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Six Things You NEED to Know When Buying A New TV

Looking to buy a new TV? Here are six things you need to know before you step your foot in a store.

I heard a loud popping noise from the living room followed by my wife exclaiming, “Oh, great!” I knew the light bulb in our LCD TV had blown again. This TV has a history, and actually an admitted manufacturer’s defect, of the bulb burning out prematurely.   This one had lasted about nine months. My wife and I had agreed that when we replaced it for the 8th time last January that it was the last replacement bulb we would buy.

We were off to Best Buy to buy a new TV.

Here are 6 Important Things You Should Know Before Buying a New TV

I knew that we were about to walk into a lair of snakes, with the sales people advising and encouraging us to buy the biggest, most expensive TV we could. Before driving to the electronics store, we came up with our game plan to ensure we got what we wanted, but didn’t over spend.

  1. Brand Name: There are quite a few TV manufacturers, but only a handful that are top quality. This is a major purchase, so I’m looking to get something that will last for years. I had previously done some research and decided that we would be looking for a TV made from Samsung, Sony, or LG.
  2. Price Range:   Once inside the store, we would likely be dazzled by the huge screens and the bright pictures. The little sticker with the price on it would become less important if we weren’t on the same page with what we wanted to spend. We agreed to a maximum price range of $700-$1000.
  3. Desired Size: Almost every TV in the massive showroom looks puny. We had to keep in mind that the TV is going into a much smaller space. Our current TV is a 50” TV. It works great, but if we could we’d like to go a little bigger. We agreed that 50” 60” was our desired screen size.
  4. Desired Resolution : I wasn’t surprised when the first TVs the salesperson showed us were the 4K ultra HD TVs. They looked spectacular, however there was something I knew that had the salesperson instantly moving us to a different section of products: Our cable company doesn’t broadcast in 4K resolution therefore it’s a feature that would go completely unused for years. We knew we were looking for a TV that was capable of 1080p resolution. Amazingly, the price tag on the TVs dropped significantly between the 4K TVs, and the TVs that would fit our needs.
  5. Desired Options: The sales person then rolled into describing how smart TVs can access our wireless network in our home, allow us to watch YouTube videos, and access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and others. His face scrunched a little when I told him that I would be connecting a BlueRay player that already had all those features.
  6. Input/Output Jacks : I needed to be able to connect three things to our TV:
  • Cable box with an HDMI cable
  • Ninendo Wii using RCA component input cables
  • Blue Ray Player with an HDMI cable.

After a bit more discussion, we found the TV we would purchase. We loaded the non-smart, 60 inch LG brand TV into our van and headed home. It was exactly what we wanted, and priced well within our budget with a cost of $799.

By doing a few minutes of research and having a quick conversation, my wife and I walked in the store ready to make an educated decision. We weren’t swayed by the “oooh, shiny!” effect of all the new TVs, and walked out with a product that will meet our needs for years to come.

Have you bought a new TV recently? Did you know exactly what you were looking for before you walked in the store?

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About the author

Brock Kernin

6 Comments

  • Great tip on the input/output. When we bought our big screen we didn’t even think about it and we got home and could not hook up the Wii or our surround sound. I managed to Macgyver the surround but it is less than perfect. The Wii had to relocate to another TV. Lessons learned I guess.

  • @May – a lot of people forget to check the # of inputs…..I’m glad you were able to get things figured out. I have to admit, I *almost* forgot to check……

  • I bought a new TV about a month ago. I had been planning on buying one for almost a year now and have been walking in and out of various electronic stores numerous times. My strategy was to check new releases on sites like Engadget and see which new TV were given the highest rating that were within my budget (less than $1,000) and size allowance (less than 47″).

    One new feature I would add to the list is “refresh rate”. Most TVs nowadays are still 60 Hz, but many of the new ones are 120 Hz and some as high as 240 Hz. Some people find the higher frequency distracting.

  • @Young Millennial – Ah, the refresh rate….that’s a good piece of information to keep in mind. Make sure the salesperson shows both and see which one you prefer. Thanks for the tip!

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