It can be difficult getting to grips with tech jargon, and we know that product descriptions and specifications can contain complicated terms which can leave you feeling more confused. So, we’ve found and broken down the most commonly used terms for televisions to help you out!
What is Full HD?
HD refers to the screen resolution which is dependent on the number of pixels. The more pixels per square inch, the better the details in the image. HD is often referred to as 1080p which describes the pixel count, 1080 by 1920 pixels, over 2 million pixels in total. Most TV broadcasters offer HD channels.
What does 4K mean?
4K TVs (also referred to as 4K Ultra HD or UHD) have four times the number of pixels of HD TVs, over 8 million in total. This makes the images four times sharper, more life-like, and with an overall better definition and clarity. A 4K TV needs a 4K channel or streaming service, such as Netflix, to provide this resolution. However, these are becoming more mainstream with more 4K content being available. A larger screen will enable you to fully appreciate the increased depth and detail, which can almost feel 3D.
What does HDR mean?
HDR or High Dynamic Range notes a heightened contrast between the very brightest white and the darkest black of an image. A higher dynamic range enables the pictures to appear more natural and life-like with richer colours and better detail in the image's shadows and highlights.
What is the refresh rate?
The higher the rate, the smoother the picture will be with fast-moving subjects. This is an essential feature for sports fans and will produce smooth images of the players & balls.
What are the different screen types?
The screen types are the way in which pixels can be lit to display different colours and contrasts. There are three main types; LED, OLED or QLED.
What does LED mean?
An LED TV uses hundreds of 'light-emitting diodes' to light the screen. They require a backlighting to function but can create a very bright image. These screens provide excellent pictures with good contrast and sharp images.
What does OLED mean?
Unlike LED screens, OLED models are self-emissive as they create their own light. This eliminates the need for backlighting meaning the TV sets are ultra thin. While they are currently not as bright as LED screens, the diodes can be controlled on a pixel-by-pixel basis which can provide more contrast for images, particularly by creating a true black (something that LED screens can struggle with). OLED screens have high picture quality, fast refresh rates, rich colours and low-energy consumption. They are currently more expensive to purchase but are likely to become more affordable as they become more mainstream.
What does QLED/quantum-dot mean?
QLED is a new technology, released by Samsung, which uses Quantum Dots. These Dots are very small particles which create vibrant images with a great range of colours. Unlike OLED screens, QLED uses a backlighting to function and therefore these televisions cannot be as slim. While they are currently able to produce brighter images than OLED screens, they cannot produce a true black like their rival.
What does 3D active and 3D passive mean?
Following the introduction of 3D films at the cinema, some TVs have been designed so that you can watch 3D material in your home. Sky and Virgin customers can access some 3D content, and it is possible to buy 3D films. 3D Active TVs require battery-powered glasses whereas 3D Passive TVs use the same cheap glasses as cinemas. 3D Active offers a better picture quality. However, 3D Passive is more practical and affordable, especially for groups of people.
What is a curved TV?
Curved TVs put you at the centre of the action. The curved screen matches the natural contour of your eyes, providing you with a more immersive feeling. With an enhanced sense of depth, many viewers feel as if they are watching something in 3D (without the inconvenience of 3D glasses). The contrast is also considered to be better on these screens.
However, more expensive, larger screens of 65 inches or more are recommended to receive the full range of benefits. There are also certain viewing limitations with these screens and off centre viewers may have a different experience to those sat in the ‘sweet spot’.
What is a smart TV?
Using your broadband connection, smart TVs let you connect to social media, watch catch up TV via BBC iPlayer and stream your favourite films on apps such as Netflix. You can browse the internet or connect to smart devices such as your phone or tablet and effortlessly share content such as music and images. For Smart TVs to function, you do need a decent broadband speed, particularly for streaming videos.
What is a digital set top box?
Digital set top boxes, also known as digital receivers convert TV signals so that they can be viewed on your television. There are lots of different options and some offer on-demand channels, HD channels and let you play, pause and rewind content.
What is a streaming device?
A streaming device enables you to connect your TV to the internet. This enables you to stream content from Netflix and other streaming services. They are often in the form of a small stick which connects to the back of your TV and is controlled with a remote or sometimes with your voice.
What is a smart TV box?
A smart TV box offers similar capabilities to a streaming device but it lacks the portability of a streaming stick. They tend to be more expensive to buy but offer a faster processing speed giving it a better performance.