If you're looking for a 4K TV this year, then Black Friday 2017 is likely to be the best time to join the Ultra HD revolution. The technology is much more affordable and the content is there, so if you want to enjoy the best gaming Q4 has to offer in the best possible style, collect your pennies and save the date: November 24. In the meantime, here's a look at what to expect, what kind of 4K TV to buy, and some of the best deals of last year.
What is a 4K TV?
4K isn't a complicated technology to understand - a 4K screen displays roughly four times the pixels as 1080p, so the image is sharper. Throw in another buzzword feature, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and you also get brighter whites and darker blacks. On a big enough screen, that means your games, movies and shows will be noticeably richer in detail and colour. Compared to the disposable novelty of 3D content, 4K TV is the real deal. (And don't be confused by the use of "Ultra HD" - it's an interchangeable term.)
With that said, there are trade-offs. The main one is screen size. Unless you're buying a screen that's 55" or larger, you probably won't feel a huge benefit over your standard 40-50" Full HD 1080p. All those additional pixels need a large runway to strut their stuff, so bigger is better. If you don't have room for a larger screen or simply don't want one, you're better off sticking to 1080p rather than picking up a 4K TV.
The other big trade-off is that not everything is available in ultra high definition and you may need to upgrade other devices to take advantage anyway. If you want to play games in 4K, for instance, you'll need a PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X as well. (Xbox One S also supports these resolutions for video content.) And while Netflix and Amazon now offer 4K content, it isn't available for everything. If you just want to spend the holidays playing Destiny 2 and watching Breaking Bad again, 4K is there for you, but if your tastes are more esoteric then you may have to put up with upscaled 1080p.
Should I buy a 4K TV on Black Friday?
If you're ready for an upgrade and the trade-offs above don't bother you, Black Friday is likely to be the best possible time to buy one in 2017. You will save plenty of money and the current trickle of new 4K content will widen into a gushing river of Ultra High Definition entertainment in the next 2-3 years.
There could also be wisdom to waiting - the current crop of affordable 4K TVs use LCD or LED technology, but superior OLED tech is gradually coming down in price, so you could pick up an even better model in a year or two. Then again, you could say that for pretty much every piece of consumer electronics. At some point you have to bite the bullet.
And of course, at some point a new technology - perhaps 8K - will present itself and become the new high-end standard, but by then you'll have experienced the joy of 4K TV and gaming content in some of its richest years. If all that sounds good, do it.
Which 4K TV should I buy on Black Friday?
We can't predict exactly which models will be discounted this year, but we're likely to see deals for the sets made by the usual suspects - Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, etc - and there are tons of reviews out there you can check out for individual models. Features you want to consider are things like the number of ports (think about how everything needs HMDI nowadays) and the quality of the built-in upscaling tech.
The best 4K TV deals of last Black Friday
There were some decent deals for Black Friday last year, but prices have fallen since then and should be a lot lower by Black Friday 2017. Take these numbers with a pinch of salt, then - it's better to focus on the size of the discount, which may reflect the kind of savings available this Thanksgiving season.
- LG B6 55" 4K OLED Smart TV - $1799 (usually $3999)
- Samsung 65" curved TV - $1599 (usually $1999)
- LG 50" Smart TV - $399 (usually $649)
- Sony 55" HDR Smart TV - $899 (usually $1199)
- LG 60" LED Smart TV - $599 (usually $999)
- Sony 65" HDR Smart TV - $1399 (usually $1799)
- Samsung 60" Smart TV - $649
- LG 65" Smart TV - $799 (usually $999)
- LG 65" curved OLED TV - $2799 (usually $5999)
- LG 65" LCD TV - $799 (usually $1099)
- Samsung 60" UHD TV for $699 (usually $1199)
Make sure to check back here closer to Black Friday 2017 for the best 4K deals, and we'll keep you updated throughout the period!