Betta Buying Guide - How to choose the right TV

There’s a lot of choice involved in buying a new TV. So much so that it can be a little overwhelming. But, all that stands between you and endless hours of entertainment is settling on what you want in your new TV. To make that choice easier, we’ve compiled everything you need to know to choose.

In the Living Room

The shape of the living room has a lot to do with how a TV is chosen. First, consider the following:

  • The size of the room, and couch placement – how far will you be sitting from the screen
  • The width of the room – in a wide living room, viewing angle becomes very important!

Does the Screen Size Suit the Room?

Once you’re considering a particular screen size, test it out in your living room using this rule:

  1. Take the size of screen (diagonally) and check that you will be sitting between 1.5 and 3 times that number from your TV when watching.
  2. If you need to move your head to look from one diagonal edge to the other, you’re sitting too close, and this could cause damage to your neck. The maximum range of motion your head should need to move is about forty degrees. Other small considerations include how many devices will be attached to the TV (Blu-ray, gaming consoles, cable TV, home theatre, etc) and if the TV will be wall-mounted or sit upon a stand.

Screen Types

When in the market for a new TV, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with a lot of similar-sounding acronyms. LED? LCD? Plasma? OLED? T For starters, there are really only two types: LCD and Plasma; LED refers to technology inside certain LCD TVs.

The differences between these TVs are relatively subtle, and are often a moot point for the average viewer. It’s really only picture-purists who get hung up on the ins and outs of their televisions

At the end of the day, they’re all going to give a fantastic picture. But, to get the choice right, here are some of the key points to keep in mind when choosing between them.

 

LED LCD

 

  • LCD televisions come in a range of sizes and are often much more cost effective than plasma.
  • LCD screens are, on average, more energy efficient than plasma. This, however, is something differs model by model.
  • Many LCD TVs use LED technology to light the screen, which contributes to energy efficiency.
 

OLED

  • OLED stands or Organic Light Emitting Diode, and this technology allows manufacturers to create incredibly thin screens, compared to the other technologies on this list.
  • Screens can be as thin as a centimetre, and so they’re very light.
  • OLED TVs are available in both Ultra HD and Full HD versions
 

4K

  • 4K Ultra HD TVs offer picture resolution that is four times greater than Full HD TVs. 4K TVS deliver a superior picture quality by offering around 8 million pixels of resolution, more colours and a higher contrast.
  • 4K UHD TV’s will remain extremely sharp when you are a short distance away from the monitor. This means that you can sit closer to the TV without the image breaking down. 
 

Quantum Dot

  • Quantum Dot technology delivers a wider colour range and more brightness than what you would normally receive in LCD TVs, however are noticeably more expensive than standard LCD TVs.
  • Quantum Dot technology disperses light in a way which allows you to see accurate colours wherever you are sitting and with no distortion as well as producing lifelike hues. 
 

Curved

  • Curved TVs are designed to offer both a more immersive experience, and great picture
  • The slight curve of the TVs improves viewing angle for anyone sitting to the left and right of the TV
  • Curved surfaces reflect light differently, so external light sources (like a lamp, for example) don’t reduce the picture quality.
 

Plasma

  • Plasma televisions are great choices for the large room because they have a wider viewing angle, so there’s little picture distortion when watching from the side.
  • Colours on a Plasma TV tend to appear more natural, due to the structure of the screen.
  • Plasma is generally more expensive that LCD
 

Resolution

TVs of the past had 480 lines, a High Definition TV has 720 lines (720p) and a Full High Definition TV has 1080 lines (1080p). More lines means a better picture. Most modern TVs are Full HD but HD TVs are still available.

The next step is 4K Technology, also known as Ultra HD. These TVs can display a picture four times the quality of the Full HD TVs, because they pack in four times the amount of pixels on the screen.

Cable Connections

No matter which TV you go with, make sure to connect your devices with HDMI cables wherever possible. The best picture comes through HDMI connections, for Blu-Ray, consoles and other items. Don’t compromise on cables unless you’re prepared to compromise on quality too!

Sound Quality

While TV screens are getting bigger and clearer, they’re also getting thinner, especially in the case of an OLED screen. This is great for making a sleek addition to the living room, but it tends to reduce the quality of sound, since speakers are significantly reduced in size. For audio that’s as good as the high-definition picture, pair the TV with a home theatre system or sound bar and get the full entertainment experience.

Key Tech: Smart Capability

Televisions with Smart capability are able to connect to the internet, which opens up a host of possibilities for entertainment.  Most important among these is the power to stream video direct to the TV, and, by extension, the home theatre set up.

These TVs can access vast free or subscription-based entertainment libraries, from content providers like Netflix, Stan, ABC iView and YouTube, shifting the focus away from physical media like DVDs and emphasising streaming.

Key Tech: 3D

Many of the higher end TVs on the market the ability to render content in 3D, though only where the video being watched is designed for it. All current technology 3D TVs rely on 3D glasses to show 3D. Before you choose which 3D TV to buy, try the glasses on – you want to make sure the glasses are comfortable.

Remember, you’ll only be watching 3D at certain times (animated movies look particular wonderful with it).

Choosing a Smaller TV

There are plenty of places around the home to place a TV that aren’t the living room! There’s the bedroom, for those who like their TV with a little more relaxation; the kitchen, for a cooking companion; and the playroom, to keep the kids occupied! We often don’t need as much from these smaller TVs as we do from the larger screen in the living room, so it’s fine for them to lighter on the features.

For these spots, it’s best to keep the clutter to a minimum and pick an LCD unit that is self-contained, meaning it will be feature an inbuilt DVD, and possibly the ability to record TV to hard drive. Plus, one unit means remote, making much less fuss!  Size-wise, look for a TV that’s 22-32 inches across, depending on the space it’ll be occupying.  

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