Looking for a new television, but find all the specifications and new technologies confusing? This LCD TV Guideline for non-tech buyers will make finding a breeze.
Like computer monitors, LCD TV’s come in several resolutions. HDTV’s almost always have an aspect ratio of 16:9, so resolutions are quoted by width. Any TV will be able to support its maximum resolution, as well as any others below it. Blu-Ray and most broadcasts now have a native resolution of 1080p. There are a few very high end sets that have an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (a bit over 21:9) to match that of movies, but these can display normal HDTV broadcasts as well.
Contrast ratio is a measurement of the difference between the darkest and lightest color a screen can produce. This is standard, and a good indicator of the screen’s display quality. Dynamic contrast ratio is measured by varying the brightness of the backlight. While these numbers look impressive, they aren’t standardized, and in real world performance won’t come close to meeting the stated ratio.
Many new LCD TV’s offer Internet connectivity, but the usefulness of this varies depending on the software the set is running. Some may support popular sites like YouTube and Twitter, but others may only have weather reports and a news ticker. Like any computer-based technology, this is quickly changing, and later updates may expand the services a TV will provide.
Connectors should also be taken into consideration. Some TV’s have gone completely to HDMI, which is good for HD video sources, but will require adapters if you use older equipment. If you plan on wall mounting your TV, the connectors should be at the bottom of the unit so they are still accessible. However, the location of these plugs can be a problem with TV’s placed on a stand, as the wires will take up any space below the TV: Blu-Ray players and other devices will need to be located elsewhere.
No TV can provide good surround-sound performance by itself. Some sets offer “virtual” surround sound. This delays some of the sounds slightly to make it seem like they’re farther away. This provides better performance than regular stereo, but if you want a real theater experience a separate sound system is a must. While speaker systems are another article to themselves, this is “LCD TV Guideline for non-tech buyers,” keep in mind that you will want a digital audio connector on your TV, as this has become the standard for external systems.
Depending on the setup in the room the TV will be located, viewing angle will also be a consideration. As you move to the left or right of the screen the image darkens, making it unwatchable. Manufacturers rate viewing angle by what angle you can see the image while only having 10% of the screen’s contrast. This is a far cry from a viewable image. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to test this: go to an electronics store and walk by a display model. If you can’t move far from the center of the TV and still have a good picture, don’t buy it.
Manufacturers may advertise dozens of features, but with this LCD TV Guideline for non-tech buyers you’ll know what to look for to buy a set you’ll love.
Zeeman Haus enjoys writing articles online on a variety of subjects. You can check out his latest website on 7 Inch LCD TV [http://7inchlcdtv.com/] which reviews and lists the best LCD TVs to help you pick the best one for your needs.
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