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What to look for in a new television this holiday season

BY Allconnect | Mon Oct 05, 2015
What to look for in a new television this holiday season

With the Thanksgiving and Christmas sales around the corner and the TV industry in the midst of a technology transition, the following months are a perfect storm of market forces in the favor of the consumer. If you’re interested in upgrading the size of the living room screen, trying out some of the newest innovations on the market at an affordable price or making an incredibly generous gift in the form of a free TV, this is the year to do it.

That being said, you’ve got some time to plan your grand television shopping adventure, and a bit of strategizing will help make the most of your holiday purchases. Skip the confusing specification game and brush up on your savvy consumer skills with the following tips. You’ll be thanking yourself in the winter when you kick your feet up in front of a high-definition thing of beauty and browse a slew of new HD channels from your cable provider.

Search for the screen that delivers the best picture in your home
While it may be difficult to resist the urge to get the largest television you can afford, remember that proper viewing distance is critical to getting the best experience possible with regards to picture clarity and color. According to Crutchfield, optimal viewing distances range anywhere from 6 to 17 feet, depending on size of the screen.

Take a few minutes to measure the distance of your viewing stand to the living room . This viewing distance will give you a range of sizes to screen sizes choose from when shopping for you new television. Another factor to consider in terms of placement and viewing distance is ventilation. Modern televisions operate more like computers than ever before, requiring at least an inch of space on the sides and top of the screen to ensure the device stays cool.

A new Smart TV could enhance the way you control your living room.

You can lose the spec sheet
As helpful as the specification sheets online or at the store may seem for comparing televisions, you’ll actually get more mileage out of a few hours of consumer research than relying on these convoluted collection of numerals. According to CNET, commonly listed specs like contrast ratio, refresh rate and viewing angles are inherently subjective or provide few consistent clues regarding picture quality. Even worse, a long list of features like “MotionFlow” and “TruMotion” are completely meaningless with regard to performance.

This isn’t to say that peripheral add-ons, like Smart TV functionality, shouldn’t be considered into your choice. These options are certainly worth review depending on your entertainment needs.

HDR sets a new standard for picture quality
If you’re committed to diving into cutting edge technology this holiday season, you’ll want to keep your eye out for an 4K high dynamic range television. TechHive noted that HDR offers a significant improvement over traditional UHD in terms of color, shadow detail and lighting. One caveat to choosing an HDR television is that not everything you watch will take advantage of the screen’s full capabilities. Similar to 4K content, HDR content must be shot in the high-end resolution, meaning there will be limited content options until the new standard catches on in the mainstream. Regardless, you’ll still be able to say you got an HDR TV for the holidays, and that may very well be worth the investment.

“Your living room could be sporting a significantly fancier centerpiece this year.”

Get a lot more HD for your money
More interested in getting an enormous screen with a crisp picture for as little as possible than putting down the money for futuristic technology? This holiday season has exactly what you’re looking for in terms of HD selection. With manufacturers moving on from HD and focusing solely on UHD and beyond, the cost of HD screens ranging over 60 inches are steadily on the decline. If you can put aside a few hundred dollars and don’t mind skipping the latest and greatest options on the market, your living room should be sporting a significantly fancier centerpiece by the end of the year.

Timely purchases will help you to maximize your savings
There are plenty of reasons to get your holiday shopping done as early as possible. Why bother with the long lines and the coupon clipping during during your winter vacation when you can get the lion’s share out of the way during autumn? Television deals ramp up in November as Black Friday draws near, and steep discounts of electronics become available. Even if you choose not to brave the post-Thanksgiving chaos, plenty of retailers are now offering these items available for online purchase. You can even take a few in-store trips to get a closer look at a potential purchases before buying them online. Waiting until the last minute may save you an extra $50 to $100 dollars, but peace of mind may cancel out the price bump.

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