How to Choose the TV that is Right for You

Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 5.03.10 PM

TV’s are an integral part of any modern home but the truth is that many of us don’t really know what we should be looking for when trying to buy a new one. With so many fancy technical terms plastered all over them and impressive features on offer, there is so much more to consider than simply opting for the one with the biggest screen. From HD to 3D and even the development of the all new 4K TV, it can be very difficult to know where to even start, so here is a rundown of some of the terms you are likely to see when browsing TVs, what they mean and how best to decide which one is right for you.

  • The screen: Modern, flat screen televisions tend to come in one of three different types: Plasma, LED or LCD. These terms merely refer to the type of screen the TV has and the method used to produce the images you see on it. Plasma TVs tend to be able to cope with fast moving images best, making them a good option for lovers of sport.
  • The contrast ratio: This refers to a TVs ability to display both dark and light images as the same time meaning the higher the ratio, the better the quality of the final image produced. Therefore if you enjoy playing video games or watching HD movies, a TV with a high contrast ratio is what you are looking for.
  • The power: The type of TV can make a big difference in terms of how much power it will use due to the different ways the screens are used. LCDs only need one fluorescent backlight to be lit in stark contrast to the energy guzzling Plasma which requires every pixel to be lit individually. LED TVs tend to be the most efficient in this area; meaning energy conscious users should consider them first and foremost.
  • The price: LCD TVs tend to be the most affordable as they come in smaller sizes. LEDs are the most recent to become available on the market, meaning that – as well as usually being very large – they tend to be fairly pricey.
  • The resolution: The screen resolution will generally be listed as either 720p or 1080p. In simple terms, 720p means that the TV is capable of displaying HD images used for the likes of DVDs and HD sport and movie channels, whereas 1080p is capable of the higher quality display used in the likes of Blu-ray discs.
  • The features: If you want a TV that comes with features such as Freeview, internet access and USB ports to connect laptops already built in, then your best bet is to look for those labelled as being ‘Smart TVs’. These multimedia devices tend to offer the biggest overall package in mainstream home entertainment.
  • The size: Don’t necessarily be tempted to automatically buy the biggest screen size you can afford. Optimum viewing depends not only on size, but also on the distance from which you view it, with twice the length of the screen size being ideal. It is important to make sure your TV will neither swamp nor be swamped by the room it will be used in.
  • Christopher

    I still own a plain vanilla 32″ LCD TV. Wonder where I stand here.