Steeply discounted televisions have long been one of the centerpieces of the Black Friday shopping extravaganza, and nothing generates shopping crowds more reliably than great deals on TVs. This year, prices on 4K televisions continue to fall, and there are some huge discounts on quality sets that could be worth taking advantage of.
Here you'll find tips on how to find a sweet TV deal this holiday season -- as well as profiles on some top 4K TV bargains from retailers including Walmart (WMT 0.18%), Target (TGT -1.29%), Best Buy (BBY 4.28%), and Amazon (AMZN 4.44%).
Know what you're looking for
Prices for HD (high-definition) and Ultra HD televisions have fallen dramatically, as the underlying technology has improved and become more commonplace. But there are still distinguishing factors that cause some sets to be significantly more expensive than others. Characteristics like color vibrancy, black levels, and refresh rates can justify significant pricing premiums.
If you're looking at a range of 4K TVs, it might be confusing to see a large list of sets that all sport the same resolution but have huge differences in price. Features like high dynamic range (HDR) can have a significant impact on the colors displayed and overall picture quality, as can whether the display is an LCD, LED, or OLED (liquid crystal display, light-emitting diodes, or organic light-emitting diodes), or whether the set is lit from the back or the sides. Generally, you'll pay more for better quality, but establishing some basic familiarity with TV features can be very helpful in determining the best deal for you.
If you're an audiovisual enthusiast looking for a television set to be your living-room centerpiece for the next five years, it may make sense to spend the money on a higher-end offering on sale this season. If you're just looking for a solid, streaming-ready television that offers ultra-HD resolution content, there are some very appealing budget-priced offerings this Black Friday, as well. Having a clear idea of what you're in the market for will not only help you get the best deal, it will help you significantly cut down on the amount of time that you spend perusing store aisles or retail sites online.
Survey the field
This might sound obvious, but it's sometimes possible to find a much better deal on a given model of television if you're willing to put in a bit of extra effort to see how deals from different retailers compare. This is much easier to do if you have a solid idea of what you're looking for and have already narrowed down your options.
Once you have an established feature set or an individual model in mind, you'll be able to see which retailers are offering the best deals on the set or sets that fit your needs. New deals can pop up, and it's worth taking one last look to see if a rival retailer has moved to undercut one of its competitors' hot offers.
Top 4K TV deals to check out this Black Friday
Taking a broad look at what retailers are advertising, and checking for updates to catch any late-breaking deals, will help you get the best price. But narrowing in on some top offerings and getting an idea of what's available at different price points will be helpful as well.
You'll find a selection of top deals across a range of price points below:
Onn 50" 4K Roku TV: $148
Walmart launched its Onn electronics brand earlier this year, and its 50" 4K LED television has gotten pretty strong reviews for a debut model that's selling at just $148 this Black Friday. This set features a built-in Roku (ROKU 2.69%) device and can be had at a significant discount from its normal $250 retail price, so it looks like a strong option for budget-focused shoppers looking for an entry-level 4K television set.
TCL 55" Roku 4K UHD HDR Smart TV: $320
TCL has built a reputation for making high-quality televisions at non-prohibitive price points, and its 4K LED sets are a good option if you're looking for something that beats the Onn by some performance and quality metrics, but still doesn't break the bank. Retailers including Target and Amazon have TCL's 55" 4K Roku model on sale at $320 -- or about $130 cheaper than Target's usual listing price.
Samsung 65" 4K Ultra HD TV: $478
Samsung's (OTC: SSNLF) 65" 4K Ultra HD is a midrange 4K offering that runs on the company's own smart-TV operating system; it offers picture, color, and built-in speaker quality that's tough to beat at its Black Friday pricing. The 65" LED model can be found at Walmart for $320 cheaper than its standard price. Best Buy also has the 70" model on sale at $550, which looks to be the best price around on that unit, and is $350 less expensive than usual.
LG 65" OLED TV: $1,800
If you're in the market for an OLED 4K television that stacks up well against the competition and comes in considerably cheaper than most rivals with comparable specs, LG's (OTC: LGEAF) 65" OLED looks like a top buy. The OLED screen means you'll get better colors and black levels than most LCD and LED alternatives, and the set can be found at $700 off its typical sticker price at retailers including Walmart and Amazon.
Some deals will stick around past Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and later into the holiday season. But there's usually no guarantee that you'll be able to snag the unit you want at a previously listed price -- so it can pay to move quickly, once you've found a set that ticks all the right boxes.