Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Buying LCD TV

If you have decided to buy a LCD TV but could not decide on brand, model or confused that if your selected brand or model is good enough.

Don’t worry, all you have to do is educate yourself by comparing LCD TVs of different brands and models and compare their specification. If you are not clear about the technical terms mentioned. I have listed some of them here.

Screen Size: Screen size is measured diagonally. There are many screen size available in the market, you need to decide on your room size and your budget.

Native Pixel Resolution: LCD flat panel sets have a number of pixels on the screen surface that is called as Native Pixel. You need to look for as high a native pixel count as possible. Most LCD TVs offer at least a 1280x720 native pixel resolution. This is the minimum pixel count you should settle on. Some larger screen LCD TVs now offer 1920x1080 native pixel resolution, which certainly is even more desirable, but costly.


Scaling is a process where a television's video processor will match the resolution of the incoming signal to its native pixel resolution. This means that lower resolution signals will be up-scaled, but the processor will downscale higher resolution signals so that they can be displayed at the TVs native resolution. That is the reason you need to buy HD Ready TV. Poor scaling can result in poor display results, such as jagged edges and inconsistent detail. It must also be noted that results also depend on the quality of the incoming signal.

Motion Response Time: It is nothing but the ability of the LCD TV to display fast moving objects without any blurring effect. In the past this has been a weakness of LCD technology. However, this has improved now. Check the specifications for Motion Response Time (ms = milliseconds). A good LCD TV should have a Response Time of either 12ms or 8ms, with 8ms being optimum, i.e. lesser the value the better. You need to consider this especially if you watch lots of sports or action films or like to play games on TV. Be wary of LCD TVs that do not list their motion response time.

Contrast Ratio:
Contrast ratio, or the degree of variation of the whitest and darkest parts of the image, is a very important factor to consider. If the LCD TV has a low contrast ratio, dark images will look muddy and gray, while light images will look washed out. A good contrast ratio to have in an LCD TV is 1,500:1 or higher. Anything less than 1,500:1, may not provide an optimum viewing experience.

Brightness: Without sufficient brightness your image will look muddy and soft, even in a dark room. Viewing distance, screen size, and ambient room light will affect the need for more brightness capability. A brightness rating listed as 550 cd/m2 or higher is good enough, but don't depend upon the technical number listed, just make sure the screen is bright enough for your needs upon your own visual inspection.

Viewing Angle: Make sure you can view the image on the LCD TV from the sides as well as the from the prime viewing area. LCD TVs typically have a good side-to-side viewing angle, with many going as wide as 160 Degrees, or about 80 degrees from the center viewing spot. If you find that the image begins to fade or becomes un-viewable within 45 degrees from either side of the center viewing spot, then it may not be a good choice where you have a large group of viewers sitting in different parts of the room.

Tuner and Connection Considerations: Almost all LCD-TVs have built-in tuners, if it is not there you have to buy external tuner or set top box. There are LCD TV’s with dual-tuners for PIP functions i.e Picture in Picture function which allows to watch 2 chanels at a time. If they are HD Ready nothings like it. However, it will be useful only if you receive HDTV programming.

Input Connection: Check if the TV has connection for HDMI Inputs, RGB Inputs, S-Video Inputs, Composite Video, Component Video, VGA input.

Speaker: Don’t judge LCD TV with speakers, but try and buy a TV which at least has inbuilt 10W L+R speakers.

These are the only features you need to consider before buying LCD TV. If you find more features in LCD TV specification you don’t understand, don’t bother about them. They are there to just filling up the space.


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