In a nutshell, the resolution dictates the quality and clarity of the picture your TV can display. The three main TV resolutions to look out for are 4K (or 2160p), 1080p and 720p. The larger this number is, the more pixels that can be displayed. More pixels mean better image detail and clarity, and a more impressive viewing experience.
For most people a SMART TV is generally one that can connect to a home network (either wirelessly or through an Ethernet cable) and access online content from the internet. SMART TV's usually have a menu which displays a range of apps, such as streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Depending on the brand and model, SMART features may also include voice and gesture recognition technology, the ability to stream from your mobile phone, and more.
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and aims to show you a more realistic picture with more brightness, richness and clarity of colour. Overall, it enhances the image quality in movies and shows
OLED and LED are the two main types of screen technology available. On OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays, each pixel is also a light source so does not require any separate illumination or filters. Whereas an LED TV screen (or more accurately an LCD screen, backlit by LEDs) works by projecting white light through a filter using liquid crystals to create various colour. The main difference is that OLED TVs produce true black, superior colour uniformity and better contrast ratios (or a better image) - but they're expensive. Take a look at our OLED vs. LED comparison.
Measured in Hertz (Hz), the processing rate is basically the speed at which the TV is capable of processing an image change. The higher the processing rate, the smoother the frame to frame transition will be. This means that picture quality in motion will look more fluid and natural. Rates usually range from 60Hz upwards.
The main differences are picture definition, clarity and colour quality. 4K and Full-HD are just a way of expressing the maximum resolution of a display. The resolution dictates the number of pixels which can be displayed. The more pixels that can be displayed, the more impressive the image and viewing experience is. 4K delivers 3840 pixels x 2160 lines, whereas Full-HD runs at a lower 1920 pixels x 1080 lines. In a nutshell, a 4K TV displays a superior picture to a Full-HD TV.
This is the ratio between the brightest white and the darkest black a screen can produce. The higher the contrast ratio, the better the image depth and the more life-like the picture will look. Different screen technologies have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, an LED (LCD) screen can push slightly higher at the high brightness levels, but can't produce 'true black' at the lower brightness levels, like OLED technology can.
The standard measure for a TV screen is diagonally from corner to corner. The measurement applies to the screen display only, not any surround bezel. There are many guides online which suggest the optimum TV size for the distance you plan to sit away from screen (the rule of thumb is the further away you sit, the bigger the screen needs to be). Ultimately though, its down to personal perference, and how immersed you want to feel during your viewing experience.
Although 4K TV's can upscale lower resolution programmes, it's not the same as watching something made specifically in 4K. The good news is that native 4K content is quickly becoming more mainstream. You can now access 4K programming from streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Sky Q and YouTube. In addition, you can connect an Ultra-HD Blu-ray, Playstation 5 or XBOX ONE X and enjoy the full 4K content experience.
HDMI cables generally fit into either a High Speed or Standard Speed category. The HDMI cable type you need depends on the amount of visual & audio information your devices are capable of sending and receiving. In real terms, this usually means for devices capable of 1080p Full-HD video and upwards, use a High Speed HDMI cable. Try our HDMI finder for more help.