2. Let’s start by talking about TV…
…or more specifically – “How should I choose a new television?”
Making the switch and getting the right television for you.
My simple tip is this - unless you're really into your tellys, don't think about the brand - think about size, type and expense. There are many different manufacturers that include Sharp, Panasonic, LG, Phillips, Toshiba, Wharfedale, Fujitsu, Sony, Samsung etc.
All you really need to know is that all of these companies have put a little something different into each television they produce, but ultimately it is up to us whether we notice these differences and respond to them.
First, go for a television that will ‘fit’ the room you're using it in. I have a rather nifty little 28 inch Wharfedale which works very well for my bedroom and displays good, clear, high definition images from my Playstation 3.
If you’re interested in unlocking the full potential of HD and Blu Ray, make sure that you go for a ‘full HD’ television as opposed to a ‘HD ready’ telly. It should say what type of visual output it has in the description – but to be honest all telly’s on the market look stunning in their own ways.
The difference between the two is simply that a HD ready set will display up to 720 pixels but a full HD set will proudly display up to 1080 pixels. There will be more about high definition technology in an upcoming article, but for now this is all you’ll need to pick a television.
A 32 inch or above would be good for a living room, but the key isn't to go overboard and get something too big just for show. I nearly succumbed to temptation when I stood in front of a beautiful 50 inch and imagined watching The Lord of the Rings, all big and shiny. My daydream in Tesco was then rudely interrupted by my mother who pointed out that I would most likely suffer from vertigo whilst watching something that big. Compromises were grudgingly made and I now own a lovely LG 42 inch plasma telly for the living room. It was quite hard to get used to at first, like she predicted, but my mother and I now adore it.
You can go for a plasma, an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), an LED (Light Emitting Diode), or a 3D screen in your choice. A plasma screen is typically less expensive but tends to burn the image on the screen if left on for too long (as well as the re-gassing process every once in a while) but the latter three will most likely be more expensive depending on the brand.
For starters I wouldn’t bother with a 3D television right now, because unfortunately they are more trouble than they’re worth. Let’s stick to what we know and love.
Think of Plasma, LCD and LED as a scale of new technology - plasma being at the bottom. If you can afford it, I'd say do it.
These three types of televisions produce different and unique pictures.
· Plasma TVs have a natural looking display, better black levels and are generally richer when it comes to colour and contrast.
· LCD TVs are definitely brighter, with a better colour saturation – which means a sharper and more defined image.
· LED TVs are an upgrade to the previous two, but use less power because they produce their own light backdrops. This means that they produce a sharp colour enhancement with an internal light system that is an improvement to the fluorescent lighting that previous models use. Put simply – fluorescent lighting leaks ever so slightly which can create a little fuzzy effect when there is black on the screen. LED technology solves this problem.
All three types are very beautiful in their own way and Blu Ray will be a further enhancement to them all.
Visual technology is getting closer and closer to what the eye actually sees, so in the near future I can expect televisions to look like literal windows to another world if they don't already. However, most flat screens available today will have a fantastic image display. To be honest, it won't necessarily matter about the brand of television so just go with what your budget will dictate.
I'd just like to add, finally, that this is only a basic guide and that yes, there are subtle differences to each television brand on the market today. Some of them are geared to watching sports and tracking faster images for a clearer picture and some of them are designed for constant home and family use.
For now though, if you'd like to spend a good night in, watching a film, any television that you choose will be suitable enough for your needs. Each television will add a little something different to your experience. If you don’t want to hear about all of this technical jargon – then don’t worry, you’ll be like most of us. If you’d like to let your eyes decide, all good stores can offer you a demonstration – which can be better than letting someone talk you into buying something. Believe me…I know.
This short guide is just a beginners’ article as to what televisions can offer, but I hope that what I’m writing can help you all to have the confidence to make your own choice, instead of letting advertisers do it for you.
Well, that should be enough to start us off. In two weeks’ time I’ll be talking about the world of Blu Ray and HD, so see you then!
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