5 Points to keep in Mind When Shopping For a TV
With so many different options in television viewing, it’s hard to choose what is best for you. There are 5 points you should keep in mind when shopping for a TV to help make the decision-making process easier:
The most important thing to consider when shopping for the right TV is your budget, as how much you're willing to spend will determine how many choices you have. Before you enter a store, it’s good to have this budget in mind. If your budget is from $100-$250, your selection and screen sizes choose from will be smaller. You will also be limited to LCD and LED panels; but that’s not a bad thing! LCD and LED are the most popular TV panels out there. If you increase your budget to $500, you also increase the screen sizes in your selection. You’ll not only be deciding between LCD and LED panels anymore, but plasma as well. Increase your budget to $1000 and you will have a much larger selection and choices, including 60” + screens and 3D ready options. The larger the budget, the larger the selection.
When deciding on screen size, consider the viewing distance, picture quality, and of course your budget. Viewing distance is the distance between your television and where you and your guests would normally sit when watching TV. Televisions today offer a much better picture quality than older models, which means you will want to sit a little closer, but not so close that you start noticing pixels on the screen! An easy way to figure out the right screen size is to take the viewing distance by inches, and divide that by 3 and that will give you the minimum screen size; take the viewing distance and divide it by 1.5 and you will get your maximum screen size.
Example: If you want your TV 12 feet (144 inches) from your couch, your minimum screen size would be 48” (144 divided by 3) and the maximum screen size would be 96” (144 divided by 1.5)
48” to 96” is a fairly big range, but this is where your budget comes in. Larger screens will obviously cost more money and may not be what you need; with a little thought you can select a TV within your budget and size requirements. The next thing you will need to consider is picture quality.
Picture Quality & Screen Resolution
Screen resolution is the main reason high-definition TV pictures look so much sharper and clearer than regular TV. Resolution is measured in pixels; the more pixels, the higher the resolution. Today's HDTVs offer one to two million pixels; that’s about six times more than the old-fashioned models, which had around 300,000 pixels. All those additional pixels mean a big leap in picture quality from then to now.
When understanding TV screen resolution you might ask: what does 1080p mean? TV technology has advanced, and progressive scanning was established. This is what the "p" in 1080p stands for, as opposed to 1080i, where the "i" stands for interlacing. A TV that's 1080p doesn't display a picture using odd and even lines, but rather the entire image is seen at once, similar to movie films. The 1080 refers to the resolution of the TV set. While the old television sets used to display 576 horizon lines, the new digital HDTV sets boast 720 or 1080 lines that make up the image displayed, which gives a higher resolution. You will find the picture to be sharper and clearer.
There are many different types of display you could choose from, knowing the differences between them helps to make the decision process easier. You may have heard terms LCD, LED, Plasma, OLED, 4K, and Laser Display, but what does it mean? Check out the chart below for the breakdown of these various types of TV display.
- 3D – most buyers are still shopping 2D TV. You may not be sold on 3D either, but chances are you may look at some 3D televisions anyway. If you decide to purchase a TV that supports 3D, your next question will be; “What is passive or active 3D?”
- Passive 3D is similar to what you would experience in a movie theater. Two images are displayed simultaneously on the screen, while polarized glasses filter the correct image to each eye, producing a 3D effect. This approach produces a brighter overall picture and better odd-angle viewing than active 3D.
- Active 3D glasses use battery-powered LCD lenses to block each eye in sync with a TV that alternates showing right- and left-eye images, creating a 3D effect. Since each eye sees a full-resolution 1080p frame, active 3D has a higher resolution than passive 3D.
- Full-array with local dimming – Improves picture quality with much better black levels and a more uniform picture across the LCD panel. While the cost of the TV may increase, the improved picture quality is worth the price.
- Edge-lit with local dimming – A thinner and lighter TV build, with the benefits of local dimming. Results in darker black levels when compared to edge-lit without local dimming.
- Smart TVs have one or more of the following features:
- Video Playback
- Apps & Games
- PVR/DVR Functionality
- Gesture & Voice Control
- Social Networking
- Web Browsing
- Smartphone Connectivity
I hope this post has helped to answer some question about television sets today. Remember to set a budget, think about where the TV will be displayed, and what expectations you may have for your new TV before you begin to shop. At P.C. Richard & Son, we have the largest display and selection of TVs. Find your perfect match today!