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How to choose your next TV

If you’re in the market for a new television, what’s going to make the kids envious?

There are several things you must consider before you charge off to your favourite electrical store and buy the best and biggest television you can afford.

And it pays to be informed. We’ve all seen those walls of screens in retail outlets. It’s intimidating and confusing, so do your research.

Smart choice 

First of all, you need to get a ‘smart’ television. 

What is that, you say? Well, a smart television is a television connected to the internet so you can access streaming services and other online sites and apps such as YouTube and ABC iView.

Basically, you can think of it as a big bowl that contains computers, televisions and streaming services. 

Smart televisions can have some or all of these options or you can use a set-top box for more advanced capabilities.

CHOICE advises buying the best smart television you can afford as cheaper models often don’t have the same capabilities as the more sophisticated models. Dumb smart televisions, if you wish.

Screen scene

You also need to work out what size you want. 

If you just want to fill a space, measure the unit from corner to the diagonally opposite corner (that’s how televisions are measured) and find one that fits.

If you want to get a bit more fancy and viewing quality is super important to you, then check out this scale calculator on Rtings.com, which makes it super easy and frees up some brain space for the next big consideration, which is … 


There are four levels of resolution, 720p, 1080p, 4k and 8k. 

I’m not going to explain the technical difference because it’s all a bit too hard, and if you know the difference anyway, my pathetic attempts will insult you. However, basically, those figures represent how many pixels your television has. And the more pixels the better the viewing quality.

Televisions with 730p and 1080p are probably only good for a telly in a spare room or low use. They are generally cheaper and smaller than other televisions and can be ideal for entry-level gaming.

An 8K resolution is generally way too much unless you are one of those people who must buy the latest, most sophisticated technology at all costs. They run into the many thousands of dollars. 

They are the television of choice for top-notch home theatres.

The sales of 8K televisions is still less than 10 per cent of the total market and not a lot of content is even made for 8K.

Your best bet is 4K. The price of these TVs has come down a lot as they become more popular. They can be bought for well under $1000, and the range is considerable.

Be prepared

Finally, have some sort of understanding of what the salesman will be talking about. 

TVs these days can be as thick as your thumb, so don’t let them sell you something fat and heavy that’s on special.

OLED (organic light-emitting diode technology) televisions offer the best picture quality. While they offer the best viewing experience, they are more expensive than LCD (liquid crystal display) TVs.

The salesman will also talk about Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) and both will be better than what you’re getting rid of.

Whatever you buy, make sure Ultra HD, WCG or HDR are involved.

The best way to decide which set provides the best quality picture is to watch it from various angles. As you move from the centre of the screen to the side, the television will lose some colour and contrast. Just make sure this isn’t too extreme.

Have you bought a TV recently? Did you do your research? Did you understand all the lingo? Why not share your view in the comments section below?

Also read: How to avoid bill shock this winter

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writershttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.


  1. I would also suggest that you check whether the TV is continually upgradable like a computer or smart phone. We bought a Samsung smart TV a few years ago and after around 18 months we started to have problems with streaming, things like it wouldn’t allow subtitles on overseas films. We were given one online upgrade by Samsung and told that’s the last one. Since then I have attached a small computer and have redeveloped all the smarts we need.

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