Choosing a new TV isn’t commonly known as a difficult task, however, today, it’s more complicated than ever. There are a vast variety of factors you’ll need to consider, from the resolution to the picture technology and feature set - it’s easy to buy the wrong TV for your needs.
But don’t fret, as we’ve got you covered with our TV buying guide that will cover every aspect of TV buying. We’ll start with a size guide, and then we’ll move on to resolutions, technologies, and warranties, all the factors that could make or break your buying experience. Let’s not waste any more time and dive in, shall we?
1. Quick TV Size Guide
Before we get into the technologies, let’s take a look at how to choose your TV size. While many will say that bigger is better, that’s not always the case, and you want to be careful with your choice. A TV that is too big might result in you not being able to see the entire picture, or even worse, harmful eye strain.
The first thing to consider is what kind of TV you can fit in your watching space. There’s no point in looking at a 65” TV if all you can fit is a 55” model, so measure your space and be sure you know the dimensions like the back of your hand. Also, consider the depth, and make sure you can accommodate a stand as well.
The other big thing when you’re looking at TV sizes in Australia is to consider the distance at which you’ll be sitting from the TV. The general rule of thumb is that the distance should be about 1.4 times the TV’s width. For example, if you’re sitting 7 to 8 feet from your TV, ideally, you’ll be looking at a 65 inch TV. Anything over 9 feet, and you can go ahead and treat yourself to a massive 75” TV without risking eye strain.
Of course, we must mention that personal preference and your own viewing enjoyment have a lot of impact on this, so if for some reason you’d like to go for a smaller or bigger TV than the recommended, that’s always an option. Just make sure you know the potential downsides first. Now that we’ve got the size guide out of the way, let’s look at resolution.
2. Forget Anything Below 4K
Three resolutions are popular today:
- 1920 x 1080, which is Full HD
- 3840 x 2160, which is 4K
- 7680 x 4320, which is 8K.
However, full HD, and the old (and no longer used) HD resolution, shouldn’t even be considered. The difference between them and a 4K panel is massive in terms of quality, but it’s not in terms of the price range, which is why a 4K panel is what you want to look for.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a good TV buying guide for Australia if we didn’t suggest that you consider an 8K TV. There are some great options, like TCL’s X915, but they’re considered premium picks and don’t come cheap. If they fit within your budget, by all means, go for it, as you’ll also get an impressive feature set.
If not, 4K TVs should be your go-to. Not only is there an immense amount of choices, but you’re also looking at a variety of price points. You can get a value-oriented model that still performs well, or you could go all out and get a premium panel that also comes with other nice features like quality sound, smart functionality that allows you to use apps like YouTube, etc.
The difference between 4K and full HD is massive. At the same panel size, everything is going to be much sharper, and you can go for a much larger panel than with full HD without getting poorer sharpness. It’s very much worth it.
And while the argument could be made that most cable service providers don’t offer a lot of 4K content, getting a smart TV allows you to stream content that in a lot of cases, does come in a 4K resolution so you’ll be taking advantage of it.
3. Budget vs Quality
While the saying “you get what you pay for” is true to some extent, but when buying a TV, things are a bit different. With the recent advances in technology, you can get an excellent TV for a reasonable price. A prime example is the Series E from TCL. For a price that’s considered to be in the budget segment, you’re looking at a smart TV with HDR and excellent color reproduction!
So, what do you stand to gain if you were to go for a higher quality model? Well, the first and most obvious thing would be the panel quality. From a regular panel, you’ll probably go to something like a QLED panel which uses Quantum Dot technology for immensely better contrast compared to regular old LCD panels. This also allows for much better color reproduction, as well as improved viewing angles, and of course, better HDR.
The other big thing is smart TV functionality. With budget TVs, you will probably get preinstalled apps like Netflix, Stan, or YouTube. And while they do a pretty good job, getting full-fledged Android TV goes a long way towards better quality functions. Apps like YouTube and Spotify work a bit better, and you’ll probably get updates on them so they remain functional for years to come, which is important for a streaming service. Oh, and there’s also casting functionality for phones and tablets too.
And of course, we must consider the rest of the functionality of the TV. We’re talking sound quality, port selection, bezel size, and everything else that quality models do a bit better. Let us remind you that quality doesn’t have to come at a cost – there are a lot of great options in TCL’s model range you can choose from.
4. Refresh Rate: 60Hz vs 120Hz
The refresh rate, as you see, is expressed in Hertz, and it indicates how many times the screen’s picture is refreshed in a second. The standard for most panels is 60Hz, but if you’ve got a scene with a lot of fast movement, 60Hz might appear a bit blurry. To avoid this, the refresh rate of some higher quality TV models can go up to 120Hz, and in few cases up to 240Hz.
Of course, it’s not just about the refresh rate of the TV – the content should be recorded with that refresh rate too. If it’s not, TVs have varying ways of compensating for this. The best solution is to use advanced AI, which does a very good job at dealing with this.
If you tend to watch a lot of action movies, or you’re a passionate gamer, the best TV to buy is going to be the one that offers the smoothest refresh rate. But be wary of “effective refresh rates”, which aren’t real, but artificially inflated numbers.
5. Additional Equipment
We want you to have the best experience possible, which is why as part of our TV buying guide, we’ll tell you what other things you should get for the perfect movie night!
Our first suggestion is a soundbar. If you aren’t happy with your TV’s built-in audio, or you just want it to be better, a soundbar with a wireless subwoofer can make that happen. The audio will be crystal clear, and you’ll get a much more immersive experience overall. There are various options, but the TS7010 by TCL is an excellent 2.1 channel soundbar, and it also has a Bluetooth feature for tablets and smartphones!
And the second one, which you probably didn’t see coming, is a top mount fridge! And if you’re wondering how that works with a TV buying guide, here’s our question: what’s a movie night without snacks and a cold drink? That’s right, a fridge can keep all your beverages cool and have them ready for you when you need them.
Last but not least, a pair of Bluetooth headphones are the perfect accessory when you want to isolate yourself from everyone and enjoy a movie or show in peace without disturbing anyone. Wires are a thing of the past, and with most TV sets offering Bluetooth, you’ll be able to connect wirelessly.
You definitely shouldn’t be ignoring the warranty on your new TV, because it’s going to be your saving grace in case anything goes wrong down the line. Of course, if you’re buying a premium TV, you shouldn’t worry about anything happening, but having that peace of mind is priceless.
That being said, most manufacturers will offer a year of warranty, maybe two. While this isn’t bad, it’s far from ideal, which is why TCL models come with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers any defects in materials or workmanship. We strive to offer the best for consumers.