There was a time when entertainment was simply related to TV, that is not the case now with smartphones and tablets. But nothing can be compared with the immersive experience of a massive screen and sound system that is capable to knock the entire room down.
Buying a TV is not like buying a Smartphone either, you probably invest more here and you don’t change it as frequently as you choose to change your mobile phone. Very obviously your expectations are higher; after all you spend thousands of hours watching it and you spend thousands of rupees to buy it initially.
Whether you are buying a TV first time by yourself or thinking to upgrade it with a newer version we will help you to find a TV set that you will love watching for years. To make you find the “best” is not what we promise as “best” will always mean different thing to different people. These days it is almost impossible to find a bad TV, but with this article we will help you so that you can find your ideal TV and that’s all matters.
Rule 1: Start by Picking up the right TV Size: Find Your Sweet Spot
Sit very close to your TV and you will experience loss of clarity and sit too far and you will find difficulty in picking up picture details. Gone are those days when there was a standard TV size for all. In fact, after the Full-HD and 4K TVs were introduced there is more focus on larger screens than ever. Bigger screen can give you theatre like experience- so yes -bigger is becoming better with the rise of 4K and Full-HD TVs.
But not to forget, a bigger screen might look too tempting to actually forget your available room space; this may end up in choosing something that is too big for the size of your room which may feel like sitting on the first row in a movie hall which you don’t want to imagine.
So, how do you decide the right size for you?
Keeping personal preference aside, the three main factors that decides you TV screen include the flowing
- Size of the room and where you will sit: Consider the room size and then decide where you will place the TV. Larger room generally has sitting place away from the TV screen which requires the TV screen to be larger and vice versa.
- Resolution of the TV: higher the resolution closer you can sit to the TV. 4K TVs have higher resolution which can show you 4 times details than a Full-HD, then comes the Full-HD with 1080 pixels and then HD with 720 pixels. That means you can seat closest to the TV with a 4K.
- Number of people viewing the same screen: If multiple family members are viewing the TV, the screen should be large at placed at a distance where the opposite case one can opt for something smaller is.
Here is a ready-made table to help you find your perfect TV match
|Viewing Distance (feet)||Suggested Screen Size( inch)||Resolution|
|8-13||55||Full HD or 4K|
|8-15 or above||55 or above||4K|
- If you have a large room and mounting your TV on wall- go bigger.
- Don’t go for curved TV, it only gives the feel good factor to the feature. Curved surface distorts the images and has smaller viewing angles.
- If you are placing the TV on furniture, the height of the furniture should allow the viewer to view without causing any neck or back strain.
Rule 2: Display Type Alone Can Make a Huge Difference
The very first display type came into the market was Plasma which is no more seen these days, then came the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) which performed well for some years but then became unpopular due to several shortfalls. Then we got LCD/LED or LED TVs in short which is used in most TVs these days. Very recently, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) has come into the market and there is also QLED but that is an eponym to their high end LED TVs.
In a nutshell, you will either find LED/LCD or OLED panel technology in the market. The basic difference is the pixels of an OLED (Organic Light-emitting Diodes) TV have their own light where the pixels of an LCD LED TV are illuminated by backlit. This difference is the reasons behind the picture quality effects. Let’s make it clear here, the differences mostly favor OLED, but a 4K LED TV still can offer you spectacular picture quality with almost half of the price of an OLED. So which one is better? Here is how they head up against each other.
Head-to-head competition LED/LCD vs. OLED
Affordable Price: LED/LCD
The biggest downside of the OLED is their price. You can get a 55” LCD TV at 45,000 where it cost around 2, 00,000 for a same sized OLED TV. But OLED prices are coming down. LG has dropped their prices sidereal times already.
Better Picture Quality: OLED
LED TV are backlight, means they use Light Emitting Diodes (LED) to illuminate the pixels through an LCD panel. OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diode) are not backlit; every single pixel has their own light and turns on when electricity is introduced. The resulting image becomes far more vivid and life like.
Light output or Brightness: OLED for darker rooms and LED LCD for brighter room
Both the TV types are very bright and work well in natural or artificial lighting conditions. LEDs are particularly better for brighter sunny rooms. Due to the effect of their backlit the whole screen look brighter. OLEDs can’t make the full screen with that much brightness; they look and feel splendid in darker rooms- where a TV actually looks its best.
Higher Contrast Ratio: OLED
The contrast ratio is the difference between brightest and the darkest colour of a colour scheme. A higher contrast ratio makes picture looks more realistic while a lower contrast ratio makes the output look dull and washed out. LEDs cannot get completely dark, the blacks are not the darkest black but OLED makes the colours pop and the blacks are true blacks with no blooming. It is the best modern display with best colour contrast the hues and shadows are true-to-life.
Black Level: OLED
Deeper blacks set better colour contrast and better colour contrast means better picture quality. That being said, black levels are not just the depth of the black. It’s in the detailing of the blacks, the good balance of light and shadows that makes a picture life like. The OLED wins here because it can turn the individual pixels off to produce true blacks whilst the LED has local diming control where the part of the screen can’t go completely off independent of other. This cannot give absolute black and this is why per pixel control is always superior over local diming. The best kind of LED come with full array dimming which gives better colour contrast results yet not as good as OLED- lights of adjacent areas still spoils the blacks of the real image.
Viewing Angles: OLED
One of the biggest downside of the LED TVs is the change in the picture quality with viewing angle. You have to seat straight to the direction of the TV, if you go off to the side the picture will fade. A few LEDs have In-plane-switching panels which offers better off axis picture quality but the result is not as good as looked straight on. OLEDs don’t have such issues. All viewing angles are optimized.
Hers a quick comparison table of the display types you can find in the market right now
|Source of Light||Edge-lit/Backlit LEDs||LEDs with Quantum Dot Panels||Individually illumining pixels|
|Brightness||Great in bright lights||Great in any lighting conditions||Great in dim lights|
|Colours||Great||Great with perfect white balance||Great with perfect black levels|
|Viewing Angle||OK||Wide angle View||Wide angle view|
|Price||45,000 for 55”||2,00,000 for 55”||2,00,000 for 55”|
Rule 3: Higher the Screen Resolution Better the Viewing Experience – “Almost Always”.
Resolution is the number of pixels that makes the image on a TV screen (described as Horizontal columns X Vertical rows). A single pixel is a tiny dot on the screen and more pixels means finer details and sharper images, so higher resolution is more preferable ( almost always- we will discuss it below).
Older TV models and many 32” models sold today have pixels close to 1 million (720p). More recent and slightly larger TVs 48-inch and even some smaller models came with over 2 million pixels called Full-HD TV (1080p) which are still a standard and mostly preferred resolution in TVs globally.
Then around 5 years ago bigger and the expensive TVs over 50-inch screen (now in some smaller TVs also) were introduced which came with 8 million pixels called the 4K Ultra HD. These have 4 times greater resolution than the Full-HD TVs (1080p) and our experience with TV were totally changed. The latest resolution has all the qualities that you would expect after such massive increase in the pixel count- crisp image and finer details allows you to sit closer to the TV without any degradation in the image quality.
However, very recently the largest and extravagantly expensive TVs have over 33 million pixels (8K).
|Resolution Name||Horizontal X Vertical Pixels||Other Names|
|UHD||3840X2160||4K, Ultra HD, Ultra-high Definition|
|1080p||1920X1080||Full HD, FHD, HD, High Definition|
4K TV: Making your TV Future-proof
4K is literally 4 times better than a standard HD TV, the 4 times better screening isn’t any ordinary improvement. It’s a massive and spectacular viewing experience that you are going to have. Your 4K TV will upscale the regular content. Even if you are not viewing any 4K content a 4K TV will transpose HD (720p) or Full HD (1080p) to 3840×2160 resolutions (4K content) by adding more pixels in the process.
While native 4K content is still not widely available (mostly in Blue-ray discs) but Netflix and Amazon started to stream their original series in 4K and content providers are preparing to release all sort of contents in 4K soon. So buying a UHD TV means future proofing you TV which will get access to all of these.
While it is still not mandatory for all the buyers but it can be beneficial if.
- You want a large television: the full 4K experience isn’t really visible unless you get a TV around 50 inch screen or may be larger. On smaller TV (less than 40-inch) it’s hard to tell the difference between HD and 4K.
- You have subscription to streaming service: Netflix, Amazon Prime etc has started to stream most of their original series in 4K quality.
- You have 4 K UHD players with discs: make sure your player supports 4K UHD and Blue-ray discs.
- You want 4K gaming: if you own a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X or a high-end PC you can enjoy 4K gaming.
There are still conditions when you don’t want a 4K TV.
- You don’t want to spend more: HD TVs are a lot cheaper than 4K TV.
- You want smaller TV: HD resolution (1080p) in a small screen (32 inch or less) still offers an excellent picture quality. It is particularly better when you want a spare TV set in your bedroom or kitchen.
8K: It’s Not the Time to Worry about It
8K has literally twice the horizontal X vertical resolution of a 4K TV and almost 16 times than a HDTV with a whooping 33177600 pixels in total. This is a massive up gradation for the picture quality. There are already 8K TVs available in the market and they are huge and super-duper expensive–the first 8K TV from Samsung cost around $15000 that is around 10 lacks.– Even if you are ready to go beyond your budget for an outstanding TV there is almost nothing to watch in 8K. Moreover, from what has been reported they don’t offer you much, only the sharpness has been improved but to notice any notable changes you probably need a magnifying glass.
Past Experience Matters
What will be satisfying for you has a lot to decide what you are upgrading from. If you expect better viewing experience from your new TV consider better technology or better resolution. For instance, if you’re last TV was an old bulky CRT TV a decent HD TV will feel a far more clearer and life like but if you previously used a Plasma TV or a Full HD 1080pTV we recommend not to settle anything less than OLED, QLED and 4K.
Here is a quick comparison table between the three types of resolutions HD, Full HD and 4K.
|Also known as||HD, High-Definition||Full HD, FHD, HD, High Definition||4K, Ultra HD, Ultra-high Definition|
|No of Pixels||1 Million||2 Million||8 Million|
|Suitable for contents||SD set top box||HD set-top box, streaming apps like Hotstar, youtube||4K players, 4K gaming with Xbox, One X, Ultra HD Blue-ray discs.|
|Starting Price||12,000 for 32-inch||20,000 for 32-inch||30,000 for 43-inch|
Rule 4: Consider HDR If You Want More Defined Colours
HDR refers to High Dynamic Range a feature found in 4K Ultra HD TV that amplifies a picture’s dynamic range- delivers more colours, increased brightness with higher contrast levels. In other terms the picture look more luminous, very close to what human eye would see in real life.
Up until now some colours were not possible to create as it is, basically the purples, dewy green or the richest reds- without a HDR a TV can only produce approximate and substitute colours which are not genuine and a lot less than what appears in real life. The HDR here work as a colour corrector which fixes and heightens the pictures colour and contrast ratios and the change is remarkable.
The basic standard for HDR compatible content like 4K Blue-Ray Disc, Netflix, Amazon shows is HDR10. So if you want a 4K HDR TV it should be a minimum of HDR10.
HDR10 and Dolby Vision: Which one is better?
Dolby Vision is the premium version of HDR, made and licensed by the group who created Dolby Atmos. Dolby Vision compatible sets has to meet a set of strict technical criteria to display HDR content these have the potential to improve the basic HDR representing version of HDR10 . To be more specific, this is the reason why every HDR TV set is compatible with HDR10 when Dolby Vision is found on those specific TV sets that meet the Dolby set standards and pay the licensing fees to maintain the standards. Dolby Vision can be found in Premium TV brands including L.G, Sony, and TLC etc. HDR10 Plus created by Samsung is their own HDR format which is a rival to Dolby Vision.
Rule 5: Faster Refresh Rates for Seamless Motions
Refresh rate is the number of times per seconds an image is flashed or changed on the screen. TV creates an illusion of motion or movement by flashing a series of still pictures very fast.
Both the LED LCD and the OLED TV shows a complete image and hold that image until the next image comes along- our mind actually works faster than this processing so we get to see some blurry images. This is called motion blur. It is more evident when you are seeing fast action scenes or sports scenes. Some people are more sensitive to these motion blur effects than others.
The standard refresh rate is 60 frames /sec or normally called 60 Hz. Perhaps in case of fast moving objects 60 Hz is not sufficient, it makes the image look burry or shaky, this happens particularly with the HDTVs. To overcome it some of the newest Ultra-HD TVs models have doubled the refresh rates to 120 Hz to create a seamless motion.
On top of 120 Hz refresh rate manufacturers also use motion interpolation or simply some motion enhancement technology to smoothen out the picture even more. Many TV manufacturer brands have termed their motion smoothing with different names like Samsung calls it Motion Rate and L.G has TruMotion where Sony calls it Motionflow.
The bottom line is higher the motion technology smoother will be the picture. OLED TV have lesser motion blurs because they operate with OLED pixels which and turns on and off at faster rate than the LCD pixels.
Rule 6: Connectivity: The More the better
Connectivity options really make a difference in the ease with which you will be handling the TV. Standard connectivity ports are a must on any TV you intend to buy. Here are the connectivity options you should look for.
- HDMI Port– You can connect set-top boxes, DVD players, Fire TV Stick, Chromecast and gaming consoles using HDMI cables to the HDMI port of your TV. Always look for at least 2 HDMI ports so that you don’t have to unplug your set-top box to connect another device.
- USB Port– With USB ports, you can connect pen drives, dongles, or hard discs to the TV. Most TVs these days come with at least 1 port. But if you intend to connect a dongle to your TV, look for a model that has a minimum of 2 USB ports.
- Bluetooth– Most of us would like to avoid wires as they are messy and intervenes with the clean look of a room. With Bluetooth you can connect portable speakers, or other Bluetooth enabled devices to your TV wirelessly. This feature is somewhat of a luxury that saves a lot of hassle.
- 5mm Audio Jack- This jack allows the TV to connect to headphones, speakers, or soundbars. Look for this jack if you want to connect your TV to sound devices.
You can also connect headphones via Bluetooth, but BT device generally cost more than the regular wired ones.
- RCA Audio Output- You can as well connect home theatres and sound bars via RCA outputs. But these ports will not support headphones.
- HDMI ARC– It stands for high definition multimedia interface Audio Return Channel. You can connect a home theatre via this port. It allows a user to control the TV and the connected device with a single remote.
Rule 7: Sound: As Important as the Display
The ‘cricket evenings’ with your friends or ‘movie-nights’ with your partner will always have something missing in case the audio quality of your TV is below average. The sound quality of a TV is as crucial to the overall experience of a user as the display. Falling solely for the screen size and picking a model which barely gives out sound will put you in a situation where you will either get stuck with the poor sound quality or will have to spend extra money for buying a soundbar.
Do you really need a separate soundbar or speaker system?
If you have 20 watts of output and a small to medium sized room, the sound suffices for many. Some TVs even come with 40 watts output. In that case, you might not need a separate spear system.
So, look for TVs that have a greater audio output. A 16 watts output is a bare minimum criterion to look for. The higher the sound output, the better. But a high Sound output guarantees volume, not audio quality. So, search for a TV that has audio-enhancing technologies like Immersive sound or Dolby. Many brands use their own technologies as well; for instance, Sony has its Clear Audio+’ which gives pretty crisp sound as well.
But if you want an immersive experience which is far better than the stock quality speakers, you can go for a soundbar or a home theatre system.
Rule 8: Get Smart with Smart TV Features: Another Future Proofing Option
The primary feature that will list a TV as smart is its ability to connect to the internet. In simple terms, it will be just like your smartphone but with a bigger screen. If you are buying a smart TV, here are the features that you should look for:
The OS decides the extent to which you will have access to several apps and smart features. The popular operating systems are Android TV, Roku TV, TizenOS, WebOS, and Fire TV. Select the one that suits your need the best.
It is a very important feature that will enable your Smart TV to run smoother and faster. With a lower RAM, your TV will tend to have lags and take more time to boot. Settle for at least 1 GB ram. Many TV brands offer 2GB and 2.5 GB in the mid-range as well.
If you have a propensity to record shows and download a lot of applications, you will need a TV with greater storage. An 8GB storage is standard. However, if you record shows, you might want a 16GB internal storage or higher.
This smart feature will let you mirror contents from your phone or tablets directly onto the TV. It is a hassle-free way to project an image and enjoy visuals on the bigger screen.
With this feature, you can ditch the tedious process of pressing several buttons to reach a channel. With voice navigation, just grab your remote and speak what you want your TV to do. And you have it in front of your eyes.
For voice navigation to work properly, you remote will have to have a good technology that properly recognizes and deciphers what you are saying.
Most people buy smart TVs because it allows a person to stream videos from different sources. But it will be wrong to say that all smart TVs will let you steam endless contents. Some TVs have limitations and will only let you to use the pre-installed apps and will not permit downloading certain external apps. So, if you are buying a Smart TV to stream videos, always see if the TV allows downloading external apps or not.
Some Smart TVs have web browsers in them. These are always better option to settle for as it lets you browse the web right on your TV.
Keep in mind, in some days, all normal TVs will be replaced by Smart TVs as it is the trend and because it offers such useful features, it has grown to be the most desirable option.
Rule 9: Don’t Forget the Warranty
Most branded TV manufacturer has worldwide warranty service centres and in many cases they come to your place to repair or check if any malfunction arises. Remember a TV is not a thing you can cart or lug around and also not feasible of ship to-and-fro when there’s a manufacturer defect. It is advisable to always go for a reputable brand that offers warrant back up to whatever TV you purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions on TV
1. Should I buy a full HD TV or 4K TV?
A 4K TV has double the resolution of Full HD TV. It will project clearer, sharper, and more detailed images. If you are going for a screen size over 50 inches, buying a TV with a 4K resolution is a better idea. An ordinary SD resolution will look pixelated on larger screens. Even HD ready TV will be far from giving satisfactory image quality. However, you can opt for Full HD resolution as they tend to cost lesser than TVs with 4K resolution. Also, full HD images do not look pixelated on larger screens. But the image quality of a 4k TV is always better.
Note: If your set-top box or any other source device is SD, then the video will not be in HD. To enjoy Full HD or Ultra HD videos, upgrade the source.
2. What TV screen size should I buy?
The size of the TV you should buy depends on the size of your room. If you have a small room, a huge TV will look out of place and vice versa. This decision also depends on the distance between you and your TV. If you like to see it from a short distance, you can opt for a smaller TV, but if the distance is more, you will need a larger TV screen for immersive experience.
3. TV Size and Distance Guide for Full HD TV
|Screen Size (in inches)||Recommended Distance|
NOTE: The viewing distance for a 4K TV is half of what it is for the full HD TVs.
4. What is Smart TV and why should I buy a Smart TV?
A smart TV differs from a regular TV in the way that it can connect to the internet and comes loaded with various features.
You need a smart TV if you want to do more than just watch regular channels broadcasted by your service provider on your TV. It enables you to watch Netflix, YouTube, amazon prime, and other entertaining contents from various sources on your Smart TV. You can as well browse the internet on a smart TV if it comes with a browser. Some smart TVs also allow the user to command it with voice. Overall, if you want to experience a wide range of contents and avail several other features, you should buy a smart TV.
5. How to select a TV with a good image quality?
A good display is perhaps the most sought-after thing by buyers while buying a TV. Check the following points while selecting a TV for better image quality.
- The TV should have a wide viewing angle. The pictures must not look distorted if you watch it from a corner. Flat TVs with 178 degrees viewing angles is the best in this field.
- Look for natural tones on a TV. The colors of the displayed images should be closer to real life.
- Look for image settings, such as sports, vivid, standard, etc.
- Settle for a TV with higher resolution.
6. Is a curved TV better than a Flat TV?
A curved TV reflects the shape of the human eye, and hence it tends to give a more immersive experience as compared to the flat TV. But there is a major drawback of the curved TVs. These TVs have a very limited viewing angle, and so, if a person watches from the corner, he or she will see distorted images.
7. Which is Better, wall mounting a TV or Table-Mounting?
Wall mounting a TV keeps it more secure and stable. It will not topple over with a slight push. However, reaching the ports becomes a headache. Table mounting, on the other hand, can be risky but offers more ease in connecting and disconnecting the wires as compared to the wall-mount.
8. Which is better an LED TV or an LCD?
An LED TV is any day better than an LCD. An LED Tv is brighter, gives crisper images, consumes lesser power, and is more durable as compared to an LCD.
9. What is a processor in a Smart TV? Which processor is faster?
A processor in a smart TV acts similar to how it acts in a computer. Simplistically it processes the instructions and commands that you give to your TV via the remote. We recommend TVs with quad-core processors for smooth and fast speed.
Buying a TV is a real deal. While buying a TV you are choosing a gadget for your home that is going to stay with you for almost a decade. So, you should weigh the pros and cons of a TV thoroughly before buying it. These days, Smart TVs are creating a buzz with their power-packed features and unending options for entertainment; they have become the new favorite of the mass. If you want access to countless hours of contents with advanced technology, we recommend you buy a good quality smart TV.
However, in case you are happy with the regular channels that you see on the non-smart TV, opt for television with decent audio and suitable screen size as per your requirement.