By The TV Answer Man team
As we reported earlier today, there will be five college football games in 4K this Saturday, the most ever on a single day. With 4K sporting events on the increase, this might be a good time to buy a 4K set, or perhaps a new one. Below are nine things you should look for when buying a 4K TV.
1. Screen Size
The first and most crucial consideration is the screen size. The ideal size for your 4K TV largely depends on the size of your room and your viewing distance. A larger screen can provide a more immersive experience, but it should be balanced with the viewing distance to avoid discomfort. As a general rule of thumb, for a 4K TV, multiply the diagonal screen size (in inches) by 1.5 to 2.5 to determine the optimal viewing distance.
2. Display Technology
There are several display technologies to choose from when purchasing a 4K TV, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:
LED-LCD: LED-LCD TVs are the most common and affordable option. They offer excellent brightness and energy efficiency. Look for models with local dimming for better contrast.
OLED: OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) TVs offer stunning contrast, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles. They are thinner and lighter than LED-LCDs but can be more expensive.
QLED: QLED TVs use Quantum Dot technology to enhance color accuracy and brightness. They provide excellent picture quality and are often competitively priced.
3. High Dynamic Range (HDR)
HDR is a technology that enhances the contrast and color range of your TV, resulting in more vibrant and lifelike images. When shopping for a 4K TV, ensure it supports popular HDR formats like HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG. These formats can significantly impact your viewing experience, especially when watching compatible content.
4. Refresh Rate
The refresh rate measures how many frames per second a TV can display. For smooth motion and reduced motion blur, look for a 4K TV with a high refresh rate, preferably 120Hz or higher. Gamers should also consider low input lag for a more responsive gaming experience.
5. Smart Features
Most modern 4K TVs come with built-in smart features, allowing you to stream content from popular services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Check the smart platform offered by the TV, as well as the availability of apps and user-friendliness of the interface. Compatibility with voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant can also be a plus.
Consider the number and types of ports available on the TV. Ensure it has enough HDMI ports to connect your devices, such as gaming consoles, soundbars, and streaming devices. Additionally, look for HDMI 2.1 ports if you plan on using your TV for gaming, as they support features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM).
7. Audio Quality
While the picture quality is essential, don’t overlook the audio quality. Some 4K TVs come with built-in Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support for immersive sound. Alternatively, you can invest in a soundbar or a home theater system for a more robust audio experience.
8. Brand Reputation and Reviews
Research the brand’s reputation and read reviews from both experts and users. This can provide valuable insights into the TV’s performance, reliability, and customer satisfaction.
9. Price and Budget
Finally, establish a budget before you start shopping. 4K TV prices can vary significantly based on size, brand, and features. While it’s tempting to go for the latest and greatest, make sure your choice aligns with your budget and needs.
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