Ultimate 4k TV Buying Guide 2015

When will I be able to afford a 4k TV?

Prices have dropped dramatically on all 4k TVs in the past year. There are a few value manufactures, but the good brands that offer quality 4k TVs are still thousands of dollars. Here is the price($) of a popular Samsung 4k TV on Amazon for big TV purchases.


Samsung 65″ 4K TV Price on Amazon.com

The price range for all 4k televisions is now $400-$10,000. The cheapest models come from Seiki where as the major brands such as Samsung, Sony, and LG will run anywhere from $3,000-$10,000. We can expect that price to drop another $500-1000 for Q4 2014 which makes UHD TVs an excellent buy for the holidays.
If you have $1,000+ in your budget, you can afford a 4k TV.

Where should I buy a 4k TV?

Major online stores monitor and match lowest prices, so price comparison is becoming less relevant, instead it becomes important to buy from a store that offers amenities such as free delivery, cash back, installation, and more. That’s why we recommend Amazon.

Amazon

Visit: The Amazon 4k TV Store
Amazon is just the best place to buy TVs with the only exception being you can not try them before you buy them. However, Amazon does a lot of proactive shopping for you. For example, you may have noticed that at this time they do not carry Panasonic 4k tvs. It could very well be that this is because if a problem with Panasonic’s decoding that will not allow any of their current models to play Netflix 4k content. Amazon is seemingly filtering out problem products because they would lose money on returns. Meanwhile you get free delivery and basic installation as part of your Amazon Prime membership. At any given moment you can get 2-6% credit back at Amazon as well, and when it comes ti a $5,000 purchase like a high end TV that means hundreds of dollars in your pocket.

  • Free Enhanced Delivery
  • Most 4k TVs on Amazon offer enhanced delivery. That is, a shipping company will bring the TV in your house, plug it in, check it for damage, and remove the packaging materials if you do not want them.

  • Low price guarantee
  • Amazon will refund you the difference in price if you find the same TV you bought for cheaper up to 14 days after buying.

  • Amazon Rewards
  • On top of getting your TV for as cheap as possible, Amazon will give you 2-6% credit. So if you buy a $6,000 TV, you will get up to $360 of credit to shop at Amazon.

Walmart, Costco, or any physical store

Buying a TV in a store like Walmart is OK if you absolutely are not comfortable with online buying. The only advantage is you can see TVs before you buy them. The disadvantages though are higher prices than Amazon, a lack of customer reviews, and incentive driven salespeople who may steer you towards a bad decision.

  • See TVs before you buy them
  • Commissioned salespeople driving you towards a bad decision
  • Generally no free delivery/setup
  • Far more expensive than online dealers

The Amazon 4k TV Store

Is there really a difference between 1080p(HD) and 4k(UHD)?

Yes! Technically 4K for consumer TVs, also known as Ultra HD or UHD, is 3840×2160 resolution. Compared to 1920×1080 that is 4X as many pixels, hence 4k.

So what does that mean? Basically it means you can get an extremely sharp image on large screens. However, it isn’t useful or very noticeable on small screens. That’s why most 4k TVs are at least 55 inches and feature large screen amenities like curved screens.

Read more…

4k is worth buying on screens larger than 50″

What are the benefits of a curved screen?

  • Improved contrast
  • Wider field of view
  • A sense of being fully immersed in your content

Technically you will get a better contrast ratio because the screen focuses the light directly on to your eyes. The wider field of view offers an illusion that the screen is larger than it really is. Regarding immersion, movie theaters have been curving screens for years and so too have people created curved projection screens in high end home theaters. However, it is more psychological than anything when it comes to 16:9 TVs. Still, it does work in the same way the placebo effect works in medical situations.

If that isn’t enough for you, we can at least admit that a huge curved screen in your living room will impress your friends and neighbors. They just look cool.

Enhanced contrast and immersion, but be careful with glare.

What does refresh rate mean? (120hz vs 240hz vs 480hz)

Pretty much nothing.

Refresh rates, which are also referred to as speed, simply mean how fast your TV can change what is showing. For example, 120hz means the screen “refreshes” or displays a new picture 120 times per second. However, most video is no more than 60 frames per second. That means with a 120hz TV you just displaying repeat frames here and there.
The truth is refresh rates mean practically nothing. They are marketing jazz from TV manufacturers. They try to make bigger numbers to sell more TVs and claim that higher refresh rates reduce motion blur. Sadly, most refresh rates are artificial and don’t mean much anyway.
Just ignore refresh rates when shopping for your 4k TV.

What is the difference between LED and OLED (OLED VS LED)

All TVs require a light that shines from the back and projects the colors towards you. Standard LCD TVs use fluorescent lights. LED and OLED TVs use LEDs.
The advantage of LEDs include brighter colors that use less energy. Just like how LED light bulbs use less energy than CFLs and generate brighter light.

So what about LED vs OLED? OLEDs are better. They only light the portion of the TV that needs light. So you use less energy, and have better contrast with more pure blacks. You also get thinner TVs.
OLEDs are better than LEDs but cost more.

What is Contrast Ratio?

Contrast ratio for any tv, monitor, or projector is essentially a measure of how bright the display’s whites are and how dark the blacks are. Darker blacks and brighter whites will always make for a serious improvement in image quality. A higher contrast ratio is always better. Sadly, much like refresh rates, contrast ratios have become marketing gibberish as companies inflate and report their own contrast ratios as being massive compared to their real values.

If you want to get contrast ratio real values you will need to find an independent lab with valid testing methodologies. rtings.com has tested a handful of TVs, but not enough and their testing methods are unknown. So what do you do? One option is to get an account with consumer reports and look at their generic picture quality ratings which are largely a reflection of contrast ratio. But even CR does not provide real contrast ratio values.

Larger ratios are better, but manufactures inflate advertised ratios.

What are the best 4k tv brands?

Samsung

The highest quality picture for the price you pay including exceptional Smart TV features and beautiful design.

LG

All around good quality TVs, worth getting if you can find a special deal on one.

Sony

High end image quality but generally pretty expensive.

Check out our Top 10 4k TVs list.