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If you're looking to buy a 4k TV, you just saved yourself a lot of hours of research. These are the best 4K TVs on the market right now, and all of them are under $1300. In the chart there's prices from BestBuy as well as how much total customer reviews the LED TVs have there. The rating next to the BB price is the review average from BestBuy customers. The overall rating next to the refresh rate is from a site called Rtings.
Click the "Overall" number for each TV to open a another browser tab with details about the TV from Rtings.
Click the thumbnail to get a photo of the chart that you can re-size on your phone. My chart includes only the most important information you need to make an educated buying decision.
Picking a Great Living Room TV
A 55" LED TV is a great size for a living room, but going bigger can be a lot better. Living rooms are usually bright, so I would go for a mid-range model (usually over $1,000) or better, because the cheaper models will look very dark on sunny days. We have a Samsung UN55F6400AF (was $1300) and it works great in our living room, which faces south and gets drenched with sunlight during the day. If your living room stays fairly dark, you might get away with less expensive models.
Knowing Which TV Specifications Are Important And Which Ones Are Marketing Gimmicks?
There's only a few specs to look for when buying a new LED TV, and marketing jargon makes comparing between models a lot more difficult these days intentionally. Don't worry, I'll show you what specifications you really need to know and also where you can get specs that the manufacturer doesn't want you to know.
Contrast Ratio: Contrast ratios used to be a valid spec to compare against, but lately manufacturers make up their own numbers, making this spec meaningless. You're best bet is to find data measured by companies who buy and test TVs with sophisticated measuring equipment. CNET and Rtings can help you dig deeper into the models you're considering.
Refresh Rate: This spec is important but unfortunately marketing people have gone crazy here again by adding loads of useless new terms like Motion Rate, Clear Motion Rate, and so on. LED TVs typically come in 60Hz, 120Hz, and 240Hz panels. But each brand calculates its own type of "motion blur rate" based on its own proprietary technology and provides some ridiculous number to go with it.
The bottom line is this, 60Hz is good fro most TV watching, but 120Hz is more versatile by allowing you to watch fast moving video without blurring the object that's moving; like a moving car. So a faster refresh rate is great for Sports, Gaming, and fast paced Action movies. However, some of these motion rate technologies can make movies look too quick and making high budget movies like Avatar, look so fake that it ruins the entire movie. I remember the first time I saw Avatar with this on, and it was so bazaar looking, that I would describe the scene like a public access show created by a couple of kids with some blue paint. Seriously, if you researched this phenomena you'll find that most people turn off motion rate enhancing technologies, thus reducing the panel to it's factory refresh rate, because they hate how fake everything looks with it on. That's why you need to find out the real refresh rate and forget about any type of motion rate all together.
Resolution: There's really just 2 resolutions worth carrying about 1080p and 4k, which translates to 1920x1080 and 3840 x 2160. Although 4K is truly breathtaking at times and "all that and a bag of cookies", it is also not mainstream yet. There's very little content, and most cable companies don't carry any 4K content!
I'm a computer geek in my free time when I'm not a car loving gearhead geek, or a tinkering do-it-yourselfer. My point is, I know just how hard it's going to be to get copper wire based cable companies to run fiber optic cable everywhere so that 4K content can actually be delivered to your home. You can't deliver 4K through the existing infrastructure because it's just too much data for copper wire to handle, especially if you consider if everyone had even 60 4K channels.
However, Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, M-Go, UltraFlix, and a few other technologies are helping you get that 4K content before cable does! So it is possible to watch 4K today, although the real good stuff is coming in the near future.
Sound Watts in RMS: If you're not getting a sound-bar or surround sound, you need to considir TVs with good speakers builtin. Typically you want to look for the highest watts rated in RMS. Peak watts or watts without the RMS spec is not as meaningful for comparing against other TVs.
Considering The Specs You Really Need For A Bedroom TV
Bedroom TV’s typically get little use when compared to living room sets, so I’m going to share with you some of the options you can go without to keep the cost down.
Do you really need 4K in the bedroom?
First, you can most likely skip 4K sets all together, unless you’re packing greenbacks like Donald Trump. 4K televisions have to be large 50”or more to truly get the 4K benefit, and you should sit less than 8’ away as well. If you’re going to be positioned farther than 8’ and you’re thinking of going smaller than 50 inches, you should probably consider a 1080p TV like we did.
What’s the right screen brightness and contrast ratio for a bedroom TV?
Unless your bedroom is bright during the time you plan to do your bedroom TV viewing, you can opt for cheaper TV models from any of the big brands like Sony, Samsung, Vizio, & LG. Brightness counts in sun drenched living rooms, but no so much in bedrooms; especially if night viewing will be the primary viewing you do.
How fast should the refresh rate be for a typical bedroom TV?
A fast refresh rate is necessary for gaming, action movies, & watching sports. Most of the time you can stick with a 60hz set for the bedroom and never even notice what you’re missing. But if you do plan to hook up your XBOX or Sony Playstation to the TV, look for 120hz models. Also don’t bother caring too much about clear motion rates.
Do I take my own advice?
Hell yeah I do! I don’t write these articles just to kill time you know. My purpose is to help people buy what they need, because a lot of sales and marketing people use all types of tricks to fool you into thinking you need options when in reality you really don’t.
Since I became an entrepreneur in 2004, I became a voracious reader and that includes a lot of sales and marketing books. I probably read more than 20 of the best sales books ever written. And yes, even when it comes to books, I go OCD with my research and look for the best out there.
The Bedroom Television Was Meant To Be
We just bought a UN55J6200AFXZA for $560 on sale at BestBuy. The strange thing is that that model was supposed to be $650 on-sale from its $750 retail price. We are BestBuy ElitePlus members, so possibly we had a different sale price because of it. However, when the clerk was checking us out, he didn’t believe the price himself and redid the transaction twice just to cover his ass. I couldn’t blame him, but I was really happy about the ‘new’ unexpected sale price because originally my wife “Kawshi’, didn’t want me to spend more than the $550. Why $550? I convinced her we’re getting a VIZIO E55-C2 because the Samsung was out of my price range.
The Samsung J6200 TV is great for the bedroom, albeit a little on the large size at 55”. But being a business owner, I have to spend money each year to maximize my tax write-offs. By writing this article, I can officially write it off now.
The TV is not very bright when compared to my living room Samsung UN55F6400AF, and the Smart TV software is not as robust either. The new TV simply has a line of apps across the bottom of the screen, while the older Samsung has a full screen menu with several pages of apps and smart features. On top of all those lack luster features it’s also a slow 60Hz 1080p set! So yes, I do take my advice and you should too if you like getting your advice from a research-a-holic that won many awards from the Better Business Bureau for Consumer Education several years in a row!
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Hey this 4K TV Buying Guide is still being edited so keep checking back, because it's going to get a lot better! Send me your input on my Facebook Page.