Eyeing up a new television in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales? We wouldn’t blame you; as possibly the largest sales event of the year, it’s a time when many a would-be shopper hops off the fence and buys the gadgets they’ve been unwilling or unable to purchase at their original RRP.
There are certainly some hefty discounts to be had in the best Black Friday TV deals, though what you’re getting can vary wildly between manufacturer, price range, as well as the kind of formats and inputs compatible with the display. And it’s always worth thinking about how much of an upgrade you’re really getting.
Here are a few reasons you might consider upgrading your TV for Black Friday – as well as why you might not want to.
1. You want a bigger TV
While some of you may be perfectly content with one of those compact small TVs tucked into a spare bedroom, there’s a real appetite for bigger displays across the market. Nowadays 55-inch TVs are the standard, and 65-inch TVs are growing more popular every year.
A jump in size can make for a more impactful display, and even a small increase – say, from a 49-inch set to a 55-inch one – will make a difference. These days you can get commercial TVs in 75-inch sizes and larger, too, and many people are taking the opportunity to get bigger displays in their home, making it easier for the whole family to crowd around for post-dinner TV time – or just to show off those 4K Blu-ray movies in the setting they deserve.
It’s worth remembering, however, that size isn’t everything. A larger television doesn’t necessarily mean a better picture, and visual issues that didn’t cause you too much grief at smaller sizes can end up being magnified.
Big-screen TVs also take up more space in your home, so it’s worth thinking over how much room you have to spare before hauling a 98-inch Samsung TV up a flight of stairs.
2. You want a better smart TV platform
Every smart TV has a platform for accessing apps, inputs, and TV broadcasts – acting as a portal for you into everything your TV has to offer – but some smart platforms work better than others. Android TV can be a bit buggy, for example, while Panasonic’s MyHomeScreen platform has pretty sparse app support (despite being generally strong).
If your only problem with your current television is the smart platform, though, streaming sticks like the Fire TV Stick, Roku Ultra, or Google Chromecast offer a cost-effective way to replace it: simply plugging into an HDMI port in your television. Why buy a new TV when a $30 / £30 streaming stick will fix your problems instead?
3. You want better picture quality
If you aren’t happy with your television’s picture quality, that’s probably the best reason to upgrade. Issues like blooming around light sources, shuddering frames, or off-color pictures can ruin the TV experience, though like anything else they will bother people in differing amounts.
It’s important to make sure you aren’t getting a new television with the same issues, though. If you didn’t like the budget Hisense TV you bought during Black Friday 2015, buying a TV from the same brand at the same price point probably won’t serve your needs either. If you’re explicitly looking for a better picture, read up reviews of the TVs you’re looking at – cough, on TechRadar, cough – to make sure you’re not falling into the same trap.
4. You want a good bargain
Of course, many of you may just be looking for a good bargain. There’ll be plenty of TVs dropping hundreds of pounds, dollars or otherwise in price, and there probably won’t be better chance to get a half-price LCD TV, or a decent saving on an OLED TV instead.
We recommend knowing your budget in advance, so you don’t get waylaid by a good deal that’s still a touch out of your price range, but if a discount is what you’re after, they shouldn’t be in short supply.
Keep in mind that replacing your TV every year – even at half price – is a lot more expensive that buying full price at less regular intervals.