TV Recommendations

Checklist of features I look for when recommending TVs
, Updated: 2 min read

This document contains my current TV purchase recommendations.

Current Recommendations

The State of TVs in 2024

In 2024 - it’s all but impossible to find a non-smart TV that won’t break the bank. My recommendations for port counts, etc. still apply and are listed below.

Since I have an iPhone / Mac, having an Apple TV is a natural choice. If you’re an Amazon person, you could use a Fire stick, and Roku is another option.

I’m still not a fan of the smart features offered by most TVs, and prefer to have a separate streaming box. I like the modularity this allows for and if I choose to plug my Apple TV into a projector or some other TV (or bring it with me), that is an option.

I don’t trust all the “Smart” TV vendors out there - so I prefer to leave the TV itself disconnected from my network. See the security section below.

Key Requirements

  • HDMI In (2 ports minimum, more is better - 3 or 4 preferred!)
    • To Be Used by:
      • Set-Top Box
      • Gaming Console
      • Streaming Box
      • Laptop Video In
  • Optical Out (required for most soundbars)

Additional Considerations

These are optional but good for flexibility & compatibility with older devices. Some of these may be harder to find, but you can find cheap conversion boxes for most of these that work well.

  • Headphone Out
  • Analog Audio Out (for legacy sound systems)
  • Composite Video In (for legacy devices)
  • Component Video In (for legacy devices)
  • Analog Audio In (typically paired with composite/component video)
  • S-Video (optional, if you have a use for it)

Smart TVs & Security

  • If privacy is a concern, I recommend purchasing an Apple TV, Fire Stick, or similar box instead of using the built-in smart features.
  • Smart TVs can potentially (and it seems like some do) sell viewer data.
  • Smart TVs aren’t very modular (but set-top/streaming boxes can easily be replaced or moved).
  • CNBC: Smart TV Privacy

Change Log

  • 12/2/2019 - Initial Revision
  • 12/1/2019 - Copied document from Pastebin
  • 7/2/2024 - Refreshed Recommendations

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