A BUYING GUIDE FOR TVs
There are several points to consider before buying a TV. Is LED better than LCD or Plasma TVs? What is a good Contrast ratio? What is the viewing angle? Is it worth paying extra for networking related features (Smart TV)? What Hz rating should my TV have? And finally, is 3D necessary?
PLASMA: Plasma TVs use a sheet of miniscule individual plasma cells that create a picture when an electrical charge is applied —Examples are Panasonics TC-P50S30 and Samsung’s PN51E440.
LCD: LCD televisions, on the other hand, use liquid crystal compressed between two glass plates; an image is created when electricity is applied to these crystals. Examples are Sony’s KDL-32BX330 and Samsung’s LN40D610.
LED: LED TVs use liquid crystal, but unlike regular LCD televisions they use a backlight made of hundreds of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) instead of a fluorescent lamp. The LEDs can be evenly distributed around the back of the television’s panel or situated in the edges of the screen to create a very thin display chassis. Examples are Samsung’s UN46D7050 and Sharp’s LC-60C6400U.
A television's contrast ratio represents its ability to show detail in high contrast areas of the screen, in the form of minute gradations of color and blacks or whites. For example, a panel with a low contrast ratio will struggle to show the higher or lower extremes of an image. In layman's terms, this means detail will be lost in bright areas as well as in dark scenes. In a Blu-ray movie, for example Batman Begins, the loss of detail in dark scenes will quickly become apparent.
LCD TVs 60,000:1 and up is good
LED TVs 1,000,000:1 and up is good
Plasma TVs 100,000 and up is good
It is generally accepted that plasma televisions have better contrast ratios than LCD and LED panels, due to the fact that a plasma television can completely deactivate the light source for individual segments of the screen. When comparing units on contrast the higher the number the better.
The narrower a television's quoted viewing angle is, the smaller the range in which it produces a 'perfect' image with no loss of contrast or color. Most TVs have 178˚- 180˚ viewing angle but it is always worth checking.
CMR AND HZ: CMR (Clear Motion Rate) and HZ (Hertz) refer too how often the TV "draws" the screen image per second. With 60Hz sets, nothing extra is done. The TV draws the image at the same rate as the frame rate. But with 120Hz and 240Hz sets, the TV interpolates or duplicates frames to draw the screen more often (it invents fake frames). What this does is allow it to provide more frames that are crisp and clear during scenes with fast motion. It can "keep up" with the action so to speak. Otherwise, those same scenes, at 60Hz refresh, may suffer from motion blur (ghost trails). The common rule is the higher the CMR/HZ the crisper the picture, it is recommended to have at least 120CMR/HZ.
SMART TV AND APPS
Many brands nowadays are now touting ‘Smart TVs’. Essentially, these are sets with pre-loaded Internet apps and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which let you access Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or browse the Web on your big screen. But more importantly, Smart TVs aren’t good enough to be your primary PC yet, so make sure you have Wi-Fi set up at home to use your internet connection on the laptop as well as the TV. Do be aware though, that some devices have only an
3D TV’s: When choosing a 3DTV it is important to understand the types of 3DTVs available, there is Active 3D and passive 3D. Active 3D requires 3D glasses with a shutter and power source (Battery powered). Passive 3D just requires 3D glasses that have been specially polarized. Active 3D is said to have a crisper picture and has a larger part of the market, but the glasses can cost from $60-$150. Passive 3D glasses can cost from $20-$60, this can save you a lot of money if you are buying multiple pairs of glasses.