As our TVs get smarter, are we as consumers going the other direction and becoming more and more clueless? Given how quickly the simple TV set has evolved in the past few decades, this is perhaps understandable, as to keep track of every development, tech spec and advertisement for new TVs would in itself be a full time job. I love our TV, lots of fab boxsets to work my way through and having the right one is essential when buying a TV.
The term TV, or ‘television set’ was originally coined in the US and Great Britain way back in the 1950s to describe the monochromatic (read black and white) devices that were available then. Later in the 50s the first remote controls were introduced, followed by color TV in the 1960s.
There were only a few manufactures that each made a few different models – selection was limited, but easy. Furthermore, TV sets used to become, literally, part of the furniture.
Over the decades TV sizes have become less bulky, screens larger and flatter, and pictures have become clearer and more colorful.
Since the turn of the century, as the saying goes – “that escalated fast”! From black and white monotone bricks in the lounge, TVs now recognize your voice, and respond in kind. And while that’s great from an experience point of view, it can make choosing the right TV for your home a little daunting given that the market is ultra-competitive, and navigating the options of TVs and peripherals can be a bit of a minefield – especially when you consider that modern TVs can easily become outdated in a year or two!
So…. to help you make the right selection for your family and home, we look at the 5 most important facets of your search for a TV.
It’s all in a name
Although as we said the market is hugely competitive nowadays, this can bring both pros and cons. On the good side there’s loads of choice and prices are kept as competitive as possible for consumers. But it also means you need to take care to use a reliable, trustworthy supplier (and manufacturer). And as with anything, although well-established brand names can appear a little more expensive on the face of it, they are usually worth the difference both in terms of quality and longevity. In short, you get what you pay for.
A good way of starting to navigate your Smart TV decision is to work out what size is a good fit for your home. How will you have your TV – wall-mounted or free standing? Can the wall you’re thinking of handle the weight of the TV? Does it fit? Will you have it flat, or at an angle in a corner? How will you organize the peripheral devices you need around it?
All this might seem like basic and niggly questions, but it will save time and potentially a trip to the returns department of the TV store!
Is the price right?
By the time you’ve thrashed out these basic details, you’re half way to making your choice on your new Smart TV, as you’ll have refined much of your wish list and specification. Now it’s about turning those into the Smart TV that matches your budget and requirements!
If money is no concern, then that’s great for you. If you’re a bit more budget-conscious, keep a look out for the end of year smart tv sales, and compare prices online because you can make big savings just by shopping around.
At the turn of the century, the resolutions were offered in 1080, 720, 480 and in various different specifications, with the simple rule being the bigger the number, the better the quality of picture.
Now, 4K screens are the simple choice if you’re looking for cutting edge and the best possible experience.
Warranty – make sure your bases are covered
As mentioned earlier, while a lesser-known brand may seem attractive in terms of saving a little money in the short-term, but beware of the manufacturers’ warranty. If a company is only willing to cover their TV for a year or two then that speaks volumes about the quality (or more likely the lack of). Conversely, if a manufacturer is willing to offer 5+ years of warranty then they obviously have faith and confidence in their products – and a lifetime warranty says it all.
And in summary…
Whichever make or model you ultimately choose, bear in mind that the TV market is a dynamic thing, and you’re no longer making a choice for life. If you enjoy your TV experiences and want the latest and greatest, you’ll likely be going through this choice every few years – so the best thing to do is stay clued up on the latest tech and trends, feeds and speeds and before long you’ll be an expert!
We hope this was helpful if you are buying a TV – good luck with your choice, and we hope to see you again soon! If you have any further tips, I would love to hear them in the comments below.