TV price drop cycle: buy a 2021 model now or wait for a discount on a 2022 TV

What is going on

New TV models for 2022 are now available, but there are still plenty of TVs for 2021.

Why it matters

2022 TVs may be newer, but they are also more expensive and have similar features to the 2021 models. You are now saving money by grabbing a 2021 unit. Or wait until the fall when the 2022 TVs go on sale.

If you want to save money on a new tv, opting for last year’s model or waiting for the prices of 2022 models to drop is the best way to get all the features you want without breaking the bank. That’s because TVs have a mature technology, meaning groundbreaking features aren’t added every year. Changes are incremental, with new models adding only minor updates year after year. For example, a 2021 TV of a certain size or price will generally have the same picture quality and features as its 2022 counterpart. offers for 2021 TVsthat are significant cheaper than current models

That said, anyone who has ever bought or plans to buy a new TV in the future should be aware of the annual television pricing cycle. It starts at CES, the huge tech show that happens every January when new TVs are announced every year. Later in the spring and summer — now actually — a lot of the new models are already on the shelves. But those new sets have their highest prices of the year and won’t be back down until the fall, when manufacturers start cutting prices to make way for next year’s crop of new TVs.

If you the . want latest and best technology you are probably already set to a 2022 model and you can certainly save on that in the fall. But if you’re in the market for a new TV right now, the most affordable option is to get a deal on a 2021 set. Just know that you’ll probably have to jump on a bargain when you see them, because eventually manufacturers will sell their 2021 models.

Read more: LG C1 vs LG C2: Which OLED TV Should You Buy?

Sony and Samsung TVs with QD-OLED, a new technology that promises better picture quality, are expensive and only available in 55- and 65-inch sizes.


If I buy a 2021 model now, what am I missing?

In short, not too much. There is always something new around the corner, but changes from year to year are usually incremental. If you’re worried about missing out on the latest and greatest technology, it should give you peace of mind that even if something really new comes out, it’s going to be very expensive.

New QD-OLED TVs from Samsung and Sony are a good example. Combining OLED screens with quantum dot technology, they claim higher brightness and better color compared to current OLED TVs. One of these new sets may sound enticing, but QD OLEDs come with a premium price tag, so they may be hard to recommend over more affordable OLEDs like the LG C2

Read more: QD-OLED: everything we know about the latest TV technology from Samsung and Sony

In 2022, traditional OLED TVs will arrive in non-traditional sizes. This year LG introduced the 42-inch C2 Series TVthe smallest OLED on the market, while also claiming to be the largest OLED available with the 97-inch G2 TV


New for 2022, LG’s OLED C2 is now available in 42- and 97-inch sizes.

Richard Peterson/CNET

Mini LED TVs are also on the rise and could deliver OLED picture quality, but the new models we know so far will also be expensive. the Sony Z9K and X95K are the company’s first models with mini-LED, and the TCL X925pro has a new kind of slimmer mini LED backlight, but none of them will be cheap. Samsung, TCL and Vizio are expected to announce more TVs later this year, many of which will use mini-LED, but we doubt they’ll offer huge improvements over the 2021 models.

The rollout across the country is also NextGen TV, also known as ATSC 3.0. This is free over-the-air 4K TV and it’s advancing pretty fast – it might already be available in your city. We will see more TVs in 2022 with built-in tuners that cost less than ever. Don’t think you have to rush to upgrade or buy those specific models because worst case scenario you can buy a cheap external tuner and plug it into your TV.

Read more: Game modes, webcams and QD-OLED: which TV trends for 2022 stand out?

There is also HDMI 2.1† While 2.1 has several new technologies that are great, it won’t make today’s TVs obsolete (unless it’s a current 8K TVbut that’s another story). As long as your current TV works with your current sources you should be fine.

Really old TVs, older than 10 years, may have trouble connecting to modern ones stream and disk resources, but there is no real solution for that. If your TV doesn’t work with a new Roku or Blu-ray playerthen you may need to upgrade if you want to use one of these.

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Are you happy with your television?

Forget all new technology. If your TV works and you’re happy with it, keep it. Don’t feel pressured to upgrade.

Modern TVs are on average brighter and have better picture quality than the TVs of a few years ago. Unless you’re the type of videophile that wants to adjust any setting and fixes on nits and color accuracybut you probably don’t need a new TV.

The pressure to upgrade is pervasive in our tech culture, but TVs tend to last longer (and are perfectly functional) than most devices. For example, they do not have batteries that lose capacity such as: mobile phones — or have wires that wear out like headphones† A TV from five or even ten years ago will probably work just fine, although it may not look like it good as the current 4K HDR TVs† So again, if that’s not a big deal to you, you can probably keep what you have for a few more years.

Read more: Best TVs for PS5 and Xbox Series X, Series S

This is true even when considering new consoles, the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X† If you have a PS4, Xbox One, or other console connected via HDMI, the new consoles should work just fine. They might look better on a new TV, but they will still look great on yours

If your TV has issues, or you just want something bigger, that’s a different story. New TVs are much cheaper per inch than TVs of the past. You can replace your current TV with something of the same size, better looking and cheaper than your old TV. Or you can pay the same amount as your old TV and buy something much bigger.

When is the best time to buy a television?

TV sales are highest in the fall, culminating in Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. There are always incredibly cheap ones 4K TVs offered, but that’s not the whole story.

First of all, the TVs that get the huge discounts are usually either nameless brands or low-end models from well-known brands. They are fine if you just want a cheap TV, but they don’t go the photo quality of an even slightly more expensive model. The best TVs also go on sale, but big discounts on these are less common.

Entrance of a Best Buy store during a day with blue clear

TV sales happen all year round, but the Black Friday season has the biggest discounts.

Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images

Second, huge discounts on TVs are generally rare. It might be counterintuitive, but TVs usually don’t have much markup. There’s not much profit in a $500 TV. So unless the store is trying to clear out inventory, don’t expect a massive price drop, even during the sale. There are many good discounts available, they just won’t be “50% off” or anything like that unless there is a specific reason the model is getting such an extreme discount. Or it’s a doorbuster in limited quantities.

Third, most large companies do not allow stores to offer their own prices. This is called UPP or unilateral pricing policy. It means a TV from that company is going to cost the same whether it’s on Amazon, Best Buy, or elsewhere. Well, somewhere else that wants to keep selling TVs from that company. If this sounds vague, it is, but that’s a topic for another article


The Samsung Frame may look sophisticated, but your current TV might work just as well.


All in all, is it worth upgrading your TV?

Here’s the short version:

Buy a new TV now if:

  • Your current TV has problems or is too old to connect to a streaming service like Netflix.
  • You are willing to buy from a place with a price match policy, in case there is a sale.
  • You want something bigger than what you have now.

Don’t buy a TV now if:

  • Your current TV works fine.
  • There is literally anything you want or want to spend money on.

If you’re in the mood for something new, but you’re still unsure, consider giving your TV a bit of a makeover. If you have never adjusted the settings, it’s easy to do and will likely make your TV look better than ever. That might help you a little.

And if you finally decide that, yes, you are now ready to buy a new TV, we at CNET have some guidelines and suggested models

As well as covering TV and other display technology, Geoff Morrison also takes photo tours of cool museums and locations around the world, including nuclear submarines, huge aircraft carriers, medieval castles, aircraft graveyards, and more.

You can follow his exploits on Instagram and his travel video series on YouTube. He also wrote a bestselling sci-fi novel about city-sized submarines, along with a sequel.

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