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The best Prime Day 4K TV deals: What to expect from the sale

After months of waiting, it's now official: Amazon Prime Day is coming tomorrow, starting on October 13 and running through October 14, offering Prime members 48 hours to score huge savings on all sorts of goodies. Prime Day deals are among the best of the year, and Amazon's big blowout is a particularly great time to grab pricey electronics like laptops and TVs at deep discounts. Fall is also a great time to upgrade your home entertainment setup as the colder weather starts rolling in and we spend more time indoors, so if it's time for a new television and you want to know what to expect from this year's Prime Day 4K TV deals (and pick up a few tips for how to shop the sale), read on.

Today's best Prime Day 4K TV deals

Prime Day 2020 lands in full tomorrow, but if you're not in the mood to wait (or if you're not a Prime member), then the good news is that there are already UHD televisions on sale ahead of the event. Even more good news is that we're saving you the hassle of having to sort through them all, because here, we've rounded up the best pre-Prime Day 4K TV deals that you can grab right now:

When are the best Prime Day 4K TV deals?

Like last year's sale, Prime Day 2020 is slated to run for 48 hours, across October 13 and 14.

However, Prime Day discounts are often offered in the form of Lightning Deals which are live for a limited amount of time or until stock runs out. Amazon sets aside a certain amount of inventory for these Prime Day deals, and the hottest ones often last only a few hours or even less before they get snatched up by hungry shoppers. Amazon also likes to throw out some pre-Prime Day deals throughout the week leading up to the sale, and these bargains are generally just as good.

If you see one you like, grab it, as it might not be on sale again at the same discount. If by some odd chance you see it on sale again during Prime Day for a lower price, Amazon's generous return policy means you can buy the cheaper one and send back the one you bought (or cancel the order if it hasn't shipped yet).

What Prime Day 4K TV deals to expect

As Ultra HD has become the standard for most televisions today, the price of 4K smart TVs has fallen off a cliff over the past five years. Today, you have a lot of great budget makes to choose from; a handful of the best ones that you'll see on Amazon include TCL, Toshiba, Vizio, and Insignia.

These go on sale year-round and should be even more heavily discounted for this year's Prime Day 4K TV deals, so if you're after something cheap and don't care about features like OLED or QLED panels, these are your best bet. Virtually all modern 4K TVs, even cheap ones, feature smart connectivity for streaming as well. Moving into the higher price brackets brings us to brands like Sony, Samsung, and LG, companies that have been leading the way when it comes to developing new 4K LED panel technologies.

As with 4K TVs in general, the past year has seen the price of OLED and QLED televisions drop precipitously, and Prime Day deals are the perfect opportunity to grab one of these higher-end televisions for even less. Some of them can still be expensive, though (especially OLED models), but these will also offer the biggest discounts among all the Prime Day 4K TV deals and are where you'll be able to score the most savings. We generally recommend sticking with the newer models as 4K panel technology has continued to sharpen in terms of picture quality, color accuracy, and brightness over the years.

However, if you're on a tighter budget, you're not really that picky about having the latest bells and whistles, and/or you're just looking for a basic second TV for somewhere other than your living room, last-gen models can be had for super-cheap during sales like Prime Day as Amazon clears the shelves of old inventory in preparation for upcoming holiday sales. Following model numbers gets confusing fast, but Amazon often lists model years in the product catalog so you can sort out when a particular TV was released.

How to choose a 4K TV

The best Prime Day 4K TV deals: What to expect from the sale

Ultra HD panels are no longer new technology and have all but replaced 1080p screens for TVs that are larger than 43 inches. The first two things you'll need to figure out to narrow down your choices are how much you're willing to spend and how big of a TV you want, and in 2020, you have a lot of options to choose from across a dizzying range of price brackets and screen sizes.

Shoppers who found 4K TVs a little too expensive even five years ago now have many budget-friendly models available to them. A couple of our favorite brands are TCL and Vizio, but makers like Samsung and LG also offer some affordable 4K smart TVs in their lineups. You can generally expect to pay £200 to £500 for one of these basic TVs up to 65 inches or so, with the price naturally increasing with panel size.

Even basic UHD smart televisions all now feature Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity along with built-in streaming software (which is often a specific suite, such as Roku or Amazon Fire, along with popular pre-loaded apps like Netflix and Hulu) and HDR, and these tick all the boxes that most people want in a modern television. We expect to see plenty of them on sale among this year's Prime Day 4K TV deals, but as stated above, home theater enthusiasts looking for something with more features and newer technologies should keep their eyes peeled as well. Not all 4K TVs are equal (hence the price differences), and the higher-end makers like Samsung, LG, and Sony have led the way in innovating cutting-edge technologies to squeeze more performance out of these Ultra HD displays.

Most TVs use standard LED panels, but two new categories have grown in market share lately: OLED and QLED TVs. QLED (quantum light-emitting diode) panels are proprietary to Samsung televisions and feature a layer of light-emissive nano particles -- the "quantum dots" from which "QLED" derives its name -- behind the LCD. These quantum dots increase the picture's brightness considerably. QLED 4K TVs are not much more costly than regular LED sets so they're worth considering if you're putting your TV in a bright area, such as a living room with large windows.

OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels were pioneered by LG, and other brands that make OLED TVs even source their panels from LG. OLED displays boast deeper contrast -- blacks look perfectly black, not grayish -- and don't experience any "light bleed" as pixels go completely dark when not being used to create an edge-to-edge picture (think space or night scenes, for example). If lack of "true black" contrast bothers you with common LED panels, then an OLED 4K TV might be a good choice.

You'll pay extra for it, though, usually north of £1,200, but that price gap has narrowed in recent years and OLED televisions are not as cost-prohibitive as they once were. If you're after the Prime Day 4K TV deals with the biggest savings potential, OLEDs are a good place to start.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime.

Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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