Do some research before you decide on a new TV

I received an email from a reader with this question, “My husband and I are finally buying a flat-screen TV. We would like a TV that’s easy to use and one that is “smart” — don’t you need that to stream some programs? Also, we’d like to easily connect to a DVR player. So where do we begin?”

Great questions. You’ll love the picture quality of a new flat screen, especially if you’ve never owned one.

There are a few factors to think about before you buy.

You’ll need to consider the screen size. If you have an old tube TV or a rear-projection TV that takes up a lot of room, moving to a flat screen will give you choices because the TV will physically take up less space, but may not fit where you had your old set.

You can mount it on the wall, put it inside a cabinet or set it on a piece of furniture. Also, think about where your peripherals will be located. Do you have a cable box or Apple TV or Roku? Those will have to be close enough to connect to the new set.

Budget will also play a role. Take a trip to Walmart, Target or Best Buy and start looking at all the choices, paying attention to size and price. Bring a tape measure and take some notes.

Try to refrain from buying a set on your first trip to the store. Make it more of a scouting mission.

I’d love to tell you what TV to choose, but there are so many options that you’d be wise to read up a bit and make your own choice.

I don’t have the time or the space to test every set, so when it comes time for me to make a buying decision for a new gadget, I trust the website

Wirecutter has been around for more than a few years, and its reviewers really put in the hours to test and recommend gadgets in almost every category.

If you take the time to read through Wirecutter’s articles on the best TVs or the best 4K TV on a budget, you’ll find that it does a really thorough job of explaining its picks.

I’ve never been disappointed when buying something Wirecutter recommends.

The reader was right: If you have a smart TV, you can use it to stream video content, but a lot of people would rather get a “non-smart” TV and add streaming through a box like Apple TV or Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

Adding a DVR should be as easy as plugging in an HDMI cable to the back of the new TV.


Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at

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