Now that you see Black Friday ads forand hear of the best prices you may be tempted to upgrade the old one.
After all, televisions have become really good. A performance that we could only dream of a few years ago is commonplace today. Cheap TVs look good; High-end TVs look great. They are also easier to use as smart TV apps can be loaded and navigated quickly. Oh yeah, and they're all Smart TVs now with built-in access to 4K and
And yes, let's talk about 4K and HDR. Although the additional 4K resolution is not critical to overall image quality, the additional color and dynamic range of HDR and thecan produce an image that is far more realistic than what used to be.
So the question is: is it time for an upgrade?
The case against
If you like your TV and it still works, do not update it. Despite all the excitement about 4K,and so forth, nothing will happen in the near future that will prevent your TV from functioning exactly as it is now. Well, I mean, it could break, but other than that. Although there are current and upcoming formats that will not work on an older TV, the "standard" is still 1080p.
Although a new TV is offering all sorts of upgrades that we will discuss shortly, you do not need to upgrade unless you want to do so.
And if you're trying to upgrade just because the Smart TV system in your current TV is slow and outdated, you could buy this for a lot less than a new TV. Just add a decent media streamer –.
The case for
Plasma TVs offer best picture quality for years. They looked awesome: deep black, bright lights, sharp movement.. They are able to produce dark blacks while producing much brighter highlights. Their is significantly better than the best plasma TV. I say that as a longtime fan of plasma televisions.
Added to this is the broad color space. Modern OLEDs can reproduce a much wider color palette, making their image more vivid and realistic.
Even LCDs that have long been lamented for their poor image quality have evolved considerably. Thanks to technologies such asLCDs can produce much brighter images with a much wider range of colors. In conjunction with this can produce a far more realistic picture than was previously possible.
Local dimming itself is now much more common. Here, the TV can dim the brightness of certain areas of the screen far more than is possible with a non-local, dimmable LCD. The result is a greater contrast ratio and a better overall picture. Without local dimming.
One area in which image quality has declined somewhat is motion resolution. If something moves quickly on the screen, eg. For example, if a running athlete is filming, or if the entire image is filming like a quick pan, the image may blur. In the past, PDPs handled this quite well and kept a lot of detail despite all the movements. LCDs did not do that well and most of the time still did not. Even the current versions of OLED not.
There are two main ways to combat this and most televisions have one or both. The first is the oft-popular, often hated. In this case, the TV adds extra pictures to the video, making the motion very smooth. Less like a movie and more like a soap opera. This feature can be disabled on almost any TV. The other is called where a black or dimmed frame is inserted between the original video frames. In general, modern televisions are bright enough and the processing for this function has progressed so far that the result does not flicker like older televisions with this function.
Finally, the usefulness of televisions has improved significantly overall. Televisions usually turn on faster, apps load faster, and there's less waiting time for the TV to do what you asked.
So … should you?
If you like your TV, do not worry about upgrading until it breaks. If you've had one of the last few years of plasma televisions (like 2011-2014), you're likely to notice an improvement in image quality, though this may not be as strong as others. And with others, I mean those with nonlocal, dimmable HD LCDs or older plasmas. If you own one of these TVs, you will notice the biggest improvement in picture quality. Much better color, contrast and brightness, especially if you opt for OLED.
You have a question for Geoff? First, look at all the other articles in which he has written on issues such as why all HDMI cables are the same, the resolution of the TV, LED LCDs or OLEDs, and more.
Do you have a question? Tweet him @TechWriterGeoff then take a look at his travel photography on Instagram. He also thinks you should look at his bestselling science fiction novel and its sequel.