Few purchasing decisions have the potential to be as bewildering as buying a new television set, and Black Friday just compounds the confusion. Don't despair, because we're here to guide you through the choices to find the best deals on a new TV this Black Friday.
There are expected to be some steep discounts on TV sets this year, including the latest 4K sets, as well as standard high-definition TVs. Which one should you buy? We have a short guide below, but there are definitely a few things worth bearing in mind.
What Kind of TV is Best for You?
Make sure that the TV has sufficient inputs for your needs. Some cheaper TVs cut corners by featuring fewer HDMI ports, meaning you'll need to buy a multi-input adaptor to connect all your accessories and avoid having to constantly switch cables.
Some TVs are curved. Do they offer a better viewing experience? That really depends on your point of view. To gain the best benefit from a curved TV screen, you really need to be sitting directly in front of it. For larger families, or if your TV is in an offset position in your living room, the benefits of buying a curved TV set are questionable.
There are smart TVs that can connect to your home network and are capable of streaming shows and movies from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Many smart TVs are also Internet-ready, and enable you to surf the net from the comfort of your own couch. This kind of functionality can be very useful to those who don't use an external device to stream content to their TV set. However, if you're using a games console or device such as Blu-Ray player that is already capable of streaming content from online services, you don't necessarily need smart TV functionality.
However, the biggest question of all is whether you should buy a TV set with 4K resolution, or just regular HD. We go into that further down the page, following the list of links to the very best TV deals and bargains.
Best 4K TV Black Friday Deals
- LG - 60" Class (59.5" Diag.) LED, 2160p, Smart 4K Ultra HD TV - Best Buy, $599.99
- LG - 65" Class (64.5" Diag.) LED, 2160p, Smart 4K Ultra HD TV - Best Buy, $799.99
- LG - 43" Class (42.5" Diag.) LED, 2160p, Smart 4K Ultra HD TV - Best Buy, $299.99
- Samsung - 55" Class (54.6" Diag.) LED, 2160p, Smart 4K Ultra HD TV - Best Buy, $479.99
- LG Electronics OLED55B6P 55-Inch 2160p 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV, $1799.00
- Samsung UN70KU6300 70" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV - Amazon, $1297.99
- SAMSUNG 60" 6300 Series - 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV - Walmart, $697.99
- LG Electronics 49UH6030 49" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV - NewEgg, $399.99
- Samsung 55" Class 2160p 4K Smart UHD TV - Target, $547.99
- LG 60" 4K TV with $300 NewEgg gift card - NewEgg, $997.00 (Save $902)
- Vizio SmartCast 50" 4K TV with built-in Chromecast - Walmart, $398 (Save $130)
Best HD TV Black Friday Deals
Why Should You Buy a 4K TV?
4K or Ultra HD (UHD) is the big TV tech of the year, giving you no fewer than 8 million pixels (3,840 x 2,160) to feast your eyes on. If you want your set to be fully future-proof then this is the sticker to look for, though there are a couple of caveats worth mentioning.
One: there isn't much 4K content around yet, though that will change in the years ahead. Two: you really need a TV that's 60 inches or larger to notice the benefit. Also look out for TVs labeled UHD Premium, as these meet specific standards on colors, dynamic range and various other key specs.
There are different display types, but the most common – LED – is the best for most situations (Best Buy has a quick guide). OLED is a good quality if expensive alternative. In terms of specs, also keep an eye out for high refresh rates and a high number of display colors for the best picture.
We'll be posting details of plenty of other deals throughout the Black Friday shopping period from retailers and online sellers such as Amazon, Target, GameStop, Best Buy, Sam's Club, Walmart, and Toys R Us. Expect to see the best bargains on items including laptops, TVs, smartphones, games, consoles and more. Here's where you'll be able to find them all.
Here's where you'll be able to find all the best gaming and tech deals from the biggest retailers.
The TV brands to look out for
For the very best TV experience it's a good idea to stick to the big names, although quality can vary from set to set: LG, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp, Philips and Samsung all know what they're doing, so look out for big discounts on Black Friday.
That said, budget models can more than hold their own – just check out user reviews before buying. If you can't find any decent reviews for a set you've spotted in a Black Friday deal, chances are it's a bit of a dud the retailer is trying to shift.
Don't forget the extras
There's more to weigh up on a TV than you might think: how many inputs and outputs does it have? How good are the built-in speakers? Does it have recording capabilities on board? Can it run smart apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video?
If you don't need some of these features you can save some money – if you're going to plug an Apple TV into your set, for example, then you don't necessarily have to get a model with Netflix and YouTube already on board. The number of ports is important to note, because cheaper models will often cut corners here.
Picking out a bargain
Unlike phones and tablets, TVs don't really follow any sensible release schedule or strategy, so there's always the chance you're going to be caught unawares by a new model coming out of nowhere just after you've bought yours.
You just need to live with the risk. Check out slightly older TVs, as these often attract the best prices while still offering up more than enough tech for most users. At the same time, make sure it has all the features and ports you need, and don't rush into a deal you're not happy with – another similar TV will be along soon enough, you can be sure of that.
Where to do your shopping
Basically everyone who sells TVs will be trying to sell you a TV deal on Black Friday. You can try the likes of Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and NewEgg. Then there are the deals available direct from the manufacturers.
Just be wary of Black Friday TV deals: more than any other type of electronics, retailers can shift not-great stock at rock bottom prices, because there are so many models to pick from. Check and double-check the specs (ports, resolution, audio) and the reviews, and remember you can get great TV deals any time of the year.