Television is one of the primary entertainment and infotainment home appliances which is common in most of the Indian houses these days. If you are one among the many users, who is out in the market looking for a new Television or looking to upgrade your existing TV, then we have this simple TV buying guide for dummies.
So here are few of the key factors that you should check out for before finalising a particular model or brand.
Screen Technology and Resolution
Talking about screen technology, there are majorly three screen types available for TVs that include LCD, LED, and Plasmas. We will quickly take you through the pros and cons of each of them.
- LCD: Abbreviation of Liquified Crystal Display, it is one of the oldest screen technology and is being phased out over time. LCDs are bulkier compared to LED and Plasma counterpart and draws more power than the latter. However, people with a lower budget for upfront investment may consider going for LCDs.
- LED: These type of screens are fitted with light emitting diodes behind the display that helps in spreading lights in an evenly manner across the entire screen, unlike in the LCD technology. The outcome being better viewing experience for the users. Also, since this technology uses light-emitting diodes which are famous for its minimal power usage, it helps in consuming massive power resulting in lower power tariffs. However, as you might have guessed it by now, LED TVs are slightly costlier over its LCD counterpart.
- Plasma: Plasma is relatively newest technology and hailed as the best display so far. However, one of its commonly known disadvantages is that viewers won’t have as good viewing experience during bright light compared to low light viewing. Also, it is worth noting that, just like LCDs, plasma TVs are also very bulky. Considering its high price and almost equivalent viewing experience compared to LED TVs, plasma TV sales are declining by each day. Currently, only a few of the LG and Samsung TVs are sold with plasma display technology in India.
(Related read: Plasma V/s LED display explained in detail)
Ideal TV Screen Size
Assuming that now you have a fair understanding of the screen technology to choose, let’s figure out what size TV should best fit your requirements. Basically, there are two things you should consider while choosing screen size
1 – The size of unit/wall where you’d place/mount the TV – Make sure the TV you’re looking for fits on the cabinet/space available to mount the TV on the wall. You can always check out the detailed specifications on the TV brand’s website or the packaging of the TV to find the dimensions of the TV.
2 – Viewing distance: This is another important factor that you should consider while choosing screen size. If you’ve got a huge screen TV and don’t have ample distance between TV and couch/sitting area, then it could be uncomfortable for viewing and vice-versa. Experts believe, the ideal viewing distance between TV and you, the viewer should be approximately 1.6 times the size of the TV diagonally. For ex., there should be about 4-5 feet (~51 inches) distance while viewing a TV that has about 32″ screen size.
Apart from the display technology and the size of TV, it’s also critical to make sure that the TV that you’re finalising supports the connectivity options that you might need immediately or at a future point in time. Here are a few connectivity options to look for:
- HDMI: These days, High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is one of the primary connectivity options since most of the modern entertainment devices including Blu-ray players, gaming console, DVD players among others feature HDMI port and transmits data to your screen via HDMI port. It is also good to have multiple HDMI ports.
- USB: Needless to mention, there are many devices out there that could be connected to a TV using USB ports. USB ports are also useful to plug in a thumb drive to quickly play some Audio/video content on your device.
- Wi-Fi, NFC, Ethernet, TOSLink – Yes, there are TVs that features these connectivity options as well. Though they might not be must-haves for most of the TV buyers.
There’s a new breed of TVs available in the market called as Smart TVs. Are they really worth the money for you? Well, to answer this, we have a small question for you. What would be the extra features of Smart TV that you’re looking for? If it’s merely for streaming videos from a video streaming site or beaming photos from your recent holidays then we would suggest you go for Google’s Chromecast addon with a regular TV. You might also want to check out this post that lists few other genuine points on why you shouldn’t buy a smart TV yet.
This post is not an exhaustive list of TV buying checklist and there are other trivial things you might want to consider. However, this will help you to give a fair idea of the things you must have a look on. Feel free to drop in your queries via comments below and we’d be happy to answer the same.