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OLED or LCD/LED? TV 4K or 8K? The latest technology is not always the best purchase choice. Just because a set can support the newest picture quality standard does not mean the amount of content available in that standard has caught up. And LCD/LED technology has closed the gap in performance to OLEDs, while OLED prices have dropped. So consider the return you are getting for the money spent. Prices range from $100 for the smallest TV sets to $10,000 for the largest.
Pixels are the dots elements that together create a picture, like how a painting from Monet is created. The more pixels, the clearer the pixel. The less pixels, the blurrier. High definition (HD) TVs have screen resolutions of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Ultra high definition (UHD) TVs have screen resolutions of 3840 x 2160. UHD TVs are also called 4K TVs. Smaller pixel counts typically are available in smaller TVs.
The reason why larger TVs require more pixels is this is necessary to maintain picture clarity. Imagine what happens to a Monet painting if it was stretched onto a larger canvas. The dots of paint will be further apart from each other. The picture does not materialize clearly to the eye unless you step further back.
8K vs. 4K
New 8K TVs are surfacing, but as previously mentioned, 8K content is few. The screen size is enormous requiring 7680 x 4320 pixels. The cost is high. Since new content is regularly available in 4K today, 4K TVs are the wisest choice today.
Without getting into technical details, high dynamic range (HDR) is a feature that simply processes a wider spectrum of color and light. This means more differentiation amongst different shades of colors and lights. This results in more noticeable details, more vivid color contrasts, and more distinction between varying shadows and lights. Images will come alive with HDR. However, just like ultra high definition, the content needs to support HDR to take advantage of it.
Most medium and larger sized TVs sold today are Smart TVs. This means they include streaming video services, so a streaming media device is not necessary. However, depending on the model, there may be more or less apps offered. Usually, the major services like Amazon Prime and Netflix are offered, at the very least.
If it is not a Smart TV, the alternative is buying a streaming media device that plugs into your TV, typically via the HDMI slot, and subscribe to streaming content this way. Streaming media devices are typically available in two forms, a set-top box or a stick (dongle for some).
To take advantage of smart TV streaming, connection to a home’s network is necessary. Remember, the more devices using a network, the more speed you will need from your broadband connection to support all the data moving through it. Otherwise, glitchy or frozen videos from data refreshes will render watching your favorite shows frustrating.
If you plan to mount a flat screen TV to a wall, having input connections on the side or bottom of the TV makes life a lot easier. There are a variety of inputs, so make sure there is a type or enough available for all the devices you plan to connect to the TV.
A high refresh rate provides a smoother picture during motion. The higher the refresh rate, the better, but 60 Hz should be the minimum.
You do not really need extended warranties. If you buy with a credit card, it may have a purchase protection plan included.
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