Get the right TV from Marks Electrical

Struggling to find the perfect TV? It’s important to make sure that the television you decide on fits your home and entertainment needs, including screen size, type and resolution.

We’ve created this guide to explain the differences you can expect to find between televisions and some of the factors to consider when narrowing down your choice. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via connect@markselectrical.co.uk.

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CHOOSE THE PERFECT TV

Screen Size

The first decision to make is the size of your screen. A television’s screen size is the measured distance from one corner of the screen to the opposite corner, excluding the surrounding bezel.

Depending on the layout and available space you have, the size of your TV screen will change your viewing experience dramatically. A larger screen will offer more immersion and will be most suited to a home cinema setup – the large profile can, however, overcrowd smaller rooms and make for uncomfortable viewing if too close.

Smaller screens are more convenient and can be comfortably viewed at closer distances, but will lack the impact that a larger screen has. As with any TV, the closer you can comfortably sit the better, as to capture more detail in scenes and make the most of high definition content, but below you’ll find our guidelines on how far to sit in a standard setting.


Screen size guide

Recomended TV Viewing Distances

1080p HDTV

When viewing a 1080p HDTV, you want to be sat roughly equal to 2.5 times the size of your screen away for an optimal experience. This provides the best balance of immersion, quality and comfort when viewing high definition content.


Screen Size (Inches) 1080p HDTV Viewing Distance
19" - 31" 1.2m - 1.9m
32" - 39" 2.0m - 2.5m
40" - 45" 2.6m - 2.8m
46" - 55" 2.9m - 3.5m
56" - 65" 3.6m - 4.1m

Full HD viewing distance graph

4K Ultra HD TV

You might think you would want to sit further away from a UHD TV, but the opposite is in fact true. The increased pixel density means that at closer distances the picture remains crisp and detailed, allowing you to sit closer without reduced quality. We recommend to sit roughly equal to 1.5 times the size of your screen away for best viewing.


Screen Size (Inches) 4K Ultra HD TV Viewing Distance
40" - 45" 1.5m - 1.7m
46" - 55" 1.8m - 2.1m
56" - 65" 2.2m - 2.5m
66" - 88" 2.6m - 3.3m


WHAT IS 4K ULTRA HD?

4K Ultra HD TVs

Quickly becoming the standard resolution for TVs to be manufactured at, 4K Ultra HD resolution consists of 4 times the number of pixels of 1080p Full HD. The vastly increased pixel density allows for far more detail in content that outputs in 4K, with less noticeable pixelation on images and an overall improved level of quality.

If you’re looking for the best picture technology available, a 4K television is a must-have to ensure you’re ready for future content.

Browse our range of advanced 4K Ultra HD TVs

Upscaling

A feature of most mid and high-range 4K Ultra HD televisions, an upscaling feature works to analyse and adjust any content being output below 4K resolutions, actively improving contrast, clarity and overall quality. Each manufacturer uses different methods to achieve this technique and the results can vary between brands. If you watch a lot of sub-4K content, ensure that your chosen TV has upscaling features to get the best quality possible.



HD Ready & Full HD

HD Ready is a near-high definition format that outputs content at 720p resolution, offering an improved picture quality over standard resolution. Full HD outputs at a 1080p resolution and is capable of displaying high definition content in full. Full HD is the current industry standard resolution, with many broadcasts and peripherals (such as Blu-ray or games consoles) delivering high definition content.

Full HD TVs are superb choices for anyone who is a big gamer (current-generation consoles output at 1080p) or doesn’t seek to upgrade to 4K resolution just yet.



LED or OLED

LED

The majority of televisions use LED (light-emitting diode) displays to create the picture we see. They are efficient, affordable and easy to manufacture, making them a superb candidate for mid-range televisions. LED panels do often suffer from increased motion blur in comparison to other types, but efforts have been made to keep blurring to an absolute minimum.

Browse our range of LED TVs
LED TV

OLED

OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs are mostly manufactured by LG at this point in time, though some other brands have put OLED televisions to market in the past. OLED differs in that each LED is self-emissive, meaning that it creates its own source of light – individual LEDs can be turned on and off as needed, resulting in black levels that are unattainable by competing screen technologies. OLED is a superior technology over LED, but the complex manufacturing process pushes costs to higher levels.

Browse our range of OLED TVs
OLED TV

Viewing Angles

The viewing angle of a television is dictated by the type and quality of the display used, with a theoretical maximum viewing angle of 180° - no television can realistically meet that figure, but many TVs now utilise specific technologies to ensure that picture quality isn’t compromised by watching from an off-centre location.


Couple watching Netflix in 4K

Curved Screen

Curved displays intend to provide added immersion when watching content through the naturally-curved screen. Designed to mimic human peripheral sight, on-screen images ‘wrap’ to our vision in a much more natural way than a flat image, resulting in a more immersive experience.

Curved screens are ideal for a dedicated home cinema, but can be detrimental when viewed from multiple angles in a large social gathering – viewing angles are reduced due to the curve of the display.




WHAT IS HDR TV?

HDR

HDR (abbreviated from High Dynamic Range) is a content format that is set to redefine image quality and could be one of the largest leaps in visual fidelity since the jump to high definition.


Content shown in HDR will appear richer and more vibrant, with vastly improved contrast and brightness in images. This is thanks to the larger amount of picture information that is transmitted to the television – TVs must be capable of receiving, interpreting and accurately displaying the increased signal to be deemed HDR compatible.


Not all HDR television are equal, however, so the Ultra HD Premium rating has been created by the UHD Alliance to create an industry standard. If you’re unsure whether a TV is truly capable of delivering HDR content, look for the Ultra HD Premium logo (as shown).


Ultra HD Premium logo


Ultra HD Premium

The Ultra HD Premium specification sets a standard of quality televisions must meet to be awarded the logo. There are a number of areas TVs must excel at to ensure they can display HDR content in full.


  • 3840 x 2160 (or greater) resolution: Displays must output at a minimum resolution of 3840 x 2160, more commonly known as 4K Ultra HD.
  • 10-bit colour depth: TVs must be capable of processing and displaying 10-bit colour signals, which equates to over 1 billion unique colours. In comparison, the current standard of 8-bit colour only shows around 16 million colours.
  • BT.2020 colour representation: This signal input method alters from what is used on Full HD televisions, allowing for yet more colour variation and a wider gamut.
  • 90% P3 colour representation: Ultra HD Premium TVs must be able to display 90% or more of the RGB colour space.
  • Peak brightness and black levels: Displays must be able to reach either 1,000 nits brightness and 0.05 nits black or 540 nits brightness and 0.0005 nits black to meet criteria.

Once a television has been tested and shown to meet all the above specifications, it will be granted the Ultra HD Premium logo as a sign of true HDR capability.




DISCOVER SMART TV

Smart TVs

Any television that is capable of connecting to the internet and providing additional functions can be considered a Smart TV. Realistically, however, a Smart TV in 2016 will be geared with a host of enriching features.



Typical features include access to on-demand content (through either content stores from the manufacturer or apps from various providers), social media functions (such as Facebook and Twitter), internet browsing, and instant messaging. Certain brands of televisions even come with additional features to give you more control – LG, for example, has a motion-controlled remote that makes navigation intuitive.

They have been designed to help you make the most out of your home entertainment – sleek interfaces (unique to each manufacturer) that are simple to use, a range of services to provide alternatives to traditional scheduled programming and an overall more robust user experience with your TV.

See all Smart TV's

Total Control with Smart Remotes

To keep up with the advancing technology of Smart TV, the classic remote has undergone a number of improvements. Though features vary between manufacturers, many now offer motion, gesture, voice and touch control – intuitive control to make new technology that much simpler.


Smart Remote

Considerations

While Smart TV is a superb addition to any home, there are some caveats to think about. Firstly, you will need a consistent internet connection to make use of the features; most TVs are equipped with built-in WiFi, but some may require connection via an Ethernet cable.

Furthermore, internet speed is a big factor to how successfully you can stream high definition or Ultra HD 4K content, so it’s important to be sure you have a fast enough connection to support what you want from your Smart TV.

There is no set standard for how a Smart platform should look or operate, so you may find that you prefer certain manufacturers for their implementation of Smart TV. Additionally, certain apps, such as Netflix, require a subscription to function correctly – make sure you are comfortable footing the added cost of features you don’t already have.


Stream content from wireless devices to your Smart TV


Sound Quality

As efforts have gone into creating slimmer, more affordable televisions that scale with the increasing demands of Ultra HD quality, HDR content and Smart functions, one area of the entertainment experience has taken a downtrend in quality – sound. Powerful speakers and subwoofers take up a fair amount of room that the current designs simply cannot afford, meaning that audio quality is often not as impressive as the picture quality.

While not every TV suffers from this problem, even a quality set of built-in speakers won’t match up to a dedicated audio system. Below are some great options to give your home entertainment setup a bit more punch.


Sound Base

A sound base is designed to be placed on a flat surface, supporting the TV above it. They are perfect for an entertainment centre that is struggling for space – simply place it where you TV normally sits and place your television on top. Additionally, sound bases often have built-in subwoofers, giving you stronger bass response for a fully-formed sound.

Sound Bar

The most direct upgrade for your TV is a quality sound bar. Positioned below your television itself, a sound bar will produce room-filling sound with more clarity, precision and tone than TV speakers will be able to. They look incredibly stylish and don’t take up a great deal of room, so you won’t have to drastically alter your configuration to install a sound bar. Sound bars can typically lack the power to drive really convincing bass tones, so a subwoofer can go a long way to rounding out the soundstage.

These are perfect for improving your experience without making any large changes.

Home Cinema System

A home cinema system offers game-changing audio, with multiple speakers and subwoofer combined in one large room-wide array. Speakers are typically situated throughout the room, providing you with true surround sound experiences that can’t be matched in other audio technologies.

Home cinema systems are incredibly powerful and will deliver potent audio when it counts. The required installation and space can be a deterrent, so be sure you have locations to place all the speakers.



FAQs

What is the difference between Freesat and Freeview?

Both Freesat and Freeview are free-to-air services that provide you with a host of channels to watch on your TV. The difference lies in the method of broadcast and the available channels.

Freesat uses satellites to deliver content, providing good coverage and reception throughout the UK. There is a great deal of channels available, including a selection of high definition channels too.

Freeview broadcasts via plugging into your TV aerial. The content selection isn’t quite as robust as Freesat but is nonetheless a superb free offering that’s easy to install and use.


Which brand should I choose?

Every brand of TV offers something different. The best method of choosing is to try them out yourself, explore the Smart TV platforms, review the picture technology in use, and see which you feel fits your home the best. Television technology has come so far that it’s difficult to give a clear winner to any of the current dominant brands.


Do I need a Smart TV to enjoy on-demand content?

No, you don’t need a Smart TV to get on-demand content from the comfort of your living room. There are many devices, such as games consoles or set-top boxes, that can also provide Smart features for your TV.

With that said, the convenience and robust nature of Smart TV platforms from top brands, such as LG, Samsung and Sony, housed directly in your television save on the need for additional peripherals.


Should I buy a Full HD or 4K Ultra HD TV?

This largely depends on what content you consume. If you watch a lot of scheduled programming, a Full HD TV is a superb choice. There are currently very few 4K TV channels broadcasting yet (except for sport!), so you won’t gain a huge benefit watching on a 4K Ultra HD TV, outside of any upscaling features at work.

If you are a fan of films, football, on-demand services or the latest technology, a 4K television is the best pick. As they are often newer models, access to the latest connectivity, including HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0, ensures that new gadgets are fully compatible in the future. Additionally, on-demand providers are already starting to stream 4K content as a part of certain packages.


What TV is best for gaming?

It is best to pick a television that has a lower input lag rating for gaming use – the less input lag a TV has, the quicker inputs from your controller are shown on-screen, giving you more precision.

We test our televisions for their gaming performance using a Leo Bodnar Input Lag Tester. See our Gaming TV page for more information about choosing a TV for gaming, as well as our handpicked selection of the best models.