We spend a lot of time in front of screens these days, so it’s ironic that fewer kids get televisions in their own bedrooms as they used to – though that’s largely because they can watch program mes on their laptops now. Still, if this means that households might have only one main TV, you’ll want it to be a decent one. With such a bewildering array of plasma, LED and LCD models on the market these days, as well as factors to consider such as screen size, the type of technology it uses, plus connectivity options, the process can be confusing and even expensive. You don’t want or need this; you need, if possible, a cheap TV that doesn’t compromise on quality.
First, you should decide on what size screen you want. This depends on factors such as how big your living room is or how much of a presence you want the TV to have in your family’s life. It’s not necessary to get a television that’s huge, just to have a good picture quality (HD can see to that quite well), so your best bet is to go for a screen sized between 32-45 inches. If you’re all going to have to sit further away because of the room’s layout – over five metres, say – you should probably opt for a large one of about 56 inches. Don’t make the mistake of getting this size for a small room though, or every time you watch it will feel like you’re sat on the front row at the cinema, straining your neck.
Next, you need to consider the screen type. There are three available now: LCD, LED and Plasma. LCD are by far the biggest ones, as they require a lot of light to produce such high-quality images. This would only be a problem for a small room or a lack of wall space in which to hang it. LED TVs on the other hand, are backlit with light-emitting diodes. This ensures a crystal-clear picture and bright, striking colours all round and a good option for many families. Plasma screens are very impressive – not least if you’re watching a Technicolor epic – but tend to be on the more expensive side.
Then there’s the question of picture quality. HD is not in any way essential – after all, seeing the pores and craggy lines on an actor’s face rarely enhances enjoyment of viewing – but it is a nice thing to have. HD Ready gives you pictures twice as vivid and sharp as a standard TV (on programmes broadcast through HD channels, that is) and full HD will enhance the picture up to five times more than a standard set, and if you’re watching a film on Blu-ray through HD, it’s the nearest thing to having it appear as a hologram in front of you!
After these things, you might also want to consider audio options, the design of the TV and also connectivity, before making your final decision.
Contributed by Ben Williams