(NEW YORK) -- With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it turns out the big game day is one of the best times -- next to Black Friday -- to get a deal on big screen TVs.
While Black Friday offers rock-bottom doorbuster prices on all sets, including off-brand models that are much cheaper than known brands, quality TV sets at amazing prices are the best bang for your buck at this time of the year, too.
ABC News looked at many sources and assessed the sets themselves, but one of the best experts is David Katzmeier, senior managing editor at CNET. He’s been reviewing TV sets for 10 years and knows what to look for when selecting one for your home.
Before getting into different models, one general piece of advice is to know the types of TVs out there.
TV resolution: 4K vs. 8K
Almost all TVs over 50 inches are 4K UHD. These refer to the resolution; you may have previously heard of 1080 or 720, but 4K TVs have more pixels than those older models. Most experts say it’s not time to worry about 8K TVs.
Image quality: OLED vs. QLED
OLED is a new technology that offers top-rated image quality, ultra-sleek sets (pencil thin) and low energy consumption. But they can be as much as three times more expensive than standard LED or QLED TV sets. QLED is a subtle modification to LED technology where a film over the LEDs improves image quality slightly and boosts brightness.
Model numbers and specs
Comparing TVs is a notoriously difficult task. It’s not strictly quantitative and new marketing jargon is hard to decode. Purchasing a set mandates reading reviews and finding sites and reviewers you trust. So pay attention to specific models experts recommend.
Here are some TVs Katzmeier recommends:
TCL 65R625 -- $699 for 65 inches
This TV is noted by CNET as the best TV for the money. It is currently $699 for a 65-inch model at Amazon.
The set has deep blacks and is vibrant and crisp. It uses the Quantum Dot technology to improve color quality and it has a generous array of localized dimming zones to keep the dark part of a scene dark and the bright areas bright.
It runs on the Roku platform offering built in streaming channels. While it is a 60 Hz model (a faster hertz rate helps with motion processing), sports look incredible on the set. The sound is pretty good, but there is no Bluetooth option for headphones.
Vizio Quantum M series M558-G1 -- $479 for 55 inches, $599 for 65 inches
Vizio entered the TV market as a discount brand, but they have steadily gained stature and are now well-respected in the space. The Quantum M series is listed by CNET as the second-best set for the money, and prices are compelling right now.
The 55-inch model is $479 at Best Buy and the 65-inch model is $599 at Costco.
CNET cites the differences in quality between this TV and the TCL as primarily based on the clunkier Vizio remote and the fact that the TCL runs on the Roku platform, which is easier to use than the Vizio-branded operating system on their TV.
Katzmeier says the Vizio has superior color accuracy, but the TCL is slightly brighter. This TV also lacks Bluetooth for headphones.
Samsung UN70NU6900FXZA -- 70 inches for $598
February is when retailers want to clear out the previous year’s models and make room for the new ones that were just announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
If you are in the market for a brand-name really big screen, Walmart has a 70-inch Samsung for $598. This isn’t the most luxurious of TVs, but it is 4K, 120 Hz and a smart TV. Plus, bigger is better on Super Bowl Sunday.
Vizio SB3621n-E8 -- 36 inches for $133
Don’t forget that sound matters. Any of these TVs perform best with supplemental sound equipment.
The best bang-for-your-buck sound bar recommendation from CNET is the VIZIO 36-inch 2.1 Channel Soundbar System (SB3621n-E8) on sale at Walmart for $133.
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