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Home / Tips and Tricks / Cheap Black Friday 2018 TV can not be a bargain

Cheap Black Friday 2018 TV can not be a bargain



This year, like every year, we have seen some amazing TV awards on Black Friday. Big 4K TV, probably HDR, at lower prices than ever before.

How low? Walmart sells a 40-inch TV for 100 USD. Target has a 55-incher for $ 200. Best Buy sells a massive 70-inch TV for $ 700. And that's just the beginning.

Prices are surely impressive, but that does not mean that the TV will be a good value .

Quite often, cheap TVs are just that: cheap. Low cost rates without the characteristics or image quality of their more expensive competition may seem a good deal but are not a good place to invest your money. Most hold their televisions for 5 or 1

0 years.

The low prices of these televisions should make you more careful, no less. Approach these TV sales with a close eye, separate from the price.

That's why CNET's list of Black Friday 2018 TV offers is divided into two parts: the best and the cheapest. The first part includes television where our reviewer, David Katzmaier, can guarantee the image quality and they are amazing finds. The other covers televisions he did not test, but he guesses they will not keep a picture quality image of those he recommends.

With that difference in mind, there are a few things to look for when evaluating the tempting price tv.

Beware: "Fake" HDR

Fake High Dynamic Range (HDR) is one of the biggest problems in the TV world right now. Being able to read HDR and correct viewing HDR are two very different things. It's easy for a TV to read HDR metadata and therefore claims it is "HDR compliant". But without local dimming there is no possibility for the TV to show the HDR data. Essentially, it is as if someone is reading you a description of a painting. You will get the idea, but you will not see it.

For more information about this marketing lie, read this: Why all HDR on TV is not the same .

Beware of: Fake refresh rates

With LCD TVs, higher update rates can reduce the perception of motion leakage, like blurring when everything is moving on the screen. This is a problem with all LCD TVs and the current versions of OLED. But not everyone sees it or is disturbed by it.

The problem is that most manufacturers are a bit, let's say, " creative " with their update frequency lists. They can say "Motion Rate 120" or "SRR240Hz" or any other marketing time that describes what their TV is doing. Many of these are not a higher update rate. They only process tricks or if you are lucky Black Frame Setting (which may be good in some cases). If it's a cheap TV, it's almost certainly not actually 100 or 120Hz, which means that fast filing becomes blurred.

For more information, check the truth about Ultra HD 4K TV Update Speed ​​.

Beware: Thrifty Connections

How many HDMI connections do you need? Even more important, how many Ultra HD HDMI connections do you need? If you have more than one source that is 4K, make sure each input on your TV is HDMI 2.0 or higher and has HDCP 2.2 . If you do not find this information on the specification, be careful. If the connection does not have HDCP 2.2, you will not be able to watch a 4K source.

Beware: Not So Smart TV

First and foremost, the big TV companies and brands like Roku have all the great TV stuff down solid. Of brands may not. This is not a big deal, because media streamers are cheap and good, but if you expect a quality experience, you may not get it. You may not get all the streaming services you want. Everything has Netflix, not everything has Amazon, Vudu, Hulu and so on. For example, televisions with built-in Chromecast require you to use your phone and do not always save Amazon video.

  tcl-p-serie-roku tv

Sarah Tew / CNET

Beware: Trademark Only

There are several lesser known brands that make amazing televisions. TCL is a new standout. So just because they are not as famous as, Samsung or Sony says, does not necessarily mean you're going to cross them from your list. As mentioned, an unknown trademark may not have the same warranty or repair support, if necessary.

During Black Friday, well-known brands like Samsung and LG often sell their cheapest models at prices far below what one would expect. Many are good, but some may not deliver the same image quality or features as a lesser known brand like TCL or Vizio – both of which are routinely top CNET's list of best TVs for the money. In other words, even on Black Friday, a TV brand should not be the only crucial factor.

And on the flip side there are many badges that you may recognize as just the name of a former large company. Chinese companies have spent many years buying the brands for sole proprietorship companies. Polaroid, Kodak and many others have little or no relation to the companies you once knew. They are Chinese manufacturers who want to use the name recognition of an outstanding brand. Again, these are not necessarily bad, but do not let the name fool you.

But if you insist …

Here's the matter: If you're just looking for a cheap TV for a second room, why, why not? If you really do not care what does the TV look like, why, why not? But if you're excited about new TV features like HDR, wide color space and so on, you may be disappointed.

Black Friday Deals: See all Black Friday 2018 agreements we have found so far.

Holiday Gift Guide: CNET's full gift guide, including dozens of products that cost under $ 25, $ 50 and $ 100.


Do you have a question for Geoff? First, check all other articles he has written about topics that are why all HDMI cables are the same, explained TV resolutions, LED LCD vs OLED, and more.

Still have a question? Tweet on him @TechWriterGeoff then check his travel photography on Instagram. He also thinks you should check out his best-selling Sci-Fi novel and its sequel.


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