TV Screen Types Buying Guide: What’s the Difference? | FlexBlog
Recent leaps in TV resolution and viewing technology has made getting a new TV fun and exciting, but buying one can quickly turn into a frustrating experience when you have no clue what any of the terms, tech jargon, specs, and formats even mean. Long gone are the days of selecting a TV based on size alone, so we’ve put together a guide for you to reference as you’re shopping TVs, explaining the different types of TV screens including:
- 4K UHD
But first, let’s talk about Smart TVs. Smart TVs are available in all the screen types listed above. “Smart” refers to the TV’s connectivity and app functionality, rather than its screen or display quality.
What is a Smart TV — and Do You Need One?
A Smart TV is equipped with internet connectivity to support interactive apps and functions. Instead of plugging in a streaming device, you can simply navigate to the built-in (or downloaded) streaming apps with the TV’s remote. Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Sling TV — these are all commonly included in Smart TVs. Music streaming apps, like Spotify or Pandora, are also typically included.
Smart TVs also offer wireless connection to other devices, allowing you to stream or read content from your phone or laptop on the big screen. If you use a voice assistant, such as Google Home or Alexa, you can integrate that with a Smart TV for voice control, too.
Of course, you’ll need to connect your Smart TV to your high-speed internet via WiFi (the easiest option) or a LAN cable directly from your router (the more reliable option).
With internet connectivity comes a few risks, but none that should stop you from exploring Smart TVs. Yes, a Smart TV can be hacked — with voice and video functionality, plus sensitive data like passwords, that may be a turn-off for the privacy-conscious. And, since the streaming device is built-in, you can’t disconnect it and hook it up to a different TV. Some Smart TVs also have limited streaming app availability, so if your favorite isn’t built-in, you would have to add a streaming device to access it — so be sure to check before you buy.
Whether you go with a Smart TV or prefer a standalone streaming device, your next important decision is screen type.
LCD TV Screens
LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, a specific flat panel that either allows or blocks the passage of light. The panels are composed of segment blocks filled with liquid crystals. The transparency and color of the blocks can be altered by reducing or increasing electrical currents. To see these colors, you need light — like a florescent bulb in older models or a large LED (light-emitting diode) in modern TVs (more on those up next).
The best reasons to select an LCD TV are the high resolution, superb color, energy efficiency, and the lack of screen burn-in after prolonged use. Downsides include limited viewing angles and brightness. Because of these pros and cons, LCD TVs are great for your living room, where you sit directly in front of it, but not the best choice when you need it to be viewed from multiple perspectives.
LCD TVs are the most affordable option, so if price is your top concern, start your shopping with this type.
Sound like the right choice for you? Shop FlexShopper’s lease-to-own1LCD TVs.
LED TV Screens
Although many people think that LED TVs are a totally new format of TV, they’ve actually been around for some time. They’re simply an updated version of the LCD generation. Both LED and LCD TVs use the same technology. Instead of being illuminated by a fluorescent bulb like an LCD screen, an LED screen is lit by several LEDs (light-emitting diodes). These TVs are more narrow and efficient due to the LEDs being smaller in size and less energy-intensive.
Viewing angle, display of black images and brightness are all improved compared to their LCD predecessors, making them a versatile and robust option. Users may have some difficulty mounting an LED TV to the wall, but otherwise they’re a well-rounded screen type without the inherent problems of older technology.
LED TVs can be divided into two subcategories: edge-lit LEDs and direct back-lit LEDs.
Edge-lit LED TVs
This is exactly what the name implies: a TV screen lit from the outer edges. Edge-lit LEDs reflect light to the center of the monitor. They’re the lightest and thinnest LED TV types available since there are fewer lights in the middle of the screen. This helps with dimming levels and color accuracy while improving efficiency across the board.
But, while edge-lit LED TVs tend to be cheaper, the picture quality just isn’t as good or consistent as…
Direct-lit LED TVs
Direct-lit displays are backlit by LEDs located directly behind the LED screen. This allows for focused lighting areas, which means specific cells of darkness and brightness can be more effectively displayed. As a result, viewers get better color accuracy, brightness, contrast, and dimming levels.
As you might have guessed, the downside is that these are more expensive and thicker than edge-lit models.
With either edge- or direct-lit screens, higher-end models feature local dimming, which produces richer colors and avoids the washing out of deep blacks.
From your basic LED TV to the advanced direct-lit models with local dimming, you’ll find a wide range of sizes and price points available. If you’re into high-def movies, live sports, or gaming, an LED TV is a great step up from LCD.
Consider one of FlexShopper’s lease-to-own1LED or LCD TV options and see what all the buzz is about. Here are two you might consider:
Toshiba – 32″ Class V35 Series LED HD Smart Fire TV
- True-to-life images jump off the screen with amazing HD resolution
- Premium audio post-processing solution for a more immersive experience
- Elevated surround-sound formatting thanks to DTS Virtual:X
Insignia – 40″ Class – LED – 1080p – HDTV
- 60Hz panel refresh rate reduces motion blur for high-quality pictures
- 1080p resolution produces stunning visuals on the LCD screen
- Includes HDMI and USB ports for flexible connectivity to compatible external devices
Plasma TV Screens
Plasma TV screens are quite interesting. A mixture of gasses nestled between two sheets of glass composes the screen itself. The gasses are injected and sealed in plasma form during manufacturing, providing the moniker, “plasma TV.” The gasses react, causing illumination in the pixels on the screen as they become electrically charged.
You’ll typically find plasma screens on large TV types, such as those that are 40 inches or larger. While they may be an interesting option for a high-resolution display, they have plenty of disadvantages including problems with screen burn-in, low life, and poor energy efficiency. You also won’t find plasma screen TVs on FlexShopper, as Plasma TV production ended in 2015. We only lease-to-own1 brand-new products, but it’s worth knowing about plasma if you’re cross-shopping used TVs.
If you’re looking for plasma-level picture quality, consider instead…
QLED TV Screens
QLEDs represent the pinnacle of quality in Samsung’s TVs, with some QLED models sporting 8K resolutions and delivering exceptional image quality. QLED stands for quantum dot LED TV. It’s a variation of LED, relying on a backlight. When the light from the LED backlight hits the quantum dots — microscopic molecules within the display — the quantum dots emit different colored lights. Although Samsung uses the term QLED, other TV creators like Hisense and Vizio also use quantum dots in LCD TVs, so it isn’t proprietary to Samsung.
Beyond killer resolution, there are a few reasons one may choose to go with a QLED TV. To begin, the brightness is about 50 to 100 times brighter than LCD displays. Plus, it uses less power than other types of TV displays — for instance, QLED is up to two times more energy-efficient than OLED screens.
QLED also avoids the risk of the dreaded screen burn-in that afflicts so many other types of displays. They do, however, require a backlight just like standard LED screens. That said, blues may look a bit off at times (less saturated) and some QLED screens suffer from light bleed — a slight haze that affects objects in a scene. Ultimately, though, QLED is a clear step up from LED.
If you’re willing to pay a bit more than LED to get exceptional quality, check out FlexShopper’s selection of lease-to-own1QLED TVs, including these two:
TCL – 65″ Class 5-Series QLED UHD Smart Google TV
- Quantum Dot technology + HDR Pro Pack with Dolby Vision for greater brightness, contrast, and color
- TCL’s Contrast Control Zone technology optimizes the image across individual zones to yield striking contrast between light and dark areas
Samsung – 65″ Class Q80B QLED 4K Smart Tizen TV
- Picture comes to life with deep blacks and pure whites from Direct Full Array’s precise backlighting
- Enjoy all you watch upscaled to 4K in a range of Quantum HDR 8X colors along with 3D sound that follows the action
OLED TV Screens
For the highest quality of all screen types, look to OLED!
While it does have LED in the name, OLED is very different from an LED TV.
OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode and uses organic materials, such as carbon, to create light when it’s directly supplied by an electrical current. OLED TVs do not need a backlight to illuminate the screen area (unlike LED and QLED). That means OLED TVs can be very thin and even flexible, with some models that are curved — some can even roll up!
Due to individual areas being lit up directly and not by an external source, the OLED TV’s color and contrast are of better quality than a typical LED. The OLED processes images faster by creating deeper colors and crisp contrast.
As you may have guessed, because of their dedication to high quality and amazing resolution, OLED TVs tend to be more expensive — but that need not be a problem with Flexshopper.
With FlexShopper, you can lease-to-own1 an OLED TV without breaking the bank. Why wait? Get your OLED TV today and experience better resolution than you’ve ever seen before, all in the comfort of your own home. Check out two of them here:
Sony – 55″ Class BRAVIA XR A80K 4K HDR OLED Google TV
- Immersive viewing with vision and sound in perfect harmony, powered by the intelligent Cognitive Processor XR
- Surrounded by pure black, the vibrant colors and real-world hues of XR Triluminos Pro makes movies and gaming pop off the screen
Sony – 48″ Class BRAVIA A9S Series OLED 4K UHD Smart Android TV
- Enjoy OLED picture quality and cinematic audio packed into a beautifully compact form
- Experience deep black and natural colors of OLED powered by the Picture Processor X1 Ultimate
- Acoustic Surface Audio sound comes from the entire screen to put picture and sound in perfect harmony
What About 4K UHD TVs?
You’ll find the term 4K UHD on a variety of TV models, including LED, OLED, and QLED. The key to understanding different types of TVs is remembering that 4K refers to the resolution, while LED, OLED, and QLED refer to the technology used to create the display.
TVs that have 4K resolution eliminate the pixelated view older TVs sometimes display. You’ll see the subject on the screen rather than the individual pixels, enhancing the overall viewing experience.
The type of TV screen (LED, OLED, QLED, etc.) you have influences color, brightness, and viewing angles.
Here are a couple 4K UHD models we think you’ll enjoy checking out:
LG – 43″ UHD 90 Series 4K Smart TV with AI ThinQ
- 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) resolution for a more immersive experience, featuring 60Hz refresh rate
- Includes: α5 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K / webOS 22 / 802.11ac Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 5.0
VIZIO – 70″ Class M6 Series Premium LED 4K UHD Smart TV
- Immerse yourself in the infinite possibilities of 4K streaming in award-winning Quantum Color
- M-Series offers over a billion colors bringing nuance and new life to your experience
- Dolby Vision high dynamic range combined with a full array backlight delivers incredible picture quality
Now that you’ve become an expert on the different types of TV screens, browse our selection of lease-to-own1 TVs to start building your home entertainment setup today.
After all, every good home entertainment setup starts with a great TV.
Lease-to-Own1 a Brand New TV with FlexShopper
With FlexShopper, you can lease-to-own1 the brands you love and pay as you go. FlexShopper TVs are a great option for those without the cash or credit needed to purchase a certain model in full, upfront7. With easy weekly payments, you can own your TV in 12 months or less!
And make sure you kit out your TV setup with a booming home theater sound system, streaming device, Blu-ray player, plus the furniture and mount you need to complete the experience.
It’s all within your reach with FlexShopper. Shop brand-new TVs from the brands you love and make your home the entertainment destination you’ve always wanted it to be!
TV Buying Guide: Find the Best Flat Screen TV
Our TV Buying Guide will guide you through everything you need to know about TV’s, TV Features, and TV accessories; as well as what to look for when buying a TV for your home.
There’s never been a better time to buy a TV. Advancements in technology have dramatically improved picture quality while making TVs more and more affordable. You’ve never been able to get such great picture quality for as little money as today. At the same time, it seems like there are hundreds of expensive, high-end TVs on the market. And with so many types of TV available, how do you know what to look for when buying a tv? This TV Buying Guide will help you understand the differences between LED and OLED, HDMI, HDR, 4K and 1080p, plus everything else you need to know when on the hunt for your new TV.
Types of TVs
The first decision you’ll need to make is what type of television to buy. As recently as a few years ago, you might have needed to choose between Plasma, LCD, LED, DLP and rear-projection TVs. These days, manufacturers have whittled down the various types of TV. Almost all TVs sold today, including QLEDs, are LED-lit LCD TVs, usually referred to as LED TVs. The one exception is OLED TVs which we’ll discuss in detail below.
While LCD and LED TVs are often billed as separate technologies, they both create their picture the same way, with a Liquid Crystal Display. A Liquid Crystal Display is a thin, translucent panel made of millions of tiny cells known as pixels filled with liquid crystal. Each of the pixels can change in opacity when a charge is applied. Red, blue and green colored filters give each pixel the ability to also create color. When light passes through the pixels from behind, you get the building blocks of a visible image.
(Close Up of LCD Pixel Array)
The main difference between LCD TVs and LED TVs is that LCD TVs used fluorescent lamps to provide their backlighting, while LED TVs use, as you might have guessed, LED lamps. LEDs are much smaller than fluorescent lamps, so the TV can be made much thinner. They also use a bit less power, so LED TVs are more energy efficient.
But best of all LEDs can perform something that fluorescent backlights could not: a function known as local dimming. This is the act of turning off some of the backlights during scenes with high contrast (i.e. both very dark areas and very bright spots in the same scene) so the brights can be brighter and the dark parts can be darker. LCD TVs could not turn off any of their backlight, which gave them a reputation for blacks that were closer to grey. Local dimming gives LED TVs a more intense image with better contrast and color, leading to a picture that just looks better.
When they debuted, LED TVs were much more expensive than LCD TVs. Since then, the technology in LED TVs has come down in price to the point that there are no longer any advantages to using fluorescent backlights, and today only LED TVs are still available to purchase.
To understand what sets QLED televisions apart from other technologies, its best to start with quantum dots. These dots are incredibly small man made crystals that glow when excited by an energy source. QLED TVs place a layer of these crystals, or quantum dots, in front of a blue LED backlight. The blue backlight excites the quantum dots, causing them to glow. The combination of the LED backlight and the glowing quantum dots allow the QLED TVs to output impressively vibrant colors and excellent brightness. However, the use of a backlight limits QLED TVs ability to achieve the deep blacks possible with OLEDs where each pixel produces its own light.
Among the various types of TV available today the OLED TV is the most unique. OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) TVs are similar to LED TVs, with one major difference. Each individual pixel is able to create light, color, and opacity itself. This means that manufacturers can do away with backlights altogether. Consequently, OLED TVs can be made mere millimeters thick, because backlights added both weight and depth to TVs. Additionally, because brightness can be controlled at the pixel level, OLED TVs can produce incredible contrast on their screen. Unlike other types of TV screens, OLEDs can actually turn off individual pictures, allowing them to create deep blacks that simply aren’t possible with other technologies. Put simply, OLED TVs create the best-looking, most vivid picture of any television currently available. However, they are still much more expensive than LED TVs and QLED TVs which is their main drawback.
Bottom Line on Types of TV
OLED TV if money is no object, QLED for vibrant colors, LED TV for everyone else.
The next big decision to make when buying a new TV is what resolution to choose. A TV’s resolution is a measure of the number of pixels on the screen. In previous years, you might choose between a 480p, 720p, or 1080p set. Each of those numbers denotes the number of horizontal lines of pixels that the set features. More pixels in a display equals more details, which equals better picture quality (and usually more money). As TVs get more advanced, resolution increases and picture quality gets better. Today, display technology has advanced to the point where 480p TVs are no longer made, and 720p can typically only be found on small, low-end sets, if at all. With the rise of 4K and the introduction of 8K, even 1080p sets are starting to disappear.
Today, the real choice is between 1080p and 4K TVs. 4K resolution, also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD), features four times as many pixels as 1080p. As in the previous explanation, this pixel increase means that a 4K TV set produces a picture that’s vastly more detailed. In many instances, you won’t even be able to see the “screen door effect” that most LED/LCD TVs have always produced, where the lines between pixels are visible at close viewing distances. 4K TVs can also reproduce significantly more color depth than regular HD TVs, for a picture that is more vivid and lifelike. In short, everything about the picture of a 4K TV is better.
If you’re looking for the best of the best, a few 8K TVs are already available. With four times as many pixels as a 4K TV and 16 times as many pixels as 1080p, 8K screens offer a remarkable amount of detail. Because these screens are still in their infancy, there isn’t much 8K content available. However, the screens do upscale lower resolution content into 8K, improving on even the remarkable quality of 4K.
Bottom Line on Resolution
1080p for TVs 40″ or smaller. 4K for most TVs. 8K TVs for anyone interested in the ultimate picture quality, especially those planning on keeping their TV for as long as possible.
After you’ve mulled over various types of TV and their resolutions, you’ll have to select the appropriate size. Once upon a time, most TVs were the same size, with anything above 40 inches considered “big.” Today, TVs are available in just about any size that will fit through your front door and even some so big that they probably won’t.
While most shoppers will automatically look at the largest TV they can afford, bigger isn’t always better. A TV too large for your viewing distance can be just as annoying as watching a TV that’s too small. If you’ve ever been stuck in the front row at the movie theater during an action flick, you’ve felt the pain of a sore neck and strained eyes. So if you have only a certain amount of space in your TV room, let that guide you in choosing a screen size. If you have a larger room and flexible seating options, you can be more flexible with the TV dimensions.
Sitting too close to your LED TV will also make the screen door effect more visible. So, you’ll want to pick a TV and place it at a distance that allows you to appreciate the resolution while remaining conscious of seating for guests and their viewing angles.
Bottom Line on TV Size
Buy what fits your viewing space and distance, but beware that watching too large a TV can be unenjoyable.
While higher resolutions allow for a more detailed image, a wider color pallet allows for a more vibrant picture with lush colors and lifelike imagery. Televisions equipped with a High Dynamic Range (HDR) can produce a wide range of colors to create more realistic pictures. There are, however, several competing versions of HDR, which is where it can get a little confusing. Although the history of technology suggests that one of these versions will ultimately become embraced almost universally, there’s no way of knowing which that will be. Therefore, selecting a TV with an impressive image quality is more important than making sure it supports every kind of HDR. And, because HDR is software based, manufacturers can add support for new or different versions via software updates. If you’d like to dive into the weeds of HDR, the different versions are detailed below. Otherwise, skip ahead to see what else to look for when buying a TV.
HDR10 is an open standard, meaning its free to use. This version of HDR offers a 10-bit color gamut, giving it access to just over a billion colors. In contrast, the 8-bit color of most standard HD broadcasts offers just under 17 million colors, or 1/64 the number of shades. HDR10 uses static metadata to enhance luminance for individual movies or shows as a whole. Because it’s free, all 4K TVs with HDR capabilities will support HDR10.
Although it was developed primarily by Samsung, HDR10+ is another open standard. It differs from HDR10(no plus) in its ability to use dynamic metadata, allowing it to enhance the image quality of each individual frame as opposed to a generic enhancement to an entire movie or show. With support from Amazon, Fox, Panasonic, Warner Brothers, and more, HDR10+ has a good chance of becoming the industry standard. As an open standard with support for dynamic metadata, its easy to see why so many companies are eager to adopt the technology.
Like HDR10+, Dolby Vision allows content creators to encode dynamic metadata into their videos, adjusting each frame of video individually to provide the highly tuned visual experience. Dolby Vision also supports a 12-bit color gamut, giving it the ability to produce far more shades of color than the other standards. It also supports brightness up to 10,000 nits, more than double that of HDR10+. While Dolby Vision may support this impressive color range and luminous brightness, few TVs are capable of these brightness settings and color depths, even those that support Dolby Vision. These expanded capabilities should help the format remain relevant longer. Another key difference between Dolby Vision and HDR10+ is that its a closed standard, requiring manufacturers and content creators to pay licensing fees should they want to use it.
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) is a format that was designed to allow broadcast companies to put out a single signal that could be interpreted by TVs capable of displaying HDR images and those that cannot. This open standard sends out signals within the standard definition (SDR), including extra information for HDR TVs to provide a broader range of colors and a brighter picture. Because it can only increase color and brightness, HLG signals share their black levels with those of the original SDR signal. While the standard may not be the most sophisticated HDR option, backward compatibility with SDR TVs makes it an appealing choice for broadcasters.
Combining enhanced picture quality with improved sound, IMAX Enhanced aims to simultaneously rival both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technologies. Its algorithms reduce graininess and excess noise from pictures while delivering “heart-pounding audio.” The format also lets you see more, like a true IMAX screen, adjusting aspect ratios to get rid of the black bars above and below the image in some movies and shows. Another closed standard, IMAX Enhanced requires licensing fees from manufacturers and content creators. While it’s sure to deliver an incredible viewing experience with dynamic metadata allowing for frame by frame optimizations, IMAX Enhanced will likely only be available on high-end TVs.
How To Clean Your TV Screen
Other Things To Consider
Smart TV Functions
Most TVs sold today are “smart TVs,” meaning they can wirelessly connect to your home network and have special processors built-in to take advantage of web apps. A smart TV lets viewers stream movies from services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, play music from Pandora, Spotify or network-attached storage, or even check their social networks. Many newer models even offer compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allowing you to take control with simple voice commands. Some TVs make it easy to stream content from your phone or tablet right to the TV, while others include FreeSync to help reduce motion blur while gaming. Smart TVs are getting smarter all the time with new features always on the horizon. Although, realistically, most people only use the most popular streaming apps.
If your entertainment system consists of many components, it’s important to make sure your new TV has enough inputs to support them all. A typical home theater system might include a Blu-ray player, cable box, receiver, streaming media player, and video game system. Each of those devices would require an HDMI input. If your TV doesn’t have enough HDMI inputs, you will have to rely on a signal splitter, or manually swap cables when switching between devices.
Alternatively, you can get by with fewer HDMI inputs on your TV if you plan on running all of your devices through your receiver. Just make sure the receiver has an appropriate number of ports for your devices. It’s also important to make sure your receiver can process information fast enough to take advantage of your TVs resolution. Look for HDMI 2.0 for 4K TVs and HDMI 2.1 for 8K. Although HDMI 1.4 can technically transmit 4K signals, it can only do so at 30Hz, making the pictures more susceptible to motion blur.
The refresh rate of a TV refers to the number of times its screen displays an image every second. Most televisions offer refresh rates of either 60 or 120 Hz, refreshing the image on the screen 60 or 120 times per second, respectively. However, manufacturers often advertise a MotionRate or TruMotion Rate in place of the native refresh rate. Samsung’s MotionRate and LG’s TruMotion are pieces of software built into the TV to reduce motion blur with varying levels of success. Their rate is typically double the set’s native refresh rate. So a MotionRate of 120 Hz is actually a 60 Hz screen.
TVs with low refresh rates are more prone to motion blur, the distortion of a quick-moving object or image. If you’ve ever noticed “soft” or blurry edges on a hockey puck as it darts across the ice, or a streak of color on the screen as a cameraman tries to follow a long pass in a game of football, that’s motion blur. Videos are only a composition of still images; lower refresh rates mean that each image stays on the screen longer. When we perceive an object as moving but subconsciously notice it briefly standing still, our brains blur the image, filling in the gaps between frames. Higher refresh rates help alleviate this issue.
Internet Speed and Wi-Fi
As more and more high-quality content moves to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, its important to have a strong internet connection wherever you plan to enjoy these services. This becomes especially important when streaming 4K and HDR content which requires more bandwidth than standard high definition. Netflix recommends a steady 25 mbps connection to stream in 4K. Check your internet bill to see what speed is offered by your current plan to see if you need to upgrade, remembering that the speed delivered by your internet service provider (ISP) must be shared by all of the devices in your home. Plus, if you’re connecting your TV via Wi-Fi, you’ll likely lose a bit of signal strength. Try to get an internet package that offers at least 50 mbps, but the faster the better. If you still struggle to get a steady signal and are connecting via Wi-Fi, a stronger router or a mesh network system will help distribute Wi-Fi throughout your house more efficiently.
While the maximum size of TVs has continued to grow in the last few years, if you want to go really big, nothing beats a digital projector and dedicated projector screen. If your TV room allows it, a projector and screen gives you the truest home theater experience.
, and can be set-up more affordably than very-large screen LED TVs. For more info, visit our Projector Buying Guide.
One of the most convenient aspects of today’s high-tech digital A/V equipment is the dawn of a cable standard. The High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) interface was created by a consortium of technology companies, in order to have a cable that would be guaranteed to work with all digital display devices, regardless of brand or type. Today, even devices that have historically had proprietary cable connections (video game systems are the most notorious) all have HDMI ports. HDMI cables simplify the connection process by passing both audio and video through a single cable. For more info on selecting an HDMI cable, visit our Cable Buying Guide
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Unlike the glass front panels of tube TVs, the screens on LCD and OLED TVs are made from plastic that can be easily damaged by common household cleansers. Most manufacturers suggest a microfiber cleaning cloth and specially-formulated screen cleanser to remove smudges and other marks on your TV’s screen.
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Mounts and Stands
One of the benefits of a flat-panel TV is the ability to hang it directly on a wall in your home. A wide variety of TV mounts are available that let you adjust your television in every direction, or keep it completely static. If you’d prefer not to hang your TV, all flat-panel TVs also come with removable pedestals, so you can simply place your TV on a table or specially-designed TV stand. Also, visit our Flat Panel TV Mount Buying Guide to find the best mount for you.
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The same advanced electronics inside your TV that give them a world of high-tech functions also make them extra susceptible to surges in electricity. Whether from faulty wiring, a lightning strike or a power outage, a voltage surge can permanently damage the internals of your TV and A/V components. Thankfully, some simple prevention can keep you safe. For a very low cost, a surge protector can keep your devices safe in the event of a voltage surge.
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Your new TV will include a remote that gives access to all of the TV’s controls and adjustment menus. Many manufacturers provide remotes that can also control other devices they make (e.g. the remote for your Samsung TV will likely be able to control your Samsung Blu-ray player or soundbar). Most Smart TVs can also be controlled with a web-connected device, like your smartphone or tablet, so you’ll never have to worry about finding the remote again.
If you have an entertainment system that consists of multiple components, especially from multiple different manufacturers, you may be interested in a universal remote control. These remotes can be programmed to control a variety of different devices, regardless of brand. The simplest of these require you to select each component before you can control it, while advanced universal remotes can be programmed to turn on every one of your devices, adjust the volume to a predetermined amount and even select your favorite channel, all with the press of a single button.
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Believe it or not, a simple antenna still has a place in some households. If you’re trying to avoid a costly monthly cable bill, it’s still possible to get crystal-clear HD broadcasts of your local networks (typically CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, PBS and multiple others depending on your location). If you’re in an ideal location (in a large metropolitan area) a set-top antenna (also known as “rabbit ears”) will be able to pull in any available signals. Those located farther from broadcast towers may want to choose a rooftop antenna for its extra reach. To determine which channels are available near you and how strong their signals are, check the FCC DTV Reception Map.
Speakers and Soundbars
Every year TVs are getting thinner. While the small frames make the TVs aesthetically pleasing and easy to hang, it doesn’t leave much room for speakers. As a result, sound quality suffers. Thankfully, enjoying high quality sound quality has never been easy or more affordable thanks to soundbars. If you’re looking for a true surround sound experience, consider adding a set of speakers. Check out our Speaker Buying Guide and Soundbar Buying Guide to find the best way to improve the sound quality of your new TV.
What are the different types of TV?
The different types of TV typically fall into one of the following categories: Ultra HD 4K, 8K, LED, OLED, QLED and outdoor TVs. Outdoor TVs are specifically designed to withstand outdoor challenges like weather. There are also smart TVs, which fall under one of the aforementioned categories but also include WiFi connectivity so you can stream apps like Netflix or Hulu.
How to choose a TV
Choosing a TV largely depends on personal preference and the space in which you’re setting up the device. Larger rooms would ideally have a larger screen as you are likely sitting farther away. If you already have a TV stand or entertainment console in the room, the television stand needs to be the correct size to sit on top (unless you’re going to mount it). If you love streaming, you’ll want a model with smart technology built in. Those who don’t mind investing in their television will love the vivid contrast of an OLED TV. Additionally, individual models have unique features that make them better suited for watching movies, playing video games or other activities so it’s important to do some research prior to purchasing.
When is the best time to buy a TV?
There are several times of year that you can find deals on TVs, though Abt prides itself on great prices year-round. Black Friday is arguably the best time of year to buy a TV but there are also Memorial Day and Labor Day sales where prices are lowered on many models. The NFL playoffs are also a time where brands promote deals on TVs. If you’re looking for the newest models, they are typically released in the spring.
What should the TV screen look like in 2021
Picture quality is the most important thing on a TV. At least half of the impressions that you get when using it depend on it. In 2021, there are only a few screen types, but there are a lot of software technologies to improve picture quality. We figured out what the parameters of the TV screen should be so that it matches the time.
Resolution and Refresh Rate
Resolution and refresh rate
How much does a TV cost in 2021
TV pricing is different from most devices. The cost of smartphones varies depending on the price of components, the price of TVs is directly affected by their size – the larger the screen size, the more expensive it is.
Price levels (conditionally) three:
- Up to 32 inches – up to 40,000 rubles
- Up to 58 inches – from 40 to 70,000 rubles
- From 60 inches – from 80,000 rubles
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There are five of them. There are three main types, but there are two more subtypes:
- LED: The main feature of this type of matrix is that the light source for the pixels is a special substrate, so they work with the same brightness level. The cons of LED are that the dark colors aren’t deep enough, and the body is thicker than OLED competitors because the body needs room for backlighting.
- QLED: LED subtype with an additional layer of quantum dots. It solves the main problem of this type of matrix against the OLED background – the black color becomes more saturated, HDR also works better. TVs with this type of matrix are slightly more expensive than devices with a traditional LED screen.
- OLED: The most modern type of matrix. It allows you to make the case thinner and the black color deeper. These screens do not require a backlight because the LEDs glow on their own. The downside of this technology is that pixels burn out over time, and color reproduction can be inaccurate – the contrast can be unnaturally high.
- Mini LED: is a subtype of OLED. Its advantages are lower power consumption and slower pixel burn-in. This year at CES 2021, LG introduced a line of TVs with this type of matrix.
- Micro LED: is the era of OLED in 2021, but this type of matrix is not ideal, Micro LED is intended to be a solution to problems. OLED has a number of disadvantages: pixel burn-in, long response time, relatively low maximum brightness value. Some of the problems would be solved with a decrease in the number of LEDs, but this is impossible to do. If you reduce their number, the amount of light will decrease and the picture quality will drop. And if you reduce their number and increase power, power consumption and heating will increase, and this will significantly reduce the service life and increase the likelihood of breakdown. Problem solving is another type of matrix, micro LED. Here, not organic light-emitting diodes are used as pixels, but diodes based on gallium nitride. They are very small – about one-tenth the thickness of a human hair. The main plus of the matrix is that it does not fade, unlike OLED. Other advantages: higher brightness, lower picture delay, better contrast.
In 2018, the company showcased its MicroLED technology for the first time with The Wall, a system of customizable modules designed for professional installation. Photo: Samsung
The size of the display is what determines the viewing comfort and how organically the TV fits into the interior.
First of all decide where you are going to put the TV. 32 inches or less is for the kitchen. In this case, the distance between you and the screen is small, and on the kitchen walls there is usually a minimum of space for the device. In the bedroom and living room, the size of the TV and screen diagonal is limited only by your budget – the larger they are, the more expensive the device.
Each TV has a recommended screen distance and an optimal viewing angle. The maximum immersion in what is happening on the screen occurs when it covers 40 degrees of your field of vision. This distance is determined based on the screen size.
Samsung on the official website offers a formula for the ideal diagonal of the TV screen, depending on the room.
The formula is: screen diagonal x 1.2 = ideal distance from the display to you. The answer will be in inches, for convenience, convert them to meters, round the value to the nearest whole number.
How to calculate the ideal distance for a 75 inch TV: 75×1.2 = 90 inches = 2.3 meters.
For your peace of mind, the company has a chart to help you choose the perfect TV size for your room.
Resolution and refresh rate
What resolution does the TV need depending on the diagonal:
- up to 32 inches – Full HD
- above 32 inches – 4K
In the first case, the pixel density remains high, and the picture is of high quality. In the second, it is no longer possible to take a TV with such a resolution, a “grain” will appear in the picture.
The second, less noticeable parameter is the screen refresh rate. This may come in handy for owners of the new generation of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles. In the case of films, there will be no effect, they are recorded at 60 frames per second, which means that a higher screen refresh rate setting will not affect them.
However, even gamers will benefit from increased refresh rates in game units. On PlayStation 5, only Dirt 5 supports the increased update rate. On Xbox Series X, Dirt 5, ExoMecha, Gears 5, Halo Infinite (multiplayer), Metal: Hellsinger, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Orphan of the Machine, Second Extinction .
And it makes sense to overpay for a promising characteristic in order to extend the life of the TV. In other cases, the usual 60 Hz will suffice.
HDR: stands for High Dynamic Range. With this technology, the TV screen transmits colors as accurately as possible and with a large number of shades. And it is no less important than resolution: if you put 4K TVs without HDR and Full HD with HDR next to each other, then the picture on the second screen will be the most attractive due to the greater number of color shades and, accordingly, a more voluminous picture.
In 2021, HDR is supported by any TV over $20,000. If you buy a cheaper model, please note that HDR is in the specifications. Moreover, it is its presence that is important, and not just support. If the manufacturer assures that the TV is compatible with the technology, most likely, during the broadcast, it simply converts the video, and the content is displayed without it with compressed parameters.
The current standard is HDR10 with 10-bit support. If it is declared in the specifications, the TV can be used to the maximum: it will cover more shades of the Rec color palette. 2020.
55″ TV Samsung UE55TU7500U 2020 LED, HDR
Rated 9 out of 10 190 reviews Screen Technology: HDR, LED, Digital TV Support: DVB-C, DVB-S2, N/A, DVB-T2, DVB-S, DVB-T, Analog (PAL, SECAM, NTSC), Smart TV Platform: Tizen, Wireless : Miracast, Airplay, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Smart Home Ecosystem: Samsung SmartThings, Number of HDMI inputs: 2, Features: Child lock, Light sensor, DLNA, Model year: 2020
Rating 9. 8 out of 10
Dolby Vision: is an improved version of HDR. The technology is designed to better optimize the movie – with it, the authors can adjust the video display settings in each frame. This feature is used to optimize image brightness in various shooting scenarios. To display videos recorded on a clear day and in a room with low light, you need different settings – Dolby Vision allows you to change them.
At the same time, it is important that Dolby Vision supports both the video being viewed and the platform on which it is hosted. It is necessary that the film be shot in Dolby Vision format, and the online cinema allows you to watch it in this format. As a rule, access to it opens with the connection of an expensive tariff. Online cinemas have entire sections of movies that support Dolby Vision. Among them are “The Illusion of Deception – 2”, “La La Land” and “Viking”. If you have the maximum rate for online cinema, check which TV supports Dolby Vision.
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Author: Denis Markov
What screen should be on the TV in 2021: there are 5 types
What are TV screens like?
There are two main types of TV matrix and any other device for content consumption – LED (aka LCD and LCD) and OLED. The third is microLED, but so far it is rarely found in consumer devices.
Each variety has its pros and cons: the first is more durable, and the colors on it are more natural, the second color is much more saturated, but the color reproduction may be distorted. Let’s take a closer look at the types and subtypes of matrices. There are five in total.
LED – the matrix of the past
Photo © Shutterstock
Where it is found: in budget and mid-range TVs.
LED pixels do not glow by themselves, so a substrate is placed under the screen. This means that the pixels are lit at the same level of brightness. In addition, the substrate requires additional space in the case, so it will be thicker.
QLED is a subtype of LED similar to OLED
Photo © VCG / VCG via Getty Images
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LED subtype with an additional layer of quantum dots. Such matrices are characterized by a deeper and more saturated color, and therefore better reveal the possibilities of HDR. They cost a little more, in terms of color reproduction they are close to OLED.
OLED is the best technology right now
Photo © Shutterstock
Found: in flagship and pre-flagship TVs.
The most modern and uncompromising matrix type. LEDs are used here, they glow on their own, without additional illumination. Colors become brighter and more contrast. Blacks on OLEDs are deep and rich, while on LCDs they can be gray or purple. The absence of a substrate allows you to make the TV thinner. The disadvantages of this type of matrix are that pixels can burn out, and color reproduction can be inaccurate.
Mini LED – improved OLED
Photo © David Becker / Getty Images
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OLED subtype. In this type of matrix, engineers have eliminated the main disadvantages of OLED, namely, they also reduced power consumption and slowed down the process of pixel burn-in. It is especially actively used in Apple products, and this year at CES 2021, LG introduced a line of TVs with matrices of this type.
This is almost the same OLED, but instead of organic LEDs, they use normal very small LEDs. There are three for each pixel.
Mini LED combines the pros and cons of OLED. Response time and contrast are similar to OLED, but pixel burn-in requires a hundred or even a thousand times longer exposure time.
LG at CES 2021 introduced brand new QNED TV lines – QNED99, QNED95 and QNED90. Each is represented by three models with screens with a diagonal of 65, 75 and 86 inches. As the manufacturer notes, advanced matrices are used in TV.
MicroLED – the third type of matrix, which is still difficult to find
Photo © Justin Sullivan / Getty Image
Where it is used: in the flagship modular TVs.
The era of OLED is coming. The technology itself is perfect, but it is not perfect. It has a number of disadvantages: screen burn-in, long response time, relatively low brightness.
Some of these problems would be a thing of the past with fewer LEDs. The problem is that it is impossible to do this in OLED. If you reduce the number of LEDs, the amount of light will decrease and the picture quality will drop. And if you reduce their number and increase power to compensate for the lack of light, power consumption and heating will increase, which will significantly reduce the service life and increase the likelihood of breakdown.
It turns out that OLED is at an impasse. Problem solving is another type of matrix, microLED. It cannot be called new, this technology has been developed since the 2000s, and it became relevant only in the 2020s.
MicroLED does not use organic light-emitting diodes as pixels, but diodes based on gallium nitride. It is widely used to create LED semiconductor lasers and microwave transistors, where high precision and sharpness are needed. Such diodes are very small – about one-tenth the thickness of a human hair.
The main advantage of the matrix is that it does not burn out, unlike OLED. There are others: higher brightness, higher speed, thermal stability and contrast.
While microLED is not widely used. Samsung has only announced a handful of microLED TV samples. For home use, the company plans to sell 75-, 88-, 93-, and 110-inch TVs with 5,000 nits of brightness. LG in mid-2020 introduced the MAGNIT LSAB009 model with a 163-inch screen. These are niche expensive devices.
What should be the diagonal of the screen?
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The size of the screen determines the viewing comfort and how organically the TV fits into the interior. First of all, decide where you are going to put the TV.
32 inches or less is for the kitchen. The distance between the person and the display is usually the smallest. In the bedroom and living room, the size of the TV and screen diagonal is limited only by the user’s budget. The more, the better and the more expensive the device.
And there is also a conditional formula by which you can calculate the optimal screen diagonal: the distance from the viewer to the TV (in inches) / 2.