How to Choose the Best TV

 

TV is part of the American fabric, and your new TV could be your family’s best friend for years to come. So no — this isn’t like buying a toaster oven — you’re going to want to get this right, and that’s what our 2018 TV Buying Guide is all about. After all, before you spend thousands of hours watching it, you’ll want to spend a few choosing it.

 

What is 4K TV? Is OLED worth it? What about OLED vs. LED? And the biggie: what TV should you buy?  Our goal is to de-mystify and simplify. If you don’t need to know it, we’re not going to tell it. If it’s a minor detail but still good to know, we’ll point it out.

 

In the end, we won’t know which TV is best for you. But you will, and that’s the whole idea.

Our 10-step formula for picking the best TV for you:

  1. Price Range
  2. TV Size
  3. LED or OLED
  4. TV Resolution
  5. What Not to Worry About
  6. Smart TVs
  7. Cables & Accessories
  8. Audio Upgrades
  9. Remote Controls
  10. TV Warranty

TV Buying Guide Cheat Sheet

If you’re only going to read one thing, read this.

Here are the 7 most important things to know (or do) when buying a TV, in bitesize form:

 

  • Go with 4K (aka Ultra HD) and make sure it has HDR. These are huge — the most important factors for TV picture quality.
  • Bigger is better. Always. “I wish I bought a smaller TV” said no one ever. (Bigger + 4K these days = spectacular. Jaw-dropping. Wow.)
  • Upgrade your HDMI cable. It’s all about the plumbing, and the extra $30/40 bucks is more than worth it. Get an HDMI cable worthy of your TV investment and see every single pixel replicated in glorious form.
  • Upgrade the sound. Audio is more than half the experience, and your TV’s built-in speakers aren’t up to the task. (In fact, they were actually better years ago.) 
  • Choose a trusted brand. We have a reputation for testing and vetting brands. In short, we put them all through the wringer. What TV brand is the best? Three clearly rise above: LGSony, and Samsung, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
  • Buy your new TV from an authorized dealer. You get the manufacturer’s warranty, service, and support. (In our case, guaranteed support even long after the sale. Not to brag, but we did take #2 in Customer Service by USA Today. Just sayin.’)
  • Or just skip the rest of this and buy one of these: The Top TVs of 2021. Then give yourself a standing-O. You now have what experts are calling some of the best TVs anywhere, at any price.

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