Alphabet soup: Understanding what new TV models can do

All those letters, acronyms mean something

By Chris Shadrock - Web - News Producer, Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - If you are on the hunt for a new TV this holiday season, here are some tips to help you better understand what you'll likely find to be an alphabet soup of models and features.

If you haven’t been shopping for a TV in a while, it can be confusing. There are a lot of new high-tech terms to learn.

"You'll see a lot more 4K TVs,” James Wilcox, electronics editor for Consumer Reports, said. “Those are TVs with higher-resolution screens."

4K, UHD and ultra-high definition all refer to the same thing: Televisions that have four times as many pixels as regular high-definition TVs, which can mean a sharper, more detailed picture. They can also connect to the internet.

That mean you're able to access streaming video services like Netflix or Amazon directly from the TV without having to use a media player like Roku or Apple TV.

"HDR or high-dynamic range technology can boost a TV's brightness, colors and contrast so that the images you see are closer to like what you see in real life," Wilcox said.

Something that comes along with the better HDR performers is a wide color gamut.

If you’re in the market for a higher-end TV, you'll see the term O-LED, which stands for organic light-emitting diodes. An O-LED TV's black levels are truly black. That means colors look more vibrant and images seem to pop off the screen. 

These new model TVs are still pretty pricey, but as more companies start making them, prices should come down.

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