If your looking into buying a new TV, chances are your tossing up between a number of different options. There are a number of different things to consider, and this buying guide is designed to help you wade through all the decisions that should be made. The following are the key questions that will be answered as you read on:
1. How big should I go?
2. Plasma, LCD, LED… What type of TV should I buy?
3. What do all these features and specifications actually mean?
4. What connections do I need to look for?
5. What is digital TV and how will “Freeview” impact upon the TV I buy?
It is important to remember though that being a guide, many of the statements in here are based on opinion and do not necessarily represent facts. At the end of the day, the decision is a personal one and preferences will very from person to person.
1. How Big Should I Go?
The first thing to consider is your budget. It goes without say that the larger the TV, the more expensive it is likely to be, at least when compared to a TV of the same features and quality. Budget will therefore have a large impact on the size of TV that you can look to purchase. Having said that, there are other things to conider.
A major consideration should be the size of the room in which you will be putting the TV. Even more specifically, how far from the screen will you be when watching the TV? As a general rule, the viewing distance should be at least twice that of the diagonal size of the screen. For example, if you will be sitting 2 metres from the screen, a 40-46? TV is the size for you. a TV 50? and bigger would be appropriate for those sitting 2.5 metres from the screen.
2. Plasma, LCD, LED… What Type of TV Should I Consider?
We’ve broken this section into 3 easy to read and understand sections, with explanations as well as the pros and cons of each type of big screen TV. We’ve limited the descriptions to the 3 mainstream, popular types of TV. If you would like us to add a section about projectors, CRT or any other type pf screen, let us know and we’ll happily work on it for you.
Plasma screens contain a series of very small gaseous cells, called sub-pixels, which produce ultraviolet light when electricity is applied. These cells are bunded in groups of three, with each cell in a group being red, blue or green. These groups of three are called pixels. The different coloured cells glow differently depending on the signal they receive. The large number of pixels, combined with the particularly small size, is what allows a plasma screen to produce such a clear picture.
* Normally very good picture quality
* Considering their size, they are relatively very thin.
* They won’t distort at the edges due to the flat screen
* Assuming you take care of it, the screen’s brightness will remain consistent throughout it’s life.
* It is usually possible to wall mount them
* The 16:9 aspect ratio common to the format is well suited to both DVDs or Blurays and digital TV broadcasts.
* A plasma screen is unaffected by strong magnetic fields, like those you can find in some powerful speakers.
* The clarity of vision is not adversely affected by large screen sizes.
* Plasma screens are known to have the sharpest display of the colour black, perhaps the most important color when viewing a TV.
* They can accept a wide range of input signals, including most TV signals (PAL, NTSC and SECAM) and have a number of input types, such as standard RCA jacks, S-video, component video and increasingly HDMI. Also, most will accept output from a computer via RGB inputs.
* Servicing them down the track can be problematic, and will usually be expensive if possible at all. Extended warranties are recommended.
* Difficult to find in small-medium sizes. The majority of models start at 40? and increase from there.
* Plasma screens can be effected by “burn-in” which can happen when one constant image is left on the screen for a long time. This may happen, for example, if a DVD menu is left on for too long.
* Some Plasma screens are only a display without any TV tuner. In this instance you will need to purchase a set-top box or PVR in order to watch TV.
* Compared to other types of TVs in comparable sizes, Plasma screens are quite heavy. Be aware of this before setting one up or trying to move it. You may need a hand.
* Each pixel has to be lit individually so the screen as a whole uses far more power, making them more expensive to run and worse for the environment.
* Due to their capacity to produce more heat than other screen types, Plasma’s will often have a fan in them to keep them from overheating. Usually they are very quiet, but they can be a little distracting without sound. This particularly so in older models.
* Panasonic G10 Full HD Plasma, available in three sizes; 42 inches, 46 inches and 50 inches. The top of the range plasma from the best plasma makers. Panasonic’s G10 plasma won the recently awarded Editor’s Choice Award from CNET, which is a big deal in this industry. Enough said.
* Panasonic X10 Plasma range, available in 42 or 50 inches. Panasonic are the best at making plasmas and this one represents excellent value for your hard earned.
B. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
LCD Screens are effectively made up of two sheets of glass with an thin layer of liquefied crystal cells squeezed between them. These cells act as flaps which allow varying amounts of backlight through them when an electric current is applied. Backlight is provided by fluorescent light tubes. These cells are filtered with either Red, Green or Blue colouring to allow the screen to display the correct image as required. LCD screens are the most widely produced TVs on the market today. buy live stream viewers youtube