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TV Technology Roundup

TechReport (UK)

The list of features offered on new TVs seems to grow in length every year.

Those of us thinking of making a purchase are effectively obliged to learn another host of seemingly pointless acronyms in our attempt to determine just what we really want from a new TV.

What is becoming clear is that the TV manufacturers are having to work harder and harder to persuade the public that it really is worth paying a premium price for the very latest TV, instead of saving a not insignificant sum of money by buying last year’s model instead.

So just when is it worth buying a new TV?

New Model Cycle

In January every year, CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) is held in Las Vegas, USA. This is the biggest and most important platform for all the Consumer Electronics manufacturers to showcase their new products.

To this end, pretty much all the manufacturers (with the pretty major exception of Apple) will try to ensure that they have the development of their new models completed in time for this event.

Assuming that no major re-working is required, most will then launch these products onto the market (typically in the U.S, the world’s largest market, first) in April or May of that year.

So if you really have to have the very latest kit from day one (bearing in mind that some features, such as certain Smart TV apps, may not be available from the get-go and there will often be a couple of annoying bugs that will still need to be ironed out at this stage) then this is the time to buy.

This will also be the time that last year’s models will drop in price, so this may be the best time to buy one of these, if you are searching for value for money. Conversely, buying the current model in the first few months of the calendar year is probably not to be recommended (as you will likely be able to get it for less money by waiting a few more months).

The Features that Matter (and those that really don’t)…

For those in the market for a new TV, there follows a fairly extensive list of the typical features offered on the current (recent) models, as well as a few other things to think about), with our analysis of which of them might be relevant to you and why.

Just use the list of links below to ‘dip in and out’ as required…

1. Screen Size

2. HD (High Definition) or UHD (Ultra High Definition)?

3. HDR (High Dynamic Range)

4. ‘Smart’ (‘Connected’) TVs

5. Processing Power

6. Flat or Curved Screen

7. 3D

8. LED or OLED?

9. Connectivity (HDMI, USB, Audio, Bluetooth, Ethernet, WiFi, PC etc.)

10. LED Backlight Arrangement

11. ‘Connection Box’

12. Audio ‘Enhancements’

13. Long-term Support

TV Technology Roundup

(Autumn 2016)