If you are planning to buy a TV in 2020, it can get a bit complicated. We have some TVs costing a few thousands of rupees and some others ranging as high as lacs of rupees. Also, there are multiple types of TVs available from LEDs to OLEDs and Smart-TVs. The story does not end here, you will also have to look for resolution of the display panel along with the size of the panel. The number of brands selling TVs has also increased and some brands are selling online too. So, buying a TV can become a nightmare if you are not aware of the terms required to understand the value of the TV you are about to buy.
The TV brands are salespeople, they can sell you anything rubbish with some false claims. So, it’s your responsibility to judge them with your common sense and awareness. Let’s get to the step by step guide to help you decide which TV to buy.
The first step in buying any product will always be estimating the price range which you can afford (ignore if you are a billionaire). If you like an OLED TV worth 5 lacs of Rupees and can’t afford it, then what’s the point in liking that? Let’s suppose your range to be 25,000 to 60,000 of Rupees. Start searching for TVs available from different brands in this price range. Some popular brands are Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Xiaomi, TCL, Vu, Onida, Sanyo etc.
Size and resolution
When you have shortlisted TVs according to your budget, filter again on the basis of the screen-size and resolution according to your requirements. The screen size must be decided considering the size of the room and viewing distance. Check the table below to estimate the screen-size for your TV according to the viewing distance and resolution.
|Screen size (in inches)||Viewing distance for Full-HD TVs (in Feet)|
|Screen Size (in inches)||Viewing distance for 4K Ultra-HD TVs (in Feet)|
The type of the panel used to project the images, plays an essential role in the quality of picture being displayed. You need to choose from the LEDs, the QLEDs and the OLED TVs. But since we have assumed a budget of 25,000 to 60,000 Rs, you will only get LED (LCD TVs with LED backlighting) TVs in this price range. QLED and OLED TVs have better picture quality and are thinner as compared to the LED panel TVs. It’s obvious that QLEDs and OLED TVs will cost more than the LED panel TVs.
The LED panels are of two types namely Back-lit and Edge-lit. As the names suggest, Back-lit LED panels have backlighting all throughout the panel but Edge-lit panels have backlighting along the edges only. Edge-lit panels are generally dimmer and consume lesser power than the Back-lit LED panels. You can choose any one of the two as the picture quality solely depends on the quality of the LED panel used. So, have faith in your eyes and decide for yourself which panel fulfills your expectation. If you are upgrading from the conventional CRT monitor TVs, you can get mesmerised by any LED TV. But this method of observing physically works if you buy the TV offline, not from online platforms.
Another essential thing which should not be overlooked is to check whether the panel is IPS or non-IPS. The IPS LED panels have a wider viewing angle than non-IPS panels, which can have less than 50-degrees viewing angle. These days most panels come with IPS technology but you must make sure it’s not left out. And do not get into the trap of curved-TVs, flat screen TVs provide better viewing experience. List of some important features that classify LEDs, QLEDs and OLEDs from each other, is shown below.
The higher the contrast ratio the higher the visible details in a picture. So, always look for TVs with higher contrast ratio among the choices shortlisted by you.
It is the number of pictures/frames shown to you in one second. If the refresh rate is lower, the videos will start blurring in fast motion. So, you must always look for TVs with higher refresh rate. Anything above 60 Hz of refresh rate will be good for your basic requirements.
HDR or High Dynamic Range
HDR is a new way of producing more colors, more darkness and more brightness all at once on the screen. HDR is of two types namely Dolby Vision and HDR 10 (HDR Pro). HDR produces more vivid, true to life images with rich colors. It’s always welcomed if you have HDR support in your TV.
Most TVs these days come with built-in Wi-Fi for connecting to the internet and installing apps etc in them. The interfaces are getting better and many TVs run Android TV OS. Smart-TVs are selling more than other non-smart ones. So, opt for buying a Smart-TV as you can enjoy online streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. And always go for Smart-TVs running on Android OS with Google Play Services as Android is the best OS available for TVs.
Number of Ports
Check the number of HDMI and USB ports available with your TV. HDMI ports are needed to connect HD Set-top Box, Blu-Ray Player, Gaming Console, Fire-TV Stick/Chromecast and Laptops. Three HDMI ports will be more than enough, anything more than that is a surplus. Two USB ports will be sufficient if you connect your pen-drives, hard-disks, internet dongle, digital cameras etc. You have to decide as per the number of connections you will make.
You also need RCA port if you want to connect your normal SD Set-top box and VGA port for connecting laptops if HDMI port is not provided in the laptop. And if you do not have Wi-Fi internet at your home, Ethernet/LAN port will be needed in the TV to gain access to the internet. The 3.5-mm Audio-out jack also comes with some TVs to connect to speakers, headphones, soundbars etc. But if the TV has Bluetooth installed in it, you can use that to connect wirelessly to your Bluetooth enabled headphones and speakers.
Check for the loudness levels of the speakers of your TV with clarity. If your TV is Dolby Digital or DTS Premium or Harman Kardon, it’s fine. You cannot expect the sound output from a TV so thin, to be outstanding. You will have to buy a soundbar or a good Home-theatre system for brilliant audio experience.