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Black Friday 2018 TVs: Why the cheapest are not so cheap



We saw amazing television prices on Black Friday. Big 4K TVs, probably HDR, at lower prices than ever before.

Walmart sells a 40-inch TV for $ 100. Target has a 55 incher for $ 200. Best Buy sells a huge 70-inch television for $ 700. And that's just the beginning.

The prices are certainly impressive, but that does not mean the TVs will have a good value .


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Do not waste your money on these Black Friday TV offerings …



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Often cheap TVs are just that: cheap. Low-cost sets without the features or image quality of their more expensive competitors may be a bargain, but are not a good place to invest your money. After all, most people keep their TVs for 5 or 10 years.

The low prices of these televisions should make you more careful more not less. Handle these TV sales carefully and separately from the price.

Therefore The CNET list of TV Deals of Black Friday 2018 is divided into two parts: the best and the cheapest. The first part covers the television, where our reviewer David Katzmaier vouch for the image quality and . The second part refers to televisions he has not tested, but he assumes that they will not boost the picture quality of those recommended by him.

In view of this, the following points are to be considered seductively favorable TV.

Attention: & # 39; Fake & # 39; HDR

Fake High Dynamic Range (HDR) is currently one of the biggest problems in the TV world. Reading Displaying HDR and Correctly HDR are two very different things. It is easy for a TV to read HDR metadata and claims it is "HDR compatible". But without local dimming the TV can not show this HDR data. Basically, it's like someone is reading you a description of a picture. You get the idea, but you will not see it.

More information about this marketing lie can be found here: Why not all HDR on televisions are the same .

Attention: Fake Refresh Rates

With LCD televisions, higher refresh rates can reduce the perception of motion blur, as is the case when blurring the pixels. This is a problem with all LCD televisions and the current OLED versions. However, not everyone sees or is disturbed by it.

The problem is that most manufacturers are a bit, say " creative " with their lists for the refresh rate. You could say "Motion Rate 120" or "SRR240Hz" or another marketing term to describe what your TV is doing. Many of them are actually no higher refresh rate. They only process tricks or, if you are lucky, black frame (which can be good in some cases). If it is a cheap TV, is not but actually 100 or 120 Hz, which means that the time lapse becomes blurred.

For more information, see The Truth About Refresh Rates of Ultra HD 4K TVs .

Attention: Sparse connections

How many HDMI ports do you need? More importantly, how many Ultra HD HDMI connections do you need? If you have more than one source (4K), make sure each input of your TV has HDMI 2.0 or higher and has HDCP 2.2 . If you do not find this information in the datasheet, be careful. If there is no HDCP 2.2 for the connection, you will not be able to see a 4K source.

Beware: not so smart TV

Most major TV companies and brands like Roku have a tight grip on the whole thing of smart TV. Off-brands may not be. This is not a big deal, since media streamers are inexpensive and great, but if you expect a high quality streaming experience, you may not get it. You may not get all the streaming services you want. Everything has Netflix, not everything Amazon, Vudu, Hulu and so on. For example, TVs with built-in Chromecast require you to use your phone and not always stream Amazon videos.

  Tcl-P Series Roku TV

Sarah Tew / CNET

Attention: Shop only by brand

There are several lesser-known brands that make fantastic TVs. TCL has been outstanding lately. Just because they are not as well-known as Samsung or Sony does not necessarily mean you have to delete them from your list. However, an unknown brand can not receive the same warranty or repair if needed.

During Black Friday, well-known brands like Samsung and LG often sell their cheapest models at prices far below expectations. Much is fine, but some may not offer the same image quality or features as a lesser known brand like TCL or Vizio – both regularly run the money on CNET's list of the best TVs. In other words, even on Black Friday, the brand of a television should not be the sole determining factor.

And on the other hand, there are many trademarks, of which you may know that they are nothing more than the name of a formerly large company. For years, Chinese companies have been buying the hallmarks of once-established companies. Polaroid, Kodak, and many others have little or no relationship with the companies you once knew. They are Chinese manufacturers who seek the fame of a once-great brand. These are not necessarily bad, but do not let the name fool you.

But if you insist …

Here's the thing: If you're just looking for a cheap TV for a second room, sure, why not? If you really do not care what the TV looks like, sure why not? However, if you're looking forward to new TV features like HDR, the wide color gamut etc., you might be disappointed.

Black Friday Deals: See every 2018 Black Friday Deal we've found so far

Holiday Gift Guide: CNET's Complete Gift Guide, including dozens of products priced under $ 25, $ 50 and $ 100.


Do you have a question for Geoff? First, look at all the other articles he has written on topics, such as why all HDMI cables are the same, explained TV resolutions, LED LCDs or OLEDs.

Do you have a question? Tweet him @TechWriterGeoff then check out his travel photography on Instagram. He also thinks you should look at his bestselling science fiction novel and its sequel.


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