If your home television is not working anymore, you may question whether to buy a new screen or call up the classic "TV Repairmen" (a lost art). While the fix might be easy with a little digging, anything complex may cost way too much or be too troublesome to get repaired. Televisions are pretty inexpensive these days so a good approach is to find great deals on a quality TV. A good, relatively cheap brand is TCL, though Samsung, Hisense, and LG are also reliable. Just don't hang the Television over a fireplace!
If you are shopping for a decently large TV with a good price tag, check out products from brands TCL and Hisense. They are Chinese companies that are trying to break into the United States market, so their prices are quite affordable. Plus, they often have Roku built-in, which is arguably better than creating their own smart TV software.
Pete has a TV that won't turn on with the remote. He has to turn it on manually from behind. So he's looking for a new 55" that won't break the bank. Leo says that TCL and HiSense are very affordable because they are trying to break into the US market. Much like Vizio. TCL also has a Roku built into it, making it very affordable.
Sometimes it can be confusing when acronyms are nearly identical. It would be in consumers' best interest to learn the difference between OLED and QLED before browsing for new TVs. OLED stands for "organic light-emitting diode" while QLED stands for "Quantum Dot LED" (according to Samsung). Quantum dots are extremely small semiconductors that backlight a Liquid Crystal Display. Many people think "QLED" was a label intentionally chosen to look similar to "OLED", despite not being the same technology.
Terri wants to buy a phone with a keyboard. Can she still get a Blackberry? Leo says that Blackberry doesn't make phones anymore, but the brand/design is made by TCL. The Key2 is the new model. It also runs on Android now. Blackberry's OS died a few years ago. It will retail for $649 and is available in July. If she likes a physical keyboard, this is her last, best choice.
John is looking at his 43" screen and thinking it's way too small. How large should he get for his next one? Leo says that 43" is way too small to get an immersive experience. Sitting at 8-10 feet away, he'll want to get the largest screen that he can afford. He should check out the RTings size calculator here. There's also the "spousal acceptance factor" to keep that in mind. John should at least have a 55-60" screen.
Kevin wants to upgrade his TV and is wondering if HDR is important. Leo says it is. He won't see a lot of HDR content just now, but moving forward everything will come out mastered for HDR. So he'll be on the right side of that by getting an HDR compatible TV. He won't really see 4K broadcast for the next few years, though. He'll get it from streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon. He'll also want to get a UHD-HDR BluRay player. Leo likes the Xbox One S.
Scott joins us with the news that Sharp is selling their TV arm to HiSense, and is getting out of the TV business for good. Scott hasn't been much of a fan of Sharp TVs, and they only enjoyed about 3% of the market share. So it's not surprising that they're getting out. It's ironic, because Sharp invented LCD technology and will likely keep making the LCD screens for others.
Rick is interested in 4K, and is wondering if this will be the year for it. Leo says that when he sees it, he'll go crazy because it looks fantastic. But there's a problem -- there's no standards. We're close, but they aren't finalized yet. Check out Home Theater Geeks this week, as Scott Wilkinson will be at CES talking about 4K TVs and their standards. But it's largely the reason why Leo isn't recommending buying 4K TVs just yet. And there's not much content out for it, either.
John was planning to cut the cord, so he bought a Roku. He's discovered he doesn't have an HDMI port on his old TV, though. So he needs a new one. Leo says that there's many options that won't break the bank.
Vizio has a great line of affordable HDTVs. He should go as big as he can afford. Leo likes 50" to start and he can get them for around $500.