Today the market is flooded with all sorts of brands and types of TVs from smart TV, digital TV, UHD, 4k, 4k ultra, LCD, LED, QLED, OLED, HDR, 8k…. Hopefully I’ve mentioned them all. Seriously there’s a lot of jargon out there when it comes to modern day TVs but worry not I’m here to break it down for you so you can make a good decision on your next purchase. Let’s be honest, modern TVs are expensive hence solid research before your next purchase can go a long way in getting what you want.
In this article, we will discuss all the different jargon associated with modern TVs and by the end of it you’ll have a solid grasp of what’s in the market and what’s best for you. Ready, OK, Let’s get you the best TV in Kenya today.
Types of TV’s
A smart TV is connected to the internet and has web 2.0 features. This allows you to browse the internet, stream music and videos from Youtube, apps that allow you to access different types of content e.g Netflix for movies. You can get a reputable smart TV for as low as Ksh. 20,000 for 22 inches. Today, a smart TV is the way to go although you must have a stable internet connection to reap its benefits.
Digital TVs come with in-built decoders that allow you to access local channels for free. They are cheaper than smart TVs and are mostly LED(Don’t worry we will get to the meaning of this).
Even though they were discontinued in 2015, plasma TVs are still sold in the secondary market. Plasma TVs were the first thin TVs that could be mounted on a wall.
Once you have understood the types of TVs that are on the market today. The next step is to understand the technologies behind the TVs and what will get you the best value for your money.
What is LCD, LED, LED LCD, OLED, QLED
As much as the jargon sounds like a mouthful, when it comes to it, it really boils down to two types of TVs in the market: LCD and OLED. Unless umeomoka you’ll probably be buying an LCD TV.
LCD and LED TV Sets
Most of the televisions today are LED LCD. These HD and Ultra HD sets use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the LCD screen and can be extremely thin. Many of these TVs can dynamically light up specific portions of the screen and dim other parts to better represent a mix of light and dark areas in a scene. LED LCD sets can be bought for as little as Ksh. 5, 000 for a 22-inch screen, while a top-of-the-line 90-inch model can go for Ksh. 1,000,000.
Another LCD technology, called quantum dots, is becoming more common, spurred on by the requirements of High Dynamic Range (HDR) to produce a wider array of colors and more brightness. An LCD that uses quantum dots basically has another layer of dots that light up when the LED backlight hits them. The result is a wider color spectrum and increased brightness.
OLED TVs go one step further than full-array LED-LCDs with a few dozen lighting zones. In place of a backlight, OLEDs use a layer of organic LEDs, controlled at the pixel level, to achieve absolute black and stunning levels of contrast.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
There’s not much HDR programming available, but it’s starting to look a bit better. There are a few dozen movies in the new 4K Blu-ray disc format, with a growing number of HDR shows available via streaming services, like Amazon Prime and Netflix. Some new 4K Blu-ray players also promise to be upgradable to handle the new HDR discs, but check before you buy.
In general, HDR especially in Kenya should not be paid much attention to although it’s picking up momentum and wouldn’t hurt to get a HDR enabled TV if you can afford to since it’s catching up.
This is jargon introduced by Samsung to confuse the market even further than it already is and the rest of the manufacturers are picking it up too. What’s important is QLED is a good compromise if you want something better than LCD but cheaper than OLED. QLED makes for a good middle ground between the two.
This has been the resolution standard for many years also known as the 1920 x 1080 resolution. It’s still the most popular around the world.
However, TV manufacturers are rapidly shifting to Ultra HD sets (also called 4K). These 4K models have four times the number of pixels as current HDTV screens.
The biggest benefit of 4K TVs also known as Ultra HD (UHD) is they have 4x more pixels than Full HD, small objects on the screen have more detail, including sharper text. Overall, images appear richer and more life-like than on an HDTV. The sharper picture also has the added benefit of letting you comfortably view the screen from a shorter distance, making larger TVs more comfortable to view in a regular-sized home.
This is the best format to get today as it is the latest to be widely adopted by content creators such as movies, Youtube, Netflix, Amazon e.t.c.
These displays quadruple the resolution seen on 4K TVs, offering a giant leap forward in picture quality, but finding content to take full take advantage of that higher resolution is extremely limited. Although, if you have the money you can invest in the 8K and enjoy it for a long time to come rather than have to switch in 2-3 years when 4K will be old technology.
1. TCL 32" FULL HD ANDROID TV 32S65A
TCL has grown to prove to be an excellent brand. As a proud owner of a TCL 65” 4K myself, I have no complaints and the TV is always showered with compliments by my visitors. This 32” Full HD is a great price for a great TV. The design is thin and slick and can be mounted on a wall (includes a free wall mount) or placed on a counter top although could be dangerous especially if children are around.
It’s jam-packed with all the necessary apps without causing a lag such as Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, Amazon e.t.c if there’s an app not included you can easily download it from the playstore. The picture is amazing for a 20k TV, besides it being a Full HD it has a feature known as MEMC that makes content appear smooth and transitions lively.
The sound quality is incredible due to Dolby Audio technology used on the speakers, most people find no need for a separate surround system.
My favourite feature is a dedicated app for your TV. This allows you to control the TV from any corner of your home. You can also take screenshots, cast video and audio e.t.c. My best is connecting your earphones to your phone while on the app and enjoy the sound of the TV through the earphones, neat huh!
2. Skyworth 43E20 43" Smart Android LED TV
Skyworth is yet another brand that has proved to be outstanding. Many people are usually put off by brand names other than the big brand names but that’s not the case. Brands such as Skyworth, TCL and Hisense have proved to be just as competitive but with an edge on the price.
The frameless design coupled with the IPS technology allows you to comfortably watch the TV from any angle without losing picture quality; this is handy for small spaces such as Nairobi apartments heh!
The picture is amazing you would hardly believe it’s not a Samsung, LG or a Sony.
It’s speakers are Dolby Audio technology delivering surround system sound that’s hard to beat.
It’s equipped with all the necessary apps you would need in a modern day TV and an option to download others from the play store.
3. TCL 55'' 4K ULTRA HD ANDROID TV, 4K
As I mentioned earlier, if possible go for a 4k TV this is the current high-tech and content is adapting fast to 4K. It’s an amazing display and watching a 4k movie or music video will literally blow your mind away. I still have not gotten used to the image quality despite owning the TV for a while now.
The image quality coupled with Dolby Audio speakers makes for a superb experience. I re-watched Avatar(4K version) on my TCL and it was as if I was watching it for the first time.
Chrome cast built-in this allows you to cast youtube videos and other chromecast supported apps to your TV. For Example, as long as someone is connected to your network they can cast from their phone to the TV.
All the apps are available and more to give you variety in entertainment. Has 2 USB ports, 3 HDMI ports, Bluetooth and headphone output.
This would also be excellent for gaming.
4. Hisense 43A7100F Smart Ultra HD 4K
If you’re a sports fan, the sports mode feature makes you enjoy your games like you are in a real life stadium probably one of the best TVs for sports considering the price.
Immerse yourself in breathtaking 4K HDR detail with the Hisense A7100F. 4K Ultra HD resolution delivers pin-sharp picture quality whilst HDR maximises contrast and colour accuracy. UHD AI Upscaler enhances all of your favourite sports, TV shows, movies and games to super clear, near-4K quality effortlessly.
Ofcourse it has seamless access to all your favourite apps that provide you with a steady stream of all your favorite content.
Hisense’s VIDAA U Smart TV OS lets you enjoy all your favourite entertainment from Netflix, Prime Video, Freeview Play and more, and control your TV using voice with Alexa built-in.
It comes with the DTS Studio sound which is a very close competitor to Dolby if not slightly better due to the higher bit rate. Hence, you can be sure to be served with an incredible sound experience.
5. Vitron "43" FHD SMART ANDROID TV
It’s a Full HD set that delivers amazing picture quality for all your content. You can also connect your phone and browse through your pictures and other media on the TV.
It’s loaded with the content apps that you need such as Youtube, Netflix e.t.c with an option to add more from the playstore.
6. LG 43” 4K ULTRA HD SMART TV
Another 4K HDR TV but from LG, expect this to be a beast when it comes to picture quality. With its 9 unique picture modes that accommodate all your viewing needs from movies to sports to gaming.
It also includes a web browser which is quite important for consuming content on your TV. Some TVs don’t come with a web browser which greatly cuts down your range of entertainment.
It’s equipped with intelligent voice control for my fellow couch potatoes to control their TVs easily. The magic remote that it comes with enables for easier navigation due to the scroll, voice and normal navigation features all in one remote.
7. Samsung 55TU8000 55" 4K Smart TV
It has a sleek, elegant and minimalistic design that draws you into your screen from any angle. The design draws you to the picture, not the TV.
The sound is crisp and would be ideal for all your movies, series, sports and gaming needs.
It’s equipped with multiple voice assistant for your choosing. Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant.
Content sharing apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon are all included and ready to binge.
8. Samsung 82TU8000 UHD 4K Smart TV
Equipped with the cutting edge Dynamic Crystal Colour technology it delivers picture perfect results.
The one connect port allows you to connect all your devices through one port and control all of the with the remote. At the same time, the TV is designed to hide all your cables for a clean look.
It can auto-dim and adjust sound accordingly depending on your viewing needs.
Using the smart hub feature, access all your content and connected devices from one place.
As promised in the beginning, I have tried giving as much information without being too technical so as not to bore you but instead guide you through understanding modern day TVs and what’s best for you. Best of luck.