Saturday, March 01, 2014

TV Buying Advice ...

I held out forever before buying a "flat screen" TV … I just liked the picture on the glass tube TV. But, as my needs for thin TV to go on the mantle in my new home became a necessity and as LED TVs came out that used only a ¼ of the energy … it was time to make the switch.

Here's some buying advice from me to you …

• Size: 42-55" / Any bigger and you get lighting consistency problems and pixelation even in the top end • LED over LCD or Plasma // Plasma is going to have the best picture but LED is going to have the richest colors and uses WAY less energy

• 120 hertz refresh rate // Any lower and action movies (explosions) or sports (fast action like basketball) pixelate and blur // Better yet is 240hertz, but typically these TVs are pricey in LED form

• Brand means a lot! There are only 4 major manufacturers of TV panels - the brand names get the best screens and they give the cheap brands the lower quality panels.

 • Samsung TVs, in my experience have great speakers - eliminating the need to purchase a soundbar or speakers. Samsung is top. LG a close 2nd. Vizio is the most popular but the picture is about a 6 out of 10 Hisense is the least expensive but is about 4/5 out of 10 and has a high failure rate.

• Don't worry about features on the TV - like built in apps or wifi - these are best added by a little box like an Apple TV or a BlueRAY player. A Google Chromecast is one of the best purchases you can make - it allows you to show pictures, Youtube, and Netflix from your tablet or smartphone. Also remember that HDMI has an adapter for almost any connection - don't worry about DVI / RCA / VGA connections

• Don't get drawn into the hype of 3K 4K 5K TVs ... There's very little content available and NOTHING older than 2012 makes a difference on that resolution. Refresh rate is far more important! 

Best advice - Window shop at Best Buy and buy through Amazon. Go see some TVs and look at the difference ... Just note that ALL retailers set the settings of the TVs they want to push with the most optimal picture and PURPOSELY dumb down the settings on TVs they don't make much profit on.

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