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2020 TV Buying Guide + Best Televisions to Buy in Singapore

Buying your television might seem like a straightforward task, but in reality, it’s not the case. Unlike a toaster oven, you want your TV to last years to come, so you will want to get it right. But when we were buying a tv for our new home, I was overwhelmed. There are so many television models, with its own specifications and pricing. Ideal TV size? 4K or HD? OLED or QLED? What is HDR? Contrast ratio? Digital TV? Smart TV? What is all this jargon? Is there a simpler way to buy a tv? On top of that, new models get launched ever so often. How do I balance between not over-investing and making sure the TV I’m getting will last? To answer all your questions, we created this TV Buying Guide for you. This TV guide will share the factors to consider when buying a TV, which is the best television to buy in Singapore and where to get them. 

Television Buying Guide

Table of Contents:

  1. Which TV did we buy? 
  2. Quick Tips for Buying a TV
  3. Best TVs to buy in Singapore
  4. What is screen resolution? Should I pick 4K or HD?
  5. Which TV screen size should I get?
  6. LCD or LED?
  7. LED vs OLED?
  8. What about QLED vs OLED? What’s the difference?
  9. So, which TV should I ultimately buy?
  10. Which is the best place to buy a TV?
  11. Do I need a soundbar? Which is the best soundbar to buy?
  12. Financing your home purchase

This article was updated on 28 December 2019. 

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Other Buying Guides: 

1. Which TV did we buy?

After much research on which is the best TV to buy, we got the LG B8 OLED 65″ TV (read our full review here). Our television time has been nothing short of perfect. The visuals are so clear. We now seldom go to the cinema because the movie experience has been so great at home. After living with my LG B8 for a year, I now know there is such a thing as the tv of my dreams. 

Update: The LG B8 has since been upgraded to the LG C9 OLED TV. I suggest getting this instead as the pricing has dropped and is now comparable to B8’s pricing before. Most functions are similar, but the C9 has a better processor. This enhances automatic functions like image quality and sound. The C9 comes with an α9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor whereas the B8 comes with an α7 Intelligent Processor. You can compare both models here

Check prices for LG C9 for the various screen sizes: 

2. Quick Tips for buying a TV

If you don’t have time to read through this entire guide, this section serves as a quick summary for you. Do check out the next section where we share a summary of the best TVs to buy. 

  • Apply for a credit card that will give you rebates so you have extra savings. Check out the best credit cards with rebates on Singsaver
  • Buy a TV with 4K resolution (aka Ultra HD) if you want a future-proof tv. 4K is 4 times the resolution of HD (1080p).
  • OLED TVs have better visuals and picture quality than LED LCD TVs but are understandably pricer 
  • Make sure your TV has at least 120Hz refresh rate 
  • HDR (high dynamic range) compatibility is important. TVs with HDR will give you realistic colours, better contrast, and brightness. HDR will render pictures that are more life-like. HDR has different formats like HDR10 and Dolby Vision. 
  • I would advise getting a smart TV (it’s very common now) so you can easily access Netflix and online apps. But if you don’t, all you need is a media box streamer like Apple TV or Xiaomi TV Box
  • Which TV brand is the best? Choose a trusted brand. LG, Samsung, and Sony are the biggest TV makers and you will not go wrong with them 
  • Curved TVs are more for the “look”. It claims to have a wider viewing angle and a more immersive experience. But the caveat is, you will have to be seated opposite the center of the screen. They do not significantly improve image quality. IMHO, a curved screen is not worth the extra cash, and they also look funny if wall-mounted. 
  • You will definitely need a digital TV. Analogue signals have stopped since 31 Dec 2018, so make sure that your new TV is digital-ready. 
  • Get a TV with at least 4 HDMI ports, or at least equal to the number of devices you have. For 4 HDMI ports, you can use one port for a video game console system, one port for a cable box (Singtel or Starhub) or a media streamer (Apple TV or Xiaomi TV Box, one port for speakers or a soundbar, and a last one for a media player (e.g. Blu-Ray DVD) or to leave as a spare (connect laptop to your TV). 
  • As the latest TVs are getting thinner, there is lesser room for in-built quality speakers. Plan to get an accompanying sound system or soundbar for better audio. Check out the JBL SB150 Cinema Soundbar. If you are a karaoke lover and would love your own set at home, check out AC RYAN Moment 2 – Wireless Karaoke Soundbar (Gen2) that comes with 2 microphones.

Savings Tip:

Make sure to apply for a credit card that will give you rebates so you have extra savings.
Check out the best credit cards with rebates on Singsaver

3. Best TVs to Buy in Singapore (Our recommendations)

4. What is screen resolution? Should I pick 4K or HD?

4K Vs Ultra HD
Source

Resolution is the pixels that compose the picture on the TV. The most common today is full HD 1080p, and you can get bargain sets for a cheap deal, but 4K (also known as UHD = ultra high definition) is increasingly becoming the standard. 4K offers you 4 times of pixels on a regular HD TV. It comprises of 4,096 X 2,160px.

If you are going for larger screen size (55”-65”) and want to future proof your TV, you would want to get a 4K. This is especially as online streaming sites like Netflix are increasingly putting out 4K content. 8K content is not very common for now, but if you want to be ahead of the times, you can consider the Samsung Q900R QLED 8K Smart TV.

5. Which TV screen size should I get? 

When thinking of which size tv to get, consider the following: 

  • How much space do you have for the TV? If you are going to mount it on the wall, is there enough space on the wall?
  • What is the sitting distance from your TV? Ideally, your viewing distance should be 1.5 times of your tv screen size (measured diagonally from bottom left to top right). 
  • Most people pick 55” – 65” for their TV screen size in the living room. We live in a 3-bedroom apartment and we chose a 65” for our living room. Our master bedroom uses a 40”. But if your living room is big, you can definitely go for a 75″ and more.

6. LCD or LED? 

LCD is liquid crystal display, and LED stands for light-emitting diode. Surprisingly, though labelled differently, both LED and LCD TVs are based around LCD technology (LED is a type of LCD-tv), but they use different lighting sources to illuminate your screen. Older LCD TVs use cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) whereas LED TVs use an array of smaller, more efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a traditional LCD TV today as most are LED LCDs. If you want more information on this, check out this article by Digital Trends.

Which is the best LED TV to buy?

Sony XBR X900F 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart TV (65X900F)

  • 4K HDR processor X1™ Extreme 
  • Full array LED
  • X-tended Dynamic Range XDR Contrast 6x
  • X-Motion Clarity
  • Imax Enhanced
  • Dolby Vision
  • Smart Andriod TV

The Sony X900F has been reviewed to be a great 4K TV with impressive picture quality, especially in a dark room due to its high contrast ratio and full-array local dimming support. It excels in HDR as it can produce bright, vivid highlights, making movie-watching absolutely surreal. This model also has fast response time and handles motion very well. Overall, it is a great TV for many purposes, whether for movies, sports or gaming. Sony Andriod TVs are recommended by Netflix, and this model is no exception.

7. LED vs OLED?

Now, since 2012, there’s OLED (organic light-emitting diode), which is even smaller than an LED. OLED is the latest technology is TV, and is fundamentally different from LED LCD TVs. LED LCD screens use a backlight to illuminate each cluster of pixels to form an image, but OLED pixels actually produce their own light. 

Here are the major differences: 

TV Body

The LG television has the same width as four credit cards stacked on-top of one another
LG OLED 4K TV G6 & E8 range

As each pixel can produce their own light source, no backlighting is required (unlike in LED LCD screens). Hence, OLED TVs are sleek, ultra-thin and light. We compared the LG B8 TV to a MacBook Air and iPhone 8 in our unboxing video, and it’s thinner than both!

Contrast

Image result for lg oled contrast
Source

This is possibly the biggest selling factor of the OLED. The ability to produce deep, dark blacks is a big factor in achieving excellent picture quality. OLED can achieve ‘absolute black’, giving it a much better contrast than LED LCD screens. The individual pixels that emit their own light allows an OLED display to control the light pixel by pixel. What this means is that an OLED screen can shut off pixels to achieve “absolute black”. That gives you a stunning contrast for a ‘movie-like’ experience, especially in a dark room. On the other hand, an LED screen gets “black” by blocking the LED backlight, but some light may still shine through and so you don’t get that stunning contrast as you do with OLED screens. 

Brightness

LED LCD screens are generally brighter than OLED. Brightness matters when viewing in bright sunlight. That being said, the latest OLED models have been transformed to be impressively bright, save when shining direct sunlight onto the screen. 

Viewing angles

OLED can be better viewed from any angle compared to LED LCD. This means you can watch from anywhere in the room and still get a good image. 

Pricing

As with any latest technology, OLED TVs, are pricier compared to LED LCD TVs. That being said, if you are going for a high end LED LCD TV, the price range might just cross paths depending on which models you are comparing between.

In summary, you will want an OLED TV because: 

  • They are super stylish and will look great in any modern home
  • Amazing picture quality due to its unprecedented contrast ratios (luminance between the brightest white and darkest blacks) 
  • OLED TVs are more energy-efficient than other panel types. 

Which is the best OLED TV to buy?

LG is well-known to be very committed to producing and advancing its OLED TVs (Samsung dropped this technology due to high production cost and difficulty and decided to focus on their QLED series), though other brands like Sony, Panasonic and Philips are selling OLED TVs too. In fact, LG just announced the first 8K OLED TV in the world and also a rollable OLED TV

LG E9 4K Smart OLED TV (OLED65E9PTA)

  • More Realistic with AI
  • The New Smart Evolved by AI
  • Brings Images to Life
  • Dolby Vision & Atmos Cinema Experience at Home
  • 4K Cinema HDR Delivers The Filmmaker’s Vision
  • Minimalistic Design Blends into Any Space

For a really great OLED TV, We recommend getting LG E9 4K Smart OLED TV 65″ (OLED65E9PTA). (They also have the E9 in 55″). Along with the key features, it uses a 2nd gen a9 intelligent processor with an AI that makes it really fast and smart (Google Assistant built-in which allows you to use voice command).

Which is the most value-for-money OLED TV? 

The LG C9 has been voted the best 4K TV overall by TomsGuide

LG C9 4K Smart OLED TV LG OLED65C9PTA 55″

LG TVs OLED77C9PTA 1
  • AI Picture & AI Sound​
  • LG ThinQ AI​
  • OLED Black​
  • Dolby Vision & Atmos​
  • 4K Cinema HDR​
  • Minimalistic Design​

Check prices for LG C9 65″ (OLED65C9PTA) and LG C9 55″ (OLED55C9PTA)

If you have a large living room space, the LG C9 also comes in 77″. Check prices for the 77″ here

See our unboxing video for the LG B8 65″. We got the B8 for our living room when we moved into our home in 2018. The B8 is similar to the C9 but has a lower-processor (a7 vs a9). It used to be our pick for the most value OLED TV, but now since the C9 pricing has dropped, I would suggest you go for the C9. The pricing rivals some of the latest LED LCD models in pricing. 

 

If you are not big on LG, you can also consider these (Samsung options are below): 

8. What about QLED and OLED? What’s the difference? 

For those of you looking at Samsung, you will notice their line of QLED TVs since 2017, which should not be confused for OLED. They are wholly different technologies despite sounding the same. 

QLED (quantum-dot light-emitting diode) is actually an LED LCD with a quantum dot film. The quantum dots are microscopic molecules that when hit by light (provided by the LED backlight), emit their own differently coloured light. This improves the colour and light output of LED LCD TVs, giving better quality visuals as compared to LED LCD screens. 

Samsung claims that this gives them the potential to match the contrast that OLED gives you, but with comparison, OLED still has an edge over QLED in terms of overall picture quality. But QLED is definitely still an upgrade from a conventional LED LCD, with better brightness and colour. 

Image Credit: Samsung

In summary, you will want to get a Samsung QLED TV because:

  • It displays the brightest and most accurately coloured images
  • You want a TV that can work in all kinds of lighting conditions
  • Sleek TV design by Samsung

Which is the best QLED TV to buy?

Samsung QLED Q60R 4K Smart TV (QA65Q60RAKXXS)

  • 100% real colour
  • 4K AI Upscaling
  • Hands-free control
  • Magic screen for visuals
  • Intelligent mode automatically adapts to room conditions

For the best QLED TV to buy, we recommend getting the Q60R series that comes in 55″, 65″ and 75″. As an entry-level model, the Q60R is the most affordable and value-for-money QLED, with a good HD/SDR performance. It has a fast, responsive smart platform and both visuals and speed are great for gamers. Samsung is known for its sleek TV design, so you can be sure it will look great on any wall.

9. So, which TV should I ultimately get?

To conclude our research, here is a summary table for choosing between a LED vs OLED vs QLED TV. Ultimately, the quality varies between tv models and pricing, but you can count on the below comparison to make your decision. It is best to decide before walking into the stores and getting overwhelmed by the selection and swayed by the salespersons.

LEDOLEDQLED
– Least expensive 
– Widest variety of choices and pricing
– Brightness and color should rival OLED 
– Good for brighter rooms
– Deepest black levels 
– Best contrast ratio 
– Best response rate 
– Best off-axis viewing 
– Good for darker rooms 
– More efficient and uses less power
– Best color intensity 
– Brightest picture 
– Prices tend to be in between LED and OLED
(the LG B8 series is an exception) 

Which is the best TV if I am on a tight budget?

Ultimately, we advise buying a TV that sits within your budget. If you are on a budget and you don’t mind a regular-joe TV (but still want the best of its price range), I would recommend looking at Samsung’s non-QLED range, specifically the NU7100 series. It has been reviewed to be a great 4K TV on a budget.

For budget TVs, don’t expect great HDR performance, even if they are written on the specs. 4K and functionality, on the other hand, is what you are going to look for.

Samsung NU7100 UHD 4K Smart TV (UA65NU7100KXXS)

  • Real 4K Resolution
  • HDR10+
  • Clean Cable solution
  • 4 Ticks Energy Efficiency
  • Content Sync & Share
  • 3 HDMI

The Samsung NU7100 is 4K on a budget but offers you a smooth, crisp picture with few issues. For its price, you are getting a high-quality picture. The lower price allows you to trade up for a bigger dimension.

10. Which is the best place to buy a TV in Singapore?

You used to only be able to get TVs from stores, but now you can purchase them online for the ultimate convenience. 

I bought 4 televisions from Lazada for both our home and my parents’ home. If you prefer to see the picture quality in-person, you can always pop by to any of these stores near you to check it out before purchasing online. 

11. Do I need a soundbar? 

As TVs are getting thinner, there is lesser space for the in-built quality speakers. Even the top of the line TVs could do with an added audio boost from an external soundbar. If you are not much of a TV watcher, you can probably do without one. But if you are a movie fan, a soundbar is a great investment for it gets you that quality home theatre experience. It sure makes watching Game of Thrones or The Witcher way more exciting. 

Which is the best soundbar to buy?

Affordable pick: JBL Cinema SB150 Soundbar

Image result for jbl sb150 soundbar

The JBL Cinema SB150 Soundbar introduces big cinema sound to your home for a price much less than you’d expect. On top of its powerful yet compact wireless subwoofer, it also allows you to stream your favorite music from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth. There are 3 different equalizer settings: “News”, “Music” and “Movie”, for you to get the best listening experience for different video contents. Easily connected to any flat-panel TV, it looks sleek and is a great sound solution for your home.  

The JBL Cinema SB150 Soundbar retails at $299, but you can get it cheaper on Lazada. 

Check prices for JBL Cinema SB150 Soundbar > 

Image result for Bose Soundbar 700

Luxury pick: BOSE Soundbar 700 with Google Assistant

Image result for Bose Soundbar 700

If you want a soundbar that really packs a punch, check out the BOSE Soundbar 700 with Google Assistant. Designed to be the world’s best soundbar, its proprietary PhaseGuide technology works with tiny transducers to emit beams of multi-directional sound, giving an unprecedented level of spaciousness, making you feel as though the sound is coming from places outside your soundbar. It also has ADAPTiQ technology that optimises its acoustic performance quality for your room. 

With such upmarket technology and performance, the BOSE soundbar retails at $1,199. 

Check prices for BOSE Soundbar 700 > 

Financing your home purchase

If you would like to take up a loan for your home purchases, consider a personal loan, as renovation loans do not give you the cash upfront. You can find the best personal loan suitable for you on Singsaver. 

We hope that our TV buying guide will help you to find the tv of your dreams. Do also read our Fridge Buying Guide

Please do share this along with your friends if you have found this useful. Do look forward to more buying guides that we will be releasing soon!

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