Buying guides

BUYING A TV

What’s the best television for my living room? What TV screen size fits best? 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 TV 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. 

Shop all Bezels

Recommended 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 Screen Size

Less than 1.5 metres

(less than 5 feet)

Up to 32 inch

1.5 to 2 metres

(5-6.5 feet)

32-39 inches

2 to 2.5 metres

(6.5-8 feet)

40-45 inches

2.5 to 3 metres

(8-10 feet)

45-55 inches

Over 3 metres

(Over 10 feet)

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

What is a NEO QLED TV?

If you’re looking for:

  • Intense vibrancy with the sharpest detail, day or night
  • Unsurpassable clarity to display images as close to real life as possible
  • Supreme colour contrast
  • Incredible sound quality
  • Distraction free design for total screen immersion

Then consider an NEO OLED TV because:

  • Hidden details and epic contrast are revealed via state-of-the-art Quantum Matrix Technology
  • Four times the number of pixels over Full HD TVs means stunning realism, natural motion and incredible clarity
  • 100% colour volume with Quantum Dot delivers a billion shades of cinematic colour
  • Object Tracking Sound Pro takes audio realism to another dimension, while Q-Symphony delivers richer sound synergy
  • Infinite One Design makes it elegantly minimal with an attachable slim connect, so no messy cables

What is a Lifestyle TV?

If you’re looking for:

  • A TV that complements your home life, but never dominates it
  • A large screen that would fit right into an art gallery
  • An outdoor-friendly TV to cope with bright weather
  • Sharp screen resolution and picture clarity

Then consider a Lifestyle TV because:

  • Stunning flush gallery design means there is no negative visual impact on your home
  • Created to look like a picture frame, it is just as striking on and off, and a built in Art Mode lets you display personal images and global masterpieces
  • Selected models like Samsung’s The Terrace are dust and water resistant and utilise anti-glare technology to counteract the interference of natural light
  • Most are 4K or Ultra HD which means the definition is fantastic whether viewing live sports or action movies

What is a Projector?

If you’re looking for:

  • A much larger screen that takes up minimal space
  • The option to watch whatever, wherever
  • Outstanding TV resolution but without the TV
  • The brands you trust with your technology needs

Then consider a Projector because:

  • You can create a screen of up to 100” or more on any wall or flat surface
  • Most options offer a Smart TV experience that you can take beyond the confines of your home
  • For the ultimate in picture quality, you can opt for a 4K projector or one that offers Full HD
  • All options we sell have been produced by the tech brands you trust, like Samsung, Epson and Nebula, and offer the same viewing experience as high-spec TVs

PICTURE RESOLUTION

What is a HD ready (High Definition) TV?

If you’re looking for:

  • A simple upgrade on an old standard definition TV
  • Improved resolution with sharper detail
  • Better colour definition
  • An extra TV for a spare room or bedroom

Then consider a HD Ready TV because:

  • It offers 1280 x 720 pixels in comparison to a standard definition 640 x 480 pixels
  • As resolution is measured by pixels, you get sharper, more accurate and vivid detail
  • Most offer HDR (high dynamic range) which expands light, dark and every colour between for a richer viewing experience
  • They are considered a good quality budget TV by many customers, as reviews will testify

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?

If you’re looking for:

  • The next stage up from HD ready
  • A clear, sharp visual experience
  • Improved colour definition
  • A great quality TV for an easy day to day watch

Then consider a Full HD TV because:

  • It offers the full 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution with no downscaling – four times the quality of HD Ready
  • In 1080p Full HD you always get crisp, beautifully detailed picture resolution
  • It has HDR (high dynamic range) which expands light, dark and every colour between for a richer viewing experience
  • Normally sized at around 32”, it’s a more modest TV that still offers an excellent watch

What is a 4K Ultra HD TV?

 If you’re looking for:

  • Much sharper definition
  • Stunning realism
  • Access to the best 4K can offer
  • A boundless view

Then consider a 4K Ultra TV because:

  • It offers the full 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution – four times the quality of a Full HD picture
  • Even viewed close up, you’re guaranteed stunning realism, natural motion and incredible detail
  • Some providers are already leading the way, with Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and UltraFlix offering outstanding 4K content
  • You don’t want your incredible view to be restricted so most 4K TVs offer a near bezel-less screen

What is a 8K Ultra HD TV?

 If you’re looking for:

  • The ultimate viewing experience
  • Unmatched realism
  • Exceptional clarity from a large screen
  • Outstanding quality, whatever you’re watching
  • A boundless view

Then consider an 8K Ultra HD TV because:

  • Full 7680 × 4320 pixel resolution means four times the quality of 4K Ultra, that’s 16 times better than a Full HD picture
  • This guarantees an extraordinary level of flawlessly realistic detail with greater depth and incredible perspective, even close up
  • There is almost no pixelation however large the screen
  • This state-of-the-art technology will upscale any content to 8K resolution
  • So that nothing impairs your incredible view, 8K TVs offer a near bezel-less screen

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

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

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

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

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.

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

PARTNERSHIP CARD

Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.

GET MORE BACK IN THE YEAR AHEAD
GET MORE BACK IN THE YEAR AHEAD

PARTNERSHIP CARD

Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.

John Lewis plc, 171 Victoria Street SW1E 5NN acts as a credit broker. Credit provided under exclusive arrangements with the lender John Lewis Financial Services Limited