Buying a Television

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Your television is the centerpiece of your home entertainment system. Whether you plan on watching a big sporting event or the latest blockbuster to come out on Blu-ray, having a top-of-the-line TV is a must. A crystal clear picture will give older films a fantastic new look, or make you feel like you're in the stadium with crisp motion created by a high refresh rate. Before you pick out your new TV, you need to figure out which features are most important to you.

Why buy a new television?

Most modern TVs have newer energy efficiency features. Even larger units will lower your electrical bill over the course of an entire year.

With your cable package, you may have access to HD channels. Get the most out of these channels with an HD-capable TV.

Smart TVs give you access to online streaming apps along with full web browsing capabilities.

Increased refresh rates provide a clearer picture and reduce motion blur.


Features of new televisions

HD ratings

  • 720p is standard HD; it's a great and affordable high-definition option that is usually found on smaller televisions
  • 1080p, also called full HD, is ideal for playing your Blu-ray movies and is becoming the most common HDTV resolution on the market
  • 4K/Ultra HD provides the clearest picture you can get; it is four times the resolution rate of 1080p and gives you the sharpest viewing experience currently available

 

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Other features/considerations

  • 3-D ready TVs offer you an expanded viewing experience
  • Smart TVs have the ability to connect to the Internet
  • There is the option of either wall mounting your set or placing it on a floor stand

 

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Types of televisions

LED televisions

In light emitting diode, or LED TV sets there is a back panel of LEDs that backlight the image. This makes the set far lighter than both LCD and plasma TVs.

  • Size Range: 13-65 inches
  • Price Range: $200-$3,500
  • Refresh Rate: 60-240 Hz
  • 3-D Availability: Yes
  • Resolutions: 720p, 1080p and 4K

LED TVs are best for...

Wall mounting : LED TVs are considerably lighter and thinner than their LCD counterparts, making them much easier to put on the wall and freeing up space on the floor.

 

Richer color : The LED backlighting system allows for a vibrant color display and higher contrast than standard LCD sets.

 

Energy efficiency : LED sets are the most energy efficient television available, making them extremely cost effective on a yearly basis.

 

 

 

 


LCD televisions

Liquid crystal display, or LCD TVs are similar to LED, but are backlit by a cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL). This gives them a high-quality HD picture but at a lower cost.

  • Size Range: 22-50 inches
  • Price Range: $150-$1,000
  • Refresh Rate: 60-240 Hz
  • 3-D Availability: Yes
  • Resolutions: 720p, 1080p

LCD TVs are best for...

Dorm rooms : The thin size of LCD sets makes them great for the tight spaces of a dorm room, and they're a bit sturdier than their LED counterparts.

Those on a budget : LCD TVs have been out for some time now and you can find large screen sizes at lower prices.

 


Plasma televisions

Plasma television screens are built of small cells that are full of a gas. When electricity passes through, it excites the gas and creates an image. The technology used in these TVs make them nearly immune to motion blur.

  • Size Range: 42-65 inches
  • Price Range: $450- $2,000
  • Refresh Rate: 600 Hz
  • 3-D Availability: Yes
  • Resolutions: 720p, 1080p

Plasma TVs are best for...

Avid sports watchers/Video game players : The refresh rate is extremely high and motion blur will hardly be noticeable. This gives you the best viewing experience for content with high movement.

Large groups : Plasma sets can be viewed well from almost any angle. They don't suffer from degradation at sharp angles like LCD and LED monitors.  


Bottom Line

When it comes to TVs, there are a number of different options in refresh rates, sizes and resolution types. If you're going to be watching a lot of action movies, sports or playing video games, then you'll want to get a plasma TV. For those who are looking for a high-quality picture but don't want to break the bank, stick to an LCD. If you're ready to upgrade to the newest model and the best picture quality, then your go-to will be an LED set. Consider which factors are most important for your viewing habits to guide your buying process.

 

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