The Central Hub of Entertainment: Learn to Pick the Best TV in 10 Easy Steps

Choosing the best TV is pretty important when you are serious about your viewing experience. Even if you’re not a big TV watcher, you still want a great TV that gives has excellent picture quality, ample sound and true tone colors that will make your occasional viewing well worth your time.

If you have or are working on an entertainment center or you want to find something that will be the perfect fit for your media room or home theater, choosing a television is central to your set up. It is after all, the focal point. A proper home entertainment center or home theater provides a viewing experience that enhances everything about what you are watching.

When it comes to televisions, there are so many styles to choose from that it can feel a little overwhelming trying to choose the TV that will be the best fit in your home. Are you more of a movie watcher or do you watch mostly sports? Do you use your TV mostly for playing video games? Answering these questions is the first step in guiding you to the best TV choice for you and your family.

Pick the Best TV

1. Know What You Use Your TV For

Some people love watching sports, others are mostly into gaming and others are outright movie aficionados. What you will mainly be using your TV for should be one of the biggest determining factors when choosing your TV. If movies are the ultimate goal, you want to choose a television that has a great picture and sound quality.

You will also want it to have enough HDMI ports (and other media ports, too) to support all of your add-ons, like a great Blu-ray player that’s going to give you all the high definition digital visuals. Your favorite movies will really pop out of the screen at you when you pair a great TV and a Blu-ray player. A TV that has 1000:1 static contrast ratio will meet the demands of a Blu-ray.

When sports and video games are more what you use the TV for, you want a TV that has fast response times, internet and Bluetooth connectivity, and ultra-high resolution. Running, jumping, driving and shooting just wouldn’t feel the same on a low-resolution TV.

Game consoles need a super high resolution in order to deliver the type of high-quality gaming experience most gamers have come to expect. Choose a TV with a minimum of 1080p resolution or a 4K ultra HD TV to get the best quality gaming visuals. And that fast response time will reduce screen blurring when objects move.

2. Size Matters

Depending on what you’ll spend more time watching and where you’ll be watching, the size of your TV definitely matters. Movie buffs and sports fans that will be watching in the main room or home theater should choose at minimum a 50-inch TV. A bigger screen size really brings the action to life and makes you feel like you’re right in the thick of things. It may seem a little overindulgent, but the fact of the matter is that bigger screen size is going to be the one feature that makes the most impact on how you watch and interact with your TV. It’s a good rule of thumb to choose the biggest TV that both your budget and your space will accommodate.

If you are looking for a TV for your bedroom, bathroom or kitchen, at 32 to 50 inch TV may suffice. It’s small enough to allow you room for other things and large enough to give you better viewing experience.

Regardless of the size of TV you select, your flat panel TV won’t be putting out as much sound as a serious sports fan or movie watcher would like. And the truth is, the sound is a big part of feeling as though you’re part of the scene or the play. Consider getting a slim and low profile soundbar to pair with your TV. If you want to eliminate cords and keep a port free, choose a soundbar with Bluetooth connectivity and wirelessly sync to your TV.

3. Choose Your Features

Features are part of the confusion when picking a great TV. There are so many features that it may be confusing. Take the confusion out of the process by considering what your specific needs are. If you like to watch television programs and you can’t always catch them when they air, then a cloud DVR can help you out with that. It eliminates having to choose between a very limited number of shows like on a traditional DVR.

There are loads of features that can enhance your TV viewing. If you’re really into audio and sound quality, then consider brands that focus more on the sound of their units. There is also Ultra HD Premium, a type of badge or quality guarantee that a specific TV meets a set of visual standards by the UHD Alliance.

4. Know Your Abbreviations

Most TVs are labeled with plenty of abbreviations. Somehow these abbreviations signal the quality, features, and capabilities of the set and tell us which one to buy. But when you know what they mean, things are a little easier. LEDs are commonly used in LCD TVs. LED is the backlight system that illuminates LCD chips that provide your viewing content. QLED TVs have quantum dots that enhance the color performance, while OLED TVs are lighter, thinner and quite efficient because they put electricity into the colors to make them glow. OLEDs also have the ability to create absolute black. There’s also 4K. This designates resolution. If the TV has a horizontal pixel count of 4,000, then you have a 4K TV.

Best TV

5. Brand Names

If you really like the quality or the specificity of a particular brand, go for it. There are so many names in the TV market, that going with a tried and true name can make you feel more confident in your choice. If you choose a higher end brand, you may find that you have certain technologies, like Dolby Atmos, installed to enhance your viewing pleasure. Some brands may have better warranties than others or may be known for making televisions that have long lives.

6. Software Platform

You’ve now decided what you’re going to be watching, where you’ll be watching and now it’s time to decide how you’re going to watch it. There are so many options nowadays, that it’s hard not to have a TV. Many of the major brand names like Samsung, use their own in-house built software, while others like Sony, rely on Google’s Android TV. Other brands use Roku software. If you’re really into tech, then the software platform will mean more to you than others. This probably won’t be the deciding factor in which TV you buy, but you should consider it if you have specific software requirements for the content you plan on streaming.

As far as picking what to watch, there’s the standard cable, there are streaming options like Hulu, Optimum, Netflix, and so much more. Smart TV platforms offer big name apps, but you can also install others as you see fit. If a specific app you’re banking on isn’t offered on the platform of the TV you choose, you should reconsider or plug in an external device of your choosing.

7. Resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels in the screen. More pixels mean a sharper and clearer picture. Pairing resolution with screen size is where the magic happens. If your screen is less than 40-inches, 4K or Ultra HD won’t make very much of a noticeable difference, even though 4K is the current gold standard.

Resolution is very important to gamers and sports fans. A higher resolution creates a picture that moves fast and with less visual noise. Choosing a TV with a high dynamic range (HDR) gives you better contrast ratio, so high resolution, and HDR together are a match made in heaven.

8. Money Matters

One of the deciding factors in purchasing a new TV is price. There are certain times of the year where deep discounts are offered, so if the TV of your dreams is a little out of your price range right now, keep an eye out for sales and colder temperatures. No matter your price range, there is typically a wide variety of TV brands, sizes, and features to choose from. Even if your budget is a little more flexible, it’s always a good time to find a deal, right? Do some comparison shopping to work with your budget.

9. Read Reviews

Reading verified reviews written by both professionals and buyers can help you decide on the better TV for you. You always have to take reviews with a grain of salt, but when you see a disproportionate amount of negative reviews, it’s likely that these aren’t just a few disgruntled customers that didn’t get their way, Reviews are a great way to inform your decision, so make sure you check multiple sites and read carefully.

10. Know When You Need a New TV

Sometimes you need a new TV because your current television went out. Other times you just want an upgrade. Maybe you recently moved and now you have the space for the TV you’ve always wanted. Regardless of whether you really need a new TV or if you just want one to make your home a little homier, there is no shortage of options.

Having a great TV is almost as integral to home as is a clock or a kitchen. Most households want to be able to watch TV whenever they get the urge, and with the advances in technology, we’ve become accustomed to certain qualities and have specific expectations. Picking the best TV isn’t difficult when you know what you expect out of your TV.

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