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TV buying buide: everything you need to know before buying a new TV in 2020

Buying a new TV can be pretty daunting, and here's how you can come to a decision

by KF Team

With the Indian television market being flooded with several established brands as well as new ones, competition has grown fierce. Today, the 4K TV price is the same as a regular HD TV a couple of years back. With this level of saturation and competitive pricing, it gets increasingly difficult to pick the right television for your home. If you are in the market for your next TV purchase and are feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices, you are in the right place. We've put together a guide that will help you determine what you need to know before putting your money down. Read on for everything you need to know before buying your new TV.

Display panel, size, resolution and refresh rate

One of the first things to decide is what type of TV panel you want to go for. Today, LED and OLED is the two most popular kinds in the industry. The former is more affordable with LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) to illuminate the display, while the latter is more on the expensive side and features pixel backlighting. It largely depends on what sort of budget you have, if you have a tighter budget LED TVs are good options. However, if you want the best, it makes sense to opt for an OLED television. This is because OLED TVs are capable of producing good colour accuracy, high contrast ratios and wide viewing angles.

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Once you have decided upon the type of TV you are buying, the next logical step is to select the size of the television. Today you get televisions from standard 32-inches and the scale goes all the way up to over 200 inches. However, you will need to decide on the size based on the viewing distance from the TV. Below is a reference table to select the best TV size for your home.

Screen Size Viewing Distance
32-inches 4-6 feet
40 – 42 inches 5-8 feet
50-inches 6-10 feet
> 50-inches 8-12 feet

The next crucial step is to decide the resolution of the television. The market is flooded with HD, Full HD and Ultra HD (4K) options. The choice of resolution will depend on the content you are going to watch on the TV. If you are going to stick to watching TV shows using your standard set-top box, you are better off with an HD TV and it will be economical as well. However, if you have plans to stream content from OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or play games on consoles like PlayStation, you will benefit from choosing full HD or 4K displays.

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As for refresh rates, 60Hz is the standard option on the majority of TVs these days and does the job just fine for regular content, but once again if you stream high-resolution videos or play high-end games, a 120Hz panel will suit your requirements better. This is because due to slow refresh rate on a 60Hz panel, images may look blurry in case of fast action scenes like sports, action movies, and gaming.

Audio

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Televisions come with integrated speakers and more often than not, the stock speakers are just enough for an average user. It's advisable to look for TVs that come with speakers that offer higher wattage audio output. Additionally, these days brands are offering TVs with speakers tuned by the likes of Dolby or Harman Kardon, which is also preferable for those who like crisp audio. Having special modes like sports, cinema, movie, music and kinds, could be a bonus as these modes automatically adjust the sound output to suit what you are watching.

Moreover, if you are someone who watches a lot of movies and want a powerful sound output, it's advisable to look for TVs with support for external soundbars or home theater systems.

Connectivity options

This brings us to the topic of connectivity ports on the TV, which expands your options to connect the appliance to a multitude of third-party devices like sound system, consoles, streaming sticks and more. Standard connectivity options on TVs include HDMI, USB, VGA, RCA, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HDMI Arc, RCA Audio Out and 3.5mm audio jack. Listed below are the usage case of each of these ports:


  • HDMI: Set-top box, DVD player, Blu-Ray player, gaming console, Fire TV stick or Chromecast, laptops
  • USB: external storage drives (pen drives and hard drives), cameras, Internet dongles
  • VGA: Old laptops to transfer videos or extend the desktop
  • RCA port: SD set-top box
  • Ethernet: Cable internet for faster and lag-free connectivity
  • Bluetooth: Wirelessly connect devices like smartphones, headphones or music accessories
  • HDMI Arc, RCA Audio Out and 3.5mm audio jack: connecting a multitude of audio accessories like speakers, soundbars, home theaters and more

It's imperative to analyse what you want to connect to your TV, which ports you need and how many of them before you go and make the purchase. If you want to cover your bases, make sure the TV has at least 3 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports.

Smart features

Smart TVs are the buzz currently and are classified into three broad categories - Android TV, Android-based smart TV and custom OS smart TV. While each of these TVs come with a broad range of apps and various streaming services, Android TVs are a notch above. This is because these TVs come with the Play Store, YouTube, Music, Movies and over 3,600+ compatible TV apps and games. Most Android-based and custom OS smart TVs come with popular apps like  Netflix, Hotstar, YouTube, etc. pre-installed. Amazon has also partnered with Onida to launch Fire TV OS powered smart TVs, and is expected to link up with other brands in the coming year. Given that these TVs come with all the benefits of Fire TV stick, these TVs would also be formidable alternatives to Android TV. In case you have a budget for an affordable TV, which doesn't have the app ecosystem or pre-installed streaming apps, you can consider investing in a media streaming devices like the Amazon Fire Stick, Google Chromecast or Apple TV.

These are the most basic things to keep in mind while you are picking a TV for your home and make an informed decision. We hope this will help you pick up a TV that's well suited for your requirements.

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