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The Complete Television Buying Guide

Unlike the televisions of our past, today’s assortment of plasma, LCD, HD and DLP televisions can often times confuse the normal shopper who simply wants the most vivid picture for their money while having the input features necessary to play games, watch BlueRay movies and even attach surround sound.  We’ve taken the guesswork out of television buying by forming this guide which will offer a crash course in television buying using simple terms which everyone can understand. From a mobile device, you can read our television buyer’s guide while shopping at Best Buy or your favorite electronics store.

What Size Television Would Be Best?

Although everyone would love the new 92” flat screen for their living room, it’s just not possible to put such large screens in small spaces.  When considering the size of your television, make sure you’ve considered the proper amount of space necessary to get great views of your television without straining your eyes or overwhelming you.  You will want to measure the overall distance between you and the television to gauge the viewing distance and match that according to televisions which have the lowest visual impact for living room space.

What Picture Quality Is Best?

Our televisions have graduated from Technicolor to Hi-Definition in just 55 short years; therefore, depending on your budget, you’ve got more choices in picture quality than ever. Pixels, the smallest measurable image which video systems can process, form what’s considered screen resolution and are calculated by multiplying the vertical and horizontal pixels displayed on the TV box.  So, if your standard television has a 1080p resolution, you will see it has 1,920 and 1,080 pixels which equals 2,073,600p total.  The more pixels your television has, the better the picture quality will be; shoot for the highest number within your budget.

There will be two different picture ‘scan’ types; these will tell you more about the picture quality.  Interlaced scanning means that every other line of pixels is scanned and brought to your television whereas progressive scan models hit every line, the common trait of HDTV’s.

What Different Types Of Televisions Exist?

Technology has produced several types of televisions for your viewing enjoyment with different prices depending on several picture delivery factors.  Adding various ports, connectors and other additional features also differentiate which models one should buy.

Plasma

The thinnest television currently on markets today, plasma is generated by gas-charged electrodes which are smashed between two closely placed glass panels.  By buying plasma televisions, one can enjoy:

  • Crisper viewing angles
  • Base sizes of 42” with the largest at 100”
  • Equivalent to movie-theater life-like viewing
  • Better angular viewing

LCD

These televisions have been around for some time, actually, and offer many common features which have made them the most popular for middle class people.  Crystals which refract fluorescent lighting are electrified and sent in proper color simultaneously to your screen.  Some great reasons to choose LCD for your next television:

  • Cost less than plasma
  • Stellar contrast levels
  • Usually range from 15” up to 60” in viewing area
  • Expound less energy
  • More on-screen pixels

LED-LCD

Combining the technologies of LCD with LED’s taking the place of fluorescent tubes to push images through the screen, this style of television is perhaps the best available in stores today due to extreme efficiency.  Other benefits surrounding this television include:

  • Sleek design which is less than 3 centimeters in thickness
  • The lightest television around
  • Picture quality rivals more expensive plasmas
  • Highly efficient

Smart TV’s

With more people interacting on Facebook and browsing the web through their televisions than ever before, smart televisions have erupted onto the marketplace as perhaps the best alternative to computers, especially when you could easily flip over to television mode quickly.  WebTV was actually the first official Smart television to become widely popularized due to internet browsing capabilities, their innate ability to view articles and utilize document translation service while also having mainstream email retrieval. Some great benefits of owning these televisions include:

  • Ability to view websites or watch television simultaneously
  • Access to on-demand movies without extensive hardware connections
  • Same display qualities as LED televisions
  • Costs less than LED TV’s and computers combined yet do nearly the same thing

3D Televisions

Although these televisions perhaps cost more than all the rest combined, 3-D technology is what many should expect for our future.  Using stereoscopic display techniques, the human depth perception is literally tricked into seeing movies and television programs which ‘pop out’ at them.  These television sets require the purchase of special viewing glasses yet some models include these 2D or 3D glasses.  Other major perks of owning these televisions include:

  • True life viewing of favorite sports, drama or action shows
  • Ability to view standard HD channels
  • Great for gaming
  • 2D watching is possible without 3D glasses
  • Which TV Would Be Best For Me?

Which Television Should I Buy?

Depending on your television watching preferences, various televisions would better suit your needs over others; we’ll break down common events and which would work best for each situation, or the most situations combined.

Gamers

The goal of finding gaming televisions is having the best image quality, period.  Modern televisions will already have proper connectors for Xbox, Wii and other consoles; shoot for the following:

  • LED-LCD televisions of around 32-40” would work well if playing in bedrooms; 40-50” if playing in larger living rooms.
  • Resolution needs to be over 1080p
  • Ports need to have ample surround sound connection ports (optical); HDMI helpful

Sports or Movies

You’ll need the largest screen possible without impeding visual acuity within the space where the television will be placed.  For sports and movies, you need a television which:

  • Has roughly 40” or above in common living rooms
  • 1080p for BlueRay movies with 200Hz for action scenes
  • No less than 5.1 Dolby surround sound built-in
  • Optical ports for surround sound bars or full systems; HDMI ports for BlueRay

Bedrooms

Most bedrooms don’t look proper with televisions sitting on dressers; you need to have ample wall space to comfortably view your television as these should always be wall mounting.  You’ll need to choose the unit which:

  • Easily mounts to your wall
  • 1080p for angular viewing (assuming you’ll lay down at times to view)
  • HDMI and optical ports for BlueRay and surround sound
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Dave is a 20-year veteran in the journalism industry. He reports on tech, social media and healthcare news.

1 Comment

  1. Would recommend plasma as a serious contender for anyone looking for a larger TV. For 42 inches or more, plasma generally offers better picture quality and often cheaper prices than LED.

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