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BirthTouch: Questions and Concerns

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sl geek academmy1
sl geek academmy1

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No TV buying guide, no matter how detailed, can replace your own experience and judgment. If you have the opportunity, go to a store (and maybe bring your family) and look at the TVs. Even though 4K content is less common than 1080p, its availability is improving through the likes of Netflix. you may want that higher-resolution technology if you plan to sit close to a very large screen.

But you should also consider where the TV will be going in your home. While the above advice is intended for living rooms and home theaters, you'll want to consider what size is appropriate for other parts of the house, like the bedroom or the kitchen, where a smaller TV may be a necessity.

Bottom Line: Ultra HD resolution, also called 4K, has become the standard, and it's a better choice if you want to future-proof your investment. You can already buy higher resolution 8K TVs, but we suggest holding off.

Bottom Line: If you're buying a 4K TV, you'll want to get a TV with HDR support to make the most of its picture. If you want the best, buy an HDR set that is compatible with Dolby Vision. That is the format that offers the most content right now.

While we already recommend holding out for more HDMI ports, an extra HDMI port can mean the difference between leaving your console connected and swapping it out for your Blu-ray player every time you want to fire up a round of Call of Duty.

Once you know which type of TV you want, you can focus on getting the right size screen, and on a few other important features and performance characteristics. You can see more details below. CR members can get test reports and complete details on more than 300 sets in our TV ratings.

A better cable manages higher speeds, greater bandwidth, and basically sets you up for the future. One example: When HDMI 2.0 became a problem, our high-quality cables handled the upgrade before it was ever an issue. Conversely, folks with cheap HDMI cables in their walls had to rip them out if they wanted to watch 3D or HDR content.

No TV we've ever tested offers this much picture quality for this little cash. Although it's not as good as OLED, the TCL 6-Series still has excellent picture quality thanks to mini-LED tech and well-implemented full-array local dimming, which helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. The Roku TV operating system is also our hands-down favorite. If you don't have money to burn, but still want an excellent television, the 6-Series should be on your list.

That said, there are still some 2022 models available at a discount. Those will start to disappear as the year progresses and more 2023 TVs take up space on the shelves. Generally, we tell people to wait until the fall to get a new TV, as that's when you'll save the most money. But if you need a new one right now and don't want to pay for all the newest tech, grab a 2022 model while you still can.

If you want to fit an existing entertainment center, make sure you have at least an inch on the sides and top of the TV cavity to allow for ventilation. Or just junk that old furniture and get a bigger TV.

If you don't place as high a priority on PQ, you'll get the best value by simply sorting a list of TVs by price along with the screen size you want, choosing the cheapest from a brand you trust and calling it a day. Or at least skip to the next section of this guide.

TV connectivity has gotten less complex as important inputs have dwindled to one kind: HDMI. Just count the number of devices you'll want to connect, and make sure your TV has at least that many HDMI ports (or one or two extra if you'll be expanding).

USB inputs are nice for displaying photos, but hardly necessary. You only need to worry about the analog ports if you have an older device to connect; the Nintendo Wii is the classic HDMI-free offender. And of course you'll need an antenna input (standard on nearly every TV) if you're cutting the cord and want free over-the-air TV.

Nearly every new 4K TV has enough robust HDMI connections (version 2.0, 2.0a or 2.0b, with HDCP copy protection) to work with a range of the latest 4K and HDR gear. The latest HDMI 2.1 standard is available on many newer TVs, but for now it's mainly useful for gamers who have a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X and want to maximize their graphics capabilities. And yes, you should just buy the cheap HDMI cables.

If you're planning on cutting the cable TV cord, or you have already, you might want to make sure the TV you get has a built-in over-the-air tuner. It will allow you to watch free local TV broadcasts, usually in higher quality than cable, satellite or streaming.

The exception, as mentioned above, is for gamers with next-generation consoles like PS5 and Xbox Series X who want features like 4K/120Hz and variable refresh rate. Those are only found on newer, more expensive TVs.

Properly adjusting the picture is very important to getting the most out of your TV. That said, simply selecting the "Movie," "Cinema" or "Calibrated" preset will get you the most accurate picture on most TVs. If you want to go deeper, or perhaps bring in a professional to help, check out our picture settings tips and professional calibration explainer.

Let me reiterate: All HDMI cables are the same. If you want better audio, we recommend starting with a soundbar or investing in a home theater system. And if the built-in smart TV system on your set isn't up to par, check out a streaming device.

Nearly all smart TVs use automatic content recognition (ACR) to track what you're watching. They use this information to show you more relevant ads. While you can often limit the collection of this data, it's usually difficult to find or reverse. Do you really want to share everything you watch with your TV manufacturer

When you want to sit down and watch something on a smart TV, it's actually a lot more work than you'd expect. While it's not overwhelming, it makes what should be a fun experience inconvenient at best.

One major example is when you want to search for a particular TV show or movie on a streaming service. With a regular TV remote, typing is a hair-pulling affair that could take up to a dozen button presses per letter typed. While most smart TVs have microphone support, the stock solution is often spotty (and likely requires sharing voice data with your TV manufacturer).

This brings up another potential issue: the usefulness of your smart TV is limited by the apps that are available for it. If content providers stop updating their smart TV apps for whatever reason, your smart TV loses a big chunk of what makes it "smart." Some smart TVs also have a limited amount of space, so you might not be able to install all the apps you want to use.

If, after reading all of this, you still want to buy a smart TV, go for it. It's pretty difficult to find a quality TV that's not smart, so if you want, you can avoid connecting your smart TV to the internet to keep it "dumb." You can always supplement the TV with a streaming box if you decide to go online later.

Given how smart TVs are the bulk of the models available in 2023, it might be surprising to learn you can still buy a TV without smart features. Do you want one of these sets There are solid reasons for leaning this way, but know that shopping for a "dumb" TV won't be that easy if you're concerned about brand or size. Read on for what to expect during your search for a non-smart TV, as well as tips for turning any set into one that suits you.

While the technology is neat in theory, the execution can often leave something to be desired. For instance, smart TVs can crash or freeze like PCs, and some models may even restart at random moments. Who wants to deal with those interruptions when enjoying their favorite media content

Since many smart sets are available for less than what those commercial Samsung TVs cost, this feels like you're paying a premium to receive less. But what if you want a quality set and don't want to worry about security risks Then getting the best non-smart TV you can find might be the way to go.

If you want to do away with ACR, you can take a couple of approaches. Disconnecting from the internet is the easiest one, but as we've already covered, that makes your TV totally dumb. If you don't want a full-blown smart TV but also don't want a dumb display, you may be looking for an in-between option.

We recommend taking a tape measure to your living room wall (or wherever you plan to put it) to ensure the dimensions of this TV are going to fit where you want it. (The number of inches is the diagonal length of the TV screen, from the bottom corner to the upper corner on the other side.)

The distance you'll be sitting from the TV is important, too. We recommend making sure your screen size is about double the distance between the set and your seat. For a 40-inch TV, you'll want to be sat around 6-7 feet (80 inches) away, for instance. For a 65-inch TV, that goes up to 10-11 feet; for a 55-inch TV, that's 9 feet.

Most TVs now have built-in Wi-fi and Ethernet ports so that you can connect them to the internet. Not all TVs, though, also let you use these network connections to access multimedia stored on other devices on your network. So if this is a feature you want, make sure the TV you buy supports it. Note, too, that some TVs additionally support Bluetooth communication with external devices.

This approach can be problematic in a situation where you, say, don't want to spend more than $2,000. Let's say you walk into Walmart and you're looking at two 55-inch TVs. One is $1,999 and one is $999, and right there in the store they look pretty much identical. You're probably going to opt for saving $1,000, right However, if you had the chance to have both TVs in your home for a few weeks (like a TV reviewer), you might be singing a different tune. Here's why.

The biggest issue is that it's a spec that's rarely reported accurately, so if you really want to know whether a random TV in Walmart has a 60 or a 120 Hz refresh rate, you're going to have to read some reviews. 59ce067264


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