When is the best time to buy a TV?

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  • The best times to buy a TV are Black Friday and around the Super Bowl. 
  • That’s when many TV makers and retailers launch sales to clear out inventory before the spring launch cycle.  
  • Check out our guide to the best TV deals and best cheap TVs. 

Buying a new TV can feel like a daunting task. There are a lot of different models, and sales seemingly happen every week. How do you know when it is the right time to get the best deal on a new TV?

Our team has covered TVs and home entertainment for years, and have figured out the best times to get the lowest prices. Below, we break down the best time to shop for a TV, when to expect new TV launches, and what to consider when buying a new TV. 

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Black Friday

Black Friday is usually the best time of the year to buy a TV. It is the first time that new models  see major discounts, making it the perfect time to buy for those looking to score a great deal that also want the latest tech. Black Friday deals are also no longer confined to a single day, as many retailers have ongoing online sales that can last into the week and into Cyber Monday.  

This is the time when major retailers aggressively compete with each other for consumer dollars, which means that pricing, especially online, can shift throughout the day as various outlets react in real-time to competitors’ pricing. Price matching guarantees proliferate in this environment, making it easier for gift card recipients to get the best deals at their preferred location. 

One word of caution, however: It is always a good idea to do a little research before jumping on a deal, especially during Black Friday. Sometimes retailers will advertise big Black Friday discounts, when in reality the pricing isn’t far from off from what it has been for months. The website camelcamelcamel.com is a great way to quickly verify a deal, as it tracks a product’s price on Amazon throughout the year. This way, you can see if a product is actually heavily discounted, or if it has been hovering close to the same price for a while. 

The Super Bowl

The big game traditionally means big savings on TVs. These sales often start during the playoffs in January and lead up to the Super Bowl in early February. This means t fans can still watch their team in the playoffs on a brand new TV, even if they don’t make it all the way to the championship. 

 By this point, most manufacturers are already looking at releasing their new models in the coming months, and are trying to clear out the stock from the previous year. This meshes nicely with Americans’ desire to watch the biggest game of year on a new TV set. Overall, this is one of the best times to get deep discounts on still-current models.

When new TVs are usually released

New TV models are typically released during the spring of each year. Some manufacturers start their product rollout in March, while others drop models in April and May. 

Shoppers looking for the latest and greatest can expect to pay full price for these units, though it is important to note that most new models only feature modest upgrades from those in the previous year. Picking up a brand new, full-priced TV is really only best for those willing to pay more for a specific upgrade, such as improved brightness. Even then, it might be worth waiting for a few months to read reviews of the product before jumping on a purchase. 

For those interested in getting steep discounts, spring offers many closeout deals on models from the previous year. The NCAA basketball tournament, also known as March Madness, is a good time to start looking for these discounts, though the closeouts can continue to roll on throughout the spring and into the summer as different manufacturers release their new TV lineup.

How to buy a TV

Here are some of the key factors to consider when shopping for a new TV.

Display: The best displays on high-end TVs use an OLED panel, which stands for organic light emitting diode. These panels use self-illuminating screens rather than LED backlighting, which results in better contrast and viewing angles as well as true black tones and more even lighting. 

These premium TVs are usually expensive and are best suited for a home theater setup. LED panels with features like quantum dots and local dimming are also a good choice for buyers who want the best picture quality. These sets can’t match the contrast of an OLED, but they can get even brighter.

Those looking for a more casual viewing experience can opt for a smaller screen with a budget-friendly LED panel. Even entry-level TVs offer 4K displays, which means that it is possible to get a sharp TV without spending tons of money. Of course, these TVs might not feature the greatest brightness and contrast of more expensive models, but they are often more than enough for movie nights and console gaming.

HDR Format: High Dynamic Range (HDR) is an image technology that is featured on many 4K TV displays, 4K streaming options, and 4K Blu-ray disks. HDR enhances images so that they appear brighter, with more color and deeper contrast than ever before. However, there are three different HDR formats – HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision – and not every TV supports all three.

This means that you can have a TV with HDR, but still not be able to get the best HDR quality from a specific source. When buying a TV with HDR, make sure that it supports the format that you use the most. 

Connectivity: It is important to be able to connect all of your devices to your new TV. Gaming consoles, such as the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, each need their own HDMI port to connect to the TV, as do Roku players and other streaming boxes. The more HDMI ports the TV has, the better. 

It is also important to find out what kind of HDMI is supported by the TV. HDMI 2.0 is capable of streaming in 4k at 60Hz, while the newer HDMI 2.1 standard supports next-generation gaming features such as 4K at 120Hz, and variable refresh rate (VRR).

Smart TV Platform: These days, most TVs come with some smart capabilities. Unfortunately, content on various smart platforms can differ dramatically. For example, Spectrum TV customers can find the Spectrum TV app on Samsung Smart TVs, but not on ones made by LG or Sony. LG TVs also don’t support HBO Max. It is important to find a platform that offers all of the channels you want.

Of course, you can also purchase a separate streaming player to connect to your TV if you don’t mind spending a little extra money. Streaming devices also generally offer better performance and are easily upgradeable. 

Extra Features: It’s a good idea to check what other extra features the TV offers. Does it have a voice-controlled remote? What about Alexa, or Google Assistant? Does it offer Airplay compatibility? These features will probably not make-or-break a purchase, but are good to know about, especially when you are trying to get the best deal for yourself or your family.

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