TV Buying Tip: Wait Till Fall (At Least) To Get The Greatest Worth – CNET

81 0

Whether you shop in-store or online, the TV buying season follows a regular pattern.

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

The prices for televisions follow a regular annual cycle like clockwork. Knowing when prices are falling can save you money, or at least fear that you will be scammed. The cycle works like this. New televisions will be announced at CES in January. However, they are then not available. There are often sales in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl in February, but they are the same as last year’s models.

The current model year televisions are shipping from now (like now), and then they are the most expensive. In summer there is sometimes a slight drop in prices, but not always. There were major price cuts in the autumn and before the holidays. Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday often have the best deals on both cheap doorbuster models and the best tv, and these prices can often be had in December and during the holidays. That brings us back to CES in January and the cycle starts all over again.

When is the best time to buy a new TV? It is not so easy to say “when it is cheapest” because new models are often just around the corner. Also, the cheapest TV may not be the best value. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Best TVs of CES 2021: Brighter OLED, Mini-LED QLED, 8K and HDMI 2.1

View all photos

Are you satisfied with what you have now?

Forget the new technology. If your TV works and you’re happy with it, keep it. Don’t feel any pressure to upgrade.

Modern televisions are, on average, brighter and have better picture quality than televisions from a few years ago. Unless you’re the type of videophile who wants to tweak and fixate on every setting Nits and Color accuracyHowever, you probably don’t need a new TV.

The pressure to upgrade is pervasive in our technology culture, but televisions tend to last longer and last longer than most devices. For example, you don’t have batteries that run out of capacity like cell phones or cables that wear out like headphones. A TV from five or even ten years ago will likely work just fine, although it may not look as good as the current one 4K HDR television. So if this isn’t a big deal to you, what you have can probably keep what you have for a few more years.

Continue reading: Best TVs for PS5 and Xbox Series X, Series S.

This is true even when considering new consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.. If you have a PS4, Xbox One, or a console connected via HDMI, the new consoles should work just fine. They may look better on a new TV, but They’ll still look great on yours.

If your TV is struggling or you just want something bigger, that’s a different story. New TVs are much cheaper per inch than TVs of the past. You can replace your current TV with an equally sized TV that looks better and is cheaper than your old TV. Or you can pay the same amount as your old TV and get something that is a lot bigger.


The biggest single days for TV sales are of course Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. There are always some incredibly affordable 4K TVs on offer. But that’s not the whole story.

First of all, the TVs that get the biggest discounts are usually either no-name brands or low-end models from name brands. They’re fine if all you want is a cheap TV, but they don’t offer the picture quality of an even higher-end model. The best televisions are also available for sale, but deep discounts on these are less common.

Entrance of a Best Buy deal during a day with blue clarity

TV sales happen all year round, but the Black Friday season offers the biggest discounts.

Roberto Machado Noa / Getty Images

Second, massive discounts on televisions are generally rare. It might not be intuitive, but TVs usually don’t have much markup. There’s not much profit in a $ 500 TV. So unless the store is trying to run out of inventory, you shouldn’t expect a huge drop in prices during the sale either. There are lots of good discounts out there, they just won’t be “50% off” or anything like that unless there is a specific reason the model is getting such an extreme discount. Or it’s a bouncer in limited numbers.

Third, most large corporations do not allow stores to offer their own prices. This is known as UPP or unilateral pricing policy. This means that a television from this company will incur the same costs, whether on Amazon, Best Buy or elsewhere. Well, everywhere else where televisions from this company are to continue to be sold.

026 year old television

Most TV prices are set by the manufacturer so they stay the same from store to store.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If this sounds sketchy, it is, but that’s a topic for another article. The result is that there is usually no need to worry about a store going to have a sale. For the most part, either every store has a sale on this TV or none. Well, that TV could go on sale (anywhere) next week. Some stores offer price protection in this case. Some credit cards too. It’s worth noting that Amazon doesn’t offer price protection.

What about next year’s TV technology?

In short, there is always something new around the corner. If that is your concern, you should rest assured that even if something new hits the market next year it will be very expensive.

For example, MicroLED looks very promising, but you could buy a Porsche or two for the price of a MicroLED TV. It will be years before this is mainstream technology.

Mini LEDis available now. This technology promises near-OLED picture quality for less money. It is likely that we will see more brands with mini LED in the future.


On the left is the picture as you would see it on a mini LED TV. On the right is a picture of the mini-LED array on the back of the TV. With so many LEDs, the background lighting has a greater “resolution”, so that a finer distinction can be made between light and dark. The ideal, like OLED and microLED, would be per-pixel lighting, but mini-LED is one step closer to that without the cost of the other two technologies.

Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

It is also rolling across the country NextGen TV, also known as ATSC 3.0. This is a free 4K wireless TV that while it’s evolving quite quickly and may already be available in your city. There are even some Models with built-in tuners are available now. There is no need to rush to upgrade or purchase these specific models as, in the worst case scenario, you can buy a cheap external tuner and plug that into your TV.

There are also HDMI 2.1. While 2.1 has several great new technologies, it doesn’t eliminate the need for current televisions (unless it is one current 8K TV, but that’s another story). As long as your current TV works with your current sources, you should be fine.

Really old TVs that are more than 10 years old may have problems connecting to modernity Streaming and disc sources, but there is no real workaround for that. If your TV doesn’t work with a new Roku or Blu-ray player, you may need to upgrade if you want to use one of these players.

So should you get a new TV?

Here is the short version:

Get a new TV now if:

  • Your current TV is having problems or is too old to connect to a streaming service like Netflix.
  • You are ready to buy from a place that has a price match policy in case there is a sale.
  • You want something bigger than what you have now.

Don’t get a TV now if:

  • Your current TV is working fine.
  • There is literally everything you need or want to spend money on.

If you’re in the mood for something new but are still on the fence, consider giving your TV a little overhaul. If you’ve never adjusted the settings before, it’s easy to do and will likely make your TV look better than ever before. That might surprise you a little.

And if your final decision is that you’re ready to buy a new TV now, we have a few at CNET Guidelines and proposed 2021 models.

In addition to covering TV and other display technologies, Geoff Morrison also takes photo tours of cool museums and locations around the world, including nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriers, medieval castles, aircraft cemeteries, and more.

You can follow his exploits on Instagram, YouTube, and on his travel blog, BaldNomad. He also wrote a bestselling science fiction novel about city-size submarines, as well as a sequel.

CNET television, streaming and audio

Get CNET’s comprehensive coverage of home entertainment technology in your inbox.

Leave a Reply