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Read this before buying a TV on Prime Day

The deals. Oh, the overwhelming number of Amazon Prime Day deals. Whether you’ve been waiting for the best deal on that robot vacuum you’ve been wanting, or simply unable to resist the lowest price you’ve ever seen on an air fryer, the best prices we’ve seen all year on the gadgets you want and/or need happen during Amazon’s two-day celebration of retail therapy, even if those deals are at another retailer, like Best Buy.

In the past, some of the most coveted Prime Day deals have been on TVs. In fact, historically, Prime Day TV deals have offered the best savings on TVs seen all year, Black Friday notwithstanding. This year, though? Not so much.

Prime Day 2022 tv deals graphic.

Make no mistake, there are some incredibly low-priced TVs available for Prime Day 2022. Still, unlike previous years, where we’ve seen nearly every tier of TV experience some special savings, this year it is mostly the lowest tier of TVs. As in those TVs which were already inexpensive to begin with. And since they are so inexpensive, these TVs are looking irresistible. But before you click that buy button, ask yourself the following questions to help make sure you’ll be happy with your purchase in the long run.

1. Where will this TV go?

Cheap TVs have their place. For me, that place is in a kid’s bedroom, out on the deck, in a garage, in the kitchen, or in an RV. There’s a common thread to each of these locations: some risk of peril. Whether it’s a kid’s toy projectile launched across the room, rain or dust, a wayward crescent wrench, or splattering bacon grease, TVs placed in these zones are at some risk of getting damaged. If something bad were to happen to the TV that went into one of these places, you wouldn’t want to be devastated by the loss.

Better to lose a to a barrage of nerf darts than a , right?

2. What will this TV be used for?

Few and far between though they may be these days, there are times when family and friends gather around to really enjoy what they’re watching on TV. But there also are times when whatever is on the TV is just a backdrop. In other words, there’s active watching and casual watching. For the latter, an inexpensive TV will do the job just fine.

If you just want to have an episode of Iron Chef going in the background while you whip up some mac and cheese for the kids, then an inexpensive, impulse-buy TV is just fine. If, however, the TV is going to be the center of many entertainment occasions, then I think it is important to spend some time researching the best TVs and spend a little more money to make sure the TV offers the quality experience that will make you happy in the long term.

3. What platform do you want?

The TV you’ll be buying this Prime Day likely will be a smart TV with access to streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, YouTube, and Spotify built right in. But while most smart TVs offer access to the same apps and content, the way they do it differs greatly. So before you pull the trigger on what seems like a deal that’s just too good to pass up, make sure that TV runs on a platform you like.

If your household is faithful to Alexa, or otherwise favors the Amazon Fire TV platform, then you’ll have a plethora of Fire TV options to choose from. But if you’re more of a Google Assistant fan or prefer a TV that doesn’t take a side, then there will be sweet deals on Google TVs and Roku TVs too. The important thing is to check the TV’s smart TV OS before committing to a purchase and make sure it will work best for you and others in your home.

4. What’s more important: Size or quality?

If you’ve got a set amount of money for a Prime Day TV purchase, then you should figure out where you sit on the screen-size-to-picture-quality spectrum ahead of time. Generally speaking, a $500 55-inch TV will have better picture quality than a $500 65-inch TV. By extension, if you find a 70-inch TV for a ridiculously low price, then you should probably temper your expectations of that TV’s picture quality a bit.

Take a moment to identify your needs and wants and see how they fit into your budget. If you’re happy giving up a little bit of brightness and contrast for a larger screen, go for it. But if you want the best performance your money can buy, you might want to consider keeping the screen size a bit smaller so that more of your money goes toward picture quality.

5. Are you OK with replacing this TV in a couple of years?

Inexpensive TVs aren’t built to the same standards as their more expensive counterparts. This sometimes can mean their performance will start to dwindle after a couple of years. It also means that software updates are not likely to continue for long, which can lead to slow smart TV performance or even apps that just stop working.

But if you’re perfectly fine replacing a TV every couple of years, then the savings you get now could absolutely be worth it.

Bonus Question: Should you just wait?

If you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket and you’re just dying to get a new TV, then Prime Day is a great opportunity to save some money. However, if you’re purchasing your primary TV — the one you and your family/friends will be watching for years to come — then consider tamping down the impulse to get a great deal and realize that you’re not going to miss out on the best prices of the year on the best TVs if you choose to wait.

As I mentioned toward the beginning of the article, the best TVs you can buy in 2022 aren’t seeing steep discounts this Prime Day. Those TVs will decline in price over the next few months, and by the time Black Friday sales begin in November, they’ll be priced about as low as they’ll ever go. There’s time to do some research, read a few TV reviews, watch a few TV review videos, and make an informed decision about what is a pretty important investment in your home entertainment happiness.

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