The decision on the best time to buy TV sets is always tricky in the beginning of the year. The question on the minds of many potential buyers is whether to buy a discounted model from previous years now or wait for a new model later in the year. Newly announced and much anticipated models will certainly come at a higher price tag than those currently available but do the fancy features of new TVs justify the price premium?
Some believe that this is the best time to buy TV with the features found in 4K television models. UHD sets are now at their most affordable price; add smart TV and HDR functionality to the deal, and buyers get a TV that most thought they would never see this soon. Why would anyone wait any longer to enjoy these impressive features when they can afford them now?
Now could also be the best time to buy TV sets with all these features, as retailers and wholesalers try to eclipse each other with the best deals. Following closely after the Super Bowl sales in February are once-in-a-lifetime discounts arising from sellers’ need to clear out old inventory. This will pave the way for the new models arriving in March and April. Bargain hunters have a wide range of deals to pick from. One could argue that not even Black Friday could surpass the price cuts of these first few months in the year.
The question is, what are those TV improvements and advanced technological features that would make one ignore the price reductions of existing models? Let’s take a look at the new 2018 TVs and some of the most impressive features that were introduced in the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year.
Sony’s new X900F series, for instance, offers a couple of substantial gains from the current models. Overall picture processing has improved with the new models featuring the X1 Extreme processor. Users now have better quality in motion processing and backlighting. The new models will also offer the the Dolby Vision HDR, considered by many the best HDR format available. In terms of size upgrades, some models like the X900F will come in bigger screen sizes than the older models. The old models only have up to 65 inches of screen size whereas the X900F offers an 85-inch model. That is a sizable chunk of screen real estate to savor.
Despite all that, some buyers will probably have reservations about buying the new Sony models at this time. Nothing much has changed concerning the Android TV operating system and the display panel. The general viewing experience will be relatively the same regardless of whether last year’s TV remains or a new one is purchased.
But that mainly applies to Sony. Others have upped their game. LG and Samsung announced innovations that will convince buyers not to buy a TV until the arrival of the new models. Most of LG’s new 4K sets have added ThinQ AI, which means a more intelligent, smart TV. The 4K sets also include rich voice interaction for natural search of content and smooth online shopping experience.
Samsung refuses to be outdone in its desire to dominate smart 4K sets. As expected, the Asian giant promises significant improvements to its QLED TVs series. The sets will feature new backlight and filtering technologies, which will boost LCD technology to be almost at par with OLED sets.
Also, buyers have recently been excited over the introduction of HDMI 2.1, but is it worth the wait? The 2.1 standard is relatively recent; no manufacturer has come up with HDMI 2.1 sets yet. There are no hints of any model having this feature early in 2018. The most likely scenario will be the full integration of HDMI 2.1 in 2019.
The new HDMI standard promises to bring some significant improvements, with an increase in bandwidth from the current 18 Gbps to 48 Gbps. Users will enjoy resolutions up to 10K. Frame rates will also shoot up to 120 fps. In contrast, the majority of movies have 24 fps, while games and content run about 60 fps. The HDMI 2.1 could be a forward-looking standard enabling other fresh features that will take gaming to another level. For example, users will be able to enjoy extensive support for variable refresh rate as well as for formats that heavily rely on data, such as Dolby Atmos-style audio and dynamic HDR.
Unfortunately, the format is relatively new, and manufacturers are still wary of using it on their new models. It could be months or years before they gain the full confidence. They could introduce capabilities supporting the new format in phases.
Conclusion: Buy Now
Overall, the features and technological enhancements we have seen from the major manufacturers don’t seem to be moving the needle towards the new TV models coming out later this year. Buyers would be safe to leap right into the available models of 4K TVs rather than waiting for new features, making now the best time to buy TV sets. Buyers would be justified to wait only if they are looking for a specific feature that their current model lack. Buying when such great discounts are being offered makes more sense than waiting for new ones.
Manufacturers seem to agree as well that the best time to buy TV is now. In the recent past, they have rolled out one feature after another in quick succession, which has made new releases tricky, as they may be redundant in the current crop of TVs. However, as the industry has repeatedly shown, rival manufacturers keep their cards close to their chests until springing new surprises. The timing matters, since no manufacturer wants to prematurely release an inferior version of a feature, while they have to be careful not to be left behind the latest innovation.
Furthermore in assisting your buying decisions, don’t forget to visit our Consumer Intelligence tools to help you get the best deal at the right time. If you have narrowed it down to a certain TV Model or Series you can use our TV Price Tracker to keep an eye on how its price is trending historically. If you are just a bargain hunter looking for a good deal, the TV Deals of the Day page updates daily and highlights TV models with price reductions from the previous day.
Consumer Intelligence Tools
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