TV Buying Tips & Considerations According to Digital Trends’ Caleb Denison

28 Sep, 2015

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Tossing around the idea of upgrading your existing TV, but don’t know which TV to buy? Wondering when the best time to buy a TV is? We interviewed tech expert Caleb Denison of Digital Trends to help shed some light on the latest TV trends to help you in your quest.

When is it time to buy a new TV?

First off, I think it is perfectly OK to want a new TV just for the sake of having an awesome new TV. With that said, there are a few reasons why letting go of your existing TV and upgrading to a new model might make practical sense.

Televisions on the whole have advanced a lot over the last few years. Today’s TVs are brighter in general and more uniformly bright across the entire screen, capable of better black levels and therefore more stunning contrast, offer more accurate color, and feature the most up-to-date smart TV apps for the best Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video experiences.

Today’s TVs offer a vastly more satisfying experience than TVs bought as recently as four years ago. And then there’s the matter of the latest 4K UHD TVs.

How do I know what size TV is right for me?

There are TV size calculators and charts available on the Internet for folks to consult, but these should only be used as guidelines. Honestly, though, I think the best advice on TV size that I can offer is: buy the biggest TV you can.Click to Tweet

I hear far more stories of people being disappointed with buying too small than buying too big. I think this is because what folks imagine a TV will look like in their space ends up being vastly different than the reality once it is actually in place.

One pro tip I can offer: Grab a tape measure and mock up the dimensions of a few different TV sizes you’re considering. Look at the dimensions of a TV online rather than just its screen size so you get a more complete idea of what it will look like. I’ve even known folks who would draw different TV sizes onto a big piece of cardboard to get a feel for what the various sizes they are considering might look like.

What are your must-have features in a new TV?

I’m really picky about picture quality, and the most important aspect of picture quality for me is contrast. In order to get the best contrast out of an LED TV, you need to have a model with local dimming, a technology that allows some of the LED backlights behind the screen to be turned off so you get blacks that look black instead of grey. Even better is full array local dimming (FALD), which places backlights along the entire back of the screen (instead of just at the edges) for a really stunning picture.

I’m also big on ease of use, and this applies both to the TV’s menus as well as its smart TV interface. I want it to be easy to make adjustments to the picture, and I want it to be easy and fun to use apps like Netflix and Hulu. Some manufacturers do a much better job of this than others. When shopping for a TV, be sure to grab the remote and give the TV a test drive. Do you like how it feels? Does it make sense to you? If so, then you’re looking at a TV that you’ll be comfortable with for years to come.

While shopping around, what are a few deal breakers that would prevent you from buying a new TV?

Two words: Customer service. Look, the nature of electronics is that sometimes they fail – that’s just the way it is. I want to know that if I do have a problem, I can return to the place I purchased the TV and get the best possible customer service, no hassle involved. Promise to take care of me well after the sale, and I promise to be a loyal customer.

Shop hhgregg’s TV selection

With these helpful TV buying tips in mind, it’s time to shop for the perfect set. hhgregg carries TVs from the most trusted brands in the industry – with the latest technology including 4K ultra HD and smart TVs. (Check out a related interview with Caleb Denison on TV technology!) If you’re still not sure which TV to buy, stop into your local hhgregg store and our TV experts can help narrow down the search, or read our reviews online to guide your decision.

Caleb DenisonCaleb Denison is the A/V section Editor for Digital Trends, an online tech site that produces news and reviews on consumer technology, and gets about 20 million unique visits per month. When not reviewing TVs and audio systems, Caleb is a professional trumpet player in his home city of Portland, OR.

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