tv can Hard to buy.whether you read my Beautifully Best TV guide or not, you probably won’t find all the top models at your local Walmart, Best Buy, or Costco. When you’re browsing retail websites, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by marketing terms like HDR or “local dimming.” That’s why I’ve rounded up some tips, tricks, and terms to help you shop smarter when it comes to buying a new TV. Think of these as a checklist to consider before heading to the store (or Amazon) to buy your next big screen.
Be sure to check out our guide to the best soundbars and tips for upgrading your home audio to complete your home theater.
Table of contents
Update May 2023: We’ve updated this guide to reflect modern pricing and information on the TV market.
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What size TV should you buy?
The bigger the screen the better, right? Sure, when it comes to TVs, that doesn’t mean you should always go for the largest size TV. Pricing for larger models can get out of hand, and you should always make sure you have enough room for all of your screen shots.
under 55 inches
Some high-end OLED TVs are smaller so they can double as computer monitors, but most TVs under 55 inches these days are largely non-standard. Many manufacturers still make models smaller than this size, but you may not get the latest and greatest performance.
55 inch TV
This is the smallest standard size for a modern TV. It’s perfect for a normal room in a home or apartment, but if you have a larger space, you may need to go up a size. Note that TVs this size and larger usually have feet on either end of the screen; if you’re not wall-mounting, be sure to measure the width of the TV stand to make sure it will accommodate your new TV.
It’s a great choice for larger living rooms or spaces that need to appeal to several eyes at once. If you have the extra cash and space, the upgrade is worth it for those who like to see the details more closely in movies and TV shows.
75 inches and above
I only recommend TVs of this size and larger to people who have huge rooms and are looking for a true movie experience.Buyer beware: A TV this big could be priced too high (Enter ten thousands of high-end models). Cheaper ones (under $1,000) may not look as good due to processing and panel lighting constraints. Get ready to have a professional or a group of friends help you move and install a screen this large.
What screen resolution do you need?
Resolution refers to the number of pixels on the screen. Modern TVs come in 1080p “Full High Definition” resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), 4K “UHD” (3,840 x 2,160) and 8K “8K UHD” (7,680 x 4,320) variants. The former and the latter are somewhat rare, but for opposite reasons: Full HD screens are now old technology, reserved only for the smallest and cheapest products; 8K resolution is mostly reserved for expensive supersized TVs.