The TV industry continues to evolve, with improvements in technology and changes in pricing constantly shaping the market. With 4K replacing 1080p as the standard resolution and 8K looming on the horizon, it’s difficult to know which TV to choose. It’s important to consider factors like resolution, connectivity, and compatibility when making a purchase. In this article, we’ll provide you with the best TVs currently on the market and help you make an informed decision when buying your next TV.
Resolution: A Key Consideration
The first thing to consider when buying a new TV is resolution. The resolution debate used to be between 720p and 1080p, but 4K has now become the standard for TVs of medium to large sizes. It’s rare to find a major brand TV larger than 40 inches that isn’t 4K, and the higher resolution no longer commands a premium price. You can now find a 65-inch 4K TV for under $1,000.
Connected Features and Streaming Services
Nearly all 4K TVs come with connected features that allow you to stream 4K content. Popular platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Android/Google TV, and Roku TV have made it easy for TV brands to add smart TV functions without developing their own systems. These platforms provide access to most major streaming services, as well as features like voice assistants, local media streaming, and a variety of apps. If you can’t find the apps or services you need on your TV, you can connect a separate 4K media streamer to an HDMI 2.0 port.
Apple AirPlay 2 is now available on new TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio, as well as all Roku media streamers, including Roku TVs. This feature allows you to use your iPhone or iPad to stream content from iTunes to your TV. Additionally, the Apple TV app and Apple TV+ service are available on all major smart TV platforms, so you can watch Apple video content on nearly any TV without an Apple TV 4K box.
4K content is widely available on many streaming services and Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, even though it hasn’t been widely adopted by broadcast or cable TV services yet. If you have a fast internet connection, you can watch shows on Amazon and Netflix in 4K, and most new original programming on these services is produced in 4K. New films are also being released digitally in 4K through various on-demand streaming services.
Ultra HD Blu-ray discs are a physical media format that can store 4K HDR content and are readily available. However, you’ll need a dedicated Ultra HD Blu-ray player, a Microsoft Xbox Series X (or Xbox One S/X if you can find one), or a Sony PlayStation 5 to play them. Ultra HD Blu-ray offers a long-term edge over streaming since it’s a piece of media you can physically own and doesn’t require an internet connection or a service subscription. However, Ultra HD Blu-ray releases are limited outside of major new movies, so you may have to downgrade to 1080p or even 480p if you want to watch your favorite obscure film.
Should You Wait for 8K?
The answer is simple: No. 8K TVs are currently available as premium models for significantly more money than their 4K equivalents, and the HDMI 2.1 standard supports 8K. However, 8K is still in its infancy and there’s limited content available in this resolution. It’s best to wait until 8K becomes more widely adopted and prices come down before making the switch.
when buying a new TV, consider factors like resolution, connected features and compatibility, and your budget. 4K is the current standard and offers high-quality content through various streaming services and Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. If you want a future-proof option, you can consider an 8K TV, but keep in mind that it’s still in its early stages and prices are high. You should also consider features like HDR (High Dynamic Range), local dimming, and the type of panel (OLED, LED, QLED) used in the TV, as these can greatly affect the overall picture quality. Ultimately, the best TV for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences, so be sure to do your research and consider all the options before making your final decision.