VRR, 120Hz, 4K, 8K, Wide Color Gamut, High Dynamic Range, Object-Based Tracking Audio… Should you have these things in your next TV?

If you are like most folks I talk with, your answer is, “Huh?!”

After my many years of helping customers with their technology, I’ve seen plenty of folks fall into the trap of trying to use specs and numbers to explain our products.

However, customers don’t buy specs. They don’t even really care about the features (hear me out). They want the benefit, or what it does for them as a user.

A phrase I printed out years ago and keep in my office is: No customer who ever bought a drill ever wanted a drill. They wanted a hole.

I wanted to take a minute to talk in simple terms about some of the benefits all this tech can bring to a user, and help readers here determine what is most important to them.

Rather than get caught up in the acronym mania that can be found on websites and tech reviews, let’s look at some questions you should be thinking about; common questions I’ve seen from my time spent with TV shoppers and retailers.

“What size should I get?”

The old rules on how big of a screen you should get have been completely rewritten in the past few years. A combination of cost, performance, and ease-of-installation, have all converged to make it the Golden Era of Big Screens!

Years ago, sitting 10’ away from a 50” behemoth of a TV meant the room got uncomfortably taken over by the size. Plus, the picture stunk because the resolution-to-viewing distance formula just didn’t work.

Today, with resolution about 70x (!) what it used to be, as well as wall-devouring TVs weighing less than a toddler, you can now get more screen than you ever dreamt possible! Go big!

“Do I enjoy watching movies?”

One of the goals that videophiles strive to achieve is to reproduce moviemakers’ intent.  Whether it’s the gloomy atmosphere portrayed in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, or the super bright action of Ryan Reynold’s latest, The Adam Project, scores of people earn their living working to ensure that their creation makes you feel what they want. 

There are numerous TV features that help bring that creative vision to life in your living room. For starters, you’ll be well served getting a TV that has features such as High Dynamic Range or HDR (especially the premium HDR format Dolby Vision). You’ll also want a wide color palette, best achieved with QLED Quantum Dot technology. Together, these technologies bring out incredible highlights, and ultra-saturated colors.

To bring out those bright explosions in the latest blockbusters, a backlight (the engine of the TV) powered with Mini-LED technology and individually controlled zones of brightness with TCL’s Contrast Control Zones™ technology, enhances that cinematic experience further.

“Do I like watching sports?”

Here is where clear, crisp action can make you feel part of the game. 

A TV that can deliver more frames of information per second than another TV will be clearer and crisper.  A TV that has higher frame rate capability like TVs with Natural Motion 480 can do just that. Keep in mind there is also some overlap here as features that make for great movie-watching – like those that support great color – can enhance watching Sports as well!

“Will I have to upgrade soon?”

Technology is always evolving and evey year there is always something new to talk. Each new generation is better, smarter, and faster.

That’s where things can get a little confusing. Some of the most hyped features in the TV business aren’t necessarily the most important to most users. It’s natural for folks in our business to get excited about the latest tech that promises the best experience possible this year. But at TCL, we’re equally focused on your experience down the road, too.

All TCL TVs get automatic updates so that users can enjoy new features, the latest streaming services, and much more, without lifting a finger. You can also manually check to make sure you’re up to date.

Your TCL gets better over time, so you’ll always have a great experience.

“How important is cinema-quality sound?”

Steven Spielberg once said, “I’ve always been of the belief that our ears lead our eyes to where the story lives.”

Did you know that even sitcoms today are recorded in Dolby surround sound? Enjoying great audio in your living room was once an arduous task taking weeks to organize, dozens of different products, and more wires than found in many cars today!

Today, it’s much easier. The combination of a TV and a sound bar offers incredible flexibility, letting you decide how basic or sophisticated your system needs to be, what level of immersion you want, and how much you want to spend.

Fun fact: one of our sound bars requires precisely zero wires to install after it is plugged in for power! That goes to show how easy it is to get amazing home theater audio!

All TCL TVs give you great connectivity, with ARC and optical connections, and some can connect you to the game-changing experience of Dolby Atmos, a feature that has reimagined home theater! Really, it’s awesome!

What’s important to you?

These are just the highlights, and there are many more things to consider. Some considerations are objective: does it have the right connections for all my stuff at home?

Some are subjective: how attractive is the design of the TV? How does the remote feel in my hand?

And some considerations are based on non-TV performance factors: my wife loves Roku! Or, I use Google Assistant all the time – which TV is the right for me?

In a spin on the 6P Rule (aka Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance), start thinking about what you would like your new tech to do for you, then research what features you need to achieve that.

Remember, nobody who ever bought a TV wanted a TV. They wanted to enjoy more of their favorite entertainment. That enjoyment is what matters most to us.