Good news: You're about to get a brand new TV! Bad news: You have to sort through the jargon and the hype of actually buying a new TV. There are always new features and capabilities to contend with, from the industry's refusal to stop talking about 3D, to questions about 4K televisions and OLED screens. Some of the confusion is probably intentional – TV-manufacturers want to arm salespeople with new terminology to justify upgrades and higher prices for premiums choices. So let's cut to the chase and talk about the options and specs that really matter, and some that don't. Here's our no-nonsense advice for buying a great TV, minus the buyer's remorse.
A Smart TV Might Save You Money
There was a time when having an Internet-connected TV seemed transformative. Imagine being able to use your flatscreen to surf the Web or check your e-mail, without having to run to another room to boot up your PC. But while TV-makers struggled to make "smart" TV interfaces user-friendly, consumers started bringing their laptops, smartphones, and tablets into the living room, obviating the need to awkwardly poke around the Internet with a television remote. Still, there's one smart TV feature that's genuinely cool: wirelessly streaming video directly to the display without using a game console, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, or similar device. If you don't already own something that can get shows and movies from Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu onto your TV, then a smart TV with built-in WiFi (which, like 3D, is basically universal on newer sets) will hook up to your network and cut out the middleman.
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