Choose The Right TV For You|TV Buying Guide

Televisions Buying guides

July 2014 Shopping for a new television can be very exciting. There is so much choice on offer and, with technology developing so fast, it can also be quite difficult. Whether you're looking for a larger screen or something to watch on-demand content on, this guide explains the different technology available and some of the key features to look out for when choosing your new TV.

Things to consider before you buy a TV

How do you measure the size of a TV?

Televisions are measured diagonally across the screen, from corner to corner. To get an accurate measurement, ensure that you are measuring up to the screen corners rather than to the edge of the bezel corners. The bezel is sometimes known as the frame of the television.

Which room will your TV be in?

Televisions have got noticeably slimmer and far less bulky over the years. Because of this, a large TV today takes up far less space than a large, older model.

Measuring from corner to corner, 19 - 32 inch TVs are great for a smaller living space, such as the kitchen or a bedroom. For larger living areas such as your living room, 32 - 46 inches is great to enjoy a larger picture. If you have a particularly large area to fill with your new TV, 48 - 65 inches will help to provide a home cinema experience which is great to share with family and friends.

What are you using your new TV for?

What you will be watching on TV should affect your decision just as much as where you'll be placing it.

Regular movie watchers will benefit from HD technology or a 3D TV to get a true cinematic experience.

Gamers and sports fans will both appreciate a TV with a higher refresh rate (over 200Hz) to avoid motion blur, although gamers will also benefit from multiple HDMI ports to enable you to easily connect your console.

Advances in technology now mean that you can also use some TVs for browsing the internet, social networking and accessing on-demand content through apps like iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player, LoveFilm and Netflix. If you want to take advantage of these features, you should look at buying a Smart TV.

What is the difference between HD and Non-HD?

Picture quality is one of the most important features and with HD (High Definition) Ready, Full HD and Ultra HD, which one do you choose? All of our TVs are HD Ready as a minimum. HD Ready TVs have a 720p resolution, which allows you to enjoy the benefits of High Definition broadcasted channels.

Up to five times sharper than standard definition, Full HD televisions offer 1080p resolution which means you can enjoy the benefits of HD with a clearer and sharper picture. It is important to be aware that no channel actually yet broadcasts in Full HD (1080P); the only way to appreciate Full HD is to connect a Blu-ray player or a games console - such as a PS3 or PS4 - to your television.

Also known as '4K', Ultra HD is TVs newest technology. Four times the resolution of Full High Definition 1080p picture quality, Ultra HD offers a smooth and detailed picture without any pixilation and the picture quality is true to what you see in real life.

Why are refresh rates important when buying a TV?

Many TV manufacturers have their own picture enhancing 'engines'. The software inside the TV enhances the picture by managing elements such as colour levels, contrast and brightness to produce sharper, clearer images with richer and more realistic colour.

The 'engines' can also manipulate the input to make images display faster, which really improves the motion of the picture. TVs with picture enhancement software are usually in models with the more advanced features, so look out for these throughout our range. Picture enhancement also assists with the refresh rate of the TV. If you like to watch sports or action movies then you will really benefit from a TV with a higher refresh rate. Hertz (Hz) is the measurement of how quickly an image on the TV is refreshed. Hertz rates vary from 50Hz to 600Hz and the higher the rate is, the smoother the motion is and you can enjoy your favourite programmes with reduced blurring and a crisp picture.

What's your budget for a new TV

The cost of a TV usually depends on how big the screen is and how many features it has. At Argos, we have a wide range of TVs to suit every budget. Have a look at some of the brands that we have to offer.

Types of TVs

4K TVs

4K is the latest technology and gives the best picture quality available. 4K TVs offer 4 times the resolution of Full HD, ensuring a smooth image without any pixilation. You will only really benefit from this Ultra HD on an exceptionally large TV screen, as the larger the screen the greater the benefits of this impressive technology.

Click here to see our range of 4K TVs

  • 4K TVs are also referred to as 'Ultra HD TVs'.

  • The resolution of 4K TVs is 3840 x 2160p.

Smart TVs

A Smart TV offers a range of online services, delivering fantastic apps and, with some Smart TVs, web browsing.

Each make and model of a Smart TV offers different functions. All have their own varied collection of services, where you can enjoy catch-up TV and on demand services; great for watching what you want, when you want. Smart TVs allow you to access services such as NetFlix, Love film and Acetrax, which means you can watch films on demand. You can also enjoy social networking on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where you can chat to your friends online whilst watching your favourite programmes.

Click here to see our range of Smart TVs

  • Your Smart TV must be connected to the internet to use the online services.

  • Some Smart TVs have a fully integrated web browser built into them, which means you can directly access the internet, as you would on your computer or smartphone.

  • You can also connect to the internet through an Ethernet port or, if your Smart TV is Wi-Fi ready, a Wi-Fi dongle.

  • If you are going to regularly watch catch up TV or YouTube content, stream films or make Skype video calls, then you will see the benefits of a faster broadband speed.

3D TVs

We have a full range of 3D TVs that are perfect if you want the very best 3D picture and there are two types of 3D technology to choose between - active and passive.

Active 3D offers the Full HD experience when you wear active 3D glasses. These are powered and they communicate with the TV. Active 3D offers the most intense 3D experience in 1080p resolution.

Passive glasses are lightweight and similar to those you'll find in a cinema. They don't require charging and are ideal for family or group viewing as they are less expensive.

Click here to see our range of 3D TVs

  • Generally, active 3D technology is more expensive than the passive version.

  • In order to watch 3D TV, you will need a 3D ready TV, a Blu-ray player or games console, 3D glasses and a HDMI cable to transfer the signal.

  • It's worth checking if 3D glasses are included and, if so, how many there are.

  • If you are going to regularly watch catch up TV or YouTube content, stream films or make Skype video calls, then you will see the benefits of a faster broadband speed.


LED TV's produce vivid colours, where the blacks appear blacker and whites appear whiter. The picture quality has incredible clarity, created from hundreds of small LED (light emitting diodes) lights. With an ultra slim design, LED TVs are extremely energy efficient and are also great for brighter rooms.

Click here to see our range of LED TVs

  • LED lamps are typically more energy efficient

  • LED TVs are extremely slim and light which is ideal if you are mounting your TV on a wall.

  • LED TVs are widely available across most screen sizes.

Plasma TVs

You will really benefit from a Plasma TV when choosing a larger screen size. Plasma TVs are great when it comes to fast moving images because they offer high screen speeds, making them an ideal choice for sports and action movies.

Performing best in dimly lit rooms, a plasma TV is ideal if you mainly watch TV at night or in a medium to dark setting.

Click here to see our range of Plasma TVs

  • Plasma technology is found in screen sizes above 37 inches; if you are looking for a large television, such as a 50 inch TV, plasma TVs are perfect.

  • Plasma TVs tend to produce more natural looking black tones.

Don't Forget

Sound Equipment for TVs

Significantly improve the quality of sound from your television with one of our soundbars. Slim and stylish, they use multi directional speakers within the bar which project sound around your room, hugely enhancing your viewing experience with a stylish and easy solution. These modern soundbars are incredibly easy to set up and can be wall mounted or placed below your TV. For those who wish to experience true deep bass, some of our soundbars include a separate or built in sub-woofer.

Enjoy an incredible viewing experience and turn your living room into a mini cinema with one of our home cinema systems. Using 5 speakers and a subwoofer, position these around your room to create an atmosphere where the dialogue is clear and crisp and the sound effects are immersive.

Blu-ray Players

Connecting a Blu-ray player to your television means you will enjoy a better viewing experience than a standard DVD player. You can watch your standard DVDs through a Blu-ray player; however, by watching a Blu-ray disc on your HD television, you will experience true Full High Definition.

Cables and Connectors

A HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable allows you to get the best out of your TV when connecting devices such as a Blu-ray player, set top box or a home cinema system. A HDMI cable will ensure you get the best possible image and sound from your TV.

A SCART lead is the basic, standard connection between a TV and other equipment such as a DVD player and a set top box.

A digital optical cable will connect to devices to transmit digital audio signal from your TV, Blu-ray player or DVD player to your soundbar or sound system.

TV Brackets

Ideal for bedrooms and kitchens and anywhere you are limited with space, wall-mounted TVs free up valuable shelf or floor space. Alternatively a large wall mounted TV creates a clean, modern look. At Argos, we sell a range of TV wall brackets and accessories to suit all manner of sizes and styles.

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