The question of what is the best HDTV to buy is a classic one. Most people don’t need a brand new, bad-ass HDTV too often and when they don’t they don’t want to spend too much time to figure out which one is the best performer and/or the best value. Those are two very different questions. Don’t forget to ask your custom installer about which brands of home theater seating that they like best.

Where To Buy Your Next UHD HDTV?

There are so many options and depending on your needs you can make your best decision from this list.

The Local Stereo Store – If you have a traditional stereo store in your area you are lucky as so many have gone out of business in the past 10 years. You might want to support your local AV dealer as they might be a fraction higher in price but you are going to get better advice, more responsive service, better installation. You might also get your boxes removed, a free (or lower cost) extended warranty and/or your old HDTV e-cycled.

The Custom Installer – This firm might not have a fancy store but they do have fancy custom installers and programmers who can quickly and easily install one of the best HDTVs in the market right into your home. They do this all-day, every-day. They buy their TVs from a distributor in most cases thus they can get the best and quickly. The issue is: the tend to be the most expensive but most “hands-free” option in the market.

The Big Box Store – If you are a DIY guy and want to lug a gigantic-ass HDTV home with you in your SUV (assuming that it will fit) then you can look to Target, Wal-Mart or even Costco for your next HDTV. They might not have the needed hardware. They will have NO support whatsoever but they do have a generous returns department. This is likely your lowest cost option.

Online Retailers – Amazon sells nearly every good HDTV on the market and they can deliver the sucker right to your front door. “White glove service” comes at an extra cost but can be well worth it as they have firms that can complete many key tasks such as removal of your old TV, professional hanging of your new HDTV and removal of boxes. That all comes at a cost but online retailers tend to start at pretty low prices.

What Type of HDTV Should I Buy?

LED HDTVs are the most basic designs today although companies like Samsung make pretty fancy LEDs such as their QLED HDTVs which are very premium. LED is more affordable, bright and big. When “full panel lit” there isn’t as much local dimming in the set which is when you can see the light sources in the actual HDTV panel.

OLED HDTVs have replaced old plasma HDTVs for the best black levels. LG is the company behind OLED but Sony buys OLED panels from LG for their best performing HDTVs too. The “inky blacks” of an OLED is appealing to many. They are great for home theater in terms of color too. One thing that is great about today’s OLED HDTVs is that if you set them with two or three clicks of your remote and its menus to “settings/picture/cinema” (or whatever the TV calls cinema be it theater or whatever – you will get SMPTE calibrated broadcast standard settings that look way better than the TV performs at the showroom.

Warning! Remember, the Asian video companies know that the human eye likes blue so when the TV comes out of the box it “pushes blue” thus is not anywhere close to accurate.

Second Warning! The Asian video companies know that the TV that looks the brightest is often the one that the mainstream consumer will pick so they set their TVs to come out of the box in “DYNAMIC MODE” which is the brightest, least accurate, shortest-lifespan setting. Turn off Dynamic Mode the second you turn your new TV on. Then set the TV’s picture to “cinema mode” and go from there and you will be set. 20 years ago, you could make an argument for having a professional calibrator come over and tweak your set. That’s not need today, thankfully.