You are looking for the perfect TV, but complex technical details are overwhelming the process. Don't worry! The Exchange is here to help.

  • Screen Size
  • Screen Type
  • Resolution
  • What is HDR?
  • Refresh Rate
  • Connections
  • Smart TVs
  • Screen Size

    The first factor to consider when purchasing a TV is the size of the screen. TVs are measured diagonally and range from 19 inches to more than 80 inches. Depending on the size of the room, how far away you'll be sitting and the expected viewing experience, each size has its place in your home

  • Screen Type

    There are many panel technologies used in televisions today. Each type has a different set of strengths that can help you determine which is best suited for your desired viewing experience or situation.

  • RESOLUTION

    The screen resolution of a TV is the key element that regulates the ability to show fine detail, and it's determined by the number of pixels used to create a screen image. More pixels mean more detail and a smoother, more natural rendering of onscreen images. Current HDTV resolutions: 720p, 1080p, 2160p (4K Ultra HD), and 4320p (8K Ultra HD).

  • WHAT IS HDR?

    HDR, or High Dynamic Range, increases how bright or dark the TV can get (called contrast ratio) as well as color accuracy and depth. This is an additional feature to standard 4K, 8K, or HD TVs, with more and more Blu-ray players and streaming services being offered every day. HDR 10 is the current HDR standard for the Ultra HD Blu-ray format.

  • Refresh Rate

    Traditionally, a TV's refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and determines how many times the screen is redrawn each second. The higher the hertz rate, the less image flicker noticed on screen, and the smoother fast motion appears.

  • Connections

    It's important to take into account the types, number and location of the A/V inputs and outputs that will satisfy your particular needs and wants.

  • Smart TVs

    Smart TVs connect directly to the internet and can support a variety of video and music streaming services.

SCREEN SIZE

70" or Above Class

Perfect for media rooms, providing a completely immersive experience.

50"–69" Class

Exceptional visual impact in any room in your home, including big living rooms.

40"–49" Class

The most versatile class, ideal for average-sized living rooms and larger bedrooms.

Less than 40" Class

Great for bedrooms, dorms, kitchens and casual viewing areas.

TV SIZE VS. DISTANCE

Rule of thumb for sizing a hi-def TV: Screen diagonal = (Distance to couch, in inches) divided by 1.6. You can go bigger with a 4k, 8K, or UHD

SCREEN TYPE

LED (light-emitting diode)

The most popular TV type on the market. Excellent overall picture quality. Feature a clearer and brighter picture with deeper blacks and ultra-thin profiles. Perform well in all lighting conditions. An LED TV is actually and LCD display with LEDs providing backlighting and advanced edge-lighting. Energy efficient. SHOP LED TVs

  • Back-Lit LED TVs

    Also known as Full-Array and Direct Lit; LEDs are placed throughout the rear of the display panel. Typically has better Local Dimming (the display's ability to control LEDs to better capture true black) than Edge-Lit TVs. Can be thicker than Edge-Lit because light must be evenly distributed throughout the screen. This is the most common type of LED TV.

  • Edge-Lit LED TVs

    LEDs placed only around the edge of display panel. Feature particularly thinner and lighter profiles, are more energy efficient, and produce many of the picture-quality advantages of backlit LED TVs. Local Dimming can be less effective for Edge-Lit than Back-Lit LEDs.

OLED (organic light-emitting diode)

OLED TVs feature an extremely high degree of color accuracy, great contrast, and a picture that is virtually blur-free with wide viewing angles and super ultra-thin profiles. Each of the millions of pixels is individually illuminated, producing true blacks and a brilliant range of colors. The picture also does not degrade based on your viewing angle with OLED unlike many of the LED TV sets. Very energy efficient. SHOP OLED TVs

QLED (quantum dot light emitting diode)

A QLED TV is simply an LCD TV with quantum dots. QLED technology uses a metallic quantum dot filter to enhance color and contrast, boosting the capabilities of HDR and 4K images. Quantum dots are microscopic molecules that when hit by LED backlight, emit their own differently colored light, delivering clarity of the deepest blacks, and vivid, more vibrant and more diverse colors at the highest peak of brightness. Stunning large screen resolutions. Energy efficient. SHOP QLED TVs

RESOLUTION

720p - HD (1280 x 720)

Provides a quality HD picture for TV shows and DVD movies, and often at very affordable prices. Generally found in smaller TVs. SHOP 720p TVs

1080p - Full HD (1920 x 1080)

Allows you to watch Blu-ray movies, Full HD content and all TV programming at their highest level of detail. 1080p is by far the most common HDTV resolution available. SHOP 1080p TVs

2160p - 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)

Delivers a more nuanced, clean picture than Full HD. With up to four times the resolution of 1080p, it produces stunningly clear, detailed images. Referred to as 4K, UHD or Ultra HD. You can future-proof your purchase by buying a 4K TV. SHOP 4K TVs

4320p - 8K Ultra HD (7680 x 4320)

The newest and best resolution on the market today. Incredible 8K technology provides up to four times more pixel resolution than 4K, and 16 times more than 1080p, delivering an amazing 33 million pixel resolution display. Produces exquisite, ultra-brilliant resolutions at large screen sizes. SHOP 8K TVs

  • HDCP 2.2

    HDCP 2.2 is a technology employed in HMDI ports that prevents illegal copying of 4K content, and most 4K video sources require that each HDMI port with video passing through be HDCP 2.2 compliant. For instance, if your 4K content is coming from a cable/satellite box through a receiver and then to a TV, the receiver and TV HMDI ports must be HDCP 2.2 compliant. If any of those ports are not HDCP 2.2 compliant, then your TV will not display 4K quality video. If you want true 4K video, make sure each device that will pass along the signal has an HDCP 2.2 HDMI port.

Image modified for illustrative purposes

WHAT IS HDR?

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

HDR is the next level in TV clarity and is an important feature to have for those looking to future-proof their TV. It increases contrast ratio – how bright or dark the TV can get – and color accuracy – how closely colors on the screen look to real life. The TV tech obsessed measure brightness in "nits". Regular 4K or HD TVs have a peak nit of 300-400 nits. HDR capable TVs have a peak brightness of 600-1000 nits. HDR content is required in order to view HDR quality video. Currently there are only a couple of 4K HDR Blu-ray players on the market and a few streaming services that offer HDR content, but more are being created every day.

HDR 10

HDR 10 is the current HDR standard for the Ultra HD Blu-ray format and is more common among major brands. HDR works off of metadata – or information imbedded in the video. HDR 10 creates the picture setting at the beginning of the content and does not change.

Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision HDR reads metadata throughout the entire show or movie, allowing it to adjust to the best possible settings scene-by-scene. It also uses 12 bits of color versus 10 with HDR 10. Any TV that has Dolby Vision will also support HDR 10, but if a TV only has HDR 10 it will not support Dolby Vision. Shop HDR Capable TVs

REFRESH RATE

Traditionally, a TV's refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and determines how many times the screen is redrawn each second. The higher the hertz rate, the less image flicker noticed on screen, and the smoother fast motion appears.

Today, most TVs have a Motion Rate that is determined by the brand and is not regulated by consumer electronics groups. Customers might see "Motion Rate 240" by Samsung, "TruMotion 120" from LG, "Clear Action 720" from Vizio or "Motionflow XR 960" from Sony, while the actual panel refresh rate might be 60Hz or 120Hz. The brands are stating that the actual motion rate is much higher due to the technology they employ in the processing of movement and images on their screens.

If you are trying to determine which TV to buy from the same brand, a higher Motion Rate is better. If you are looking at two or more different brands, understand that one brand's lower Motion Rate might be as good as another brand's Higher Motion rate. It's best to view the motion and picture quality of each brand and determine if you see a difference.

The way to tell the difference between Refresh Rates and Motion Rates is that Refresh Rates will have "Hz" after the number and Motion Rates will not. Again, most brands are stating their refresh rate in Motion Rate today and going forward.

CONNECTIONS

A High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cord is the standard all-digital cable that carries both HD picture and sound. No more cable clutter or connection hassles because the most common input/output connection on a modern TV is an HDMI port. For optimal performance, you will want to use a High-Speed HDMI cable, which allows more bandwidth for streaming 4K and 8K.

If you plan on connecting multiple HDMI-ready devices to your TV, you want to make sure the TV you purchase has enough HDMI ports to meet your needs. If you plan to wall-mount your TV, also consider the location of HDMI ports, as you will want the ports to be easily accessible.

SMART TVs

Smart TV is a term to describe a range of sophisticated features and technology. Smart TVs offer exciting new options to access and navigate a wide variety of programming. Built-in Wi-Fi and on-board apps allow you to connect to your home network and stream movies, video, music, social media and more from popular services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go/Now, Pandora and YouTube. Some TVs even provide cutting-edge options to simplify operation of your television – like swipe-friendly touch-pad remotes and voice or gesture commands.

For non-Smart HDTVs, you can stream content to your screen using Smart Blu-ray players, streaming players, specialized USB devices and many other Smart products. Each offers a unique selection of apps and content. Shop Smart TVs

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