Super Helpful LCD LED TV Buying Guide
Have you ever tried to decide which TV to buy, only to become confused and overwhelmed by all the choices?
Luckily for you, we’ve put together this super-helpful guide to buying a TV. Read on to become an instant television expert...
Find the info you need here:
- What size should I get?
- Should I invest in 4K Ultra HD?
- What are the benefits of a Smart TV?
- What does "Built-in Chromecast" mean?
- What is Android TV?
- Are specs like Refresh Rate, Response Time, Contrast Ratio and Brightness important?
- Should I get a TV with HDR?
- Does Dolby Vision™ and Dolby Audio™ enhance my media-viewing experience?
- What is the difference between QLED and LED?
- What are the best TV accessories available?
- What connections do I need on a TV?
- What is FreeView?
- Is the Energy Rating important?
- How much should I pay?
What size should I get?
You will see most TV sizes measured in inches. This represents the diagonal distance from corner to corner as you can see in the following diagram. So, a 32” TV is 81cm from corner to corner.
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to TVs. When deciding on the size of the TV you want, you should consider the room where the TV will go. The last thing you want is to be sitting up close to a huge TV, straining your eyes trying to focus on the whole picture.
The general consensus is that the viewing distance needs to be 1.5-2.5 times greater than the size of the TV and 1-1.5 times greater for 4K TVs. So, if you’re buying a 50” TV, you’ll need a large enough room to let you sit approximately 1.3-1.9m away from it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can save space and increase the viewing distance by mounting your TV on the wall or ceiling.
Should I invest in 4K Ultra HD?
4K Ultra HD TVs deliver a clearer picture, crisper images and incredible detail to your home with a higher resolution, around four times greater than a Full HD TV.
4K TVs have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and a whopping 8 million pixels. In comparison, a Full HD TV has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a regular HD TV brings only 1366 x 768.
What’s the difference? The higher resolution adds more pixels, better definition and sharper colours for a more lifelike viewing experience.
It’s important to remember that not everything you play on a 4K TV will be able to make use of the full benefits, it all comes down to the devices you connect and the media you play.
You’ll benefit the most from a 4K TV if you’re playing native 4K content from a 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray player, gaming on a PS4 Pro and Xbox One X or streaming from Netflix and Stan.
If you’ll be viewing movies through a standard DVD player or watching Free-To-Air TV on SD and HD channels, a 4K TV will slightly upscale the picture quality and depth, although it won’t appear as crisp and lifelike as native 4K content.
Consider the content you’ll be viewing on your TV now and in the near-future to ensure you get the TV that is right for you and your purchase is as future-proof as possible.
Shop the range of 4K TVs here.
What are the benefits of a Smart TV?
Smart TVs connect directly to the internet via Wi-Fi or LAN and bring the ability to stream TV shows and movies on your TV, similar to how you use a smartphone.
Many people consider an active connection to the internet an essential feature in new TVs as it adds a whole new avenue of possibilities to your home viewing experience.
You can download a wide variety of apps directly to your TV to suit your viewing and browsing needs. Stream with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Stan, watch videos on YouTube, browse social media and even check the weather with nothing but your TV*.
Screen mirroring brings the ability to watch content from your Android and Windows 10 devices on your Smart TV. It gives you the freedom to start your favourite TV series on your phone then continue watching on your TV when you walk through the door.
Shop the range of Smart TVs here.
What does "Built-in Chromecast" mean?
Google Chromecast is a USB device that allows you to cast your favourite streaming services like YouTube, Stan, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play to your TV. This built-in functionality means no external USB device is needed, saving you an extra purchase.
What is Android TV?
Android TV™ is the future of TVs.
A step up from regular Smart TVs, Android TV™ allows you to control all of your Google Assistant compatible devices and appliances just by using your voice. For instance, you can set your kettle to boil from the comfort of your couch if you own a compatible smart kettle.
Android TV™ lets you interact with your TV in unique ways, searching the web and launching streaming apps such as Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video by speaking commands into your remote with the power of Google integration..
You also get access to the Google Play Store, where you can download a massive range of apps and high-quality games to turn your TV into a great value gaming console.
If you own a range of smart devices and appliances compatible with Google Assistant, an Android TV™ may be a worthwhile investment.
Shop the range of Android TVs here.
Are specs like Refresh Rate, Response Time, Contrast Ratio and Brightness important?
The specs of a TV are there to give you a more in-depth look at each specific model and are a good way to compare two TVs side-by-side.
Despite being important considerations, most people tend to choose a TV based on its features rather than its specs as sifting through foreign terms such as ‘refresh rate’ and ‘response time’ can become quite confusing.
To satisfy your curiosity, here’s a quick definition of the most important and often-used specs:
- Refresh Rate: Refresh rate refers to the number of frames displayed per second or the speed at which the TV can refresh the picture. A higher refresh rate means a smoother picture quality.
- Response Time: Response time is the amount of time (in milliseconds) it takes for the individual pixels on the display to change from active to inactive and back again. The lower, or faster, the response time the better.
- Contrast Ratio: This is the ratio of the luminance of the brightest colour to the luminance of the darkest colour on the display. The higher the ratio, the better. For instance, 1000:1 is better than 500:1.
- Brightness: This is the amount of light emitted by the display. Brighter TVs are usually considered better, as they can be easily seen on a sunny day or in a very bright room. This is measured in cd/m².
Should I get a TV with HDR?
HDR (High Dynamic Range) is the latest in colour-accuracy technology and it’s found in almost all 4K Ultra HD TVs. It displays much higher levels of contrast, giving you darker blacks, brighter whites and a broader colour palette that makes images more vibrant and lifelike.
You won’t find HDR in any Full HD or HD TVs, so a 4K Ultra HD TV is needed if you want to take advantage of this technology.
Does Dolby Vision™ and Dolby Audio™ enhance my media-viewing experience?
What is Dolby Vision™? It’s an advanced form of HDR featured on selected TVs and mobile devices and accessible via top streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
This cutting edge technology dramatically expands the colour palette and contrast range further than regular HDR and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimise the picture for every screen, transforming your viewing experience.
Dolby Audio™ delivers rich, powerful and crystal-clear sound to selected TVs and mobile devices so you can unlock the best sound for movies, games and music. It works intelligently to optimise audio for your specific content and equipment, preventing shocking jumps in volume as you switch content.
What is the difference between QLED and LED?
The Q in QLED stands for “Quantum Dot”, an advanced technology that uses a blue LED light and different sized Quantum Dot particles to deliver brighter and more accurate colours to your TV.
The Quantum Dots dramatically improve the colour and brightness of every frame as they emit light in multiple directions for ultra-realistic colour and depth from nearly any viewing angle.
This differs from LED TVs which feature a white LED light and colour filter. That technology still produces vibrant colours, but none as sharp as those on a QLED TV.
Shop the range of QLED TVs here.
What are the best TV accessories available?
If you’re looking to enhance your home-viewing experience beyond just purchasing that new TV you can invest in a variety of available accessories.
The following accessories are popular amongst many new TV buyers:
- Wall mounts: Wall mounts are designed to save space in your living room and give you the versatility to safely secure your TV to any wall. They come in fixed variants that hold your TV close to the wall for a barely-there finish and tilt variants that allow you to adjust the viewing angle to reduce glare and get the best view from anywhere in the house.
- Sound bars: If you want to take your home viewing experience to the next level, a sound bar could be a valuable investment. Sound bars sit below your TV and fill your lounge room with incredible cinema-quality audio bursting through powerful speakers.
Shop the range of Wall mounts here.
Shop the range of Sound bars here.
What connections do I need on a TV?
TV Inputs allow you to get video and audio to your TV from any Blu-ray player, external streaming device or gaming console. TV outputs deliver video and audio from your TV to an external device. Most new TVs will include the standard input and output connections,but it’s important to check that your new TV can play all your favourite media.
Here are the main inputs and outputs:
- HDMI: Both an input and output, this is the current go-to connection for delivering high-quality video and audio from your Laptop, Blu-ray player and gaming console to your TV. Most TVs will come with 3-4 HDMI ports as it’s so frequently used so you won’t have any issue finding a TV with enough HDMI ports to suit your needs.
- USB: Most new TVs will have 2 USB ports used to connect a portable hard drive or USB drive so you can view any compatible file types on your TV. This port can also be used to plug in a device such as Google Chromecast if your TV doesn’t have this function built-in.
- Component/Composite: Component and composite connections are remnants of the previous generation of DVD players and gaming consoles. Component only delivers video to your TV while composite connections deliver video and audio but not in HD. Today, a new TV might only have one composite connection or even none.
- Optical: The optical output on a TV is used to transmit an audio signal from your TV to an external device such as a sound bar or surround-sound speaker system. Newer sound systems will allow the transmission of audio via HDMI, but if you have an older system that doesn’t support HDMI, this connection can be used to deliver HD sound.
- Ethernet: Most modern TVs will be Wi-Fi enabled so there’s no need to use a cable to get an internet connection. However, if your Wi-Fi is experiencing interference you can connect your TV directly via this port.
- VGA: A VGA connection is designed to deliver video from your computer or laptop to your TV in either standard or high definition. The connection doesn’t transmit audio so a separate connection will be required. If possible, it’s simpler to use the HDMI connection as it delivers both video and audio in HD.
What is FreeView?
FreeView is a digital platform that brings all of Australia's SD and HD free-to-air channels together in one place with a standard Electronic Program Guide (EPG) feature.
It was developed, in part, to challenge the dominance of pay TV platforms such as Foxtel and promote the use of free channels. It is important to note that you don’t need a FreeView-certified TV to watch FreeView content as all HD TVs have access to the same channels.
FreeViews’s main point of difference is FreeView Plus, which gives you the ability to catch up on all your favourite shows from the available network services like ABC iview, SBS On Demand, 7plus, 9Now and 10 play.
Ensure your TV is connected to the internet then catch up and stream TV shows from all your favourite channels in one place on Freeview Plus.
Is the Energy Rating important?
All of our Kogan TVs display an energy rating up to 6 stars that provides a comparative assessment of the model’s energy efficiency. The more stars, the more energy efficient the TV is.
If you’re looking to save money on TV running costs pay attention to the star rating and consider investing in a TV with a higher energy rating, especially if your TV will be used a lot.
How much should I pay?
TVs aren’t the greatest financial investment because new technology is being developed all the time and they are always getting better and cheaper.
Some people enter the purchase decision with the goal of not splurging on their TV - aiming instead to find the option that presents the best value for money at that point in time. This is a smart way to go, because as the technology keeps getting better and TVs keep getting cheaper it will make sense to update your TV more regularly.
We believe that we have the best TV prices and deals in the world at Kogan.com - but don’t take our word for it! Our advice to customers is always to shop around, do some Googling and remember that we’re always here if you have any questions.