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Should you upgrade your TV for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Sony TV
(Image credit: Sony)
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If you're eyeing up one of the many Black Friday TV deals out there, you're not alone – with countless discounts, both big and small, appearing for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year, there's a deluge of choice and it can be hard to resist opting for an upgraded television with so much on offer.

But should you resist? The question may be haunting you as you peer into your bank balance and size up your current HD or 4K screen. it can hard to judge whether a deal is really a must-buy, or just seems like a good idea with a suitable price cut.

Sometimes your current TV is good enough; sometimes it really could do with a replacement. Sometimes you need to upgrade for use with other tech in your home, such as a next-gen gaming console. Sometimes you're just knocked sideways by a half-price discount that you won't get any other time of the year.

Black Friday is always a time when many a would-be shopper hops off the fence and buys the gadgets they’ve been unwilling or unable to purchase at their original RRP. To help you decide whether an upgrade is the best decision for you, we've pulled together a few reasons you might consider upgrading your TV for Black Friday – as well as why you might not want to.

1. You want a bigger TV

While some of you may be perfectly content with one of those compact small TVs tucked into a spare bedroom, there’s a real appetite for bigger displays across the market. Nowadays 55-inch TVs are the standard, and 65-inch TVs are growing more popular every year.

A jump in size can make for a more impactful display, and even a small increase – say, from a 49-inch set to a 55-inch one – will make a difference. These days you can get commercial TVs in 75-inch sizes and larger, too, and many people are taking the opportunity to get bigger displays in their home, making it easier for the whole family to crowd around for post-dinner TV time – or just to show off those 4K Blu-ray movies in the setting they deserve.

Samsung The Wall TV

Sometimes TVs are too big, perhaps – but getting a size up can make a big difference nonetheless (Image credit: Samsung)

It’s worth remembering, however, that size isn’t everything. A larger television doesn’t necessarily mean a better picture, and visual issues that didn’t cause you too much grief at smaller sizes can end up being magnified.

Big-screen TVs also take up more space in your home, so it’s worth thinking over how much room you have to spare before hauling a 98-inch Samsung TV up a flight of stairs.

2. You want a second screen

Of course, maybe you don't want a bigger screen – maybe you just need another one, as a second display for a study, a teenager's bedroom, or otherwise.

There are plenty of cheap TVs, from 32-inch small TVs to cut-price 65-inch screens – and sometimes what you need is a sidekick television rather than an upgrade per se. 

These screens tend to be pretty cheap already, though knocking an additional $50 / £50 off a small TV is still pretty notable, given it could be around 20% off the original RRP.

Check out our guide to buying a second screen too.

LG's webOS smart platform is one of the best out there

LG's webOS smart platform is one of the best out there (Image credit: LG)

3. You want a better smart TV platform

Every smart TV has a platform for accessing apps, inputs, and TV broadcasts – acting as a portal for you into everything your TV has to offer – but some smart platforms work better than others. Android TV can be a bit buggy, for example, while Panasonic’s MyHomeScreen platform has pretty sparse app support (despite being generally strong).

If your only problem with your current television is the smart platform, though, streaming sticks like the Fire TV Stick Lite, Roku Express, or Google Chromecast offer a cost-effective way to replace it: simply plugging into an HDMI port in your television. Why buy a new TV when a $30 / £30 streaming stick will fix your problems instead?

Fire TV Stick Lite

Amazon's Fire TV Stick Lite is a new entry-level streamer for 2020 (Image credit: Amazon)

4. You have a PS5 or Xbox Series X

There is a new generation of gaming consoles, with the PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S all having launched in mid-November. It follows, then, that many of you will be interested in getting a TV truly capable of showing off these new consoles' power.

A regular HDMI 2.0 port will do fine for connecting these consoles to a TV, with 120fps at HD or 60fps at 4K, but an HDMI 2.1 port can ramp up the maximum frame rate to 120fps for 4K resolution – as well as adding VRR (variable refresh rate) and ALLM (auto low latency mode) to help keep gameplay looking smooth and responsive. Making sure you have a TV with 120Hz resolution, too, will definitely help in this regard.

Check out our guides to the best 120Hz 4K TVs, or just the best gaming TVs in general to consider – or head to our where to buy PS5 and where to buy Xbox Series X guides if you haven't managed to get your hands on a console yet either.

where to buy Xbox Series X UK

(Image credit: Microsoft)

5. You want better picture quality

If you aren’t happy with your television’s picture quality, that’s probably the best reason to upgrade. Issues like blooming around light sources, shuddering frames, or off-color pictures can ruin the TV experience, though like anything else they will bother people in differing amounts.

It’s important to make sure you aren’t getting a new television with the same issues, though. If you didn’t like the budget Hisense TV you bought during Black Friday 2015, buying a TV from the same brand at the same price point probably won’t serve your needs either. If you’re explicitly looking for a better picture, read up reviews of the TVs you’re looking at – cough, on TechRadar, cough – to make sure you’re not falling into the same trap.

Hisense H8G Quantum Series

While Hisense has some high-concept televisions, most of its range is made up of budget LCDs (Image credit: Hisense)

6. You want a good bargain

Of course, many of you may just be looking for a good bargain. There’ll be plenty of TVs dropping hundreds of pounds, dollars or otherwise in price, and there probably won’t be better chance to get a half-price LCD TV, or a decent saving on an OLED TV instead.

We recommend knowing your budget in advance, so you don’t get waylaid by a good deal that’s still a touch out of your price range, but if a discount is what you’re after, they shouldn’t be in short supply. 

Keep in mind that replacing your TV every year – even at half price – is a lot more expensive that buying full price at less regular intervals.

Henry is a freelance technology journalist. Before going freelance, he spent more than three years at TechRadar reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines also include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.