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TV Buying Guide 2016


September 16, 2016

5 Tips for Buying a New TV

This guide is meant for the average consumer who is in the market for a new TV. It is not a complete and detailed guide. However, I will add details and buying advice that I was not able to fit in the Youtube video.

Vizio M701d-a3r with bad LCD panel

With technology progressing so rapidly for TVs, choosing a new TV can be a daunting task. However, understanding what's out there and knowing your budget can be helpful. I've purchased several different TVs and owned many different brands. The only TV that I've ever owned that gave me any issues was my Vizio M701d-a3r. I purchased this TV a little over 2 years ago and the LCD panel started dying this month. Even though I paid $2200 for this TV, repairing it would cost more than the cost of replacing it and it is out of warranty so I'm left with no choice but to buy a new TV. 

Here are 5 tips on buying a new TV:



Tip #1 - TVs are like computers 

I see a lot of people make the mistake of purchasing the latest and greatest TV, thinking that it will make the TV last longer. I will agree that spending extra money on certain things like higher resolution will allow you to keep the TV a little longer. However, not much is going to make the TV last longer than 10 years. I compare TVs to computers since the because you wouldn't expect your computer/laptop to last longer than 10 years. The technology simply progresses too fast. Modern TVs are very similar. Considering the reduced cost of 4K TVs over the past 2 years, I do suggest a 4K TV unless you're purchasing a TV smaller than 40". I do not recommend a 720P TV in any case. HDR is a new feature that a lot of manufacturers are including on more expensive TVs but it's not 100% necessary.  HDR is still a new technology and the standards do not appear to be consistent across all TVs. 


Tip #2 - No Brand is Perfect

TV owners are usually very brand-loyal. Everybody thinks their TV brand is the best. If I tell someone my Vizio TV died and I'll never buy another one, they will tell me that theirs works perfectly and they love it, No matter what experiences other owners have. all TV brands have their own set of issues, Some of these issues often include a few bad LCD panels, power supplies, or mainboards. I've purchased 3 Westinghouse TVs and I've had them for several years with no issues. However, they were very cheap so if I had any issues with them I could easily replace them. If you're looking for something nice for your main living space I would recommend a TV from one of the bigger brands as they tend to be more consistent. 


Tip #3 - Read the Reviews

I personally recommend this with all electronics and it can save you from a lot of headaches. Reading reviews doesn't guarantee that you won't get a bad TV but it helps to research. Find the TV that has the picture quality that you like and don't let anyone talk you into purchasing a TV that cost more than you want spend. It's better to spend $500 on a TV that you're happy with than to spend double or triple your budget for a TV that has features you don't care about. There are some exceptions for consumers who favor high-end TVs, but for the exceptions don't apply to the average consumer.


Tip #4 - Buy a Soundbar

Most modern TVs have terrible sound. As TVs become thinner and thinner, it has become veryy difficult to fit powerful speakers in them. You can usually purchase a good soundbar for less than $300. Alternatively, you can buy a modular home theater system, which would have the best sound. However, most people prefer the simplicity and looks of a soundbar. You can always upgrade in the future but a soundbar would be the minimum that I would recommend.


Tip #5 - Smart TV options

Smart TVs are more common than ever now. However, most TV manufacturers do not put Smart TV features on their lower end models. If you find yourself in a situation where you want to buy one of these TVs, don't worry. Devices such as the Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV will turn any TV into a smart TV and some of these devices cost less than $100. These devices are easy to use and are typically more capable and more upgradeable than some Smart TVs. 


-Chris Majestic (Majestechs)