Shopping for a new TV? Read this first to get the best deal

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Whether or not in-store or on-line, large or small, OLED or LCD — TV pricing follows an annual cycle.


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Like clockwork, the costs on televisions observe an everyday annual cycle. Figuring out when costs will fall might prevent some cash or a minimum of some pricing anxiousness. Here is the cycle in a nutshell: CES, Tremendous Bowl, spring shipments, minor summer season value drops, fall/Black Friday/vacation main value drops.

New TVs are introduced at CES in January. They don’t seem to be accessible then, nonetheless. There are sometimes gross sales within the weeks main as much as the Tremendous Bowl in February, however they’re on the earlier yr’s fashions. Present mannequin yr TVs begin transport within the spring, and that is once they’re at their most costly. There’s typically a slight value drop in the summertime, however not at all times. Through the fall and main as much as the vacations there are normally larger value cuts. Black Friday and Cyber Monday typically have the most effective offers, on each low cost doorbuster fashions in addition to the greatest TVs, and people costs can typically be had all through December and the vacations. That brings us again to CES in January and the cycle begins anew.

So when is the most effective time to purchase a brand new TV? It isn’t as simple to say “when it is least expensive” as a result of that is typically when new fashions are proper across the nook. Plus, the most cost effective TV may not be the most effective worth. Let’s dig a bit deeper.

Are you proud of what you might have now?

Neglect all the brand new tech. In case your TV works and also you’re proud of it, maintain it. Do not feel any stress to improve. 

Trendy TVs are, on common, brighter and have higher image high quality than the TVs from a number of years in the past. Until you are the kind of videophile who desires to tweak each setting and fixates on nits and coloration accuracy, nonetheless, you most likely do not want a brand new TV.

The stress to improve is pervasive in our tech tradition, however TVs are likely to last more, and be completely practical longer, than most gadgets. They do not, for instance, have batteries that lose capability like cellphones, or have wires that put on out like headphones. A TV from 5 and even 10 years in the past seemingly works high quality, although it may not look as good as the present 4K HDR TVs. So once more, if that is not an enormous deal for you, you’ll be able to seemingly maintain what you might have for a number of extra years. 

That is even true when contemplating new consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Sequence X. Should you’ve received a PS4, Xbox One or any console linked by way of HDMI, the brand new consoles ought to work high quality. They may look higher on a brand new TV, however they will nonetheless look nice on yours.

Learn extra: Greatest TVs for PS5 and Xbox Sequence X, Sequence S

In case your TV is having points, otherwise you simply need one thing bigger, that is a unique story. New TVs are less expensive per inch than TVs of the previous. You can change your present TV with one thing the identical dimension, seems higher and is cheaper than your previous TV. Or you’ll be able to pay the identical quantity as your previous TV and get one thing that is far larger.

Gross sales

The most important single days for TV gross sales are, in fact, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are at all times some extremely low cost 4K TVs on provide. However that is not the entire story.

To begin with, the TVs that get the largest reductions are normally both no-name manufacturers, or low-end fashions from title manufacturers. They’re high quality in the event you simply need an affordable TV, however they are not going to supply the image high quality of a good barely higher-end mannequin. One of the best TVs go on sale as properly, however deep reductions on these are much less widespread. 

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TC gross sales occur all yr, however Black Friday season sees the largest reductions.


Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Pictures

Second, large reductions on TVs are uncommon basically. It is likely to be counterintuitive, however TVs usually do not have a lot mark-up. There is not a number of revenue in a $500 TV. So except the shop is making an attempt to filter out inventory, you should not anticipate a huge drop in value even throughout gross sales. Loads of good reductions can be found, they’re simply not going to be “50% off” or related, except there is a particular cause that mannequin is getting such an excessive low cost. Or it is a doorbuster in restricted portions.

Third, most large corporations do not permit shops to supply their very own pricing. That is referred to as UPP, or Unilateral Pricing Coverage. It signifies that a TV from that firm goes to value the identical, whether or not it is Now, in Greatest Purchase, or anyplace else. Nicely, anyplace else that desires to proceed promoting TVs from that firm.

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Most TV pricing is ready by the producer so it stays the identical from retailer to retailer.


Sarah Tew/CNET

If this sounds sketchy, it’s, however that is a subject for a unique article. The result’s there’s normally no level in worrying if one retailer goes to have a sale. Most often, both each retailer has a sale on that TV, or none do. In fact, that TV would possibly go on sale (in every single place) subsequent week. Some shops provide value safety in case this occurs. Some credit cards do as well. Amazon, it is price noting, doesn’t provide value safety.

What about subsequent yr’s TV tech?

To place it succinctly, there’s at all times one thing new across the nook. If that is your fear, it ought to provide you with peace of thoughts that even when one thing new hits the market subsequent yr, it will be very costly. 

For instance, MicroLED seems very promising, however you may purchase a Porsche or two for the value of 1 MicroLED TV. Will probably be years earlier than that is mainstream tech.

Mini-LED, however, is accessible now. It is a know-how that guarantees close-to-OLED image high quality for much less cash. It is seemingly we’ll see extra manufacturers with Mini-LED sooner or later. 

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On the left, the picture as you’d see it on a mini-LED TV. On the best, an illustration of the mini-LED array on the again of the TV. With that many LEDs, the backlight has a larger “decision,” so there might be finer distinctions between mild and darkish. The perfect, like OLED and microLED, can be per-pixel illumination, however mini-LED is a step nearer to that with out the price of the opposite two applied sciences. 


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Additionally rolling out throughout the nation is NextGen TV, aka ATSC three.zero. That is free over-the-air 4K TV, and whereas it is shifting ahead fairly shortly and would possibly already be accessible in your metropolis. There are even some fashions with tuners in-built which might be accessible now. Do not feel it is advisable rush to improve, or get these particular fashions, since worst case you’ll purchase an affordable exterior tuner and join that to your TV.

There’s additionally HDMI 2.1. Whereas 2.1 has a number of new applied sciences which might be nice, it isn’t going to make any present TVs out of date (except it is a present 8K TV, however that is yet one more story). So long as your present TV works together with your present sources, you need to be high quality. 

Actually previous TVs, older than 10 years, might need points connecting to fashionable streaming and disc sources, however there is no actual workaround for that. In case your TV would not work with a brand new Roku or Blu-ray participant, then you definately would possibly have to improve if you wish to use a kind of.

So must you get a brand new TV?

Here is the quick model:

Get a brand new TV now if:

  • Your present TV is having points, or is simply too previous to hook up with a streaming service like Netflix.
  • You are prepared to purchase from a spot that has a price-match coverage, in case there is a sale.
  • You need one thing larger than what you might have now.

Do not get a TV now if:

  • Your present TV works high quality.
  • There’s actually anything you want or need to spend cash on.

Should you’ve received the itch for one thing new, however you are still on the fence, take into account giving your TV a little bit of a makeover. Should you’ve by no means adjusted the settings, it is easy to do and can most likely make your TV look higher than it ever has. That may tide you over for a bit.

And in the event you lastly determine that, sure, you are prepared to purchase a brand new TV now, we at CNET do have some pointers and instructed 2021 fashions.


In addition to overlaying TV and different show tech, Geoff Morrison does photograph excursions of cool museums and places all over the world, together with nuclear submarines, large plane carriers, medieval castles, airplane graveyards and extra. 

You may observe his exploits on InstagramYouTube and on his journey weblog, BaldNomad. He additionally wrote a bestselling sci-fi novel about city-sized submarines, together with a sequel