Finding the perfect TV is about bringing your home entertainment vision to life. We think the search should be an enjoyable one, not a struggle with technical details. So start your journey right with our overview of the main TV features to consider.
LED, LCD, Plasma or OLED?
LED (light-emitting diode) TVs are the most popular TV type on the market, delivering excellent overall picture quality. LED TVs are a great choice for all lighting conditions, especially well-lit rooms. They often have extremely thin profiles, allowing for easy placement in any viewing space. LED TVs are actually part of the LCD TV family, with the LEDs providing advanced edge-lighting or backlighting.
LCD (liquid-crystal display) TVs offer quality HD performance, often at very affordable prices. LCD TVs produce bright colors and perform best in well-lit rooms. While not as thin as most LED models, LCD TVs still offer very slim profiles. Almost all LCD TVs are backlit by CCFLs (cold cathode fluorescent lamps).
Plasma display panels (PDPs) deliver superb picture quality with rich, vibrant colors and deep blacks. Plasmas are exceptional at displaying fast-moving action with minimal blurring. They perform best in dark or low-lit rooms and offer wider viewing angles than most LED or LCD TVs.
OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs offer an extremely high degree of color accuracy, great contrast, wide viewing angles and a picture that is virtually blur-free. Each one of the millions of pixels is individually illuminated, producing true blacks and a brilliant range of colors. OLED technology also allows for extraordinarily thin screens.
Which TV size is best?
To answer this question, you'll need to consider the size of your room, how far away you'll be sitting, and the type of experience you prefer.
More often than not, we hear customers wish they had gotten a bigger, rather than a smaller TV, so think carefully about what size will provide the impact you're looking for.
With the sleek design of modern TVs, larger screens will take up much less space than you might think. That's because the size of the bezel (the outside edge that wraps around your screen) have become much thinner in recent years, so much so that the dimensions of a new 60" class TV with a thin bezel are roughly the same as an older 55" class TV.
These TVs are oustanding for media rooms or if you're looking for a completely immersive experience while watching movies and sports.
Large TVs that provide great visual impact within any room in your home, including big living rooms.
These are versatile TVs that can work extremely well within average-sized living rooms and many bedrooms.
32" class and smaller
A great size for bedrooms, dorms, kitchens and casual viewing areas.
How far away should you sit?
Here are some quick calculations that can give you a general recommendation:
Minimum viewing distance
Multiply the size of your screen by 1.5. So for a 60" class TV, that would mean 90" or 7.5'. If you're buying a 4K Ultra HD TV, however, you can sit much closer than that and still maintain a clear picture.
Maximum viewing distance
Simply double the minimum viewing distance. So for a 60" class TV with a 7.5' minimum, the maximum would be 15'.
4K Ultra HD or HD?
2160p (4K Ultra HD)
Also known as 4K, UHD or Ultra HD, 4K Ultra HD TVs offer the newest and best resolution available in the marketplace. They deliver up to four times the resolution of 1080p TVs and produce stunningly clear, detailed images. This level of resolution lets you sit quite close to the screen for a fully immersive experience. They also have the ability to upscale current high-definition content to make what you watch look even sharper.
1080p (Full HD)
Allows you to watch Blu-ray movies, Full HD content and all TV programming at their highest level of detail. 1080p is by far the most common HDTV resolution available.
Provides a quality HD picture for TV shows and DVD movies, and often at very affordable prices. Generally used for smaller TVs.
TV Refresh Rate
The higher the hertz, the smoother the picture
240Hz, 120Hz or 60Hz — what do these numbers mean for picture quality and performance in LED and LCD TVs?
A TV with a 240Hz (hertz) refresh rate will completely rebuild its picture 240 times in one second. Why is this important? Because the more frequently the screen is refreshed, the smoother the images will appear to the viewer.
With some 60Hz TVs, viewers may notice a slight motion blur during fast-action scenes. For 120Hz TVs, those scenes should have very minimal blur, and at 240Hz, they should appear crisp and smooth.
Keep in mind that refresh rate isn't the only thing that determines how a TV handles fast motion. Many TV manufacturers also include their own technology to help create a smooth picture (you can read more in our specific product detail pages).
Plasma TVs list a 600Hz refresh rate and have minimal issues with motion blur. However, that 600Hz can't be directly compared to LED and LCD TV refresh rates, as plasma TVs create their picture in a very different way.
A world of connectivity and streaming entertainment
Connect your products, get innovative control
Smart TV technology is opening up exciting new possibilities, including:
- Share content with your tablet or smartphone, so you can watch what you want, where you want
- Use voice, hand motion, a mobile device or keyboard to control your TV
- Get content recommendations based on the movies and TV shows you watch
A world of entertainment
Connect to your home network and stream a huge range of movies, videos and music from popular services like Netflix,* Hulu Plus,* Pandora and YouTube. Many smart TVs also include a full Web browser, so you can surf the Web right on your TV screen. (See our product detail pages for the "smart" features included with each smart TV.)
For HDTVs that aren't "smart," you can stream content to your screen using smart Blu-ray players, streaming players, specialized USB devices and many other smart products. Each of them offers a unique selection of apps and content.
Even with a smart TV or smart device, the speed of your Internet network is going to be crucial for streaming HD movies and videos. So for the best performance, we recommend:
- A wireless-N router or wireless-N plus router
- At least 5Mbps download speed when using a single device
Without the proper speed from your Internet provider, your HD content will likely keep stopping and starting due to buffering. Also, remember that if you have multiple devices using the Internet at the same time (TVs, computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc.), your speed requirement for streaming HD content can increase to 10Mbps or more.
These TVs are first and foremost high-quality HDTVs that let you watch all of your regular content as you currently do, plus they offer the flexibility of viewing special 3D content at home, including select 3D Blu-ray movies, 3D TV programming and 3D video games.
3D glasses are included with many TVs, but check the product details to be sure. To build a complete 3D home theater system, we recommend you also purchase a 3D Blu-ray player, high-speed HDMI cable and an A/V receiver that is compatible with 3D products.
Connecting with HDMI
HDMI is an all-digital cable and the finest connection available for HDMI-ready TVs, Blu-ray players, A/V receivers, gaming consoles and more. HDMI carries both the picture and sound over one convenient cable, which means your home theater setup can be much simpler and cleaner.
For the best possible performance, make sure to purchase a high-speed HDMI cable. More expensive cables are made of higher-quality materials and come with a higher data transfer speed rating measured in Gigabytes Per Second (Gbps). This allows more bandwidth for streaming 4K Ultra HD content and helps to ensure signal purity, which is especially important when running cable over longer distances.
To find the proper length cable to fit your needs, make sure to consider the distance between your HD components and the TV. Choose an in-wall rated cable if you intend to run your connection through walls (for example, when the TV is mounted and you want a clean look). Look for cables that come with extra-tight connectors, which are important for keeping things secure when using products like a full-motion TV mount.
Shop Online or In Store
BestBuy.com offers you a huge selection of TVs, with hundreds of models to choose from. Your local Best Buy store has dozens of TVs to try out and compare, including the new 4K Ultra HD TVs. Plus, our Blue Shirts and Magnolia system designers are on hand to provide expert advice and superior customer service.