Selecting a winning TV set - Dallas News |

Selecting a winning TV set

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With the Super Bowl coming up, football fans might be thinking about making a big investment in a big screen TV.  But with technology changing so rapidly, there are some sets to pass on.

From 3D to 4K TVs, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by new features and functions, but if there's one thing that's "set" about your TV, most customers want to see bigger pictures.

So how is possible to supersize your screen without shrinking your wallet? Start by skipping features like 4K.

4K TVs set show images with four times the resolution of HD.

But while prices, which start in the thousands, might seem like a bargain compared to where they once were, true 4K content is limited, mostly to a pre-set catalog of movies.

In terms of tuning in and watching a favorite TV show in 4K, it's not really possible right now. Neither is watching 4K sporting events.

Viewers can watch the World Cup broadcast in 4K, but only in Japan.

A 4K TV also means an investment in new cables.

"You want something that is 18 megabytes per second, or faster," said Best Buy employee Brett Johnston.

Plus, if you invest too early, you might miss what's coming next.

5K and even 8K sets are already in development, and while you might think ultra-high def. means ultra-high features all around, it doesn't.

Many of the 4K sets right now aren't offered at the same high refresh rate as some bargain sets.

"It's kind of a non-negotiable," said Johnston. "I'd be more willing to strip other features off the television if I could improve the refresh rate."

To save really big, consider a refresh of the set you already have.

"For $100, you can make a non-smart TV a smart TV without having to buy a whole new set," said Johnston.  

You can do it by purchasing any one of a number of set top smart boxes.

But beware -- many might offer more features that you need.

When it comes to 3D TVs, many consumers say they regret spending the cash on a 3D set because they never use that feature.

Even manufacturers are citing there is no real demand from consumers for 3D. Instead, they want bigger, better and slimmer pictures in 2D.

Thinner bezels will allow you to upgrade your built-in without a total remodel.

"If you had a 42-inch TV in that space before, it's pretty likely that you can fit a 46 into that same space without altering anything," said Johnston.

The bottom line: save money now and add accessories later.

In the end, it seems like being a smart shopper still trumps smart TV.

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