Friday, August 31, 2007

Buying a High Definition Television

If you have a cash tree in your back garden choosing a HD TV is easy pick the biggest and most expensive and your bound to be on to a winner right. Well I don't know about you, but my money tree got lost in the post. For those of us that have to get the best value deals choosing the right TV can be a daunting task with so many options around you can easily find yourself bewildered by the waffle in the technical specifications.

LCD or Plasma High definition screens come in two flavours plasma and LCD the similarities in the technologies end there. Plasma uses tiny gas plasma cells charged by electrical voltages to create a picture. LCD standing for liquid crystal display, the pictures on the screen are formed by the liquid crystal that has been pushed in the space between two glass plates having varying electrical charges applied to it. Both of these technologies have there strengths and weaknesses.

Just the Facts

Plasma screens have clearer black representation then its LCD counter part due to LCD backlight leakage but this is getting better with each new generation of LCD display Plasmas have a wider viewing angle then LCD. Older LCD screens tended to blur fast moving images newer LCD do not suffer so much with this problem. LCD screens traditionally lasted longer then there plasma counterparts but this seems to be getting better, a plasma screen in the past would have lost half its bright ness after 20,000 hours or more of use. If you use the TV for 24 hours a day, we are talking a lifespan of 2.2 years, modern plasmas screens can last up to 60,000 hours. LCD screens are guaranteed to last more then 60,000 hours or 6.6 years (24 hours a day use)

Size Is bigger better, well if you are a man like me, yes. I wanted the 60 inch screen to go into my minimal sized living space but my wife soon gave me a reality check. In hindsight, I can see she was right. If you have a limited space, a large screen can totally dominate a living area. if I had that bachelor pad I so often dream about I don't see it as a problem. if you have family get a screen to complement the size of the room not dominate it a screen size of 38- 42 inches is adequate for most sized rooms if you have a larger room then look at the 50 inch + models.

Screen resolution Screen resolution is defined by the number of pixels, the more pixels the better the picture

You normal non HD Television = 480 lines this is normal terrestrial television 480p = 852 x 480 giving you 408960 pixels 720p =1,280x720 giving you 921600 pixels 1080i = 1,920x1,080 giving you 2073600 pixels 1080p =1,920x1,080 giving you 2073600 pixels with progressive scan

What Manufacture Now that's a loaded question that I would be hesitant to answer. I have my favourites because of there reputation for quality which include the likes of Sony and Toshiba. Even the top end manufactures can produce a bum model now and again, as a budget manufactures can produce a technological masterpiece. What I would do is, once I've found a model that I like the look of, get all the details, including model number and do a search via Google for something like "Sony -model number here- review". I would then be in a position to make an informed decision about purchasing that particular model. When spending large amounts of cash you should research your product because when you make that purchase you will know that you got the best product for you. More importantly you will not suffer from buyers regret after the purchase.

Questions to ask when buying

Screen size Get a screen to fit with the size of your room I would go for a 42 inch for most people unless you have an extremely small living space

Resolution I would choose a model with the best definition so we are talking a 1080i or 1080p model to get the best from Blu Ray or HD DVD go for 1080p

Connections How many devices can you connect to it? You must have room for a HDMI connection and a PC connection plus several AV connections more is better

Tuner Make sure you have a built in digital tuner a few models still only come with an analogue tuner.

Making the purchase Do not be afraid to haggle even in the big chains; sometimes this can pay off. if they will not comedown on price get them to print the details of the model and go to another store and find the model you want and show them the print out and ask them to beat that price . Get them to give you there best price and if the company have a web site before you make the purchase check the web price it is often cheaper on the web site then in the store. Return to the shop and ask them to at least match the web price, again take a printout of the companies online store price. Some stores will match without much hassle others will give you the web price but only if you take the difference between store and web price in vouchers to be used in that chain only. Others will just say no . it's a buyers market and as consumers we have the power not to spend money with companies who take a non flexible attitude with the customer.

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