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.
Don't Be Afraid to Buy Online
In-store TV displays are disorienting by design. The flatscreens are usually set to a "vivid" or "demo" mode, barraging your optic nerves with overly vibrant colors. Speakers blare in unison, house brands lurk among the proven ones, and employees circle, desperate to close every deal. Seeing your next TV in person is valuable, but only marginally so. Your in-store experience will almost never line up with the kind of lighting, viewing angles, and content you'll be working with at home. Don't be afraid to do your research in the store, and then buy online. Shipping for flatscreens is typically free, and these are big-ticket products, packed to withstand the apocalypse.
Credit: Lou Jones / Getty Images