“The tube is no more. In the last 3-5 years we’ve seen the television landscape drastically change, in part thanks to the US government demanding that broadcasters discontinue the broadcast of low rez TV and replace it with the much better looking HD resolution. Now LCD TVs are ubiqutious and have become drastically cheaper. Even today you can purchase a 40+ inch TV for less than $500 and the specs are nothing to snuff at. So what do you look for when purchasing a new set?
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First you’ll need to determine the size of the TV you’d like. For some this is a personal preference while others this decision is rooted in practicality thanks to the viewing distance from the TV. Gernerally speaking you’ll want to invest in a set that is 40-inches or larger if it’s for the living room, though for some smaller setups 37-inches might suffice. If you’re a football or sports fan, we suggest purchasing the largest possible set that will fit in your living room.
Next you’ll need to decide on the type of flat screen you’d like. There are two options: plasma or LCD. Plasma comes in one flavor while LCDs can come in a variety of variations. These include LCD edge lit TVs, edge lit LED LCD TVs or local dimming LEDs otherwise known as backlit LED LCD TVs. The best possible picture will be achieved by local dimming LED TVs since it can control the brightness anywhere in the TV, where edge lit is relegated to the edge of the picture, though it isn’t to say a solid picture can’t be achieved. With that all said Plasmas provide the best bang for their buck, though they’ve been known for screen staining, despite makers stating the technology has been upgraded to avoid this.
Next, you’ll need to consider the many features a TV might offer. For instance if you’re looking for a 3D experience you’ll need to find a TV that can produce this imagery, though you’ll need special glasses to view it. There is also the question of refresh rate, which ranges from 60-240hz. We recommend a set that has a 120Hz, though unless you’re watching a ton of sports it won’t be necessary since this feature tends to reduce motion blur. Don’t get caught up in 240hz TVs, or by them for that reason since 120hz will suffice just fine. Some other features to consider are the amount of inputs the set offers and what kind of media it can playback. Many of today’s sets are compatible with Netflix’s Streaming video service and have an Internent connection built directly in. Some will offer WiFi while others, the more expensive versions will provide a built-in wireless connection. We recommend looking for a set that has at a mininum of 3x HDMI ports, though on the smaller sets you’ll often find 2. While a USB input is useful, it’s not paramount.
Lastly, we strongly recommend you consider your brand allegiance. While it shouldn’t be the make or break, you’ll still want to consider this factor since the menus, remotes and overall feel of the set will be more familiar. “