I recently saw a Best Buy consultant trying to push an expensive TV to an elderly customer and this made me wonder if seniors would really use a TV with so many features. Therefore, since I have never heard about a “senior-friendly TV” before, I decided to do my own research to find out if seniors need a special TV or a smart TV and this is what I found.
Do seniors need a special tv or a smart TV? Seniors don’t need a special TV or a Smart TV, but they usually have some requirements that can help them to choose a better model to suit their needs. Moreover, older adults often prefer to have a TV that satisfies their visual, sound, and menu organization needs. Therefore, Smart TVs can add some nice features but it also requires seniors to be more tech-savvy (which it’s not always the case). I tried to gather in this post the best user-friendly smart TVs for seniors.
Best Easy-to-Use Smart TV for Seniors
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SAMSUNG Smart LED TV 720p
SAMSUNG Class LED Smart FHD TV 1080p
Amazon Fire TV Omni Series 4K UHD smart TV
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD smart TV
Sony X95J BRAVIA XR Full Array LED 4K Ultra HD Smart Google TV
In this post, you will also read about many other special gadgets for seniors who love watching TV, here are our top picks:
Our Top Picks TV Accessories
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Easy-to-use Streaming device
Roku Streambar Pro
Easy-to-use Universal remote control
Flipper Big Button Universal TV Remote
Comfortable Recliner chair for watching TV
SMUG Single Sofa Recliner Chair
Adjustable edge pillow set to watch TV on the bed
Lunix LX5 4pcs Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow Set
All-in-one armrest organizer
CupComfort Armrest Organizer
Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Adjustable TV tray table
HUANUO TV Tray Table
Easy-to-install TV stand
Rolling TV Stand, Mobile TV Stand with Locking Wheels
High-quality portable TV
Tyler 14” Portable TV LCD Monitor
Ambient backlight display system
Nexillumi LED Lights for TV
Projector for home theatre
Easy-to-use and efficient electric Butter Sprayer
Dash Electric Butter Sprayer
What are the benefits of a smart TV?
The main benefit of a smart TV is access to a large number of channels that offer TV programs, movies, and music without the need to connect a TV antenna or subscribe to a cable/satellite service. Also, some smart TVs provide web browsing, gaming, and access to compatible media content stored on your computer.
Surely, we can all benefit from a smart TV, but if you wonder how to get a smart TV without actually getting one, something along the lines of how to convert your old “dumb” TV into a smart one, check our post “Best Easy-to-Use Streaming Devices for Seniors”.
Main Requirements for a Special TV for Seniors (Senior-friendly TV)
Choosing the best TV for seniors is very important. Studies show that older adults watch more television than younger people do. And that television has an important role in mental health. So in this section of the post, we will not only discuss smart TVs, but mainly let’s take a look at what really matters when choosing a TV that really fits your needs.
If you are looking for a new TV, let’s check out what makes TV senior-friendly. The list below describes the main requirements a TV should have to enhance seniors’ experience of watching TV:
1. Main Visual requirements
Screen size is probably the main requirement for the elderly. Besides, most older adults have some vision problems. Therefore, getting a bigger screen can be a big plus.
Therefore, the best-recommended size (considering price) will in 43-65 inch range. Of course, it all depends on the distance the TV will be from the senior viewers, but a bigger screen is easier to see and supports viewing when they forget their glasses or do not wish to wear them.
If you are particularly concerned about the experience of watching tv with a visual impairment, read our post “How Can Seniors With Impaired Vision Watch TV?”.
And if you are simply looking for a smaller portable TV, the one you can carry anywhere, check our post “Do Seniors Need a Small Portable TV?”.
2. Main Definition requirements (television displays)
The TV market is changing rapidly but OLED TV is the picture quality kings for now for Television display. OLED TV is a television display technology based on the characteristics of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), it’s a different technology than LED TV. Furthermore, because OLED displays don’t require backlighting, they can be thinner and weigh less than other display technologies. They also have a wide viewing angle – up to 160 degrees.
Full HD (also known as 1080 progressive or 1080p) is a term used to describe television display technology that is a standard for high-definition television in terms of video quality and sharpness.
4K refers to one of two high-definition resolutions: 3840 x 2160 pixels or 4096 x 2160 pixels. So this means that 4K is four times the pixel resolution, or twice the line resolution (2160p), of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels). The previous high-definition resolutions in use are 720p and 1080p (Full HD).
8K refers to the mind-blowing sharpness and depth with 16 times more resolution than HDTV.
Even though the OLED feature seems awesome, it usually comes at a high price, so I would just stick to FullHD or 4K Standards. 4k TV is a standard nowadays. Refresh rate from 60 Hz and preferably 120 Hz. But keep in mind that TV distance matters and can drastically improve the user experience.
3. Main Sound requirements
Many among the elderly have some hearing problems and good sound quality is very important. Usually, the standard TV sound is quite weak, especially on cheaper models. And most speakers will outclass the built-ins.
Therefore, having even a cheap external sound system can dramatically increase the user experience. And keep in mind that they don’t really need/want a home theater surround sound type of experience, a cheap model can do just fine.
If you want to learn more about this topic, check our post “How to Improve my TV Sound for Hearing Impaired?”.
4. Main Menu requirements
The TV menu should be easy to navigate. It should be very straightforward and the main functions should be easily accessible. In this case, less is more.
Moreover, Icons need to be big and easy to understand.
What are the Best Brands?
I would put Sony as the number one and Samsung and LG as very good alternatives. But be aware that many brands outsourced the manufacturing to China and even sold them their TV brand, so the quality became different.
Furthermore, if you need a simple TV with a good smart system, you should be happy with most of TCL and Insignia‘s offerings. Overall, TCL and Insignia TVs offer good picture quality and great features at a low price. Although they aren’t as feature-packed or as well-built as more expensive models, their TVs typically offer great value.
What is the Average Price?
The average price for 55 inches is around $300 and if you go with 65 inches the price basically doubles. There are different new TV technologies on the market that can significantly increase the price, but most of them are not that important if you just want to watch your favorite TV show.
Best TV for Seniors Available Right Now!
Our list goes from the simplest TV to the one with more features.
Best Value 32′ Smart TV available on the market:
1. Best-value 32-Inch TV (720p): SAMSUNG 32-Inch Smart LED TV 720p
- Product: Samsung Electronics UN32M4500A 32-Inch Smart TV (2017 model)
- Included: Standard remote controller (TM1240B) with batteries, power cable, and user manual
- TV Dimensions: Without Stand – 29.3″ W x 17.4″ H x 2.7″ D | With Stand – 29.3″ W x 18.4″ H x 5.9″ D | Screen Size: 31.5″ (measured diagonally) | Resolution: 1366 x 768
- Motion Rate 60 for clear moving picture, fast refresh rate, processing speed, and backlight technology
- Fluid browsing experience and fast control for switching between apps and streaming content
- Specifications: HDMI – 2 | USB – 1 | Power Supply – AC110-120V 50/60Hz | Typical Power Consumption – 33 W | VESA wall mount compatible – 75 x 75″ | No Bluetooth capability
- And the best thing is: this TV costs less than $200!
2. Best 32-Inch TV (1080p): SAMSUNG 32-inch Class LED Smart FHD TV 1080p
- Product: SAMSUNG Electronics UN32N5300AFXZA 32-inch Class LED Smart FHD TV 1080P (2018 Model)
- Full HD 1080p Resolution for 2x the clarity of standard HD TVs
- Power Supply: AC110-120V 50/60Hz
- Smart TV for faster, easier, and more intelligent access to streaming services with the Samsung Remote Control
- Micro Dimming Pro for enhanced contrast and true-to-life picture
- Quad Core Processor for fluid browsing and fast control switching between apps and streaming content.
Best Bigger Sizes Smart TV available on the market:
3. Best value bigger size TV: Amazon Fire TV 55″ Omni Series 4K UHD smart TV
If you want a cheaper less known brand that offers awesome features, Amazon is just starting with it TV series and it’s amazing! And what is best: way cheaper than Sony, Samsung or LG. The Omni series Amazon has is pretty good:
- Bundle includes Amazon Fire TV 55″ Omni Series and 4-year Protection Plan with no deductibles or shipping fees.
- Protection Plan covers product breakdowns during normal use, plus mechanical and electrical failures, and includes 24/7 support and 2-day replacements. It can also be canceled anytime with a full refund in the first 90 days and will be delivered via e-mail within 24 hours.
- Brilliant 4K entertainment with support for vivid 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, HLG, and Dolby Digital Plus, and hands-free TV control with Alexa.
- 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, and HLG deliver a clearer and more vibrant picture compared to 1080p Full HD.
- Hands-free TV control with Alexa – just ask to turn on the TV, find, launch, and control content, and put down the remote.
4. Best bigger size TV available right now: Amazon Fire TV 75″ Omni QLED Series 4K UHD smart TV
And this is the very best TV Amazon is offering at the moment.
- Stunning 4K Quantum Dot Display (QLED) for brighter, richer, and more lifelike colors.
- Advanced HDR for deep, realistic color with support for Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive, HDR10, and HLG.
- Adaptive Brightness optimizes the brightness of movies and shows based on the lighting in your room.
- Bolder contrast with full array local dimming in 96 individual zones enhancing contrast.
- Fire TV Ambient Experience displays over a thousand pieces of free artwork, personal photos, Alexa widgets, and more.
- Hands-free TV control with Alexa using built-in microphones.
- Build your home theater with Alexa Home Theater by wirelessly pairing Echo speakers, soundbars, or AV receivers.
- Connect all your devices with 4 HDMI inputs and HDMI eARC for enhanced sound.
Compare Amazon Fire TV smart TVs
|Fire TV 4-series||Fire TV Omni Series||Fire TV Omni QLED Series|
|Resolution||4K Ultra High Definition||4K Ultra High Definition||4K Ultra High Definition|
|Screen sizes||43″, 50″, 55″|
43″, 50″, 55″, 65″, 75″
|HDR format||HDR10, HLG||HDR10, HLG, plus Dolby Vision (only 65″, 75″)||HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive, HDR10+ Gaming|
|Press and ask Alexa||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Hands-free with Alexa||✔️||✔️|
|Full array local dimming||✔️|
|Fire TV Ambient Experience||✔️|
TV for Seniors: Answers to 5 Essential Questions You May Have
1. How much time do seniors spend watching TV?
Nowadays, the average American over 65 spend more than four hours and 20 minutes watching TV every day. This is an increase of almost 30 minutes since 2003, the first year the government started collecting statistics on TV watching. It’s also more than twice as much daily TV time as 15-34 year olds, who spend less time watching TV now than they did in the early 2000s.
The data is based on a Quartz analysis of the American Time Use Survey, a long-running study that tracks what more than 10,000 Americans do every day. The data on TV watching include streaming and shows watched on any device, not just a traditional television. The increase in screen time among the elderly is not a result of the general aging of the population—the average age of Americans over 65 included in study was around 74 throughout the period.
2. Do Seniors Need a Special Remote Control?
Yes, seniors need a special TV remote control if their physical condition doesn’t allow them to use standard ones. Therefore, having big buttons that have contrast colors and which are well-positioned can make a huge difference. Besides, the remote control buttons should be big enough with big letters and numbers. Moreover, the smaller the number of buttons the better.
Seniors can get a very easy-to-use universal remote with just a few buttons. They are cheap (you can find it less than $50) so buy them a few of the same kind, just in case the loose it or if they want to place them in different corners of the room.
For a remote TV to be good, it doesn’t really need to be complicated, a simple easy-to-use remote TV would do. So you basically need just a few buttons: Volume up/down, channel up/down, power on/off or toggle, and for those more capable, arrow keys and enter/ok for the TV menus. Standard remotes have black keys on a black background with impossibly tiny text!
If you want to know more about special remote control for seniors, check our post “Do Seniors Need a Special TV Remote Control?”.
3. What Else do Seniors Need to Watch TV More Comfortably?
According to Quartz website, in 2017, the average American over 65 spent about four hours and 20 minutes watching TV every day. Therefore, this is an increase of almost 30 minutes since 2003 – the first year the government started collecting statistics on TV watching. Moreover, it’s also more than twice as much daily TV time as 15-34 year olds, who spend less time watching TV now than they did in the early 2000s.
You may think, why is this relevant? Well, if seniors over 65 in the United States are spending almost 1/4 of their day in front of the TV! And chances are they spend even more time sitting in front of the same TV (with the TV off), doing other activities, it’s a lot of time sitting in the same place!
So it’s a no-brainer that a good recliner chair should be essential for seniors to watch TV more comfortably. It’s especially important that they find the chair comfortable. Moreover, it’s also important to have the support they need for getting up regularly with a minimum of hassle. Want to learn more? check our post “Best Recliners for Seniors to Watch TV More Comfortably”.
It turns out, there is a comfier way to watch TV while laying down, and it involves supportive wedge pillows. While most people have a recliner to watch TV more comfortably, the wedge pillow is becoming increasingly popular. If you’ve never considered one, perhaps you should? Want to learn more? read our post “Great Comfortable Wedge Pillows for Seniors to Watch TV”.
Sofa Side Table
Also, a sofa side table, where seniors can store the remote control and other essential items should be essential as well. At least, it would make their lives easier by not having to get up from the sofa all the time they need to pick up something. With a side table, everything would be reachable. Want to learn more? take a look at our post “Do Seniors Need a Multi-Use Sofa Side Table?”.
And having a good TV stand also makes it easier to achieve the optimal viewing distance. Besides it can reduce significantly the chance of eye or neck strain. Want to learn more? check our post “Easy-to-Install and Easy-to-Use TV Stands for Seniors”.
4. Should Seniors Get a Portable TV?
If you are not familiar with the concept of a portable TV, this type of TV contains many of the same features as its large-screen “cousins”. But because they are lightweight and compact in size, it is handheld. Therefore, it can be carried easily from one place to another. Why a portable TV should be a great device for seniors? Well, it’s all about the numbers. As mentioned before, research after research shows how much seniors enjoy watching TV. So why not have one around all the time?! Want to learn more? check our post “Do Seniors Need a Small Portable TV?”
5. What Cool Gadgets Can We Get For Seniors who love watching TV?
Last but not least, if you have a senior in your life who absolutely loves watching TV, check this list of Great Tech Gifts for Seniors who love watching TV. There are some very cool (and creative) TV gadgets there!
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You May Also Like
- How to Improve my TV Sound for Hearing Impaired?
- How Can Seniors With Impaired Vision Watch TV?
- Do Seniors Need a Special TV Remote Control?
- Do Seniors Need a Small Portable TV?
- Best Easy-to-Use Streaming Devices for Seniors
- Do Seniors need Apple TV?
- Great Tech Gifts for Seniors who are TV Addicts
- Screen Time and Digital Adoption by Seniors
- Best TV Recliner Chairs and Wedge Pillows For Seniors
- Do Seniors Need a Multi-Use Sofa Side Table?
- Easy-to-Install and Easy-to-Use TV Stands for Seniors