If you've been looking to buy a new TV and decided to hold out for the Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, then this guide is for you. Not only will I help put prices into perspective so that you'll know immediately whether you've found a bargain or not, but I'll also use this guide to explain how to choose precisely the right model for you and your budget.
TV shopping can be confusing when you consider the sheer variety of sizes, screen resolutions, energy consumption ratings, contrast ratios and all the other important specifications that need to be taken into account. So let me show you now exactly how to sniff out a bargain amongst the hundreds of available offers come this weekend, as well as in the run up to Christmas.
What's a Good Price?
With so many TV's to choose from, the easiest way to do this is to list some of the top TV deals that were posted on Buckscoop in recent months. This will give you a benchmark to work against in determining whether an offer you're looking at is any good or not come Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Below you'll find a list of deals featuring some of the most popular TV brands and models at very competitive prices. Unfortunately most of these deals have already expired. The point though, is that if you come across one of these sets at the same price or lower, then don't hesitate as you're looking at a bargain. If however you see one of these TV's being offered for slightly more then follow the TV buying guide tips in this post below to help you determine whether it's the most suitable option based on your particular viewing preferences and setup at home.
$972 - Sony 50" Full HD Android LED Smart 3D TV (KDL50W800C): Harvey Norman
$1198 - LG 55"(139cm) UHD LED LCD 100Hz Smart TV (55UF680T): The Good Guys (need to use code "CXMASTECH" at checkout; expires midnight on Monday 27th Nov 2015)
$1979 - Samsung UA60JS7200W 60" 4K SUHD Smart TV: Bing Lee
$1,199 – Song DSC 65” 4K UHD LED Smart TV: ALDI
$1,396 – Sony 60” Full HD LED LCD 100Hz Smart TV (KDL60W600B): The Good Guys
$1,499 – Sony BRAVIA 55” 4K UHD LED Smart 3D (KD55X8500C): Harvey Norman
$738 – TCL 55” Full HD Smart TV (L55E3800FS): Betta Home Living
$1,199 – Sony BRAVIA 49” 4K UHD Android TV (49X8000C): Sony Online
$599 – Bauhn 48” 4K YHD LED TV (ATVU48-1015): ALDI
TV Size Vs. Room Size
Bigger always sounds better, especially when you're faced with a seemingly great price, but if your living room is tiny things may look out of proportion (‘Alice in Wonderland’ style). TV inch sizes are measured diagonally, e.g. top left corner to bottom right corner. This is one element you should consider, along with the viewing distance. Here are some standard industry viewing recommendations from TV manufacturers:
- 56 inches plus: Over 3 metres
- 46 – 55 inches: Roughly 2.5 to 3 metres
- 40 – 45 inches: Roughly 2 to 2.5 metres
- 32 – 39 inches: Roughly 1.5 to 2 metres
- Up to 32 inches: Less than 1.5 metres
When you have figured out how far away you will be sitting from your TV, then you have a rough starting point for finding the right model. The next step is to look at all the viewing angles you'll have to your TV to give you an idea of what type of screen you will need (e.g. plasma, LED or LCD).
Money Saving Tip: If you can change your living room around to shorten the distance between the sofa and your TV, you could save money through buying a smaller but better quality television.
What’s the Difference? - OLED, 3D, Smart TV and UHD
|OLED||No motion blur, ultra thin displays, ultimate picture quality, huge colour range, real-life picture quality|
|Smart TV||Connects directly to internet services e.g. Netflix, Skype, web browsers, apps and games.|
|UHD||Finer details, greater image quality compared to HD, sharper resolution.|
|3D||Innovative technology that gives the appearance of images jumping out of the screen. 3D Glasses are needed.|
|Passive 3D||Less expensive, great entry-level option with lower quality 3D for those wanting to try 3D but not commit too much money. 3D glasses needed.|
|Active 3D||Full HD experience with best picture quality in 3D mode. Glasses are bulkier, but provide better quality.|
|No Glasses 3D||These TVs are basically built with the ‘3D glasses’ on the screen so viewers don’t need to wear anything. This is the latest 3D technology available as of November 2015.|
UHD, Full HD or HD Ready
UHD (Ultra High Definition)
UHD TVs are the latest technology in viewing entertainment. They contain 4 times the quality of a full HD TV (3840 x 2160 vs. 1920 x 1080 pixels).
TV’s with UHD provide the most vivid picture along with a huge colour range. Generally these types of TVs will also have a higher refresh rate, which make moving images much smoother.
One thing to be aware of is that many TVs are advertised as having "4K" picture quality, while in reality the majority are probably not. That's because retailers like to lump 4K and UHD into the same category, however a true 4K TV is capable of displaying a much higher resolution of 4096 by 2160 pixels (hence the heftier price tags).
Full HD (Full High Definition or FHD)
About Full HD
A Full HD TV has definition that’s 5x sharper than a standard definition TV and for some that’s plenty. The quality is still great and you wont have any issues watching everything from TV shows and DVD’s to movies and streamed content. Mid-sized TVs don’t generally need much more than this.
HD Ready (HD)
About HD Ready
If you’re considering a HD TV deal then you’ll be happy to hear that they have a 2x better quality picture compared to a standard definition display. If you only need a small TV (somewhere between 20 - 30 inches), possibly for the kitchen or a small room, HD ready is ample in terms of quality.
Money Saving Tip: Consumer buyer forums suggest that purchasing a UHD or 4K TV with a screen size under 55 inches won't allow you to fully appreciate and enjoy the higher screen resolution (depending on how close you sit to your TV). So if you opt for a smaller TV, then Full HD models offer far better value for money with little noticeable difference in picture quality.
The connectivity options of a TV deal have different levels of importance to each individual. If you download movies on your computer and like to put them onto a USB, this will be a criterion for your next purchase. If you like to stream using Google Chromecast, your laptop or via a games console, then an HDMI port is crucial.
- SD Card
Money Saving Tip: Count how many devices you currently connect to your TV at home or how many you would like to have connected at one time to help you decide how many ports you require. Choosing a TV with fewer connectivity ports won’t save you any noticeable amounts of money though.
Finally, saving money when buying a TV doesn’t just come down to finding a great bargain to begin with. You can also add value to your purchase by paying less for electricity through a more energy efficient model. You may come across an exceptional price on a TV that meets most of your criteria, but if it ends up consuming 3x more electricity during its lifetime compared to a $200 more expensive option, then it could actually end up costing you more money in the long run.
Factors to Consider
|Screen Size||The larger the screen the greater the energy consumption|
|Energy Saving Mode||Some manufacturer tests showed that you could save up to $150 per year on electricity bills (10%)|
|LED and LCD||The two most energy efficient TV options. Also they have wider viewing angles compared to Plasma|
|Screen Brightness||Brighter screens e.g. in the sun consume more electricity|
|Standby||A TV on standby can cost as much as 10% of your household electricity bill|
|Comparison||A large 55 inch 3 star rated TV on for 7 hours creates more greenhouse gasses than the average 3 star rated family fridge|