Without a doubt, TVs are the centrepiece of any living, home theatre or media room. Without a good television, you’re missing out on great picture quality, awesome audio, a nice big screen, and the ability to add some wicked awesome smart functionality into your media-watching experience.
Why get a new TV?
As if you really need a reason to upgrade to a nicer, newer TV. But, just in case you need some ammunition in convincing your significant other to let you buy that brand new set, here are some ideas to work with.
First off, now that it is fall, all the major sports leagues are ramping up for the season. That means you want a new, good-looking TV so you catch all the NHL or NFL action in glorious high-definition, high-detail, and eye-popping vibrant colour. No? That’s not going to convince your partner? Not a sports fan, eh?
Okay, well with the fall season also comes a lot of brand new TV shows, both on the cable networks, and also the streaming services. It totally makes sense that as the weather turns colder and people are tending to spend more time indoors on the couch that you’d be getting more new content to consume. So, go ahead…hibernate if you want! A new television is guaranteed to make you forget the cold and wet weather blustering right outside your window.
Lastly, you have the reason my parents gave me when I was cheeky enough to ask the question, “why?”: “Because!” You want to upgrade to a new zappy-pow TV because you just want to. Sometimes, that’s enough, right? No? Fine, just go with “we can cuddle on the couch and watch stuff together.” That’ll work.
What’s new in TV tech?
When it comes to new TVs, technology has come a long way, even in just the past few years. We’ve gone from ancient, car-sized sets that weighed more than a safe, to HD, 4K UHD, “smart” TVs and even 8K!
Where do you begin when picking out a new TV? For starters, if it’s been a few years since you last shopped for or educated yourself about TV technology, there are some key advancements you should know about.
For starters, smart sets mean you don’t necessarily need cable, especially with options like Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV that allow you to stream content any time you want from the Internet. On-demand services like these have really changed the media landscape, giving way to late-night splurges of binge watching entire series.
TVs are also thinner, lighter and more versatile now. You can hide or hang a TV almost anywhere. Take a look at the LG Signature W7 65″ 4K UHD HDR OLED if you don’t believe me.
TVs today are also more reliable; no motion blur, no ghosted images burned into your screen, and no banging on the side of the set to get the picture to come in straight. Plus expect more realistic brightness and contrast, as well as razor sharp resolution thanks to 4K and 8K technology.
So, what are your options these days?
Hard to believe, but this is considered the “basic” TV for most people, and it’s an HD format. The term “1080p” essentially denotes the 1080 horizontal lines of resolution and the “p” stands for “progressive scan”. (Progressive scan is one of the two ways images are “painted” across the TV screen, in this case in sequential order.) 1080p or “full HD” as it’s also known, displays its picture in 16×9 (or widescreen) format.
1080p gives you good picture quality because it’s high def. Plus, thanks in part to the proliferation of newer, higher resolution formats now on the market, the prices are pretty reasonable these days. A good choice for a great 1080p TV is this Samsung model where colours, details, and deep contrasts will lift off the screen, creating a very detailed picture quality with a fast refresh rate which means you see sports, video games, and high-speed action with virtually no motion blur.
The 411 on 4K or “Ultra HD” is that it’s a step up from full HD. 4K has millions of pixels, in fact the ‘4’ in 4K TV comes from the approximate number of horizontal pixels, (there are about 4,000; a regular HD TV has only about 2,000 pixels). Once you do the math, there’s over eight million total pixels, meaning Ultra HD gives your choice of video entertainment life-like colour, vivid brightness, and authentic, realistic detail, plus more sharpness and more colour options; in all, a much more realistic image on your screen. When you look at how many more pixels 4K has over Full HD/1080p, you’ll see why this format is the next step up the quality ladder. Yes, the name for this TV format is still confusing, as the terms 4K, Ultra HD, and UHD are all interchangeable.
Welcome to the future with 8K TV
This year, 8K TVs are finally becoming available to consumers, and it is indeed a big thing. Now, you would think 8K would provide double the resolution of 4K, but that isn’t the case. Since we’re talking two dimensions here — horizontal lines and vertical lines — it’s actually a staggering 16 times the pixels of HD and four times the pixels of 4K. Boom! Basically, 8K resolution equates to 7,680 × 4,320, or 33 million pixels instead of 3,840 × 2,160 (8,294,400 pixels). To more easily wrap your head around it, try to imagine four 4K TVs placed in a four-by-four grid. That is quite the number of pixels.
But, you will be paying for those pixels. Currently, 8K TVs may be a little pricey and out of reach for your average consumer. But wait a year or so. As the major manufacturers start to pump out their 8K models, you will see prices begin to fall, much like when 4K was first introduced. It took a year or two before 4K became popular and there were enough models to make pricing competitive.
The same goes for content. When 4K was first introduced commercially, there wasn’t a whole lot of 4K content to consume, but as the tech became the default/mainstream, that changed. 8K is already supported by YouTube and other streaming and video services are already starting to pump out 8K content. And, 8K TVs can upscale 4K content to 8K, and the difference in clarity is stark. Check out this Samsung model to see why you may need to consider investing in this new tech for your media-viewing pleasure.
I know. It’s a lot to take in. But, take your time, figure out your budget and what you want from a new TV, then head to BestBuy and check out the selection of TVs they have online.