4K TV buying guide: Everything you need to know
If you haven’t bought a new television in the last decade, you may be unaware of how much has changed. Remember when HD broadcasting was new and 1080p flatscreens were the rage? With the majority of 4k TV buying guide sized 40 inches or larger now supporting 4K tv and 8K resolution, 1080p is more of an afterthought on larger displays.
Aside from increased pixel counts, today’s TV buying guide also come in a variety of lighting and screen styles, with QLEDs and OLEDs being the best you can get your hands on. When you consider things like how many HDMI ports you require, smart features, size, and overall price, purchasing a new TV can become a daunting task.
Size and setup
When you start looking for a new 4k TV, one thing that comes to mind is the size means how much space you have in your home.TV screens are always measured diagonally, which means when you see a TV as 60 inches, that’s the diagonal measurement, not the height or width.
Dimensions can be found on the product page of the 4k TV. For most of the living room, 50 inch TV or larger than that goes well, though you can go for as large as you have space for and your wallet allows for.
You can find some great tools online for figuring out the ideal size-to-viewing-distance ratios so you can choose the setup that works best for you and your space.
To ensure a good fit if you’re using a TV stand, remember to include the stand’s dimensions in your calculations. It’s also crucial to realize that more and more televisions are being mounted on legs on the outside rather than bases in the middle, which calls for even more room.
The resolution of 4K TVs is indicated by the “4K” prefix. Although the horizontal resolution of 4K TVs is actually 3,840 lines instead of 4,000, the term is memorable and easier to remember than its other names, such as “2160p,” “4K Ultra HD,” or simply “UHD.” Whatever name you give it, it refers to a standard for how many pixels were used to produce the image you see on the screen.
The difference is obvious given that the previous standard, 1080p HD, only had four times as many pixels. This is especially true when these TVs show native 4K content. You can sit closer to bigger TVs without experiencing any discernible image degradation because images are clearer, fine details are visible, and so on.
Of course, some manufacturers continue to produce 1080p or 720p displays, but these are typically the smallest, lowest-quality TVs available from that particular manufacturer. A few years ago, it made sense to consider one of these models if you were looking to save money, but today, you can buy a 50-inch 4K TV for $300 or less, which means that only those with the smallest of budgets need to consider TVs with less resolution.
In fact, as 4K prices continue to drop and the cycle gradually restarts, we are now beginning to see a variety of 6K and 8K displays.
What about 8K?
Although we’re still ramping up to full 4K support, 8K is already here — at least on store shelves. TV resolution upgrades seem to be as inevitable as the changing seasons. You can purchase 8K TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, TCL, and Hisense, though there are only a few models available.
In the same amount of space, 8K TVs can fit eight times as many pixels as 1080p HD, or four times as many as 4K. Although 8K TVs were initially very expensive, they are now available for as little as $999 for a 65-inch model. But ought to you purchase one?
Unless you have deep pockets and a strong desire to own cutting-edge technology, our advice at this time is to pass. Native 8K content is still incredibly difficult to find. Although 8K videos are available on YouTube and Vimeo, and they will undoubtedly look amazing on an 8K TV, they still serve more as a demo than a consistent source of 8K entertainment.
Other 8K sources are typically only available for very special events or promotions. Netflix and other streaming services have produced some 8K content, but they are only making it available in 4K. There are a few exceptions, like Japan’s NHK BS8K channel dedicated to 8K content, but nothing else has been discovered yet.
High dynamic range, or HDR, is a much more impressive improvement to overall picture quality than resolution alone, in our opinion, when it’s done properly. Higher brightness, contrast, and a wider color gamut—the total number of colors a TV can display—allow HDR to create images that are more vibrant and lifelike. Once you’ve experienced HDR in action, you won’t want to go back to SDR (standard dynamic range).
Although almost all 4K TVs sold today are also HDR TVs, not all HDR TVs are created equal. We’ve put together an in-depth explainer on HDR TV, which we strongly recommend you read before purchasing a new TV. There can be significant variations in quality, and some HDR TVs simply lack the components necessary to fully exploit this new video format.
Additionally, you should be aware that HDR is a group of formats rather than a single format; the main varieties are HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+. As a result, to achieve the best results, your TV must support the same HDR format as your HDR video.
Finally, remember that you need an HDR video source in order to benefit from an HDR TV. At the moment, that means using a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs that have been produced using an HDR format, as the major streaming services have all added HDR support to a selection of 4K movies and shows.
A smart TV has built-in streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and others, and it connects directly to the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable (typically both). Nowadays, almost all TVs are smart TVs, just like 4K and HDR.
However, due to the software that each manufacturer uses, there are significant differences between smart TVs. Samsung uses Tizen OS, LG uses its own WebOS software, and Vizio refers to its platform as SmartCast. Each of these gives you access to well-known streaming services, and the Vizio system even has Chromecast’s casting functionality, which enables you to send content from your phone or tablet to the TV.
You should be aware of three additional smart TV platforms, though. Google’s own smart TV platform, called Android TV, is based on the well-known Android mobile operating system. It gives you access to hundreds of apps via Google’s Play Store as well as all the features of a Google Chromecast device.
The smart TV platform has been upgraded to a new system called Google TV, which is already included in a number of new Sony, Hisense, and TCL TVs, as well as the aforementioned Chromecast with Google TV. This is true even though companies like Hisense and Philips continue to use Android TV.
Then there is Fire TV Edition TVs, which operate similarly to Roku TVs by using Amazon’s Fire TV streaming platform. In terms of size, cost, and features, these are currently produced by Amazon, Insignia, and Toshiba and are usually targeted at the lower end of the market.
The convenience of smart TV features is enhanced by the direct integration of streaming apps and other services, which frees up room and HDMI ports. To get all of these smart TV features in a handy bundle, you can always upgrade any TV with a streaming device like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max or Roku Streaming Stick 4K or use set-top boxes like the Nvidia Shield. This is significant because
Frequently Asked Question
What is the downside of a 4K TV?
Cons of 4K Ultra HD:
The first ones are costly because they are novel concepts and products. Given that a 4K TV channel costs five times as much as an HD channel, broadcasters might worry that not enough people will be able to watch it.
How long will a 4K TV last?
Most people believe their display will last that long because 100,000 hours, or about 10 years, is the industry standard for LED lifespan.
Which is better 4K or smart TV?
Most Full HD smart TVs enable you to enjoy better colors, clarity, and more lifelike images on the screen as more pixels are displayed. On the other hand, Full HD smart TVs have half as many pixels as 4K TVs. A horizontal resolution of 4,096 pixels is referred to as 4K.
Is 4K TV worth the money?
Although 4K content is increasingly accessible, it is still a long way from supplanting 1080p as the standard. There is no reason to stay away from 4K TVs, though, as long as you have the necessary internet speed to use 4K technology. In spite of this, it is not worthwhile to pay more until there is more than 4K content available.
Which type of TV has the best picture quality?
Regardless of cost, you want the best picture quality possible: Of all the TVs currently on the market, OLED TVs produce the best HDR picture quality, the best motion, and the widest viewing angles. This article will teach you more about OLED technology.