So you’ve decided to treat yourself and buy a new TV. There’s such a vast range of TV’s available, how do you decided what to buy? 42 inch or 100 inch? LCD or Plasma? 3D or not? The choices can overwhelming. Here are a few tips on how to narrow it down and go about picking a TV that’s perfect for you.
Get real about what it’s for.
If it’s a spare TV for the kids room where they might simply watch TV show s and the occasional movie, as opposed to the main TV that may be used for a variety of things like movies nights, gaming, video streaming and sharing photo’s, then you don’t need a large TV with all of the bells and whistles. IN this instance you’ll need a reliable TV that’s simple to use and has good picture quality.
So, start out by being clear on what the TV’s main purpose is.
Decide on a budget.
Setting a budget will instantly narrow the range of TV’s you can choose from. When deciding on your budget, keep in mind the reason why you’re buying the TV. Whether you choose to pay for your TV outright or finance it, having a budget will ensure you spend the right amount for the type of TV you need.
Size does matter.
They just keep getting bigger. But that doesn’t mean you need to go and buy the biggest TV around. So how do you know which size to go for? Measure the distance between where the TV will sit and from where it will be watched, also known as the ‘viewing distance’. Then follow the table below to get an idea of the ideal size TV for your viewing distance.
Of course, there’s no absolute golden rule about screen size, and the final decision will often be down to your personal preference along with the overall size of your room.
Features, feature and more features.
Now that you know what your TV will be used for, it should be a fairly straightforward process to decided what features you need. We’ve highlighted a few of the most common questions you’ll need to consider:
LCD/LED LCD vs Plasma – both types of flat screen technology produce great pictures and each has their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, LCD’s consume around 30% less power than plasma’s. And because the latest LED LCD technology uses LED lighting it consumes even less. However, plasma’s have the edge when it comes to picture contrast and quality in dark scenes, due to their ability to display deeper blacks. As a general rule, plasma’s offer better value-for-money for TV’s sized 50 inches and above and LCD’s at the smaller end (46 inches or less) of the market.
3D or not – 3D movies have been around for a long time however 3D technology in TVs is still fairly new. If the TV you’re buying is for a home theatre then, with all of the 3D movies now available, it may be worthwhile buying a 3D TV. If you’re mostly going to use your new TV to watch regular free-to-air, then there are probably not enough 3G programs around yet to make it worthwhile.
Smart or not – a smart TV is a lot like a smart phone, it can do more than just play television. You can connect a smart TV to the internet and browse the web, play music & games, and stream video’s just like you can on a computer without the need of an additional device. You may pay a premium for a smart TV but if you’re going to use these features regularly, and it’s within your budget, why not. If it’s not within your budget you can still get a lot of these features on your TV without having to buy a smart TV, through a PVR, Blu-ray player, gaming console, set-top box, etc).
Do your research.
You don’t need to go overboard, just be prepared so when you go into store or online you stay focused and end up with the TV that’s most suitable for you. Search for TV’s that match your needs then compare pricing & features, read reviews and create a shortlist. Both choice.com.au and cnet.com.au are good places to start. Or, for a more personalised service, we recommend popping into you local Harvey Norman, Domayne or Joyce Mayne store. Armed with this information you’re now ready to buy!