Buying guides

HOW TO CHOOSE A TELEVISION

What’s the best-sized television for my living room? What’s the difference between the different TV brands? This television buying guide will help you explore all the key questions and weigh up the options for your next TV.

How to choose a television

HOW TO CHOOSE A TELEVISION

What’s the best-sized television for my living room? What’s the difference between the different TV brands? This television buying guide will help you explore all the key questions and weigh up the options for your next TV.

Television Buying guide Image

IN THIS GUIDE

Screen size         Screen technology & features         Usage         Choosing a brand       Sound         Why John Lewis?         FAQs

Screen size         Screen technology & features         Usage         Choosing a brand       Sound         Why John Lewis?         FAQs

CHOOSING YOUR SCREEN SIZE

Bezels are now smaller

The border area surrounding the screen is called a bezel. As bezels on newer TVs have gotten smaller, you can now get more screen for your existing space. Although TVs can have the same screen size, the dimensions of the TV can change depending on the brand and model. Please make sure that the TV is right for your space by checking the dimensions of the TV prior to purchasing. 

Recomended viewing distances

Working out how close you’ll be sitting to your TV will help you decide what screen size is right for you. Use the following diagram to help narrow down your choice. If in doubt, you can also check whether a TV can be viewed in one of our stores using our store stock checker.

Viewing Distance

Recommended TV Size

Less than 1.5 metres

(less than 5 feet)

Up to 32 inch

Up to 32 inch

1.5 to 2 metres

(5-6.5 feet)

32-39 inches

32-39 inches

2 to 2.5 metres

(6.5-8 feet)

40-45 inches

40-45 inches

2.5 to 3 metres

(8-10 feet)

46-55 inches

45-55 inches

Over 3 metres

(Over 10 feet)

Over 56 inches

Over 50 inches

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCREEN TECHNOLOGY

QLED, OLED, LED. They all sound similar, so what’s the difference? It’s an important consideration when purchasing your new TV – after all, what’s the point in a large screen that doesn’t do your entertainment justice?

What is an LED TV?

If you’re looking for:

  • A bright, punchy viewing experience
  • A wide range of screen size options
  • A lightweight TV
  • Energy efficiency

Then consider an LED TV because:

  • LED backlighting allows for a bright image with good picture quality
  • They come in a huge range of screen sizes to cater for any sized room
  • They’re slim and consume less power

What is an OLED TV?

If you’re looking for:

  • Exceptional contrast bright, vibrant and accurate colours
  • Smooth, realistic motion 
  • Something that's slim and light

Then consider an OLED TV because:

  • OLED provides unparalleled black levels for a cinematic, immersive experience
  • Each pixel lights up independently, which means you'll see more accurate detail, colour and shades 
  • The faster refresh rate reduces motion blur, creating a sharper, more natural image
  • An OLED TV can be even thinner, as it doesn’t require any backlighting.

What is a QLED TV?

If you’re looking for:

  • Brighter and more vibrant, and more diverse colours
  • Energy efficiency
  • A screen that displays decorative content, useful information and photos
  • Reduced glare on a TV screen 

Then consider an QLED TV because:

  • Higher brightness can be achieved through quantum dot technology
  • It delivers the world’s first 100% colour volume - which means more realistic, accurate and vibrant HDR images - regardless of brightness level
  • It has ambient mode, which can display artwork or content on your screen when it's dormant 
  • It includes Samsung's Ultra Black technology which helps absorb or redirect external light to reduce the reflections seen on a screen, making any seat in the house great for watching TV
QLED

PICTURE RESOLUTION

What is a HD ready (High Definition) TV?

Picture resolution is measured by the amount of pixels in a screen. The higher the density of pixels, the higher the resolution.

 

HD ready (High Definition)

  • 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Capable of showing broadcasted high definition footage
Panasonic

Ultra HD premium

Content creators and distributors such as Samsung, Sony, Netflix and Warner Bros agree that TVs with the Ultra HD Premium sticker must have:

  • 4K resolution (4x the pixels of full HD)
  • 10-bit colour depth (otherwise known as ‘deep colour’)
  • 90% colour space
  • A minimum contrast range
  • TVs that meet these requirements are considered “HDR”
Ultra HD premium

What is a Full HD TV?

Full HD 1080

  • 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • 4x the quality of HD ready
Full HD 1080

What is a 4K Ultra HD TV?

4K Ultra HD

  • 3,840 x 2,160 pixels
  • 4x the quality of a Full HD picture
  • Even close up, images are clearer, sharper and more realistic
  • Providers are currently creating 4K content, with some already taking the lead, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and UltraFlix
4K Ultra HD

What is a 8K Ultra HD TV?

8K Ultra HD 

  • 7680 × 4320 pixels
  • A new resolution that offers the most detailed perspective with even greater depth than 4K
  • 4x resolution of Ultra HD (4K) and 16x resolution of Full HD
  • Upscales any content to 8K resolution
  • Great for large screen viewing with almost no pixelation
Ultra HD premium

FEATURES TO LOOK OUT FOR

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

  • Offers a deeper more lifelike display due to a higher contrast between the brightest whites and darkest blacks which allows for more realistic colour recreation
  • Boost 4K and gives you even greater colour and contrast
  • With HDR you see everything as the creators intended
HDR

Screen size

Ideally, your viewing distance should be 1.5 times the size of your screen. Screen sizes are measured diagonally.

Smart TV

  • Smart TVs seamlessly stream online content through your broadband connection, so you can catch up on your favourite shows and connect to social media.
  • When choosing a new television, look at the smart features available – most offer catch-up TV, such as BBC iPlayer and streaming movie services, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. Most new TVs today are 'smart'.
  • Different TV brands use different operating systems, so certain smart applications work with certain TV brands.
  • If you subscribe to a movie service already, then make sure your new set includes it.
Smart TV

Tuner

Freeview:

  • Freeview is built in to all new TVs
  • It's free TV delivered to your home through an aerial

Freeview:

  • Freeview is built in to all new TVs
  • It's free TV delivered to your home through an aerial

Freeview:

  • Freeview is built in to all new TVs
  • It's free TV delivered to your home through an aerial
Freeview

Freeview Play:

  • Has all the channels Freeview has
  • Offers both catch up and on demand TV which is streamed via an internet connection
Freeview play

Freesat:

  • Freesat is free-to-air satellite television
  • It has even more free channels than Freeview, many of them in HD, and includes radio stations
  • It has an electronic programme guide
  • It doesn’t allow you to watch On-Demand TV, but that should be available with your smart TV
  • After your one-off payment for the digital box, the satellite dish and installation, your viewing is free with no contract or subscription
  • Your digital box is automatically updated with the latest channels and services as they become available
Freesat

To receive freesat you'll need:

  • A freesat digital receiver box or a TV with an integrated receiver
  • A satellite dish installed and connected to the receiver
  • If already have a satellite dish, it may be possible for you to receive freesat with your current dish
  • If you don't have a dish, we recommend that your dish is supplied and installed by a qualified satellite installer.
  • You can arrange this when you buy your freesat receiver in store; find out more about installation services

YouView:

TV on demand via a separate set top box connected to the internet and TV aerial

TV FINDER

SPORTS

  • TVs with a high frame rate so handle any fast moving action on screen
  • Wide viewing angles to help ensure that any seat offers great picture quality
  • Some of the set will also include dedicated sports mode to automatically 

MOVIES

  • TVs that include more accurate colour reproduction to make for a more immersive viewing experience
  • Higher resolution sets that allow for greater detail 
  • Great viewings angles ensuring theres no compromise in quality

AWARDING WINNING TVs

  • TV that have won awards from some of the leading tech authorities
  • Awards will be shown on the product page 

GAMING

  • TVs with a low input lag (the time taken for your action to be registered and actually displayed on screen)
  • A high refresh rate to ensure the content display offers a smooth experience
  • A variety of input methods to ensure you are getting best experience from your gaming console

TOP RATED TVS

  • A range of TVs with top ratings from other customers 
  • Some of the sets have also won awards from recognised tech authorities

Buyer Recommended TVs

  •  A curated range of TVs picked from our expert Partners 

DISCOVER OUR TV BRANDS

GET THE BEST SOUND FROM YOUR SET UP

With TVs becoming slimmer, this can lead to smaller built-in speakers with less output. Why not enhance your sound quality with a soundbar. A soundbar is a slim unit with multiple built-in speakers designed to dramatically improve TV sound without requiring loads of wires.

 Get the best sound from your set up

WHY CHOOSE US

5-year Guarantee

All our TVs include a minimum 5 year guarantee with options to extend your coverage with our protect plus service for added peace of mind

Price Match high street competitors

At John Lewis & Partners we have been never knowingly undersold since 1925. This means that if one of our high street competitors is cheaper we will price match 

Installation services available on delivery

Need help setting up your TV? We offer a range of services including wall mounting, TV set up, and TV recycling to help you get up and running on your new set.

Finance payment options available

Pay with Paypal credit with 0% interest for 4 months

Use the John Lewis Partnership card for with 0% interest for the first 9 months

FAQS

Answers to frequently asked questions

Do channels broadcast in 8K?

While 8K has not yet become widely available, 8K TV sets have upscaling functions to improve the quality. Broadcasters and streaming services will also be developing 8K content in the future.

Are all TVs smart?

The majority of TVs we stock are now Smart enabled to allow you to access a variety of popular apps and services to get even more out your TV

Which TVs come with Freeview?

Freeview comes as standard on all TVs

Can you wall mount a TV above a fireplace?

TVs cannot be wall mounted above a fireplace due to potential damage that can be incurred on the TV set

Related advice

TV ACCESSORIES BUYING GUIDE

For more advice on buying TV accessories, take a look at our Buying Guide