l3ored Logo

What TV Should I Buy?

Is a question asked a surprising number of times, probably due to the huge selection of TVs available. Curved, 4K Ultra HD, Smart, 3D, 1080p/720p and size of the TVs are all awesome features that cause a nightmare when choosing a TV. To help you out I'm going to share what I did when choosing a TV, hopefully giving you a few tips along the way.

Introduction

The TV I use all the time in my bedroom had just broken - the HDMI's were not working properly and I use them for my computer and Playstation. What sucked was the TV itself worked fine and it was just the HDMI. Because of this I didn't want to buy a brand new TV, so I opened up the back to see if any of the soldering was not making contact, but everything looked okay. As nothing seemed amiss, I thought this meant I would have to get a new main board which would set me back around £50- £80 and to me this wasn't really worth the cost, so I'm set to buy a new TV.

Have a Price-Range In Mind

To decide what TV to buy, you're going to have to start narrowing down the options. Having a price-range sets you up nicely, at the time of writing, £350 will get you a fairly large (42") good quality Smart TV with freeview HD and a 1080p display, and in some cases a (slightly lower spec) 3D TV. On the other hand £800 will get you larger TVs (43-50") with 3D, Smart and 4K technologies. Once you decide a rough price range (be prepared to change this though), you can start choosing TV features that you feel you want or need.

Use the 'Filter' Feature Seen on Most Websites

Filter Results

Once you have a rough price range, you need to decide on what features you want. This is completely up to you (and your budget), but I might suggest you have at least a 1080p Full HD TV, Freeview HD and an LED TV.

Other features like curved TV and possibly 4K are a bit new and overpriced at the moment, however they are awesome so if you have the money by all means go for it!

Select all the features you wish to have, and the website will filter the TVs so the only ones that show have the specific features you selected.

NOTE: Sometimes websites filter wrong e.g. a 720p TV will come up in the results even though you selected 1080p by filter. Always read the title and specification.

Use the 'Compare' Feature

Most websites have a 'compare' feature where you can, obviously, compare TVs. This is useful once you have filtered your results because sometimes you want to compare two different manufacturers, or different TVs with the same main features but slight price variations. Once you click compare, most websites will show you a simplified version of each TVs specifications allowing you to see what one TV has over the other.

Compare TV 1
Compare TV 2
Compare TV 3
Compare TV 4

NOTE: Sometimes these specifications are wrong. I guess they are just typos, but sometimes the specifications shown are wrong or different from the manufacturers specifications, so just watch out.

Check Manufacturers Website for Specifications

As mentioned earlier, sometimes retail websites get the specifications wrong (probably typos). So I would advise checking the manufacturers website for them, they will probably be more reliable. You know then for sure what you're getting, as there's nothing worse than finding out your TV doesn't have something you thought it did.

Read Customer Reviews

Review

Customer reviews are powerful because they come from the consumer. They will be able to tell you what the TV is like and if they were expecting anything more or less from the TV and the price. However, you cannot rely on just a few reviews, you have to read and understand many (30 or 40) to get a good understanding of what the TV is really like. This lowers the power of anomalies (i.e. one TV that was miss-manufactured).

Take a Trip In-Store

There's nothing better than looking at and feeling a TV in the flesh. You can see what the picture quality is like, you can see what features a particular TV has and you can ask the salesperson any question you want. This is useful for gaining knowledge of what Panasonic's Freetime is, or what catch-up TV is available from Samsung.

What Happened About My TV?

If you were wondering which TV I bought, well, I didn't. I went through the whole process of finding a perfect TV, until I decided on a Samsung. I was literally about to click buy for this TV and I decided to check I was ordering the right one, and I noticed it said "BBC iPlayer is not currently active". WOW. How did I miss that (make sure you read the description and product details), so I rang up the retailer to which it was confirmed. Now I was finding myself going through the whole 'choosing a TV' process again, when I came across a blog which said to try and cook the main board of my old TV to try and fix it. The constant heating and cooling of the board in the TV causes hair-line fractures in the solder, and cooking it would melt the solder and heal the fractures. So I tried it and it worked!! I saved £300!!