You’re looking for a great flatscreen TV that has the quality, resolution, features, and value to make it a great choice for your college student.  The choices are many and also unfortunately confusing.  What size flatscreen TV is best?  Should you buy a Full HD TV or a 4K Ultra?  Does your student need a Smart TV or 3D capability?

Here are some things to consider to help you choose the right flatscreen TV for your college student:


Not long ago, it seemed that a 32-inch TV was the right size for college, but that has changed.  The prices of full HD flat screen TVs have come down and the sizes have gone up.  That means that you can get a larger TV that has full HD resolution with plenty of features for a better price than ever before.

Flatscreen VIZIO D43-D1 LED Smart TV Room ViewWhy would you want to buy a flatscreen TV larger than 32 inches for a college student?  For most parents, when they think of a college dorm room, they think small and cramped with barely enough room for a bed and a desk.  The reality is that dorm rooms are larger than ever and can accommodate larger TVs than ever.

Even if the dorm room is small, your student won’t be in a dorm room forever.  In fact, they may be out of the dorm and into an apartment as early as their second year.  Beyond that, they will be out of the dorm for certain after four years and on their own.  That means that whatever you buy them now will probably be their first TV as they start their career.


Interested in seeing other flat screen TV choices?  Be sure and see our other articles about some of the best!


College students play games.  That’s just what they do and the larger the screen, the better the gaming experience.  Naturally you want them to be studying most of the time, but when they need a break and gaming is their choice, having a TV with a larger screen can make their downtime more fun and relaxing.

Flatscreen VIZIO D43-D1 LED Smart TV Canted ViewWe recommend choosing a TV over 40 inches and in fact in this article we are actually recommending a 43-inch model.  They are a great value with plenty of features and will make a great first TV as your student goes off on their own.

Refresh Rate

Refresh rate affects the display of fast-motion content on a TV.  The higher the refresh rate, the better action content like that in games will be displayed without motion blur.  In simple terms, a higher refresh rate will make the game-playing experience and action movie-watching experience better.

Higher resolution TVs cost more money, but some companies have been able to use technology to approximate higher refresh rates without the same increased cost.  They use backlight scanning or flashing to double the number of times you see a frame effectively reducing motion blur and approximating double the refresh rate.

Whether it’s effective refresh rate or real refresh rate, you should choose a TV with at least 120Hz refresh rate.

Full HD 1080p vs. 4K Ultra HD

The new kids on the block are the 4K Ultra HD flat screens.  They have about 4X the pixels of full HD 1080p TVs and by packing in more pixels achieve a richer, more detailed image.  While 4K Ultra HD or something like it is the future, in the present, they may not be the right choice for your college student.

A 4K Ultra HD TV is only as good as the content it displays and the content isn’t there yet.  Even on streaming channels and cable, 4K Ultra content is sparse.

Standard Blu-ray players can’t handle 4K so you can’t buy 4K Ultra Blu-ray disks for your student’s current Blu-ray player.  4K Blu-ray players aren’t far away, but they will be more expensive and probably not the future.  Streaming digital content is the future.

Cable and other TV services are releasing 4K set-top boxes soon if they haven’t already and from those your student will be able to stream 4K content when more of it becomes available.

Flatscreen VIZIO D43-D1 LED Smart TVOur feeling is that it will still take a few years for enough 4K content to be released to make a 4K Ultra HD TV the right choice now for a college student.

The price of 4K Ultra HD compared to 1080p is still very high.  You will probably be better off buying a less expensive full HD 1080p model now to save the money and waiting to see how the TV landscape shakes out over the next few years.

Smart TV

Watching movies is probably even more popular at college than playing games.  The most popular way to watch movies is to stream them to your TV either from a streaming media player like a Roku or Fire TV or from a Smart TV.

The advantage of a Smart TV is that Wi-Fi capability and the ability to access streaming media channels is built-in and there is no additional equipment that needs to be purchased.


With it built-in your student only has to worry about a single remote control instead of dealing with a separate one to control the streaming media player.

The disadvantage can be that some Smart TVs may not support all of the streaming media channels that a streaming media player supports.


Like curved TVs, 3D TV is more of a gimmick than a capability that really adds to the technical capability of a flatscreen TV.  3D TVs have never really caught on and the content has never really been there.  We recommend that you don’t pay extra for 3D TV.

We searched retail sites, consumer sites, manufacturer sites, customer review sites, and forums to find the best 40-inch plus flat screen TV monitor for your college student.

Take a look at our choice and see if it’s the best flat screen TV for your college student.

Flatscreen TV:  Best Choice College Flat Screen HDTV

VIZIO D43-D1 43-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV

Flatscreen VIZIO D43-D1 LED Smart TV Picture ViewYou’re probably familiar with the VIZIO brand and know that they have been making highly-rated TVs for several years.  Their updated D-series is full of technology, features, and value and the VIZIO D43-D1 43-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV is right in the middle of that lineup.  The design of the television is crisp and modern, it provides brilliant picture quality, and you can count on a faster and easier-to-use Smart TV experience thanks for high-speed Wi-Fi and the addition of many of the most popular streaming channels available.  At 43-inches it will give your student that big screen TV feel without taking up a lot of space.  It’s Full-Array LED Backlighting Technology provides even light distribution and with up to 5 Active LED Zones produces more vivid details with deeper blacks than ever before.  For gaming and action media its Clear Action 240 Technology uses powerful image processing in conjunction with a 120Hz effective refresh rate to provide all the detail your student needs to enjoy action scenes.  Best of all it packs all these features and technology into a great TV value that will give your student at great TV while being easy on your wallet.  Here’s what you need to know.

Flatscreen VIZIO D43-D1 LED Smart TV Leg ViewFlatscreen Features

  • Crisp, modern design 43-inch full-array LED backlit, full HD 1920 x 1080p, LED Smart TV
  • Full-Array LED backlighting distributes LEDs behind the entire screen to deliver superior light uniformity and picture performance and with up to 5 Active LED Zones driven by a unique algorithm you get more vivid details with deeper, purer blacks and higher contrast
  • Sports, gaming, and movie action are displayed in enhanced detail with reduced motion blur thanks to Clear Action 240 which combines powerful image processing with a 120Hz effective refresh rate
  • Built-in high-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi provides faster connections and streaming
  • Built-in DTS StudioSound advanced virtual surround sound audio provides high-fidelity sound from its two 10W speakers
  • VIZIO Internet Apps Plus programming provides you with the hottest apps to stream including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, iHeartRadio, Hulu Plus, Spotify, YouTube, and more
  • Second Screen compatibility allows you to play content from your phone or tablet directly on your VIZIO TV from Second Screen-ready mobile apps like Netflix and YouTube
  • Plenty of HDMI and USB ports are perfect for connecting a myriad of entertainment devices to your VIZIO TV
  • VESA-compatible 200 x 200 mm
  • Energy Star 7.0 Compliant
  • 1-Year parts and labor warranty with free lifetime technical support
  • Dimensions with stand are 37.99W x 24.53H x 8.27D inches and weighs in at 19.84 lbs.


  • 2 – HDMI
  • 1 – Component
  • 1 – Composite
  • 1 – Tuner
  • 1 – Ethernet
  • 1 – USB
  • 1 – Analog audio out
  • 1 – Digital audio out






VIZIO D43-D1 43-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV Owner’s Manual >>>

VIZIO D43-D1 43-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV Quick Start Guide >>>




Flatscreen Comparison



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What do you think of our back-to-college TV choice?  Which flat screen TV are you planning to buy?  Please take a moment to leave a comment below.

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As always, thank for reading our article!  We sincerely hope that it has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose the right flatscreen TV for your needs!

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