Buying new TVs can be a complicated process in 2021, with so many options, so much tech jargon and all that doubt over whether you’re making the right choice.
The sad truth of the matter is that, as is the case when buying any electronics in 2021, the product you buy will be out-of-date within weeks. So it’s important to know whether or not you’ll be getting value for your money, and that the specs meet the standards of new TVs in 2021 and will hold up for a decent period of time. So, to put your mind at ease and make the decision a bit less scary, we’ve put together a short guide to use, so when you step into the store, you will know exactly what to look for.
Finding the right size
Before you leave home, you need to pull out the measuring tape to figure out what size your TV needs to be. Some people like to mount their TVs on walls, which typically means size is unrestricted, according to the size of your living spaces and your decor preferences. Some people prefer to put their TVs in cupboards and others are merely looking for small, monitor-sized screens to put on top of a desk. Figure out your preferences and purchase accordingly. Most TV brands offer 43″, 50″, 55″ and 65″ TVs as a standard, while other brands expand into the 75″ and above territory, but this is commonly considered excessive for most buyers.
8K, 4K or HD
HD TVs have been out of date for more than a decade. 4K TVs were the standard in 2020 and it’s a bit too early to be buying 8K TVs which are very expensive and very few TV shows or movies are shot in 8K for now. It is also worth investing in HDR if you want a wider range of colours. It really makes a big difference on the eyes. When faced with the question of investing in a Smart TV, the answer is that you definitely should – it has become a necessity and your home entertainment experience won’t be the same without it.
Refresh rate – What does that mean?
The refresh rate, expressed in Hertz (Hz) describes how many times per second a picture is refreshed on the screen. The standard is 60Hz, but in movies with rapid movement, 60Hz has been found to be inadequate for some manufacturers who have opted for 120Hz refresh rates, with some even going as high as 240Hz. Manufacturers are opting for HFR (High Frame Rate) functionality which supports standard 60Hz refresh rates, as well as movies shot at higher rates. Most gaming consoles require 60Hz refresh rates, but with the next generation consoles, 120Hz is likely to become the standard and it is recommended that buyers of new TVs in 2021 don’t settle for anything less than 120Hz.
HDMI ports – the more the merrier
This is pretty self-explanatory. The more devices that you want plugged into new TVs in 2021, the more HDMI ports you’re going to need. So if you have a TV box, a soundbar and a gaming console, you can’t settle for anything less than three ports. The current HDMI standard that supports the 4K copy-protection scheme known as HDCP 2.2, but HDMI 2.1 capability is popping up on a few models and will likely become the benchmark sometime within the next year. This is an unnecessary, but desirable feature.
What about prices?
For a 55″ 4K TV, you should be budgeting about $500, while a 65″ model should be setting you back at least $900. As stated earlier, try not to opt for cheaper brands, because they won’t hold up, and bear in mind that the more you’re paying for your TV, the more likely it is to date well.
BONUS TIP: Buy a soundbar
It sounds like an unnecessary expense, but it’s not. With new TVs in 2021 being so thin, more often than not the TV’s speakers aren’t particularly good or simply don’t last very well. A soundbar is the only way to get the full home entertainment experience and a decent subwoofer can make a big difference as well.
It may seem to be a daunting task, making the purchase that will likely define your living room for the next few years, but don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by the jargon. Stick to the steps above and focus on the most essential features and you’ll be on your way to making the right choice.