7 things to consider before buying a smart TV


7 things to consider before buying a smart TV

Most TVs sold today are considered smart TVs, sometimes called connected TVs. Smart TVs represent the convergence of computers and entertainment with integrated internet and a range of free and paid applications.

Our staff has owned every type of Smart TV, so we've developed this buying guide based on personal experience and industry standards to help you decide which type of Smart TV to buy based on your needs, budget, and preferences.

Smart TVs have integrated operating systems that allow users to access streaming content without plugging in external devices. Smart TVs are popular among people who like to watch the latest shows on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming platforms.

You can use your Smart TV to access, manage and view online and web-based content. Nearly every TV sold today is considered a smart TV, and many manufacturers, including LG, Vizio, and Samsung, sell smart TVs.

Before deciding to buy a smart TV, here are seven key factors to consider when shopping:

  • cost
  • size
  • solve
  • high dynamic range
  • refresh rate
  • integrated
  • application

No matter your budget, you should be able to find a smart TV you can afford. However, a higher budget will get you extra features, larger size, and higher resolution. It might be worth investing in a pricier smart TV to future-proof your investment, but if you need something affordable now, you can still find quality devices.

Prices vary widely between manufacturers and models. Here are some general smart TV pricing guides, but if you shop around you may find different sizes and higher resolutions that suit your price point.

price range What you can expect
>$300 Size : 24 to 43 inches (If you find something larger in this price range, it may be of lower quality.) Resolution : 1080p, HD, or low-end upscaling. Note : Keep an eye out for discounted mid-range computers in this price range.
>$600 Size : 42 to 55 inches. Resolution : up to 4K HDR. Note : While these devices may support 4K HDR, they may not offer the supporting technology, including panels, lighting systems, and processors, to truly take advantage of 4K HDR.
>USD1,000 Sizes : 42 to 65 inches (quality may vary). Resolution : Up to 4K HDR Note : At this price, you'll find a good LCD TV in a variety of sizes with decent picture quality. You may also find QLED models and lower-end OLED TVs.
>$2,000 Sizes : 48", 55" and larger (quality may vary). Resolution : 4K HDR. Note : At this price, you'll see enhanced image quality that truly showcases HDR source material.
>$5,000 Size : Up to 75 inches or taller. Resolution : up to 8K. Note : At this price, you'll encounter a floating glass display, a built-in audio array, and overall higher-quality materials.

Size and resolution have a significant impact on the price of a TV, so it's important to think carefully about the size you want when buying a new smart TV.

To determine the best smart TV size, measure the dimensions of the room where your TV will be placed and determine which display size will provide the viewing experience you want without overwhelming the room.

Smart TVs come in a variety of sizes, which vary by manufacturer. The most common sizes are 42 inches, 50 inches, 55 inches, 65 inches, and 75 inches (measured diagonally). Anything over 65 inches puts you into a pricier category. There's also a very high-end market that caters to those who want an 80-inch or 85-inch smart TV.

Even if you've measured your TV room, you may find it difficult to visualize exactly how your smart TV will fit. You are not alone. Some manufacturers have developed augmented reality apps that allow customers to see what the TV will look like in a room. Best Buy also offers an AR viewer so you can check if your new device will fit.

Most TVs come in three resolutions: 1080p, 4K, and 8K.

We recommend purchasing a 4K resolution TV for the best overall use. TVs with 1080p resolution are great, but they're outdated by today's standards, and you no longer have to pay anything to get higher resolution.

8K resolution TVs are now what 4K TVs once were: high-end but expensive. It's probably not worth the investment just yet, as the price is high and there isn't a lot of content (TV shows or movies) with high enough resolution to see any difference in image quality.

4K, also known as Ultra HD, is an excellent middle ground because it has a high-quality resolution and offers many affordable options. Additionally, many streaming services and apps offer 4K content, so you can take advantage of what they have to offer.

Most of the best smart TVs come with a picture-improving technology called HDR (High Dynamic Range).

HDR brings out high levels of detail in the darkest and brightest parts of a picture and improves color range. You may come across various HDR formats, such as HDR10, Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), but as long as the monitor has some HDR support, it will work. The differences between formats are minimal.

Smart TV displays offer 60Hz or 120Hz refresh rates. This measurement refers to the number of times the image resets per second. The more refreshes, the clearer the image and the less motion blur you experience.

High refresh rates are great when watching sports, but be careful when watching movies at higher refresh rates. Movies projected this way may have a different appearance than what you see in a movie theater.

For most content, even on high-end TVs, you'll probably set the refresh rate to 60Hz.

One of the most compelling features of a smart TV is its ability to integrate with other smart devices in the home and utilize voice commands. For example, Sony's Android TVs have Google Chromecast and Google Assistant built-in. So, if you have a smart home with many Google devices, Android TV will allow you to control your devices from your TV.

If you have Amazon Alexa-enabled devices in your home (such as Echo Shows or Echo Dots), then purchasing an Alexa-integrated smart TV makes sense.

When deciding whether you should buy a smart TV integrated with a specific platform, consider your home, other devices, and your preferences.

The main purpose of a smart TV is entertainment, and your entertainment preferences will be an important consideration when choosing a smart TV. Services like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are widely available on many platforms, but not all smart TVs support all apps.

All smart TVs will have some apps pre-installed, and most will have an app store where you can select and download additional apps. For example, Samsung Smart TVs give you access to the Samsung Smart Hub, and LG TVs give you access to the LG Content Store. Vizio smart TVs, on the other hand, come with all the apps pre-installed. It adds new apps through updates, but you have to cast or screen mirror content from unsupported apps.

Check all smart TVs you are considering buying for installed and available apps to make sure all your favorite apps are installed. Or, consider using a streaming device like a Roku stick to help supplement accessible apps.

Anyone shopping for a TV today should consider a smart TV. While standard TVs may be cheaper, smart TVs are more affordable than ever and give you the best value for your money. You might even have a hard time finding a 4K TV that doesn't have "smart" features.

Better picture quality and expanded functionality, internet connectivity, apps, smart home integration, and more make smart TVs a consideration for anyone looking for a new TV.

Getting a smart TV home and setting it up isn't as easy as plugging in a standard TV, but it's still simple.

  • Choose the perfect location for your new smart TV, taking into account access to power outlets and a strong WI-Fi signal or how to connect the TV via Ethernet.
  • If needed, add antennas or cable connections.
  • You need to set up an account to control and manage applications, features, and upgrades. During the initial setup process, become familiar with how to find, select, and install applications and how to use the model's settings.
  • Most smart TVs come with mobile apps. You may need to download a companion app for your smart TV during setup or at some point afterwards.
  • Select and organize available apps, set up a content library, and select the shows you want to record. You may also need to log into your streaming account.
  • You may also need to set up other devices such as game consoles, media players, etc.
  • Once you've set up the basics, you can fine-tune your experience by adjusting color, brightness, and menu appearance, and explore your smart TV's unique features.

There's no real "best" smart TV to buy, as it all depends on what you want and your personal preferences. Please keep the following points in mind:

  • Make sure you know where you want to place the TV and have access to power, cable connections, etc.
  • Beware of fireplaces and other heat sources that may damage components.
  • If you're mounting your smart TV on the wall, consider increasing the screen size, as the TV will be flat against the wall and further away from your seating area.
  • Check whether the TV supports your favorite streaming service before buying.
  • Note down everything you may need to hook up your TV. Although smart TVs are capable of streaming a wealth of content, they don't come with DVD or Blu-ray drives installed. If you want to connect anything to your TV (or use an HDMI switch), make sure your TV has enough HDMI ports.
  • Pay attention to the sound quality of your smart TV and determine whether you need a soundbar or other speakers.
  • If you're viewing a smart TV in a showroom, pay attention to how bright the screen appears in a bright room.
  • Monitor your potential smart TV for seasonal sales (such as Black Friday) and price fluctuations to get the best deal.
  • To add an app that isn’t already on your Samsung Smart TV Smart Hub, navigate to Home or press your remote’s Smart Hub button. Select Apps > Find and select an app, and then select Install , Download, or Add to Home .

  • On your LG Smart TV's remote control, press the Home button and select LG Content Store . Go to Apps > Search and select HBO Max > Install > Launch . You'll need to enter your account details or set up an HBO Max subscription.

  • Add apps to your Vizio Smart TV, depending on whether it's running SmartCast, Vizio Internet Apps (VIA), or Vizio Internet Apps Plus (VIA+) systems. For example, on a VIA system, press OK and go to Install Application . On VIA+ systems, hold OK until the app is added to the My Apps list.