You’ve finally decided that it’s time to start looking for a new TV. The cost of a new set has gone down significantly, but there’s also more new technology to consider before making a final decision. The cycles of TVs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and there are often great deals to be found online.
From premium brands like Samsung, LG and Sony, to more affordable labels like TCL and VIZIO, we’ve compiled some tips on when to buy a new TV as well as what to look for when you’re comparison shopping.
When is the best time to buy a new TV?
Right now! January/February: The beginning of the year is one of those times you can find blowouts on previous-year model TVs. These come packed with some of the latest technology. As retailers like Amazon, BestBuy, and Walmart try to clear out holiday inventory for the newest editions announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, you can find some great markdowns on premium labels. Plus, as returns come in after the holidays, you’ll find some excellent open-box products that are being sold at a discount.
July: If you’re a fan of online shopping, Prime Day is another day where you can find deals on Amazon. There, you’ll find plenty of TVs the online retail giant is looking to sell cheap. If you’re an Amazon Prime Member, you’ll have access to exclusive sales, preferred rates, and more.
November/December: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day are also great opportunities to look for a new TV. Online and brick-and-mortar retailers love advertising deals, and the increased competition on flyers and on Amazon means you can find quick deals with limited inventory. Planning with the right tools and comparison shopping will help you nail down the perfect set for your home.
Websites to find the best TV deals
Amazon, BestBuy and Walmart are often home to great sales and last-minute deals all year round. Download the Flipp app to comparison shop specific TV models across multiple flyers, plus, bookmark Yahoo Lifestyle Canada as we often round up top tech deals, among fashion, lifestyle, and more.
Our top picks — and things to look out for
4K, or Ultra HD, refers to the technology that’s four-times the resolution of standard 1080p resolution. This means you’ll get an ultra crisp picture quality perfect for high-action sports and cinematic movies, but is reliant of the content source. You’ll need content in 4K resolution from your cable or satellite provider, an Ultra HD subscription from your streaming provider (i.e. Netflix), or ability to upscale content from standard HD to Ultra HD.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $430
SHOP IT: Amazon, $1,798
HDR, Also known as High Dynamic Range, aims to improve the range of colours and hues to appear more vividly on your screen. Darker hues appear richer, while vibrant hues like grass pop out on your screen. You’ll also see this technology described as Dolby Vision, HDR10, or HLG — all are variations of the HDR technology.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $350
SHOP IT: Amazon, $600
Size and smarts
This is subjective to your space and desired functionality. TVs come in a variety of sizes, but as bezels get smaller, screen sizes grow larger. LED and OLED TVs come from as small as 40 inches to pushing 100 inches. Average TVs in a living room vary anywhere from 50 inches to 65 inches for comfortable viewing, and OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) technology is sold at a premium cost. OLED produces light without backlighting, allowing displays to be even thinner. Meanwhile LCDs (Liquid Crystal Display) are a way to reduce the cost of your investment. Most TVs today come with some smart platform built in like Roku or Amazon Fire TV, but if you already have a third-party device like an Apple TV, the platform will be less important to you.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $930
SHOP IT: Amazon, $2,198
Ports and inputs
This is where you think about what devices you’ll be plugging into your TV. Take account of your peripheral technology like cable/satellite boxes, sound bars, streaming devices, and cameras. These all take up ports on the back of your TV, and as displays get thinner, manufacturers are reducing the number of ports in favour of a more minimalist design. Make sure the TV you purchase can accommodate your devices.
Finally, think about sound. TVs are often putting less importance on sound as people invest in sound bars. Those who do emphasize on unique sound technology come at a premium cost, so you may opt to purchase a sound bar to save money but not compromise on sound. These either plug into a digital audio port, or via an ARC-compatible HDMI port. Make sure the TV supports your existing sound bar’s technology, or if you’re purchasing a new sound bar, make sure it’s compatible with your home theatre setup and expandable to include other rooms if you’d like to stream music, podcasts, and more.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $999
SHOP IT: Amazon, $499
SHOP IT: Amazon, $270