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How to shop for a TV, plus the best January TV deals happening right now

Find a deal on a new TV in time for the Super Bowl. Getty Images

It's the new year, and the Super Bowl is just around the corner, so it's the perfect time to upgrade from your old screen to a new 4K TV with all the latest features. We found sales on televisions from Samsung, including the Samsung Class QN85A 4K Neo QLED and the Samsung 'The Frame' smart TV. There are a bunch of Amazon Fire TVs on sale right now, including Amazon's new 4K Fire TV Omni Series. We also found TV deals from ToshibaTCLLGAndroid TV and more.

This month is full of TV deals, but with all the options available, it can be hard to know where to start shopping. That's where we come in: We're here to help you sort out how to buy a TV online, without making a trek to the store and trying to fit a 5-plus-foot-wide screen in the back of a car.

TV shopping: where to start?

First things first: Before you go hunting for the internet's best TV deals, you'll need a tape measure. You'll save yourself a fair amount of hassle by understanding the size limits of your space. Another important top-line thing to consider when TV shopping is what you'll be watching. Are you planning to host friends for a Super Bowl watch party? Sports fans should be on the lookout for a television large enough to see from anywhere in a room.

Are you more of a cinephile, hoping to stream movies on Netflix and HBO Max? Movie nuts should keep their eyes peeled for high-resolution (4K) models and HDR and OLED technology. These features help maintain the richness of colors and contrast in your favorite movies.

Here are five important questions to ask when shopping for a new television:

  • What is your price point?
  • What's the right size television for your space?
  • Which resolution is right?
  • What is your preferred smart TV interface?
  • What display tech is right for you?

Keep these questions in mind and keep reading to see the best TV deals worth checking out right now. 

TV prices: What is your price point?

A new TV can run you anywhere from $100 to $10,000 -- or more. Naturally, the lowest-price options will have some trade-offs: Size, resolution and display tech are all common places you'll make compromises in the name of cost savings. On the other end of the price spectrum, the luxury options have all the latest bells and whistles, like built-in surround sound and the most impressive color-retention features. Here's what you can get at three price points, so you have an idea of the features available at each.

32" Toshiba set (720p) with Fire TV: $160

Best Buy

This budget-friendly Toshiba TV is suited for small spaces such as bedrooms or offices. It runs Amazon's FireTV platform, so you can stream new shows from Hulu, Netflix and more without plugging in extra equipment. The TV is compatible with Alexa. Use your voice and ask Alexa to help you launch apps, play music and search for titles. 

32" Toshiba set (720p) with Fire TV, $160 (reduced from $200)

50" TCL 5-Series with 4K resolution: $500

Best Buy

This 4K TV features QLED (quantum dot LED) technology, 4K resolution and Dolby Vision. All those features together improve the sharpness, brightness, color and contrast of an image.

50" TCL 5-Series with 4K resolution, $500 (reduced from $600)

55'' Samsung Class QN85A 4K Neo QLED: $1,498

Samsung via Amazon

The Samsung 4K Neo QLED includes top-of-the-line features such as a premium audio technology called object-tracking sound (OTS). With OTS, your television analyzes the action on screen and tries to replicate a surround-sound experience without any external speakers. The Samsung 4K Neo QLED features a built-in Alexa assistant.

55" Samsung Class QN85A 4K Neo QLED, $1,498 (reduced from $1,600)

TV size: What's the right size television for your space?

Size matters when you're shopping for a TV, and not just the size of the screen. The size of the room and your intended viewing distance can help you triangulate the best option for your space. For example, experts say the ideal viewing distance for a 32-inch 1080p television is between 4 and 6.5 feet. A larger TV at that same resolution would have a longer ideal viewing distance. And higher-resolution models, like 4K and 8K TVs, have shorter viewing distances than HD sets of a given size. Here are some examples.

32" TCL 1080p TV with Roku: $200


Smaller sets, such as this Roku model from TCL, give you more wiggle room in terms of resolution, since each individual pixel covers less surface area. With a screen this small (32 inches), you don't need more than 1080p resolution: The benefits of 4K don't become obvious unless you're sitting very (and we mean very) close to the screen. Again, the ideal viewing distance for a 32-inch 1080p TV like this one is between 4 and 6.5 feet.

32" TCL 1080p TV with Roku, $200 (reduced from $250)

Amazon Fire 4-Series TV 55" 4K TV with Alexa built in: $380


A mid-size television, 55 to 65 inches along the diagonal, is large enough for many living rooms. The ideal viewing distance for a 55-inch 4K TV, such as this model, is between 4.5 and 7 feet. 

Amazon Fire 4-Series TV 55" 4K TV with Alexa built in, $380 (reduced from $520)

LG 86" LED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV: $1,497

LG 86" Class UP8770 Series LED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV
Best Buy

If you just need more screen, this 86-inch LG should fill up your space. It has a 4K UHD resolution and works with Alexa and Google Assistant.

LG 86" LED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV, $1,497 (reduced from $1,900)

HD, 4K and 8K TVs: Which resolution is right?

These days, 4K TVs are more affordable than ever, so the temptation to bite the bullet and invest in the upgraded image quality is strong. But, if you're planning to view your mid-size TV set from 9-plus feet away, the added benefit may not be noticeable. Higher resolution is more important if you're planning on watching sports and movies, and less important if you're watching news and reality TV.

55" Amazon Fire TV Omni Series: $420


Amazon's Fire TV Omni Series will automatically upscale 1080i broadcast content to 4K. The Fire TV is compatible with Alexa and can turn on your TV, find movies and open apps just by asking it to. It features three HDMI inputs to connect to cable, satellite and video game consoles.

55" Amazon Fire TV Omni Series, $420 (reduced from $560)

50" Class Q80A Series QLED 4K UHD smart TV: $1,150

50" Class Q80A Series QLED 4K UHD smart TV

This 4K smart TV uses an AI technology that transforms everything you watch into 4K. The TV features 100% color volume with Quantum Dot, low lag rates and minimized blur. Your picture will be detailed and vibrant. This Samsung TV also includes object-tracking sound, so you'll be able to hear every detail. 

50" Class Q80A Series QLED 4K UHD smart TV, $1,150

65" Samsung Class QN800A 8K Neo QLED TV: $2,800

Samsung via Amazon

The 65-inch Samsung TV features 8K resolution, Quantum Matrix Technology Pro for the most colorful and luminous picture, and an anti-reflection layer that minimizes glare and reduces unwanted distractions.

65" Samsung Class QN800A 8K Neo QLED TV, $2,800 (reduced from $3,500)

What is your preferred smart TV interface?

Roku, Fire TV and Android TV are all popular platforms for organizing your viewing experience and taking your TV enjoyment well beyond what's available on the cable box. LG and Samsung also have their own proprietary systems, so if you're devoted to their interfaces, you'll want to buy one of their TVs. If you primarily use an Apple TV, you can skip over this section, as this probably won't matter much to you.

If you don't have experience with smart TV interfaces, Roku is an apt, easy-to-use option for beginners and smart TV pros alike.

TCL 55" QLED 6-Series with 4K resolution: $750

TCL via Amazon

If you're already used to a certain interface, switching can be tough, especially if you're not particularly tech savvy. Fans of the super-simple Roku platform should look for a TV--like this TCL model--with a built-in Roku system. Plus, the picture quality of this 6-series model is stunning for the money.

TCL 55" QLED Roku 6-Series with 4K resolution, $750 (reduced from $950)

TCL 50" Class 4 series 4K UHD HDR smart Android TV: $357

TCL via Amazon

Android users can keep all of their tech in the same universe with a television that has built-in AndroidTV. The 4K smart TV includes Chromecast and Google Assistant. 

TCL 50" Class 4 series 4K UHD HDR smart Android TV, $357 (reduced from $450)

55" Class Q70A QLED 4K smart TV: $900

55" Class Q70A QLED 4K smart TV

The 55-inch Samsung smart TV lets you watch the big game in crystal-clear, 4K resolution with its machine-based learning AI that transforms whatever you watch into 4K. The smart TV features next-gen apps, streaming services and advanced controls. It's also compatible with most voice assistants. It includes built-in compatibility with multiple aspect ratios, which also makes it an ideal choice for gamers.

55" Class Q70A QLED 4K smart TV, $900 (regularly $1,100)

LED, QLED or OLED: What display tech is right for you?

If you've shopped for a TV in the past five years, you've probably seen the terms LED, QLED and OLED mentioned in the product descriptions. Here's what all those display tech terms mean and how that applies to you.

75" Samsung 4K smart TV: $950


Watch TV and movies in gorgeous color and luminosity with this 75-inch Samsung LED TV. The TV features low lag rates and minimized blur. The 4K smart device also provides tailored recommendations for streaming and live TV with an on-screen guide.

75" Samsung 4K smart TV, $950

55" Samsung 'The Frame' smart TV: $1,400 

Samsung via Best Buy

Transform your TV into a piece of art when you're not watching your favorite shows. The Frame smart TV has a built-in motion sensor that activates your device to display your favorite pieces of art with a 4K resolution picture, whenever you enter the room. No matter if you're admiring a Picasso or streaming "Yellowstone," this QLED TV produces 100% color volume in the DCI-P3 color space, which is the format for most cinema screens and HDR movies for television.

55" Samsung 'The Frame' smart TV, $1,400 (regularly $1,500)

LG 65" 4K smart TV: $1,897

LG via Amazon

Unlike LED and QLED TVs, OLED TVs don't have a backlight layer. Instead, each pixel is its own teeny-tiny LED light that can independently change its luminosity and even turn off completely. Because each of their pixels function independently, these TVs have elite image quality and the darkest shadows. OLED televisions also tend to be ultra thin -- this particular set measures just 1.8 inches thick.

The one issue with OLED TV sets is that, if you're planning on watching a lot of content with static elements (think scoreboards or omnipresent logos), you risk what is called "burn-in." With burn-in, the the ghost of an on-screen element, like a logo, remains onscreen even after you change the channel. It's uncommon with normal use, but still possible.

LG 65" 4K smart TV, $1,897 (reduced from $2,500)

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