A lot of people look at 4K TVs as pointless luxuries. Some don’t see them as being much better than some of their predecessors or enduring, cheaper competitors. Articles were written even back when 4K TVs were new suggesting they were “stupid” or overpriced. And really, at the price of some of these televisions (anywhere from £300 to £2,200 or more), it’s easy to talk yourself into a more essential purchase.
All of those arguments are understandable to a degree (except perhaps the one that these astoundingly sharp TVs are somehow “stupid”). But in making my own decision to upgrade to a 4K TV, I decided to do away with the comparisons and price nit-picking and instead make it a matter of mindset. That is to say, I thought about what I’d really get from this purchase and how it would impact my home and lifestyle. From that experience, here are some tips about how to make a high-quality 4K TV worth your while (and your money).
Think of it as Furniture
There are a lot of furniture decisions you might make over the years that seem more like necessities than luxuries. You might replace your living room couches when the time comes. You might buy that comfortable lounge chair or office desk you’ve always wanted. You might buy an ornate ottoman simply because you want one, or pay for a friend skilled in woodworking to craft you a one-of-a-kind end table. These are all pieces that tie your rooms together and positively impact your home environment.
You know what else does that? A big, beautiful, modern television. Once upon a time, a TV was not a particularly attractive electrical appliance so much as a clunky box like entertainment piece. But now? Most high-end 4K TVs are rather stunning in their simple beauty, and they can serve as centrepieces balancing out rooms even when they’re not on. I’m not suggesting you get as much out of a turned-off TV as a new couch. But if you think of an investment like this as part of your home, it’s all the more worthwhile.
Focus on Affordable Acquisition
Don’t operate on a strict budget if you’re buying a 4K television but keep it affordable. These are luxury items, and you should be prepared to spend for quality. Personally, I find the £1,000 or more price level to be well worth it. But I am telling you not to spend needlessly — which means watching for sale prices and/or affordable shipping methods (given that we’re not exactly shopping much in stores these days).
My hot tip here is to keep an eye out for low-cost or free retail delivery from larger stores, as opposed to TV or electronics specialist boutiques. A high-end electronics store will often have the very best TVs in stock, but may not have a large enough business to help you out much with sales, discounts, or free shipping. On the other hand, larger retail outfits often have the very same TVs, and will offer quick, free shipping and occasional coupon codes. So while you should again be ready to spend for quality, there are a few ways to knock off unnecessary costs simply by shopping carefully.
Consider Your Activity
This seems basic, but in talking to friends and reading reviews while I was picking out my own 4K TV (a wall-mounted LG OLED 65-inch Smart TV), I was surprised how many people simply hadn’t seemed to consider what they’d use it for. Some seemed underwhelmed almost as if they’d expected the TV itself to present new entertainment options — rather than just make existing ones better.
So ask the simple questions. Do you watch a lot of films? Do you really watch them, with the lights off and your phone put away? Do you binge television shows or rely on a lot of sports viewing? Are you an avid gamer? If you answer yes to even one or two of those, you’ll get a lot out of a 4K TV. On the other hand, if you mostly have your TV on to listen to daytime news anchors drone on in the background while you do other things, or to half-watch the occasional evening sitcom, you might not really need one!
Finally, just consider how long this investment will pay off for you. We can’t always look into the future with regard to tech, but at least for the time being it’s a safe assumption that a 4K TV will remain a top-of-the-line machine for several years. Early assessments of 8K suggest a marginal improvement at best. Content presentation isn’t about to surpass 4K capabilities. And despite whispers of a 3D comeback, I’d bet heavily against worthwhile 3D televisions rolling out any time in the near future.
Overall, a 4K TV is going to continue to be a competitive, impressive, highly satisfying home addition for at least a few years to come.
Imagery courtesy of Loewe Technologies/Unsplash.