You Asked: Buy 2024 TVs? Or snag 2023 TVs at a discount?

In today’s special episode of You Asked, I want to address what has become the most common topic among all of the questions viewers have sent in over the past few months: Should I buy this discounted 2023 TV? Or should I bite the bullet on this 2024 TV? Or maybe even wait until this new 2024 TV goes on sale later in the year?

Moe Zain wrote: LG 65-inch C3 is $1,499. Is it worth buying?

I get it. The price differences between the premium 2023 TVs and their 2024 counterparts is significant. Here are a few examples I dug up. At the 65-inch screen size tier: The 2023 U8K is $600 less than the 2024 U8N. The LG C3 OLED is $900 less than the C4. The Sony A80L is $1,000 less than the Bravia 8. The Samsung S90C is also $1,000 less than the S90D. And the LG G3 OLED is $1,100 less than the LG G4 OLED.

I’m going to go through a bunch of different options and explain why each deal is a smart move. But first, I want to talk about the notion of buying a previous year’s model versus buying the latest model. And to do that, I think it’s worth pointing out how the TV product cycle works, and how it has long been very much like the automotive product and pricing cycle. And this year, that’s the case more than ever before.

Hisense U8K Review
Hisense U8K Chris Hagan / Digital Trends

Like cars, TVs have model years and are on a scheduled replacement cycle. Also like cars, as the new models start rolling in, old models need to move out — sometimes in a hurry. And that results in prices dropping on the older models. But what I think a lot of folks don’t understand is how limited storage space in warehouses, combined with discrepancies in sales projections versus actual sales rates‚ as well as the need to ship products at scale to keep logistics costs down, can culminate in a perfect storm that results in big discounts.

From what I’ve heard, the existing stock of 2023 TVs is at a relatively high level for this time of the year, right when 2024 models need to come in. That means the need to clear out those 2023 models is a bit more urgent than usual. And the closer those 2024 TVs get to reaching their destination, the more urgent clearing out the 2023 models become.

While I don’t know that we’ll see discounts as steep as we see in the car industry, I do think that already-low prices on 2023 TVs will only get lower, until they are finally all gone. So while there is some opportunity for prices to drop a little more on 2023 TVs, I do think that now is the safest time to buy. I don’t believe any upcoming discounts on 2023 TVs will be worth the risk of waiting and not getting in on a deal. So if you decide to buy a 2023 TV, I would encourage you to do so soon. And here’s why:

The improvements made on TVs year over year are usually pretty iterative. That means there’s not a massive performance or feature improvement to be enjoyed from a 2024 model over a 2023 model, and not enough of an improvement to justify the vast difference in price. My recommendation for the vast majority of you is going to be “buy the best 2023 TV you can afford right now.”

Douglas Murray / Digital Trends

There are some cases in which the decision may be more nuanced. For example, if you are someone who wants the absolute maximum performance from a TV, and you’re willing to pay a lot extra for that little bit of improvement? Then paying more for the 2024 TV might make sense for you. TVs are an investment, and over time, the additional cost breaks down to a matter of dollars per month. For example, if you really want to buy the 65-inch LG G4 OLED for $1,100 more than the 65-inch G3, and you plan to keep that TV for at least five years? Then you are looking at a difference of $220 more per year. Or $18 more per month. And the G4 does offer some improvements – but understand that they are the kind of picture quality improvements that only the most ardent of enthusiasts are going to see and value. Most of you out there just wanna get the best TV you can for the budget you have. And for you, buying the 2023 TV is by far the smartest call.

So let’s run through some of the TV deals I would recommend you take advantage of right now.


LG C3 OLED Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

The first one has to be the LG C3 OLED. Sure, the LG C4 is marginally brighter, and it has a slightly better processor. But the LG C3  already was a stunningly good TV, and the C4 improvements are the sort that you’d only be able to see if you put the TVs side by side. In fact, that’s the theme here. Most of the improvements are only obvious in side-by-side comparisons.

Think of it this way. Can you imagine if the 65-inch LG C4 was $1,500 right now? You’d snap that up in a heartbeat, right? That’s the situation with the LG C3. That price would have been a steal nine months ago, and it is a steal right now.

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Samsung TVs

Samsung S90C
Digital Trends

Same story with the Samsung S90C, which was perhaps the smartest OLED buy for most folks in 2023. And guess what? The only way it could be a smarter buy is if it was less expensive. And now it is! One of the most highly recommended TVs from just a few short months ago is now available at a tremendous discount. Buy the S90C while you still can. I’m only going to start urging folks to buy the S90D when the S90C is out of stock and no longer an option.

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Sony TVs

Sony A80L
Sony A80L Sony

The Sony A80L versus the new Bravia 8 presents a similar story, and I actually addressed this one in last week’s You Asked episode. The Bravia 8 has a new eco dashboard, a new eco-friendly remote, slightly different feet for its stand, and is maybe marginally brighter. Super enthusiasts might enjoy that the Bravia 8 has a slightly tweaked processor. But for the vast majority of you, the A80L is the best way to get into a Sony OLED because, let’s be honest, Sony TVs are already at a premium. That is why the A80L is such a compelling choice right now.

Now, let me throw in one exception, because I know I’ve made it seem like buying the 2023 model is always the smarter choice, but there are rare exceptions. And I think the Bravia 9 versus the Sony X95L is one of those. The Bravia 9 (or XR90) has a dramatically improved backlight system that’s going to make a big difference to folks who want a very bright mini-LED TV that looks as close to one of Sony’s OLEDs as a mini-LED TV can get. I suppose I’d save my pennies or just wait to buy the Bravia 9 at this time next year,if you have your heart set on Sony’s best mini-LED TV. But if you were to ask me whether to buy the 2023 X95L or the new 2024 Bravia 7? I’d urge you to get the 2023 X95L all day, every day.

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Hisense TVs

Hisense U8K Review
Hisense U8K Chris Hagan / Digital Trends

Now, let’s talk about Hisense, where the decision may not seem so clear, at least on paper. The Hisense U8K versus the new Hisense U8N — which should you buy? At the 65-inch level, we are looking at about a $600 difference. And the U8N is both a measurably and visibly brighter mini-LED TV. I also think the U8N has better processing this year, which helps folks watching a lot of YouTube or streaming live TV have a slightly cleaner picture.

If you consider yourself a TV enthusiast, and you are wanting the best performance you can get for the money? The U8N, so far, is looking like the better choice for enthusiasts. But if you aren’t on the bleeding edge of TV technology and you don’t find yourself frustrated over a little posterization in dark areas on streaming content — as most folks are not — the 2023 U8K is the smarter choice. It was an outstanding TV at its original price, and it is a slam dunk at its discounted price.

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The decision here feels al little less clear to me. But that’s because TCL shifted its product line a little bit, and it looks like this year’s Q7 series may look a lot like last year’s QM8 series.

TCL’s mini-LED implementation in the new 2024 Q7 models is probably going to match up well to how the QM8 performed last year. So I would consider the price differences between a 2024 Q7 and a 2024 QM8 at various sizes and see what you think. I have not reviewed the new TCL models fully yet, so I don’t yet have quantifiable data on which would be the better pick. I can just tell you that what I saw of the TCL Q7 was mighty impressive. But I can also say that I don’t think many of you will go wrong with a 2023 QM8. That was another great TV for the money last year, and it’s even less expensive now.

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I hope that’s been a big help to you all. These are all TVs I recommend. I think they are the smartest purchases in TV in general — and even smarter due to the nature of their reduced prices. So I hope pointing out those specific models was of value to you.

And I hope you are as thrilled as I expect you will be when you get your new 2023 TV home. Especially if you’re upgrading from a TV that is four years old or older — you’re in for a treat!