If you are finally ready to say goodbye to your old family CRT TV, your next step should be to buy a good flat screen HDTV. The market is saturated with brands, and there is no better time than now to make this purchase. From cost-effective 25-inch LED TVs to gargantuan, wall sized monsters that cost the earth, the sky is the limit! So let's find out which one would be perfect for you.

Although it may seem so, bigger is not always better when it comes to screen sizes. But then there are other things you have to take into consideration, such as space constraints. If you have a small home, there is no point in thinking of a 55-inch mega screen for your wall. So let’s be realistic and think about where you are going to place the TV; whether you will be wall-mounting it, placing it on a table, etc. Thus the size of your room largely determines what size of TV you really need.

Viewing distance
You have to be very particular about how close or far you are sitting while watching TV on your flat screen. Sit too close, and the images will get pixilated; too far, and you might not be able to see clearly. This happens especially with larger Full HD TVs. When you are buying a new TV, all you have to do is remember this simple formula: the viewing distance should be approximately ¼ of the screen size, except for the fact that viewing distance is in feet, and screen size is inches. So if you are buying a 32 inch LCD, you should sit about eight feet away. Also, be aware that LCD and LED TVs have a narrower viewing angles, so make sure you place the TV in such a way that people don’t have to crane their necks to watch it with you.

Here’s the deal breaker – how much money do you really want to spend on a TV? Although prices have dropped considerably and cheaper brands are flocking the market, an HDTV is still a luxury for most people. It’s also a good idea to double-check what features are available on the TV, as some of them are unnecessary. If the technology is brand new, the manufacturer might add a huge chunk to the price. For instance, LG has recently launched the LX9500 Infinia Series of beautiful TVs which are loaded with all the latest technology; but the downside is that they cost as much as a small car. On the other hand, Mitashi has launched their own range of LCD and LED TVs called DIVIO , which are pretty cost effective.

Features and Technology
Speaking of latest features, the latest TVs have the best technology, and will certainly give you maximum viewing pleasure, but they usually cost a whole lot more. However, you can actually do a lot more than just watch TV on the newer models, such as surf the web or even watch 3D movies and play 3D games (if the TV is 3D compliant of course). But then again, not everyone wants to do these things on a TV, so think before you get enamoured by all these brilliant features.

Make sure you do ample research before buying the HDTV of your choice. There are plenty of guides, such as the one you’re reading right now, that’ll make your buying decisions easier and quicker. Also, there are websites such as www.compareindia.com and www.naaptol.com where you can compare HDTVs you have shortlisted.

LCD, LED or Plasma?

  • Plasma TVs are at the risk of getting extinct with the growing popularity of the newly arrived LED and LCD TVs. However, that doesn’t mean you should disregard them altogether. Films look a lot better on plasma TVs when compared to normal LCDs. This is because plasma TVs produce better black levels, which in turn means better contrast and richer, deeper colours even from a distance and at angles. One disadvantage of a plasma TV is the burn-in factor, which may occur during the first 100 hours of usage, as static images can get etched onto the screen permanently. The only solution to this is to keep the contrast ratio low, although the newer plasma TVs manufacturers have become proactive by adding features such as screensavers; some go even further as to provide damage control options where the screen goes white once the burn-in occurs. The LG 42PQ70BR Bluetooth Plasma TV serves as a good example.
  • LCD TVs definitely enjoy a larger market share than plasmas, as the former are available in smaller sizes making them more affordable. They also score over plasmas, as there are no burn-in issues. Another advantage is that the high-end and larger LCD TV panels have better resolution than plasma TVs. The downside is that the black levels suffer because light tends to leak through the pixels, in turn affecting colour saturation. Another problem with LCD TVs is the fact that they have narrower viewing angles. But all said and done, LCD TVs are the most viable option when it comes to buying an HDTV, as they are available in smaller sizes and are cheaper. The Samsung LA32B350F1 is a great, medium sized LCD TV that costs Rs. 26,500.
  • LED-lit LCD TVs are considered to be the best option, but they’re also the most expensive. Apart from being slim and stunning to look at, the picture quality produced by LED TVs is surreal, especially if you are watching sports, action movies or playing games on your console. Another great advantage is that these TVs use light emitting diodes that allow the manufacturers to make the TVs slimmer, in turn saving power and making them a whole lot lighter. Of course, LED TVs aren’t perfect either, as most of them cost a fortune (with the exception of newer companies like Mitashi), and they also have a narrower viewing angle compared to plasma TVs.

By now, you will have a good idea as to what one needs to look for, in terms of technicalities when choosing the right HDTV.

Tags: , , , , ,