access to streaming services, apps, and voice assistants. Ask about the TV’s operating system (e.g., Android TV, webOS, Tizen) and compatibility with streaming services you use.
Ensure the TV has sufficient HDMI ports, USB ports, and other inputs you might need to connect gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, soundbars, or other devices.
2. What is the TV’s sound quality, and does it support external audio systems?
While picture quality is essential, audio quality can significantly impact your overall viewing experience. Some TVs have slim profiles, which might compromise built-in speaker performance. Therefore, it’s essential to ask the salesman about the TV’s sound quality and whether it supports external audio systems. Consider inquiring about the following:
a. Speaker Configuration
Ask about the TV’s speaker setup – stereo, 2.1, or 5.1 surround sound. More advanced speaker configurations can provide a richer audio experience.
b. Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Support
These technologies offer immersive, three-dimensional soundscapes. If you’re a movie enthusiast or audiophile, a TV that supports Dolby Atmos or DTS:X can be a game-changer.
c. Audio Output
Check if the TV has audio output options like HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) or optical audio, enabling you to connect to soundbars or home theater systems.
3. What is the warranty and after-sales support?
Before making your final decision, inquire about the TV’s warranty coverage and the after-sales support provided by the manufacturer or the retailer. Here are some questions to consider:
a. Warranty Period
Ask about the duration of the manufacturer’s warranty. Most TVs come with a standard one-year warranty, but some manufacturers offer extended warranties for additional costs. In most cases, we encourage you not to get the extended warranty. See our article for why.
b. Return Policy
Understand the store’s return policy in case you encounter any problems or are unsatisfied with the TV’s performance.
c. Customer Support
Ask about the manufacturer’s customer support channels and response time for addressing technical issues or queries.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at email@example.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.