With all the TVs available today and all the technical terms and jargon associated with television technology, it can be difficult to figure out what's important. Here's a quick guide to help cut through the confusion.
Price: TVs range in price from $100 to over $2,000. Smaller screens are cheaper, name brands are more expensive, and spending more money can also provide better image quality. Most basic TVs have a good enough picture for most people, but TVs last a long time, so it may be worth spending more to get a better picture. It's also best to buy a TV in the fall, when prices are lower.
Screen size: Bigger is better in our book. We recommend a size of at least 43 inches for a bedroom TV and at least 55 inches for a living room or main TV—and 65 inches or larger is best. More than any other “feature,” increasing the size of your TV screen is the best use of your money. One of the most common post-TV purchase complaints we hear is from people who haven't grown enough. And we almost never hear people complain that the TV is too big.
Capacity: When it comes to entry-level TVs, the most important feature is what type of smart TV system the TV uses. Among midrange models, look for a feature that includes full local dimming, mini-LED, and 120Hz refresh rate, which (unlike some other extras) help improve the picture, in our experience. And among high-end TVs, OLED technology is your best bet.
For more TV buying advice, see How to buy a TV.