When you purchased a new TV in the past, your biggest conundrum may have been whether to choose a Sony or a Samsung model. But the advent of HD and tubeless TVs has opened the door to innovations for this home entertainment option. Now you have a lot more to consider. Here are a few issues you’ll want to address before you purchase a new TV.
- Digital options. Most broadcasters have now made the transition to DTV (digital television). This shouldn’t affect the purchase of newer television sets since most are designed to accept digital broadcast transmissions rather than analog. But you should be aware of the fact that you may now need additional equipment (receivers, antennas, etc.) in order to get “free” programming over the air. If you don’t want to pay for a box and service from the cable company or satellite provider, it’s important to understand that you can no longer simply plug your TV into the wall and receive local channels. Of course, the cable companies are happy to rent the additional equipment to you for a monthly fee – or you can purchase third party hardware.
- Plasma vs. LED. There is a long-running debate about which type of flat-screen TV is preferable. And when it comes to HD, picture quality tends to be the name of the game. Whereas plasma screens were initially lauded for their ability to display beautiful color gradients (something that LEDs still haven’t fully mastered), the truth is that LEDs are superior in almost every other aspect of picture quality. The images they produce tend to offer more clarity and crispness. In addition, they’re lighter weight and draw far less energy, making them the obvious economical (and eco-friendly) choice. And considering how much prices have dropped, they are now comparable to the plasmas that were once far less expensive. Of course, there are still plasma stalwarts who claim the picture quality is better. But plasma technology seems to be on the way out.
- Size. As with any electronics purchase, size matters. You should, of course, start by measuring the room, the surface, or the wall space where your new TV will be situated to make sure that you get a suitable size. But considering that modern flat screens offer light weight, wall-mounting, virtually frameless options, larger screen sizes are easier to fit in your home.
- Mounting options. Before you decide on a new TV, take a moment to consider how you want to mount your entertainment. Flatscreens still come with a base for those that prefer to place the television on a table of some sort. But you can also get wall-mounting hardware, putting your television flat against the wall or on a swing-arm that swivels. There are even furniture options that provide a faux wall on which to mount your flatscreen while hiding hardware and cables.
- Extras. Modern TVs come with all kinds of bells and whistles. For example, you might want to consider a 3D TV option. But more likely, you’ll want to look for amenities like multiple HDMI inputs and WiFi potential that could connect you to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other streaming options cable-free. And once you’ve figured out where to find flat screen TV parts like antennas, mounting hardware, and so forth, you’ll be well on your way to an upgraded entertainment center.