TVs for today’s viewing needs.
More than 90 years after televisions first became commercially available, you might think buying one would be as easy as picking a toaster. But if you’re in the market for a new TV, it’s easy to get bogged down in resolutions, audio standards, acronyms and initials.
Considering what’s most important to you — clarity, bright colors, deep blacks — will help you choose how best to spend your money.
4K OR HD:
A 4K TV is fast becoming the default selection as prices continue to drop. While not all 4K sets are created equal, all do provide much better image quality than 1080p HD displays. Finding 4K content comes at a cost, though. Expect to pay a premium for the higher resolution from streaming services such as Netflix or through the purchase of an ultra- HD Blu-ray player.
Smart TVs connect to the internet, and most offer all your favorite streaming services without the need for additional accessories such as an Apple TV or Roku. While a Smart TV’s interface and flexibility may fall short of the dedicated devices, they get the job done.
LED OR OLED:
LEDs — light-emitting diodes— are what light up your TV. Depending on the size of the screen, a typical HD TV can have thousands of LEDs. An OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, is much smaller than an LED, and a TV may have millions of them.
OLED TVs have the edge when displaying deep, dark blacks in images. The size of the OLEDs also means these TVs can be impressively thin, light and less power hungry. OLEDs also offer a wider viewing angle, with better results when viewed from the side than with LEDs.
So why pick an LED TV? Price is probably the biggest factor. OLEDs are still top-of-the- line devices and are priced accordingly. They also can’t yet match LEDs for brightness or better all-around value.
HDR, or High Dynamic Range, provides a higher level of contrast between light and dark in 4K TVs. In practice, HDR provides more vivid images and colors that pop. There are two major competing players in the market, Dolby Vision and HDR10. While HDR10 is supported by more televisions, Dolby Vision is considered superior.