Why TVs Look Better in Stores (And How to Avoid Retail Tricks)

Have you ever strolled through the aisles of a retail store, passed by the wall of gleaming TVs, and thought,

“Wow, these TVs look amazing!”?

It’s a sentiment many of us share.

The TVs on display at stores like Target, Best Buy, or your local electronics retailer often appear to be a cut above what we have at home.

The dazzling colors, crystal-clear images, and seemingly infinite contrast make us dream of a home theater experience that rivals the cinema. However, once you take that TV home, you might notice that the magic seems to fade.


The question arises: why do TVs always look better on display at the store?

In this article, we’ll delve into the factors that contribute to the in-store appeal of TVs and explore whether replicating that experience at home is achievable or even desirable.

Let’s move on…

Why TV Picture Looks Better at Store, not at Home?

  • TVs in stores are calibrated for maximum visual impact under bright lighting conditions, with high brightness and vivid colors that may not suit home settings.
  • Stores use high-resolution and vivid content to showcase TVs, which may not match the quality of content you have at home.


Here are the detailed explanations:

Reason 1: Calibration for Bright Store Lighting

Calibration for Bright Store Lighting in retail store
Credit: Reviewed.com / Lee Neikirk

One of the key reasons that TVs look better in stores is calibration.

Retail stores purposely tune some sets on the floor to look as bright as possible to get your attention. They often crank up the brightness, contrast, and color settings to make the TVs pop.

For example, display model TVs in a store like BestBuy are turned to 100% brightness and color at all times, and run very high-resolution display loops.

These settings are optimized for quick glances and to catch your attention instantly.

Reason 2: High-Resolution Content and Sensory Overload

High-Resolution Content and Sensory Overload

The content displayed on in-store TVs is carefully selected to showcase the product’s capabilities.

You’ll often see stunning 4K or even 8K content that makes the TV’s resolution and clarity appear breathtaking.

However, the source content you use at home may not always match this level of quality and that’s why store TV looks more appealing than home!

Also, retailers strategically position the TVs to draw your attention. Surrounded by a multitude of bright displays and eye-catching visuals, it’s easy to be captivated.

How You Can Avoid These Retail Tricks?

how to avoid retail tricks while buying new tv

When it comes to buying a TV, knowledge is your best friend.

Before setting foot in a store, arm yourself with knowledge. Visit reputable TV review sites like CNET.com, Rtings.com or Consumer Reports to gain insights into the TV models you’re interested in.

These sites thoroughly test and evaluate TVs, providing valuable information on performance, features, and reliability.

Look for sets that receive positive reviews, as this is a strong indicator of a quality product.

Based on your research, compile a shortlist of TV models that meet your criteria and have received favorable reviews. Make note of their key features, specifications, and any potential drawbacks.

Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your new TV. Having a budget in mind will help you avoid overspending and ensure you get the best value for your money.


When you head to the store, remember your shortlist and budget.

Don’t be swayed by the dazzling displays; instead, focus on finding the specific TV models you researched.

Engage with the store’s sales representatives and inquire about the TV models on your shortlist.

Ask questions about pricing, promotions, and any additional perks like warranties or installation services. Ensure that you’re getting the best possible deal.

While you’re in the store, use your smartphone or tablet to check online prices for the same TV models.

Many retailers offer price-matching guarantees, so you can leverage this information to negotiate a better deal if you find the TV cheaper online.

After comparing prices, warranties, and promotions, make an informed decision based on your research and budget.

Remember that you’re not just buying a TV; you’re investing in your entertainment experience.


Q: Are all TVs in a store displayed the same way?

No, not all TVs in a store are displayed the same way.

Some retailers may enhance the settings on specific TVs, typically those with higher profit margins, to make them appear brighter and more attractive.

Q: Should I stick with well-known TV brands to avoid retail tricks?

While well-known brands often offer quality products, don’t discount lesser-known brands without research.

Even reputable brands can have models that vary in quality. It’s essential to rely on reviews and specifications to make the best choice.

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