We are often asked this exact question, and it is a recurring theme every year around this time. The new TVs will be released in spring, but you can find great deals on the soon-to-be-discontinued TVs right now. So what do you do? And what is new for 2015?
Buy a TV now or wait?
As a general rule, there is always something new on the horizon. The best advice is to buy when you need it. However, if you are in no rush and you have time to wait, you might want to consider what is coming in the next few months.
Every year around March/April/May, TV manufacturers release new TV line-ups (and the old TVs are discontinued). This also means that you can find great deals on the old models in December/January/February/March as retailers are trying to clear stocks. On the other hand the new TV will typically be more expensive in the first few months. It is the same pattern every year.
If you buy a 2014 model you pretty much know what to expect as there are tons of reviews and details out there. But it is harder to know for sure what you will get with one of the 2015 TVs.
What’s new for 2015:
Operating systems: Every major TV manufacturer, except LG, will switch to a new Smart TV platform in 2015. Expect to see TVs based on Android TV, Tizen and Firefox OS. The 2014 TVs are not upgradeable, which likely means that very few new apps will be released for the 2014 TVs.
4K OLED TVs: In 2014, we saw the first reasonable-priced OLED TV. In 2015, you can expect to see 4K OLED TV, but they will remain high-end TVs.
High dynamic range: If you are in the market for a high-end TV you might want to take a look at HDR (high dynamic range). Netflix will start streaming HDR 4K content this year.
Quantum dots: The new thing for several LCD TV manufacturers. The tiny quantum dots are designed to expand the color gamut to around DCI (used in movie theatres). However, you will only benefit from the wider DCI gamut if you also have content in DCI which is impossible to get for consumers right now.
Ultra HD TVs will be cheaper in 2015 as Ultra HD enters the mid-range segments - typically in 6 series and up.
Ultra HD Blu-ray players will become available in late 2015. It is possible to connect the players to a current Ultra HD, but if you want the full benefits you will have to buy a 2015 TV with support for HDR (as mentioned above) and a "10-bit panel".
YouTube in 4K: Love YouTube? Love 4K? Then wait for a 2015 TV, as these sets are the first to support VP9 decoding, which allows you to stream YouTube in 4K to a TV – if the video is available in 4K on YouTube.
No major changes for 3D: If you like 3D there is no need to wait for a 2015 TV as there are no major advances in 3D. It might be worth noting that if you prefer the “passive 3D” experience you should buy an Ultra HD TV, which offers a 3D experience in Full HD.
And then a general warning; if you are looking for a 2014 Ultra HD TV make sure that it comes with HDMI 2.0 and HEVC decoding. These are the minimum requirements for getting actual 4K content into your TV.
So, buy now or wait? It depends on your needs. If you are looking for a high-end TV you might want to hold off on your purchase. If you are looking a mid-range TV your biggest concern should probably be that most TV manufacturers will switch to a new Smart TV platform in 2015.