HDTV is the new format that is slowly but surely taking over the obsolete analog TV format that has been used since after the end of World War II. The latter was designed for small cathode-ray tube television sets, and don’t maximize the image quality of today’s high-end TVs. HDTV allows you to enjoy the full high-definition resolution of movies and TV, giving up to five times the resolution of traditional TV systems. LCD HDTV is the fastest growing television of choice, but with the wide range of choices, it is confusing to choose the best one. Here are some things to consider when buying your LCD HDTV.
- Resolution counts. 1080p resolution (1920 by 1080 pixels progressively scanned) is currently the highest available for the home entertainment market. To maximize your HDTV experience, pick the 1080p resolution for the best details possible. Do not be fooled by the “1080i LCD TVs”, their actual resolution is merely 1366 by 768 pixels, giving a resolution half that of a true 1080p model. However, the viewing quality is virtually indistinguishable if viewed from a distance. Choose the 1080p model if you plan to frequently watch HDTV at closer distances.
- Measure up. Survey the area where you plan to place your LCD HDTV. Make sure you measure the maximum size of the TV you can put into that space. Consider the space for the other components you want to hook up to your LCD HDTV (such as Blu-ray player, speakers, Xbox, etc.) in your measurements. You should also factor in your floor plan. Some critics of the LCD HDTV format claim that you can see a grainy texture if the TV is viewed too closely. You should be able to maintain an adequate viewing distance between your seat and the monitor, depending on its size.
- Pixel response. Your monitor should be able to avoid image smearing when depicting rapid movement, one of the more notorious complaints about the LCD system. Currently LCD TVs address this problem with the 120Hz display technology, which provides a clearer and crisper image of motion. This is a feature seen on the more expensive units, but its effect on image quality is clearly seen. If your budget can accommodate this, it is a definite must-have.
- Viewing angles and light control. If the LCD HDTV is to be used by several people at once, it is important to go over the different viewing angles. Walk around the unit, and look view it at various angles. A good LCD TV should provide a clear picture to the widest range of angles possible.
You should also factor in the typical ambient lighting of the room. Glossy LCD screens produce slightly clearer pictures than their matte-surface counterparts. However, the latter minimizes light reflections that would otherwise be distracting. Backlight control is also essential to prevent eyestrain under low light viewing conditions. Adjusting backlight also helps save power, and increases the lifespan of your unit.
There are a lot of factors to consider when buying your LCD HDTV. It is advisable to go online and check out the various reviews of different brands and suppliers. View as many LCD TVs as possible, and choose one that suits your needs and most importantly, your budget. Remember, it’s not about getting the most expensive TV, but the one that suits your home entertainment system the most.