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.
The More HDMI Ports, The Better
One of the best things about HDTVs are their dead-simple, ultra versatile HDMI inputs, which funnel high-resolution audio and video through a single cable. But a single HDMI input is rarely enough for all but the most spartan home theater setups, and even a pair of ports could force you to juggle connections, constantly fumbling behind the TV to attach and reattach consoles, Blu-ray players, or other devices. To be safe, don't settle for fewer than four HDMI inputs. And to accommodate cameras, smartphones, or other gadgets that can pipe stills and video directly to the big screen, consider getting a set with at least one of those ports located on the side of the TV, as opposed to the rear.
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