Buying a new television set should be easy. It used to be, but no more. Time was, we could buy it, carry it home, plug it in, and watch some shows. Those days are long gone. Now, before driving to the store, one needs to study and be fully prepared. Do I want 4k, or is 1080 good enough? Should I ask about HDR? What about OLED vs. LED picture quality? Should I insist on a “smart” TV? (Are some TVs dumb?) Then there are the questions about connectivity. How many HGMI ports will I need? What about a curved screen? 3D? Confused yet? I am.
Our old television has served Betsy and me well for several years. How many? We don’t know exactly. Who among us remembers to write down the date we purchase appliances so we’ll know when the question comes up years later? We finally have wised up and are doing that now. But our TV definitely is old and showing its age. The picture breaks up with increasing frequency. Picture and sound freeze, and we miss the crucial shot at the buzzer or what the prosecutor in the courtroom was just saying in her summary. It’s time.
So yes, we want a great picture, of course. Who doesn’t? But we won’t need 4k resolution, nice as it is on larger screens. That’s sharper than the standard 1080, but we sit at least 10 feet from our TV, so this won’t make much difference in picture quality. And we’re sticking with a 40-iunch screen, which suits our room and viewing distance just fine. HDR, we learn, is the ability to display a wider and richer range of colors, much brighter whites, and much deeper, darker blacks. Sounds good to us, so, yes, we’d like that. A smart TV is one that’s integrated with the Internet. Well, sure, I’d prefer that, too.
Once we figure out the alphabet soup, we consult the rating experts before choosing. Which is better and why? Turns out, they’re all pretty good. Well, most of them. Brand almost doesn’t seem to matter as much as it once did. So maybe now we’re ready to head for the store and let the employees try to wow us with their sales pitches. We’ll come away with a set we like, I feel certain. But there is one more thing.
We’ll definitely need to pay an expert to set it up and take care of all our connections to DVD player and wi-fi.