An Easy Television Buying Guide For Your Next TV

Televisions are a must to bring high-quality entertainment into your home. This guide helps you pick the right TV model for your needs.


The Benefits

  • Must-see programming in the comfort of your home 
  • Direct access to web content
  • Educational programming boosts learning 
  • Stay on top of local and national news

What To Look For

Television technology changes so quickly, it seems that as soon as you walk out of the store with your shiny new television the technology is already outdated and replaced by the newest thing. Of course, it doesn’t really happen that fast, but it is a very quickly changing field.

Some technology is important when you’re selecting a new TV set, some is nice to have, and other features are just downright confusing and not that significant at all. It’s difficult to wade through the technical aspects and hype to discover what really matters. That’s why our team of ShopOwl researchers put together this quick guide to help you choose a television that suits your needs.

How Do Television Sets Work?

As with most big inventions, many different people were working on electronic and mechanical televisions at around the same time. The 1920s had inventors across the globe trying to perfect a technique to transmit moving images.

Initial versions were little more than newsworthy experiments and inspiration for creative thinkers. They were far from being the household staple that they are today.

The first television stations started cropping up in the late 1920s and early 1930s but it wasn’t until 1938 in America that TVs were commercially sold as an appliance for the home. The history of television clearly shows a swift level of acceptance and demand grew.1

We started with small, blurry, black and white sets, which were later replaced by color sets. Technology improved and analog sets were replaced by digital (DTV) sets. The mass acceptance and adoption of digital standards led to the smart television. 3D technology appeared to be the next big breakthrough, but it’s been very slow to gain steam and all but forgotten in the broadcast world.

Today, TV shoppers have their choice of HDTV, Ultra HD, 4K and 4K UHD. Then there is the option of OLED or LCD/LED. Once you get that figured out you need to decide what size you want, do you want a smart TV, do connecting options matter to you, will you be streaming, do you want voice control and on and on and on.

Buying a TV set can be overwhelming for anyone. Which is why our television buying guide makes it easier for you to understand what really matters so you can make the right choice for your viewing lifestyle.

What To Look For And What To Avoid?

  • Look For
  • Smart TV capabilities
  • Appropriate size for your viewing situation
  • As many pixels as you can afford
  • Avoid
  • Less than 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Anything without HDMI compatibility
  • Curved TVs

Beware Of TV Store Settings

Stores that sell televisions often change the settings on the television to give the viewer in the store an unrealistic viewing experience. This technique is often used to push certain TVs out the door.

If you know a bit about how to change the settings and what the manufacturer recommendations are, go ahead and fiddle with them to check how it will really look at home.

The best way to prepare yourself for television shopping is to create a list of what matters most to you, do your research at home to find out how to meet those priorities, and then go to the store. This way it’s less likely you’ll be confused by numbers that are basically meaningless, pushy sales people and features you don’t need.

What Else To Consider Before Buying A Television

Finding the right television for your home viewing experience makes a night at home just as appealing as a night out. Add the following factors to your criteria list so you can approach your purchase as an informed shopper.

Size vs Clarity

In the world of television, most people think the bigger the better. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Make sure you’re getting the right sized TV for your space, and then get the highest quality you can afford for the best clarity.2 Don’t try to get an oversized television and then scrimp on quality and clarity.

Positive And Authentic Reviews

Make sure to check with the ShopOwl algorithm before purchasing a product, so you can get a clear understanding of what other customers liked and didn’t like about their television sets. This will help you make a more informed purchase.

HDR or HDR Compatibility

The future seems to be headed toward HDR TVs or high dynamic range.3 This means the television set can deliver more colors, contrast levels, and increased brightness.

The problem is there is no basic standard yet. This means there are two standards out there right now and we don’t know which one to prepare for. On top of that, there’s not even a lot of HDR programming available to watch.

Right now, you’ll want to know if your television is HDR10 compatible or Dolby Vision compatible, some TVs can accommodate both. This way you know what programming you can view, and you will at least be ready for the future.

01

65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
Sold by: LG Electronics


Marketplace Rating:

Adjusted Rating:

Buy On Amazon

A+

  • Quality RankA
  • Review RankA
  • Value RankA
Close Full Analysis
Quality Rank A

97/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, the OLED65B8PUA 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV received a very good score for its quality. 

Review Rank A 

99.7/100

Our algorithm found almost no fraudulent or suspicious reviews.  

Value Rank A 

96/100

Considering the high quality score and strong review rank, we’ve determined this product has a very good purchase value. 

Marketplace Rating:
Adjusted Rating:

97.5

of 100

02

Curved 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Sold by: Samsung Electronics

Marketplace Rating:

Adjusted Rating:

Buy On Amazon

A

  • Quality RankA
  • Review RankA
  • Value RankA-
Close Full Analysis
Quality Rank A

95/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, the UN65MU8500 Curved 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV received a good score for its quality. 

Review Rank A 

96.3/100

Our algorithm determined that only about 4% of the reviews left for this product were fraudulent or suspicious.  

Value Rank A- 

90/100

Considering the strong quality rank and the good review rank, we’ve determined this product has an A- value rank. 

Marketplace Rating:
Adjusted Rating:

93.6

of 100

03

Curved 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Sold by: Sony

Marketplace Rating:

Adjusted Rating:

Buy On Amazon

A

  • Quality RankA
  • Review RankA
  • Value RankA
Close Full Analysis
Quality Rank A

94/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, the XBR65A1E 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart BRAVIA OLED TV received a good score for its quality. 

Review Rank A 

98.8/100

Our algorithm found almost no fraudulent or suspicious reviews. 

Value Rank A 

95/100

Considering the strong quality rank and very high review rank, we’ve determined that this product has an A value rank.  

Marketplace Rating:
Adjusted Rating:

96

of 100

04

43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Sold by: Sony

Marketplace Rating:

Adjusted Rating:

Buy On Amazon

A-

  • Quality RankA
  • Review RankB+
  • Value RankA-
Close Full Analysis
Quality Rank A

94/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, XBR43X800E 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV received a high score for its quality. 

Review Rank B+ 

88.5/100

Our algorithm took a deep dive into the reviews and found roughly 11% of the reviews to be either fraudulent or suspicious. 

Value Rank A- 

93/100

Considering the strong quality rank and the good review rank, we’ve determined this product has an A- value rank.  

Marketplace Rating:
Adjusted Rating:

92

of 100

05

43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Sold by: Sony

Marketplace Rating:

Adjusted Rating:

Buy On Amazon

B

  • Quality RankA
  • Review RankC+
  • Value RankB
Close Full Analysis
Quality Rank A

94/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, the OLED55C7P 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV received a good score for its quality.  

Review Rank C+ 

79.5/100

Our algorithm flagged about 20% of reviews as being fraudulent or suspicious. This score is well below average. 

Value Rank B 

83/100

Considering the average quality rank and the poor review rank, we’ve determined that this product has a B value rank.  

Marketplace Rating:
Adjusted Rating:

85.5

of 100


Citations

  1. https://www.britannica.com/art/television-in-the-United-States
  2. https://www.tomsguide.com/us/choose-right-tv-size,news-24708.html
  3. https://www.cnet.com/news/what-is-hdr-for-tvs-and-why-should-you-care/