The SLMan Guide To… TVs
What’s the most important thing to consider before you invest in a new TV?
The amount of space you have to work with. Depending on the screen size, it’s best to leave a good amount of distance between your sofa and TV. Not only will this help you see the full effect of the picture, but it’ll also help prevent eyestrain. For a 30in TV you should leave a space of around 3-5ft. For 50in TVs and above, we’d recommend leaving at least 6ft between your sofa and television. It’s important to consider the positioning of the TV too – make sure it doesn’t reflect or block any light from your windows.
What features should you look out for?
Right now, there’s a great range of high-spec TVs out there, with options for every budget. If you want the latest technology, check out smart TVs and new 4K HDR TVs. Smart TVs have a huge array of functions – look at the apps you need and assess if a particular model will fulfil those needs. Music streaming apps, catch-up services, Netflix and YouTube are available on most models these days, but if you want a greater range of apps, ensure the TV has a function for downloading them and customising its homepage accordingly. 4K HDR TVs have a super high picture quality (four times the quality of a standard HD TV) – thanks to QLED and OLED technology you’ll see the world in incredible colour.
How long should a good TV last?
It depends on who’s using it, but usually between five and eight years. If you’re an avid film watcher or gamer, screen graphics are constantly evolving, so you might want to update your TV more regularly to keep up with new technology. With a lot of us currently watching more TV than ever before, make sure you get a good guarantee. Before you buy anything, check out online reviews and look for long-lasting models. If you want a model that will stand the test of time, always go for a high-spec option – right now, that’s a 4K TV. 8K TVs (double the screen quality of a 4K TV) are also a future-proof purchase, meaning you won’t need to upgrade any time soon.
How much should you be prepared to spend?
Ultimately, it depends on your usage. At AO.com, our most popular price bracket is between £300 and £499. However, TVs from premium brands, those with larger screen sizes, or those with premium functions, will obviously be more expensive. Look at the design, technology and user functions you need, then align them with your budget. Although you can buy TVs through finance schemes, only buy what you can afford to pay off quickly – there’s no point buying an 8K TV for £2,000 if it will take you a few years to pay it off.
Is there anything else you need to consider?
If you’re purchasing a larger TV because you want an immersive experience when watching action films, consider looking into soundbars or home cinema systems for absolute audio clarity. Home cinema systems offer depth to sound, creating a cinema-like feel through sound alone, while soundbars enhance sound quality on your TV without creating a surround-sound feel.
Interested? Here's Kevin’s pick of the best TVs out there right now…
Sony KDL32WD751BU 32in Smart 1080p Full HD TV, £305
Sony is one of the most trusted brands and a great option if you’re on a budget. This TV is a decent size at 32in and has a 1080p HD display, meaning you’ll get a beautifully clear picture. Freeview HD is inbuilt and there are two HDMI ports for Blu-ray players and consoles. Built-in Wi-Fi means you can access streaming services and catch-up features. Overall, if you don’t want to splash out, this TV has all the basic functions you need for streaming, gaming and watching movies.
Buy it here
LG 65UN71006LB 65in Smart 4K Ultra HD TV, £599
For something a bit more high-end, this smart 4K TV from LG is a popular choice. Upscaling capabilities mean it will automatically improve the quality of your picture whether you’re watching the latest blockbuster or an old classic. The ultra-surround tech offers fantastic sound quality, while the clever HGiG gameplay mode creates an immersive experience for gaming. You can even connect it to your existing Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant speaker. LG ThinQ AI tech means you can control all the other smart tech in your house using the TV. At 65in, you also get a lot of TV for your buck.
Buy it here
Samsung QE55Q60TA 55in Smart 4K Ultra HD QLED TV, £799
If you’re serious about gaming, this smart Samsung TV is one of the best on the market. At 55in, it’s a great size for most living spaces and the sleek design will fit seamlessly into any interior. One of the most impressive features is the 4K QLED display – whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game, the colour detail is second to none. The adaptive sound feature automatically adjusts the audio settings to what you’re enjoying. Ambient Mode+ will turn it into a cool focal point when you aren’t watching it. Plus, you can access plenty of streaming apps, including BT Sport and Apple TV.
Buy it here
LG OLED65BX6LB 65in Smart 4K Ultra HD OLED TV, £1,599
For a stunning quality picture and extensive range of features, opt for the LG OLED65BX6LB. The 4K ultra HD screen has crystal clarity: the pixels give out their own light instead of being backlit, which means on top of incredible contrast, you get a true black colour, as the pixels simply switch off. AI Sound tech creates spatial awareness to automatically adjust sound settings, eliminating the need for a soundbar. One of the best features is ‘sports alert’ – set up your favourite sports teams and never miss a score with real-time notifications. If that wasn’t enough, this TV has been created with reduced blue light and UV rays, so there’s less need to worry about screen time.
Buy it here
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