Buying a New TV in 2021 – What to Look Out For

Jan 12, 2021

Buying a new TV in 2021 may be a bit of a minefield for shoppers. Sony and Microsoft both released new games consoles in late 2020, and as a result TVs are evolving. This is to make sure their features are compatible with the changing landscape of devices.

You may have purchased a PS5 or an Xbox Series X/S and are now looking for a new 4K TV. Or perhaps you don’t own a new games console, but need advice on what features to look for before you upgrade your old TV. also, for answers on whether you will need an aerial or not click here.

Here’s what specs you should look out for when purchasing a new modern TV in 2021:

4K Resolution

The majority of modern TVs in 2021 are already 4K compatible. This is now considered the standard and has largely replaced high definition. HD was up to 1080 pixels (1080p), but 4K is usually considered anything between 2160p to 3840p – a considerable jump in pixels.

Now that 4K TVs are more common, this means they’re not as expensive as they were once were. But there’s also your frame rate to consider, especially when it comes to gaming.

Frame Rate

This is a little more complicated so bear with us.

60 frames per second (60fps) is standard in most modern 4K TVs today. In older HD TVs this was around 30fps. So 60fps is double the number of frames per second – which is more than enough for most people.

On a TV itself, the number of frames per second is recorded as ‘Hz.’ For example, 60hz means the TV is capable of 60fps. Make sure any TV you buy is at least 50 or 60hz for a real improvement over HD.

Rapid Refresh Rate (120hz/fps)

This is the same as the frame rate, only double the number of frames per second. Something some gamers may choose to pay extra for when buying a 4K TV.

Instead of 60fps, the PS5 and Xbox Series X is capable of rendering imagines in 120fps! Meaning many gamers want a TV capable of this – which of course, are much more expensive.

However, the majority of modern games still only manage to reach 60fps. More are expected to reach 120fps in time but this may be a while yet. So, if we’re being honest, any 4K TV is a worthy upgrade for those who’ve recently bought a modern games console.
TVs that are capable of 120fps are only really worth it for committed gamers. Or those looking for a fully future-proofed TV for when 8K becomes the standard – and one day it will. But this could be another five years away yet or longer.

Those who want to play a game with 4K graphics might not need one that can reach 120fps. But if you’re someone who competitively enjoys playing first-person online games, 120fps can make all the difference.

When considering your budget, take the above into account. You may not need a TV with all the bells and whistles because you may never use half of them. Many of these features will be cheaper in a few years’ time anyway.

HDMI 2.1

If you decide you’d like the option to play your games in 120fps, then make sure your buy one that features HDMI 2.1. This is an HDMI 2.0 upgrade, allowing it to render at 120fps.

To put it simply, your TV will not be able to do the rapid refresh options without HDMI 2.1. TVs with a refresh rate of 120hz probably already have HDMI 2.2 because these features are intertwined.

It also allows 8K rendering, but that doesn’t mean that all HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs are 8K capable. HDMI 2.1 isn’t required to enjoy a modern games console in 4K. But it does mean your TV is more future proofed as visual technology improves.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

This is something we strongly recommend. HDR is what enables your TV to render light in a realistic way. The PS5 and Xbox Series X/S has been specifically designed to make use of this, and so have many games.

Unlike a frame rate of 120hz, HDR will not make the price rise skywards either, so it’s worth buying a TV that has it. Especially if you enjoy Blu-ray movies and gaming.