When it comes to purchasing a new television, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of options, particularly if you’re interested in keeping up with the newest technology.
You may have recently found yourself frustrated, wondering if that high-definition TV is outdated as everyone talks about 4K. You’re not alone. Technology evolves at an astounding pace, so grab some popcorn. For the best experience watching March Madness, here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a new television:
4K TVS (ULTRA-HD): If you’ve been impressed by TVs with a 1080 resolution, 4K is four times better. It’s true there is little 4K content available, but give it time — and you’ll still be impressed in the interim. A 4K TV is as close to theater quality as you’ll find right now. And if you don’t want to make the leap to 4K, buy an HD 1080 TV over a 720 model.
SMART TVS: Smart TVs are worth it. They allow users to stream content directly from a provider, like Netflix, without an over-the-top box such as a Roku or Apple TV.
LED, LCD, PLASMA: LED is the best, but the biggest factor may be your budget. LED (light-emitting diode) offers the brightest and best picture quality. But, it’s the most expensive. LCD (liquid-crystal display) technology has been popular for a long time and still offers great picture quality. Plasma is the least expensive, but it has the lowest-quality picture.
CURVED SCREENS: Curved screens are great, but they’re not right for every room. While curved screens offer a wider field of view and better picture quality, they also might require the viewer to buy a larger-than-normal model to fully appreciate the new look.
INTERLACED OR PROGRESSIVE: Progressive is better. Progressive scan displays all the lines in a frame of video at once, while interlaced, which is more common, displays every other line at one time. When you see a TV description that says 1080i or 1080p, the letters indicate how your TV reads the signal from your television provider and displays them.
REFRESH RATE: The higher the number, the better. If your TV is jumpy while you’re playing games or watching sports, it could be that your TV has a low refresh rate, such as 60Hz. Try to find a TV with a refresh rate of 120Hz or 240Hz.
BRAND: Stick with a well-known brand and pay a little more if necessary. When it comes to TVs, quality and reliability are worth a few extra bucks.
SIZE: Think about how far you’ll sit from the TV and buy what’s right for the room. While 80-inch TVs are great, you need sufficient space to watch them comfortably. There are no definitive rules, but most studies indicate that viewers should take the size of the screen, multiplied by about 1.5 times to get the distance you should sit from the screen. For example, if you’re viewing an 80-inch screen, you should sit at least 10 feet away.