This post was sponsored by Samsung as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
This Smart TV Buying Guide is things I learned when we decided to ditch cable and save money. Buying a smart TV can be confusing if you are not up on all the hype and lingo, so I'm going to break down the most important things you need to consider for when buying a new smart TV for your home. You might be surprised to find out where I found the best price on mine. I bet it's a place you regularly shop!
Why a Smart TV is Better than a Non-Smart TV.
You can make any TV smart by plugging in a Roku Box or Amazon Fire Stick, but these can cost extra and make one more thing you have to find room for. Smart TV's have all the apps built in for Amazon Prime Streaming, Netflix, Hulu, and more. You can access them right from your remote. Many Smart TV's will also allow you to access the internet. You can purchase an inexpensive wireless keyboard and easily get on the internet from your TV so it can double as a computer. Why would you want that you ask? Well, it's come in handy for us doing homework with our kids, looking at things online together instead of crowded around a small computer and for viewing photos together.
Size – In this case, bigger is better. Measure to see what the largest size TV you can get for your entertainment center or space and go with that. TV screen sizes are measured on the diagonal so you will start in the top left corner and measure to the bottom right corner or vice versa for screen size. I recommend a minimum size of at least 40 inches for a bedroom TV and at least 55 inches for a living room or main TV, however, 65 inches or larger is best. If that sounds too big and you are just not sure. There is a formula based on distance for the perfect size TV to purchase as well. Multiply the distance of your seating from where the TV will sit (in inches or centimeters) by 0.84. This gets you the recommended screen diagonal for the best cinematic experience.
4K and HDR Do you really need it – There are a very minimal amount of shows in 4K and HDR available, so if you are a regular Joe then this is not important. It sounds good but is not really that necessary as of now. TVs with 4K resolution, also known as UHD (Ultra High Definition) TVs, have four times as many pixels as standard 1080p resolution TVs. If you compare them in person you won't see that much of a difference in the quality of the picture because the show you are watching has to be in 4K for you to see any difference. 4K TVs are cheaper to make, so the prices are coming down. HDR delivers better contrast and color if it's HDR content only. Most smart TV's now are HDR compatible, so you are not actually paying more to get this feature.
Number of Connections – Most smart TV's come with built in Wifi and if you are going to access the smart apps. You won't need to put in a plug in device for this capability. If you are hooking up a Roku device, a Blu-Ray Player, computer keyboard or anything else to your TV with an HDMI cable you need to know how many HDMI inputs you need and make sure the TV you choose has enough. You will see lots of price ranges in High-Speed HDMI cables, but the cheapest is all you need paying more for a High-Speed HDMI cable will not improve your picture quality.
“All High-Speed HDMI cables will support 4K functionality when connected to 4K devices. You can use your existing High-Speed HDMI cables or choose a different cable type.” – HDMI.org
Picture Quality – This to me is one of the most important things when looking for any TV. When you walk into a Walmart go back to the electronics department and stand back to look at which TV you feel has the clearest picture with the best quality. We always go through this process when buying a new TV and always end up buying a Samsung. In my opinion there picture quality for the price is the best of both worlds. You can read every review in the world but it's your TV, and it should be the picture you like the most in the end.
Read the Reviews – Once I had settled on the pricing at Walmart for the TV's we were comparing I read the ratings and reviews. These are very informative and will give you a clearer picture of the things that are important to you. Just be careful to take some of the negative reviews with a grain of salt and weigh the good with the bad. One bad review on a topic may be outweighed with 10 good. Go for a brand that you know has been around for a long time with good service and quality. This is not an item you want to skimp on since you will have it around for years to come. The last flat screen TV we purchased was a Samsung, and we've had it for 10 years now. We've never had a problem with it, and the picture is still as great as the day we took it out of the box.
Price – Shop around for the best price. Replacing our dinosaur TV for a Smart TV and ditching our cable will pay us back for our new TV in just four months. I am an avid price shopper when it comes to big purchases. I will spend hours if necessary to make sure that we get the best deal. We found the best price at Walmart.What? I know I shop at Walmart 3-4 times a month! Our Samsung 50″ LED TV was extremly reasonable. You can see Walmart's current offers on all their Samsung Smart TV's HERE. With tax refund season coming up it's the perfect time to get your Smart TV.
- The model we bought doubles as a computer and a Smart TV. We are able to get Sling, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube and more right from the TV's built-in Smart Hub with no extra plugins or boxes.
- It has a 1920 x 1080 resolution for the best picture available
- It allows us to share media from various compatible devices like our photos or videos on our phones and tablets.
- The picture is 2X clearer than standard HDTVs and has a wide color enhancer for better color from edge to edge on the screen. It has backlit technology which gives a much better picture and performs better than edge lit technology.
- It has an Eco Sensor that adjusts brightness to the room so whether it's day or night, you will get the best picture.
- The price was unbeatable. Our 50″ TV cost us the same amount as 2 months of our bundled cable and wifi bill. We've ditched the cable and shopped around for a better wifi deal so really we got a new TV and made money.
This TV went in our bedroom but we also scored a great price on a sound bar with subwoofer for our living room TV to replace our Jurassic era stereo speakers!
If you have a question about a Smart TV that I have not answered here, leave me a comment and I'll answer it for you!