Buying a new TV can be an assault to the senses.
Not only are you confronted with a battlefield of sound and warring visuals; you also have to navigate the hazardous no-man’s-land of tech jargon. One wrong turn could lead you into the very real danger of not getting the TV that’s right for you.
For many would-be TV buyers, it’s quite overwhelming.
To help you make the right choice, we’ve ventured into the tech dangerzone to deliver Five Things to Look for When Buying a TV:
1. What’s in a name?
Most people have a ‘type’ of TV in mind when they enter a store. But do you know what’s powering your dream TV?
LED TVs use backlighting technology on a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel. The full name is actually LED-backlit LCD TV, but the collective TV universe decided that was too much of a mouthful. LED TVs make up the majority of those you’ll find in stores today.
OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. It’s a very different technology to LED or LCD TVs. Every pixel of an OLED TV provides its own illumination and can be turned off and on individually, whereas an LED TV needs a backlight. Because of this, OLEDs are known for reproducing ‘true black’ on screen; however an LED TV needs to dim the brightness for the same effect.
Unlike OLED, ULED is not actually a single technology. ULED, or Ultra LED, is the term Hisense uses for a collection of 20 different patents around four key areas: Wide Colour Gamut, Local Dimming, 4K Resolution and Smooth Motion Rate. As the name suggests, this is an LED TV technology, but those proprietary patents all work together to enhance your viewing experience.
Ok, but which one is best for me? ‘Techies’ will argue the case until the cows come home (and we don’t have the space in this article), but there are benefits and drawbacks to each type of TV.
Read our breakdown of OLED vs ULED here.
2. The Three C’s: Clarity, Contrast, Colour
There are a lot of features out there that claim to improve the performance of your TV. Whatever the feature is called, you’re really looking for these three C’s:
4K Ultra HD: Having a TV with 4K compatibility means it will use over 8 million pixels to display the image on the screen. A full HD screen, on the other hand, uses just 2 million pixels. Hence, ‘4K’, or 4x the number of pixels of standard HD. The difference in picture clarity is immediately noticeable – you’ll feel like you can reach out and touch the scene in the TV.
HDR: Stands for High Dynamic Range, HDR creates whiter whites and ultra dark blacks. Think of it this way – if your TV can display a billion colours, but has a low dynamic range of whites and blacks, you’re only going to see a small number of the colours your TV is capable of producing. HDR is essential for anyone wanting to watch in 4K.
Local Dimming: Specific to LED TVs, this technology automatically recognises the dark and bright parts of the picture and adjucts the LED lighting zones, resulting in deeper darks and brighter lights. Premium-end TVs that utilise local dimming, such as the flagship Hisense Series 9 feature up to 1056 dimming zones.
Wide Colour Gamut: With Wide Colour Gamut, you will see the colours increase dramatically, from 16.7 million colours to over a billion. Not only are there more colours, but the colour is more vivid and lifelike.
Quantum Dot Technology: With Quantum Dot technology, you’ll experience the brightest panels with the highest colour depth and accuracy possible. This technology is a film of red and green “dots” added to a blue LED creating incredibly bright, vibrant colour and the purest picture you could ask for.
3. Size matters – but bigger isn’t always better
The ideal size of your TV really depends on how far you plan to sit from the screen. So before you even think about visiting the store, consider the placement of your lounge or sofa.
If your space is small and the distance between you and the wall is anything less than 3 metres, the maximum size TV screen you should go for is 50-inch. If greater than 3 metres, a 55-inch screen should suffice, and if the distance is more than 4 metres, a 65-75 inch screen will be your new best friend.
4. Get Smart
Smart TVs are the new standard these days! Investing in a Smart TV is a good decision if you’re scanning the market for a new TV.
Some smart hubs have better interfaces and are easier to use than others, so it’s worthwhile getting a feel for the smart TV hub while you’re in the store.
Hisense’s smart hub, VIDAA U 2.5, comes with streaming apps like Netflix and Stan already installed and are accessible at the touch of a button. It also comes with the addition of the all-new RemoteNow. This app allows you to customise your favourite channels for faster access, view real-time program information and ‘cast’ to the TV to view your photos and videos on the big screen.
5. If you’re going premium, this feature is a must-have
Anyone can throw the word “premium” around, but how many TVs really are? That’s where UHD Certification comes in.
TVs that are Ultra HD Premium Certified meet the highest standards of TV technology, as certified by the UHD Alliance – made up of filmmakers, studios and global tech brands alike. The list of requirements for a TV to obtain this certification is long and technical, but suffice to say – if your TV is UHD Premium Certified, you can trust that it’s as good as it gets.
What’s the number one feature you look for in a TV? Let us know on social media at @HisenseAU!
Grab your very own Official Television of the 2018 FIFA World Cup – the 2018 ULED 4K range is available now at all major electronic retailers across Australia.