Confusing TV Terminology Broken Down for Black Friday

If you haven’t been shopping for a TV in a while, it can be confusing with a lot of new high tech terms to learn.

“You’ll see a lot more 4K TVs. Those are TVs with higher resolution screens,” said James Willcox, Consumer Reports Electronics Editor.

4K, UHD and ultra high definition all refer to the same thing, TVs that have four times as many pixels as regular HDTVs which can mean a sharper, more detailed picture.

"And, more of the TVs are smart TVs that can connect to the internet,” said Wilcox. 

That means you’re able to access streaming video services like Netflix or Amazon directly from the TV without having to use a media player like Roku or Apple TV.

HDR is becoming more common, but what the heck is it?

“HDR or high dynamic range technology, can boost a TV’s brightness, colors and contrast so that the images you see are closer to like what you see in real life,” Wilcox explained.

Something that comes along with the better HDR performers is a wide color gamut.

“It’s sort of like giving your TV a bigger box of crayons to play with," Wilcox said. "So, you get different ranges of colors and you get smoother transitions when you move from like a deeper red into an orange.”

If you’re in the market for a higher-end TV, you’ll see the term OLED, which stands for organic light-emitting diodes. An OLED TV’s black levels are truly black, so colors look more vibrant and images seem to really pop off the screen. OLEDs are still pricey, but Consumer Reports expects prices to fall as more companies start making them.

Consumer Reports is monitoring Black Friday TV sales at retailers across the country. For the latest on prices and availability, click here.

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