I have worked with the most recent model HDTV’s for almost two years now, and have come to gain a plethora of information about them. For that reason I feel it only necessary to share what I’ve learned to those who are looking to buy a new television. Purchasing a new TV can be a bit overwhelming. There’s a lot of information to consider such as the specifications and the size of TV as well as different manufacturing brands to choose from, and even where to buy your TV. This article will provide a breakdown of the information you need to know when purchasing a new TV to make your experience all the more easier.
Where to Buy
Don’t think that purchasing a new TV has to be extremely expensive. I made the mistake of buying my 51” Plasma brand new. While it was nice to have a brand new product, I was disappointed when I learned I could have shaved off half the price for an almost like new model of the exact same TV. There are many places you can purchase refurbished TV’s from. The first option is online from websites such as EBay. If you don’t feel comfortable purchasing a product without looking at it first, do a web search for refurbished TV businesses in your area. HDTV Outlet, my place of work, is one such place in the state of Washington that sells customer returned TV’s. The issue’s that make our products discounted range from anything as large as a scratch on screen to something as miniscule as a non-shippable box, all of which greatly reduce the price of the TV. So it’s very worthwhile to do a little business research in your area because doing so could literally save you hundreds of dollars on your purchase.
The two main specifications that people get hung up on when purchasing a TV are Hertz and Resolution. Don’t let these two things make your decision tougher than it has to be. I will explain them in simple terms to make your purchase easier. Hertz refers to the refresh rate of the image on the TV, and is usually denoted 60Hz, 120Hz, and 240Hz (Side note: Most Plasma’s rate 600Hz due to its unique plasma gas screen type). The smaller the refresh rate the more choppy fast motion pictures will look. 120Hz is the standard. Anything faster is a plus. 60Hz will do just fine for smaller TV’s such as a 40 inches and below. It’s really that simple. The resolution is usually denoted 720P or 1080P. This refers to how many lines of pixels are on the TV. In simplest terms the higher the resolution number, the clearer the image. These days, most TV’s come 1080P except the smaller models that don’t need as high of a resolution. Recently manufacturers are experimenting with 4000P TV’s, however most of the current viewing content is formatted for 1080P so the difference will not be detected.
LED, LCD, and Plasma
LED, LCD, and Plasma, are the three main types of viewing screens for HDTV’s. Each type has to do with how the picture is lit. There used to be huge differences in the energy consumption of each type but with modern technology they’re all relatively the same, only plasma being slightly higher in consumption. The differences are so small that it roughly amounts to about 5 dollars a year in energy cost. In terms of picture quality, Plasma is said to have the “truest picture” by many, however it tends to have a dimmer picture and is more affected by natural sunlight. So if your TV is going in a room with lots of windows be cautious of purchasing a Plasma. On the other hand Plasma’s are rated high for gaming. That being said, the best advice I can give when it comes to picture type is to simply go see which one you like best. I’ve been working in the business for two years and still have a hard time telling the difference between LCD and LED, and I only really see a difference between those and the Plasma. Here it’s simply just personal preference.
Working with many different models, I’ve come to notice trends between each different manufacturer and the quality they produce. Primarily I deal with TV’s coming from Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic, Sony, LG, Vizio, and Hisense. Samsung is the leading manufacturer and I can tell you hands down that they seem to be producing the best product. Their TV’s not only show the least amount of problems, but are also the most visually aesthetic. They have sleeker, fancier frames and bases then most models, and look fancier overall. On the other side of the spectrum, Vizio seems to have the most issues. They constantly show up with dead pixels, bruises and other screen issues. They may be cheaper than other brands, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. All the other brands fall in the middle of the spectrum, and produce decent product. Again, this will be a personal preference on quality and appearance for you.
To sum it up, don’t let the numbers confuse you. If going above 40 inches, choose the highest refresh rate and resolution. Screen type and manufacturer depends on your personal preference. And lastly don’t be afraid to consider buying your TV refurbished as it can save you loads of money! I hope that helps, and happy shopping!