TV Buying Guide | Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

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Topic: TV Buying Guide 2021 | See Best LED TV


The LED TV buying guide which we have compiled for you is the basic overview of the most vital 15 factors that you should look before buying an led tv.

As not everyone is an expert in every field so we have described the guide in a very simple language for everyone to get understand. Hence it is our strong recommendation to take a look at our comprehensive LED TV buying guide.

Read: Best LED TV Smart & Non-Smart TVs

Minimum knowledge of television vital terms is important because of television manufacturing industries created television parameters so much complicated that it is very difficult for common buyers to find out which is real and which is fake. So, without further delay let’s jump into the details.


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TYPES OF TELEVISION

CRT TELEVISION

CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube. These are the most common type of television still available in the market. Though they are available in a very minor quantity since the first decade of the present century. Because of not having any native resolution they provide a decent image quality for different resolutions from different sources.

Read: Best Sony 32 inch LED TV


LCD TELEVISION

LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display and they came next after CRT. LCD TVs consume much less power than plasma displays because they work on the principle of blocking and passing light instead of emitting it. Hence they use the CFL bulb on the back panel.


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LED TELEVISION

LED TV is the upgraded form of the LCD. LED TV uses LEDs instead of CFL bulbs to glow the screen. LED TVs have a much better quality picture and are thinner compared to LCD TVs. Direct Backlit and Edge-lit are two types of LED available in the market. Whereas in Direct Backlit LED TV the lights are arranged at the back to light the screen but in Edge-lit LED TV LEDs are arranged around the edges of the TV.


PLASMA TELEVISION

Between two sheets of glass gas is injected and sealed into plasma form. When electricity passes between them these gases start illuminating lights. Plasma TVs are much better quality compared to LEDs but these are less in production.


TV SIZE

TV Size not only affects the price of the television but also affects the picture quality. When you to select the best LED TV for your home or office the size matters a lot or much more than you know.

Bigger and closer is usually better when it comes to choosing the perfect television for your room. Whereas a bigger size of the TV is an indication of social status by many. And that pushes many buyers to choose large-sized TV.


When TVs viewed from much closer range gives you an immersive viewing experience but that doesn’t mean you should be sitting a foot away from your TV.

Think as you are watching a movie in a theatre, what you understand from that? Do you really think watching a movie in a theatre impress you because you are sitting closer to the screen? No, you are sitting at an appropriate distance, the reason is the screen fills your eyes total viewing angle.


The human visual system has an angle of view of about 135 degrees horizontally, and while it makes some sense for movies to get as large a TV you can get, content isn’t produced to be viewed while filling the entire field of vision. But the above theory will not fit well when you are watching sports on television.

To get a good viewing experience minimum of 30 degrees of your field of vision should get filled and sitting at a distance which fulfills this parameter is the exact point for any sized TV. And these are the Guidelines from the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers.


To easily find out what size you should buy, you can divide your TV viewing distance (in inches) by 1.6 which roughly equals a 30 degrees angle. If the best size is outside your budget, just get the biggest TV you can afford.

Select your TV size as per your room size. Below a chart is given which shows optimal viewing distance as per size and resolution.


Screen Size

Optimal Distance(1080p)

Optimal Distance(4k)

25″

3.2′ (0.98 m)

1.5′ (0.46 m)

30″

3.8′ (1.16 m)

1.7′ (0.52 m)

35″

4.4′ (1.35 m)

2′ (0.61 m)

40″

5.1′ (1.56 m)

2.3′ (0.71 m)

45″

5.7′ (1.74 m)

2.6′ (0.8 m)

50″

6.3′ (1.93 m)

2.9′ (0.89 m)

55″

7′ (2.14 m)

3.2′ (0.98 m)

60″

7.6′ (2.32 m)

3.8′ (1.16 m)

65″

8.2′ (2.5 m)

4.1′ (1.25 m)

70″

8.9′ (2.72 m)

4.4′ (1.35 m)



Resolution (3840 × 2160 – 4K UHD, 1080p – Full HD, 720p – HD Ready)

1080 p vs 4K

The number of pixels factors a lot when we come to the point of resolution. 4k has four times as many pixels as 1080p, which means it should have a clearer picture likewise native 1080p delivers a much better high-quality picture than 720p.


But on a condition that the content should be in the respective native resolution. Though there is an exception in some situations, I mean to say that a UHD TV only improves the picture quality if the content is in native 4K resolution and sitting close enough to notice the difference. A 4k UHD TV doesn’t improve the picture quality of lower quality content like 1080p Blu-rays.

The two photos above illustrate an identical image at different native resolutions. This means the actual resolution of TV and input resolution is the same. The first photo is a 1080p image displayed on a Samsung UA32N5200ARXXL 1080p TV, and the second is a 4K image displayed on an LG 55UK636OPTE 4K TV.


The 4k image is smoother and has more detail than the 1080p image. On upon a close look, you will see that the edges of the human figure in 1080p are noticeably more jagged. So, like this, if we compare 1080p with 720p you will find 1080p is very clear than 720p. The difference is because the higher pixel count of a 4k screen allows for a more natural representation of the picture, with smoother outlines for distinct objects and added detail in the image.

But one thing I must clear the above image is real 4K and 1080p but most of what you watch is not real to the resolution as they say probably be lower-resolution content upscaled to UHD, which will look different from native 4k and 1080p. 


Having a good resolution TV and genuine resolution content isn’t enough, another factor on which quality picture depends is the right viewing distance.

Hence when higher resolution TV paired with truly native higher resolution content they are bound to deliver you a high-end quality picture. And positively follow our viewing distance chart for your best LED TV.


Aspect Ratio

What is the aspect ratio? It is the ratio between the width and the height of a display. All TVs sold today have an aspect ratio of 16:9, which means that if the width is divided into 16 equal parts, the height of the TV or picture should be 9 parts.

Since that is the aspect ratio used by the majority of today’s TV shows, but unfortunately, most movies are made using the cinema standard, which is 21:9. This is much wider, so parts of the screen need to be filled with black bars above and below the image in order to fit most TVs. These horizontal bars are called “letterboxes.”


Sony 43 inch TV

And TV shows used to be made using a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is a lot more square than current TVs. Vertical black bars or “pillarboxing” are used to fit modern TVs.

Unfortunately, there is no solution that can remove the black bars without altering the image, if the black bars bother you. There are a few options though, including:

Cropping the picture is the equivalent of zooming, but will result in the sides of the picture being removed. Stretching retains all the information but it distorts the image to fit your screen.

There are a few monitors out there that have a 21:9 aspect ratio, but despite several attempts by manufacturers, they had never suitable for home use, because of vertical bars on the sides of TV shows.


Chroma Subsampling (4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 vs 4:2:0)

Chroma subsampling lowers the bandwidth without affecting picture quality. It is a type of compression that lowers the color information of a signal in favor of luminance data.

Luminance information and color information are the two aspects in which a video signal is split. Contrast forms the shape of the picture that you see on the screen hence Luma or Luminance defines most of the picture. For example, a black and white image will look as detailed as a color picture.

Whereas chroma, chrominance or color information are also important but have less visual impact. Chroma subsampling does is reduce the amount of color information in the signal to allow more luminance data instead. This allows you to maintain picture clarity while effectively reducing the file size up to 50%.

Unless you are going to use your TV as a primary PC monitor where lots of text is going to be read, there shouldn’t be a need to worry about it. Otherwise, it has no noticeable visual imperfections.


Technology – LED vs OLED vs QLED

It isn’t easy to pick a new TV these days because every technology has its own pros and cons but yes when you move from LED to OLED or QLED definitely you are going to get much better performance and quality output. Whereas everything comes with a cost so better quality higher cost.


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QLED TELEVISION

QLED is the term used by Samsung newer LED version TV. As the name, the TV also uses a little different technology. They use traditional LCD panels lit using LEDs. Between the LCD layer and the backlight, a filter with energy reactive nano-particles filters the light to produce more pure and saturated colors.
Using LEDs they lit up traditional LCD panels, between LCD layer and the backlight an energy reactive nano-particle filter is placed to filter the light to produce more solid and prominent colors. Who is looking for the best colors for them this type of TV is good.


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OLED TELEVISION

OLED TVs are specialists in adjusting their luminosity of each of their pixels individually. This special feature allows them to turn completely off and show pure blacks and infinite contrast. Hence results in exceptional picture quality. OLED has little bit issue with image retention otherwise spectacular brightness and awsome picture quality are limit breakers.
WHAT IS LED – LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode.” LED TVs are traditional LCD panels backlit using LEDs. Recent high-end LED TVs use a very similar light filtering plane as QLED TVs which helps them produce a wide color gamut. LED TVs offer the best value and can be found in a very wide range of sizes.

READ- AMOLED vs OLED: Brief Structural Overview and Key Differences


 

QLED

OLED

LED

Black Level

Good

Perfect

Good

Motion Blur

Great

Perfect

Good

Viewing Angle

Poor

Great

Poor

Color volume

Great

Good

Good

Gray Uniformity

Average

Good

Average

Luminosity

Great

Good

Great

Image Retention

Grea

Poor

Great

Price and Availability

Poor

Average

Great


For most people, our advice remains: if you have budget limitations, LED TVs will have excellent value for money and can be found in a vast array of sizes. If you don’t mind paying a premium, OLED TVs will almost always perform best.


Panel Types – IPS vs VA

IPS vs VA Panel

There are two types of LCD panels used in LED-backlit TVs today: In-Plane Switching (IPS) and Vertical Alignment (VA). While they are both Liquid Crystal Display types, there are many differences between the performance of these two technologies.

Those people who want to install there LED TV in a wide room not only that in addition, they have many family members who like to watch a program or cricket match together. They should choose LED TV with an In-Plane Switching type panel (IPS).

But those who are looking for a good quality picture and viewing angle is not a factor they can definitely go for LED TV with a Vertically Aligned type panel (VA).


IPS

VA

Viewing angle

~36 °

~20 °

Contrast

~1000:1

>3000:1

Black Uniformity

Poor

Good


Picture Engine

The Thing which brings us to the concept of picture engine is the hunt for excellence. The market out there is now very competitive and every company has its own picture engine. The basic of the picture engine is to provide increasing pixel count and deliver a crisp & clear picture.


X Reality Pro engine of Sony delivers outstanding picture quality by efficiently upscaling each pixel as well as adding extra colors, vibrancy, luster, and texture to the picture.


3D HyperReal Engine of Samsung also holds the ground very well, it is Samsung’s own version of the picture engine. This picture engine governs the color, contrast, and motion to the highest levels of their efficiency. And provides a high-quality picture with amazing depths and enthralling colors.


Triple XD Engine of LG is also in the list of best picture engines as to enhance picture quality, it increases the brightness, black levels, and changes the color tones. Not only that, it also provides analog and MPEG noise reduction algorithms.


4K Fine Remaster Engine of Panasonic has come up with different parameters. 4K generation has already begun but in India content is not available in native resolution as the TV has packed up for. So, they upscale the picture quality to fit the television native resolution but still, image degrades. To overcome this problem Panasonic introduced 4K Fine Remaster Engine.


Curved vs Flat

In the past, curved TVs were much more popular. The basic theory behind the curved TV was that a curved screen is a more natural shape to take advantage of our round eyes’ peripheral vision, which should mean curved TVs allow for a more immersive experience, as the curve should make them fill more of our field of view. They’re also supposed to give a wider viewing angle.

Curved vs Flat

Flat

Curved

Viewing angle

Decent

Decent

Immersiveness

Good

Better

Reflections

Good

Good

Cost

Every price range

Mostly Premium models

Availability

Abundant

Rare


When you compare curved TV and Flat TV in contrast to daily use basically there is no noticeable difference though some people like it because of the curved look.


HDR (High Dynamic Range)

The term has been used for a long time but when talking about HDR which stands for High Dynamic Range it is entirely about metadata. HDR metadata is simply additional information sent with the video signal, that tells the TV how to display the content properly. Metadata is then distributed through one of many different standards, including HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. Although metadata is one important factor in HDR, the TV also needs to be able to display the content it’s being asked to display.

Technology has improved dramatically in recent years TVs are getting much brighter and can display much wider color gamuts than ever before and HDR is arguably one of the greatest improvements in recent TVs.

READ- HDR Explained for TVs Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG Formats


WCG (Wide Color Gamut)

A color gamut (also known as a color space) is a range of colors found in the visual spectrum. Particular colors, one variation each of red, green, and blue, are established as the boundaries of a given range, and any colors that are found within those limits are considered part of that space.

Color gamuts are created by telecommunications standards organizations and help in establishing concrete specifications for what the TV must be capable of doing. To meet a given color gamut’s specifications, a TV must be able to display all of the colors included in that space.


A Wide Color Gamut or Wide Color Gamut coverage refers to how much of the new, larger color gamuts a TV can display. Wide Color Gamut compiled with a greater number of colors that what most TV can display. So, the greater a TV’s coverage of a wide color gamut, the more colors a TV will be able to reproduce. This is the most recent technological development in LED TV models which create more colorful and lifelike images.

Wide color gamuts only really matter for HDR video sources like UHD Blu-rays and some streaming video, as only HDR sources are meant to take advantage of the ability to display more colors.


Refresh Rate


Refresh rate and Frame rate are often confused though they are very similar and share a basic logic still they are different. Refresh rate and Frame rate measure of how many times per second the TV redraws the image on the screen but Refresh rate refers to the video signal or display and Frame rate usually refers to the content itself.


There is little benefit to upgrading to a TV with a 120Hz refresh rate. Unless you have 120 fps content, there is very little difference between a 60Hz and a 120Hz TV, unless the missing frames are interpolated to make 24 or 60Hz content look like it is 120Hz which is known as soap opera effect.

As gaming can generate content on the fly, it can easily scale to any refresh rate so there is an exception for gaming. 120Hz gaming is growing rapidly in popularity and is now supported on the Xbox One with a 1080p or 1440p resolution. As HDMI 2.1 devices arrive on the market, 120Hz gaming is expected to continue growing in popularity, as HDMI 2.1 allows for gaming at 4k @ 120Hz.

In short, if you are looking for your best-led TV then our suggestion is always to go for a higher refresh rate of course if it is available.


Sound Output
TV Sound quality

Sound quality is how accurately audio is reproduced compared to the original audio arrangement. An ideal TV’s audio reproduction sounds like a pair of loudspeakers in a room and is balanced and accurate to the source material as it was intended to be heard. For sound quality, we evaluate the frequency and distortion response of TVs at multiple intensities.

TVs that score highly for sound quality will sound great no matter what you are listening to. However, most TVs tend to have a mediocre sound quality and usually, a dedicated speaker system or soundbars are recommended to those who want a good sound reproduction.

According to us for a mediocre and decent audio experience, we recommend a minimum of 20 W speaker output. But if you really want good sound quality then we strongly recommend a dedicated speaker system or soundbars.


Smart TV Platform – Basic Overview
Smart TV

Not only does almost every TV include smart features today, but most of them are also pretty good. LG’s WebOS and TCL’s Roku definitely stand out for their quality, but most shoppers should be pleased by the features of any of them. If you’re shopping for a TV, don’t fret too much on their smart features since little of your time is going to be spent using them. Instead,  focus on the picture quality or other features that complement your usage. You’ll get much closer to finding your perfect TV that way.


SAMSUNG TIZEN SMART HUBRatings: 7.8/10
Samsung had one of the first dedicated smart platforms. The current layout is modern and polished, and most people find it easy to use. The animations on some TVs are quite choppy, and there are frequent dropped frames. The built-in content store has one of the widest selection of apps, as well as movies and TV shows that can be rented and streamed directly from the interface. The interface isn’t ad-free, but the ads are intermittent and not very invasive.


LG WEBOSRatings: 8.5/10
LG’s WebOS has been a dominant force compared to competing smart TVs. It is fast, easy to use, and powerful, and has a well-polished interface. Version 4.0, released in 2018, adds powerful new voice control and a dedicated smart assistant. The smart assistant is very powerful, and can also interact with thousands of other devices, even home appliances and other smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. There is a wide range of apps available for the platform, including Plex, Netflix, Hulu, etc… LG TVs are not ad-free, but the ads are not very intrusive although they cannot be disabled.


TCL ROKU TVRatings: 7.7/10
The TCL line of TVs integrated this smart platform into their TVs. Beyond the streaming channels, most of the popular apps are available, including YouTube, Netflix, and Prime Video. Unfortunately, all TCL TVs have ads throughout the menus, including invitations to buy physical Roku products. 


ANDROID TVRatings: 8/10
Despite the name, the platform does not look or function like the popular Android OS found on smartphones. The design is quite a bit simpler and lacks the fancier menus and animations found on LG and Samsung’s platforms. The included Google Play Store has thousands of apps available, but it is only a subset of what is available on the full Play Store. The search function and voice controls are very advanced, and most Android TVs are able to understand more complex voice requests, in some cases even supporting the ability to change basic TV settings and answer unrelated questions, like checking the weather in a certain location.


VIZIO SMART CASTRatings 6/10
Vizio’s updated their SmartCast platform slightly last year by adding an on-screen menu to access a limited set of web-based apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video without the use of a mobile device like a tablet or phone. Even with that, it’s one of the most barebones options currently available since most of it is still centered around Google’s Chromecast.


Power Consumption
Electricity

Energy consumption is a much smaller factor in buying appliances today, and TVs especially reflect this. Modern technologies such as LED and OLED have brought television power usages down a fair margin, and long gone are the days of inefficient CRTs and Plasma sets that could run up electricity costs by a good amount.

The bigger or brighter your TV, the more power it will take to run. While even modern large, bright TVs don’t consume that much power, the easiest ways to reduce the amount of energy your TV consumes is to go smaller, go dimmer, and turn your TV off when it is not in use.


Tips for Reducing TV Power Consumption

  • Lower the backlight setting.
  • Turn the TV off. It may sound basic, but some people leave their TVs running all the time. Leaving a TV on constantly will result in much higher costs than if you turn the TV off.
  • If you often fall asleep in front of the TV at night, make use of its sleep timer feature.

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