It’s a brave new world of televisions out there. Between strange monikers like LED, SmartTV, 4K Ultra HD, HD, OLED, Plasma, refresh rate, and resolution it can be hard to decipher what features you’d actually WANT in a new TV. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with five features that are a must when you’re out buying a new television for your home entertainment system.
In case you aren’t up to date, previous HD formats for TVs tended to cap out at 1080p. That was the best image you could get. Now, there’s a new format for your home television, and that’s 4K, also labelled as Ultra HD.
This Ultra HD image is dubbed 4K with reference to a professional video format used in some cinemas which is 4096 by 2160 pixels in resolution, essentially four times what you’d get from 1080p. This means the image will be sharper and clearer than anything you’ve experienced before.
Though the TVs that feature this resolution remain on the higher end of the price range, it’s really well worth it, as you’re ensuring you’ll have excellent picture quality on your home entertainment system for years to come.
If you have a newer smartphone, you may have heard of OLED, as it has become the screen of choice for most mobiles. “OLED” stands for organic-light emitting diode, which essentially means that unlike LCD screens, it doesn’t require a separate light source to light the images on screen. This, in turn, allows OLED screens to be much thinner than their LCD counterparts, and they deliver better contrast, saturation, and brightness when it comes to the colours displayed in picture.
The ultra-thin design of these TVs looks incredibly slick even when the TV is off. Gone are the days of the heavy-set, black borders; it’s just a big, flat screen. On top of that, OLED screens use less electricity than LCDs, so when you watch both Star Wars trilogies in one sitting, you can feel a bit better about the environment.
Wi-Fi and Flash Enabled
We live in a connected world. Between our computers, phones, tablets, and even books (looking at you, Kindle), we’re always able to stay in touch with the world around us, whether it’s to watch cat/dogs videos or read up on Norse mythology on Wikipedia.
That’s why buying a TV that is Wi-Fi enabled is so important. Sure, some TVs can access the Internet if you plug them into your router, but why bother with the hassle and the extra cords? On top of that, it’s important to make sure that the TV is also compatible with Flash player, otherwise good luck watching any videos online while you’re on the sofa.
Since we’re on the topic of the Internet and online content, you should also make sure your Wi-Fi enabled TV is capable of running apps. Whether it’s to get movies on demand via BigPond or stream TV series on Netflix, life is a lot easier if it’s all accessible straight from your television set.
That, and for sports fans, some TV appstores provide some nifty companion apps for your sport of choice.
In case you haven’t caught on, a running theme here is connectivity. Though it’s extremely unlikely these days that you’d run into a TV set without at least one HDMI input, it is best to make sure. An HDMI input/output plug will allow you to connect a games console, computer, projector, and many other devices to your TV.
Very often, it can also be set up to connect with your TV very organically. So when you turn off your Xbox or BluRay player, the TV will shut off with it.
Anthony Goldstein is a freelance writer who is patiently waiting for the legalisation of polygamy, as he loves both his Windows tablet and his Macbook. He frequently uses Flexirent to check out the latest technology has to offer.