Guest Post: Buying a Big Screen Television ~ 5 tips to help you figure it out

tv buyAre you confused when you are heading into a store with the goal of buying a big screen TV?

Here is 5 simple tips to help you shop for what will work for you and some hidden secrets that the stores try to get you all excited about

Thanks to Tom for this great post, he definitely knows what he is talking about!

1)      Figure out what size TV you should purchase based on how far away you are likely to be sitting from it.  Most people tend to pick TVs that are on the small side giving the viewing distance.   Here is an article with more information.

 2)      Figure out what type of TV works best in your situation (i.e.. LCD/LED or Plasma).  LCD/LED tend to be brighter TVs that look better than plasma in rooms with a lot of sunlight (usually) and they also use less electricity, whereas Plasmas generally have better black levels, contrast and viewing angles.  If you are putting this TV in a basement and what the ultimate home theatre experience – Plasma is probably the way to go.

3)      Determine what you are going to connect to the TV (cable box/DVD player/game system) and ensure you purchase the proper cables. HDMI is the most common connector, and the best, so use that whenever you can.   Also keep in mind HDMI cables tend to be overpriced at the large electronics retailers so it’s a good idea to purchase them elsewhere.  Online at Monoprice is a common place for AV enthusiasts to buy cables(and don’t believe the hype that the expensive HDMI cables are superior). tv buy2

4)      Don’t get too caught up in specs such as refresh rate and contrast ratio.  These can be misleading and cause unnecessary confusion.  However, for a larger TV, 1080p is recommended as is at least 120 Hz refresh rate (or higher) to allow for a true film experience.  Google 3:2 pull down for more information on what you are avoiding by purchasing a 120 Hz TV.

5)      Determine if you are going to use the TV for sound or a separate audio system (receiver and speakers).  For a full movie theatre experience you will want the latter but that’s another issue entirely.

Enjoy your new TV!

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