There are so many specs and different acronyms surrounding TVs, so what do you look for when buying a TV? How do you know which product is right? What questions do I ask, and which ones shouldn’t I ask? What specs actually matter and which are just marketing mumbo jumbo? Just like when my clients come asking what to look for when buying their TV I’ll try to give you the basic info to help pick the right TV for the job!
Look for the Right Size: Size DOES Matter!
No you definitely don’t want a TV that’s too small for the room but way too often I see clients getting a TV that’s way too big for their room! Yes I know its hard for me to say as it is for you to hear…sometimes it can be TOO big. But don’t fret, we don’t want big it’s always better to get a perfect fit, nonetheless, if we can squeeze in a few extra inches we will! Pick a TV that isn’t going to take up too much height.
You want to look to get a TV that takes up no more than 70% of your wall. If you’ve got tons of wall space and high ceilings just make one more consideration. Distance! If you’re looking at your TV from 2 meters away a 75 inch may be a bit much. My general rule is maximum 30-35″ per meter of viewing distance, so 2 meters 60-70″ would me my recommendation. However, it’s a rule that doesn’t fit every situation, you’re the best judge. Be sure to visit screen-size.info and break out the tape measure, look at your wall and have someone hold it up.
Look for a TV That Meets Your Needs
There are a couple different ways a TV can be used in your home. It could be part of a home theatre system, bedroom TV, Living room, gym… All of these places have slightly different needs. For example in the family room you have 4 sources (cable box, Apple TV, PS5 and a karaoke player) therefore you need a TV that has at least 4 inputs. However in the gym you only ever cast your phone using Chromecast. In that case you only need 1 HDMI input. Where you have an Apple TV or Chromecast you may not need smart features. On the other hand if you only plan on using the built in features you won’t really care how many inputs it has. In any case There are many things to consider.
I don’t particularly care about smart features myself. Most of my devices have apps such as Netflix and YouTube. I’d rather use an Apple TV or Roku. If you don’t have any of these devices, only a cable box and an old DVD player (bought before everything came with built in Wi-Fi) a smart TV could be a great investment! If you want to put it in your home theatre I typically find my customers use the YouTube and Netflix apps on their game consoles before their Smart TV. Keep in mind in order to connect your Smart TV to your surround sound takes a few extra steps. Consider the OS too, Sony’s and many other brands are building their TVs with Android. If you like Android’s ecosystem Sony may be your best option!
Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this article! Smart features are nice but they’re just the bells and whistles. When considering picture quality there are many other factors to consider. Most importantly is resolution, viewing angle, colour, contrast and brightness.
Resolution is how many pixels wide by how many pixels tall the screen is. There are still plenty of 1080P TVs on the market they have a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. 1080P is also referred to as “Full HD” or FHD. 4K is common today, it’s also called “Ultra HD” or UHD at a whopping 3,840×2,160 pixels. UHD can fit 4 FHD images in it and you’d still be able to see every detail the same. If I were buying a TV today I would be highly considering an 8K TV. 8K TVs have just hit the market in 2020 and there are rumors that the PS5 will be able to output 8K with a software update!
Be careful when your at the store, especially if there’s a TV salesman. He’ll pull you right in front of the TV to look at it. Of course a TV is going to look good up close, how about far away? That’s also not the true test, the real question you need to ask is more practical. How does it look if I were watching it from the love seat and recliner? You know those couches you have near the TV but way against the wall? How would it look if you were watching it from there? Don’t forget to ask about viewing angle!
There are loads of TVs with great colour and picture qualities. You’ll want to pay attention to those specs but don’t put too much weight on these values. As you’ll come to find out when you go to a store to look at buying a TV the colour matters but it’s going to look different in your home anyway. Again don’t ignore colour but don’t pick a TV simply because of colour, there are other factors. Same goes for brightness and contrast, all important numbers to know but should only impact the decision if it’s the last thing to compare.
Consider How You’ll Mount It
Mounting the TV should be considered while purchasing, there are numerous ways to enjoy your new TV. You can leave it on it’s stand and put it on furniture. Please don’t do that, ever! Sure I get great deals on TV Mounts (and yes I sell them for great deals on this website *wink wink*) but I’ve always mounted my TVs. It’s just so much cleaner, stay tuned for a post on “Best Practices for Mounting Your TV” coming soon! There are also various mounting options too.
Using the TV on a Stand
The TV stand had its place in history, if you insist on using this relic there are some things to consider. You should consider the weight and shape/size of the base of the TV. Other than that if it’s incredibly large it should be on a mantle or something solid, definitely not on flimsy/light furniture. A media cabinet or fireplace is ideal, however if you want to get out of the dark ages read on to wall mounting.
Articulating mounts are great for allowing you to view the TV from multiple angles. It allows you to turn your TV to get the best viewing angle. Great for smaller and lighter TVs as lighter is easier to move and smaller allows for a further range of motion. So this would be good if you had a recliner in the corner with awful view of the TV. I have one in the office so I can use it at the desk as a monitor and on the couch as a TV, just a simple turn from productive to unproductive.
Ideal Usages: Gym, Living Room, Office, Smaller & Lighter TVs
Fixed Wall Mounts
Fixed wall mounts are great for larger TVs where you’re trying to get as slim to the wall as possible. It doesn’t allow to adjust tilt on the fly however Mancino Technologies has techniques to set a fixed tilt. But sometimes a fixed bracket is the best solution, sometimes not being able to adjust is the best choice. Fixed wall mounts are often the cheapest type of wall mount allowing you to spend a few extra bucks in TV. Feel free to explore the mounts and other AV accessories in our shop.
Ideal Usages: Living Room, Theatre TV, Large & Heavy TVs, Commercial Spaces
Just like fixed they keep your TV in place, except you can adjust the angle. This also pushes the bracket out from the wall a bit allowing you some space behind your TV to install a Roku, Apple TV or maybe even a cable box if you have enough room. It’s great to use in cases where you plan to be at 2 different angles such as sitting up and lying down in bed.
Ideal Usages: Bedroom, Commercial Spaces
Other Custom Solutions
All these solutions are great for your typical wall but there are other things to consider too. If a wall is nowhere to be found a ceiling mount can be not only necessary but sleek AF! Fireplaces also need special consideration, video walls in commercial environments get different mounts but should also consider commercial grade TV if they will be running 15+ hours a day. So many awesome mounting solutions and if you need something custom you need to call Mancino Technologies right now! Head over to the contact page and get in touch with someone to help build your solution.
What to look for before making a purchase
To sum up I’ll just mention some of the things I would look for when buying a TV. Here are some of the tips I would give to any of my friends who asks me what to look for when buying a TV:
- 8K Resolution if you want above 50 inch
- If looks are important get a slim TV with no bezel, or better still the Samsung Picture Frame TV
- Ensure you know how many inputs you need!
- Find out which OS you like best, for smart features you can never go wrong with the Sony TVs
- Ensure you check viewing angle of your room and if you need get a TV with a good viewing angle
- Measure your damn wall! Bust out that tape measure, calculate the width and height and hold it up on the wall.
- Measure twice, ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT A TV THAT BIG?
- Lastly don’t overpay on mounts, HDMI cables and other accessories Mancino Technologies has you covered! Head to the Shop!
Which TVs to Look at Purchasing:
If after reading all this you still don’t know what to look for when buying a TV, don’t worry, I got your back. As of the time of writing this I have done the research, as I update my opinions I’ll try to remember to update this post too. I tell my clients to pick whatever feels best but I’ve always recommended Samsung, Sony and LG. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.