What the Tech? Super Bowl TVs

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(ABC 6 News) – Everywhere you look there’s another advertisement for blowout sales on big-screen TVs. It’s the Super Bowl effect. Football fans want to watch the big game on the biggest screen they can find and afford (and fit in their home).

If you haven’t purchased a television in the last 4 years you may be a little confused when you walk into an electronics store or shop online. There’s a whole new alphabet for today’s TVs. Things like 4K, 8K, OLED, QLED, and ULED. What does it all mean? 4K is the norm now and plenty of pixels for most unless you’re building a home theater in which you may prefer to pay a lot more for an 8K television. The ‘k’ is simply referencing how many pixels are displayed on the screen. What’s more important is how those pixels work. There are two primary technologies available. OLED, and QLED. QLED is the most advanced version of LCD technology. “LEDs” stand for ‘light emitting diodes’ and refers to the function of a thin layer of quantum dots that act as a filter between the LED backlight and the screen. QLED TVs have bright, vivid, and saturated colors. OLED TVs, according to Dalton Rigby of Electronics Express, present the best true colors of any TV ever.

“Essentially, most LCD TVs have a backlit screen as opposed to LEDs,” Rigby explains. “OLED does not. Instead, it has over 8 million individual pixels that turn on and turn off to create that backlight. They call them self-lit pixels. When they’re on you get a beautiful bright saturated picture like you see here. When they’re off, you get the deepest darkest blacks you can get on tv. Night scenes look much better on an OLED TV and that technology is best for people who watch movies in a home theater setup.

Rigby says an OLED TV might not be best depending on where you want to put it.

“There’s going to be a lot of glare. It’s going to be noticeable on the screen if, say for instance, you’re going to put it in a sunroom or something and OLED would not do very well,” he said.

 Everyone wants a big screen, but a 70-85 inch TV may be overkill in small rooms. While it’s personal preference, experts say if you sit less than 8 feet away from the TV, you probably only need a 60″ screen. Rigby says, 80″ screens and even larger, are best for big rooms for a big crowd. “If you have a big living room with vaulted ceilings. 85″ could be absolutely perfect. If you’ve got a big sectional sofa, maybe 8-10 feet away from the TV, it’s going to be an amazing viewing experience.” While it’s hard to picture the size of a TV in your room without taking it home, you can get some idea by using the Amazon app to find the size you’re considering and “view in your room” which uses augmented reality to show the TV on your wall from where you normally sit.

The last thing to consider: is framerate. If you’re a gamer or watch a lot of sports, the higher the frame rate, labeled “hertz” on TV descriptions, the better the experience.

“If you’re playing a game and it’s a faced paced first-person shooter on a 60-hertz frame, it’s not going to look right. On 120 hertz, it’s going to look fluid, it’s gonna look fast-packed, it’s going to be seamless almost.”

 Expect to pay $1,000-$2,000 for a high-quality QLED TV from Sony, SAMSUNG, and LG while a 77″ OLED television from SAMSUNG is about $5,000. Rigby went on to say that lower-end UHD and ULED TVs from Hisense and TCL are generally fine for bedrooms and patios but for a true home theater experience, LG, Sony, and Samsung models are the best choice.