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Buying a TV – What to Look Out For


When it comes to buying a TV, it can feel like a minefield of acronyms and technological nonsense. With HDR this, and OLED that, knowing exactly what you’re looking for has become more and more complicated over the years. While knowing a TV is HD ready used to be enough to sway you, it’s hard to blame someone for not knowing where to start nowadays. So, we thought we’d put together a handy guide to take the stress out of the experience.

From finding the right screen size and deciding whether you need a Smart TV, to the differences between 1080p and 4K, we’ve got you covered. So, have a read, and get informed! That way you can take to those tech stores without worrying about being buried in an avalanche of complicated tech mumbo jumbo.

Should I Buy a Smart TV?

A big question to get out of the way when it comes to splashing the cash on a new screen, is whether or not to buy a Smart TV. While they’re convenient, is it something you really need? Especially when smart capabilities usually mean your new TV comes with a heftier price tag. But to decide that, there’s one thing we need to get cleared up.

What is a Smart TV?

A Smart TV is a television with internet-connected capabilities. You’ll usually find access to streaming services and other apps, which can make for a pretty great all-in-one entertainment box. From Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, to Disney Plus and BBC iPlayer, you can get all your streaming subscriptions in one place.

But, it does tend to cost a little extra at the shop. Although you can get cheap smart TV’s, with a lot of the cost coming from the size and the resolution of the screen. You’ll need to take a look at what streaming services you have, and decide whether you get enough use out of them to make the purchase worthwhile. You may find the convenience of doing everything from one remote enough to justify splashing the cash.

Does a Smart TV need an aerial?

Not really, no. While you’ll need an aerial to watch Freeview channels and terrestrial television, you won’t need it for any of the streaming services. All you need for that is an internet connection. You can get portable indoor aerials pretty cheap nowadays, so it’s your choice. If you’re a sucker for some streaming, a Smart TV might just be for you. But if you prefer the classic means, adverts and all, it might not be worth the money for you.

TV Screen Size

Screen size is a big factor. It’ll depend a lot on how far away you’re sitting from the screen. If it’s something for the bedroom and you’re relatively close, you might find a 27-inch screen fits the bill. But, if you want the whole family to sit around in the living room, something bigger will probably suit you better. A great way to find out what kind of screen is right for you is with the rtings.com TV size to distance calculator. It uses a little bit of science to find the right size TV for you, based on how far away you’ll be sitting.

How to measure a TV screen?

You might already have a TV that’s the perfect size, but you just want something a little crisper, or smarter. In that case, grab a tape measure and go diagonally from corner to corner. Make sure you leave out the borders, and that way you can find out what screen size you’re used to. Then you can head to Currys and ask them for something around that size, and the staff will help you out. It also makes the online shopping experience that much easier when you know what you’re looking for.

The Different Types of LED TV

When we talk about complicated acronyms, this is what we mean. A lot of TV’s are identified as LCD, LED, QLED, DLED or OLED. And yes, it is incredibly irritating seeing these terms pop up when you haven’t got a clue what they mean. So, we’re going to give a quick rundown of what it means and the kind of difference it makes.

What does LED stand for?

LED means light-emitting diodes. So if you’ve got an LED TV, the screen is lit up by a ton of tiny little lights. LED’s can use less power, give a brighter display and take up less space than older LCD TV’s. You can still get LCD TV’s if you’re looking for a truly budget option for your new screen. But most TV’s now fall under the LED banner in one way or another.

What is an OLED TV?

An organic light-emitting diode TV is one of the most premium types of TV on the market right now. They can be ultra slim because they don’t use backlights and they usually come equipped with 4K (and possibly even 8K) functionality. In a nutshell, you’ll be getting incredible quality with an OLED TV.

What is a QLED TV?

A QLED TV is almost the same as an OLED TV. It stands for quantum dot LED and you’ll likely get a similar effect between the two, great quality! The difference is that QLED TV’s usually come from Samsung, and are actually typically cheaper than OLED TV’s, so it’s well worth looking into if you’ve got your heart set on a brand-new OLED TV.

What’s a DLED TV?

A direct view LED display essentially means you have hundreds of tiny LEDs mounted directly behind the screen. They’re bright, dynamic and offer rich colour. But, the quality may differ slightly from the OLED and QLED counterparts. But that means you can get these TV’s a little cheaper. Perfect if you want that middle ground between cost and quality in your new screen.

TV Screen Resolution

One of the key things to consider when you’re getting your hands on a new TV, is the picture quality. But screen resolutions are yet another minefield to navigate. With terms like 4K, 8K, 1080p and Ultra HD being thrown around, it gets complicated pretty quickly. And depending on your needs, it can make a difference.

What is a 4K TV?

With a 4K TV, you’ll be getting pretty close to crystal clear quality. Generally you’ll find 4K TV’s to be 40 inches or more, as anything under that won’t really let you appreciate the full majesty of that clarity! So, if you’re getting a smaller TV, you might be better off settling for 1080p (full HD).

What is Ultra HD?

Ultra HD or UHD is a term that’s used pretty interchangeably with 4K. But simply put, Ultra HD is a term that applies to the next step up from full HD. So you’ll be getting higher definition with an UHD TV. But bear in mind if you’re watching older content, or playing older games that haven’t optimised for display in UHD, you may find it’s not worth the extra cash.

IS 4K better than UHD?

Generally with 4K and UHD, you won’t need to worry about which one is labelled on the box, as you’ll be getting a pretty great viewing experience either way. But advertisers do prefer to use the term 4K. But on the whole the terms are used pretty interchangeably.

What is HDR?

High dynamic range or HDR is used to increase the amount of detail that can be shown on screen. It can make those bright colours brighter and the darker colours darker, and you can get greater detail between those colours. It’s great if you’re a gamer and want all the detail your screen can handle, but it’s also great for those new movie releases. In short it’s just another term that means you can get crisper quality from your screen.

Where to Buy a New TV

Now that you know what details to look out for, you’ve probably got a better idea of the kind of screen you’ll want. But even then finding somewhere to buy your new TV can be tricky. And while the best quality might be important, there’s also the matter of keeping it within your budget.

Buying a TV at Argos

Argos are a great option for buying a new TV. With screen sizes ranging from 19 inches to a whopping 85 inches, you can bet you’ll find a screen to suit your needs. And with some of the biggest brands, you can bet you’re getting quality.

Do ASDA sell televisions?

Yes, ASDA has a wonderful range of TV’s, and the prices are pretty great too! Unfortunately, you’ll find that they don’t actually sell TV’s online, but they do have some wonderful offers in-store.

Buying a TV at AO.com

Ao.com have made a name for themselves as the place to be for incredible electronic deals. And the same goes for their selection of TV’s. The best part is, you’ll usually find AO has a ton of deals on offer, so it’s always worth a look on their website.

Do Tesco sell televisions?

Tesco does sell TV’s. But much like Asda, they don’t sell TV’s online. You’ll have to head in-store to browse their selection of Smart, 4K and HDR ready TV’s. But you can bet the prices are on point.

Be In-The-Know When Buying a TV

So, we hope that’s cleared up some of the confusion when it comes to buying a new TV. you don’t need to be a tech genius to know what you’re looking for. But make sure when it comes to buying a quality screen, you’re getting the best price to boot! Just make sure before you splash the cash, you know exactly what suits your needs.


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