How to buy a TV for your home in 2024

Choosing a TV today is much more difficult than it used to be due to the variety of screen resolutions, display types, and other factors. This TV buying guide will help you simplify the raw numbers and find the TV that's best for your space and viewing habits.

Sorting through the vast array of TVs on the market can be difficult, but you can use five key factors to help you find the right one.

  1. price
  2. solve
  3. screen size
  4. display type
  5. Intelligent platform

The right amount to pay for a TV depends on where you plan to use it and how big it needs to be. Size, resolution, and display type largely determine the price tag of a TV. You can buy a smaller TV with better picture, a larger TV with lower picture quality, or find the sweet spot in each price category.

TVs priced under $300 are generally suitable for children and guest rooms, and TVs under $600 may be a good choice for a master bedroom or smaller living room, where most people will be fine with a living room budget of around $1,000. television.

If you want better images and a larger screen, you may have to pay more.

Here is a general guide to different price points:

price range what to expect size Resolution and display
>$300 You won't get the latest display technology. When higher screen resolutions become available, upgrading usually isn't great. Up to 32 inches 720 or 1080 LCD or LED
$300-600 The 43-inch class TVs in this series are generally high-end TVs with a variety of features. Manufacturers have to cut corners to reach this price point for 65-inch TVs. 40 to 65 inches 1080 or 4K LCD, LED or QLED
US$600-1,000 Sometimes, you'll find smaller OLED TVs at the higher end of that price range. 45 to 75 inches 4K quantum dot LED
USD 1,000-2,000 OLED is generally limited to 45-inch and 55-inch class TVs in this price range. 45 to 85 inches 4K or 8K QLED or OLED
US$2,000-5,000 You'll find high-end TVs in this price range with excellent built-in sound, higher-quality materials, bezel-less designs, and other features. 55 to 85 inches 4K or 8K QLED or OLED
$5,000+ Apart from this, the manufacturer is also offering future features like rollable screens, large 8K displays, and other luxury options. 75 to 85 inches+ 4K or 8K QLED or OLED

The correct resolution for your TV depends on the screen size and viewing distance. The exception is if you want to play games or watch UHD Blu-rays in 4K on an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, you should choose a 4K TV regardless of other factors.

If you're buying a large TV, you should usually go for a higher-resolution TV; if you have a smaller screen, you'll usually go for a lower-resolution TV. If you're buying a budget TV for a guest room or a kid's room, and the screen size is 30 to 40 inches, then 720p or 1080p resolution may be satisfactory.

For a higher quality image (where individual pixels on the screen can't be discerned), 4K is a better choice, even for a 40-inch TV. There are diminishing returns with higher-resolution 8K TVs, since 4K TVs already allow you to sit further away from the screen, and there's not a lot of native 8K video content available.

solve What does it mean
720p 720x1280 resolution (HD). Suitable for TVs below 32 inches. If you sit too close, you'll see pixels.
1080p 1080x1920 resolution (Full HD), suitable for TVs up to 42 inches. If you sit too close, you'll see pixels.
4K 2160x3840 resolution (Ultra HD). Suitable for all TV sizes. Essential for 4K gaming and UHD Blu-ray.
8K 4320x7680 resolution (Ultra HD). Suitable for very large TVs. Lack of 8K content.

Like resolution, the correct screen size for a TV depends on the viewing distance, or how far away you plan to sit from the TV. Smaller TVs are better for smaller rooms, while larger TVs are better for larger rooms where you can sit comfortably away from the screen.

TVs with higher-resolution displays allow you to sit closer without sacrificing picture quality. Higher resolution monitors have more individual pixels on the screen, so you can sit closer and not be able to make out the individual pixels. It's the difference between an image on your TV that looks like a solid picture and being able to make out the series of color dots that create the image.

To avoid seeing individual pixels on the screen, you need to be approximately twice as far away from a 1080p TV as you are from a similarly sized 4K TV.

The easiest way to determine the right size TV for your space is to measure the distance between the seating area and where you want to place the TV. If you buy a 1080p TV, halve the distance. If you are purchasing a 4K TV, please use the distance measurement without additional calculations. In both cases, the number you end up with is the largest TV you can comfortably use in the space.

For example, let's say your couch is 7 feet, or 84 inches, from the wall. You can get a 42-inch 1080p TV or an 84-inch 4K TV. If you have a larger TV, you can make out individual pixels on the screen.

The type of display on your TV mainly depends on your budget. OLED offers the best picture quality, unparalleled contrast and deep blacks. QLED displays are very close and cost less, but they are only available in more expensive TVs.

Most TVs are equipped with LED LCDs, and images are displayed on the LCD screen and lit by LEDs. This setup can deliver high-quality images, but low-end monitors often suffer from hot spots where the light is brighter and struggle to display deep blacks.

Features like active dimming and local dimming help LED LCD TVs look better and have higher contrast, while mini-LED backlights and quantum dot QLED displays also help solve these problems.

OLED TV displays use organic LEDs that are controlled on a pixel-by-pixel basis. This means that each pixel can be turned off independently of the other pixels. This creates an extremely high contrast ratio, as one part of the screen can display perfect black, while another part displays a bright, colorful image.

OLED displays are the best and most expensive. Although LCD TVs can get brighter, high-end QLED TVs offer a good balance between price and picture quality.

For better or worse, most TVs these days are smart TVs. Every year, it gets harder and harder to find a "dumb" TV, and even budget TVs come with built-in streaming platforms. If you have your sights set on a non-smart TV, your options are slim.

Rather than deciding between a smart TV or a non-smart TV, focus on the smart TV platform you want.

If you use a Fire TV stick or Roku, look for a TV with the platform you already use. This will make the transition from an old TV to a new one much easier, and you won't need to plug in any additional hardware.

Some manufacturers have their own in-house smart TV platforms, but you always have the option of plugging in a streaming device. Check how well the TV you're interested in integrates external streaming devices; some do it better than others.

You will benefit from owning a TV if you fall into the following categories:

  • Binge watchers . Whether you own stacks of DVDs and Blu-rays or subscribe to every streaming service in the world, a properly sized HD or Ultra HD TV will give your favorite shows more breathing room than your phone or laptop screen.
  • Movie fans . If you're a movie fan, there's nothing better than a beautiful home theater setup, which starts with finding the right TV.
  • parents . If you only have one TV in your home, you're probably tired of your kids arguing about what to watch, and there are many affordable, quality TVs that can solve that problem.
  • game player . If you've got an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 but are still playing games on your old 1080p TV, you're missing out. It's best to have a 4K TV to get the most out of your current gaming system.

If you're replacing your existing TV, your setup process will include swapping your new TV for your old one. Here's a quick overview of some things you should do after making your purchase:

  • Measure the installation area . If you're replacing your TV with a larger one, measure the available space. Even if a new TV is in the same size class, it may be thicker, thinner, or have slightly different dimensions to consider.
  • Check the weight limit of the bracket or mount . Consider the weight of a new TV versus an old one. If the wall mount or TV stand is noticeably heavy, you may need a new one.
  • Check your cables . If you haven't bought a new TV in a while, your HDMI cable may be outdated. If you buy a 4K TV and want to connect a current-generation gaming console, you'll need an HDMI 2.1-capable cable for best results.
  • Consider moving your streaming devices . If you're currently using a streaming device like an Apple TV or Fire Stick, consider removing it from your old TV and connecting it to your new TV, even if it has built-in streaming capabilities, for the smoothest transition.
  • Keep your passwords together . If you're not using an old streaming device, have your login information for all your streaming services ready.

When buying a new TV, the general rule is bigger is better, and this applies to the physical size and resolution of the screen. Unless you go overboard, you'll rarely regret buying a TV that's too big. For example, buying an 85-inch 4K TV for an 80-square-foot bedroom is overkill.

The main exception to this rule is that 8K is currently so overkill that you're unlikely to regret "settling" for a 4K TV. The highest-resolution content you'll likely use regularly is 4K video from Blu-rays, game consoles, and streaming services, since 8K content isn't widely available yet.

  • You can check the maximum resolution of your current TV by looking up the model number. You can find it on a sticker on the back of your TV, or by checking the Support (or similar) heading in your TV settings.

  • Refresh rate describes how often a TV screen updates the image it displays. For example, a device with a refresh rate of 120 Hz will change the screen 120 times per second. This level is suitable for most viewing since it's higher than the refresh rate of the streaming box or player you might have plugged into. If you're watching movies or playing games to get the best pictures and animations, 120 Hz is the minimum you should be looking for. However, you'll need to make sure you're using at least an HDMI 2.1 cable to get the maximum refresh rate.