So you’ve been staring at that same, drab old TV in your living room for years. Every time you come across one of the latest, big-screened and beautiful televisions, you long to upgrade. And now that it’s the holiday season, it seems like the perfect time to upgrade to the ultimate TV for the family.
Rather than buy a series of fun gifts for everyone in the family, why not splurge on a new big-screen TV for the home? The entire family will enjoy it, and you’ll have it just in time to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, and catch the Super Bowl in February.
How to choose the ultimate TV for the family
Now that you’ve decided that it’s time to bite the bullet, how do you choose?
First off, assuming you have a sizeable room, go big for the ultimate TV
Don’t step down in size only to regret it later. As they say, go big or go home. Follow recommended viewing distance charts, then opt for a television that fits in the largest size you can accommodate for pleasurable viewing. While you don’t have to opt for a massive 80-incher like the Samsung 82” 4K UHD LED Tizen Smart TV (although why not if you have the room?), consider a 70-inch or larger to avoid that later regret that you “should have gone one size up.”
TVs of those sizes are available from all the major manufacturers, and with 4K UHD resolution, and HDR. The Vizio 75” UHD HDR XLED Smart TV adds features like built-in Chromecast and the SmartCast app so you can access streaming programming easily as well.
If you’re going to splurge on an ultimate TV, splurge.
Get a new, high-tech model with features to future-proof your purchase for years to come. This includes a smart TV interface so that you can instantly access apps like YouTube and Netflix directly from the TV menu, and support for 4K UHD content so that, once you upgrade your other equipment and content subscriptions, you can get the most out of the TV. Note that even without access to 4K content from the get-go, many 4K TVs can upscale regular HD, and even SD, content, to provide a better viewing experience. The LG Signature W7 OLED TV, for example, is on the pricier end of the scale. But boy, is it ever a beauty. But you’ll be able to access any type of content you could imagine using the webOS 3.5 Smart operating system, and the Magic Remote. And the picture is absolutely breathtaking.
Consider what you’ll be watching on your new ultimate TV.
If you’ve already amassed a large collection of 4K Blu-ray discs, subscribe to 4K channels through cable/satellite TV or streaming services, and have the other necessary equipment, including a 4K-capable receiver, for example, then 4K UHD is definitely the way to go. It’s worth noting that most new TVs these days are 4K, and even if you aren’t actively viewing 4K content today, considering a TV is a piece of technology that’s often kept for a long period of time, it’s best to future-proof that investment.
Consider how you will access content on the ultimate TV
How will you watch most of your TV? Via a set-top box? Do you subscribe to services like Netflix, CraveTV, or Amazon Prime Video? Maybe you currently use something like an Apple TV or Google Chromecast to watch YouTube videos? Then you might want to consider a television with a sleek Smart TV interface. As with 4K, most new TVs today are “smart” in that you can access streaming and online services directly through them, without the use of a third-party device. But depending on how important streaming content is to you, how slick and intuitive the interface is could be a deal-breaker.
Sony’s Android TVs, like the 75” 4K UHD HDR LED Android Smart TV, come with the Android operating system built-in so you get easy and seamless access to Android apps, ranging from movies and music to games. They’re also compatible with Google Home, so you can control it via voice. This TV already has Google Chromecast streaming built in, so there’s no additional accessories needed.
Don’t forget about design
When it comes to TV, considering the design doesn’t just mean making sure you get the right size to accommodate the room dimensions and viewing distance. It’s also about the look, fitting in with the room’s decor, and having friends and family drool when they come over and see it.
Televisions these days are often focal points of a room, especially if it will be placed in the living room, den, or dedicated theatre. Naturally, the latest televisions are something to behold when it comes to design, often ultra-thin, with sleek minimalist bezels with beautiful finishes, and crisp images on screen. If design is a top consideration, Samsung’s The Frame TV will have you “oohing” and “ahhing.” Not only is its design gorgeous, with an ultra-slim footprint and walnut, beige wood, or white bezel options, but it can also display curated artwork or family photos when it’s not in use. The screen adjusts the display based on ambient lights and colours so that the images appear as though they are paintings, not digital photographs.
You can choose art from the Samsung Collection, including everything from landscapes to abstract art, so the TV looks like a piece of art on the wall when you aren’t watching a movie, TV series, or the big game.
Determine where and how the ultimate TV will be mounted
TVs today are super-light, which means they can easily be hung on the wall like paintings (especially the aforementioned The Frame TV, which mounts with the No Gap wall mount so it sits snug to the wall, just like a picture frame). But if you don’t plan to wall-mount it, you’ll need to figure out where it will go.
While we pay a lot of attention to the fronts of TVs, with a display that will sit on a stand, with easy access behind it, you’ll want to ensure it looks just as good from the back as from the front. For TVs that you wall mount, if it’s not going to be on an articulating mount that lets you easily pull it out from the wall, you’ll want to find one with easy access ports, especially if you tend to swap out connected devices often, or want to pop something like a digital camera, Google Chromecast, a video gaming system, or other device in every now and then. With most gadgets being fully wireless-capable these days, this might not be an issue. But it’s worth considering.
Consider sound of the ultimate TV
Do you already have surround sound speakers? Or are you going to be relying on the TV’s built-in speakers for the foreseeable future, or until you’re ready to upgrade?
If you don’t have audio set-up just yet, consider a television that has pretty great audio included so that you will still get a pleasurable experience until it’s time to upgrade. The Sony Bravia OLED Smart TV comes with something called Acoustic Surface technology, that will emit audio from the entire screen so that you get a fully complementary audio and video experience. The Cinematic S-Force Front Surround is said to mimic the way your brain correlates sound sources so you get the perfect volume, as well as audio that plays in sync with the video on screen.
And if you’re just listening to music, or playing video games, the ClearAudio+ technology will help deliver rich and clear sound, too. The LG Signature OLED W7 also offers pretty stellar sound through its included 4.2-channel 60W speaker system, and OLED Surround with Dolby Atmos technology.
Bottom Line for choosing the ultimate TV for the family
It’s a tall order to decide on the perfect television for the family, especially when it will be a gift that’s delivered with a big, red bow on it.
Consider going up a size, even if it means adding a few extra bucks to the bottom line. Future-proof your investment by looking for not only 4K quality, but also HDR, along with a smart TV interface, and multiple mounting options. And consider what decor features might add some extra pizzaz to the room where the TV will be placed, such as sophisticated bezel designs and finishes, Art Mode, as with Samsung’s The Frame, and clever speaker designs, like you’d find with the LG Signature OLED W TV.
Selecting a television is no small investment. But it is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face once they discover it under the tree.
Check out plenty of great television options at Best Buy Online.