Buying a TV in 2023 - How Different Features Affect The Price

Nowadays there are so many styles of TV from QLED to LCD it's difficult to keep up. In this article, we talk you through the different forms of TV and how they affect the price.

a tv on a tv stand
(Image credit: getty)

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 woman using touchscreen TV with internet connectivity

(Image credit: getty)

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, making for a 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 TVs, much of the cost comes from the screen's size and resolution. You’ll need to look at your streaming services 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.

If you own a Sky box, you may prefer Sky's smart TV, Sky Glass, which has Sky built-in, so all your Sky channels and streaming apps are in one easy place. Don't have Sky? For Amazon Firestick users, you may enjoy the Amazon TV, which has all the features of an Amazon Firestick, including Alexa. 

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 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. A Smart TV might suit you if you’re a sucker for some streaming. But if you prefer the traditional means, adverts and all, it might not be worthwhile.

What Type of TV Do I Need?

The price and features of the television you should get may vary depending on what you need it for. If you are a huge movie buff and watch regular films alone or with family, you'll want a 4K TV. Luckily 4K TVs don't break the bank, and you can get a good one for roughly £350 nowadays. 

If you're a big gamer, the more frames, the better, with 120hz being the ideal rate, but the higher the refresh rate, the pricier the TV, with prices ranging from £400-1000. I would recommend a monitor for the best gaming experience. They are smaller but have a way higher quality for video games.

If all you do is watch the odd streaming platform, you don't need all the extras. So consider a small smart TV such as an Amazon Fire TV for £200-250 that has built-in streaming apps and full HD.

Have no space but want a TV? Consider a projector. For around £100, you can pick up projectors that can attach to phones and laptops and display an image on a flat surface such as a ceiling or wall. Great for small apartments.

TV Screen Size

A small television perched on the palm of a hand

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Screen size is a significant 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 in the living room, something bigger will 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 bit of science to find the right size TV for you, based on how far away you’ll be sitting.

Chart showing distance compared to size of television

(Image credit: Future)

How to measure a TV screen?

You might already have a TV that’s the perfect size, but you 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 so 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. It also makes the online shopping experience easier when you know what you’re looking for.

The Different Types of LED TV

four different tv types called UHD, 4K, 8K and OLED

(Image credit: getty)

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 is a Neo QLED TV?

Neo QLED, or a neo quantum light-emitting diode, is a proprietary technology from Samsung that combines thousands of tiny LEDs called Quantum Matrix technology. In short, the LEDs are smaller than older generations of TV, so there are more of them, and the more LED, the better the colour. 

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

example of different screen resolutions on televisions

(Image credit: getty)

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 an 8K TV

8K resolution is the latest in viewing technology, with four times the amount of pixels as a 4K TV. However, there are practically no movies, shows or games that have 8K capability and they can cost up to £10,000 so honestly, they aren't worth it.

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.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeautureAdvantageDisadvantage
HDRBetter contrasts and colour qualityExpensive, and not all games/movies support it
UHD and 4KHigh-quality image and pixel density, clear crisp viewingAdds to the price, uses more energy
8KUnmatched viewing qualityPractically no movie show or game is in 8K. Incredibly expensive
120hzVery fluid image, great for gamingMore expensive than the usual 60hz TV
60hzCheaper than 120hz, good for movies and TV showsMay not be the best option for hardcore gamers
DLEDCheaper than QLED and OLEDThe viewing angle is not as good as QLED or OLED and can be chunky.
OLEDSlim, better quality than QLED and DLED, premium image qualityMore expensive than DLED or QLED
QLEDBetter than DLED, Great image, cheaper than OLEDMore expensive than DLED and not as good as OLED

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.

For more helpful tips and tricks check out our guide to Buying Tech on a Budget

Aron Clinch
Home & Garden Editor

I’ve been a regular fixture here at MyVoucherCodes since 2018. Starting as a deal expert, diligently perusing the web for some serious discounts, I’ve since gone on to write heaps of content as the home and garden editor. Sharing what I’ve learned so that you can save yourself a few quid on home essentials, and the odd luxury.

With contributions from