Recommended Refrigerators to Buy in Singapore for 2019
Smarter and even better-looking, meet the new generation of appliances coming to a home near you.
By the 1950s, most upper- and middle-class were using these appliances in their homes. Today, the majority of homeowners still rely on them, with the big
the difference being that appliances now tend to us much more than we tend to them.
At the end of 2018, appliance DESIGN reached out to Whirlpool, Sharp, Electrolux, and LG etc. to ask what is trending in the home appliance market for 2019 and why.
A fridge and Refrigerator is an essential household appliance. It is something we use every day. If you cook on a regular basis, you’ll definitely need a
good and sizeable fridge and Refrigerator to keep your groceries fresh. Even if you don’t cook, you can’t do without it. Otherwise, where would you keep your chocolate bars, ice cool can drinks and tubs of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream?
Buying a fridge and Refrigerator can be pretty confusing. There are so many brands and within the brands, there are so many different models. Among hundreds of refrigerators, we have narrowed them down to what we think is the best.
Types of RefrigeratorsWhich One Will Be The Best Fridge For You?
Refrigerators have a variety of models and styles. Here are the standard six types:
Top Freezer:These are the traditional fridges we all know. They tend to have a lot of storage in the bottom part and offer some decent space at the top for freezing.
They are typically 30-inches wide and can store lots of food products inside, but features and reliability do vary from brand to brand.
Please find the List of Recommended Top Freezer Refrigerators in 2019.
These are often less spacious than the top freezer type; however, it all can vary by model and brand.
Bottom freezers are usually more user-friendly because you can access the freezing shelves more easily.
This is because you can reach down into a “bucket” style compartment. Frozen food can be stacked within interior drawers for even more convenience.
Please find the List of Recommended Bottom Freezer Refrigerators in 2019.
This type is similar to a bottom freezer. The only difference is that these types tend to have double doors, with two top refrigeration sections that come with
two separate doors.
The advantage is you only open part of your fridge when you access it. The smaller door needs less space to swing open as well so it gets an extra point for
These refrigerators usually offer more space than the top- or bottom-freezer models and often have water and ice dispensers in their doors.
Please find the List of Recommended French Doors Refrigerators in 2019.
This kind of refrigerator also has two doors, with the fridge on one side and the freezer on the other. It is typical that the freezer side is a bit smaller than
the refrigeration side.
Larger families tend to use this type because they offer more cubic feet overall while still fitting in most kitchens. They are usually in need of storing larger quantities of food in the freezer, but a big complaint here is that the freezer space fills up quickly and doesn’t offer enough room.
It’s important to note that these options are also not as energy efficient. This can definitely make a difference with your electric bill over time.
Please find the List of Recommended Side-By-Side Refrigerators in 2019.
Fell Free to contact us to Buy refrigerators at best price in Singapore.
Essential Guide to Buying New Kitchen Appliances in Singapore
You probably (hopefully!) don't buy new kitchen appliances all that often, so when it's actually time to take the plunge — on an appliance of any size — it can be overwhelming. Buying a new range, refrigerators, or laundry pair isn’t an everyday thing. In fact, I think buying a new appliance is a bit of a big deal. These purchases can be expensive and you never want to make a costly mistake, ordering something you hate using.
Know Your Budget
First things first, you need to know how much you can invest in your new appliance(s). I say invest because while there is a wide range of price points in today’s marketplace, an appliance is still a bigger-ticket item than a new pair of shoes is for your family’s budget. Know what budget you are working within and go from there.
Buy Only What You Need
Make a list of mandatory features or needs for your new appliance(s). I find it helpful to put features into either a must-have or like-to have column. This helps prioritize and also keeps budget considerations in check. Include in this any design features you’d like.
Know Your Space
The picture-perfect refrigerator with all your wants and needs, including budget, is great except when it doesn’t fit into the space you have in your kitchen. A very critical step is measuring especially when it comes to picking a refrigerator. I’ll repeat, measure the hole where you want your new refrigerator, measure, measure. Oh, and measure again.
The biggest problem is that new refrigerators have massive doors, really deep cabinets, and non-standard heights. If you are planning a big renovation this step is less critical, but it is always best to start with your new appliances and then build the room around them rather than the other way around.
Shop the Sales
If you find something you like but you're not thrilled with the price, ask a sales associate when your pick is scheduled to go on sale. Waiting a week or two could be all it takes to reduce your purchase price by as much as 25 percent. Or wait to buy until a holiday weekend, like Thanksgiving or New Year Sale, when appliances are often discounted for a short time.
Look for a Package Deal
If you need to buy several appliances at once, like a hood, hob and oven or all new appliances for your home, an appliance package could be your biggest source of savings. Retailers frequently bundle appliances to boost sales, and these packages can offer significant savings over the price of purchasing each item individually.
You’ll be better off if you can plan a new appliance purchase in advance. But even if you run your old appliances into the ground, you still have opportunities to get a good deal. In fact, it’s safe to say that given the number of options available, you should never pay full price for a new appliance purchase. Remember also that in order to save the most money on your large appliances, it pays to maintain them properly.
When was the last time that you bought a new appliance? where to buy kitchen appliances online in Singapore?
Best Washing Machine Buying Guide Singapore
When investing in a new washing machine, there's a lot more at play than how well it cleans. First, you'll consider the type of machine you want — a traditional top loader, a top loader without an agitator, or a front loader. Budget, of course, is another concern (a full-size machine can cost anywhere from $400 to over $1,700). And which special cleaning features might be super-helpful to you?
What factors are most important to consider before I buy?Evaluate your laundry needs and how many loads of laundry you wash a week. If you have a large family, or if you're a planning a family in the near future, consider a big washer that can handle large loads. Larger interior dimensions will give you more flexibility and can also handle oversized household items, like comforters and sleeping bags.
If you wear a lot of delicate fabrics, consider a machine with cycles that simulate hand-washing.
If you wash lots of heavy items, a unit that offers an extended spin (for wringing water from towels and comforters) and extra rinse cycles (for rinsing out excess detergent) is great.
Do you often have heavily soiled clothes such as sports uniforms? A machine that provides extra-long wash and presoaking cycles will get them clean. In contrast, if you tend to have slightly soiled garments, a washer with a quick-wash option may be best for you.
Fully-automatic or semi-automaticWashing machines come in two variants – fully-automatic, which does everything for you at the touch of a button, and semi-automatic, which can come with two tubs. If you use a twin tub semi-automatic washing machine, this means you may need to move your clothes from one tub to the other during the washing process. These machines can also use less water and allow you to pause between cycles. However, if you’re after a convenient wash, a fully-automatic washing machine will do everything for you.
What's the best way to judge tub capacity?Most washer tubs range in size from about 2.45 cubic feet to 3.3 cubic feet. Don't try to compare numbers or industry terminology for tub capacity. Manufacturers use different methods to calculate tub size and a variety of terms, such as "extra-large," "super-capacity" and "super-capacity plus." Although many top-loading washers with agitators claim to be "super-capacity," some are really too small to handle 12-pound loads. If you tend to save up your laundry or have a large family, look for a washing machine with the "plus" label. It will likely wash up to 15 pounds at a time. Or, consider a large-size front loader or top loader without an agitator.
Are there any safety features in clothes washers?Yes. Although all washers stop spinning during the spin cycle when the lid is open, some have safety locks. This feature prevents children from opening the lid during the spin cycle.
What are the pros and cons of dials vs. push buttons vs. touchpads?No doubt, touchpad controls are more sleekly designed and easier to clean than dials and push buttons —- though the cleanup of laundry appliances isn't a big deal. The real benefit of buying an electronic touchpad control is that it gives you instant feedback, with icons, cycle time readouts and lights that can be seen from across a room.
Temperature controlIf the washer has an in-built heater, this feature will help adjust the temperature of the water. This can prove useful in winter. Besides, hot water cleans clothes better. Some of the machines have steam setting, which helps fight dirt and stains well.
What should I know about delivery and installation?Before you buy a clothes washer, think about how it will be installed. Do you want your old washer hauled away, or does your town allow curbside pickup of appliances? If you're rearranging or building a new laundry room, do you need water or electric hooked up? Who will be home to accept the delivery of your clothes washer? Do you need to take a day off of work because the place you bought it from doesn't deliver on weekends? And if you plan to install your washer in a basement, make sure you measured the entrance way to ensure the unit can fit in your home.
What kind of warranty do manufacturers typically offer?You generally get a one- or two-year parts-and-labor warranty included in the sticker price. Certain parts, like the motor and the tub, are covered for longer periods, depending on the brand, with limited warranties.
Automatic dispensers: These release the bleach, detergent or fabric softener automatically at an appropriate time during the wash cycle.
Extra rinse cycle: As the name suggests, it rinses the laundry for an additional cycle and is beneficial for people who are sensitive to detergent residue.
Air dry: When the drum rotates, this feature allows it to suck in air and blast it out on the clothes. This results in a more effective and faster drying of clothes, leaving them free of bad odour and bacteria.
5 Modern Appliances That Will Transform Your Kitchen
The future involves innovations ranging from do-it-all ovens to robotic chefs. The speed at which technology is developing is neck breaking. One moment you
are thinking you have some of the latest cutting-edge technology devices around only to find out later that you are a bit behind. Everything now is smart,
and the modern kitchen appliances have not been left behind.
With the evolving of modern science, you will see a drastic change in the features of these modern kitchen accessories and appliances. They will be more
digital and “in synced” with modern tech than they were before.
When renovating your kitchen, it helps to think about your “must-have” appliances before you start knocking down any walls or measuring out counter space.
Consider what you really want in cooking appliances.
Are you dead set on having the latest convection-steam wall oven and/or one of those professional style dual fuel gas ranges?
Would your family appreciate a luxury beverage fridge such as Marvel appliances’ professional 24” beverage centre with 3-in-1 convertible shelves?
Knowing which appliances are the most important to your family will help narrow down your search and help you determine your kitchen layout and dimension
details. Either way, your local appliance experts will be able to help fit your space as it best suits your lifestyle.
1. An Oven with Smart FeaturesOvens are beginning to think for themselves. Now a days many brands manufactures Wi-Fi-enabled ovens will link with advance technology to vary the
temperature and cooking mode based on any given recipe. Just select the dish you're preparing, how you want it cooked and what type of pan you're using, and
the device will know to turn on the convection or blast the broiler, taking the hovering out of roasting the perfect chicken.
You can find all type of Oven at best price
Some models also have a convection feature that lets you bake in them. Before you decide on the perfect one for your kitchen consider the space where it will
stand and the power wattage as this will affect the energy consumption in your kitchen.
2. Refrigerator With Smart ThinkTalking about smart devices, this refrigerator has almost everything that you need minus kitchen sink and kitchen faucet. No? Well, it comes with a large
touchscreen that allows you to leave notes to your roommates, views their schedules, watch TV, play music, and even order groceries.
That is not all, the refrigerator has miniature cameras on the inside that take pictures and send them to your email. That means you know what has run out
when doing your shopping. The price is on the higher side but isn’t that everything? You be the judge.
You can find all type of Oven at best price
3. Food ProcessorThe modem electric food processor has been both a blessing and a curse for those who love to cook. I find that it severs the physical connection to
ingredients. However, that said. I do possess a small food processor that I use for creaming tofu and making custards, mousses, and other smooth, savory dips
Versatile and efficient, a good food processor will likely become indispensable in the kitchen. I've used mine to shared cheese, make biscuit dough, puree
baby food, grind spices, and chop up salsa ingredients. But before you head to the store, consider these factors to ensure you select the best food processor
for your needs.
Most food processors only have one motor speed, and most have a small tube opening at the top that enables you to easily add other ingredients. They usually
come with a "pusher" that fits into this tube and helps to feed larger items, keeps fingers safe, and acts as a lid. Make sure the machine you choose has a
"pulse" button to give small bursts of power (good for rough chopping or quick dough kneading). You'll appreciate a smooth touchpad for the controls, which
is easier to clean than raised buttons, as well as dishwasher-safe parts (although I still like to hand-wash my blades to keep them from dulling).
You can find all type of Food Processors at best price
4. RESPONSIVE COOKTOPSIt seems that everyone in Europe is using induction cooktops, " says designer Young Huh. They're sleek and efficient, and they have no emissions." Many
brands will introduce its induction cooktop, which has cooking zones that adjust to the size of your pan, as well as sensors that automatically thwart a
Buy induction cooktop at best price online
5. Coffee MachinesIs there anything more satisfying than waking up to a cup of fresh brewed coffee? The eye-opening aroma, followed by that first delicious sip? Though there
are numerous ways to make coffee (have you tried coffee with an egg in it?), the options for making a good cup of coffee at home has advanced both
technologically and also in the design department.
Built directly into any countertop surface for a seamless finish, the TopBrewer is a beautifully designed stainless steel tap serving a coffee beverage on
demand. And it takes coffee brewing another two steps forward with iOS and Android smartphone or tablet compatibility. The TopBrewer offers users the ability
to peruse and choose beverage options visually from a mobile device, then further customize each drink to their liking (e.g. more milk, less milk, etc).
You can find all type of Coffee Maker at best price
- Contractor Ram
- Tags: Kitchen Appliances
Essential Guide to Buying The Best Refrigerator in Singapore
Buying a refrigerator could get confusing, especially with the many new features introduced with newer models by best refrigerator brands. There are essentially five things you'll have to consider before making a decision - the overall capacity, type, defrosting type, power consumption and additional features. Let's take a closer look at these features, starting with the overall capacity.
You might think it's as simple as choosing a fridge that looks good and holds all your food, but it's much more complicated to choose and buy best refrigerator.
Scroll through the tips below and get informed before checkout the best deals.
1. Become familiar with the four main types of fridges:Given how large the appliance is, you want a fridge that looks good in your kitchen. So before taking a trip to the store, know what your options are. Fridges come in four basic styles:
1. French door: two doors open outwards, and the freezer is placed at the bottom.
Checkout best deals on French door Refrigerator.
2. Side-by-side: two doors open outwards, and the freezer and fridge are placed alongside each other.
Checkout best deals on Side-by-Side door Refrigerator.
3. Top freezer: The freezer is on top, with the fridge is below.
Checkout best deals on Top freezer door Refrigerator.
4. Bottom freezer: The fridge sits above the freezer, which is at the bottom
Checkout best deals on Bottom door Refrigerator.
While there are certainly variations and add-ons, these are the four foundational types to choose from.
2. Consider your space
Figure out the dimensions of the area that will accommodate the refrigerator. Then, when you're shopping, find out the height, width, and depth of any units you're considering buying and check to make sure they'll fit in the space. Don't forget to allow a few inches above and behind the unit for air to circulate. Also be sure there's enough room for the doors to swing open.
3. Choose Interior of your Refrigerator
Pick a unit with adjustable shelves and door bins if storage flexibility is important to you. Some units have shelves that split, pull out, or have a crank to move them up and down. Deep door bins allow you to store bulkier items such as milk jugs.
Choose a unit with specialty drawers if you want to keep your refrigerator organized. Some units have drawers for wine or canned beverages. Others have full-extension drawers that allow you to more easily access items in the back. Many refrigerators have drawers with separate temperature or humidity controls to store items such as meat, fruits, and vegetables in their optimum storage conditions.
4. Pick your brand
Feature-rich refrigerators have a tendency to be more popular and each manufacturer makes one or more brands that are considered high-end or premium. These include GE, Whirlpool, Maytag, Frigidaire, Thermador and KitchenAid, as well as relative new-comers to the appliance scene, Electrolux, Samsung, and LG etc.
5. Power Consumption
The star ratings are typically found on the top-right corner. Higher the number of stars, lower the power consumption. Inverter technology cuts your power bills down while extending the life of the compressor inside the fridge at the same time.
TV Buying Guide 2018: How To Choose and Buy A TVSmart TV, LED, OLED, 4K, HDR. The world of TVs is looking better every day, but also more confusing. Today, there's a ridiculously wide array of high-
definition (HD) and 4K Ultra HD sets in stores, from bargain big screens to high-end displays that can cost as much as a car.
Buying a new TV is never easy. Ideal TV size? 4K or Full HD? HDR? OLED or QLED? Contrast ratio? We’re here to help you decide with these tips.
If you’re in a hurry, here are the most important things to consider before you buy a television. We explain each of these points in greater detail in the
- Don’t buy a TV with less than 4K resolution (i.e., avoid 1080p sets) if you want a future-proof set.
- Expect to pay about $500 for a solid 50- to 55-inch bargain 4K TV and at least $900 for a 65-inch model.
- Don't buy a TV with less than a 120 Hz refresh rate.
- Look for an HDR-compatible set, which offers more realistic colors and better contrast.
- OLED TVs look much better than a typical LED LCD, but they are considerably more expensive.
- Ignore contrast-ratio specs: manufacturers fudge the numbers. Trust your own eyes.
- Look for at least four HDMI ports; 4K shoppers should ask about HDCP compatibility.
- Curved TVs are a fashion statement. They don’t benefit image quality.
- Most TVs are “smart TVs” these days with easy access to Netflix and other online apps. Don’t be tricked into thinking this is a big deal.
- Plan to buy a soundbar. TV speakers are worse nowadays because the screens are thinner.
- Avoid extended warranties. Your credit card company may already provide purchase protection.
Screen Size: Finding the Sweet Spot
Whether you're looking for a basic or high-performance TV, the biggest factor in your decision will probably be screen size. Consider how many people in your
family typically watch at once and where you're going to put your new set. Then pick the largest screen size that will fit comfortably into that space — and
your budget. The sweet spot today, considering price, performance and the typical living room, is between 55 and 65 inches.
Offer: Get Best Deals on TV for Limited Period
Screen size also depends on how close you sit to the TV. Basically, if you can see the individual pixels of the screen, you're too close. A good rule of
thumb is that you should sit at a distance from the TV that is three times more than the height of the screen for HD and just 1.5 times the screen height for
4K Ultra HD. In other words, you can sit twice as close to a 4K UHD TV.
Here's a more in-depth guide to calculating the proper TV screen size based on the dimensions of your room, as well as the resolution of the TV.
If you have the opportunity, go to a store (and maybe bring your family) and look at the TVs. Even though 4K content is still rare, you may want that
higher-resolution technology if you plan to sit close to a very large screen.
Bottom Line: Choose a screen size and resolution appropriate for the distance you will sit from the screen. We’d start at 55 inches.
Screen Resolution: 4K or HD?
Resolution describes the sharpness of the TV picture, usually in terms of horizontal lines of pixels. They’re very rare at this point and should be avoided,
but a bargain HD set may support only 720p, which means the set displays 720 lines scanned progressively (or in a single pass). Other HDTVs support the 1080p
HD format, also called full HD, which has 1,080 lines of resolution. But at this stage, we’d skip 1080p sets, too.
Ultra HD video looks great, and it's getting easier to find. Several streaming services, like Netflix, Amazon Video and even YouTube have started offering 4K
content, and ultra HD Blu-ray discs are becoming more common. Live TV hasn't fully embraced 4K yet, but DirectTV, Dish Network and Comcast Xfinity have all
started offering 4K movies. Although Ultra HD sets can upscale existing HD content, the results can be mixed and do not look as sharp as original 4K
With those provisos, ultra-HD TV models are supplanting conventional HDTVs. Vizio, for example, has only one HDTV line left.
Bottom Line: Full HD 1080p is still the most common screen resolution today, but 4K is increasingly becoming the standard, and it's a better choice if you
want to future-proof your investment.
HDR: Get It If You Want the Most Colors
HDR is a new feature of 4K Ultra HD sets and it stands for high dynamic range, a reference to its ability to deliver more colors, more contrast levels and
increased brightness. HDR is essentially an upgrade of the 4K, or Ultra HD, format (it is not applicable to 1080p HD sets). For this new feature, TV makers
are christening new monikers for the sets to distinguish them from standard 4K Ultra HD TVs.
Refresh Rate: Faster Is Better
The refresh rate, expressed in Hertz (Hz) describes how many times per second a picture is refreshed on the screen. The standard refresh rate is 60 times per
second, or 60 Hz. However, in scenes with rapidly moving objects, a 60 Hz refresh rate can make things look blurry or jittery, particularly on LCD HDTVs. So,
to create a more solid picture, manufacturers doubled the refresh rate to 120 Hz (and in some cases up to 240 Hz).
HDMI and Connections: Go for More
It may seem like an afterthought, but pay attention to the number of HDMI inputs a set has. Manufacturers looking to shave costs may offer fewer HDMI plugs
on the back. These ports can get used up quickly: Add a sound bar, a Roku or Chromecast and a game console, and you've used three ports already.
TV Types: LCD, LED LCD, OLED
Aside from projection sets, there are basically only two types of TVs on the market: LCD and OLED. Unless you have a lot of disposable income, you'll
probably be buying an LCD TV.
LED and LCD Sets
The lion's share of 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 — a feature known as active dimming or local dimming. No-frills LED LCD sets can be had for as little as $200 for a 32-inch screen, while a
top-of-the-line 90-inch model can go for $8,000.
Most LCD sets use LEDs on the edge of the screen. The better of these models support active dimming, but it takes some digital sorcery to do this by merely
manipulating lights along the edge.
Full-array LED sets have light-emitting diodes directly behind the screen, in a grid of "zones" that can be lit up or darkened individually. Such an
arrangement makes the backlight more precise and allows a more-detailed picture regarding contrast. Full-array backlighting was once reserved for top-tier
models, but with more Ultra HD sets appearing at lower prices, this feature is becoming more common on modestly priced sets.
Another LCD technology, called quantum dots, is becoming more common, spurred on by the requirements of HDR to produce a wider array of colors and more brightness. An LCD that uses quantum dots basically has another layer, or added “rail,” of different size nanocrystal dots that light up when the LED
backlight hits them. The result is a wider color spectrum and increased brightness.
Be aware that some brands offer confusing labels. Samsung's newest sets are dubbed “QLED.” These are quantum-dot LCD TVs — not to be mistaken for OLED. And while quantum dot displays still can't match OLED in terms of sharpness and true black levels, the gap is narrowing as manufacturers work to improve the technology.
Pros: Wide array of prices, sizes and features; Some affordable Ultra HD 4K models; Bright screens visible even in a sunny room; Image quality steadily
improving with full-array backlighting and quantum-dot technology.
Cons: Exhibits imperfections when displaying rapid motion, as in sports; Loses some shadow detail because pixels can't go completely black (even with full-
array backlighting); Images fade when viewing from the side (off-axis).
OLED TVs go one better 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. (Footage of fireworks against a black sky is a favorite demonstration of OLED technology.)
LG isn't the only company actively pursuing OLED technology in large screen sizes, with new OLED models arriving from Panasonic, Philips and Sony this year.
Most new models have Ultra HD 4K resolution, but a few, cheaper HD OLED models are still around. Prices range from about $2,000 for a 55-inch HDTV to $5,000 or more for a 65-inch Ultra HD 4K model.
Pros: Best TV picture, bar none; Colors truly pop, deeper blacks and better contrast and shadow detail than LCD TVs achieve; Retains image quality when
viewed from the side.
Cons: Stratospheric prices; lower peak brightness than some LCD sets, uncertainty about how screens will fare over time, including whether they will retain "ghost" images (also known as burn-in) from displaying a static picture for too long.
Curved Screens: Not Needed
Another innovation intended to attract shoppers' attention is curved screens — mostly used for OLED TVs and 4K LCDs. The idea, say manufacturers, is to make the TV-watching experience more immersive.
However, not only do curved screens have no technical advantage over the other sets, but they actually have some distinct disadvantages. For one, the
slightly curved aspect distorts the image and reduces the available side-viewing angles, thus limiting the best view to a few people sitting in a narrow,
center sweet spot. LED models also are less likely to produce uniform brightness across the screen.
In addition, some testers, such as Consumer Reports, have reported viewer fatigue caused by the curvature. Conversely, other early owners have reported that after living with a curved screen, they don't notice the difference or detect any distortion.
Curved models are more expensive: A 4K, 65-inch curved LCD model, for example, costs about $200 more than a comparable flat model. Samsung and LG – the two major manufacturers to offer curved screen TVs – have all but abandoned the concept, offering only one or two curved models in 2018.
Bottom line: Curved TVs are primarily an extra-cost fashion statement, without delivering any appreciable benefit in image quality. Most companies are
phasing them out.
MORE: Buy Latest TV from top brands Samsung, LG, Philips etc..
Smart TVs: Most Already Are
An increasing number of sets come with built-in Wi-Fi for connecting Internet-based services like Netflix for streaming videos or to run apps for watching
special-interest programs, downloading on-demand movies, playing games or even posting to Facebook. The latest models can even search for content across
streaming services and live programming on cable and satellite.
The interfaces are generally getting better. Vizio, LG and now Samsung use a handy bar of icons at the bottom of the screen. Roku offers its famously
intuitive interface in budget TVs from Hisense, TCL and other inexpensive brands. Google provides its Android TV platform to companies such as Sony and
Westinghouse, and Amazon has jumped into the mix with TVs from Toshiba and Insignia (Best Buy’s brand). While most smart TVs include the major services, such as Pandora, Hulu and Netflix, check to make sure the TV you buy has the options you want.
In the past, you could have bought a less expensive "dumb" TV and made it smart with a streaming device like the $50 Roku Streaming Stick. But nowadays, it's hard to get a TV that isn't smart, even if you're going for a small bargain model. Find out more about the functions and features in our guide to smart TVs.
Bottom line: Smart capability is becoming a standard feature in TVs, so it's less and less of a factor in your buying decision.
Contrast Ratio: Unreliable Numbers
The contrast ratio describes the range of brightness levels a set can display. Better contrast ratios display more subtle shadows and hues, and thus better
detail. However, the way manufacturers measure such ratios varies widely. Indeed, the specification has been so thoroughly discredited that if a salesperson
uses it as a selling point, you should shop somewhere else.
We use the same method for examining contrast ratios in all the TVs we test, so we can say roughly how well they compare to each other. Nevertheless, it's
still best to see for yourself how a TV displays shadow detail by finding a movie with dark scenes and seeing how well it reveals detail in the shadows of,
say, a Harry Potter movie. Experiment with the TV's brightness, sharpness and other picture settings before making a final judgment. (Hint: select “movie” or
“cinema” mode on the TV.)
Bottom line: You can ignore manufacturers' contrast-ratio specs, since they are not comparable across brands.
Audio: Get a Soundbar
Even the finest, most expensive HDTVs have an Achilles' heel: poor sound. It's a consequence of the svelte design of flat panels — there's not enough room
for large speakers that produce full, rich sound. So, you have three choices: Use headphones (which can make you seem antisocial), buy a surround-sound
system (which can be a hassle to set up and produces clutter), or get a soundbar.
Soundbars are popular because, for $300 or less, they can significantly improve the cinematic experience and yet be installed in minutes. Check out our top
soundbar picks. Newer models are thin enough to fit under a TV stand without blocking the bottom of the picture. Most can also mount under a wall-hanging TV.
Several companies also offer sound boxes or stands that can slide under a set.
Some TVs and soundbars also support Dolby Atmos, a newer audio standard from Dolby that includes overhead sound for a fuller listening experience. While you can get the Atmos effect using in-ceiling speakers, many soundbars have Atmos audio processing and upward firing speakers built-in to create more realistic sounding audio that doesn't require the multiple speaker placement that you'd have with 5.1 or 7.1 Surround Sound.
And don’t stress about additional cable clutter. Nearly all current TVs feature at least one HDMI port with Audio Return Channel (ARC) capability. This
standard HDMI feature provides lets you use HDMI as both an input and an audio output, letting you not only send audio to the TV from your external media
devices, but also out to your soundbar. That ARC connection means that you get great sound for all your devices, with no special receiver needed.
Bottom Line: Movies and sports benefit from the addition of a soundbar.
Extended Warranties: Save Your Money
One of the biggest revenue generators for big-box electronics stores is the extended warranty. Why? Because they are so rarely needed, especially for a
flat-panel LCD set. Most of the components in an HDTV are remarkably resilient; even the LEDs used to light the picture are virtually shockproof.
So, if you do get a lemon, it's likely to be apparent immediately or at least within the first 30 days of ownership — a time period usually covered by a
regular store-return policy. Beyond that, most manufacturers offer a one-year warranty. Credit card companies may offer additional automatic coverage on
purchases, so check with your provider.
Bottom Line: Save your money and contact your credit card company to see if it has a price protection policy.
Pay the Right Price: Bargains are Out There
While you’ll always get the latest features and best capabilities by paying full price, a lot of shoppers are holding off because they think current TVs are
too expensive. The reality is that TVs have not only never been better, they’ve also never been this affordable. While premium models can easily run upwards
of $2,000, there are plenty of great TVs – complete with all of the 4K resolution, HDR support and smart features we recommend – for much less. You can still
get a solid bargain on a 50- to 55-inch TV for under $500, and 65-inch models can be found for under $1,000.
Even better, there’s almost always a great sale coming up, and if you’re willing to make some small concessions, you can save thousands of dollars when you
buy your next TV. We not only share how to find the best bargain, we find the best deals out there to help you save.
Bottom Line: You can get a top-rated TV for less if you’re willing to look for a bargain.