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TV Buying Guide

Treating yourself to a new TV? Or maybe you’re long overdue an upgrade? Whatever your reasons, there’s a lot of new tech and features you’ll need to wrap your head around, and our handy buying guide will help you do just that.

How to know which size is right for you 

Size is important. Your TV needs to suit your room and viewing needs, whether that’s a basic smaller model for your kitchen, or a giant screen with the latest tech for your living room. Here are a few things to consider.

What screen size should I buy?

Size is important. Your TV needs to suit your room and viewing needs, whether that’s a basic smaller model for your kitchen, or a giant screen with the latest tech for your living room. Here are a few things to consider.

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TV sizes have changed a lot. They now have much thinner bezels, meaning you get more screen size for your money. And the latest tech means TVs are getting thinner and thinner, so even the biggest screens aren’t too imposing in your home.

TVs are measured diagonally, from corner to corner, and there’s a handy formula you can use to work out the size you need.

Measure the distance between where your TV will be and where you’ll be sitting in inches. Divide this number by two for your recommended screen size. This formula can be helpful but isn’t vital. You should always choose the size that feels right for you.

Big really is better when it comes to screen size. And we recommend sizing up when choosing your next TV – Most of the best tech only comes in models that are 40” or bigger. Plus, a bigger screen means you’ll be future-proofing your set-up.

Did you know? UK households have seen a 50% increase in TV size since 2010.

Smart TV

What is a smart TV?

Most TVs are smart now, which means they can connect to your WiFi. This lets you enjoy all the entertainment that the internet has to offer, such as subscription based services like Netflix and Prime, and catch-up classics like iPlayer. Smart TVs also don’t need an additional set top box to connect to your WiFi, because everything’s built in. When you hook up the TV for the first time, usually as you go through the set-up process, you’ll be asked to connect to the internet. Make sure you have any passwords on hand to make it quick and easy.

Take a look at our great range of smart TVs

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What can I watch?

The main benefit of a smart TV is naturally the amount of entertainment on offer. With different streaming platforms popping up left, right and centre, there’s bucket loads.

Free on-demand apps

You’ll find all your classic free catch-up and on demand apps such as BBC iPlayer for the best of British drama, and ITV Hub for all those great game shows and talked about reality TV. Not to mention the great entertainment on the likes of All4, My5 and Freeview. Learn more about Freeview Play here.

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Subscription based streaming services

Looking for a bit more excitement and adventure? There’s a ton of subscription based streaming services available serving up the best in original films and binge worthy series. You’ve got your go to’s such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV and Disney +. But there’s also more independent services like BFI Player or MUBI, if you’re looking for that uncut gem.

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Smart platforms

Different manufacturers use different smart platforms to let you sift through all the great entertainment the internet has to offer. You have WebOS with LG TVs, Tizen for Samsung, Android TV for Sony and even Apple TV which comes with its own line-up of original shows. They all look and work a little differently, but they’re a more user-friendly way for you to flick through the apps and services you love.

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What technology are smart TVs compatible with?

Are you riding the smart home trend? Or maybe you’re thinking about getting into it. Not to worry. A lot of TVs now are compatible with your other smart devices.

Alexa

Some TVs can connect to your Amazon Alexa device, meaning you can change the volume, select different apps and choose the stuff you want to watch with your voice. Even better, some models come with Alexa built-in, so you can enjoy the benefits of voice control without having to own an additional smart device.

Google Assistant

Like Alexa, some TVs can hook up to your Google Assistant smart device. So, you can put that remote down and impress your family with hands free control next time movie night comes around.

Other things to consider

What is the best screen tech to get?

What is OLED?

Find out how LG's brilliant OLED technology creates amazing pictures

Find out more

What is QLED?

Find out everything you need to know about Samsung's quality QLED screen tech

Find out more

What is Ambilight?

Get to know the amazing features behind the Philips range of Ambilight TVs

Find out more

What is a TRILUMINOS Display TV?

Find out everything you need to know about Sony’s colourful TV tech

Find out more

Did you know? If you're buying a TV for gaming or to watch sport, look for one with a high refresh rate to reduce motion blur.

Picture Resolution

4K Explained

4K is one of the most common screen resolutions in TVs. With four times more pixels that a HD TV, 4K screens display your favourite films and shows with unbelievable detail. Plus, all the top streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney + come with a range of 4K content for you to enjoy. If you’re looking for a TV for now and the future, a 4K model is a must.

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Did you know? Both full motion and tilting wall mounts can help reduce glare and improve viewing angles for an immersive movie experience.

Picture Quality

Improved colour and contrast with HDR

Screen tech, resolution and now picture quality? We know, there’s a lot to take in when picking out that new TV. Let us take you through some great features that’ll completely enhance the stuff you see on screen.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

TVs with HDR tech display a wider range of colours with better contrast. This clever use of colour creates vivid and lifelike images, making it perfect for throwing yourself into those nature docs or that edge-of-your-seat sporting event. Most HDR TVs also pack in a 4K Ultra HD resolution. The two work together to bring you incredible visuals that'll transform your home viewing.

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HDR10+

HDR10+ takes high dynamic range technology up a notch, displaying that sci-fi film or football match in even more colour and detail. HDR10+ adapts during each scene or sequence of the content you watch, meaning it’s constantly improving the range of colours and details throughout. This means you know you’re watching the best possible version of the entertainment you love.

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Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision makes sure you’re always watching your favourite films with the best possible quality. It works in a similar way to HDR10+ by adapting the visuals scene by scene, so what you see on screen is bursting with vivid colours and details.

Shop TVs with Dolby Vision

Did you know? We can take away your old TV for you - just select our remove and recycle service at checkout.

Sound Quality

Often the area that’s overlooked when picking out that new TV, but no film experience is complete without great sound. With modern TVs being so thin, the sound can sometimes be an issue. So, here are a couple of features that are guaranteed to make your walls shake.

Dolby Atmos

Immerse yourself in the sound of your favourite entertainment with Dolby Atmos. This tech recreates the audio from that pulsating sci-fi or that rich period drama in 3D for that full surround sound experience.

Soundbars

No home cinema set-up is complete without a good soundbar. They’ll take your movies and shows to the next level with ground shaking sound. We’d recommend choosing a model with an additional sub-woofer – these chunky boxes will add the bass to those action extravaganzas for that true cinematic experience.

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Best in class

Best Samsung TVs 2020

We’ve rounded up the top 5 Samsung TVs for all your entertainment needs

Our top picks

Did you know? If you plan on using your TV for gaming, it’s a good idea to look for TVs with at least 3 HDMI ports.

Installation and services

TV Wall Mounting

Our experts will mount your new TV to the wall, so you don’t have to.

Learn more

Wall Mounts and Accessories

To get your new TV up on that wall, you’ll need a good wall bracket. Our range of brackets and mounts are compatible with the TVs we sell, so you know you’ll get the right fit.

VESA dimensions

It’s really important to find the right bracket for the size of your TV. To make things easier, there are a range of guidelines that match TVs to suitable mounts called VESA dimensions. Check the specifications on our TV product pages to find the correct figure for your model.

Fixed wall mounts

A fixed wall mount is ideal as it allows you to place your TV close to the wall. They leave just enough space for your cables, leaving everything looking neat and tidy.

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Tilting wall mounts

With a tilting wall mount, you have the option to adjust your viewing angle either up or down. This is a good option for televisions that are placed quite high up, like on a bedroom wall or above the fireplace.

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Full motion wall mounts

If you like to switch things up, a full motion wall mount is for you. You can tilt and swivel horizontally and vertically and even pull the TV to and from the wall, giving you complete flexibility over how you view your favourite shows.

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TV shelves and stand

Need a new shelf or stand for that big screen TV? Look no further, we’ve got a great range.

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HDMI cables and accessories

Don’ forget to pick up those essential accessories to get the most from your new TV. From HDMI cables, to smart remotes and adapters, we’ve got the lot.

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FAQs

What is a smart TV?
How do I make my TV smart?
What size TV is right for my room?
What is the difference between OLED and LED?
What is 4K?
Is Ultra HD the same as 4K?
Do channels broadcast in 4K?
How can I tell if something is streaming in 4K?
What does HDR refer to?
What is a TV operating system?
What is 8K?
What is a curved screen TV?
Can you wall mount my TV for me?
Do I need to buy the brackets from AO?
What is the smallest 4K TV I can buy?
Do I need to upgrade my HDMI cable?
What does smart mean?
How is smart TV different to cable?
What do I need to watch a smart TV?
Do I need a license to watch smart TV?
What apps can I watch on a smart TV?
How do I set up a smart TV?
Can you install my smart TV for me?
How can I make my current TV smart?
How do I update smart TV?
How do I download apps to my smart TV?
What is Chromecast?
How do I connect devices to my smart TV?

Still looking for answers?