TV Buying Guide
Choosing the right TV can be an overwhelming process – especially with the countless technologies that are available today! To help make the process a little easier, we’ve created a guide to walk you through some of the differences in features, specs and screens to help narrow down your search for the perfect TV.
Types of TV Screens
LED TVs are a tried and true technology and have been around for over 15 years! This type of TV uses a backlight panel as the main source of light to illuminate the pixels on the screen. The main benefits to LED TVs is that they are known to be very reliable, produce great picture quality and are the most affordable option in comparison to OLED or QLED which are an evolution of the traditional LED display.
Unlike the traditional LED display, OLED’s do not use a backlight panel. Instead, there are millions of self-illuminating pixels. This means that each light has the capability to turn on/off or change colors independently. This eliminates the need for a backlight panel and allows the OLED TVs to achieve their razor thin appearance, deeper black-levels, and unlimited viewing angles.
Similarly to the traditional LED display, the QLED also utilizes a backlight panel as the main source of light. However, just like the name suggests QLED TVs use what is called a “Quantum Dot Layer” in-between the backlight panel and the pixels. This technology is what illuminates the pixels in front and gives the ability to produce a brilliant array of colors. In fact, the amazing contrast and extremely bright imaging is what makes this type of TV so unique!
Mini LED TVs
The advancement of the local dimming effect in LED technology has brought us to the newest evolution of LED TVs – the Mini & Micro displays.
In Mini displays, the amount of LED lights have increased from hundreds to several thousand which gives the TV more control of dimming zones to help achieve better contrast. Not only does this enhance the local dimming effect, but the LED lights can also operate independently which produces a comparable black-level definition to an OLED display!
HDTV, UHD, HDR
These acronyms are used quite a lot in the world of TVs and are related to the resolution of the screen. Put simply, HDTV (high-definition television) is used to describe screens with either 720p or 1080p whereas UHD (ultra-high definition) is used to describe 4k and 8k displays.
While HDTV and UHD are referring to the pixel density of a screen, HDR (high dynamic range) on the other hand represents the quality of the pixel's brightness, contrast and color. When a display uses HDR technology you can expect enhanced realism, better picture quality and a greater contrast between the highlights and shadows on the screen.
TV Light Quality & Control
Local Dimming, Edge-Lit ,Full Array
Local Dimming is a feature to improve the picture quality by amplifying the brightness of pixels in certain sections of the screen, while dimming other sections to make blacks look deeper. But, the quality and capability of a screen’s lighting control has everything to do with the placement of the LED lights in the backlight panel.
If a display has “Edge-Lit”, this means that the LED lights run along the perimeter of the screen, whereas in “Full-Array”, the LED lights are placed all over. This design makes the lighting control more targeted and deep in a Full Array as the lighting becomes more direct. In comparison, the lighting around the sides of an Edge-Lit display are responsible for lighting up the entire screen which can make the local dimming effect less precise.
TV Refresh Rates
The refresh rate of a TV refers to how many times the display can refresh an image within a second. The most common native refresh rates on the market are typically 60hz or 120hz, and with higher refresh rates comes reduced blurriness and smoother video production.