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What to Look for in a TV

Dec 13, 2021

A family on a couch watching TV

Searching for a new TV can be a daunting task. This article will teach you what to look for in a TV so that you’ll know which factors are important and which are less important. There are two main factors to consider during your search: a TV’s specifications and its features. The first is easy, but the second can be confusing because there are so many different types of features available on TVs these days. Let's take a closer look at them all.

What Specifications to Look for in a TV

When it comes to specifications, there are three things you should look for: screen resolution, number of connections and screen size.

Screen Resolution

A TV’s screen resolution means the level of detail it can display. The higher the screen resolution, the more detail you’ll see on your TV. This means that if you watch a high-resolution movie on a low-resolution TV, what you're watching won't look as sharp or clear. So what's the best resolution? You’ll want to look for at least 1080p. That’s been the standard for a while now, and it’s what we recommend to all customers.

Number of Connections

The number and types of connections can play an important role in what you see on your TV. However, what's important for gamers is different from what's important for movie watchers; and a sports fan’s needs will differ from a news junkie’s. Identifying your specific needs will help you narrow in on a TV that will work great for your particular situation.

Screen Size

You’ll want to factor in how much of an “epic” viewing experience you want to have — and weigh that against your budget and how much you want your TV to dominate your space. Also, obviously, you'll want to make sure that the size of your new TV fits into the room you’re planning to put it in.

What Features to Look for in a TV

Now, here’s what really separates one TV from another — the features. There are many different types of features, but we'll go over what we think are the most important and what you should look for when shopping for a new TV:


The resolution determines what you can see on your TV. If you're watching a low-resolution movie, then what you see on a high-resolution TV won't look as good because what's displayed isn't what the director originally created. You'll want to make sure that what you watch has a screen resolution of at least 1080p.

Smart TV Options

Smart TV options are what allow you to connect your TV to the internet, and the smart features determine what apps you'll be able to use: think Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube and Spotify. If all you want or need is a simple streaming experience with a couple of these types of apps, then a smart TV may be right for you. If what you do most of your streaming through is a computer, laptop or tablet, then a smart TV wouldn't make much of a difference in what you see on your TV.

WiFi Connectivity

WiFi connectivity is what allows you to connect your TV to the internet. If you want a high-bandwidth streaming experience, then having multiple wireless connections will be important.

Streaming Integration

Streaming integration refers to how quickly your TV acquires information from across the internet. Good streaming integration means your smart TV will provide the most up-to-the minute data possible.

Cross-Device Connection

This is what allows you to connect your TV to the internet using different devices. For example, if you want to be able to stream shows, videos or photos from a smartphone on your TV, then your connectivity options will be important.

Voice Activation

Voice activation means being able to control what you see on your TV with the sound of your voice. If you have a hands-free option, then you’ll want to look for TVs with voice-activation options.

How Can Acima Help?

At Acima, we understand that shopping for a new TV can be challenging— especially if you’re considering getting a high-end, state-of-the-art television. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Our alternative to financing, the no credit option, makes finding the right TV easy and stress-free. Our lease-to-own solution allows you to shop for your TV and make smaller manageable lease renewal payments over time toward ownership — and without having to pull out your credit card. If you make the number of payments defined under your lease or exercise an option to purchase it early at a discount, it’s yours! If you no longer need it, you can simply return it in good condition at any time without further obligation. Why not take some of the stress out of the process? Learn more about how Acima’s leasing solutions can help you do just that. And while you’re at it, check out our other article “When is the Best Time to Shop for a TV.”

Common Questions about TVs:

What’s the difference between 4K and HDTV?

HDTV stands for High-Definition Television. These TVs, with a screen resolution of at least 1080p, have been the gold standard for much of the 21st century. However in 2013, 4K TVs came along. These higher resolution TVs have replaced HDTVs as the gold standard — but any HDTV, with its remarkably crisp images, will make a great choice for most viewers.

Should I get a curved screen or flat-screen TV?

Flat-screen TVs generally have a standard rectangular size, but some come with what's called an ultrawide curved display. The curved screen can have a stunning effect, making shows and movies look like they’re happening in real life. There are even different types of curvature, but the most common type is a regular U-shaped curve.

Which TV size should I get?

The first thing you should consider is what size room the TV will go in. If what you want to watch comes in high resolution, then what size TV would best fit you? For example, if you tend to watch TV games shows, then a 55-inch 1080p HDTV would probably do nicely. If you want a more cinematic experience, then you might consider a 4K TV of 65 inches, or even larger.

Do I need a smart TV?

A smart TV determines what kind of features your TV can perform. A smart TV allows access to platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube and Spotify.