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What Features to Look for on a New TV

What Features to Look for on a New TV

Buying a new TV is an exciting process. It promises to level up your home viewing experience. Of course, you want to get the most bang for your buck with your new TV purchase, so it’s only correct that you have a little checklist of things to look out for when shopping.

Nowadays, it’s almost basically certain that your new TV will be smart. This means that the TV will connect to the internet, and a host of streaming services and apps will be on board and ready to go. But other than this foregone conclusion, what else should you be wanting?

Below, we explain what else you need to have on your mind when picking a new TV. The features listed below are the best 43-inch TV features, just as much as they will be the best 70-inch TV features. That’s because they are functions that we think all people should be looking out for, no matter what size TV they are looking for.

4K UHD and 60Hz

4K UHD and 60Hz are all to do with getting the best quality image for your viewing pleasure. 4K UHD refers to the resolution – the UHD stands for Ultra High Definition, which should give you an idea of what to expect.

This is all about getting you crisp lines and detail. Today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a TV that isn’t 4K. But if you’re looking at more budget offerings with smaller screen sizes, some still squeak in. Aim for 4K for future-proofing.

60Hz is all about how quickly your screen refreshes the image. The higher the number, the smoother and more stutter-free on-screen movement is – this is especially true for sports, action movies and video games. Treat 60Hz as the minimum requirement – gamers with new-gen consoles should aim for up to 120Hz.

HDR, or High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range, or HDR, is to do with the contrast of your TV. The drama and power of an image on-screen are, in part, determined by the difference between the darkest blacks and the brightest whites – this is dynamic range.

LED screens can cover a wide dark-to-bright dynamic range, often to a greater degree than the original content could. So, HDR takes an image, works magic, and increases the dynamic range to offer an enhanced dynamic range. Without this, some on-screen entertainment can look a little flat and toneless to the modern eye.

In short, better HDR equals better, more dramatic viewing.

As many HDMI Ports as Possible

While smart TVs have features packed in ready to entertain us, many of us still require HDMI ports to plug in external devices, such as HDMI ARC soundbars, Blu-ray and DVD players, and Freeview set-top boxes and gaming consoles.

To make your life easier, when picking a new smart TV, make sure that there are plenty of HDMI ports to accommodate all of your external devices. This way, you don’t spend half your life with your head behind the TV searching for wires, ports and plugs.

Fast USB Ports

USB ports are handy for a smart TV, as they can get you access to home videos and pictures stored on a memory stick. This is ideal for sharing memories with the family, but we like fast USB ports for another reason – recording live TV.

A fast USB port will allow you to set up recordings from live TV. 

This is a handy thing to do even if you have on-demand services. It allows you to keep the recordings for as long as you like – you don’t have to worry about watching them before they are removed from a streaming platform (for example, many of the BBC’s shows are only available for a few weeks after airing).

You should look for a fast USB port because this will make it easier to record HD quality TV onto a memory stick. Make sure that the port and the USB stick are USB 3.0 or newer for the best speeds. Some TVs now carry USB-C, which is even better.

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