Three Things to Consider Before Buying a 4K Television

Flat screen TVs are larger and more affordable than ever before, but make sure your next unit has these features before you buy.

Couple watching TV in bed
Flat-screen televisions have replaced the tradition box-shaped TVs of yesteryear and become fixtures on walls throughout the world.VIZIO

Sure, all 4K TVs are pretty flat, but there are some major points of differentiation. Different brands will hype up the degree of flatness, or the thinness of the bezels around the screen, but honestly, there are more important things. You need to look at how much light these things can put out, and almost as importantly, how dark they can get. You want to make sure you get the right size for your home setup, and for the content you like the most. And you want them to be as easy to use as possible, which technology can help with a lot. Here are a few other things to consider.

Brightness and Contrast

VIZIO P-Series Quantum 75” Class
This TV is not only big and colorful, but it puts out a whopping 1,200 nits of brightness, and uses 240 local dimming zones.VIZIO

Think about where you’re going to be watching this TV. If you just watch at night in a nice, dark den, then brightness isn’t as important of a factor. If you’re going to be watching sports Sunday morning in a room with a lot of windows, you’re going to want to look for a TV that can put out a lot of nits (a unit of measurement for brightness). Just as important for both setups, though, is the local dimming. Generally, the more local areas, the better, as this will give you better contrast, so the blacks will look nice and inky even when they’re right next to bright whites.

Size Matters

Samsung Flat 50-Inch 4K UHD 7 Series Ultra HD Smart TV
This 50-inch TV is a fantastic size for small to medium living rooms, and it delivers razor sharp images at an extremely approachable price-point.Samsung

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but there is a fair amount to consider here. Start with the space where the TV will go. Measure it carefully, twice. Now you know what your maximum size is. Now, factor in where you are going to be watching from. If it’s a small room and your couch is nice and close, you can get away with a much smaller TV (and you won’t be able to see the separation of the pixels). If it’s a big room and you’ll be far back, then you might want to up the size so things like closed captions are still legible. And, of course, price is a factor, with larger TVs generally being more expensive. Balance those factors and you should be able to find the right size.

Smarts

LG 86" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
This stunning TV is worthy of being the centerpiece of your living room, with incredible eye-popping color, and Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built right in.LG

A TV isn’t much good if you can’t find the stuff you want to watch, right? Generally, speaking, the smarter your TV, the better it will understand you, and the easier it will be to get to the content you watch to view. Most Smart TVs have applications built in for popular streaming services, but some go a step further, with baked-in support for things like Chromecast, allowing you to easily send content to your TV from your phone. The best units will have smart assistants built right in, so you can just tell your TV what you want to watch.