Buying a television is a process from which visiting a store just cannot be omitted. Looking at the display ‘Live’ has a far greater impact on the buying process than anything. But, there are certain benchmarks/standards that you need to keep in mind to make your purchase future proof. So, read on and become an informed customer!
1. Display technology of the TV set
LED LCD Televisions
A large share of televisions today are LED LCD. The TVs which we usually refer to as LED TVs, are actually LCD screens with LED illumination. These TVs can light up specific zones of the screen and dim other parts to better represent contrast in a scene. Being affordable while offering great picture quality, are the primary reasons for their popularity.
OLED (Organic light emitting diodes) Televisions
OLED TVs use a layer of organic LEDs instead of a backlight. Since, illumination of every LED can be controlled, the television produces absolute blacks and stunning levels of contrast. The picture quality of OLED TVs have not been matched by even the most expensive LED TVs. The only down sides are that they are extremely expensive and their long term reliability is still under scrutiny. Unless, you have a large disposable income, skip buying an OLED TVs for now.
2. Resolution of the television
Resolution is the width and height of the picture. Strictly speaking, do not go for a TV below 1080p (1920X1080), also known as Full HD, because in the near future picture quality is only going to improve and a 1080p display can successfully handle higher resolution signals. These days 4K (4 times the resolution of 1080p) TVs are also available to buy. But, again 4K content is very scarce.
3. Connection ports on the television
Make sure the television you are considering to buy has a minimum of 3 HDMI and 2 USB ports. HDMI ports for your set-top box and PlayStation/Xbox/Chromecast while USB inputs are nice for displaying photos, videos, connecting keyboard or mouse. If you want to connect an older device only then worry about the analog ports. HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 are necessary on a 4K TV, then again nearly every new 4K TV has them.
4. Audio output of the television
Even the best, most expensive HDTVs have a shared problem: poor sound quality. This is basically due to their sleek design, thus no space for better sounding drivers. An easy way to solve this is to buy external speakers. A soundbar, home theatre system or a good headphone are some options to look at.
5. Screen size and viewing distance
Well, the size of the screen is in direct relation with the distance from which it is viewed. For a bedroom, a screen size of 40-50 inches is good. For living rooms, screen size of 50 and above is recommended.
According to THX, the biggest regret television buyers have is that they didn’t buy a bigger TV. THX recommends, for an optimized cinematic experience, a 40 degrees viewing angel, which relates to the following distances:
• 35 inch TV = 3.5-5 feet away
• 40 inch TV = 4-6 feet away
• 50 inch TV = 5-7.5 feet away
• 60 inch TV = 6-9 feet way
6. Refresh Rate
Refresh rate is how many times per second the TV changes the image. A higher refresh rate will produce a more clear moving objects. For video games and sports, consider a refresh rate higher than 120Hz.
Things to skip: Curved displays
Curved TVs are just a marketing gimmick. There are no technical advantages, but rather has disadvantages. The curved has a focal point from where all points on the display are equidistant. You need to be on that sweet spot to enjoy the advertised advantages. Also the curved display reduces the viewing angles.
Now, with all this weaponry, you are well equipped to make a wise decision for your next television.