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What Your TV Salesperson Won’t Tell You

Smart TVs, accessories, flat screens, delivery—check out this guide from the experts to avoid common buyers' mistakes and get the most bang for your buck.

Black Friday queues in Cambridge, Britain - 28 Nov 2014Geoff Robinson Photography/Shutterstock

Buy your new TV in September or January

That's when the new models come out and the prices go way down on discontinued models. Another time to get a deal: Black Friday, if you're willing to brave the crowds. Check out these 29 ways to get great deals on anything

Man looks at LCD TVs in supermarketSergey Ryzhov/Shutterstock

Shoppers' questions boil down to this:

LED, LCD, or plasma? LEDs and LCDs use the same technology, but LEDs are thinner and more expensive. LEDs can also be too reflective in a bright room. Plasmas offer the best picture for your money, especially if you're watching at an angle, but they're thicker than the others, and ghost images can be an issue.

BANGKOK - Jan 10: Panasonic LCD TV display at Power Buy in Central Festival Department Store on Jan 10, 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand.Tooykrub/Shutterstock

Which brands do I recommend?

For LCDs, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony have consistently been among the best in rankings by Consumer Reports. Among plasmas, Panasonic tops the list. Learn some more secrets mall salespeople won't tell you.

TVs in the supermarket. eletronic department store show Television TV and home applianc.vladibulgakov/Shutterstock

Our margins on TVs are so thin, they're almost nonexistent

The prices are designed to get you in the store, and then we try to sell you the expensive cords, accessories, and, of course, the extended warranty. Don't buy it. Problems are rare, and most repairs happen in the first year, when the standard manufacturer's warranty still covers you.

HDMI cable Red and Blue.Death's Pixel/Shutterstock

And don't spend a lot of money on a fancy HDMI cable

The one you can buy for $10 online is just as good as the $100 one in the store. Here are some more ways to save big when you shop online.

Home theater speakers with a flat screen tv on the backgroundGabriele Maltinti/Shutterstock

Flat screens have beautiful pictures, but the sound from most is pretty awful

If you can't afford an expensive audio system, get external speakers.

PARIS, FRANCE - NOV 21, 2015: Apple TV 4k device next to 4k Pansonic Plasma OLED display projecting the typical Apple Screensaver of aerial cityHadrian/Shutterstock

Want a great deal?

Buy a refurbished set, or a TV previously opened or returned. Check the warranty, though. Don't forget this guide to the tech gadgets you should and shouldn't buy used

close up LED big Internet television screen with whiteboard in boardroomMayuree Moonhirun/Shutterstock

We've had customers put a tilt mount for a 50-inch television on the wall...

...miss a stud or two, and then have the thing come crashing down. Come on. These TVs weigh more than 100 pounds. Unless you're a licensed contractor, pay for the professional install. Learn which spot in your home you should never, ever hang a TV.

Tv living room with window, fireplace and concrete wall effectPhotographee.eu/Shutterstock

Yes, the TV we just mounted on your wall is high enough

The center of the screen should be 45 to 50 inches from the floor, putting it right at eye level. And don't put it over your fireplace. It's a TV, not artwork.

Man installing mount TV on the wall at homeNaypong Studio/Shutterstock

Even if you're hanging your TV on the wall, keep the stand

You never know when you might decide to redecorate and place the TV on a piece of furniture. At least once a month, we get a call from someone looking for a particular stand, but TV technology changes so quickly that it's a challenge for us to find the one you need.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest