Wanna A TV Upgrade For Christmas? Here’s What To Consider
Quarantine has made our consumption of TV, movies, and all digital content more integral than ever.
It seems simple enough. You need a new TV--so just go get a new TV, right? Well, it seems easy until you begin to go over the many options available with televisions today. Not that I'm complaining. TV's are light, brilliant, crisper, and obviously smarter. What's not to love? Well, the only issue could be if you're a person like me--I tend to overthink everything. So navigating the particulars of even TV options can send me down a research rabbit hole for hours.
Thankfully, the technology has gotten so good, that there are many great, affordable, quality options from which to choose. But just like with anything else, it's a good idea to stop and consider what makes the most sense for you.
Tech reporter and author Marc Salzman recently spent some time exploring and explaining some of these options that I personally found helpful in my own research. Here's a few things he thinks you need to know:
What screen type do you prefer? Ah, the good news that neither one of the main screen types you'll find today are a bad choice--LED back-lit LCD TV's or OLED TV's.
You may also come across a "QLED." This is the name Samsung has adopted for their quantum dot TV's. Quantum dot? Sounds fancy. It's a new technology some TV producers are using to boost the quality of their LED TVs. How does it do this? Via local dimming--"which dims LEDs that don't need to be on," says Saltzman. "'Quantum dot' technology [...] significantly enhances the color."
The OLED TVs are quite lightweight and if energy-efficient is your goal, is the option you'll definitely want to consider. Saltzman says they also "deliver deep, dark blacks for an amazing picture."
You can definitely look forward to a much clearer resolution. Technology is mindbogglingly awesome sometimes--and this is definitely one of those ways. Look forward to UHD, or ultra-high resolution, or 4K. That means your new TV will "offer four times the resolution of a 1080p HDTV." What does that mean? Saltzman says "instead of a screen with roughly 2 million pixels, these televisions boast more than 8 million. Dude, that's a lot of pixels. What's next, virtual reality? Wait. ;)
HDR, or high dynamic range, is also something to look forward to, as well. Get ready to enjoy amplified brightness, colors, and contrast options.
And of course, arguably one of the most exciting aspects, your Smart TV will enable you to navigate through the incredible amounts of content available. At least, a bit more easily. Via Wi-Fi, enjoy streaming from some of your favorite content providers more directly. But also, you can enjoy your own content--your photos and videos. And since we're all used to downloading "all of the apps," you'll probably feel comfortable doing the same on your TV.
And although I personally don't use this feature, many love the voice remote. Now you can literally tell your TV what to do. One thing I do love, though, is easily being able to cast what I'm watching or listening to directly to the TV and smart speaker in just a few seconds.
Ready to peruse a few options online? I tend to lean on Consumer Reports for research in these areas. Here's a recent report they did on some of the models they like most.
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