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.
4K Ultra HD or HD Resolution?
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.
Another advantage of a 4K Ultra HD TV is high dynamic range (HDR). 4K TVs can play HDR content, and some feature additional technology that applies an even wider range of color and contrast to this content.
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.
LED 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.
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.
Past TV Technologies
LCD TVs: Liquid Crystal Display TVs offered a slim profile and HD-quality images at affordable prices. Almost all LCD TVs are backlit by CCFLs (cold cathode fluorescent lamps). If you have an LCD TV, consider an LED as a good replacement since they feature comparable brightness for well-lit rooms.
Plasma TVs: These were some of the first flat panel TVs on the market, offering rich colors, deep black levels, and great representation of fast-moving action. If you have a plasma TV or a low-lit home theater, check out our selection of OLEDs as an upgrade. With an OLED TV you'll experience similarly rich colors and deep blacks with virtually no blurring.
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.
65" or Larger
These TVs are outstanding 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'.
TV Refresh Rate
The higher the hertz, the smoother the picture
First, keep in mind that the native refresh rate (the number of Hz you see) is only one specification to look at. In addition, check for other proprietary technologies that manufacturers develop to create smooth, seamless pictures. Some examples are Samsung's Motion Rate technology and LG's TruMotion feature.
As for native refresh rates like 120Hz or 60Hz — What do these numbers mean for picture quality and performance?
A TV with a 120Hz (hertz) refresh rate will completely rebuild its picture 120 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.
A world of connectivity and streaming entertainment
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.
There are a couple of different ways to experience a smart TV. First, some TVs have smart capabilities built in. These TVs can connect directly to your home's Wi-Fi network to stream movies, TV shows and other content without the need for any other connections. Next there are TVs that are able compatible with "casting." For instance, a TV with Chromecast built in will display content that you send from your smart device like a phone or tablet. This smart technology requires a smart device that is connected to your Wi-Fi network. But even TVs that don't have smart capabilities, or Chromecast built in, can still display streaming content. Consider connecting a smart Blu-ray player to your TV. Then, when you stream content through the player, you'll experience it on your TV. Streaming media players function the same way. They connect to your network and send the streaming content to your TV.
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 or at least 25 mbps for 4K streaming content.
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.
Connecting with HDMI
HDMI is an all-digital cable and the finest/most efficient connection available for HDMI-ready TVs, streaming media players, 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 Gigabits Per Second (Gbps). This allows more bandwidth for streaming 4K Ultra HD & HDR (high dynamic range) 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 4K Ultra HD TVs. Plus, our Blue Shirts and Magnolia system designers are on hand to provide expert advice and superior customer service. And, Best Buy will match prices of identical products sold at qualifying online and local retailers, and will ship or deliver your brand-new TV for free.